Waffles with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup is the signature dish of this cafe even today. The outdoor seating has canary yellow chairs now, it was of a different colour back then. Pastel blue.
You take a seat and order two servings. One for you and one for him. You have a wistful look in your eyes as you look around. It’s September. An anniversary…
Teenage sweethearts you both were once upon a time and this was the place you always frequented for Saturday date nights or birthday celebrations.
He had a twinkle in his eyes every time he saw you. You had first met those across a room full of people in Math class…or was it Science? It hardly matters. Your heart pounded like a million hammers.
Did you know his did too? It did and he had told you. And then, a million butterflies fluttered in your heart…
A crisp breeze ruffles your hair across your face, cutting into your reverie.
They were chestnut brown once. You had dyed them red after a fit of tantrums with your mother. Wasn’t she dumbfounded to see you with coloured hair!
You had smirked inwardly. It was a juvenile victory. She had raved and ranted and didn’t talk to you for days.
But not him. He said you looked like Cristina Aguilera. His genie in a bottle. Because you danced like her too.
You run into his arms every time there’s a tiff at home. He understands you like no other. The day he popped the question, you readily agreed. You worked as an accountant and he worked his way up to become a banker.
Twenty years ago on this day, you were waiting for him at this very cafe which was in the vicinity of his workplace. You were getting married after a week. After a quick bite, you both were going for the gown fitting.
With a lost look on your face you smiled at nothing in particular, daydreaming away. The honeymoon was going to be in Paris, the City Of Love. Both of you excitedly saved money for this trip, then begin your ‘Happily Ever After’.
You could actually hear the planes revving up, a mighty roar.
Wait a minute! You’re not hallucinating! The planes. One…two…
A sudden roaring in the skies made everyone look up to see two planes flying too low and crash into both the towers of a skyscraper one after another!
Hysterical screams ripped everywhere, but you were shell-shocked! He was in one of the towers!
Even as you watched helplessly screaming in a pitch you didn’t know you had, both the towers crumbled in a heap of rubble, raging fires and dust! You are numb. Not a whisper escapes your lips…
Partings without goodbyes leave gaping chasms…
The skyline of Manhattan was never the same!
Anniversaries! To be celebrated? Sometimes, to be mourned in private and to give grief its own space to heal.
Pic Courtesy: Pixabay