Hill-Top Cafe

“We both have three most important things in common if you really have to look for a reason.” he said while looking down the hill from his table overlooking the full view of the valley. “Okayy.. What are those three things and by the way we are looking a reason for what” she enquired but with that childlike naughtiness in her eyes as if she didn’t understand his point. He said “Three things are parallel universe, hills and coffee..” he replied looking her in the eyes and the way they kept looking in the eyes she knew the reason he was referring to. Breaking the silence she said “Hey so now you believe in parallel universe haa..” “Of course I do, do I really have a choice and moreover I know I will find you there if nowhere else” he said laughing and both of them burst into laughter sitting in their favourite spot on the hill top cafe. Every time when Aman visits they would meet in the same cafe. 

Now it was getting dark and colder and both of them decided to walk down the hill than taking a rickshaw. They don’t get much time together so the time that they were getting while walking down was being really cherished by both. It was so beautifully silent and cold all around, all they could feel is each other’s presence as if in that moment nothing else really existed. Hands in the pocket of the sweater and the vapours coming out of their mouth due to cold, Aman was completely engrossed in her talks. Not really, all that is going in his mind was the future of their relationship. He really wanted it to materialize and take a shape but on the other hand Anjali was in no hurry, or to be more precise, she would start sounding distant and disconnected the moment Aman brings out this topic. 

Finally they reached to a point on the road from where a street goes straight to Anjali’s place but Aman wasn’t allowed to accompany her till home. He never tried to take a sneak peak in the street and completely respected the instructions by Anjali. “Ok.. so, until next time” she said smiling in a low voice. Aman leaned forward to hug her and they both came really close. They were looking in to the eyes, breathing vapours into each other. A moment totally frozen in the time for them. They were just about to touch but Aman retracted, might sound stupid in today’s age but he wanted things to formalize between them before he could completely have her in all the aspects. She understood, she smiled and walked in the dark of the street. Aman kept looking in her direction until it was just darkness he could see.

He started walking towards his hotel which was around 10 minutes’ walk from there. He noticed the voice of flowing river, hushing of the trees because of wind and saw a few passers-by as well. He thought he was too lost in Anjali that he did not notice any of this earlier. He reached his hotel, packed all of his stuff and checked out from the hotel to catch the late night bus to Delhi. They kept chatting through emails throughout his bus journey back home. Sounds strange right.. Yes, no whatsapp, no SMS they talk just on emails except the times they meet.

He fell asleep and when he woke up he found an email in his email inbox from her saying ‘Please let me know when you reach home’ he replied quickly with ‘Just reached.. missing you already’. To which she replied ‘Ok.. see you soon, bye’. This was the last time they contacted and these were literally the last messages from her. He kept sending her emails but never heard back but sent folder of his mailbox kept getting heavier. He kept waiting for days, days became weeks and months but he did not hear anything from her. He was not angry, he kept his patience and trust on her and on everything they ever talked. He was worried about her and apart from an email id he did not have a way to contact her.

Six months passed like this and one day he ran out of patience to wait and he decided to head to the hills and visit the same places he used to spend time with her. As soon as his bus reached there he took a rickshaw straight to the hill top to visit the same cafe. As he reached he saw there was nothing, there was no cafe, and Aman was literally shocked. How is it even possible, he has spent several hours with Anjali here and that too so many times over the last 5 years? To his surprise there were not any people around. He saw a shepherd passing with his sheep. He asked the shepherd about the cafe but even more shockingly shepherd told him there was never any cafe or a building or anything at this place. Shepherd suggested him to run downhill as it was getting darker and no one stays much at this place. He said locals have a lot of stories of this place. 

Aman was shocked listening all of this not because he was scared or anything but for the fact he has spent some most beautiful moments here at the same place with the love of his life. Disappointed as hell he started walking down hill thinking about all the good time here with Anjali and all their conversations started playing like a video reel in his mind. He remembered of their last conversation at the cafe where he told her jokingly that he would find her in the parallel world. A chill ran down his spine thinking of it, he had Goosebumps and as he looked ahead on the road the shepherd who was walking ahead of him was nowhere to be seen, nor did his sheep. He now knew where to find Anjali. He kept walking on the road until he reached outside the same street where he last dropped her. He took a deep breath and stepped in that direction and soon disappeared in the dark. A board outside the street read “Take a leap of faith and walk with me.”