She pulled up the glasses to her forehead and wiped the sweat with a half torn face napkin. As an immediate reaction, she checked her face on the dark mobile screen and plucked out the shreds of the paper that were stuck on her skin.
“Here ma’am, is there anything else you would like to have ?”, the waitress placed the cup of black coffee with utmost skill.
Waft of freshly brewed coffee’s decoction hit Mira’s nostrils, and she fell into a state of transcendence.
“No..Thank you…”, she stuttered continuing to inhale.
The waitress smiled, and trotted to take the next order from the only other customer apart from Mira.
Her state of wholeness was suddenly interrupted by someone calling her name. And the voice shook every neuron in her head. But, her emotions were neutral. This surprised her.
“Mira, Is that you? Whoaaa…how are you?”, he quipped, genuinely startled.
‘Damn..why is he here? Why is here? Why is he here?’
With no one offering, and out of habit, he pulled out the chair opposite to Mira settling comfortably.
“It has been 6 months! I haven’t heard from you. Whoa! You have lost lot of weight. And you look great”, he continued without a pause.
‘It was deliberate weight loss, and self love , you asshole’
“Thank you! So, how are you?”, she asked, deliberately not returning any compliments.
“I am ok. Neola is fine”, he said reading her face for emotions.
But there weren’t any. Mira had worked on herself for the past half of the year. And it seemed like it was to respond to him at this moment.
‘There was no need to bring her name in the first line of conversation. How did I put up with someone so disgusting for past 5 years?’
“That was the most insecure reply, ever heard”, he muttered under her breathe.
“What?”, he asked acting innocent, though he had heard her.
“Nothing, how is work?”, she asked. But, he shifted his focus on the cup.
“Hey! That must be black coffee. Right ? And you are waiting for it to be luke warm. I have always known you. So does it have 2 cubes of sugar?”
Mira rolled her eyes. Even her helper of 6 days knew this better.
“No sugar”, she replied back lidding her anger.
“What?!! No!! Don’t tell me you are doing this no sugar shit, you always loved the sugar. Don’t change that thing. It makes you”, he told her while he plopped two cubes of sugar into the coffee.
Mira stared at him for few seconds. He needed to go. She needed that closure.
She needed to end him in her way, once for all. He was the guy she had planned her life with, though he had always given her half confused answers. Her intuition about him had always been the same – they will not end up together. There will be no forevers, or togethers. Still, she hung on to the faith of his words, and emotions. To the world, her relation wasn’t toxic, but to her it was. She has wasted her energy loving him for four years, giving it the best in very sense. It was time that was lost, and more important, she had lost herself in the process. It just took him 2 days to move on, telling her that it was never meant to be. She had no idea if he had cheated on her behind back, while she was living in this delusion of love.
“Sugar is bad”, she said.
“Come on Mira..you can have it…”, he butted in.
“I haven’t finished!”, she glared at him.
“Ok ok..” he said raising his hands. She sensed that he was shocked by her assertiveness.
“I am like this black coffee. Strong. Sensational. Simple but”, she said looking at her cup which had sugar pieces that were bloating. “I always liked the coffee that way. Bitter, awakening, and a reminder that it is the best thing to start the day with. But this sugar is quite addictive. I know it is not the sugar that makes the coffee, but it always gives you the sense that coffee is missing something. It gives you this illusion that coffee is not complete. You understand?”
He nodded his head, quite perplexed.
Satisfied, she continued.
“So every day, this sugar comes into the coffee, giving this false perception of sweetness, making the coffee seem good. Coffee forgets, what makes it so unique. We forget why we loved the coffee in the first place. It definitely wasn’t the sugar.”
She placed her glasses on the table, giving the pause for him to comprehend.
“But, sugar is bad. It is empty calories, with nothing to hold on to for itself, making everyone addictive and sick. The end result of sugar is always negative”
She looked him straight into the eye.
“And you are that sugar. In my life of black coffee”
He shifted his position uneasily, not saying a word.
Mira felt light. She felt her heart pounding in happiness. She smiled to herself. Every ounce of faith she had in herself was restored.
“Lila! Can you please bring me another cup of black coffee?”, she shouted out to the waitress who nodded.
“And Lila, make sure there is no sugar in it”, Mira echoed pushing the cup of coffee with sugar towards him.