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Silver lining

His blue eyes lay fixed on the window pane. He followed the raindrops trickling down the glass, how one drop merged with the other and made a bigger drop and at one stage it stopped. Rushad turned his attention towards the busy Manhattan Street. Everything was as usual, the daily life of people, the environment, but nothing seemed normal to Rushad. His eyes searched for the familiar face, the person he cared for and wanted more than anything else in this world. Rushad's mind was a great cavern of sorrow. The person whom he loved so much was gone, the relationship was over forever.

It had been eight months since Zabiha left him, and life was never been the same then onwards. Rushad's heart was shattered, all that he dreamt of will never be fulfilled, and there was an incompleteness which even words cannot describe.' It is Zabiha's birthday today,' Rushad thought. He looked at the phone, the numbers were so vividly clear in his brain. He dialed it numerous times; life was so beautiful in those times. Rushad unintentionally reached out to pick the receiver, just to hear the voice, may be for once to make him feel at ease. He pressed on the first number and he found strength in dialing the second and then the rest. He then waited, it kept on ringing on the other side and Rushad thought that his mind was playing tricks again. Just when he was about to hang up, there was a 'click'.

“Hello?” Zabiha's voice was never as sweet as he felt at that moment. It just went into his veins, there was a rush of adrenaline, his heart started beating faster…but the words were only in his brain. He opened his mouth but couldn't speak; as if someone was choking him. Rushad started gasping for breath and even in a cold winter morning he started to sweat profusely.

“Hello? Heelloo?” Zabiha sounded impatient. The line cut off, she ended the call. Rushad then spoke almost in a whispering tone as tears brimmed into his eyes.

“Happy Birthday Picchu, have a good one, love you a lot!” How much he loved to call her by that name. Suddenly the cellular phone started to ring, he decided not to take the call but it kept on ringing and at last Rushad answered it.

“Hey mate, where are you?” Darren's shrieking voice brought Rushad back into reality.
“Why what happened?” Rushad asked.
“We have a meeting here, so how long will it take for you to reach the office?” Darren spoke hurriedly.

“Darren, I'll not come today, you go ahead with the meeting. You've got all my work. I think you can handle it.” Rushad said.
“Are you sure mate, because it was you who wanted to meet the delegates more than I did.” Darren asked.
“I'm sure, and by the way, can you and Clara come over for dinner tonight?”

“Why is there something wrong?” Darren was worried,” you want me to call Clara? She's in the hospital now. I'm saying this because you sound very upset and down.”
“Oh no!” Rushad forced to laugh,” I'm fine, just want a break that's all. See you guys at night.” Rushad hung up.

Rushad got out of his luxurious apartment and started walking on the sidewalk of the Manhattan Street. A strong wind blew and flipped his auburn hair like that of a spaniel's. Rushad straightened the collar of his mackintosh and headed towards Café Del Pedro's. There he sat on his usual seat and Melissa smiled and asked,

“Cappuccino or Spring Tea Mr. Ahmed?”
Rushad waited for a second and then said, “Cappuccino please and garlic breads.”
Rushad always hated Cappuccino but Zabiha just loved it. Rushad just felt like having it, he doesn't even know whether there's any strong reason behind it. Rushad then recalled his past.

Rushad is the Creative Director of the Graphics giant Creations Corporations. It was as if Rushad only lived for working, he was a workaholic and for that he had always been detached from his relatives and friends. His friends were mostly his colleagues in workplace rather than his own friends from educations. Neverthel ess, life was quite mechanical for him until he met Zabiha. The first time he saw her was in this very Café. She was just looking like an angel and Rushad was so dumbfounded that he was speechless. But Zabiha took the first steps of the conversation and soon they found out that they have many things in common. Rushad asked her to go to watch a game of baseball and she was onto it. Then within a week they started going out, but this time Rushad was bold enough to ask her out. Everything was going perfect with the couple. Rushad loved Zabiha a lot and was up to meeting her expectations. Zabiha also cared and they were happy together. But things started to change at the end of their two years relationship. Zabiha became more suspicious. She started accusing Rushad on petty things and even began to find faults in him. But Rushad was very patient. He knew Zabiha's attitudes and so he tried his best to do things by her way. But that was not enough. Slowly a communication gap started and things moved out of Rushad's control. There were fights, arguments, and Rushad was breaking down. He loved her a lot and was ready to compromise everything, but all his efforts went in vein. Rushad thought, although he can provide her all that she needs may be he couldn't give her the love that she was searching for. Rushad then decided to break the ice. Sometimes you let go of things to move ahead in your life, and for him it was Zabiha.

Rushad and Zabiha met at the park. He still remembers what she wore that day. It was a blue shirt and a faded jeans and her hairs were untied, blowing along with the breeze and she was looking beautiful than ever. They spoke about a lot of things, until Rushad stared at her for few minutes, silent, motionless, he couldn't look at her cold eyes for long and

told her what was in his mind. Zabiha broke down in tears, she said how much she cared for him, that they will be friends and stuff, but all those words did not have any effect on him. He saw how she lied behind those blue eyes, as for he saw her two days back with another guy at The Rendezvous. Zabiha held Rushad's hand tightly, told him that she'll never forget him, but all those words were so insignificant. Rushad took Zabiha in his arms for the last time, kissed her and started to walk. Never for a single time had he looked back, or else he would have seen an angel crying for her sins.

“Anything else you would like to have Mr. Ahmed?” Melissa's presence interrupted Rushad's thoughts.
“No, thanks. I'm fine.”

Rushad paid the bills at the Café and started to walk towards the subway. Suddenly he bumped onto something, there was a shrill cry and the next moment Rushad saw a lady falling on the sidewalk. There were papers scattered everywhere. Rushad stood there for sometime, completely baffled; the girl wore a black t-shirt and khakis and her green eyes went on searching for the papers. She had a childlike innocence and was looking absolutely gorgeous.

“I'm really sorry,” Rushad started to feel guilty, “I was a bit absent minded, so I didn't see you coming, sorry again.”
To his great surprise, the girl smiled back at him,
“It's ok, I too, sometimes go in a different world!” She said
Rushad helped her to gather the papers and then said,

“Can I buy you a cup of coffee if you don't mind?”
The girl stared at him for a second and smiled again,
“I didn't have coffee since morning, having such a hard time. That will be nice!”
She then reached her hand out,

“Hi, I'm Alaya Saurez.”
“Hello, I'm Rushad Ahmed.”
They then walked towards Café Del Pedro's. Rushad looked up at the sky, it stopped raining and he knew soon there will be a silver lining.

By Yamin Tauseef Jahangir


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