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Thursday, July 25, 2019

A lot can happen over a coffee : Chapter 4


"Okay, then come over to my house.."  
"I think it was just a joke, right?" Diya muttered.
"No. I am serious" Karthik said straight away.
"What a guy you are. We just met today morning and how rude you are to ask like this..." Diya screamed horrified at his invite. 
"Diya, don't react so loudly and please don't think too much." Karthik said breaking Diya's train of thoughts.

Now it is Diya who has to reply for Karthik's proposal. Karthik crossed his fingers and waited for Diya to answer. To his surprise she didn't say anything and put off the call.

Diya appeared in front of Karthik furiously and raised her eyebrow, challenging him to repeat what he said.

"Mam, Relax, See, all I want is you to be safe —that's all"

The moment he saw Diya, he truly found a soul-mate in her and he cherished every moment spent with her. He was confident that she is the one whom he can completely bond with and can share his ups and downs. He truly felt their relationship will end in a positive note, irrespective of Diya's marriage dilemma. So, he didn't mind inviting her to his home. Afterall, from his perspective, he is inviting his future-wife. The cold air from the trees hit their face, and it did feel nice on Diya's face.

"Dude, don't feed those crazy thoughts that's running in your mind, especially at 11.55 in the night! And you don't have to say yes," Karthik continued, “I can drop you at your friend's place if you feel that is much safer" 

Diya instantly calmed down and took her mobile to check her friends' availability. She doesn't want to call and disturb them at odd hours of the night. Hence, she checked her friends “Last Seen" on WhatsApp. Her intention is to call them, only if they are online or their last seen is within 20 minutes.

Karthik understood her intentions and prayed that none should be available, and his prayers were answered by the cupid god

"Okay then,You can sleep outside your house. I don't mind staying here, if you need me here." He said pointing the road.
"Fair enough" Diya strolled left and right and appeared before him a moment later.
He watched Diya closely as she said slowly, "Maybe … we could spend this night together. Just saying."
“How" A gentle smile spread across his face followed by a wink.
"Hmm.. I had heard a lot about this place, Bistro Cafe-Mysore Road. Its open only at the wee hours of the night and It's a calm, safe and a great place with open air dining. I think we should give a try there." 
There was a pause.
"I think it's an hour drive away," Diya added.
“Let's go" Karthik declared victoriously and they huddled inside the car.
 ☕❤ ☕
Bistro Cafe was on the outskirts of Bangalore, and as Diya said it's over an hour away from her house. It was not a great idea to stay up for the whole night, but still it was way better for Karthik as he does not want to leave Diya alone or at friend's place.
 ☕❤ ☕
As soon as they reached Bistro Café Karthik made an excuse to go to the washroom and Diya chose a table to sit. The coffee shop had a completely different energy with bunch of millennials as well as aged people. The walls were painted brightly with modern architecture and the cafe had an unique vintage tables and chair. Diya's eyes were filled with excitement as she liked the ambiance and was thoroughly enjoying the melodies playing at the café. On seeing her excitement, Karthik was so glad for bringing her to this place.

"Saturday nights are freaking lively here. Awesome crowd and loud music..." Karthik said and dragged a chair for him.
"So, you have been here a lot?" Diya retorted.
“Not a lot.. Only once. For my bestie Vikas Birthday"
"Cool!" Diya nodded approvingly.

A waiter carried a large platter of appetizers to their table and placed it between them.

"We haven't ordered …" Diya started to say but the waiter continued to place the platter on their table and disappeared.
 "So this is what you did when you excused yourself to use washroom"
Karthik Smiled.
“But, I am sorry. I don't even eat anything after 10 p.m. Snacking late, especially at midnight will result in diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure...
Karthik cut her off, “Hey Hold on… Don't go on with your scary list..."

They both broke into laughter and Karthik stopped when he saw two people approaching him. It was Vikas and his girlfriend Vidya. Karthik got excited as well as surprised and he got up to greet them with a huge smile and huge.

For the next 2 minutes, Diya heard a flurry of greetings and teasing.
"Guys, this is Diya," Karthik said, turning to Diya.  Diya forced a smile on her face hiding her embrassement and greeted them.
"Diya, Oh.." Vidya chuckled at Karthik and looked at Vikas.
"Karthik, Diya Nice Combination!" Vikas added.

Even though Karthik acknowledged them, Karthik seemed slightly embarrassed and he glanced sideways at Diya to see her expression.

Vikas and Vidya are in relationship for 10 years and they decided to get married this year. They knew about Diya and this proposal right from the starting and they were eagerly waiting for Karthik to get hitched with Diya.

"Dai, join us!" Vikas invited them.
"You guys carry on, we will join in sometime" Karthik started to say, but Vikas wrapped his arm around Karthik and pulled him towards his table signaling Vidya to drag Diya.

Karthik turned back to look at Diya's expression, expecting Diya to react badly but Diya was quite comfortable with Vidya. They asked the waiter to switch the platter to their table. Diya felt comfortable and she got gelled quickly with Vidya. It was much more interesting to learn a lot about Karthik from two of them.

When the clock struck 4' o clock and the cafe was about to close, Karthik got up from the chair and said, "Let me settle the bill and come" 
"The bill is settled, and you are not going alone with Diya" Vikas declared.
"What"
“We came in bike. Take Vidya in your car and while dropping Diya back, drop Vidya at Vidya's place as well," Vikas commanded.

After glaring at Karthik and Diya for few minutes, Vikas finally sighed and replied, "Relax man, Just kidding. We don't want to be a spoil-sport on your dating. I will drop Vidya back. Have a nice ride. See you at home"

Diya jaw dropped on Vikas mentioning dating. She opened her mouth to protest but she let it go.
Once Vikas and Vidya left the place, they sat inside the car.
"Just to be clear—this is not a date?’ Diya said and kept a puppy face.
"Noted..." Karthik said sincerely. Well, he said that too sincerely that made her laugh.
"So, what now?" Karthik asked as she stopped laughing.
"We are done for the night," Diya said, chuckling.
 "That I know. But like, what are we doing now for the keys?"
“Well, I feel keys might be at office. So let me check once there. But I can reach office only at 8:00 AM. That's when people start coming to office."
“Till then"
"I usually go to my yoga class at 5:30 Am. So drop me at my yoga class, Once my class is over, I can book a cab to office and pick up the key."
"Yoga? Are you serious? After doing a night out?" Karthik said, looking appalled at the thought.
"Yes. You know, I am health Consi….
Karthik cut her off and snorted,"Fine. If that's what you want. And what if you dont get the keys" 
"Let me check there na." Diya replied as she checked her reflection in the mirror and ran her fingers through her hair.
 ☕❤ ☕
Karthik let her drive the car and they both seemed much happier than before.
"It was a nice night out. We should visit here often" Karthik said as he turned on the music.
She felt excited on hearing that, but she couldn't imagine herself being pulled so deep into him. Karthik was slightly surprised at how much energy she was having even after a night out.

On reaching the yoga center, she said bye to him and reached her closet to take out her yoga dress. She always kept an extra set of yoga clothes and yoga mat at the yoga centre. While changing her yoga clothes, her phone buzzed with a text message.

Karthik : Miss you.. Take care 😊

She read the message but decided to ignore. She was late to the yoga class by 5 minutes and the class has already began. She greeted the yoga master and placed her yoga mat on the floor. As she sat down, she looked around the room, ten people had gathered today.

She had got into the habit of doing yoga since a year. Since then, yoga had become a vital part of her life. She always attended yoga class gracefully and happily. Many times, the master appreciated her concentration.  But today, she could not concentrate. Even after multiple attempts, she failed and it was hard for her to concentrate. There were thousands of thoughts running through her head. Diya's entire body suddenly filled up with fear. The fear kept growing heavier and heavier.

“What is wrong with you Diya? Your life was always perfect, and every woman dreamed living your life. They dream about being single and independent. You have a lot of trust worthy and wonderful friends and you are truly enjoying each day. Your life has always been better, and it is getting better every day. You never felt there was something missing in your life and felt the void feeling. Do you really need a man and marriage to complete your life"
Her inner voice commanded and the voice became quieter towards the end.
"No," she screamed enough that broke the pin drop silence of that hall.

Click here to Read the Next Chapter

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