He waited with bated breath, sliding his fingers impatiently on the dial of his watch. The sweet scent of the jasmine flowers arranged neatly in an artistic vase filled his mind with the fragrance of beautiful thoughts about her. The bright motif on the vase reminded him of her taste in everything unusual. Even her hair clip had aesthetic value.
Suddenly everything in the coffee shop deluged his mind with past memories. Images of her face flashed one after the other, as if on auto-scroll. It was unstoppable; there was no magic button to switch it off. The chocolate hue of the coffee reminded him of her smooth caramel skin. The model selling eyebrow pencils on the tele-screen made him visualize the way she used to knit her brows and flash a lopsided smile when angry. The very sight of the tantalizing red velvet cake perched on the glass display case like an expensive piece of treasure, bought back thoughts of the way she used to brighten up like a kid in a candy store at the mere mention of desserts.
His mind was like a traffic jam and his emotions stuck in a bottleneck, he couldn’t do anything to let them out; the only option he had is to contain them, bury them deep in the recesses of his heart and soul.
He was mad with excitement, ecstatic with all that flashback clouding his brain. He tried to conceal his anxiety by playing with the froth of his coffee with the tip of his stirring spoon. Anybody who happened to notice him probably imagined a picture of a calm and composed man, enjoying his coffee with an air of nonchalance. But in reality there was only chaos, pure unadulterated chaos fogging everything in front of his eyes.
He was meeting her after ages. He didn’t know if he still felt the same way for the girl, who was once the love of his life. He wondered why he couldn’t keep his mind still. ‘Love is mere mortal concept,’ he tried to justify the chaotic activity. ‘The restlessness is just an indication of nervousness,’ he forced his mind to agree with him. He thought watching the Tennis game on TV would stop the whirl of that tornado, swishing and swirling and thudding in the form of a headache on the side of his temples. The tick tock of the ball hitting the racket makes her face all the more clear in his mind. ‘Such an exercise in futility,’ he complained silently.
The tick tock of the game was suddenly replaced by the clack clack of really high heels. She came out of nowhere and sat right opposite, grinning like a happiest toddler on earth. No greetings, no pleasantries, no ceremonial hugs – ‘She was never into niceties anyway,’ his inside voice emanated after analysing her social skills.
His doubts had suddenly been put to rest. The questions had been answered by her stormy and stomping arrival. He felt the same for her, just the way he did years ago. ‘Caramel…caramel…caramel,’ his mind whispered as he sneakily sifted his eyes from her elbows to her wrist.
She chattered away and continued speaking up a hurricane, happily displaying her wedding ring, gleefully showing him the picture of her son. He stared at her, his eyes resplendent with love and affection. He knew the storm in his head was here to stay for a long long time, and he could do nothing – absolutely nothing – to prevent this turbulent disaster plaguing his heart, for a long long time. This storm was here to seek refuge for a long long time…
Quick info on Nighthawks (Source: Wikipedia)
Nighthawks is a 1942 oil on canvas painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people in a downtown diner late at night as viewed through the diner’s large glass window. Also portrayed are the exteriors of the urban structures across the street from the diner.
It has been described as Hopper’s best-known work and is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art. Within months of its completion, it was sold to the Art Institute of Chicago on May 13, 1942, for $3,000