The Gift

“Check out that girl, she looks like coconut tree with sticks” said my friend next to me. He was pointing at a tall, thin girl with an old watch who was laughing with her friends. She will definitely lose that smile if she heard what my friend said. She then went to her class and I went out. It was her first day and my last day of class. We would never meet again I thought to myself.

I went home. As soon as I entered the house I heard. “What do you mean the steak is not cooked well!” said my mother. “It’s like eating rubber, women” said dad. It’s a usual thing for them to fight. I have never heard them say something nice to each other. I went to my room and put the only escape from reality, between my ears. I blasted the music up in my Walkman and drifted into a deep sleep.

Caucasian white cashier handing over shopping bag.

The next day I went to my job. It was my first day. I’m working as cashier at a cafe. I went and stood in front of the cash register waiting for my first customer. No one came. Hours went by. I sat on the chair and waited. Then someone came. She said excuse me. I barely looked at her and asked her what she wanted. She wanted coffee. I poured one and gave it to her. When she reached out for it. Then I saw it. That old watch. I looked at her face. It was her with a huge smile on. The tall, thin girl from the class. My jaw dropped and then I dropped the coffee.

“That was clumsy.” She told me. I smiled at her and apologized.  I filled another cup and gave it to her. She tried to give me money for that too. I declined and told her it’s on me. She then went to seat near the window and slowly drank the coffee while reading a book. Her hair was shining like a sparkling waterfall. I couldn’t get my eyes off her.

We had a small promotion. A raffle draw. All you have to enter is your information. I hope and prayed for her to fill it out. She finished drinking the coffee. Before she went out I asked her to fill the form. She filled it handed it to me and told “have a nice day.” I then looked at her name. Her name was Aloka. And the next thing I saw was her number. I thought about it long and hard. I finally saved her number in my phone.

I went home. Mom and dad were fighting again as usual. I went to my room. I closed the door and lay on the bed. My room was dark I only had one dim lit bulb. I then got out my phone and thought about what should I say to her. “Hey, I’m Pahan” I erased it. It was too cheesy. “Hello my name is Pahan” no that is too innocent. Then I just wrote “hi” and sent her the message. “Hi, who are you?” she said. “I am Pahan from the coffee shop, I just wanted to wish you good luck in the raffle draw”. “Hello Pahan. Are you the person at the café?” she asked me. I replied yes. “How did you get my number?” was the next question. “I’m sorry, I got it from the raffle card”. “Hahaha that’s clever I usually don’t hand out my number” she told me. We talked some more and said good bye.

And the next thing you know minutes of texting turned into hours of talking, hours of texting turned into days of texting and finally it turned into hours of talking. She was unique, special and smart. Talking to her was like reading a book in another language. Word by word I began to understand her flaws, the things she loves and the way she lives. And I could tell that she knew how to read me as well. But the question was, is this only a friendship?

One day I wanted to see her. So, I went up to her class. And she came out wearing a green blouse and a denim. She was amazing. Soon as she saw me she put her hands on her mouth to hide her surprised face. We went to my café and had a cup of coffee. We talked about a lot of things including our stories, families and jokes. When we went out, it was raining. “we can’t go now it’s raining and both of us don’t have an umbrella” I told her. “I know and it is so much fun this way” she told me while leaving the café. She went out to her rain and spread her arms like an angel and danced around. The cold droplets of water fell on to her making her look more beautiful. That is the moment I understood I love her. I did not know what took me over but I went and joined her. Touched her face and kissed her and what did you know she kissed me back.

After that I spent the most magical year with her. We enjoyed life fullest. We met each other’s parents. We laughed and dreamt of our future. Soon our anniversary came up. I saved Rs.2000/= of every pay check. And I finally bought her the perfect gift. A Rs. 25,000 watch.

IMG-20190913-WA0044

Now she doesn’t have to wear that old stupid watch. We met up in the cafe. She gave me a box. I gave her the watch. She looked surprised. I told her to put it on. She said no. I got mad and I left her in the cafe. I went home and looked at her gift. It was a light bulb with a note saying “your room is dark and so is your soul, let me light up your soul with my life.”

I got 10 missed calls from her. Next her father called me. He told me to come to the hospital. I rushed to the hospital. And there she was laying on a bed with broken bones and a broken heart. I told her father about the watch and do you know what he said. “Son, the watch was given by her mother before she passed away.”

 

She has now joined her mother. And this me talking to you on behalf of her funeral. My dear friends. Before she died I killed her. I broke her heart. I can never make her happy again. So, the next time you do something please consider your actions. I closed the notes and wiped my tears. I left her coffin and looked at her watch on my hand.

 

Written by –

Rtr. Supun Wijesundera

Member 2019/20

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