Tale teller : Simran Ramsay
On a sunny valentine’s day afternoon, after a tiresome day of bending backwards for her obnoxious boss, Radha left work to get lunch with her boyfriend. To most this sounds like a relief after a stressful day of work, spending time with a loved one. But Radha preferred the torment at work over the inner turmoil that her feelings towards Raj would stir up. Confusion, pain… it wasn’t just emotional, she could physically feel her hurt break every time she met him. She could feel the distance between them increasing. Every conversation they had seemed foreign, every touch felt unknown. She loved him but she didn’t know if that was enough.
When she got to the homemade cafe, a midpoint between her place and his, he was already seated at a small table, his face brightened by the phone screen he was staring at. He didn’t even notice her when she sat across him. She cleared her throat and he jumped out of his seat.
“Hi” they said in unison.
The words hung in the air for what seemed like minutes before she heard the crinkling of plastic as he pulled out flowers that she hadn’t noticed laying on his lap.
“Happy Valentine’s Day” her eyes lit up, in the two years they had dated, never had he given her any flowers or any sort of appreciation that she craved.
“I’ve ordered beer batter prawns for us because i know how much you love them.”
This was the bare minimum, but to her it felt different, to her it was effort and she didn’t leave it unnoticed. she hesitantly reached her hand towards his and held it.
He locked his eyes with her and smiled a watery smile in response. They stared at each other for a while before she noticed his welled up eyes, tears threatening to spill the feelings he’d kept hidden for the entirety of their relationship.
“Raj, what’s wrong?”
An over zealous waiter placed A dish of golden brown prawns that glimmered due to them being doused in garlic butter. Their conversation was immediately forgotten, they picked up a piece of prawn and dipped them in a creamy tartar sauce.
Crunchy on the outside, juicy in the middle and a burst of flavour in their mouth. This dish was the epitome of a mood enlightener.
“This is soo good”
“It really is “ he went in for another.
They ate quietly one mouthful after another, the silence itself felt like a conversation.
“I’m sorry he said” his eyes fixated on the empty basket that held crumbs of a once delicious meal.
“For letting you think i didn’t care when i really did.
“I love you” they said in unison.