“Coffee and us”

Kaavya inhaled the stench with a smile. She had quit over a decade ago but standing under the starry night-sky after a long drive, all she wanted was a cigarette, a kiss, and cup of a black coffee. Not exactly in the exact order. Decades of life apart had not been kind to either of them. And it was evident from the dark circles and receding hairlines. Yet, it felt the same, kaavya smiled thinking of their first kiss. Unlike tonight, it was on a hot afternoon after a long walk to the grocery store. He had just leaned in and kissed her by surprise. Not that she was surprised. She knew her signals were pretty clear to him while they walked and laughed carrying bags of groceries. At that moment, the kiss had left her numb, unlike the numbness she felt from carrying those heavy grocery bags. She wanted to kiss him back but was too shy to take the step.

Everything was quiet. The trees swayed to the tunes of the soft breeze. She opened and closed her eyes gently but tight. Lines of tears washed over her cheeks. Wrinkled forehead with eyes still shut she wanted that kiss again. So she turned around looking into his not-so big eyes behind the glasses, that he now needed to drive. Tonight, the kiss left her numb too with excitement. It was a long awaited one. And should have lasted at least 20 seconds. But it didn’t. She pulled back smiling into his eyes, “I think I need a smoke.”

“But I thought you quit. At least that is what I heard.”

“I did. But at this moment either I want a cigarette or a cup of black coffee. And the latter is a lower possibility. So do you have one?”

His smile was still the same. Childlike and mischievous. He walked back to the car and emerged with a thermos.

Kaavya laughed so hard, peeing herself a little. Age does that to a bunch of us.

He poured black coffee in two cups, clearly proving that he had planned every move tonight.

And then the night started, with laughs, stories, and kisses. Lots of them this time. With small doses of black coffee.

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