Rushing through the corridor, through the lawn dividing the main campus from the canteen and playground, Rumi found herself in the backyard.
The backyard was the backside of the canteen, the only place without “Big Brother’s” constant gaze.
Ordering her usual flask of ginger-cardamom tea, Rumi found a corner for herself.
Once seated out of the gaze of mankind, with earphones seated deep inside her plus, iPod playing her usual doreimi Rumi rested her head on her knees and closed her eyes.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn’t mean I am lonely when I am alone..”, played in her ears while she swiftly felt sleepy.
“Rumi.Rumi..”, Aman lovingly stroked her hair with one hand while holding her flask filled with tea in the other.
After excusing himself from the class, Aman looked for Rumi on the lawn, the coffee shop and finally came to the canteen where Uncle Freddie gave him Rumi’s order.
With a question on his face Aman enquired about Rumi’s whereabouts, “same old corner”, he replied.
Uncle Freddie was the official chef of the canteen and knew all about the affairs of the college, from sports to toppers to lovers, Uncle Freddie knew it all and loved pampering the kids and looked after them as his own.
“Rumi…”, Aman called again
Waking up from her nap she was startled to find him standing with tea in his hand.
She had too many emotions going through her mind, her heart felt punched with an excrutiating pain and instead of shouting or reacting she gasped, sighed and tears rolled down her eyes.
Aman couldn’t resist and keeping aside the flask he hugged her and began crying himself.
The embrace felt like showers of sweet rain upon an otherwise barren land, a sweep of cool wind on otherwise humid surroundings.
Leaving each other’s embrace they locked eyes for the first time after parting ways, with tears and short breaths the emotions were too heavy to restrain. Rumi’s hand rested upon his cheeks wiping Aman’s face while he placed a small peck on her hand. Taking her hands in his, he stroked her hair and tugged them behind her ears. A stare like never before and their lips locked for a warm kiss.
Aman’s hands-on Rumi’s cheeks, the embrace now meant lips swiftly exchanging gears, from slow-paced to a bit fast, at times making way for the tongue to make appropriate greetings.
Without a word being spoken the gaze and pace were fixated. The rhythm broke when the lunch bell rung and they suddenly became aware of their surroundings.
Aman realising soon his batchmates would come to this side, excused himself, Rumi nodded. This reticent and tacenda conversation was their hallmark of friendship and later relationship, “saying it best without uttering at all”, was their motto
“We are weird, you know..understanding silences…”, Rumi often said to him
“Better than the rest”, used to be Aman’s reply
Aman went inside the canteen while Rumi picked up her flask and went to the lawn.
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