The Lipstick-Stained Cup

Past midnight, when she was with herself, she read the note. It was a poem written by Robin

       It wasn’t the first time I saw her.

           It wasn’t the first time
she spoke like music
laughed like joy
smelt like a flower
and moved like gentle breeze.

         It wasn’t the first time I touched her.
It wasn’t the first time I felt
her long silken hair brush my face
her soft gentle hands over me
her warm breath over mine
her lips meeting mine.
It wasn’t the first time I felt sheer ecstasy.

It wasn’t the first time I thought – she’s mine.
It wasn’t the first time I said – you’re mine.

It wasn’t the first time
she left me alone
at the end of the dream.

Mira stared at it and when she woke up, the paper had flown away under the table. She picked it up and kept it in her diary after reading it for, she had lost count of it. They met at the coffee-shop, and had not spoken for quite a long time.

Finally, Mira broke the silence and suggested she leave. She had to leave as she had to pack. Pack? She was leaving for Goa the next day, where she was going to be engaged to the son of a liquor baron, who had just earned his MBA from US of A. Did she know about it? Just before the party, when her mother had told her about it – told not asked.

Mira left.

Robin did not know how to react. Did Mira love him at all? Then why did she not object to the alliance? Object for what? What could she tell her folks? That she loved a guy, who had not even applied for work, and whose basic qualification was that he loves her? That she loved a guy, who himself had not thought of commitment and was scared to tell her not to leave? That his not giving a comfortable life to Mira, was not an issue for both, but that he didn’t even know the kind of life that he was offering her?

Mira had left. He did spot a tear stop halfway down her cheek, just when she was leaving. How he wanted to kiss it away? How he wished it was not a tear of pain and separation, but of joy?

Robin wanted to shriek and cry. Tears, teased him as usual, they did not show up. His throat was parched and his voice seemed to elude him. He gave one last look to the lip-stick stained cup of Mira. Brushed his fingers over the stain and left the shop.

It was pouring heavily. Robin walked in the rains. For the first time the rains seemed to hurt him. The raindrops seemed punishing and wind was lashing onto him. He seemed to shiver with the very thought of being left alone. Tomorrow was another cruel day. But the heavens was kind enough to hide Robin’s tears, which none saw – neither did Robin.

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