The Cold Coffee!

Author : Preethika Balasubramani

“Jannet come out…. What are you doing right there?” the voice shook her wavering mind about her life time ambition of becoming social worker.And brought her to real world… “I’ll be right there, mom!” she replied in her usual accent and  opened the door. It was a wooden house and her room was in creamy peach colour which was one of her favorite. Jannet was a typical teenage girl  belonged to a middle class family. Her father was working in a private company earning some salary which will satisfy their monthly needs.

“Here is the application form Jannet. Put your signature!”, Voice from mama which is hard as usual. “But mama, I love this place”, Jannet said ( with her eyes sparkling and holding thousands and thousands of memories in it) .”This is for your future Jannet and how many days you gonna stay in this small city. See our neighbour, Lusy’s parents sent her abroad to do some catering course. Now she is in good career”, Jannet signed it suddenly because she don’t wanna hear this again since she was bored with such same advice.

Jannet is a teenage girl doing her UG in her home town. She is longing to stay in her own place because of her dream which was growing along with her from childhood. Charities, old-age homes, becoming a social worker(It started by seeing an old woman who is asking her to give some food at her five) and also she is in love with the backyard lawn (where she fell uncountably and learnt how to walk). Her peach coloured room, her family and her two-year old pet teeny. (which is a small kitty found in her garden. So, Jannet gave her shelter home and most importantly  love). With all those flashes of past and future she signed the form. Her father took it and move on.

Her mom told, “Be ready and pack up the things! Your visa will ready soon and pack things which you need the most first because I can’t spare extra penny for luggage.” On the very next day Jannet was sitting in her room badly staring at her things. Her school certificates, her toys, her birthday gifts, her old books, her kitty. She was confused a lot because she wanna pack her whole room since each and everything has played a major role in her emotions…Because from her childhood Jannet gave most of her love to them. It seems like they are pleasing her to stay with them.Jan…!! (her mom used to call her when she needs some work from her… A petty name thing) Someone is knocking the door, take a look dear!”, her mom said. Jannet opened the door. It was her visa!

Everything just finished. “I wanna get ready. Mom! visa came”, Jannet said. Now, her voice lost life in it. She was packing things as soon as possible. Her flight was on Tuesday. In the airport everyone gathered, her few friends, parents, and her pet dog. Jannet hardly bid goodbye to everyone and to the city which brought her up so far.

The flight took off. Jannet was with her olive-green top with an overcoat above it which is pitch black and a dark blue Jean. Her hair was straight, with no curves long to hip, with broad eyebrows, pointed nose and skinny colour. The flight took off and a tall guy with sneakers and casuals and with dark eyebrows sitting next to her. “Hi! I’m Carren”, the dark eyebrow man said. Jannet just left a smile and started to play her own music to avoid strangers.“Within two hours, I will be in a place which is completely strange”, Jannet’s mind swinging like flight in dark blue deep sky.

After two hours, the flight arrived and Jannet took a taxi and moved. After reaching the Giant gate of university, she moved in. The university was standing along pridely with big buildings, green grass lawn covering the path, perfectly maintained trees and shrubs with staff here and there with perfect casuals, with some friends all over and love couples hiding here and there. She entered the reception and finished the applications, fee payment for hostel and for the course MBA. She was asked to share her room with Sherin (A girl applied to the same university just before her).

The staff gave the room keys. It was 208. She gave a curve smile and moved with her luggage. She reached the hostel, It was a big old building which is covered by same trees, lawn and with girls roaming here and there at her age. She walked to the woman sitting in the chair with the rough appearance nearly 50. Jannet showed her receipt and the woman told, “Top right 2nd floor,” in rough tone. Jannet moved slowly like a small snail creeping in rainy season due to her tiredness in travelling.

“203….,  207, 208… Yeah, I found it”, she opened the door. It was a normal bachelor room with brown blankets double cot bed. The room is vacant but it dumped so many stories, depressions, love and pain in it. Jannet did fresh up within an hour and lied on a cot. Soon within an hour her door bell clinged and it was Sherin (A girl with narrow eyes, fluffy short, with blue top and formal bottom). Sherin was her roomy. They had a crispy talk and time passed away, they slept.

The next day Morning, alarm woke her up. Both woke up and got ready with formals.  Sherin and Jannet are in different courses so their classes are at different place. While searching on the notice board for their lecture hall, Jannet felt a tall man shadowing her. A smart and a handsome voice saying, “Hi!”. She turned back. it was the same tall guy who was sitting next to her at the flight. She recollected all those memories of yesterday’s flight. She replied a soft hi and moved on. (The world is round and we can meet people if fate wants to us be…)

In the interval, everyone gathered in canteen. Jannet was sitting left to Sherin. Near to Sherin was John, a school friend of Sherin. In a minute, Carren who was studying logistics with John joined them. Everyone was chatting about their class staff. Mean time Carren asked Sherin, “I think someone is uncomfortable with my entry it seems”. Jannet gave a clumsy smile. This time Carren is looking at Jannet as he is waiting for her reply. “Not like that! It will take time for me to mingle”, said Jannet in humble voice.

In lunch, the conversation was about them and their family town. They become friends with each other. Now Jannet, Sherin, John, Carren and twin sisters Alice Davis and Olivia Davis joined. They were identical twins who were studying same course with Jannet.

Midnight reached… Sherin and Jannet was in their room. Jannet was sitting in the table near to window and enjoying the night breeze which slowly touching her chins and ears. She is enjoying the silence and letting the wind to mess her straight silky hair  with its chillness. Sherin was telling about her class and her new crush everything. She asked her why Jannet is so moody and she added “I think the tall guy Carren is so eager to hear your speech. What do you feel about him Jannet? “. Suddenly, Jannet’s phone rings flashing Mama. She picked and started to narrate her 1st day in the college.

The next morning, same routine classes went on and at interval Jannet became close to Sherin, John and with Davis twins. But with Carren, she only had a yes or no or some single word answers. In the evening, everyone was sitting in the lawn and playing some word games. (The game went like if Sherin told a letter John has to tell a name from that letter and tell who was the person with that name and two words about them).

After sometime, they moved on. Carren called Jannet and gave her a book and told that she missed it in the library. Jannet gave a smile and thanked him. Carren said, “No. Sorry! I need a cold coffee “ with a warm smile and with naughty look. Jannet told okay and they moved to the coffee shop nearby. Jannet ordered hot chocolate and Carren ordered cold coffee. Carren told,“I like cold coffee because whenever I take a sip, the chillness bring my sweet memories to the heart which is as cold as winter”. They each had a sip and some random talks and Jannet paid the bill. Carren thanked her for the coffee and moved on.

At room, Sherin mocked about their 1st date and started teasing Jannet. According to Sherin, Carren was handsome boy, hence girls get attracted easily. But she didn’t aware why Jannet was very silent. She was thinking of something or may be blank. Even Sherin got confused why Jannet is behaving odd.

Days passed on… Everyone was busy with their semesters. They met in afternoon lunch and had a general talk and moved on. Then two days before Logistics exam, Carren got doubt in Logistics and asked Jannet to teach some concepts.  They decided to meet by the next day evening in the lawn and she started to clarify his doubts. In between teaching,  Jannet identified that Carren was lacking conscious and he was looking at her. The look was too sharp and intense at this time. Jannet avoided his sight and focused on her tasks. Carren gave a teasing smile. Jannet asked “what?” in sign language by lifting her broad eyebrows. “Nothing I am good in psychology and mind reading. But I can’t read someone’s mind till now”, Carren said in a boyish accent. By the act of behaving innocent, Jannet looked at her watch and replied him that she wanna go then. They moved from the lawn.

They wrote their exams well and their grades were good. Carren scored better in Logistics. He thanked Jannet and the twins called everyone in the gang for their birthday party  which is going to be held in next month. The day went smooth but Jannet looked little tensed.

Jannet and Sherin was getting ready in their room. Jannet with a baby pink dress (party wear) and pink lip gloss which matched her skin very well. Sherin was usual in her casual (white top and block bottom). They all gathered in a place and moved to twins house (Davis Twins) because today was their birthday. They welcomed them and party was good with melodious and party songs. Carren played his favorite notes for birthday twins using guitar (but half of his notes was made for Jannet) .

Jannet was in as usual silence and innocence. She pretended that she was unaware of things happening around her. The party was over, Jannet and Carren was sitting in the chair near to the hall. Everyone was dancing and some was boozing at the party. Carren started the conversation, “Jannet did you ever fall in love with someone?”. Jannet looked different. Carren thought she will become angry. But she gave a warm smile and shook her head like saying No.

The night moved with warm and chill. Days passed on…. Carren was not normal now-a-days, something was missing in him. Often, his thoughts about Jannet was Stabbing his heart. Her memories tearing him apart. He came to felt that it was more than a crush.. “It was love”. It was making him weaker. But he didn’t identify any such signs of love or even attraction from Jannet’s side.

Carren thought to express his love to Jannet. He dressed perfectly and pooled all his courage to face her. He went to the college. Yes, she was there with the olive-green top (which she wore on the first meet in flight). He signed her to come. She was slowly moving towards Carren’s side. His heart was beating fast. As soon as she came, Carren gave her a beautiful pitch black diary. Jannet, “I never believed in love at first sight. But after the travel I believed, I saw you again and now you are here. I usually wrote diary. I have mentioned our unforgettable moments in this.  I am fallen for you”. He is waiting for Jannet’s reply.

But Jannet was as usual in her casual mode pretending like the world around her is absolutely normal. She replied, “Sorry Carren! No such thoughts. If it comes in future, Will let you know”.

Everyone including Carren was surprised by her reply, since it’s very normal. Carren couldn’t even say anything. He moved to his room. He looked a little(very) depressed state. The confusion for everyone was why didn’t she surprised or excited or embarrassed. She is very casual. Sherin told, “Really, she is very deep!”

Days roll on…. Their final semester started. Carren tried a lot. But everything he tried was becoming a failure. Finally Carren’s upset was turning to anger. He was in bad mood. He thought of something and suddenly moved towards Jannet. He asked in a rough tone, “I just need reply Jannet. Why are you doing this to me?  I need a sharp reply. Yes or no? “. Jannet replied in a calm tone, “Our final semester is approaching! I wanna focus on. I will let you know after the exam”. She moved on within seconds.

Carren was happy now because he didn’t get any negative answer. He too focused on his studies. As days were moving soon, he was becoming very happy each and everyday. Because he is in a confident state that Jannet’s reply will be positive. The last exam finished. Everyone was packing their things. Someone was busy in enjoying the last day. But Carren was waiting for Jannet’s reply.

Meanwhile Sherin, John and Davis twins were also eagerly waiting for Jannet. Half an hour passed. But Jannet was not there. They are loosing their patience. They waited for nearly 2 hours. After that, Carren too lost half of his hope and called Sherin to go to her room and check. Sherin moved to the room, the room was half vacant. Both Jannet and her things were not there. She left… Yes! she left. Sherin was too depressed  because Jannet has gone even without goodbye. There was only one thing representing Jannet’s presence. The diary! Yes it’s Carren’s diary. Sherin gave it to Carren. In the last page, it was written that “Sorry Carren!”, after reading it a drop of tear rolled in Carren’s chin.

After 20 years…..,

Carren  was in his home because it was his weekend. Revealing the whole story to his wife Jessy, and to the 8-year-old little girl Jannet. Jessy told, “Didn’t you see her anywhere after that? “

Carren took a deep breath and replied, “Yes, I do. In a sweet shop after 6 years. We had a random talk at  first and I shouted at her for her irresponsible behaviour at the last day. Then I moved. But she called me and with the casual and usual smile and replied, ‘I’m sorry  Carren’,  that’s it baby!! End of the story. She is my crush. But now I’m very happy with you people”.

“Miss Jannet!! here is your cold coffee…., Your favourite! Did you need any other thing mam? “,  the waiter asked. Jannet with the same casual smile signed No. “Yes…. I’m Jannet! The rough girl in the college. I don’t know may be if I waited on the last day, or accepted the proposal, my life would have changed. But for me, the days at the college, Carren’s smile and the memories he gave, enough for life time is more than enough for my whole life. May be I missed Carren, but in my heart the lingering memories and their sweet blossoms give odour to my life forever Like the cold coffee, which was not only Carren’s favourite, now turned to my favourite too…” Jannet is working now in charity and old-age homes which is her life time goal.

Now the moral which I gonna insist here is,

“In everyone’s life, there is love. But it has different dimensions and perceptions. Some may have told, some may have untold stories, some may have crush. It depends upon everyone’s feelings. Either it will move to next step or it may break up according to their situations. Here in the story, it is not Carren’s or Jannet’s mistake. Carren who loved Jannet more initially married Jessy now and blessed with a baby girl named Jannet too. At the same time Jannet, who initially avoided Carren and seemed very casual, is living now with the memories of Carren. Here, both are right in their own way. It is not their mistakes. Some may forget the love they had and can start a new life with some old memories of the first love always in their heart. Some cannot forget the person or the memories they give, because they may think that their love should be their life.

Many people often think that, being a Woman and staying single forever is insecure and it will lead to bad remark about her too. But Woman too can have true love holding forever… amidst many bad-mouths of this society.”