Escape From Reality

Shrutee-Choudhary_1493098Escape From Reality

By Shrutee Choudhary

She trembled in her heels as she walked on the sidewalk, trying to maintain her poise. Her mouth went dry and she cursed herself for not carrying a bottle of water. The street was crowded with people and her mind, with superfluous thoughts. She was reluctant to let her mind ponder over what was happening, for she feared it might only be a figment of her imagination, maybe none of this was actually happening, that maybe if she gave it another thought, she’d realize it was unreal. She finally managed to reach the Cafe, after stumbling and tripping a plenty of times over plain concrete. She took a moment and stood right outside the door, gasping for breath more than ever. She scanned the room from where she stood, wanting to see his face finally and not wanting to spot him at the same time.

She was still utterly perplexed by the phone call she had received the night before. “So, I’m coming. And I’d like to meet you.” Those words had left her baffled. Not that she wouldn’t be happy to see him. Oh, she’d be overjoyed. But somehow, she was comfortable with the idea of him being a someone from a somewhere, a stranger from a strange place somewhere far away. She liked how she could escape from her life for a little while and talk to him about bigger things. He helped her drift away from reality by not being a part of it. He was that getaway she had needed and now he’d be a part of the life she loved to run away from.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw a familiar face, the face she had only seen in pictures. The face that now seemed to be in a GIF image, for he was sitting by himself at a corner table, checking the time every five breaths. Every atom in her body wanted to escape her, in that moment. But taking a deep breath, she gathered herself and decided to walk in before she could change her mind.

She did change her mind, but it was too late. The sound of the bustling traffic had now been replaced by soft music. People all around were sipping coffees over inane conversations, but all she could hear was the loud thumping sound that came from inside her chest. This was it. Within a few seconds, the voice she was so familiar with would now come from a blood pumping-eye blinking-moving-breathing body. As she tiptoed her way through towards him, she mentally enacted what was going to happen any moment now. She thought of ways to greet him – a short and plain “Hi” or a squeaky little “Hey” with a complimentary smile. Maybe the latter. What would she order? Not black coffee, that would make her hyper, no. Would a hug be too awkward?

She felt a tap on her shoulder right then and she turned around, only to see that perfect face in flesh smiling at her with coruscating eyes.

She escaped reality, all over again.

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