Monday, July 3, 2017

Coffee With Another

Everything would have been fine if I had not been thirty minutes early. But, she had mentioned in our last call that she might finish off her tasks early.

There I was, on the opposite side of the road, in front of Shalimar Hotel, staring at the Fidalgo, our agreed meeting point. I saw my wife sitting within Fidalgo coffee shop, with a strange man. I did not know what to do. I do not know how long I stood there staring at them.

I did not hear the woman's words till she repeated it. I do not know how long she had stood by my side staring at the same scene.

'Is that your wife?' she asked, her head tilting towards them.
I nodded.
'That's my husband,' she said. There was anger in her eyes. 'We should do something.'
'Let's have coffee too,' she said.

We went to the coffee-shop of Shalimar Hotel. Minus the two glass walls and the road, we could have been two couples sitting at the same table, my wife and that man, this woman and I. I ordered a latte. She had an expresso and a slice of apple pie. I did wonder how she could eat at such a moment.

Fifteen or twenty minutes went by. Then, the man turned his head. He saw us. He got up angrily, his chair falling backwards. My wife saw me too. The man came out of Fidalgo, raced across the road, not minding the traffic screeching to a halt or the loud curses. He entered Shalimar. He came to our table, mad with rage, nearly frothing at his mouth.

'What the f***?' he snarled at me and his wife. His wife got up defiantly. Before she could say a word, he said, "Don't you utter a word!"

He grabbed her hand and they walked away. My wife got to the table then.

All she had to say was, 'Aha! So, she left you to pay the bill, huh? I too had to pay. That creep had two chicken puffs, one samosa and a chai. What do you have to say about that?'


Quote from the reference: "I'm a 52-year-old, white, college educated, atheist, left-wing, married woman ... and there's no way I would have a one-on-one meal/drink with a man who was not my husband. Not even a Starbucks."

Moral of the story: Enjoy coffee on your own. If your spouse agrees to pay, take her/him along.

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