The little cafe down the street corner had opened only a few months back, but it was already roaring in business. There were all kinds of people sipping on their drinks, talking, clicking selfies and even working. Couples, school students, and even elders were happily seated in almost all corners. The television was switched on to a Hindi news channel while on mute and the music player had been set on some Indie rock music which my Shazam discovered it to be Headlights by The 5:55.
“How did we never bother to come here even once all these days?” Nathan asked looking around at the graffiti designs and the collage work on a particular wall that added an aesthetic look to the place.
I rolled my eyes at him while he just winked and walked to the counter to place an order.
I’ve always been amused by the fact that someone as meek as me had managed to be friends with a strong character like Nathan for almost fifteen years now. All through school, I had to keep his temper in check and side by him when he wanted to start something new and different, while he took on the job of stopping me from being so judgemental about my abilities and help me push myself forward in competitions and activities.
Now, as I followed him and ordered a capachino for myself, I couldn’t help wonder if all that work on his part in building my confidence had had any impact at all.
“I think I’ll take a café Mocha.” He said looking at the menu.
“Still a Mocha guy, huh?” A voice came from behind us.
We turned around swiftly to find the source of that voice and-
“Aren’t you the one from-” Nathan started in surprise.
“Millie?” I interjected. “What are you doing here?”
“And how do you know I like Café Mocha?” Nathan asked.
Millie looked as surprised as we were, until she pointed her thumb to the side.
Looking at the direction she was pointing to, we saw the fiend leaning on the wall smirking at us.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Nathan exclaimed in shock.
Vinnie walked upto us and placed her arms around Millie’s shoulders, who looked extremely uncomfortable by that action.
“Oh, I’m just hanging out here with Millie. We’re best friends by the way.”
“No, we’re not.”
“But, why here?” Nathan asked, still trying to process the fact that he had to deal with this all over again. I could feel my sweat trickle down my forehead.
“Um, why don’t we all sit down and talk in some less crowded place? We’re kind of blocking the queue here.” I said.
“Sit down?” Vinnie scoffed. “We’re already getting late, where’s all your luggage?”
“Don’t tell me you haven’t packed.” Vinnie cried out. “I specifically texted you to clear up all your appointments, didn’t I?”
“How does that mean I’ve to pack my bags?” I yelled.
“Wait, you texted Arav?” Nathan asked her before turning to me in anger. “Why wouldn’t you tell me that?”
“Because she asked me not to!” I countered.
“So?” He hissed back.
“Guys, guys.” Millie intervened. “We’re being an inconvenience to everyone here. Let’s just go sit over there and talk this misunderstanding out.”
“Did you not hear me? The TT is waiting outside for all of us. Let’s go!” Vinnie squealed.
“Nobody is going anywhere with you, okay?” Nathan said seriously, taking a step forward.
Vinnie glared back at him for a moment. Then turned to us.
“Millie?” She asked.
“I’m sorry, but I cannot leave behind all my work and go somewhere with a person I barely even know. Where do you want to take us anyway?”
Instead of answering her, Vinnie looked at me, as a last resort. “Arav, please.”
“Vinnie we have a lot of work that we will be leaving behind and that’s something we cannot compromise on. Maybe if you had given all of us a prior notice-“
“Never mind.” Vinnie said as she turned away and stormed out of the café hall.
“Vinnie!” I cried out and stepped forward to follow her, only to be blocked by Nathan.
“Dude, let her go.” He said, still annoyed. “She can’t just assume that we’ll give into all her senseless tantrums.”
I wanted to believe him. This whole plan was not just completely irrational but also unclear.
But something told me that underneath Vinnie’s weird behaviour, she was in need of something and that’s why she’d approached us.
I gave one look at Nathan’s infuriated face and went ahead to follow her.
“Arav!” Nathan screamed my name behind me.
To be continued–>