She looked at the beautiful, fluffy snow as she clutched onto her umbrella with her left hand. It was indeed beautiful. So pure and simple. On an impulse, she took off her black leather glove and reached out to touch the flakes yet disappointment coursed through her as they kissed her palm and melted.
Her hand now completely cold and frozen, she roughly placed it back in her coat pocket, irritation setting in her. She wasn’t sure exactly where she was or how far she had walked from her apartment until she heard loud voices coming from the nearby skating rink. Boisterous laughter echoed from the rink that made her stop on her heels. As she stopped to look at the happy faces of the last of skaters, a glimmer of smile flickered on her lips but didn’t make it to her eyes.
Realizing that she was now in the core downtown she decided to walk towards her favourite place that would be open even at midnight… Starbucks.
When she entered the smell calmed her slightly, taking off the slight edge in her demeanour. After ordering her usual order she skipped toward the plush couch situated next to the balmy fireplace.
The snow had turned fierce outside causing a pink hue to form in the night sky. When she gazed straight ahead an elderly couple now occupied the previously empty couches in front of her.
“And then Jeanie said, “Grandma let’s get on another ride,” and I had to pretend that I felt faint or she would have killed me,” said the old woman speaking with the old man accompanying her.
Her jet silver hair were tied into a neat and elegant bun and her eyes lit up every time she turned to look at the old man. She was Pure Elegance. The old man in the tweed jacket, noticed Khushi, was slightly taller, and his eyes spilled warmth every time he heard the old lady’s laughter.
They both laughed loudly breaking Khushi’s spacey gaze. And as if without another thought her mind betrayed her and she spoke, “you guys look so good together.”
This made them notice the lost girl sitting opposite, peering warmly at them.
“Why, thank you dear… I better hope we look good, or else these past 50 years would have been a waste!” The old lady spoke with a crinkle of mischief in her eyes and jabbed her elbow at the old man.
He laughed at her response.
“Truly,” said Khushi.
“I know I make her look good!” said the old man.
“How did you know he was the one?” she suddenly asked them, surprised at her own voice. She was never the kind to talk to strangers so unabashedly.
Surprised by her question the old lady took a second before she answered.
“I just knew. Deep in my heart I knew that there would be no one else whom I could bare the dustiest corners of my messed up soul, and he would not run,” spoke the old lady, turning towards her husband and grazed his lips with hers.
For the first time since her foggy dilemma she saw some clarity.
“Don’t think so much, honey,” spoke the man, “in the end, you want love that can make your toes curl even after fifty years.”
Her phone buzzed in her pocket jolting her out of the conversation.
“Sorry,” she apologized. He waved at her, “go ahead… we better get going before our kids and grandkids realize we are gone,” he said mostly to his wife.
Khushi smiled at them as they left. Her phone buzzed again.
As if clarity hit her in an overpowering wave she disconnected the call.
She wrapped her right hand’s fingers at the weighty object around her bony left hand ring finger, and slithered it off.
The love that can make your toes curl even after fifty years.
In that moment she knew Shyam was not the one. Rich, successful, well settled, and kind but not the one who could make her toes curl even after fifty years.