Ed lay flat on his back on the grass, reliving the coffee disaster again in his head. He knew he was wrong, and now it was too late.
It could have been so different. The conversation would have ended on a better note, and she wouldn’t have left, so hurt and angry.
Ray came and sat next to him and said quietly,
“I’m guessing the coffee idea didn’t work?”
“I…I…was being…” Ed couldn’t complete the sentence.
“You were being you.” Ray said coolly.
“Yes.” Ed said subdued.
“You do realize, this fight has gone on for too long? When are you going to let go of your ego and apologize to her?”
The bitter remembrance flashed back.
“Me! Why should I apologize?” Ed said, trying to convince himself.
“Because she’s spent the last year and a half apologizing and trying to mend things?”
Ed closed his eyes.
The conversation with Liya could have been so different.
He would not have been late, for one. He would have been there before her, waiting with a smile. She would have come in, all soaked from the rain, and he would have laughed and teased her. She would have grimaced at him, and then he would have given her his jacket.
“You’re ruining my good jacket.” He would have said with a smirk.
“Oh god, Ed you’re unbelievable.” She would have said, and given him a punch on the shoulder. He then would have teased her about her short hair.
“I liked your long hair.”
“I never thought you even noticed.” She would say, with her eyes lighting up.
They would order coffee. Oh, no wait. They would have gone to the place which had Liya’s favourite hot chocolate. And she would have slyly put one spoon of sugar in his coffee, without him noticing. And maybe a slice of the blueberry pie.
“I’m just eating a piece now, because I know I won’t get a piece later.”
He suppressed a smile. Seeing her again, had overwhelmed him. He realized how much he had missed her eccentricities, and more importantly her laugh.
“I’m sorry Liya.” He said, with a little break in his voice.
“I’m sorry, too…Ed.”
“Can we just start over?” He said nervously.
She nodded, and smiled.
“Have some coffee. It has ice cream on it.” He said and pushed the glass towards her.
She took it, and he tipped the glass so that her nose was covered with ice cream.
“I’ll kill you, Ed. I swear!” She spluttered.
“The best way to start over.” He laughed, and he took a tissue and wiped her nose.
And then they burst out laughing.
“I’ve missed you so much. You were the best friend, I’ve ever had, Liya.”
“Same, Ed.” She said, with a small smile and patted his hand.
They talked about tiny irrelevant things. But they didn’t care what they talked about. They spoke about colleges, and some strange books, which Liya had been reading. He told Liya about the new music he had been listening to. Then he gave her a keychain, which had her favourite football team’s insignia on it.
And then she would grab the blueberry muffin and finish it before he could get the last piece.
They walked out of the shop, and said bye.
“Everything’s fine now.” She said, before she walked off. She turned around and waved.
He was so trapped in that reverie of her wave, that he had forgotten everything else.
Ray’s voice snapped the illusion.
He was sitting on the grass. And that’s not how the conversation had happened.
“Call her.” Ray said.
Ed nodded. He grabbed the phone, and dialed her number.
“Ed?” Her voice sounded shaky with surprise.
He wanted to say so many things. What should he say? How much he missed her? How sorry he was for everything?
It finally tumbled out in a rush.
“You look very pretty with short hair.”
There was a little laugh on the other end. She understood.