"Life is the price we pay for running away from death "
































































He came beaming out of the building and walked towards the coffee shop where she eagerly waited for him. He had noticed that she had seen him coming, and so he kept the smile on his face so that she could see it from the distance. She jumped up in excitement, came running towards him, hugged him, as she shrieked, "I knew you would make it... I knew it! I knew it!" and brought her lips closer to kiss him. He turned his head slightly to let that kiss land on his cheek instead of his lips.

She nibbled his cheek for a few moments and went on, "Oh, thank God! You made it. I had not slept the whole night worrying about today's interview. Oh! how important it was for you to get this job. After you failed many interviews I was getting so confused on how to face my folks. This was our last chance, and I am so so so happy that you made it."
 
"Yeah! I knew this was our last chance, so I put in my best effort." he looked at her with love filled eyes.
 
"Oh I am so excited... I have to tell this to Rajiv, he will be so jealous" she kept beaming.
 
"Ahem!" he cleared his throat, "they offered me double pay to work from Shanghai. I took it. You got to start packing your bags dear," he looked at her with a naughty smile.
 
"What?" she was flabbergasted, "Amit, you know I can't move from here. My art practice is going so well and we have an important circle of friends here. We have discussed about this many times, haven't we?"
 
"Yeah we have, but I am getting more pay na dear? Why can't we give it a try?"
 
"What do you mean give it a try? You know how tough it is to re-establish in the art field. I have everything going for me here. Moreover, my style of working does not work out in Shanghai. My career will be finished if I move"
 
"But this job was so important for us... for my career"
 
"It was important for you, Mr. self-centered guy. Rajiv was right. You have no concern for me. You were only using me. Now that you got a job, your true colours are coming out, is it? Is doubling your salary more important than my career?"
 
"Honey, listen please? You had told me yesterday that once I am settled, we would be fine..."
 
"You selfish prick. Your settling down only meant I will have a face to tell about you to my parents. It never meant only your job mattered. I have a career too. How can you take me for granted? Hey wait a minute.." and she got all cocky, "that childhood friend of yours, Shilpa, is also in Shanghai right?"
 
"Honey you are getting me wrong.. listen.." he tried to explain.
 
But she was packing her stuff already, "I am not getting you wrong. I just chose the wrong person to spend my life with. I broke up with Rajiv for your sake. He did so many things for me. You bast..." and she choked.
 
He tried to cajole her, but she would have none of it. "Fuck off to Shanghai you dog, and don't ever call me. If you ever try to come back in my life, you have it from Rajiv," and she walked away.
 
He did not try to stop her. He looked at her until she walked out of sight. He could never stop loving her. Those gentle tresses, those slender legs, that childish gait, those bouncing hips - he knew Rajiv would take care of them well.
 
He turned around and walked back to the interview office just to double-check the interview results once more. His name was not there. He had not made it.
 
Love, it is said, is like that fruit which is sweet on the outside, sweet on the inside, and many tastes in between. Looked like it was only in pursuit of that sweet core that those in-between tastes became interesting.


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