Aria, in her mid-20s, had been blind since birth due to congenital conditions. However, her visual impairment never hindered her pursuit of the life she envisioned.Aria achieved remarkable academic success and displayed prowess in athletics. She resided with her parents and younger sister, a constant source of motivation for her. Aria also found joy in playing with her beloved pet cat.
During her college years, Aria crossed paths with Om, and their friendship blossomed into a deep romantic connection. Their parents approved of their relationship, and before long, they were preparing to take their vows and embark on the journey of marriage.
Adorned in a vibrant red maxi dress paired with elegant black heels, Aria’s silky brown hair cascaded in a high ponytail. She added a touch of chic with black cat-eye sunglasses and a subtle makeup look. A Sunday morning marked a special occasion – a movie date with excitement brimming in her heart. Aria arrived at the mall promptly at 10 am, eager to complete her shopping before meeting Om for their planned movie later.
The day held a special significance, as it marked the anniversary of Om’s proposal to Aria, exactly a year ago. Aria cherished every minute detail of that day, the memories as vivid as if they had just transpired. The ambiance was infused with the fragrance of monsoon rains, the earthy scent of wet soil, accompanied by the comforting indulgence of hot tea and fritters. It was a perfect blend, made even more special by the presence of a loved one by your side, akin to the icing on a delectable cake.
Adorning the same red maxi dress from that memorable day, Aria exuded a sense of nostalgia. She had spritzed on her favorite perfume, making her feel as enchanting as a doll. Aria couldn’t shake off the intuition that this occasion might hold something significant, a feeling that resonated within her. Yet, she was cautious not to jump to conclusions prematurely. Aria had resolved that if the circumstances unfolded differently and Om didn’t propose, she would take the initiative herself.
Aria was waiting for Om in the cafe. It was their regular gathering place. There was thunder, cool breeze and Aria could smell the fragrance in the air. She thought to herself that the weather was perfect.
” Hello Aria, sorry I am late. Just when I was about to start, it started raining. I hope I didn’t keep you waiting for too long .”
” Hi Om, no not too long. Guess 15 minutes. I suppose it will start raining here now. Perfect weather isn’t it ?”
” Yeah. But perfect for what ?”
Aria quickly changed the topic.
” So shall we order our regular?”
” Yes. I shall signal the waiter.
You are looking beautiful Aria.”
” Thank you, Om. I did not have a matching lipstick that would go with this dress.
I should buy one .”
The waiter had arrived at their table and was ready to take their order.
” Hello Sir, how are you doing today? Hello Ma’am. ”
Aria and Om greeted the waiter.
” We will go with our regular. ”
” Sure Sir. I shall be right back.”
” Can you add a blueberry cheesecake too? Please get that later. I shall signal you .”
” Blueberry cheesecake? You feel like eating a cake today ,Om?”
” Yes, Aria. Celebration. “
” Celebration? What’s the occasion?”
” Be patient. I will tell you .”
Aria’s heart was beating fast. She thought to herself -was Om going to propose to her or was it some other reason. Did he find someone else and he wanted to disclose it to me. She had seemed lost.
” Aria, Aria. What’s the matter? Why are you so silent? Is everything alright?”
” Yes, Om. I am fine. Sorry. Something crossed my mind. Okay, so where were we? You were saying celebration. What celebration?”
” You seem more excited than me Aria. Hold on. Let’s finish our coffee.”
The waiter had arrived with coffee.
” Double espresso for you Sir.
Ma’am latte with whipped cream for you .”
Both of them were sipping their coffee. It had started to pour. They could feel it on their face as they were seated on the patio.
” Let’s go inside Aria, it’s raining. I will tell the waiter to help us. ”
” No Om. I want to enjoy the rain. It’s been a long time. Isn’t it romantic?”
Aria strolled leisurely toward the garden, her steps deliberate and unhurried. As the raindrops gently descended around her, she stood amidst the rain, embracing the sensation on her skin. With her eyes closed, she allowed herself to fully immerse in the moment.
” Om, Om are you here? Om? ”
There was silence. But Aria could sense Om around her.
” Om I know you are here. I can feel it. ”
” Aria.” Aria had turned around. Om was standing in front of her. She had touched Om’s face with her hands. She ran her fingers starting from his eyes, down to his nose and lastly his mouth.
” I love you Aria. Will you marry me?”
Om had held Aria’s hands.
Aria was on cloud nine. Her joy had no boundaries.
” Answer me Aria?”
” I need time to think Om?”
” What?? Are you rejecting my proposal?”
Aria did not speak for few seconds. Then she had burst out laughing.
” Why are you laughing Aria? Say something?”
“Of course I will marry you, Om. I love you too, three, four, five ……infinity.”
They both had hugged each other. They were drenched in the rain. They began to shiver.
” Let’s go inside Aria. You are shivering. Cheesecake is waiting for us.”
” Oh was it for this ?”
” Yes darling it was for this celebration.”
” What if I would have denied? Then what would you do?”
” Well, in that case, I would have eaten it alone.”
They both had started laughing loudly and entered the cafe. They enjoyed the cheesecake.
Aria was re-collecting all these memories on her way to the mall. The weather was pleasant and slightly clouded. She had reached the mall.
Aria’s steps through the mall were confident, guided by her familiarity with the surroundings from previous visits. With a clear sense of direction, she made her way to the ground floor and headed directly to the cosmetic store. As she entered the store, the delightful fragrance of various perfumes greeted her senses. One of the saleswomen noticed her presence and approached, offering assistance.
Aria responded to the saleswoman’s approach with a warm smile and expressed her interest in finding a red lipstick. The saleswoman courteously guided her towards the lipstick section, where Aria was then seated in front of the counter. Another saleswoman named Susan welcomed Aria and introduced herself, ready to assist her with her choice.
“Hello Susan, I am looking for a red shade of lipstick.
Nice bright red -some thing that matches my outfit.
Preferably matte finish. Long-lasting . ” said Aria.
Susan was happy to help Aria find the right shade. She tested a couple of shades but they did not go with the outfit. Susan finally found a good match. Aria tried them on her lips.
“Hello Sir, how may I assist you?” the salesman inquired when Om arrived at the store.
“I am looking for my girlfriend- dressed in red a dress. ” replied Om.
The salesman guided Om to where Aria was seated. Om silently took a seat behind Aria. Aria’s heightened senses caught the scent of Om’s cologne, giving away his presence. Slowly, Om moved closer to Aria and planted a gentle peck on her cheek. Aria’s face lit up with a delighted grin.
Om whispered into Aria’s ears and said,
” You look beautiful. This colour suits you. Love you gorgeous.”
“Thank you honey” replied Aria.
Having purchased the lipstick, they walked out together, hand in hand, ready to watch the movie. Each of them pulled out their white walking canes, a symbol of their independence and unity.
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