Aria was in her mid-20s and had lost her eyesight during birth due to some congenital conditions. Aria’s vision impairment did not stop her from living the kind of life she wanted.
Aria excelled academically and she was a good athlete too. Aria lived with her parents and younger sister who had always motivated her. She loved playing with her pet cat.
Aria had met Om when she was studying in college and their friendship had turned into love. Both their parents had given a nod for their relationship and soon they were going to tie a knot.
Wearing a red coloured maxi dress teamed up with black heels, her brown smooth silky hair tied high into a ponytail, black cat-eye shaped sunglasses and subtle makeup Aria was ready on a Sunday morning for a date. Movie date. Aria was excited. It was 10 am and Aria had reached the mall early where she would be meeting Om for a movie later on after she had finished with her shopping.
The day was special. It was on the same day that Om had proposed to her a year ago. Aria had still remembered every single detail of that day. It was as fresh as a daisy. Monsoon season- rains, the smell of mud when it rains, hot tea and fritters. It was a perfect combination. When you have a loved one by your side, it’s like the icing on the cake.
She had worn the same red coloured maxi dress on that day. Wearing her favourite perfume she was dressed like a doll. She had a feeling that the occasion might be special. Aria could feel it. But she didn’t want to jump to any conclusions. She had decided that based on the situation if Om doesn’t propose to her, she would initiate.
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 had slowly walked towards the garden. She was standing in the rain and feeling it. Her eyes were closed.
” 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 was familiar with the mall as she had visited many times. Hence she knew where to find what she wanted and headed to the cosmetic store on the ground floor. As she had entered the store, she could get a sniff of the perfumes. One of the saleswomen had reached out to her and asked if she needed help.
Aria smiled and said she was looking for red lipstick. The saleswoman directed her towards the lipstick section and she was seated in front of the counter where another saleswoman attended Aria. She had greeted Aria and introduced herself as Susan.
“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.
Aria had informed Om earlier that she would be at the cosmetic outlet on the ground floor. Om had arrived at the store wearing blue jeans and a white shirt which he had tucked in, well-styled hair, brown square-shaped wayfarer and white slip-on shoes.
“Hello Sir, how may I help you ?” asked the salesman when Om had reached the store.
“I am looking for my girlfriend- dressed in red a dress. “
The salesman had assisted Om to Aria. Om mutely sat behind Aria in the chair. Aria sensed that Om was behind her from the cologne he had applied. Om had got closer to Aria. Aria’s heart started to pound faster. Om pecked Aria on her cheeks. Aria grinned like a Cheshire cat.
Om whispered into Aria’s ears and said
” You look beautiful. This colour suits you. Love you gorgeous.”
“Thank you honey” replied Aria.
After buying the lipstick, they had headed out together to watch the movie, hand in hand and each one of them had pulled out their respective white walking canes.