Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Johanna

The curtains had been pulled over and the large orange sun was struggling to enter her room as though he was a trespasser. She had decided to sleep over all day. She occupied the left side of the bed, as though Johann was snoring to glory. His sounds and smell had become her drug. She never knew that a man she had met at a friend's party five years ago would give her a reason to live, after her parent's untimely demise. 




She always used to have her breakfast from the tiny coffee shop located at the curved end of the street. It was a clean place, a tiny patisserie that made the city's best pastries and breads. A cup of delicately brewed cappuccino and a corn spinach sandwich was her breakfast for the day. She had been asked by her doctor to cut down on flab, because of which she had given the mud pie a skip, which was a tempting obligation every morning. The owner of the shop, a middle aged man in his fifties with a balding head and a pot-belly, always gave her discounts. For the past five years, except for weekends she had not missed out having breakfast from his pastry shop. She was his favourite customer.
Today he was trying his best to lure her into buying a mud pie or brownie, which were her favourites by incessantly smiling at her and pointing to the dessert counter. Since the past one month she had learnt the trick of looking away in the other direction while she paid the bill to not get enchanted into buying a portion of her favourite dessert. As she hurriedly walked out of the bakery, to not get smitten by the aroma of the delicacies being dished out there, she was greeted by a husky male voice.


"Hi, remember me?"
She looked up and was greeted by the handsome stranger she had met at her best friend's party a week ago. 
"Hello. Of course, I do." she replied.
They both were teetotalers who hit upon a conversation at the drinks counter, the moment they both ordered for a glass of orange juice. To spend the evening with a shy good-looking non-drinker was indeed a rare experience for her. She had secretly wished to meet him again.
"I'll drop you to office. If you don't mind."
With that polite offer, Annie and Johann started seeing each other every day. From acquaintances who shared a meal or coffee, they became friends who started taking holidays together. One day Johann decided to move in with her. 

She stood outside the gates of the rickety unattractive building. A black board with white paint was affixed to the slanting roof that read "Infant Jesus adoption centre". She struggled to lift her legs and move forward. This day would change her life. She was sure that this was the road ahead.
Sister Treesa greeted her with a smile and asked her to sit down. The room was filled with the obnoxious smell of cheap paint which were fraying her nerves. 
"Sister, did you get this place painted recently?"
"Oh yes. We had been saving up for it since some time. Thank you for your generous donation." she muttered thankfully.
"You don't have to say thanks, sister. My money was rotting away."
Indeed, the money her parents had left for her was being eaten by termites, until she decided to give away a plenteous portion of it to this adoption home.
"So here she is." declared Sister Treesa pointing her index finger northwards.
She could discern the sounds of footsteps marching at her. As she turned around to take a look, she saw a woman clad in a blue sari walking towards her. She was tightly clutching on to a baby girl. A beautiful baby girl with large brown eyes and the brightest smile she had ever seen.
She jumped from her chair to catch hold of the baby girl. She held her close to her chest and felt her warmth softening her tired bones. 
"I love you." she whispered into her ears.
"Any name you have decided to give her?"
"Yes, Johanna. Johanna Sara." she declared.
"That's a beautiful name, Annie."
"Yes, it means God is gracious." she said.
"We are done with most of the formalities. Mother Superior has signed your adoption papers. You can take her home." she announced happily.
"Thank you sister. Thank you so much."

She grabbed her copy of adoption papers and stepped out of the room. She opened the front door from the right side, where baby Johanna's infant car seat had been securely fastened. Carefully she made her slide into the seat and gently pulled the belt around her tiny waist. As she sat on the driver's seat and was starting the car Johanna gave out a squeaky shout to her in her gentle baby voice. She was giving her a toothless grin which melted her wasteful woes, that had been killing her since Johann had left.
As she drove to baby Johanna's new home, she thought of a pink picture message she had seen on her facebook wall a few days ago.
It said that "One day all the love you gave away will find its way back to you and will stay."
She muttered under her breath as tears spilled from the corner of her eyes.
"I miss you Johann. But, you don't fall in love twice."



                               Picture credit: www.loveyourdash.com

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