There once was this morning, Sunday morning, right after the night I listened to the soundtrack of The Beach. That song by Moby - Porcelain, its still ringing in my head ... 'as i wake, its kaleidoscopic mind'. Unlike most mornings I've come across lately, this one found me sipping hot cappuccino at the Starbucks at corner of High School Road and Castro across from my old office. 'Never meant to hurt you ... never meant to lie'

I don't like this place too much, and nor am I a big fan of 'cappuccino' - I don't even remember the last time I had one. I primarily came up here because I like this girl who handles the counter here. I saw her last evening for the first time when I walked in here with Donna to get her an Iced White Mocha. I could not talk to this girl then, and this evening I have to join Donna for a family dinner at her parents' place; So I took my chances she'd be in this morning. She was.

She looks very European, specially her correction glasses. I try to read her name from her name tag and found it hard to pronounce. "How do I pronounce your name umm Kaou-ran-ti-naig?", I ask her. "You can call me Kelly", She replied. "Oh ! Okay ... Kelly! Interesting name though", I say back with a smile. "It's French", she says with an air of pride while giving me back my change. "And you? You're French as well?" I ask. "No, I'm Bulgarian", she says, this time looking in my eyes. I smile back, not knowing where to drive this conversation from here considering I have no idea where Bulgaria is on World's map. 'So this is Good bye...' So I just thank her and get myself a seat by the window from where I can watch her at the counter.

I see a pretty young girl with blue eyes in black overcoat holding a black umbrella walk in. She goes behind the counter and talks to Kelly. Next thing I notice, she takes place of Kelly and Kelly leaves the counter. I decide to walk out with Kelly and make some talk. She comes out in a while with a yellow back-pack, and walks to me. I smile at her and before I can say anything she sits next to me and asks me "Is it okay if I sit with you?". "Why ... Sure!" I say, straightening myself.

She keeps sitting without speaking for some time. Before it gets really awkward I say. "... so, you live nearby here somewhere?". "No", she says, "I live in San Jose, I catch train from the station at the end of this road."

Silence again.

"I miss my home", she says, rather suddenly. I look at her; she's looking outside the window at nothing in particular. "And my friends ... Please don't mind my behavior", she adds as an after-thought.

"No its .. okay", I say, wanting to add something philosophical and soothing, but I decided its better if I let her be.

"I was climbing a small mountain with Matei in the afternoon, and I got tired and just sat there midway telling him I can't go any further, and he also sat with me there and we started to talk about this and that ... and then he started telling me a story about a talking frog. He always told me stories, of rabbits and monkeys and birds and stars ... He always had a story to tell me." She tells me without looking at me, "That was the last time I saw him ... he moved with his parents to France next day."

"You remind me of Matei", She says, "The perfume you're wearing, that smell, it reminds me of Matei", this time looking at me. "It has been about five years; I never missed him all this while, but this smell brought him near. I'm almost sitting with him on that mountain again, listening to his stories. I never knew its the last time I'm seeing him...we never know when we'll never talk to the people we do everyday, when we'll never see them again ... ever.". I think I saw a tear in her eyes, they were moist for sure.

She gets up to leave ... I keep sitting. "Thank you for understanding...Good bye", she says and walks out of the shop.

I keep sitting looking in the direction she walked down to for some time. "You're Welcome", I say to the void and get up to leave. Moby's song still playing in my head...'this is good bye...'


smell | sound | sight | taste | touch

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