Mocha Mojo had always been ‘their’ place. The red lights gave her face a resplendent glow which he noticed while he clicked her for the nth time. She kept chattering like a hummingbird, feeding him bits and pieces of the bruschettas and gnocchi. He kept smiling at her, fiddling with the lemon slice in his Corona while she sipped on the last glass of the bottle of Californian Merlot that she loved. This wasn’t the first time they were doing this. It was a culmination of hours of chats, never-ending phone calls and countless emails which had been going on for weeks.
They were just two of the millions who were awake all night in the city that never sleeps. She was a darling of the new-gen yuppies, while he was the quintessential small-town boy, charming his way through the city of dreams. Their first meeting and the story thereafter had the makings of a classic Bollywood rich girl–poor boy chick flick. He knew that she was a high-flying rockstar and did not live in any false beliefs that she fell for his looks. He also knew that she, like every girl who knew him had not been able to resist his charms. His witty remarks and her incessant chatter had kept them engaged in conversations for hours.
They were both married. Not to each other. Not that anybody could have guessed that when they saw them together. He was coming out of a bad marriage, completely cynical about love, relationships and commitment. She was living through her bad marriage, finding the much-needed respite and comfort in him. He had promised her nothing. He had not a single string attached to her. Yet she not only confessed her love to him but also took care of him like only a mother can. Even his Gemini dual instincts could not understand how she managed to play the role of both an ardent lover and a caring mother.
To him, the entire arrangement was simple. His past had taught him to be unattached and all he really wanted to do now was to sleep with every woman. He found his “mommie”, to be perfect. Yeah, that was his nickname for her, inspired by the love she showered on him. Her words were soothing and she was so concerned about everything related to him, that he could not help giving her a special place in his life. For her, he was everything that had been missing from her life till then. She spent hours discussing the world and its trivialities, dreaming about the perfect future 30 years from then.
She was fiercely independent, but once with him, she gave him full control. He had always given her an upper-hand from day one, letting her be, whoever she wanted to be. She went out of her way to become the woman he liked, which was completely against her nature. She gave up compulsive drinking and smoking, even avoided non-veg just because he was vegetarian. He kept insisting that her special efforts wouldn’t really make him trust her more but she didn’t care about that, always claiming that her love for him was absolute and selfless. Together they explored every pub, disc, restaurant in town; dancing, drinking and feeling content in each other’s company.
She was a pretty pricey doll, sometimes naughty but mostly sweet. Her soft voice and honey-soaked words kept him up all night. She would drop him to his apartment every night before going to her place, because she knew her ‘kid’ was new to the city. She bought him expensive gifts that she thought would be perfect for him and promised him many more. She even promised to make this arrangement work and persist long enough to be able to have a full-fledged relationship with him someday. She claimed that he was the single source of happiness and peace in her life and she would never let go off him. Maybe this was her last attempt to try growing roots and settling for someone, moving away from her natural nomad instincts.
He always felt that things were very smooth and pleasant; in fact life with her was too good to be true. And when things are too good to be true, they usually aren’t. From a time when lyrics of every song reminded her of him, there came a day when she could not find five minutes in a day to talk to him. There were times when she was everywhere, on GTalk, on DMs, on the phone, and still emailing songs. Today, she would appear online on every platform, yet remain offline to him, thinking he wouldn’t notice. Somehow all her words started sounding hollow and the silence too long for comfort. Her to-do lists had always started and ended with him, but today he figured nowhere in them. He had admired her and often wondered why she loved him even when he had expressed his inability to reciprocate any feelings towards her. Today, he was left wondering if they were all a bunch of lies.
The spell of a witch is very strong and binding, but the intentions of the spell are known just to the witch and no one else. When the woman who reads your cards spells doom for you, where do you go for respite? Was it all because he eventually lost his job? He could blame her for this as well because they both know that if there was a genuine intent, she could have helped him. But then, selflessness has its limits. No one, not even someone who claimed undying love for someone, would want to peg her money on a losing horse. She fled at the first sign of sorrows, after making a million promises to always keep him happy. When she needed comfort, she had seeked him out. Today, when he needs support, she has supposedly lost herself and her way in life, almost retracted into a make-believe shell. Probably he was worth the effort only as long as her life with him was happy.
Every person who even remotely knew the two of them had warned him of her fickle nature. He had known about her and the truth of her numerous lies all along. He had however always wanted to give her a chance, always wanted to overlook her cheating behavior and believe in the goodness that she portrayed. It is human nature to move to greener pastures, probably that was why she had wandered off to a richer, happier, more stable ‘life support’, or atleast moved away from the one which was not so happy or happening anymore. Once a wanderer, always a wanderer, isn’t it?
Tonight, while Bon Jovi sings in the background, he cannot help but agree that she really does give love a very very bad name. Yet for her happiness he hopes that her wander-lust finds its solace somewhere…