The Rearview Mirror - contd
by Asha Francis
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She was the first to wake up too as if on cue. They were nearing the airport. Her movement woke him up. The sun was at its peak. The day couldn’t have been clearer.
“I will miss you” Her face was pressed against the blue of his shirt but her voice, laden, came out clear. He did not respond but held on to her; arm against arm.
“This is the last time we are going to say Good Bye to each other” The rearview mirror captured his smile and Anas thought that it looked great on him.
“How can you be so sure? You don’t know yet.”
“I do know now. I will be back in less than a year, 18th February to be precise.” His face burst in to a grin and her spontaneous squeeze in response brought out a loud yelp from him.
“I met the inspector in his cabin while I was at the police station. He gave me a letter signed by the jail superintendent. The high court has considered the appeal, Neena and given me a year off. I am clearing the last installment of my dues towards a stupid mistake and then I’m free.”
“Free?!” She couldn’t go beyond that. But her face had that same glow of hope as that from the previous evening. Hope that shone through the long hours in the harsh sun now settled in the tears which just wouldn’t stop.
There was definitely more to their story that Anas wasn’t party to. But he wasn’t curious anymore.
“Anas, you were great. Thank you for everything” It came from the man and he was touched to note that they finally connected. He smiled in return, not daring to say anything more, lest he broke that moment. He stepped out of the car, helped them with their luggage and walked away from them feeling like someone just out of the cinema.
Once back in the car he adjusted the rear view mirror and his eyes fell on the sticker at the bottom right of the mirror; a thin strip of plastic with his name and number on it. He had it there all along, obvious enough to miss his attention but not the man’s. They didn’t need any words to connect. The rear view mirror connected them right from the start.
Anas drove away looking forward to getting back home before dusk. ***