Putting on his overcoat, Jacob collected his papers and got ready to leave. Stella was still standing there. There was an awkward silence and a sort of tension between them.
“OK, I got to go.” Jacob said, without meeting his eyes with hers.
They shared an embarrassed look. Stella lowered her eyes, as she could not withstand his stare. Jacob turned to leave and he left quickly and immediately, taking long and fast steps as he could. Stella tentatively walked half way to the door and came back. Jacob looked back while continuing walking.
“ Bye” he said, as if it was their last meeting.
She turned and looked back, but he was gone. Stella came back, closed the door and headed in to join Suzan and Daniel. Suddenly something lying on the sofa caught her attention.
Probably Jacob would have forgotten...
She went to it. It was Jacob’s diary. She picked it up and rushed out, opening the front door.
Probably Jacob would be still around..
When she went out of the house, Stella looked around for Jacob. But she could not find him. She went still further. He was nowhere. At last she gave up and started to go back.
While coming back in the house, she opened the diary casually and started reading it. She stopped, stunned, her eyes widened. Expressions of fear, care, worry, and surprise, all crowded at once over her face. She headed for the house still going through the diary.
Stella reached in the hall. Still she was absorbed in the diary. She felt her legs weakening and she sat on a sofa.
Some incidences in past started to run before her eyes...
She remembered, once when they sat across each other in the coffee shop. Jacob was preparing coffee for her. Jacob added two sugars in his own cup and stirred. He had offered
her coffee, without adding sugars.
"How do you know ... I do not take sugar?" Stella had asked.
"Many more things I know." He had said, mysteriously smiling.
"Gibson must have told you." She had said.
And Jacob had just smiled, mysteriously.
Stella flipped over his diary pages further. Suzan came in the foyer, looked curiously at Stella, as she was totally absorbed in the diary not acknowledging her presence. Stella remembered one more incidence...
When Stella was about to jump in the dangerous black hole. Suddenly Jacob had came and pulled her back holding her firmly.
Stella went on flipping through the diary, her eyes still widened. Suzan was still witnessing the expressions on Stella's face, not knowing the reason.
"Stella ...What’s wrong ... What is it? " Stella asked curiously, as she could not stop her asking.
Stella did not respond, still absorbed in the diary. Suddenly she closed the diary, got up and in hurry, she left the house, taking the diary with her.
Suzan kept on looking at her departing out, totally clueless.
Original Novel – Sunil Doiphode
English Version – Mugdha Apte