Driving slowly in the woods listening to the radio and thinking about life, love and what it brings, I slowly turned my car towards a rusty old cabin which is a small cafe run by an elderly couple. It has become my weekend routine and favorite pass time to visit this place because it gives me a chance to escape my messy merry go round life. I like to chat with Claire. She has that rare beautiful and welcoming smile that makes you want to talk with her, tell her whats going on in your life and ask her advice. I parked my car and went inside. There were very few people inside and I walked towards the counter. She came smiling to me with a cup of coffee and handed it to me and started talking.
“So Thea what’s new with life?”, she asked.
I sighed. She asks the same question every time and I give the same answer.
“Busy and Boring .”
She smiled and asked, “Do you like to have anything else?”
“I can’t eat”,I said.
“Can I ask you something?” I asked sheepishly.
“Yes dear”, she replied.
“What do you think of me?”, I asked without looking at her.
“You have a beautiful face and a wonderful heart”, she replied without hesitation.
“How many times did you fall in love?”, I asked.
“So, who was the first one?”, I asked curiously.
She pointed towards her husband.
I laughed a little and asked, “Second?”.
“Why only twice?”, I asked laughing.
“The first time was long back when we were young.”
I was listening keenly.
“The second time was when he left our flat in Manhattan and came to live here with me just because I asked him to do so.”
“Why did you ask?”, I asked her with my eyes widened.
“Because, life has become so robotic without warmth. I wanted to get away from that monotonous society. It didn’t happen easily though. Took almost two years to get used to the idea and one more to settle here.”
“Even I want to relocate. Would you recommend it ?”
She remained silent. I changed the subject.
“So you don’t like crowded places?”
“People think that leaving a crowded place and living in woods might change who they are. It’s not true at all. I’ts their mind that is crowded. Even in the midst of chaos, if you choose to be calm, you can be.”
I found that answer a little contradictory.
“Hmm, okay. I need to leave. Thanks for the coffee.”
“I hope to see you next weekend”. She bid me off smiling.
I got into my car and started driving towards main road.
I took off my V.R. glasses. I was once again back into the reality. A lovely assistant was standing beside me.
“How was your experience?” she asked beaming vibrantly.
“Good”, I replied getting off the chair sighing.
“Is there any feedback you want to give regarding Claire?” ,she asked.
“No”, I replied. She started to walk away from me.
“Can I ask something?” I stopped her.
“Of course”, she replied.
“Why did Claire relocate to escape from crowded city and chaos but she gave me a complete opposite answer when I asked her opinion on me relocating?”
“The backstory of the old lady was designed in a way that most of the working people will be able to relate themselves to her. But when customers ask for opinions, they were programmed to give an answer which suits the customer’s present lifestyle.”
I was surprised to their ingenuity and walked towards the door.