Tiredness hung over her like cobwebs. The whole of her body ached, ached like hell, and the bruises all over her arms screamed with pain to remind her of those filthy days of the recent past. Unaware that the mild May sun was actually scorching to her, and the lapping salt water was burning those cuts on her fair skin afresh, she had fallen half asleep under a palm shade on the beach, the waves playing with her soft, golden hair, which mingled perfectly with the golden sands.

Through her sleepy eyes she could see two distant gulls, the sun, the mighty azure waves and the small grove of palms around her, and couldn’t help feeling that they were staring at her with a look of dignified sympathy. This quite irritated her. It wasn’t sympathy that she needed; it was simply freedom and peace which she was hungry for. But, she didn’t posses the zeal, or more importantly, the strength to complain. And anyway, there was nobody to hear her wretched self out. So, deciding to ignore everything else, she returned back to getting lost in her reverie.

With the kind of peace that the ambience provided, for certainly, there was something of peace there, she could easily ignore the physical pain and the discomfort of sand in her hair, but to ignore the emotional strife within, compared to which the cuts and bruises were nothing, she would have to put up a magnificent uphill toil.

Allowing sleep to once again adorn her tear-stained eyes, Aisha Johnson – no, she was back to Aisha Beck now, gave way to her morning siesta in that private bay area.

Married two months ago, or rather only for two months, it was only yesterday that she had finally gained her divorce. She, even in her worst of nightmares, had never imagined Jeremy to metamorphose so drastically, from a sweet, loving boyfriend to a monster of a husband in just a few days after being happily married. At her wits’ end to figure out what had gone wrong in their relationship, she sincerely abandoned the effort quite soon, succumbing to the incessant tortures of her husband, and being reduced to the status of an unwanted object in the house, rather than its mistress.

If Othello killed Desdemona out of sheer jealousy, Jeremy had nearly killed Aisha perhaps because it was she in whom jealousy had been found.

But, he failed to understand that it wasn’t her jealousy, it was her right as his wife to demand who the woman that he brought home with a bold chutzpah, spent hours inside a room, whose texts and calls he answered often, was. And these confrontations used to end up in eternal quarrels topped with violence. It was strange that she could never pick out that he would turn out to be such a pervert. After winning her as a wife, all love had been lost, only to be found again for another woman.

But thanks to all the goodness, the nightmare was over, and she opened her eyes to a warm noon sunshine. Doubtless she was hurt, very badly hurt after the divorce, because she had loved Jeremy enough to stand his torture for two months. However, she vowed to forget the sorrow and start a new, happy life.

Presently she saw David coming towards her with a welcoming smile and two mugs of delicious coffee in his hands. His presence delighted her. She always adored David, her best friend, actually her only friend, and also her family, since she had lost hers when she was only twenty. It was through David’s efforts that her divorce had finally come through. The matters about alimony and stuff were still to be sorted, but for now she was free of Jeremy. Not to mention, David was a good lawyer, and a kind person too, who had asked her to come and stay over with him at his beach house.

“Sugar or cream?” he asked sitting by her and placing the tray in front of them.
“Of course you know” Aisha was infected with the smile too, after a long time, after the entire struggle, first in her company with Jeremy and then in the court.
“Yes” he answered, pouring a large dollop of cream into one of the cups and handing it to her.

It was delicious. She had always loved a creamy coffee, better than anything else, and maybe that was the reason why she still continued to enjoy each sip, even though it was one of those cups in which the cream had turned bitter and ruined her life, when Jeremy had taken her on a date and put a solitaire ring into her cup, delighting her to a great extent and resulting in immediate acceptance of the offer, only after a month of courtship.

That was past; she would strive to forget it all. After finishing the coffee in the solitude of her friend’s company, he asked her to get ready for lunch. He would take her out to his favorite place.

Keeping the mug down, she looked at the dregs. One creamy coffee had shown her a bleak future, but this one might show her a bright one ahead.

She got up and followed David inside the house. There was a lot to do with her looks.

She liked him. A lot. She had never thought about it earlier, but now that she was thinking, it felt that it would be nice if there was a David and Aisha. But absolutely fine if not. She would never push it. And suddenly, another deeper realization was found in her. Marrying one’s best friend would be a great thing to do. It would be a great relationship – a perfect understanding, and more importantly, no heartbreaks. Really, friendship was a wonderful thing.