I saw her again, and all the thoughts started coming back to me again. Only this time, I wasn’t the naive character. She was wearing a Blue top with a magenta scarf. She held Hazel in her hand. I don’t know who was she. Hazel had curly hair. As curly as are the curls of wool on a sheep.

Peyton took out a small mirror from her bag and reapplied some gloss. It was Guava Lush from The Body Shop. How could I not know the smell? The number of times I playfully bit that lip. At least, something was still the same. In the cheap Indigo flight, with the smell of sweat overpowering that of the room freshener the smell of guava gave me a sense of comfort.

hazel 1

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Flashback of last conversation

“Are you telling me that everything between us was fake?” “I loved you more than life, but all you cared about was yourself.” “So this is the only solution you could find?” she was silent. I could not help but notice her beauty, through my anger. “Get lost. And take that bastard’s kid with you. Wish you well.” And I stormed out of the house we were living in for the past 2 years. The flashback of our last conversation lingered in my head.

Back to reality…

She turned around to call the air hostess and for a microsecond, my eyes met hers. I tried my best to glare intensely into those caramel eyes. She looked at me and squeaked a feeble hi.

“Hey”, I said.

“How are you here?” she asked.

“I didn’t know your father bought my rights to travel on indigo as well.” She looked visibly uncomfortable.

“Kidding. I’m on a business trip”

“Oh. I am going to Delhi for a wedding.”

“Great.”

More than the conversation, I was interested in the little girl beside her. Hazel resembled Peyton too much, but, her eyes were not like her mom’s. They were similar to someone I knew. I just hoped I was wrong, for once. She caught me staring at Hazel and quickly added: “This is Hazel. “Hi uncle, I am Hazel. I am 6 years old. I study in Bluebells English School.” Hazel chanted her rehearsed speech.

“How’s daddy?” I asked.

“He died when I was a baby. My mummy is my daddy as well.”

I looked at Peyton. She looked very uncomfortable and twitched her lips as she always did when she was unsure about stuff. I was overjoyed at my revenge. Okay, so Hazel didn’t know that her mom slept with her live-in boyfriend’s best buddy. So much for honesty, I thought to myself and I drifted back into another chain of thoughts.

Flashback again

I stormed out of the house and went to Karan’s house. “You were a friend. But thanks, for showing me what a bitch she was.” He looked puzzled and tried following me but all his efforts had been futile. I broke my phone and burnt the sim card. I made sure that two bottles of neat JD burn my insides to the point of my incapability of feeling any pain.

The very next morning, I relocated to Mumbai because I couldn’t endure the pain that staying in Delhi would give me. I joined FashionForward, wooed my boss and got married to her three years back. Since then, there has never been a day when I’ve thought of Peyton. The flight finally landed in Delhi. After taking my suitcase from the baggage claim, I walked towards the exit gate. An air hostess came running up to me and thrust a note into my hand, “Peyton asked me to give it to you”.

It said, “I never slept with Karan. Hazel is your daughter. I only made that up to make you feel jealous, but you just left. You had to know someday.

Now I know whose hazel eyes had Hazel inherited.

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