Spotlight – Midnight’s Star
Visually impaired author and current flavour of the Indian literary scene, Dev Arya, has not just triumphed against the odds in his life, he’s annihilated them. He’s got fame, fortune and floozies in abundance. And yet, he’s lonely.
Cafe owner and only child to her differently abled father, Avni Desai is broke, heartbroken and a true survivor. But no matter how hard she hustles, she’s still struggling to stay afloat.
And then, one day, Dev walks into her cafe… and everything changes for both of them. From excellent tiramisu to earshattering singing, from dramatic friends to accident prone sexcapades, they embark on the ride of a lifetime.
Will it all be worth it though? Will two broken souls find a way to heal each other? Or do the fractures go so deep that there is no way for either of them to find the love they so deeply crave and yet can’t seem to have?
Read an Excerpt from Midnight’s Star
The bell tinkled again and a pretty young girl in a peach salwar kameez walked in. She went straight to the hottie by the window.
“Dev?” she asked.
“Nisha, I presume?” He smiled up at her.
My breath caught. My God, the man was lethal. Peach salwar looked similarly dazzled. She fumbled for the chair in front of her and sat down like her legs had given out. I didn’t blame her. That smile must have leveled everyone in the vicinity.
Checking that Diana and Sehar had things under control with the drink on the floor fiasco, I walked up to the hottie’s table and held out a menu to the girl.
“Would you both care to order?”
She took the menu and held it out to him. “Would you like to choose first?”
Hottie just looked back at her, his hands folded in front of him. “I’m afraid you’ll have to read it out to me. Unless,” he tilted his perfect profile in my direction. “You have a Braille menu?”
“I’m sorry.” I flushed. “We don’t but I can read the menu out to you if you require?”
“A Braille menu?” Peach Salwar frowned. “Why do we need that?”
My pen froze over my order pad. I darted a cautious look between the two. Hotties lips tightened.
“Your family didn’t tell you?” he asked.
“Tell me what?”
Okay. Peach Salwar was a little dumb. I started to slowly back away.
Hottie pulled his dark glasses off and looked at her. “That I’m blind.”
He had ink dark eyes framed by the most gorgeous thicket of eyelashes. This man’s looks would have made angels weep in heaven.
I wanted to weep. I wasn’t entirely sure why but the tears were filling quite rapidly in my own normal, average looking eyes.
“Blind?” Peach Salwar breathed. “You’re blind.”
If his lips tightened anymore, they would disappear from view completely. All around us, the café was silent. It seemed even the air held its breath.
He slipped the dark glasses on and held up his very snazzy looking cane. “Even if your family didn’t tell you, surely you didn’t miss my accessories?” The bitter note had something twinging in my heart.
“I can’t,” she quavered. “I can’t do this.”
What was this exactly?
“I can’t marry a handicapped person.”
Oh. It was that.
The man didn’t move. All around us, people stared, nobody dared make a noise.
Finally, he nodded. “I understand.”
Wordlessly, Peach Salwar stood up, shoved her chair aside and ran from the café like he was going to keep her there by force.
“Wow,” Diana breathed from behind me. “That was crazier than one of my scripts.”
It had been a really long day. My feet hurt. My head hurt. My heart hurt.
I walked up to where he sat all alone staring at the table in front of him. He either heard my footsteps or sensed my presence because without looking up, he said, “I don’t think I’ll be ordering anything. I’m sorry.”
“My tiramisu is exceptional.” I righted the chair Peach Salwar had toppled in her hurry to leave and sat down in it. “Would you like to share one with me? On the house?”
“Feeling sorry for me, are you?” His smile was bitter and seemed to echo the pain in my heart.
“You and me both,” I said, frankly. “I’ve had a bad day too.”
“I doubt whatever happened to you is half as humiliating as this just was.”
“My boyfriend of five years and partner in this café just got engaged to someone else. I found out on Instagram.”
His head whipped up. I knew he couldn’t see and yet, that gaze seemed to look right through me.
“Okay. You win. But I want my own tiramisu. I don’t like to share.”
About the Author:
Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.