‘He is cute’ she concluded.
I nod in assent but with a character appended in front.
‘S-he is cute’ now, it sounded right.
I lean back, aiming for a better view. She is beautiful, in an unconventional sense. Sneakers paired with a maroon kurti, a rusty retro chain hangs by her slender neck. The pendant hidden by waist length hair, dark tresses…darker than my intentions at least. I avoid looking her in the eye, as always.
‘So, what’s up? How is everything coming along?’ I sip my coffee to stall, just love it when her lips move, akin to a well-oiled crankshaft. God, I suck at this.
So anyway …I sip my coffee and pause. (Because one has to pause a damn moment- if their racing heartbeat is audible to own self)
‘Nothing much, just the usual grind. Project work, report…blah blah, hope your life is any better?’
That was my clincher, always shine light on the ‘other’ person. Standard introvert tactic 101.
It caught on right away. I listened in silent delight as she rambled on about every trivial detail of her work life. A forever creepy watchman, her Tamilian boss and that chutiya HR guy. Halfway through her drink it was now about that hot ass-dude who never called back. Parents who hinted marriage for the umpteenth time this morning. Health reports claiming she needed blood pressure medication. Nuggets of information that betrayed a fragile human being, flew free.
The frown soon melted into her Campari. She was humming, tapping away to the jingle playing in the background.
Maybe it was the chocolate, the cool breeze or whatever the hell it was, my mind began to wander…
The evening would converge to this beautiful moment, a simple dance with her bestie.
Sigh, its such a puerile reference – to one’s favorite confidante.
A matter of induced linguistic subservience.
Sub-par words included in my vocabulary- to preserve the sanity of a forever ‘texting’ coterie.
Oof! I ranted again didn’t I? Yes, as I was saying …
It would finally happen. She will look me in the eye and whisper those magic words.
‘Indeed Madam’ I rehearse my reply mentally. Twice.
We would waltz the evening away, letting our thoughts take over…Perfect ending.
Hmh…I should take initiative; it made sense that I ask her first na? Should I cut the chase with a few crude phrases? That’s rude. Perhaps I should compose a short limerick and jot it down on this napkin? Brilliant! She will have to figure out the last two lines. Oh dear, is it too much like I over played?
Wait! Where is she?
I found my answer far across the room. She was gyrating in the hairy arms of ‘the cute guy’. A lively jive indeed. Pausing only a moment to glance at me, her bestie.
The ‘bestie’ however, was contemplating taking tango classes and investing in a fake beard.