Back in middle school:
“If she was stranded in a shopping mall, short on money, would you pay her bill?” he was asked, quite cunningly at that age, just to know his feelings for a girl he chatted all day long with.
He thought for a fraction of a second and said “No” quite plainly, in a matter of factly voice. She sat on the opposite bench, listening to the conversation. It hurt obviously, but she was too naive to understand the real intent behind this question or the complexities of Love, but other surely did. This guy was open for grabs!
After eight years:
He sat in front of her, as the little conversation replayed in her mind. She was seeing him after a long time and today, she understood what that plain “No” meant and what this meeting meant too.
They were at Coffee Klutch, both qualified professionals and had changed for the better over the years. It was high time they exploited their own options at finding a partner before being plunged into the ‘shaadi.com’ frenzy by their family.
To her, he seemed to possess all the qualities she wanted in a partner, ignoring the string of girlfriends he had in the past they shared at school. He had left before senior years began and she had not seen him since. She could not imagine what must have transpired in all those eight years in the life of this cunning yet dashing guy to bring him in front of her today, in spite of the practical answer he gave to an equally practical question posed to him back at school.
“I’m a one man woman”, she said calmly, sipping her coffee.
He looked at her. She was perfect- beauty with brains, and most importantly, Indian at heart. She had not left her values in the race against time.He couldn’t ask for more. He met her eye and said to probe her, “What if your ‘one man’ left midway?”, referring to himself indirectly.
For a second, she stared at him, stunned. She had never thought of such a possibility. But she knew him too well and also his ability to read between the lines.
She replied quite unflinchingly, in the same tone he had asked, “I’ll explore if love could happen twice”. She was an independent woman, with a firm footing. In all those years she had learnt to carry herself without any aid in this double faced world. And she would not let anything to break her.
A sly smile crept his face, and she broke the eye contact, smiling as she lifted the cup to her lips. They both knew that a ‘one man woman’ needed a ‘one woman man’ to make a perfect story.
“Should I give this a chance?”, their minds asked at the same time.
“I want to..”, their hearts said in unison.
Catch on the second part here.
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