I sat at the coffee table sipping my coffee. He was supposed to arrive an hour ago. There was neither a single message nor a call from him.
‘He is not punctual’ I said to myself. ‘This will be the last time I am meeting guys’. I was angry. My mother has been organizing such meets since a very long time. This one was the 10th guy I was meeting this month. The ones I had met seemed over-confident, proud and just wanted to impress me with their wealth. I had seen this one’s picture. He was handsome. I even had a talk with him on phone. I could conclude that he was decent and down to earth. But he was nowhere to be seen in this coffee shop. I loved being punctual. The moment I realized that he is late, I started hating him.
‘I am waiting for 10 more minutes. If he is not here within 10, I am leaving’, I messaged my mother. She kept insisting me to call him. But I was stubborn. I did not call him. In a way, I was happy that he had not turned up. I was happy that I was saved from that awkward talk. ‘I am saved’, I said to myself and then spotted him waking towards my table.
‘Oh! Shit!’ I exclaimed.
‘Was I loud?’ I looked around only to find everyone busy in their own world.
‘Hi’, he said to me.
‘Hey’, I replied.
‘Sorry. I am late. I was caught up with work’, he explained.
‘It’s okay. I finished just 2 coffees’. I was sarcastic.
I hate you already.
He smiled and pulled out a chair to sit. I did not waste any time. I wanted to get out of this mess as early as possible. I started with my usual speech.
‘Umm… Hmmm…’ I cleared my throat. ‘You know very well why both of us are here! Let me tell you that I do not believe in arranged marriages. I am here cause of my parents’
‘Even I am here because of my parents. I too do not want to have an arranged marriage. I prefer love. I did not want to dishearten them and that’s why I thought of meeting you. I liked your picture. My mother also told me some good things about you. I thought you would be a nice girl. Don’t worry. I won’t say yes unless you are ready’ he said.
The color of my face had changed hearing his talks. I felt as if I had been trapped.
‘Why are you appearing so frightened?’ he asked.
‘It’s nothing’, I replied.
How can you like me just like that?
‘So tell me about you’ he said.
‘Do you believe in equal rights for men and women?’ I asked. He appeared puzzled.
‘Yes. I believe’
‘Do you feel any kind of gender discrimination should be made an offence?’
‘Yes. I feel so’
‘Then Why did you say ‘Ladies First’? Don’t think about the ‘Respect’ thing now. Please!’
He appeared a little shocked. ‘Okay. I will start then!’ he smiled.
‘I am Aditya. I work at Crack I.T. I am the only child of my parents. No brother, No sister. I do not know what sibling love is! I never had any serious relationship. I dated a girl during my college days for a week. But it did not end up well. I like Aamir Khan’ he finished.
I smiled at him.
He likes Aamir and so do I. We have one thing: Aamir in common. And he is a good guy. He did not boast about his wealth.
‘I think we should order something’, I suggested.’
He signaled the waiter to take our order.
‘So it’s your turn now!’ he grinned.
‘I am Tara. I work at the town’s Municipal Council. I am not educated like you. I have done my HSSC in Commerce and a computer course. I am deeply in love and I too…’ I looked at him.
‘I too… what?’ he asked.
‘You are in love?’
‘Yes. I am and I am not. It’s complicated’
Stay tuned for the next part!