Aug 7, 2013

How I Met Your Mother

She was late. I checked my watch. Four minutes and thirty five seconds to be exact. She was supposed to meet me exactly at five thirty. I wondered how long I should wait. I wondered if I should call? Nah, that would make me look weak. If in case she didn't turn up, I decided I would just slip away and tell my friends I didn't feel good about a blind date, bailing out just before I met her.

I ordered cappuccino. And a cheese puff. A black forest too. Add to it a samosa (yes, I ordered a samosa in Cafe Coffee Day!) I eat when I am nervous. In fact, I eat in almost all situations. That had left me helplessly chubby. The waitress convinced me to put extra chocolate syrup in my drink too. I returned the smile, knowing that had cost me an extra forty bucks.

Just as the waitress served the long list of food items I had ordered, she arrived. I had checked up on all her social activity online- Facebook, Twitter, Quora. I had made observed all her public photos carefully to make sure her identity was etched inside my brain.

The aroma of the coffee beans had suddenly been knocked out of my lungs by her bewildered look. She looked more like my mother with that expression than my date. By the time she had taken her seat, I had taken a bite off the cheese puff. A part of me hoped she would just run away, never to see me again. I was ashamed. I didn't want to talk.

I shook her hand. A rather official gesture. Yes, it seemed we were about to strike a deal for the construction of a new housing complex.

I couldn't decipher if it was disbelief in her eyes or sheer pity. She hadn't spoken a word. I decided to break the silence.

'You are late.'

Just when I had thought I couldn't sound any more stupid, I did something a step further. I said that, with a part of the cheese puff still in my mouth. Bad call, I thought. Children are taught not to talk while eating.

Maybe it was my stupidity, maybe it was just the way I sounded because of the puff in my mouth, but she smiled. Oh my God, I thought. She really thinks I am retarded.

'Yes, I am late. And I am very sorry. It was the traffic,' she said.

'You should have left your home early, mademoiselle!.' I thought. 'Too many cars these days,' that's what I could say.

We had been set up by a mutual friend. He had reminded me not to stare blankly at her as that would make the situation awkward. I decided to make small talk.

'So, what do you do in your free time?' I asked.

'A lot of things. I read books. I play the violin, I paint.' She answered, innocently.

I was a pathetic reader. I couldn't finish the first ten pages of the Da Vinci Code. I tried learning music when I was a kid. My music teacher told me I was better off playing computer games. I had even tried my luck with the brush. Owing to my impatience, the best I could do was a few strokes in an abstract painting!

'Can you do all the three things together?' The smartass in me inquired. I should rather have poured the coffee all over myself. Maybe I wanted to prove I was smart, maybe it was the complex fragrance of the coffee making me go berserk.

She smiled. Perhaps, she was not the sarcastic type after all. She would compliment me well, I thought.

I gobbled up my stuff as fast as I could, not asking her if she would want something. She had patiently answered all my stupid questions, never asking me why I was asking her anything remotely related to the weird topics I had steered the conversation to. At one point, I even asked her what she thought about the break up of Pangaea. Dumb Question.

The time passed by pretty soon, and before I realized it, it was time for her to leave. We got up, hugged each other and said good bye. I was to leave for college the next day. It could be months before I met her again. To be frank, I thought she would probably find someone less screwed up. Little did I know that Cupid had other things in mind.

Every time I have coffee, that strong aroma takes me back to that hot and humid June evening.

And that, kids, is the story of how I met your mother.

P.S. Note that this has been posted under the category 'fiction'. So, please don't ask me who the girl is, because frankly, even I don't know!


This post is written for the 'Smelly to Smiley' contest by IndiBlogger and Ambi Pur India. For more, visittheir Facebook page.

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