“Will I see you again?” He asked at the last moment.
She turned from the doorway and looked at him. The ambient light was not enough for him to see her face. But he could hear the shy smile in her reply.
“We’ll see.” She replied.
With that she quickly unlocked her door and went inside.
He waited down and his gaze was locked at her second floor window. As he saw the lights of her apartment turn on and her silhouette appear in the window, he hoped that she will look down.
She did. And waved goodbye.
His heart skipped a beat.
He turned and started walking home. And he was overwhelmed with the intensity of emotions he felt.
He hadn’t felt like this since..since he was 17 years old and out on his first date. And now twenty years later, he could still feel the same torrent of emotions pushing him towards her, pushing him to go knock on her again.
He walked and suddenly became aware that the streetlights were brighter now. He turned and saw the hamburger cart standing on the side of the road. He had an urge to eat there, hog down each and every burger, though he just had dinner.
He felt a shy smile coming on his lips, a redness on his face. He couldn’t help but imagining himself with her. Future dates, more fun, more excitement.
Usually after office he went home alone, but today he stayed late. Because she had asked for help. He didn’t know her very well. Nor did she. But he helped her nonetheless. After office they went to a nearby food cart like the hamburger one, and ate some Chinese.
She talked. He talked. And after a while he connected with her. She listened to whatever he said. And he spoke, uttered such confessions that he hadn’t shared with anyone. She had a way with him.
She listened to everything he had to say. So he spoke. And spoke. The loneliness he used to feel in office was suddenly gone. He could say whatever he wanted to!
Without worrying about what she thought. And what’s even better he could see, see with clarity in her eyes that she understood him. Understood his feelings, understood his motivation, his strength, his vulnerability. And all she took was about fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of talking with her and all his guard was down.
Fifteen minutes and he had striped off every guard he had, not worried about the consequences of such openness and honesty.
And while walking home, she spoke. She spoke of her family, her ambition, her likes and dislikes. And surprisingly she spoke with such honestly that he hadn’t heard from any other girl.
He turned another corner, unaware of the distance he had walked, so rapt he was in his thoughts. His home was just about the next corner.
Tomorrow, he thought enthusiastically, Tomorrow I’ll see her again. Tomorrow I’ll ask her out again. Spend more time with her. She was perfect in every sense of the word.
And then he heard her.
“So what’s new?”
He turned and saw a woman of his age, tall and slender get out of a cab. And after seeing her, his smile melted away, all his emotions plummeting to sudden disappointment.
Reality came rushing in, like a giant wave crashing down on his just made sandcastle.
“Nothing” he replied. And in the moment of that one second his guard was up, his former mannerisms were back by habit.
“There is something, I know. After all I have known you for last ten years. I surely know my husband’s mood by now.” She said in mockery.
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