She was waiting for him in front of the restaurant on a wintry evening. The breeze flew through her hair, gently unwinding them. Mumbling, she checked her hair in the pocket mirror. She was a petite woman in her late twenties. Certainly a head-turner in her college days, but the undulating work in the consulting job had taken toll of her. But still, the charm was there! Her favorite pink dress was endowed with matching earrings ‘These men never come on time!’ she muttered.
Her mind went back a year, when both of them joined the consulting firm as fresh MBA grads from IIM Lucknow. He was a charming person. Very friendly, helpful and focused on work! Both of them were in the same training program and then ended up in the same team in AT Kearney Mumbai office. It all started when their team had gone for an outing to Khandala when both of them had lazed behind. He liked her company, she was pretty, mature and understanding! Both of them enjoyed good food, good music and movies and became quite close friends over the time.
She still remembered when she was promoted to senior associate level while he wasn’t. And in fact he was happier than her for her promotion! And that was the day since she started liking him, ‘A sporty guy with a big heart’, she had thought! Weekends, night walks, cell phone, google talk, the more they spent time together, the more she liked him. They had spent together almost 6 months, then she decided,’enough is enough; I am going to ask him!’ For her, he was the dream man, the handsome prince. He was the man of character, of conviction, of belief! And she wanted to go ahead in the relationship. She spent hours surfing the internet, trying to search the best lines. ‘We are going to meet this weekend’, she had thought while memorizing those line.
And then the news came, all of a sudden. He was going to Uncle Sam’s land for a 6-month assignment. He was supposed to leave in 2 days time. Her dreams were shattered, it was too little a time to discuss about relationships, and she just couldn’t stop crying. But she had no choice but to remain composed, she managed though it was quite tough. At the airport, he told her,” Keep in touch!” and his waving hand left. ‘That’s pretty interesting ‘, she thought.
“Keep in touch”. ‘Huh? These are all fake emotions. People never keep in touch. The world is disguised by sugary faces and honey on the tongues. Did he really mean it? '.Too many thoughts, my mind is getting bamboozled', she thought,’ Time for a hot chocolate!’ She went to the Airport canteen.
And Skype helped them to remain in touch. The number of hours that they chatted per day averaged more than 4 hours. She just forgot about the geographical distance. And suddenly, he told her that he is coming to Mumbai next week. She was so elated! She treated herself with an ice-cream.
She loved him, and she was going to see him again after almost 6 months .She had wanted to do this for a very long time now.... and tonight she was going to tell him....
And suddenly her cheeks turned red, she saw her man walking towards the restaurant. He looked so handsome in his Armani suit. Her heartbeats increased,’ It has to be this time!’ She was nervous but was trying her best to meet her composure. In the mean time, the best guy in the world was next to her; they hugged, exchanged pleasantries and walked inside the restaurant.
The dinner was ordered, and they started talking. He took her in arms. She felt the romance in the air. Looking at him, she gave a smile. Her eyes were full of dreams, she was going to propose him and they were going to get married, and live happily ever after. She would see him everyday morning at breakfast, give a goodbye kiss when they leave for office - life would be perfect. ‘Yes, I want a perfect life. Don’t fret, go on! Be positive!’ She took a deep breath, and drank a glass of water. The blood ran into her brain, after all in a short while, she was going to say those lines , he will be positive to her and the rest will be history! But she just couldn’t believe her ears.’ This is just not possible’, she gasped. She felt like losing consciousness. The nervousness started gripping her. She pinched herself. Her clothes were drenched; her face was full of tears. The man of character was sitting next to her with arms around her and the same person was merrily talking about drug binges and one-night stands that he had in USA. Her mind went numb. Her smile went awry; the glass in her hand was shattered to pieces.
It was not at all a perfect dinner! It was not at all a perfect date!