The First of Many…

She checked herself in the mirror again. Simply dressed in her favorite yellow top and the off white skirt which reached a little below her knees, she seemed to have done fine with herself. She had stuck to her no make-up policy but for a change had lined her eyes with kohl. She prayed that she doesn’t rub her eyes in carelessness and end up messing them. She was on schedule. The meeting was fixed at 12 o’ clock. She wasn’t one of those who kept people waiting. While stepping out, she did a quick check of her mental checklist as her habit was. The three things without which she never left her place

Wallet. Check
Keys. Check
Phone. Check

All set, she left her place. She’d decided that just for today she’d be a little generous on herself and hire a cab. The place was around 20 minutes drive away sans the traffic. But as it was almost noon it was no where possible to reach in 20 minutes. She hailed for the cab and didn’t have to struggle much to get one. While she’d started only, her phone started ringing. She smiled at the name on the caller id. Trying hard to hide her excitement she picked up and said,

“Hi” ….”I’ve just left”…”Oh! You’ve already reached! But the decided time was 12 right ?”

The reply from the other side made her blush. She smiled a sweet smile and automatically her eyes lowered. The cab went on and so did the call. After about 10 minutes the cab pulled over the side of the road. A confused look came upon her. It was not her destination. She excused herself from the call and asked the cab driver as to what had happened.

“Ma’am I’m sorry but my cab has broken down. I’ll find you another cab.”

A little disappointed she got off from the cab and paid the necessary amount to the driver. She felt relieved when the driver was able to get another cab for her as it was a place where one didn’t get cabs easily. She looked at her watch. It was almost going to be 12. She was tad irritated at the time that got wasted without any fault of hers. But then she realized that it was no point getting irritated. She had already dropped a sms with respect to the cause of the delay, so she was a bit relieved when she received a positive reply. The cab moved on to its onward journey and her heart fluttered with anticipation as the time of meeting neared.

She arrived at the meeting place 5 minutes late. It was not that big a deal but then she was still feeling bad about it. She walked warily towards the theatre building. There were few people on the theatre courtyard roaming, standing. She didn’t want to draw people’s attention towards her and so she dashed straight into the theatre building even though she knew that the one whom she has come to meet would be standing in the courtyard waiting for her. She knew she could risk this action as they had never met. Yes! This was their first meeting.

He had been waiting for her since past 20 minutes. No she was not the one who was late. It was he who was early. He had already called her up and he knew that she was on her way. He didn’t know how she looked. She had sounded nice and sweet in all those phone calls but then he was a human after all and was dying in anticipation. The clock was ticking away and it was becoming harder for him to keep his excitement low.

In one of their unending calls he had asked her how she looked. She seemed a bit upset at first. And then she had said that she was fat and dark in complexion, to which he had replied saying, “Are you kidding?” after listening to which she had become very upset. She sounded hurt and had concluded the phone call quickly after that. He had felt very guilty of asking that question and at his reaction to her answer. It took him a lot to convince her later that it was just a casual question and it really didn’t matter whether she was fat or slim or fair or dark.

They had come into each other’s contact through a common friend. She needed to apply for a job and her friend had given her his contact after forwarding her resume to him. Initially they had spoken on purely official matters. Even though there was no vacancy in his office he had tried to help her through his contacts in other offices. Later even he didn’t remember as to when those plain official calls turned into friendly ones and slowly they seemed to be talking to each other, texting each other during most part of the days.
He stood there in the courtyard of the cinema theatre keeping a keen watch on every girl passing by. There was a girl in green shirt and black jeans, wheatish in complexion, holding few books and standing. Then there was this gang of girls who apparently seemed to have bunked college as they were all giggly. He stood there like a cornered mouse that was unable to make any action. He was early and so he had no other option but to wait. Suddenly he saw a girl entering the theatre premises hurriedly. She was fat and dusky in complexion. He saw her going inside the theatre. She stood there and took out her phone and started dialing, as she dialed he waited with bated breath for his phone to ring. He was glad that his phone was in silent mode. He was thinking of fleeing away from the spot just then when he heard the fat girl shouting at someone over the phone. He took a deep breath in relief. He was somewhat glad that the fat female didn’t turn out to be his date.

Date! Was she his date? Yeah that’s what he had called it and she had laughed a hearty laugh. He had called it their Blind Date. She was well inside the theatre building and knew no one had paid attention seeing her go inside. She didn’t know why she did this. May be she just wanted to ready herself. She took in few deep breaths and tried to calm herself down. She took out her phone and dialed his number. It rang once… twice… and finally it was answered.

“Hello” he said.

“Hi” said she, “I am here, where are you?”

“You’re here? Where? I can’t see you!
I’m standing in the theatre courtyard”

“Oh! I came inside, wait I’ll come outside.”

“What are you wearing?” and as soon as he said it he saw a girl in yellow top and off-white skirt coming down the stairs.

“Are you the one in the yellow dress?”

“Yes… Where are you?” and then she saw a guy waving at her with a phone in hand and a big smile on his face.

He was just the way she had expected him to be. Not very tall. Slightly taller than her. Not someone who stands out in the crowd but there was something about his eyes. She couldn’t really stop herself from staring at them.

Captivating! That twinkle in his eyes was something she had never ever seen in anybody’s eyes before. She smiled at him and extended her hand, “Hi! I am Jessica”.

“Hi! Jessica, I am Matt” said he taking her hand and shaking it slightly. She was just not what he had expected her to be. At least not at all the way she looked. Where he was expecting a dark, fat girl and here he was standing before this fair petite girl with dark brown hair which reached just till her shoulders.

His head was flooded with voices and thoughts. He wanted to confirm for once whether he has got the right girl but then he refrained from doing so. He was a person who could speak for hours and today he found himself so confused that he didn’t know what to say. He found her looking at him with that wonderful smile on her face. He couldn’t stop noticing how her eyes almost closed when she smiled. The only word that popped in his head when he saw her was ‘CUTE’.

“Okay… So we finally meet.” said Jessica. “Errmmm… what now?”

And that brought him back to the present. “Ummm! I think we have a lot of catching up to do. Do you like coffee? ‘Cos if you do, then I know a perfect place where we can go.”

“Sounds nice! I like coffee”, she said smiling at him.

“Great then, it is nearby so we can walk down.” saying so, he led the way for her. They started walking down the footpath of that crowded main road. He asked her with regards the problem that happened with the cab while she was on her way and she very animatedly gave away the entire story. He was trying to concentrate on her ways and actions, but that smile kept distracting him.

She was well aware that he was constantly looking at her. Even though he did it under the pretence of listening to her speak. That did make her conscious and as was her habit she avoided looking at him and went on speaking. She at times stole glances at him and tried hard to control herself from blushing when he caught her doing so.

They reached the cafe after about 10 minutes. He seemed to know the waiter over there and they were immediately ushered to a table near the glass wall from where the street was clearly visible. It was a nice little patisserie cum cafe. They ordered for their respective coffee and sat chatting.

He came across as a very amiable person, with a good sense of humor. She laughed most of the times while he chatted away. She was not someone who could talk much but then today she found herself talking more than she normally did. He constantly smiled at her and it was becoming difficult for her to control herself from blushing. She still avoided looking straight in his eyes.
He could sense that she was some what nervous. He saw her fidgeting her fingers initially and later toying with the spoon in her coffee mug. She kept looking at her coffee most of the times. He had caught her stealing glances at him during many occasions and that thrilled him. He loved the way color rose in her cheeks when his eyes caught hers.

They spoke about everything they had to. None of them actually cared what they were speaking. She liked that this guy was making her laugh more than she usually did and he liked the way she laughed and enjoyed his humor. Time went by and soon it was time for her to leave. She couldn’t help expressing her disbelief when she realized that they have sat in that cafe talking straight for 3 hours.

“Oh! God, it’s almost 4 o’ clock. I should be leaving now.” said Jessica. A look of disappointment crossed his face. “Oh Yeah! I’m sorry even I didn’t realize the time.” said Matt trying to conceal his disappointment. “Can I drop you somewhere?” he asked. ” Err… It’s ok I think I’ll be able to manage.” she said. “See even you would be taking a cab and even I would be doing the same, so let’s just share it to the common point and then we can go our ways.” suggested Matt. That made sense. And so she agreed. They hailed a cab and while the cab whizzed past the traffic, both wished for it to slow down.

He ended up leaving her to her exact location and she felt really happy at this gesture of his. As the cab stalled in front her house, they both ended their conversation and said their goodbyes. As she was about to get down, she looked back at him, again smiled that wonderful smile of hers and said, “It was nice meeting you Matt. See you soon.” Saying so, she got down and walked down her porch, and for the last time turned back again and waved at him. He waved back at her and that was when the cab started.

She was angelic. He couldn’t help thinking about those 3 hrs they spent together. He didn’t obviously want them to end. Her smile was drilled deep in his mind. And he couldn’t help smiling at her ways. She wasn’t the beauty with striking features but she sure was a charmer. He was lost in her thoughts and that was when his phone beeped. He had received a sms. He checked it and suddenly he felt the vacuum that had been created in his heart being filled.He smiled at his phone and started replying back.

Her phone beeped and he hurriedly grabbed her phone to check the reply. And there it was… “Today I met the most beautiful girl I’ve seen till date… And I think it’s just first of many more such occasions to come. Looking forward to meet you again Jess, if I can call you so.”

She blushed hard after reading the message and while she was recovering from it, her phone beeped again. One more message. And this was what it said, “The pink tinge on your cheeks when you blush, the way you’re blushing now, makes you even more beautiful. I hope I get many more chances to see you that way.” she smiled at the phone and started replying back.

They both knew it was just the start.Start of a very long session of exchanging numerous messages that will be saved, read and re-read many more times in the days to come. Start of something exceptionally beautiful. Start of something more than just friendship. Start of a new beginning. Start of a new story.