“What took you so long?’
That’s what I think she said. With not a little amusement.
I wasn’t through with fumbling and stammering yet.
“Uh..actually I was..er..I am not sure..what??”
“Nothing. How are you?”
“I?? Uh..um..yeah yeah, fine. I mean, yes, I’m good.”
“Aren’t you going to ask how I am?”
“What? Uh…yes. Sorry. I mean, yes, how are you?..”
And thus began a conversation that lasted for 2 hours and covered the 9 years that we had missed of each other’s lives. It was not romantic by any means. It was simple, old-fashioned catching up. We checked on mutual friends and acquaintances, teachers and food-joints, chicks and hunks, results and schools, everything. And in the process, I think we both discovered, to a mutual delight, that none of us had ever actually forgotten the other. As we talked through the afternoon, we learned of occasions where we had seen each other, conversations where we had heard of each other, and not a few moments when we had remembered each other. She gently coaxed me out of a nervous breakdown and drew me into a candid conversation. As for her, it was my first encounter with her wicked sense of humor, an unusual amount of common-sense and a penchant for frankness that bordered on indifference. And I loved all of it, of course.
The conversation also had its own ups and downs. She was rightly furious when I sheepishly admitted to making blank calls to her number. She was also, to my delight, a little hesitant and embarrassed when I asked why she stared at me whenever we came across each other on the street.
Now, wait. I’m not saying both of us had definitely fallen in love with each other by then. I wasn’t even aware of how exactly one is supposed to feel or what exactly one is supposed to experience in order to qualify for that much coveted tag “In Love”. All I knew was that I felt good. And that was good enough.
To return to that to conversation, as it drew to a close after two whole hours, I hesitantly asked if she’d be willing to meet some day.
“Why?” She asked instantly. It wasn’t resentment or suspicion. It was just frank and open curiosity.
“I don’t have a reason.” I replied honestly. “We can forget it if you don’t want to.”
“I’m busy tomorrow,” She said, “the day after suit you?”
We hung up agreeing to meet, of all places, in front of the local Police Station in two days time. When that day came, probably for the first time in my life I spent some serious time in front of the mirror. The objective was to strike just the right balance between “I’ve taken great care to create a good impression” and “I don’t care what her impression is.”
To this day, I don’t know if I succeeded.
Anyways, I showed up 20 minutes before our mutually agreed time.
To my amusement, she showed up 5 minutes later.
Previous Chapters of the series, in case you’re interested :
- The Road to Ithaca – 8 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 7 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 6 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 5 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 4 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 3 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 2 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 1 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)