Of Winters and First Dates - This Free Soul
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— Of Winters and First Dates

“Really? We are seeing each other tonight?”, I ask him.

“Yes! I shall be there at 9:00 pm.”

I smile and beam and feel the butterflies in my tummy. I catch a glimpse of my reflection. My face is all smeared in chocolate patches and I let out a groan. How on Earth am I supposed to go out on a date with this face and no time to clean myself up? Baker life is tough! I dig out tissues from my bag and scrub my face clean. I wrap up my work and wait. A long wait actually. I was a bag of nerves and could not stop peeking through the windows. My phone chimes and I read the text. “Can we reschedule? I am swamped at work. I’m sorry babe.” My face fell, I shall not lie about it but I was kind of thankful. Who wears a Mickey Mouse turtleneck to a first date? Well it was NOT going to be me! So I go about my day (night)..

After we scheduled, rescheduled and cancelled quite a couple of dates, he called me one fine day. My hands were full of bags and I was in the middle of a busy market. All I needed was a deep voiced Hello from the other end of the line to make me drop my bags..(because butter fingers cannot handle everything on her plate). “I am definitely seeing you tonight!” I nod as if he could see me right now but I realize it soon after. “Yep! Totally. see you around 9:00 pm?” I disconnect the phone and smile like an idiot. I see my mom staring at me with dangerous silence. I look down and see the mess at my feet. I hastily stuff everything back and walk away in silence before I get the bonus disco version of ‘How clumsy are you? Ft. Maa’

***

It is 9:45 pm or something and I was engrossed in a deep discussion with a friend at the café. I did not realize what time it is. I was busy fixing coffee for a gentleman when I turned around and saw him standing right behind me. No, the time did not stand still but I did, for a moment, maybe in my head.

I excuse myself for 10 mins as I wrap up orders. I occasionally looked up only to see him either smiling or waiting or just looking around. It was really strange seeing someone waiting for me. The good kind of strange. I take a deep breath, steady my nerves and walk up to his table. “Shall we?”, I ask, as he smiles and gets up.  Just as we were heading out the door, I stop dead in my tracks. The table right in front of me is a mess and I need to organize the stirrers, sugar holders and tiny trays on it. I wanted to ignore it; then this tiny voice in my head said, “You know you will not stop thinking about it all throughout dinner!” So yes, I put everything on the table perpendicular to each other, cleaned up most of the imaginary crumbs and invisible dust, sanitized, washed and moisturized my hands. Now that I was satisfied with what I did, I was ready to grab dinner.

But the damage had been done. I think he smirked a little or maybe he let out a silent prayer.. In my defense, I tried to stop myself from doing what I did. I whole heartedly tried. I groaned inwardly as a thought crossed my mind. “He is never walking through these doors again unless he has a gun to his head.”

***

It’s been a month probably since our first date AND he is still here (voluntarily). He is my favorite face I see in my café. Now, he probably doesn’t think I am crazy, (maybe he already knows and has made his peace with it). On our first date, he called for an extra plate of fries and smirked while I was passing on my wisdom on sore throat remedies. Dummy Playbook 101. “Don’t educate a vocalist on what soothes a sore throat. He sings more than you talk”

When my fingers brushed against his, he thought I was a vampire because I always have ice-cold fingers. Now, he does not flinch when I touch him with my icy fingers, he holds them closer till I am warm and toasty like him..and then he doesn’t let go.

Here’s to the first..of many.

#FromDelhiWithLove

***

 

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