I am five minutes late and almost sure that this is going to be one of those dates where I end up without any story and not liking the guy anyway. He had been a gentleman and waited outside the metro station. I knew it was him but I call him up anyway just to make sure. He recognized me and smiled. He offered me a ride on his bike which obviously had to be Royal Enfield for this 6 feet 1 inch tall guy who had shed enough sweat at the gym. I made a pass and we walked around trying to find a place to grab some coffee. Finally, I took him to a cafe I had been to several times with my friends or by myself in the unavoidable urge to get some coffee. He sat right across me. Almost blushing and barely looking up. When I point this out to him he says, ‘Well, ammm, actually this is my very first date’. What?!? Listening to this my eyes open wide with excitement at the thought that finally I get to be a senior in dating in front of a guy who would be otherwise deemed as a hunk with the typical men-like traits.
He’s beautiful. I tell him. I know he wanted to kill me for saying that out loud and his big ego was crumpled but he could do nothing at all except controlling the expression he almost allowed to spread across his face. I was at extreme pleasure and to add cherry on top of the cake I made him accept the compliment and taught him to say thank you. He obeyed the lady! Oh man. He’s really a gentleman or just new to the whole dating game? I was too busy acting like a senior/pro and interviewing him on the DATE but later on I was left wondering beyond what I had expected. This man looked 28, dressed like 25, his tinder bio said 24, turned out to be 23, behaved 17, smiled like 15 and laughed like 12. What? What are you gawking at? The tinder date or the fact that I was pretty much going to be head over heels for this otherwise substitute date for the guy who was too hungover at new year’s to make it to the venue the next evening? The waiter arrived at our table. My date at that moment ordered cappuccino and I went for black coffee, extra strong. He stared at me. The way he looked at me made it clear that he was astonished by my answers and also the questions. He was letting me be the boss and I was savouring my fair share. The coffee arrived and the waiter mixed up our orders. Looking at this he remarked while making a face and mocking me, ‘Who drinks black coffee this bitter at this time of the day?’. ‘Duh! I do’, I rolled my eyes, laughed and got my order straight. Now out of the two options on the table- coffee and him, the former was more tempting. Since the date was sudden and neither of us knew much about each other we started discussing about education and career. I mean why not! He told me that he had applied in universities across Europe for Master’s programme and to this I almost yawned and started lecturing him how it is not a very wise choice to go to foreign land just for the sake of degree you are not even interested in and the “hip” lifestyle. That is when he stops me saying, ‘Excuse me! I might look like I don’t study at all but I am quite motivated and intelligent enough. I stood first in my class just because my mom asked me to study and give up on the brawls I picked up in college’. A show off, but cares about his mother so much- cute! I think. After the coffee I made him walk again. While exiting the cafe I held the door for him. This added to a bit of his dilemma but I was so happy and excited about being the chivalrous one that I couldn’t help my silly yet sophisticated gestures. I even mentioned this to him. I also told him that I am seeing a friend of mine afterwards and he’ll be coming somewhere around here itself. This friend of mine was actually a back up to get done with an otherwise boring date early and still get back home late. Somehow the date turned into something nice and I ended up liking to know about this new guy a bit more, so I forgot to pick my friend’s call and he was now running late. Anyways, the date decided to wait for him with me. A bonus I guess, this was the time when I got to know “in theory” that he cooks well and we had a little talk about the world war, Nazis and Mein Kampf. Now that is a subject that I picked up to read long time ago but had to give up in between due to some deadlines. It was really impressive that he knew so much more about the world war than I did. Plus, he wasn’t anti-Hitler. This was the time that the nerd in me got glitter in her eyes. Damn you, world war! Damn you, Hitler! I was looking at his lips a little and he was taking glimpses of mine. We knew what we wanted but it would have been too early and awkward to state that already. So, we kept talking.
Finally, my friend arrived. I introduced the two out of general courtesy. My friend started asking him questions like a big brother would and I had to interrupt him in between reminding him that we two just met so he needs to shut up. This put my date to relief. Let’s call him Willy Wonka for now. So, Willy Wonka hugged me and we left. My friend stated, ‘looks like your date went well’. ‘Yeah! It was fun. I had a nice time. I might meet him again but I am not dating him’, I replied.
‘And why not?’
‘I don’t want to be in love. It’s a weird feeling. It’s just not meant for me.’
With this we made sure that we never talk about this again.
When I reached home my inbox had a text from Willy Wonka that asked if I was home. We spent the night talking and texting and even confessing that we wanted to kiss each other. We were up for a second date. I made him walk, again. He was sick of it but had no choice. I told him, ‘You know I really like to walk while talking to new people. This wades off a lot of awkward questions and unnecessary eye contacts’.
‘Oh, so you think this is awkward.’ He laughed, now able to figure out that I was just pretending to be the senior earlier.
‘No no! Not at all. This is very comforting rather which makes it really awkward for me. I mean I have been acting like myself all along and I don’t feel the urge to impress you or something. Like this is coming out so naturally. Otherwise I give guys a really hard time.’ I made a morbidly honest confession.
‘So comfort is awkward for you?’ Man, Willy Wonka was witty. Let’s call him Johnny Depp now, not that he looks anything like Depp.
While we were walking across the most cliched but we-got-no-other-option place in Delhi- CP- we took a hault at the Oxford bookstore . That is a place which comes along with abundance of memories for me. He took me there accidentally and I just wouldn’t shut up from telling him about all the friends and people I had been there with and for what all reasons. I even went through a few books and that is when boredom dawned across his face. Realising this, we moved to Chai Bar across the room. He liked his tea and knew how, so I decided that he should order for both of us. We kept on talking. My intelligent talks had turned to playful babbling by now. This is how comfortable we were. Plus, Johnny Depp didn’t speak much- which is always a bonus. The GUR chai arrived. The city girl in me brimmed with excitement at the thought of trying something that came from Haryana. Well, yeah he was from Haryana and I found him being “desi” attractive. I could not drink beyond a sip. I pretended it was alright when it wasn’t. He laughed and told me to stop drinking it. I couldn’t have been more grateful! While he had a good time with tea I had great time holding his pretty hands. His were much stronger than mine. While walking around circles we poured our hearts out. He told me that he was coming this close to someone after his ex-girlfriend for the very first time which was a thing long ago. We should have stopped right there.
I turned out to be his first kiss. We started dating each other. We even had our “Jewish foreplay” during which he went for push ups to enhance his chest muscles. This charade of beautiful little things continued for two months. Then one day his love faded. May be it was just infatuation on his part. Two months is enough time in today’s fast paced dating scenario but it doesn’t suffice the old school romance. It isn’t enough for me to fall out of love and start with a new story right away. When he came- he gave meanings to a few songs, and when he left- a lot more songs started making sense. Some of these are even unbearable now. Well, I am left with questions that I’ll never find answer to. One of them being what was it? Why was it? His pictures that once made me adore him now leave me angry, confused and with a bunch of feelings that I don’t understand. It is said that embrace the good moments and also break ups happen for good reason. Plus, breaking up is a real phenomenon. This is exactly what I plan to remind myself each and every day until I finally stop thinking about him and the time we had together. I am sure that once Willy Wonka and Johnny Depp, now turned into Mad Hatter will definitely become the invisible Man soon. But how soon is the trouble!