As I lay on the couch all I could think about was her. In a few minutes she’d be here. I would open the door and compliment her; she would blush as she entered. I would then kiss her hand and present her with a rose (how gentlemanly of me!). She would compliment my shirt and I’d dismiss it saying, “Oh I just threw on the first thing I saw“. Then I’d lead her to my room and there we’d spend the rest of the evening lost in each other (not to mention tea and biscuits and the solitary chocolate). This was going to be a day she would never forget. And in all fairness every first should be an everlasting memory. Speaking of firsts, we could have quite a few of those today. Handshake hugs wouldn’t make the cut today, nothing short of warm, loving bear hugs this evening! Maybe I’d peck her on the cheek if she let me. And if it all went really well, we might just have our first kiss. It all sounded very romantic, but I wasn’t quite sure how to initiate a kiss. Everyone always said that when the time is right, you just know it. I could have sworn that it was ‘the right time’ on a million other occasions but my timing had always been bad. Hence I never mustered the courage to try something like that. My friends found it rather odd that we hadn’t even kissed despite dating for so long. I hadn’t really lost much sleep over it, but it had been at the back of my mind. Maybe today I’d have a chance.
Half an hour had passed since the phone call and as expected, she hadn’t arrived yet. I decided to spend the remainder of the wait watching TV, but since nothing but re-runs of the previous night’s soaps were on air, I decided otherwise. Instead I picked up the newspaper and started solving the crossword. Maybe I’d find some new words to impress her with.
Today’s crossword didn’t seem like much of a challenge. A mere 10 mins of down and across was all it took to have it all figured out. Riding high on a wave of confidence, I decided to venture into uncharted territory…Su-Doku. Numbers weren’t my forte, but today there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do. I glanced at the watch and realized that it had almost been an hour since the phone call. I was a bit worried but tried to maintain my composure. ‘She’ll be here any minute now.’ I calmed myself. A minute passed, then two, and then five….still no sign of her. Was she going to show up at all? Was she serious when she said ‘there’s always room for second thoughts’? Oh God, please don’t let there be another guy, I’ll never joke about something like that again. I had just about lost my marbles when the phone rang. It was her.
“Where are you? Everything’s okay na? You had me so worried, you know?” I snapped
“I’m sorry, I really am.” she said apologetically
“Arrey…now don’t be sorry, you should have called me earlier na? You knew I was waiting.”
“Yes but you didn’t have to get all angry. I’m confused as it is.” she defended herself.
“Okay baba, I’m sorry bas. Now would Her Highness be kind enough to inform me where she is and how long she intends to take to arrive here?”
“You won’t get mad at me again, will you?”
“I won’t. You have my word. You can have my head chopped off should I dishonor my word!”
“That won’t be necessary, you’re kind of cute. Now be a good knight and pick me up from the bus stop on the road that goes to the station.” she giggled.
“How the devil did you manage to get yourself there? That’s not even on the way to my house!”
“Well you’ll have to get here to find out, kind sir! I’ll be waiting.”
I hung up thoroughly confused. How could she manage to screw up such basic directions? There was only one person who could explain that and she was waiting at the bus stop. I locked the door and left walking as fast as I could and hailed the first rickshaw I could see.
“Bus stop. Jaldi, bhaiyya” I said.
The driver was more than happy to turn the meter and put the pedal to the medal. Rickshaw-wallahs always enjoyed driving like maniacs especially with the passengers’ consent. After my rickshaw ride from hell I reached the bus-stop. I couldn’t decide whether to get down kiss her or kiss the ground. Mr. Schumacher demanded Rs.15 for the ordeal. Damn it! I didn’t have my wallet. I certainly couldn’t ask her majesty to pay. I started rummaging through my pockets praying that I would find some long forgotten Gandhi somewhere. She understood the situation and intervened saying,
“Why don’t we take this back to your place? I’ll pay. After all, if it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have had to come here in the first place.”
The driver looked more than happy to take us for another roller-coaster ride.
I sighed…“Chalo bhaiyya. Let’s go back where we came from.”
“Haan sahab, ekdum fast leke chaloonga.” he said stressing on ‘fast’.
“Nahi bhaiyya, abhi to hamari shaadi bhi nahi hui.” she said and both of us broke out into a fit of laughter. We then hugged me and she kissed me on the cheek saying “Thank you brave sir!”
“It was an honor, your majesty.” I took her hand in mine and paused a moment to let it all sink in. Our most memorable evening had just begun….