The first meeting is always special – and she knew the drill by now.
First, look for a sucker. Identifying them wasn’t such a huge deal. All she had to do was look for the ones with the glazed eyes, a foolish smile & a lost expression on their faces. Okay, so the foolish smile was a red herring – I was just checking if you were paying attention.
Second, position self. If the sucker had been already primed, the position was automatically decided – somewhere in the area swept by the corner of the eye, but well away from the blind spot. Obviously, if you want to get noticed, what’s the use of settling in the blind spot, eh?
Third, call-out, but do NOT make it too obvious. A sly glimpse, a sneak peek, a quick glance – barely visible but enough to get noticed. Making your presence felt was what was important. Once this step was complete, the rest of it was a cakewalk, all downhill, easy as pie – you get the drift…
Sometimes, there would be a fourth step, too – nudge. More often than not, this step came into play only if the sucker was engrossed in something else, or had too many things on their mind, or – as it had happened in some in some extreme cases – had A.D.D.
Only the patient ones stayed back for step four. Tonight, she did not count herself among the patient ones.
He was staring into the distance with eyes wide open and there was just a hint of a lopsided grim on his face.
Right, let’s get on with step one, she thought to herself & started towards him. Curiously, as she made her way towards him, he couldn’t help but think that she seemed to float on something – like a cushion of air, or rather, “on seemingly nothing” – to put it in an award-winning author’s words.
It seemed as if she was waiting for someone to latch on to her – which is exactly what he decided he would do.
Pure love is a feeling that is hard to describe, they say. He knew *exactly* what they meant.
Ever since he’d met her, he’d ‘latched’ on to her. He’d ‘explored’ her in ways he did not know existed. She had shown him ‘avenues’ that excited him. He felt a passion he’d never felt before. Put it simply, he almost worshipped her.
Almost. Until IT happened.
He was gazing lovingly into her eyes, conjuring up images of a pretty future. She seemed a little distant…
He knew that would cheer her up – it always did. But all it brought forth this time from her was, “Hey, yourself…”
“Something on your mind?”
“We need to talk…”
The words hit him with the force of a zillion animals in a stampede. Coincidentally, the same stampede could be used to describe the over-crowding of thoughts that was to happen shortly.
Curiously enough, the first question that popped into his head wasn’t ‘Where’s my cigarette?’ It was more on the lines of ‘Wow! Has it been that long?’
And that set him thinking. ‘No wait, it’s been barely three months! But wow, that was fast!’ Each thought appeared as if out of nowhere, just as each animal in the aforementioned stampede would ‘seem’ to appear.
Anyway, he knew what was coming next, so he mentally braced himself for the impact.
“Sure, go ahead, tell me…”
“Where are we headed?”
Okay, that was blunt. Aren’t women supposed to be coy, coquettish, indirect, hint at, whatever with these sort of things? Is she allowed to be this blunt? Isn’t that a foul? Oh, there isn’t, right? Well, there should be! Anyway…
“I’m not sure I understand…”
That’s right! If she’s not gonna be indirect, I’ll be the one who’s indirect! One way or the other: STALL!!
“Oh c’mon! You don’t need to act thick! You know *exactly* what I mean! If you are going to be difficult about it – here – let me put it in plain words. Are you going to take our relationship to the next level or not?”
Damn. There was no escaping this one. One last attempt, maybe?
“Now, babe, listen to me…”
“DON’T ‘BABE’ ME!!”
Okay, so there was NO escaping this one.
Most animals, when faced with death, end up doing one of the following two things – ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. Human males, when confronted by an extremely emotional, highly-strung woman are known to do the same – except, in this case, the fights are dirty & the flights usually end up in Switzerland or oblivion. He quickly weighed his options & realized that he would have to use his ultimate weapon.
Yes, it would destroy her, but it was a matter of survival – HIS survival.
He took a deep breath & summoned the words from the deep, dark recesses of his mind, and began…
“Okay, I’m going to be totally honest with you, here. It’s not you, it’s me…”
She stepped out of his life as quickly, but not as wholesome, as she had entered it. She sighed – it was not the first time she’d made such an error of judgement. It was good while it lasted. She had left him something to remember her – not that he cared, but she always left a little part of herself wherever she went. Most of them usually found out about it much later.
‘What is it about committment that scares them so much? It’s just a leap of faith, isn’t it? What don’t they have? The courage to leap? Or the faith?’ she muttered aloud, but no answers were forthcoming.
Oh well, back to the grind, she thought, back to step one.
You could have easily identified him from the rest of the crowdcoming out of the movie screening simply by looking at the expressions. While the others were simply in awe, his face had ‘disbelief’ written in large, capital letters on it.
“Dude! Did you watch it? Did you understand it? IT WAS AWESOME!!”
“Speechless, eh? Yeah! Me, too! It was so friggin’ amazing, wasn’t it?!”
“Don’t be rude! Say something, dude!”
“HE STOLE MY IDEA!!”
“I’m not kidding! I had the very same idea a few months back! I had a good thing going with it. I planned to do something huge with it. Yeah, I had put it on the backburner for a while to deal with a few other things – but NO! He just HAD to go make a movie out of it, no?!”
“Well, what can I say?! If you aren’t ready to commit, maybe there’s someone out there who is able & willing. Finder’s keepers, remember?”
Author: Shrikant Joshi
Blog: 42 Quirks