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‘So where is my guide taking me today?’ she showed some concerns.

 

‘Any special place you want to visit, madam?’ I tried to impress her.

 

‘I’d like to eat first. I am really hungry’ came the reply.

 

‘Is there any Chinese restaurant around? I love Chinese,’ she revealed her taste.

 

‘Chinese?’ I thought to myself. ‘Chinese cuisine in Nepal costs an arm and a leg. Plus, it is not exactly a date to pay all by myself. I even don’t know if she is single or not. I would pay the bill happily but I’ll surely regret it later if she turns out to be in a relationship. That would be a formal robbing by her. What about a GTPS (Going together Paying Separate)? Well, that won’t impress her either. Ah! What a situation, trapped either way,’ I thought.

 

Okay, I admit I asked her out; so literally, I got to pay the bill. But come on……

 

‘Any problem?’ She broke the silence forcing me to shut my imaginations.

 

‘No, let’s go. I will take you to a good place.’

 

I took her to the best Chinese Restaurant in the town. But to my amazement, the same Kathmandu seemed the best place on the earth when she was with me. The two well-dressed Chinese girls on the either side of the door bowed their heads joining their hands just to welcome us. There was no point on focusing their position as they were fully dressed from neck to the ankle. But I joined my hands and replied to their gestures. Arati smiled and I was wowed.

 

We selected the place with a road-view near the window. The window had no gorgeous scenes to offer than an irritating view of the packed road of Kathmandu. As we perched there, a Chinese guy with less hair in his face than a bald man’s head appeared with a menu and grinned two meters away from us. To be honest, he was hardly 25 and looked more handsome than me too (I got to admit it, unwantedly.) But who cared? I was the one with the stunning girl, not him.

 

‘You order’, I pushed the menu towards Arati. ‘I am not usual to these Chinese items.’

 

Perhaps she was stunned by my statement but she nodded and glanced the items listed in the menu. The Chinese waiter seemed ready to jot down the items. He waited with his pen’s cap open.

 

‘Two Orange juices. Fresh ones. Two Apple Dumplings with vanilla ice-cream and two Chinese noodles.’ She gave the order and that Chinese guy finally gave some privacy to us.

 

‘Dumpling?’ I asked back.

 

‘I bet you know dumpling. You have tasted it before. They are called Mo:Mo: here.’ She clarified.

 

 

‘Oh momo? I love it.’ I said to comfy her.

 

‘But you see, Apple Dumpling is special and can be eaten with ice-cream. I so much adore it.’ She licked her lips in an imagination of ice-cream as she told about the apple dumpling. I got to admit that she looked sexy when she did that.

 

‘But God! Why do these girls adore chocolates and ice-creams so much? Sometimes I wonder if humans could marry ‘things’, most of the girls would probably marry chocolates or ice-creams. Nevertheless, that also reveals the weak part of the girls. Whenever we (boys) have to make them happy, we, without a second thought, can buy them a packet of chocolates or liters of ice-cream. That’s one of the easiest ways to get pinched in the cheeks or hugged tightly.’ I said to myself.

 

‘Hmm, I think I should just observe you and even offer my apple dumpling to you because girls look prettier when they eat ice-cream.’ I flirted.

 

She giggled and bit her lips. I bet she looked the best at that very moment.

 

By then we were already having the cool sips of orange juice that the waiter brought when we were in the middle of the conversation. I, time and again, glanced at her and wished that she was single. She, in the meanwhile, played with her hair rubbernecking at the ugly streets. I noticed there was no ring on her fingers and I punched the air in delight on my imagination.

 

‘Here’s your Apple Dumpling with Vanilla ice-cream’, the young Chinese grinned.

 

‘Thank You’, she said smiling at him. (I could die infinite times just for the sake of that smile)

 

An apple dumpling was nothing but a pastry filled with applecinnamon and raisins are mostly eaten with ice cream or in milk. Apples were peeled and cored, placed on a portion of dough, then filled with cinnamon and sugar. Then the dough was folded over the apples and the dumplings were baked until tender.

 

She was already in her favorite dumpling. She seemed to be enjoying that like she had missed it for ages. So I too took the spoon and had a go at it.

 

‘Akash?’ she called my name real sweet. (I realized how sweet your name sounds when the lovely girl calls you with all her tenderness) ‘Are you single?’

 

I nearly dropped my plate in quite an amazement. I was surprised and stared at her with big eyes. The thing I couldn’t ask her was asked by her with ease. ‘Is this girl forward? Or is there any hidden power in that apple dumpling?’ I wondered. Heavens! I should have bitten the very dumpling first; I thought and remained quiet not blinking my eyes.
——————————————————————————–

 

‘Akash? Akash? Where is your mind?’ She poked me. ‘Did you have to wait long?’ I am sorry, I am a bit late.’ She said to me.

 

‘What?’ I was startled. I was in front of the gate of that very Park where we met earlier. And all I did was dream of her. I glanced at my digital watch, 14:10 was the time and literally she was late to arrive. Mathematically, she was10 minutes late and my dream lasted for 40 minutes. I felt shy when I supposed what people have thought about me? ‘A new gatekeeper of the park in good dress?’ I cursed myself for being a dreamer.

 

‘No. Not at all. Just in time’, I made her feel cozy and forced a smile though I was fucked up inside.

 

‘So sweet’, she smirked in the same typical girly way which I adored. This proved I was head over heels in love with her.

 

‘Let’s go then’ she pulled me and I followed her as if I were the new face of the town and she was my guide.

 

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