“I am a vegan.” Boom.
“I love rainy season.” Boom. Boom.
“And I love Taylor Swift.” Boom. Boom. Boom.
The person sitting by me in the café is telling about her likes and dislikes. And I’m already getting a feeling that it is not going to work. How can it work when she is just the opposite of me?
I am a nonvegetarian. I cannot have a single meal without a few pieces of chicken.
I hate rainy season. The water drip-drop-drip-drop all over the road. I cannot ride the bike properly due to muddy roads and water-filled puddles. I am half-drenched when I reach the office, half-wet throughout the day – the clothes sticking to my skin, leaving me cold. How can one even love those troublemaker rainy days?
And I can’t stand Swiftie. Always singing about her exes and stabbing them after the break-up. Come on. Grow up. Who cares whom you dated, anyway? I wonder why people do not get weary of her songs. The same you belong with me-love story-trouble-shake it off-we are never getting back together cycle gets me bored to death.
So you can see, my first blind date is getting me nowhere. Therefore, I need to end it real quick. A whole Saturday is wasted. I could have stayed home and watched some of my favorite horror series.
We met on an online dating site. And I asked her out right away. Thought it might be a bit too late to wait for a few days but thinking now, may be it was a bit too early. Should have waited for a week at least.
“So what are your loves’ and hates’?” She asks me while sipping the tea I ordered.
Who on earth says hates’ and loves’? I have never heard it before. Why can’t you simply say likes and dislikes? Ugggh. The drama with the vocabulary. Waste. Total waste of a precious once in a seven day Saturday.
I try to smile. I can’t but I fake one. “I cannot work properly on rainy days. So, I hate rain.” I am taking a peek at her while saying this and am kind of expecting her change of expressions. It may be joining her finely plucked eyebrows, twitching her lips or simply change in her size of eyes – a big ‘O’ or a small ‘e’.
“I am not fond of Taylor Swift. I can’t stand her songs. Don’t ask me the reason. I simply don’t like her.” I am watching a couple walking on the pavement holding hands while I’m saying this. I take a peek at her face again. Did she slightly bite her lower lip? Did she join her brows together?
“And I cannot have a meal without meat. For me – no meat, no meal.” I gave a grinning smile, all the while, watching her face. Her face, still the same. No signs of repulsion or irritation. And that is making me angry. How can a girl not fire back when all her loves’ are hates’ of the person she is on a date with? Not to forget that the guy was the particular one who asked her on a date in the first place.
Maybe she is going to burst after a while. Accumulating all the feels of repulsion she can muster. Probably she will cuss at me. And she’ll leave. I’m waiting for that moment eagerly.
So far, she is staying. Calm. Quiet. The slow wind is blowing her black shoulder length hair. The mild smell of her jasmine perfume is hitting my nostrils. She sips her tea again and places the cup on the table. I see the cup is empty now.
“Thank God. Finally, I met a guy who doesn’t say he likes rainy season just because I say I do. I was growing sick of all the boys who said what I wanted to hear.” She takes a long breath and is all smiles. I cannot stop smiling along. She looks pretty when she smiles. I am realizing that just now.
“You’re the first guy who said he hated Taylor. The first to say he hated the rain and loved meat to death. Ohhho! This date wasn’t as bad as I had expected,” she says shifting a wild strand of hair behind her ear. All of a sudden, I want to touch her hair. But I fight the sudden urge. I must control myself. Control, control.
“I want to talk some more. But I need to prepare a project. The deadline is approaching. It was nice meeting you. Is it okay if we meet next Saturday? Ummm, at two, this same place.” Her beautiful black eyes are on mine while she is blurting all these words. I can feel my heart beat on my throat. Really, no kidding.
“Sure, sure.” I can’t say more. I mean, how can I? Everything that has happened so far is turning me upside down.
“And I loved your reaction when I asked about your loves’ and hates’. You didn’t even try to hide your irritation.” She adds with a giggle.
“Ahh!” I simply cannot think of a better reply now.
“I need to hurry. Don’t forget. Next Sat. Two. Here.” She says while adjusting her backpack over her shoulders.
“I will not forget,” I reply.
“By the way, I am Sujhashu. Sujhashu Thapa. It was worth meeting you.” Then she forwards her hand for a shake.” And I am not a vegan, don’t like rain that much and Taylor’s not my type. I am more sort of Calvin Harris. No pun intended.” She smiles again.
I give my hand for a proper handshake. Her soft fingers around mine. Should I kiss them?
“I am Joseph K.C. And I loved meeting you as well,”I reply and smile. No, not a fake one. It is an honest and pure one this time.
After shaking hands, she smiles again.
I am still looking at her even when she has disappeared into the crowd. I am trying to figure out if she really asked me for a date.
“She’s smart. You should be careful,” The waiter who served us tea before is saying to me.
“That girl is a beauty with brain. You need to play safe and tidy.” Then he is off with the empty cups.
I get up from the chair and walk slowly to the parking lot.
“Shake it off. Shake it off.” Taylor sings as my ringtone.
“Yes, mom. I’m on my way home. What? Again? No, not tonight. Why, I mean, how can you always eat meat? I wonder why you even like it………….. Okay, okay. I’ll bring some groceries.” I keep my phone back in my pocket.
Suddenly, lightning flashes. A while later, a loud thunder.
“It’s going to rain. Tonight is a rainy night. Hmmm. Drip-drop-drip-drop. I love the rain.”