While waiting for Him, She read in a book She had picked up, ‘Every broken relationship turns into a story.’ This should have been the first sign. She was too busy laughing and chatting as Delhi glowed in the golden glow of the winter sun to notice any signs. They had met for lunch. Her eyes had widened when He had said, ‘Eating is a waste of time.’ Her first reaction was to scan the room for hidden cameras. Her first thought, ‘Is this a prank? I keep saying the exact same sentence to my friends.’ Before She had gathered her wit He had said something else. And She had replied with more laughter, interspersed with a few words. The waiter had already visited their table twice to remind them that food needed to be ordered. Reluctantly, they had paused the entertaining conversation and ordered small portions of Chinese food. They spoke about school, family, and friends. They shared stories of car accidents. She grudgingly admitted to herself, His story was more entertaining.
He spoke of his love for driving. She could not stop herself from talking about books and movies. Each bragged a little and at other times tried to come across as humble. The waiting staff at the restaurant hovered around at their table. The table was an embarrassment for the chef I guess. Their plates had hardly any food and the serving dishes looked like they had hardly been touched. After nearly half and an hour later, they were ready to leave the restaurant. They did the ‘cheque dance’. She insisted that She would like to pay. It was after all only fair since He had travelled for more than 18 hours just to meet Her for lunch. But He had scored more points by arguing that paying for lunch was the only chivalrous act He was capable of. He had won among more laughter and the staff at the restaurant seemed more than happy to see them leave.
Following their lunch, they walked around Connaught Place, one of Her happy places. The nip in the air even as the sun shone brightly after what seemed like months but was just a few days ensured that the walk was pleasant. They continued to talk and laugh. She was amused with the fact that there had not been a single moment of awkward silence or nervous laughter. However, there was no dearth of hearty laughter. They had teased each other with a familiarity that only old friends can experience.
They completed a round of the Connaught Circle. He walked her to her car. They shook hands and she told him, ‘It was really nice meeting you.’ She smiled on the drive back to her house and then smiled some more late into the evening when she met her friends for a small party.