Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Dinner Date

Mayrah was the prettiest girl in her batch. She was also the brightest. The first to get campus placed, into Google that too. She was in her final year of M.S. Computer Science at Stanford University. The class pet of all her professors and the heartthrob of many of her male classmates. Yohan was one among them. He had also gotten into Google a month after Mayrah received her appointment letter. 

Yohan, the only other Indian student from Mayrah's batch who had all eyes for Mayrah. He was very shy. The popular kids in their batch called him a nerd. He was always found in libraries, knee deep in books. He was a quite a looker though. An Indian Clark Kent. Tall, dark, thick wavy hair and bespectacled. 

"C'mon Yohan, just ask her out man. What do you have to lose?", asked Brian, Yohan's closest friend and classmate.
"I can't", replied Yohan.
"And, why not?", relented Brian.
"Because she is too pretty and might already have a boyfriend", replied Yohan.
"How do you know that? Have you ever spoken to her? Does she even know of your existence?", persisted Brian.
"Well.. no", replied Yohan lamely.
"Then ask her out! This Sunday, at Graduation", encouraged Brian.

A week later, the most important day of their lives dawned on the final year students of M.S. Computer Science - graduation day. It was a proud moment for the students, their parents and all their professors. Yohan's mother had flown in from Mumbai and Mayrah's entire family starting with her parents, two sisters and brothers in law had arrived from Delhi.

It was a beautiful ceremony, one that would be remembered by the students for years to come. As Mayrah walked towards her proud family with her degree in hand, Brian gave Yohan a sharp nudge on his back, to remind him to go and speak with her. He excused himself from the conversation he was having with his mother and walked nervously towards Mayrah.

Just as she sat down with her parents, a nervous Yohan sauntered towards her. 
"Mayrah?", squeaked Yohan.
"Oh hello Yohan" replied a surprised Mayrah. "Maa, dad, this is my classmate Yohan. He has also been placed into Google along with me"
Yohan's heart skipped a beat as he realized that Mayrah knew his name. 
"Acha acha! Excellent beta. I'm sure your parents are very proud of you", said Mayrah's dad
"Thank you uncle", said Yohan with a nervous handshake.
"May I speak with you for a minute?", asked Yohan addressing Mayrah
"Sure", she replied
"In private...", said Yohan his cheeks flushing
"Oh", she replied

After a few more minutes of pleasantries exchanged with Mayrah's parents, Yohan finally managed to get a moment alone with Mayrah.
"Mayrah..", said Yohan, clearing his throat nervously
"The thing is..", he continued
"What is it Yohan? Is everything alright?", asked Mayrah.
"You know Mayrah, I've been thinking.. We've never spoken to each in the past 2 years that we've been classmates and now we've gotten into the same company. We're going to a see lot more of each other.. So, I was thinking.. er.." Yohan left the sentence dangling and went back to clearing his throat.
".. that we should get to know each other a little better?", replied Mayrah with a shy look in her eyes.
"Right", said Yohan.
"You know Yohan, I've been wanting to ask you out ever since you bumped into me at the library corridor and almost gave me a foot dislocation thanks to your stack of books", said Mayrah
"Whaat?!", replied a stunned Yohan. "So why didn't you?", he asked.
"I didn't want to appear too forward and you never gave me the impression that you were interested in anything other than books" chuckled Mayrah
"So 8pm tomorrow at Pizza Bay?" continued Mayrah
"Perfect. I'll see you there" replied a blushing Yohan

Yohan donned his best pair of trousers and shirt the next day for his date with Mayrah. He spent an extra half hour in front of the mirror, grooming himself. He even squirted on his most expensive Giorgio Armani perfume which he usually reserved only for job interviews.

As he approached the restaurant, he caught sight of Mayrah. She was a vision in red. His face automatically light up with a slow smile. Just as he was about to cross the road he realized that it would be nice to pick her a small trinket to celebrate their first date. So he rushed into a local jewellery store right opposite the restaurant that sold tribal jewellery. He picked up a butterfly shaped ring, got it gift wrapped and began crossing the road, his eyes lost on Mayrah's beauty.

Just as he was nearing the restaurant, he felt something ramming into him very hard. He heard the sound of an ambulance and people chattering around him. He even saw a teary eyed Mayrah through his half opened eyes.

10 years later..

Yohan stood outside the restaurant he and Mayrah had picked for their first date. He watched Mayrah lovingly from the glass windows and just as he was about to enter the restaurant he saw another man sitting opposite Mayrah. They were engrossed in deep conversation. He suddenly noticed a baby on a pram sitting between Mayrah and the man. Mayrah was feeding the child.

Puzzled, Yohan walked inside the restaurant and just as he began to approach Mayrah, an elderly gentleman blocked his path.

"Hey you! This is my restaurant and I don't like sharing it with anybody", said the gentleman.
"Okay. I just came to talk to an old friend of mine", said Yohan pointing to Mayrah.
The old man chuckled, "They can't hear you my friend"
"Eh?", replied Yohan. "Of course they can. Please move out of my way sir"
"Young man, they can't hear you because you and me don't belong in their world. We're dead son!", said the man
"I'm sorry sir, I really don't have time for this. I need to speak to my friend", replied an annoyed Yohan.

He walked past the old man and approached Mayrah's table. "Hi Mayrah!", said Yohan with a forced smile.
Mayrah looked up at Yohan and caught her breath.
"What is it honey? You look a little lost", said the man who was seated on Mayrah's table.
"Nothing, I just got a whiff of an old perfume which a friend of mine used to love wearing", said Mayrah with a sad look on her face.
"Must be somebody in the restaurant", said the man
"Perhaps", replied Mayrah and resumed feeding the baby.

(Image source : 

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