That Encounter

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short story about two strangers who meet up with the prospective of an arrange marriage.

Submitted: March 24, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 24, 2018



I looked at my watch for the umpteenth time now. It showed quarter to 12. I was still in the metro and was already 15 minutes late for the meeting – meeting with a stranger. The one with whom I was going to share the rest of my life.

My reverie was broken as I heard a shrilling voice above my head. “The next station is Park Street. Platform is on the left side.” Managing my way through the crowd I went and stood near the door. Each passing second felt like thousand knivespiercing right through my soul. The train finally came to a halt. The doors opened andI unwillingly stepped out.

As I opened the door of the café, I was instantly welcomed by a gush of chill breeze hitting my face. I scanned the entire place and spotted a familiar face sitting in the corner table beside the window.  Sighing, I went near him.

“Excuse me!”

Turning towards me he flashed a sweet smile.

“Hey! Finally you’re here!!” he said.

“Please have a seat”, he stood up and pulled a chair for me. I smiled at his gesture and mouthing a “thank you”, took the seat facing him.

For the next few minutes a certain awkward silence prevailed among us.  None of us knew howto initiate the conversation. Not being able to bear the silence anymore, he cleared his throat tograb my attention.

“Hi! I’m Abhirup”, he said extending his hand forward.

I chuckled slightly. “I know”, I said keeping my hand in his.

“Well I’m Nandita”.

“I know”. Now it was his turn to chuckle.

We both shared an awkward laughand I pulled back my hand, slightly embarrassed.

A : That was silly! But it’s ok. At least you spoke up.

I looked down andsmiled a bit. As Iwas about to speak up again, the waiter arrived with a pen and a small notebook asking for our order.

“Ladies first”, he saidlooking at me.

“No, you order first”, I tried to sound modest.

“Nopes! You order first”. This time his tone was firm.

“Ok!” I nodded and hesitantly placed my order.

“So, what do you think about this alliance?”, asked Abhirup sipping on his cold coffee.

I pondered over the question for some time. I was lost in thoughts. I had no clue what to answer. Sensing my silence he asked again…

“Nandita, are you listening?”

“Ummm… yeah..Abhirup…umm…”, I was lost at words.

“Yes, Nandita tell me.. I want to know.”

I took a deep breath and mustered up some courage.

“Look Abhirup please don’t get me wrong but I don’t think it’sgoingto work. I am not ready yet.” I tried to sound convincing.

His face fell. The smile which he had been wearing till now dropped a bit.

“But why? What’s wrong?” He asked.

What’s wrong? Really? My entire life is wrong. I wanted to snap at him for asking such silly questions but instead I tried to keep calm and make him understand.

“Abhirup, am dealing with lot of things right now. There are many complications in my life which I don’t wish to impose on anyone. Besides I don’t believe in marriage or relationships anymore. I have seen the worst side of humanity and now the word ‘marriage’ is a nightmare for me. I don’t think I can ever trust any man or more so any person to know me inside out.”.

I took a deep breath and looked at him.  He didn’t expect such a reaction from me. His eyes were blank and his face somewhat shocked.  I kept quiet waiting for his response.  After few minutes he spoke up...

“Nandita I know you’re going through a very bad phase in your life but trust me I’m here to help you out. Whatever I’ve heard about you from my parents, you seem to be a nice person. Besides I feel you need to distract your mind. I don’t want to force you into this. Take your time. Think about it and then decide.”

His words seemed reasonable. Even though what he said was true but it was difficult for me to trust him. The conversation was going nowhere.

The atmosphere slightly tensed up. An awkward silence prevailed again.

“So, tell me something about yourself”; He tried to change the topic.

And that was the much needed ice breaker. Soon our order arrived and the conversation went on. I learnt so much about him… his dreams, passion and achievements and so on. He presented his life in a nutshell and I couldn’t help but urge to know more. As we interacted further we realized we have so much in common. Slowly I was getting indulged. I started to open up and talk about issues which I would never dare to reveal in front of a stranger. But here I did. Sometimes you just feel that’s the right thing to do. Soon dusk fell in and it was time to leave. I can’t believe I was so lost in the conversation.

Numbers were exchanged and we promised to stay in touch. He offered to drop me home but I resisted. Parting ways, I whispered slowly, “I’ll give it a thought”. His head shot up and lips curved into a charming smile. I lowered my eyes and turned to the other side trying to hide the blush creeping up my cheeks.

They say we’re all in search of our soul home. May be today I found my soul home.

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