They sat next to each other on the corner table. Restaurant was surprisingly packed with diners for a Monday evening. Rock music was playing they could barely hear each other. It had been a long day at work and they were still discussing about the work they we’re supposed to handle together in the coming months or years if it lasted that long.
She was visiting India for the first time and apart from work, she also wanted to explore the city. Food being at the top of her list.
“Can you suggest some good eating joints near my hotel where I can try out some Indian delicacies?” She asked him.
“If you are ok with spicy food then you could try the Rajasthan special thali” he suggested.
Discussion went on about different Indian cuisines and she was amazed that how much one can do with a set of spices to add flavours in food. She couldn’t wait to try out all the possible flavours in next 5 days.
Conversation slowly drifted towards life in India and US and she realized that he was not only an intelligent coworker but also a very interesting person. She wanted to know more about him.
As if he read her mind, he asked “are you happy in your life?”
“What’s your definition of happiness? And in what context are you asking? Work? Life?” She found herself more an more comfortable talking to him.
Or was it wine playing tricks. She already had a jet lag.
“I meant in life, in marriage?” It wasnt a secret that she was married.
“Yes I am, off course there is lesser couple time now, but we have built a life together and so far I haven’t met anyone whom I could love more than him” she meant it.
“That may be because you haven’t spent as much time with anyone else” he gave her an expectant look.
“I spent 8 hours with you today and we are still together for another 2 hours I guess” she laughed and poured herself another glass of wine.
“Hmm…that’s not spending time. What do think about me?” He was being direct.
She kept looking at him, he couldn’t be serious. She was unable to judge his intentions. She was good at reading people, it was difficult to disguise your real self from her. But today she was at loss. She was intrigued by him.
“What should I think about you?” She was getting confused.
But he was not to be budged, “could you love me more than him?”
There it was, out in open. She had not expected this. The dinner was taking another course, in an unknown territory. She was used to casual workplace flirting but this was different. Was she willing to give an answer to his question, was she even aware of the answer?
“I will need more dates with you to be able to answer your question” she said as a matter of fact, hoping that he would end it there.
“Done! We have 4 more dates, starting from tomorrow evening” his eyes were gleaming.
He had planned it very smartly. And she had fallen for it.
Did she mind being duped? “No” !
Friday evening, when he paid for dinner, he asked, “so were you able to make up your mind?”
She smiled and said, “you are 4 years late”.
“I am ok to give you 4 years then” he grinned.
In her comfortable business class seat, sipping the sparkling wine, she sent a text, “4 years won’t be enough” and set the airplane mode on.
To be continued…..