Girls normally don’t do that.
They don’t express their feelings.
Maybe girls are afraid of it.
Or they have been so rigorously conditioned that they have come to accept it as their nature to not be the first to express their feelings.
But she was not going to do that. She had decided she won’t. She would go against all these preconceived notions and would express her feelings first.
She felt she could do that. She felt she was brave.
She felt brave because she could. She felt it was fate that had brought them together. Why else could she have met him after so many years? And why else would he have paid so much attention to her? Why else would he have been meeting her? And in all those meetings, she had had so much fun.
He had been her very first crush. She had a crush on him when they were very young. They were in school. But she could never tell him that. And then they left school. Everybody had parted ways.
And 15 years later, in a foreign country, they had coincidentally bumped into each other. The two who had never talked to each other, couldn’t stop talking now. She could feel her crush revive.
She was falling in love. Again.
They had met each other in a mall the first time. And they had promised to coordinate and meet again.
But before that, before they could establish any kind of contact, they had ended up meeting at a store. It was the second coincidental encounter. After putting all their shopping in their cars, they had ice-cream and talked for an hour before realizing it had already been an hour.
Like they say: If it happens once, its chance, if it happens twice, it is coincidence, if it happens thrice, its destiny.
And it was then she had decided.
She had decided, if they meet again, she’d know they were destined to be together. Meant to be together. Then she’ll propose. She’ll do it. Without regret.
And it had happened.
She had gone on a business trip to another city and he had been there for a vacation.
They were in the same hotel.
Even her work colleague had noticed it. He had noticed that the woman who was extremely professional in her business dealings had actually wrapped each day’s work in a hurry to rush to her hotel. And she would have coffee with her childhood crush each night at the hotel patio.
She found it amazing that she had so much to talk about with him. They would not just talk about their nostalgic memories but also, as Danielle Steel says, ‘talk about everything and nothing’.
They had returned a week later. That is when she had received a text message from him. She had felt excited like a teenager. He wanted to meet up. And she had replied in a second without even thinking how desperate it might seem.
Well, it wouldn’t matter when she confesses her feelings for him, tomorrow.
The next day she got ready with care. She chose a really nice kurta to go with jeans. She chose her best shoes. And she actually took a new handbag for a change. Her heart was beating really fast. But she wasn’t going to back out of it today. No! She wouldn’t.
Soon, she made her way to the open-air restaurant she had suggested.
In the back of her mind, she could actually hear someone say its all too good to be true. but she refused to listen to it.
It was fate. And she had decided to, for once in her life, be expressive.
She got there 15 minutes early.
3 minutes later, she saw him at the end of the street.
He was early too.
He had dressed up too.
He also had a bouquet.
He seemed nervous too.
He saw her from there and waved. He was walking towards her with a smile that was so wide, the kind of smile you have when you are extremely nervous.
Did he like her too?
Could life really be this easy?
Maybe it was. Maybe life had decided to give her this happiness.
And when he was just two shops away, something she had only seen in movies happened.
Everything went slow motion.
A baby stroller on the side pavement wheeled onto the road.
The biker took a sudden turn left to avoid the stroller.
The car swerved to avoid the biker.
It skidded down the road onto the pavement.
She saw it all happen.
She was 10 feet away.
But she saw it all happen.
And she also saw a bouquet full of red flowers go up in the air and the petals all scattered on the road.
It wasn’t destiny after all.