It was the month of May. The day that Tia was desperately waiting for. She would finally meet Rishabh after waiting for almost 8 months. He worked for a cruise line and had to be on duty for almost a year. However, despite the long distance and hectic work schedule, they used to be in touch daily. She recalled the time she had met Rishabh.
Tia was born in Ranchi but moved to Mumbai to pursue her MBA. She then settled in Mumbai when she got a job in an advertising firm.
Her mom used to call up regularly and tried to hitch her with some guy or the other. This time too she came up with a new proposal. This guy was working for some cruise line and had come here to spend his holidays. She thought her daughter had already crossed the marriageable age and that she was answerable to the society. Tia had no option but to relent at the emotional blackmail of her mom. She had to find a good reason to reject a guy. Every girl should be able to adjust with the boy's indifferences, after all nobody's perfect. But the same did not apply vice versa. Such was her mother's biased logic. It was no use of arguing with her mom.
The only person who understood her dilemma was her best friend and colleague Anu. They both weren't looking for marriage at the moment. But Anu was destined to have understanding parents unlike Tia.
Tia had just stepped into her house when she received a phone call from an unknown number. She answered the call and it was him. She was bewildered at the moment as she had not prepared herself what to talk with the stranger.
"Hello", she could hear a deep friendly voice on the other end. Before she could respond, he continued, "Am I speaking to Ms. Tia Sharma?"
She could feel the goosebumps on every part of her body. She had to admit that she was blown away by the voice. "Ya, speaking", she tried to sound as pleasant as possible.
"This is Rishabh, I hope you know what this is with regard to…", he paused waiting for a response from the other end.
"Yes, I was in fact expecting your call", Tia replied and regretted the moment she said it.
"O good, then without adhering to any more formalities, can we meet this weekend?", Rishabh asked.
"Yes, sure that would be great", Tia agreed.
"How about meeting at Rockers Cafe at about 6pm this Saturday?
"Sounds fine", Tia agreed.
And then they decided that whoever reached the venue first would call up the other as they had not yet seen each other.
Tia wondered what Rishabh looked like. Looks did not matter much to her but, yes, her guy needed to be presentable. For her all it mattered was trust, understanding and commitment in a relationship.
It was Saturday and Tia was quite excited about her date in the evening. Rishabh seemed better than other guys she had interacted till now.
She was dressed in a simple classy kurta with leggings so as not to give any suspicion to any of her colleagues. Nobody knew about her personal life except for Anu.
The time had come for her to leave for the date and she added an extra dab of makeup, something that she had never done since ages, and left for the day.
She reached the venue first and stood near the entrance, half nervous and half excited. She took a deep breath and called up on his number.
A few minutes later he was there by her side. Tall, fair, lean, clean shaven, smart looking - he had all the physical attributes one girl would want in her dream prince.
He approached her with a smile and said, " Hi, I hope I didn't keep you waiting for too long."
"Not at all", Tia couldn't hide her excitement.
They went inside and found a vacant seat in the extreme corner. Soon they got into talking about a variety of things. Tia had never expected her date with Rishabh to go this good. Finally they got up after relishing on some sandwiches and coffee. She found out that he owned a bike - a thing she added as an advantage while choosing her prospective grooms.
She hopped on his bike and felt on top of the world. Her date had gone perfect. He reached her to her building gate. She thought of inviting him in but hesitated thinking it would be too soon on a first date. They bade each other good bye and promised to keep in touch.
She went home happily and immediately called up her mom to thank her. Her mom was happy for her and hoped that Rishabh would also like her daughter.
Days went by but Tia received no updates from anyone. She finally decided to send him a message on whatsapp. She messaged him saying, 'Hi, this is Tia here. I hope you remember me. Just pinged to know whats up with you.' She did not want to seem desperate so she kept her message as casual as possible.
She willed herself to not check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his 'last seen at' status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet she couldn't stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.
And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.
But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn't know if he was joking or not. What was this?