She again read his message. 'Hey, how are you? Obviously I remember you.I was out of town so could not reply. I was thinking about coming to your place and we could have a chat'.
He seemed so straight forward about the whole thing. But she got worried what he had to talk about. She did not reply to his message immediately. She kept thinking about it the rest of the day and finally replied before heading to bed. She invited him to his place the coming Saturday.
Saturday approached and there was no further update from him. She didn't even know if he was coming or not. Soon after lunch she decided to call him up.
His phone rang and after several rings he finally picked up. He sounded sleepy, "Hi, how are you?"
She replied, "I'm good. I wanted to confirm our meeting today… "
He replied,"Oh, I'm sorry I can't meet today. I have to leave for work tomorrow evening. I still haven't finished packing."
She was taken aback. She hided her disappointment and said, " I didn't know you had to leave for work. When will you come back?"
"Probably next May… I forgot to inform you about it", he replied apologetically.
Tia felt not only angry for being uninformed but also sad thinking that she can meet him only after 8 months from now. She felt disappointed as well for she had planned out the whole evening.
She found herself teary eyed when she tried to speak up and could only mutter' Bon voyage' before hanging up.
This weekend seemed the exact opposite of the last one. The thing that kept bothering her was that he didn't even bother to call her up. She now had her doubts if he really liked her. She wondered if she had made the right decision. She believed that it's better to follow one's gut feeling in such matters rather than regretting later.
Once she reached the gate, she noticed his bike parked among other vehicles. She could recognise his bike easily as it had his initial on the number plate -R. S.
She looked out for him but was nowhere to be seen. She rushed into her building and ran up to her flat on the 2nd floor.
As she slowed her steps, she could see him sitting on the steps adjacent to her house that lead to upper floors. The moment he saw her, the expression on his face changed and he seemed like a lover who had met his long lost love after a really long time.
Both of them were quiet, yet they could understand each other's feelings. It was at that moment that Tia discovered she was in love. And the best part was she felt the same about Rishabh too.
She opened the door and signalled him to come in. He got up and closed the door and stood there. Tia kept her bag on the table and went to the kitchen to get him some water.
They both sat on the couch at a safe distance. They did not speak until Tia decided to break the ice and said,"So finally you could make it."
"Yes, I wanted to make sure I did", he replied. And then he looked her in the eye and sat closer taking her hands in his and said, "I have never felt this way about any other girl the way I feel about you. I know we have met only once but I'm sure this is it." Saying this he knelt on one knee still holding her hands.
Tia was shocked and wondered if this was a dream but she seemed to love every moment of it.
Rishabh continued, "Before I leave I want you to know that from now on you will always have a special place in my heart. And so Ms.Tia Sharma, will I have the pleasure of having your heart as well when it seems that you already have mine." Saying this, he put his right hand in his pocket and took out the ring.
Tia stood now still feeling that this is nothing but a dream. She could not wait to say yes and moments later she saw him putting a beautiful diamond ring on her finger.
She couldn't take her eyes off the ring. After getting 'engaged', he gently gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"I have my flight tomorrow night at 9.25pm. So I'm afraid we won't be able to meet. ..", he said.
But Tia interrupted saying, "Unless I come to the airport to see you off."
Rishabh smiled as if he secretly wanted the same. "If you don't mind then I don't have a problem either.Besides you can come to my place and we can go to the airport together. I'll message you the address."
"Sounds great", Tia said and later continued, "What about your cousin and her family? Aren't they coming to the airport?"
"No they can't come. Besides, I would prefer the company of my love rather than spending my time with uncles and aunties", he laughed and continued, "I would better leave now sweetheart, I did not lie about the packing thing".
Tia held his hand and gently kissed him on the cheek, "See you tomorrow".
To be continued....