She takes the cake for chutzpah. She has a mellifluous voice and lovely, beaming eyes. She has a tantalizing taste of success: I can tell from her outlook. She is in an ecru, thick, chiffon, prom mini- dress, matching stilettos and matching icon trench coat. She has immaculately long, dark hair. It is comme il faut to compliment such a beauty.But the man I am becoming won’t let me.She keeps gazing at me as she awaits the patron to make her order ready.She could be in her mid twenties,and in her first job.She looks like an investment banker or a supply chains analyst.She is holding what looks like an Apple gadget in her left hand.According to a study I bumped into a while back,left handers are more likely to be geniuses.It is probable that she could be up for promotion in the next few weeks.She could be the most reliable employee in her department.May be she works with precision,hates procrastination and falls under the category of perfectionists.
She is seated two tables in front of me,this Thursday evening.
Luck Lounge has been my most favorite hang out spot for the past 23 months since I became a teetotaler.I usually come here to steam out after a gaga day in the office. The Lounge Management usually brings in live dance orchestras every Thursday evenings.It is this assuasive musical performance that keep me glued here for some hours,before I drive myself home to turn in.
She has ordered red Spanish table wine.I am half way through my clam juice.It usually takes me more than half an hour to clear my beverage.I am easily distracted either peeking at fellow revelers around the lounge or checking through the cyberspace on my device for any interesting long read.I am a long reads buff. Over lunch breaks, when I am not absorbed in any office work, I usually partake some of these.And proceed in the evenings after work.
The past 23 months have been over- the – top. I quit drinking. I haven’t dated anyone – let alone a fling. I just take out lady friends for lunch and dinner dates over weekend and maintain steady platonic relationships. I rarely make advances at ladies I might feel attracted to. I am afraid of the man I am becoming.
A few months back, I was the typical plate spinner. I was a notorious philanderer and a regular boozer and reveler. After all, I have what any good looking young man at my age would ever dream of – a cozy, imposing mansion, a Tatra 613 and a Mercedes- AMG GLC 63 S in my garage and a thriving PR firm. I would say luxuriance is one of my attributes.
The dance band is performing French Montana’s Shisha. I barely notice as the lady approaches my table.
‘Mind a dance?’
She inquires as she stretches out her manicured right hand. She is smiling sheepishly, a wry dimple forming on her cheek.
I join her on the dance floor.
“You are a rattling dancer! I am awed,” I aver.
Her chubby cheeks are crimsoning. She looks prettier while blushing. Her skin looks lighter in the glare of the neon lighting on the dance floor.
“Really? My friends tell me I am terrible dancer.”
“Your friends are terrible liars.”
By now, they are playing Ciara’s ‘Dance like we’re making love.’ The rhythmical dance steps that my dancing partner takes me through makes me conclude she is a seasoned dancer.
“Where did you learn this?”
“Salsa class. A few years ago.”
“Wow! You are really good at it.”
“Many thanks. You are an equally great dancer.Learnt it somewhere?”
“Nay! My dancing has always been limited to this space – the dance floor. I observe and learn. Then try it by myself.”
“What else have you observed and learned today?”
“That you are pretty.”
She chuckles and tightens her grip of her left arm on my shoulder and moves closer. The distance between us is almost occupied. I am enthused. Here I am – with a beautiful in my arms. I haven’t introduced myself by name and neither has she, but we are already acquainted on the dance floor like a couple.
Minutes later, we are walking out. She is slightly tipsy. But still in her right frame of mind. For the man I am becoming, I drive her home. Help her to her king-size bed. Prepare her a glass of lukewarm water which she requests. She has a great taste in an epicurean lifestyle – the furniture, crockery and all the accessories in her beautiful apartment tell it all. Before I excuse myself, she offers her business card.I promise to call her the following morning.
I drive off home. One thing I am trying to do currently is to balance my social life. I am cautious not to get neck – deep in any new association.
In the next couple of weeks, I will occasionally meet Octavia for lunch and dinner dates. We will make weekend plans. What takes her aback for all this time is that I am not inclined to try any romantic overtures. I have kept our communication and platonic friendship very candid.
One Sunday afternoon, as we are enjoying a nature walk in some woodland a few miles from my home, she inquires why I haven’t asked her out or even made a move yet we have been friends for seven months now.
She has fallen in love with the man I am becoming.