"Hey, Syd! So sorry babe. I’m stuck in such a bad jam! This Uber guy seems to have a mind of his own. OK. Let me call you back.” I couldn’t understand why I ever had to wait for a guy. Wasn’t this guy supposed to reach super early at least on our first date? Did this somehow mean that this guy just wasn’t too much into me? Why had he kept me waiting?
I was a bit frustrated but I didn’t mind waiting for Arnie because something about him seemed honest. He had constantly been in touch with me for weeks despite my lack of interest in him.
He wasn’t really 'interesting' in any way but I could sense the eagerness in his voice. I wanted to find out why he was so eager to meet me. I opened the Kindle app on my phone to kill some time. A couple of minutes later I saw him waving at me. "He is such a tall man!" I said to myself with a sigh. I then saw his salt and pepper hair. I just couldn't understand how this could make a man look so attractive.
We exchanged pleasantries quickly and were happy when we got seats in the open part of the restaurant. He was a beer guy and I was a martini girl. Arnie was a very inquisitive person. He wanted to know everything about me in one day itself.
I was impressed by the interest he took in me. I felt as if he was putting me on a pedestal.
“So Sydney, how’s your martini dear?” It was such a lame question but even this sounded as if he really cared. We spoke about our common interests, about the places we had travelled to, our bucket lists etc. I told him how eager I was to visit the northeastern states of India. He immediately said that both of us should go there together. "What? Why?! We have just met!” was the thought that immediately came to my mind. I spent a good couple of hours with him and then decided it was high time I got home.
He was the perfect gentleman and dropped me home. But I was my usual bratty self and told him that I wouldn’t be inviting him up for coffee. He had a devastated look on his face.
The date had been above average alright! The next few dates were equally interesting.
I still hadn’t discovered anything remarkable about him and this bothered me a little.
He was a linguist and was currently learning Deutsch. I had worked and lived with Germans earlier so I had picked up a couple of terms. We would occasionally run through the words that he had mastered so far and had a fun exchange with our limited vocabulary.
We then decided to meet at a popular brewpub. Arnie loved his beer. As usual, I reached the venue earlier than him and put our names on the waiting list. The place was bustling with immense energy. I decided to spend my time on Instagram. I was scrolling through fancy pictures of people vacationing at fancy places when I saw him standing at the counter with an appreciative grin.
We decided to wait by the bar until we were given our table. Luckily we got a couple of comfortable seats. Our seats overlooked the stage which was being set up for a band performance. What a stroke of luck! We ordered our drinks. We were just so immersed in our conversation that we didn’t even realize that the band had started playing.
I loved the music that was being played and was glad that we had such great seats. I felt like soaking in the music. I had just started enjoying and jiving to some Maroon5 when Arnie started kissing me and that too in front of the whole damn crowd.
It had been such an impulsive act on his part that I did not even have time to pull away. I wondered if I actually liked this kind of public display of affection. Maybe I did.
Maybe the entire incident was very passionate and I knew I was a sucker for passion. I was still reeling in the fervour of his kiss when he did the same thing again. This time he kissed me for a longer time and we also had a larger audience. I flushed. And wondered why I had liked it so much.
“Let’s go!” said Arnie. We drove to my place and after what seemed like ages we were inside each other. We coiled our bodies around each other like serpents and revelled in our endeavour to do so.
I had always had issues with sharing my bed with anyone. After Ted had gone, no man had really come close enough to even convince me to share my bed with him. I lay awake all night because I was thinking about what had happened to me.
Arnie had been cuddling me all through the night and I simply could not understand how he could cuddle a person he barely knew. I had always believed that cuddling was an extremely intimate act. Somehow instead of feeling closer to Arnie I felt repelled by him. Traces of Ted still lingered in my heart.
It reminded that I was not yet ready to involve myself so deeply and intimately with another person.
I had been awake for hours now and I had spent all my time in introspection. That was probably enough to pull me away completely from him. I got up at the break of dawn and secretly hoped that he would wake up too. He did wake up finally after a few hours. I wondered how people could sleep like babies in a new location. Why could I never do that? He seemed jubilant. I sighed to myself. Was I supposed to look happy just to seem polite? I freshened up and made us some tea. He probably did not approve of tea but drank it just for the love of tea. He then said he wanted another cup of tea and moved to the kitchen easily to show off his skills.
I was amazed at how gracefully he worked his way around the kitchen. It was as if he had been here and done this a thousand times earlier. I quietly wondered how long we had to stick with each other before we officially declared that what we had shared had been a one night stand.
He had his second cup of tea and I was shaken when he wanted to spend some more time cuddling with me. Somehow the term ‘reverse psychology’ came to my mind and I wondered about how it was affecting me at the oddest of times.
My insides were screaming already. I wanted to be left alone. I felt so crowded with his presence. It was as if I had no space to breathe for myself.
I was probably stringing him along for a couple of days but after that, I politely told him that I could not continue with our relationship because there was no compatibility between us. I know he was hurt when I told him this.
But the halo around me has vanished. I am still trying to understand the change that has come over me. I had always been eternally romantic. What had made me tick him off?!