Lucy had had enough at this juncture. She quit WhatsApp and threw it in the pit of oblivion. She stopped acting out of desperation. After all, she was young and free, right? No more Drew, no more George or Sam. She was going to act like she knew what she was worth. She would keep looking up to her ‘power couples’. She had a couple of them that gave her hope. Hope that she would find him and be part of a couple too. But then her ‘power couples’ broke up one after the other and she was not sure any more.
Every day was the same. Wake up, spread bed because she had to keep her bedsitter spick and span, sip some coffee to chase away the frog-like croak from her clamped mouth, shower (or rather fling water from her pink basin onto her wiry body in rapid motions) and then hit the road for work. Wiry because she never gained weight ever. A theory had been floated around her often. If you find someone, settle down and make babies, you will find those kilos too. Oh well, young and free.
Every day came with its fair share of small talk from a few men who made no effort to haul themselves out of the friend zone. There was that constant ‘hae’ on her Facebook Messenger from a former classmate from campus. She turned off chat to him the previous night. You have got to have a better way to start conversations, man. There was also the DM guy on Twitter. That guy who had asked if she was in WhatsApp. Of course she wasn’t. Find another way to get my number, brightness, she thought to herself.
Then there were the real life men. These ones were an interesting lot. Always put her in a pickle. She thought about that guy who paid her bus fare a few weeks ago even after she was so indifferent to his cause previously. Maybe she needed to let her guard down a tad. She was thinking about this all the way to work, as she blocked the morning radio show crap from her ears with her own music. You listen to that nonsense that early and all hope of finding that great guy who will complete you is flushed down the toilet.
Work was the usual humdrum, that kind you have nothing to write home about. The kind that you wish no one asks about because you do not have the lying skills required to paint a non-existent Facebook-worthy picture. The designer guys were fidgety as usual. The geeks were not talking, another norm. Those guys made her feel very uncomfortable. She could not even communicate with any of them, save for one jolly chap who was out-of-place. Like he was not sure if he was coder or designer. She was the girl who was not sure if she was techie or creative too, so he was a kindred spirit. She had a crush on the guy who ran everything and everyone else though. He sat behind a glass in his office far from them. Geek glasses, unkempt hair, rugged jeans and those shirts that do not have a colour you were taught in nursery school. Nude. He always smiled at her and that was enough. Trying to talk to him was a disaster. And she was content with that. A crush is supposed to be just that, unreachable.
Those were the shambles of her ‘love life’ in many words. That afternoon, while she was busy writing up a content plan for a client, a randomguy sent her a message on Facebook. She looked up at the last message he had sent before that and it was dated six months earlier. Oh, another phoney guy who’s probably bored at the office and saw my green button on, she assumed. She had learnt to be nice to this kind of men and nice she was. To his credit, he was more interesting than he was previously; as far as she could recall. His sentences were complete and exuding value as opposed to his past chats devoid of vowels. Patrick was his name. She bumped into him now and then in campus after a mutual friend introduced them, but that was it. She did not see him in that light. Oddly enough, he insisted he wanted to see her again. She laughed him off. Who exactly did he think he was asking Lucy on a date via a social network? Why didn’t he do it on the ground back in campus? Not happening, sweetness. In another life, maybe. And she left the chat.
A week later, he was back.
“I am serious, Luce, I want to have coffee with you.”
“I will think about it.”
Of course she was not going to think about it. She had better things to do. And why in the world was he calling her Luce? That was a preserve of three people. Her mum, sis and best male friend called her that. Only. He was getting comfortable even before they had gone anywhere.
It turned out Patrick was not taking no for an answer, or any other answer other than yes, for that matter. He refined his chats and stopped talking about a coffee date. It metamorphosed into asking Lucy about her days and telling her about his in return. Day in, day out, he was there without fail, sharing in her boring world. She enjoyed their chats now.
Then it happened. One bright day in September, she walked into the office and behold, there were flowers on her desk. Okay, not her desk. They shared this long desk with a colleague, but yes, there were lilies on her desk. Of course she did not even look at them because they were obviously her colleague’s. Lucky lass this deskie of mine, she decided. Too corny though, this isn’t a movie. She settled down and waited to see Kate’s reaction when she came in. She always came in later than her. In her predictable pompous fashion, Kate came in. Hugging everyone and screaming at pointless things. So you can imagine how loud she screamed when she saw the lilies. She ran over to the desk, took one long breath with her nose right on the white thingies like they had some extra oxygen then took out the card tucked in. Now imagine her screaming even louder upon the immediate discovery that it was addressed to Lucy.
“For Pete’s sake, stop kidding around. I am trying to do something here, Kate!” Lucy expressed her exasperation.
And that’s when she shoved the card in Lucy’s face. It said Lucy alright. In a much chiselled handwriting. And then it all came back to her. Patrick asking for directions to her office and she telling him Google Maps was a good friend. Him calling her the previous day even though she had never given him her number. She did not even know whether to be annoyed or just scream like the lunatic that Kate was. By now everyone had something to say about it. Even the geeks were peeking from the other side of the open office.
Lucy was always that girl who rationalized everything out. She walked out, smiling at everyone, just to act like a normal human being. Was he mildly blackmailing her into saying yes? Who sends flowers to a difficult girl? Maybe that was kinda sweet? The rationalizing, in those few minutes, boiled down to an ecstatic girl who did not know how to hide her happiness out there alone, away from her weird colleagues. She dialled his number and blabbered on about how she did not expect it, how elated she was and how he had made her day. It was the truth, he had made her day and she was going to drop her ego for once. He sounded like a very content man on the other end of the line. The least she could do was let him have his moment.
This man had stepped up his game. He had changed his tactics gradually and he kept changing them even after that day. He was a genius. He knew how to get Lucy even before she knew it herself. This was not the first time a guy had bought stuff for Lucy. Far from it. It was very different though. Read the sentences on the calculated moves again. She was sold, not because he sent flowers to the office (although that obviously added a mark to his score sheet, corny or not), but because he worked towards his goal with the fervour of a wounded bull charging towards a matador wielding the red cloth. Okay, that sounds a bit too much but you get the picture. She wondered if she could measure up to the standards Patrick was setting. She could try though.
Many days down the line, after many questions, calls and dates, Luce and Pat were hitched. She did not meet him in some odd place like Matt Damon and Emily Blunt on Adjustment Bureau nor did she run into him on some alley where he acted all gentlemanly. Hers was no fairy tale and she did not want it to be one. She was happy. She was going to let this unfold, and do her part because Patrick was sure as hell doing his. She had finally found him. Or he found her. Same difference.
If this, in any way, looks like my story, trust me it’s not. Okay. Maybe a teeny-weeny bit. 🙂
On your way out, check out A Better You where I visited last week. Read the post here: Of Opinions, Experiences and Insects.[Photo credit: Flickr]