The music was dwindling. The crowd thinning. At a party like this, they don’t exactly say when it’s over, you just pick the hints from around.
We had danced through 9 songs already. Talk had been easy, effortless. I really hadn’t thought I would have such a good time. I really didn’t know I could be so much fun. Just as we walked back to our table, he picked two drinks from a passing waiter. I sipped my mojito, and listened to him talk, and I never had to pretend. But this sudden feeling of forgetting something had come up on me.
“…. so he comes up to me and says ‘Yo mister, I think you don’t know who I am.’ Now obviously, I didn’t, jeez I had only then SEEN the guy but just for the fun of it, I decided to play along. And I was like ‘Sure I do! You are Uncle Tom’s nephew! Remember me, from that gathering at City Hall?’ Now I could see I had got him, he was actually wondering if he did know me, like c’mon, how common a name is Tom!”
I smiled. He was fun. But then I got that feeling again.
“So I thought I would tease him a little more… ‘ Oh you know! I was there- the one who just didn’t stop singing long after everyone had and they had to start again to give me company? I think I was a little drunk that day… and I remember you! You were with that gorgeous girl, that brunette, and I saw you two dance!’ So that’s just where I hit it home. Apparently, he was with this girl, I swear I had not seen her! So she just came out from behind him, and went snapping mad at him like ‘you went to City Hall last week’ and ‘are you cheating on me’ and ‘I knew you weren’t right’ and on and on and on.”
“You didn’t do that!”, I managed between fits of laughter.
“No, I did. I really did. But not intentionally, I was just having some fun with this guy, how was I supposed to know he was with his frantic girl?! And what was she doing hiding behind him!” The giggles were overpowering the talking “…. Okay, we need more drinks. Just a moment.”
He went down to the bar. I looked at him, smiling at the bartender. I loved how he kept his cool. His name was Karan, by the way. Somewhere between the dancing and the talking, he told me his name was Karan. I like ‘Karan’.
He returned, with our drinks- something pink. Something that swirled.
“Sunny, before you say anything to this sudden switch from good old martini-”
“Don’t tell me. Let’s just taste it first.” Ooh- Tacky, girl!
One sip of the viscous fluids in the strawberry smoothie, lemon-shot and iced, and all sophistication was gone. Go, went, gone!
“Oh gosh! This is the bestest thing I have ever tasted in my whole entire life. I mean, this is sooo good, like it’s-” SHIT!
He laughed without the slightest tension. “I know Sunny- it’s MINDblowing!” God, he was so sweet. We drank our drinks… not a word, we just smiled. I thought about how seldom such things happened- you need do nothing and yet love every second…
I swirled the last strawberry piece in the juice- it went round and round the bottom. I took the last sip…
And then I remembered. An empty drink? Refills? Fish, where was Ankur? Where WAS the flirty jerk…. he had just gone to get drinks….
And something felt horribly wrong.