(Note: This is an additional chapter to the already concluded ‘Dew drops, Sunshine and a Blade of Grass’ – a 10 episode romantic web series. The first date between Sid and Anahita was something that was never published. When I came across the draft today, I felt I should be doing that.)
The First Date
“What are you up to? :)”, her text message arrived.
The store was lazily filled with people who were busy posing as someone who is definitely going to make a purchase.
“So this washing machine, would it work for sure?”, a customer in his late thirties asked me.
He was accompanied by his wife.
“Yes. Do you want to buy it?”, I asked.
He looked at his wife and then at me.
“I mean this specific piece that I am going buy. Will it work for sure?”, he raised his concern.
“Getting entertained by customers”, I replied to Anahita’s message.
“Sir. Would it work?”, he repeated the question.
I scanned the floor for Customer Assistants- everyone was busy.
“Yeah”, I kept my answer short. I wasn’t convinced that he was going to buy it.Yet I felt the need to add the following statement. “There is a warranty that we issue with the machine”.
He didn’t appear as if he was convinced.
“But, if we go back home and find it faulty, wouldn’t it be troublesome to raise a complaint?”, he asked.
My phone beeped again.
“Feeling hungry, stuck in class”, she had texted.
“What would you love to have?”, I asked.
“Sir?”, the customer interrupted me.
I threw a questioning look at him.
“What do you suggest?”, I tried to sound gentle.
“Can’t we test the piece right here?”, he asked. His wife nodded , suggesting that it would be the right thing to do.
My phone beeped.
Anahita – “Donuts 😉 “.
I looked at the customer and while trying to conceal my displeasure, I said – “Well if you could hand me that dirty white shirt that you are wearing, we could test the machine. We could try giving it a wash, right here right now”.
I didn’t even wait for his reply. There was something running in my mind. I picked up my car keys and walked out of the store – asking the store manager to take care of the showroom, before doing so.
“What!”, she exclaimed.
“Just come outside. Outside the college gate”, I repeated.
“You must be kidding! I have my classes. They might mark me absent”, she tried to resist.
“Seriously..?” I teased her.
“You are not in a school Anahita”.
“Fineee!” she laughed and ended the call.
After she had given me her phone number, it was all about good night, good morning and occasional phone calls. We had never really met.
I wanted to meet her now and wanted to take her on our first date.
My phone rang.
“I am outside the college. Where are you?”, she asked.
“Let’s play a game”
“What!”, that was her third ‘what’ in the day.
“I have a mission for you”, I said.
“What!” she had refused to stop uttering that word.
“There is a note for you, stuck on the lamp post next to the gate”, I gave her my first instruction.
She looked around in confusion and walked towards the post. When she found the note, she looked around again in an attempt to trace me.
“Sid.!”, she exclaimed.
“The sun that sets in the east, is the one that was lazy to wake up”, I had written on the note.
“It’s a critical mission Sergeant Anahita. You have been designated with the task of retrieving a package from one of our subordinates and delivering it to commander Jhin Xiu”, I spoke in a dramatic tone.
“Sid!”, she took my name again – this time in a complaining tone. The very next moment it appeared as if she had begun to buy into my idea of role play.
“Yes Sir. Where would I find him?”, she asked- like a man on a mission.
“You need to walk a distance of about 250 meters towards south east”, I was trying to give her my instruction when she interrupted.
“That I assume is towards the bus stop”, she said.
I was taken aback by surprise.
“Smart.!”, I exclaimed.
“Yes. Towards the bus stop. There you will find lieutenant Myuing Tsao from whom you have to collect the package”.
“But how will I identify him?”.
“He will be wearing a green shirt and a blue jean”.
“That sounds cool!”, she laughed – mildly.
“On the note is the passcode. Memorize it. Before handing over the package, he will ask for the passcode. You make a mistake and mission will fail”, I carefully instructed her.
“Yes sir”, I guess she was trying to suppress her laughter.
“Okay. Our men with snipers have marked you. If you try to run away from this, you will be shot dead”, I warned her.
“No sir. I won’t”, said she in a stern voice and hung the call.
I could now see her walking towards the bus stop. There were about a dozen passengers waiting for the bus. She spotted a man in green shirt.
“Lieutenant”, she said after stroking him on the shoulder.
The man in green shirt turned around and looked at her in confusion.
“Lieutenant Myuing Tsao”, she repeated, this time in an uncertain tone.
“Sorry.!”, the man replied with confusion. Passengers at the bus stop started staring at her.
“Are you Myuing Tsao? Lieutenant Myuing Tsao?”, she asked him again in a scared voice.
“What.!”, the man exclaimed. Few of the passengers laughed.
She turned pink in embarrassment.
“Sorry.!”, she apologized and immediately pulled out her phone and dialed me.
“What kind of prank is this? I am feeling so very embarrassed. I mean people started staring at me. I guess I appeared a crazy woman”, she started ranting.
“Passcode please”, she heard someone saying.
When she turned around, she found the same green shirt guy. Vinod had managed to carry out the act impressively well.
“Oh.!”, she smiled at him. “Hang on.!”, she told me over the phone.
“The sun that sets in the east, is the one that was lazy to wake up”, she uttered the passcode with a gleaming smile.
“Should be right!”, he winked and handed over a large carry bag to her.
“Sir.! I have collected the package. Where should I drop it?”, she asked.
“Sergenat! As instructed earlier you need to deliver it to commander Jhin Xiu”.
“But where will I find Jhin Xiu?”, she laughed.
“Cross the road and get into the park. He will be wearing a hooded jacket and glasses”
“All rite”, said she.
She took a while to reach the park.
“Commander Xiu”, she said.
“Well done.!”, I removed my glasses.
She handed me over the package.
“You have successfully completed your mission”, I greeted her.
“What’s next sir?”, she asked.
“Let’s have some food”, I replied.
“Where?”, she asked.
“Here”, I smiled and pulled out a donuts box from the package that she had delivered me.
“Stupid!”, She laughed and quickly grabbed it from my hands.