It is very funny not to know how to know the person you already love. The person as the person only, independent of family background, race, caste and religion; is a tricky thing to know, for you cannot label the person with common stereotypes. Each time the person needs an independent and unbiased discovery of it. Here it was a girl. He found himself wondering if he should keep her gender in mind or not, while studying her. In their (and in our too!) world, standards varied vastly depending upon the gender. He then thought her being woman was an undeniable truth and why would he deny anybody of their gender? And he was successful in narrowing down the question as what kind of woman (replacing person) was she? She was the one who would openly consume alcohol, have premarital sex… No, that wasn’t an accurate interpretation of her. She was an open, honest and fiercely independent girl. She wasn’t dependent anybody for anything. She even rode her own bike. Her RX100, what a nimble machine! It drank petrol like mad and ran like cheetah. They would go for long drives not in his car but on her bike. And he was a happy pillion rider! He noticed his thoughts had again began to wander off. He damned his espresso. He was sitting in their usual coffee shop, alone. He did not solicit her company today. And there she held herself back, outside the coffee shop, weighing her options if she should go and meet him or leave him in his quiet solitude. Her forehead had only begun to slowly crinkle when he abruptly woke up, paid and started to leave. She somehow managed her composure when they unexpectedly met outside the door. He was all smiles. They gently hugged. They instinctively then walked towards the parking lot. A girl with RX100, a boy with Wagon R; how funny is to have machines to identify people. He proffered his car keys to her. She was apprehensive at first but then agreed to exchange vehicles. Before she could get the hang of his car’s dimensions, he had zoomed out of the parking.
Naturally he rode fast. The bike did not know slow speeds. Cold wind blew in his hair, his eyes. His eyes started watering. He stopped and wiped them off. Now he had properly caught the wind. The machine was still rumbling between his legs. He went to nearest tea stall. Tea tastes much different than coffee, he made a note to himself. He also got him a cigarette. Smoking a cigarette was unusual for him yet he was smoking. After 20 minutes of two cups of tea and a cigarette and complete thoughtlessness, he again got on bike and rode home. He reached home. He changed clothes and quickly went to his warm bed for shelter. Wrapping himself in sheets he opened his phone. There was her message waiting. She had scratched non driver side rear of his car, he smiled and typed a consolatory reply. She did not need to rely on false ‘love you’s before breaking the news to him. He thanked their relationship. It was great to have things coming clean, true and upfront to you. He sent the message and called back immediately. He asked about her first. She was ok. Where did it happen? In her parking lot. And finally where and how big the scratch is? As it turned out it was a small paint dent on the wheel arch. He said it is all fine. She mumbled love you into the phone while she opened her flat and went in.
She removed her sandals and dropped herself on sofa. She was clueless why he has asked for an exchange of vehicles. She shivered at the thought of needing to take the car back to office tomorrow again in peak hour traffic. She sighed and went off to bath. Dinnertime was still an hour away. She came fresh from bath. Hunger was making its presence felt, which she chose to ignore. Her mind began to do what it always did when left with nothing to do. Thinking about future; now had principle character in it, him. Doing that, she mindlessly started to keep things back at where they belonged. Put her towels to dry. Threw used clothes in washing machine. Her face powder was spilled on dressing table. Took an old rag and wiped that off. She continued to do random thing until her mind was tired from overthinking. Then she dropped on bed. Her mind shut off with that thud. She relaxed somehow.
Come morning and he felt like her. He woke up on his alarm’s first ring. He quickly tidied up his bed before going to bathroom. He again preferred cuppa tea over mugga coffee. He found it queer, yes, but liked it anyway. Thanks to the bike, he was early at the office. By the time when she came, tired of manoeuvring the car in traffic, he was deep into work. Naturally, he wasn’t even disturbed when she waved hands and wished him good morning. She passed by without any disturbance to him. She spent a day half bored. Her mind was innocuously wandering off. She couldn’t concentrate at all. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet but she ran down to the coffee shop for an espresso or two. Slowly as those espressoes did their work, she began to see a reason behind all that vehicle exchange exercise of his. In turn, they hadn’t merely exchanges means of transport but their moods, likings, patience and even lifestyle. They now knew each other exclusively. This was something that couldn’t be put in words. Now she knew, why she hadn’t before loved the espresso as she did now. She was amazed. She never knew that he could come up with something as excellent as this. She had that stupid smile which she often saw on his face.
In evening, they again met like every day. They exchanged keys. It was probably the first time when she was the first to hit the coffee shop and sit waiting for the other. Espresso tasted bitter. He could see blobs of discomfort hanging in the air. “Do you love me?”, she suddenly blurted out. “Yes, I do. Why?”, some blobs vanished with that answer. “Coz I love you too. And I am sorry about that future together shit. We aren’t actually that way, right?”, she continued. He wasn’t sure about what to say but those blobs of discomfort were vanishing away faster now. “But I want you, always, with me.”, his speech was broken. It was his turn to blurt out now. She smiled; he too then. She tossed back her bike keys to him. She then went ahead and paid. They left the car in office parking. He was riding her bike. She calmly sat pillion, snugly clutching him by his shoulders. His place was smaller than hers but her worry was that he only had a single bed! They were lean and flexible enough for that too. Then another round of knowing each other was played. Love blossomed and from that day onwards, his binge-watching and her insecurities were gone like those blobs of discomfort.