Thursday, July 18, 2019

Raindrops of Romance : (A lot can happen over a coffee : Chapter 3)

Raindrops of Romance 

 (A lot can happen over a coffee : Chapter 3)

"It's incredible how we can fall deeply in love with someone in such a short span of time. The strength of a connection isn't always measured by time; it can even flourish in the blink of an eye."

At Deepika's Office...

With each ticking second, Deepika's anxiety grew. The mix of nerves and confusion made her wonder whether she might have already developed feelings for Karthik. In an effort to manage her time effectively, she decided to leave the office ahead of schedule, so she could visit the salon and get her facial done. All of this was in preparation for her first dinner date.

As the clock struck 5 in the evening, Deepika approached Jahnavi, her colleague and trusted friend. With a composed demeanor, she addressed Jahnavi, "I've sent you my status report. Could you kindly gather the status reports from the other team members and submit it to the onsite leadership? I wrapping up for the day."

Jahnavi acknowledged Deepika's request. As Deepika headed for the exit, Jahnavi couldn't resist inquiring with a touch of playful jest, "What's cooking? The punctual one who never leaves the office before time is showing up late and bailing out early today. Something's fishy."

"I've got a few pending banking work from earlier today," Deepika retorted, with an urgency coloring her tone.

Jahnavi quirked an eyebrow, a skeptical grin playing on her lips. "Which bank stays open past 5? I'm not buying that excuse."

Rolling her eyes at Jahnavi's skepticism, Deepika defended herself. "I'm dead serious, Jahnavi! I have a dinner date tonight. His name is Karthik," she admitted, her voice softer now.

Jahnavi swiveled in her chair, studying Deepika intently. "Hold up, really? Who's this Karthik guy?"

"He's the one my parents found for me. If all goes well, we might be heading towards marriage. But I want to know him better first," Deepika clarified.

Jahnavi's raised eyebrows spoke volumes of her surprise. "Well, I'll be damned. I never thought I'd see the day. So, what's your take on him?"

Deepika hesitated for a moment, her expression thoughtful. "Honestly, I'm not sure. We've only had a few phone conversations. But I guess I'm open to giving it a shot. That's why we're meeting again for a dinner date"

Jahnavi found it hard to swallow Deepika's sudden interest in romance.

"Nice try, I can't believe you're actually going on a date, hence I'll stick with your bank excuse," Jahnavi quipped, returning to her work. 

Deepika rolled her eyes playfully, "Believe it or not, Jahnavi! I'm heading to the dating and romance arena."

Deepika couldn't help but laugh at the humorous disbelief in her friend's expression.

 ☕ ☕
While riding her scooter back home, an unexpected encounter awaited Deepika. As she navigated the streets, her heart skipped a beat when she spotted Karthik's car parked on the side. For a moment, she contemplated whether to halt and strike up a conversation with him. But her curiosity overcame her hesitation, and she steered her scooter towards his parked vehicle. As Karthik stepped out of his car, a warm smile graced his face.

"What a coincidence! You were on my mind," he exclaimed. A blush tinged Deepika's cheeks as she struggled to conceal her bubbling excitement.

Deepika's shy smile persisted as he approched her, "Aren't you supposed to be at the office until 8:00?" Karthik asked, a wide grin on his face. 

Deepika observed him closely before replying, "Well, I could ask you the same thing, couldn't I?"

A smile forming on his lips. "You know what they say, Deepika, smart people finish work early and leave early."

Deepika raised an eyebrow and retorted, "Oh ho, is that so?"

"Hey, hold on a second. Did you leave the office for a secret mission?" Karthik's eyebrow quirked up, his curiosity evident.

Deepika couldn't resist a mischievous grin. "Absolutely! I'm on a mission to find ways to Avoid Marriage Proposals."

Karthik burst into laughter. "Well, I'm on a mission to win those proposals and make them fall head over heels in love."

Suddenly, a clap of thunder erupted from the sky, abruptly interrupting their conversation and signaling the forthcoming rain

All of a sudden, it dawned on Deepika, and she inquired, "Hey, wait. Are you telling me that I left early to get ready for a dinner date tonight?"

"Well, it might sound crazy, but hey, that's the reality."

"Oh, I bet! You left early for the very same reason," she questioned him.

Karthik winked, "You caught me," 

"And of course! I needed that extra time to ensure I could leave a lasting impression on my.....par..t.ner, ...well, you know," he wanted to say, but smiled instead.

Just then, another resounding clap of thunder echoed through the air, emphasizing the moment.

With a graceful smile, she shifted the topic, "Isn't the weather beautiful today?"

Karthik's eyes sparkled with playful concurrence. "Indeed, let's seize the moment and relish a cup of nice, hot tea."

Deepika's lips curved into a smile, her response to Karthik's question accompanied by a nod of agreement. In the following moment, they found themselves at a modest roadside tea stall, the fragrant aroma of freshly brewed tea filling the air as they placed their orders. 

However, just as they settled in, the heavens opened up, sending rain cascading down. The rhythmic patter of raindrops on the shop's shutter above created a serene melody. Amused glances were exchanged as they realized the absence of suitable shelter nearby. 

Standing side by side, shoulders brushing against each other, they felt an inexplicable connection, a sensation that transcended words. She couldn't help but wonder if there was a larger force at play, guiding their encounter, their shared laughter, and even the unexpected rainfall. It was as though the universe's hand had united them amid the rain, fostering moment of togetherness. 

Their conversation flowed effortlessly, reminiscent of long-time lovers who had shared years of stories and secrets. To any bystander, it would be difficult to fathom that they had only met that very morning.

As the rain eventually abated, darkness descended upon the streets. The timing was perfect for dinner, and the spontaneous decision was made to head straight to a restaurant, leaving Deepika's scooter parked at her apartment.

As they embarked on their journey to the dinner destination, a sense of anticipation mingled with the cool evening breeze, carrying with it the promise of more delightful moments to come.

 ☕ ☕

Empire Restaurant:
The dinner table gleamed under the warm chandelier light, adorned with fine china and crystal glassware. 

Seated across from one another, their gazes locked in an unspoken exchange, they found themselves interrupted by the approach of a waiter. Standing poised with an iPad in hand, he awaited their dining choices. 

"One Chicken Biryani" , Karthik said, flashing a friendly smile at the waiter. He then turned towards Deepika and asked, "And for you, Deepika?"

Curious about her options, Deepika inquired, "Could you suggest some light vegetarian options?" 

She looked up at the waiter, who patiently listed a few choices. After a moment of consideration, she decided, "I'll go with a Plain Dosa."

As the waiter noted down her order, Karthik's mind couldn't help but comment, *One of the most unexciting dishes ever.*

The waiter turned his attention to Karthik, holding his iPad ready, and asked, "Would you like to add anything else, sir?"

"Oh, and one large whiskey, neat," he replied with a casual tone.

Deepika's eyes widened in surprise, clearly not expecting that choice. "What?" she exclaimed, caught off guard by the unexpected request.

Karthik burst into laughter, his friendly chuckle filling the air. "Haha, don't worry, Deepika. I'm just pulling your leg," he reassured her with a happy twinkle in his eyes.

After the waiter left with their orders, a comfortable silence settled between them. Soon enough, Karthik's Chicken Biryani arrived, and he immediately dug in without waiting for Deepika.

Observing Karthik's hearty enjoyment of his meal, Deepika's inner frustration grew. She watched as he delved into the Chicken Biryani, seemingly unaware of her pending order of the Plain Dosa. His lack of consideration for her feelings struck a chord, leaving her both baffled and annoyed. "Oh man, this guy is totally clueless," she couldn't help but mutter under her breath, her head shaking in disbelief. Despite her irritation, however, the aroma of the food wafting around the table managed to stir her own appetite.

As if sensing her thoughts, he glanced up and said between bites, "Hey, never mind. I'm actually really hungry." Completely clueless about the tension brewing within Deepika, he continued to eat with gusto. 

Deepika found herself wondering if he had a radar for social cues or if he was simply too absorbed in his own world. She entertained the fleeting notion of him possessing mind-reading abilities, although she quickly dismissed the idea with a faint smile. Despite her frustration at his lack of thoughtfulness, there was something endearing about his candidness.

As she observed him, she began to see a different perspective. Karthik, was simply being himself without any pretense. There was a certain authenticity in his behavior, even if it meant being less than suave. It was a quality she hadn't encountered often, and she couldn't help but acknowledge its merits, especially when considering the foundation of a genuine, long-lasting relationship.

As their meal progressed and the conversation picked up its pace, the waiter returned with the bill. Without any grand gestures or attempts at impressing, Karthik smoothly took care of the payment, a small action that showcased a different side of him beyond his initial unromantic facade.

After relishing a delectable dinner, they lingered at the entrance, patiently awaiting the valet parking attendant to retrieve their vehicle. For Karthik, a tinge of reluctance swept over him; he was not quite ready for the evening to conclude. The desire to prolong their time together had him yearning for a little more. As the moment hung in the air, he mustered the courage to suggest a leisurely walk. The mere thought brought a soft glow to Deepika's face, an unspoken affirmation of her eagerness to join him in the idea.

They set off seeking the quieter streets away from the bustling crowd. The thoroughfare was flanked by trees on both sides, their leaves rustling in response to the cool breeze that had descended after a recent rainfall. Deepika, feeling the refreshing chill, rubbed her hand against her cheek, absorbing the pleasant sensation. As they ambled along, the rhythm of their steps seemed to synchronize with the cadence of their conversation. 

As their steps carried them forward, their conversation flowed effortlessly, traversing topics that ranged from eveything. The world beyond seemed to dissolve, leaving only the two of them wrapped in a suspended moment. As their journey continued, Karthik found himself developing deeper emotions for Deepika with each exchanged word, a silent wish forming that the connection he shared was reciprocated.

On the journey back, they found themselves enveloped in a tranquil ambiance within the car, a melodic tune playing softly in the background. As the music played, a comfortable silence settled, allowing them to share their musical preferences, the notes of each song weaving a subtle connection between them. 

However, when the time came for Karthik to drop Deepika off at the entrance of her apartment building, an unexpected pang of reluctance gripped his heart. With each step she took toward the entrance, the distance between them seemed to stretch, triggering an involuntary ache within him. He waited there, his admiration for her growing, until he saw her safely entering her house. Even after a few minutes, he noticed her apartment light was still off. As he observed her from the car, he realized she hadn't yet gone inside. He realized he couldn't let her go into the building without any reassurance. A determination filled him, prompting him to take action. After taking a deep breath, he reached for his phone and called her to check what might be the issue. In that very moment, he secretly yearned for more time to be shared between them.

Deepika voiced her concern, "I seem to have misplaced my house keys. They might have slipped out of my purse somewhere, or I could've left them at the office."

Karthik offered a solution, "Would you like to go to your office or the restaurant to check if they are there?"

Deepika shook her head, her anxiety evident, "No, that might not be a good idea."

Seeking to calm her worries, Karthik suggested, "Don't worry too much. How about I come over and help you with the lock?"

Deepika contemplated for a moment and responded, "It's quite late now, and I don't want to disturb my neighbors by creating noise. But thank you for the kind offer."

Prompted by genuine concern, Karthik didn't hesitate, "What if you consider coming over to my place instead?"

Do Karthik's words genuinely reflect his thoughts?

Hot Coffee Brewing...

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