A checked the time on her monitor. It was almost 2 am. She clicked on the mouse impatiently and drew little squares on the wallpaper, as if expecting something to happen.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
She shook herself up. He was here, and it was about time too, she thought.
“Hey, what’s up,” Z typed. “It’s my mother’s birthday, so we all stayed up to wish her.”
A steadied herself, she was falling asleep. ‘I need coffee and fast,” she muttered, but she knew she couldn’t risk waking her mother up. If her mother knew or worse if her father knew, she’d be asked to go to sleep at 10 pm, every day that too.
“Oh, wish her a happy birthday from me too, not that she knows me or anything,” A typed. “Btw, my mother’s birthday also falls on this month, just a few more weeks!”
“That’s nice,” Z said.
This conversation isn’t going anywhere, she thought. Yeah, maybe if you guys met then it’d go somewhere, said the little voice in her head. How do I ask him out without actually asking him out, she wondered.
“You have to give me a treat, you know. For that thing you won, remember?” A typed, happily. Not a bad line, she thought.
“You must be kidding,” he said. “Besides we aren’t even in the same city, how is that possible? Of course, I’m coming down for something, maybe we could meet. How does that sound.” Z rambled on chat.
Wow, that’s the biggest paragraph he has typed out so far, she wondered aloud.
“So when are you coming here?” A tried to sound casual.
“Next week. So have you gone to this idli-dosa-vada shop, it’s amazing!” Z said. “It’s cheap, good food and down-to-earth.”
“By down-to-earth you mean noisy, right?” A nonchalantly flirted. She didn’t want him to know she was flirting with him; of course, there were possibilities that he hadn’t realized as well. Anyway, no harm in trying, she mused.
“No, I haven’t been there. I have heard of it, but haven’t been there.” A typed. “Why can’t we go to that new place that serves amazing Greek food. I heard good reviews and I’m…” she was typing but she saw that he had typed something already.
“I cannot believe you haven’t gone there! Then it’s settled, we MUST go there.” Z decided.
“Ok I’ll settle for that,” agreed A. At last, a place where we can meet finally, in person, she thought.
A was also a little nervous at this point. This could be my first date, she wondered. “Or not,” she said.
“Okay I have work tomorrow, so good night,” Z typed.
“Bye, and good night,” she said.
Two years later, as A looked at Z’s display picture on Facebook; she wondered what happened to her so-called first date. It just never happened, it was never meant to happen, she concluded. She smiled and closed the page.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
It was her phone vibrating. D had texted her asking if they could meet.
Life's just too weird, she thought.
“I land in the same city that Z is in, but I don’t talk to him anymore. No connections whatsoever; it’s like we never knew each other,” she exclaimed. “Instead, I’m meeting a new guy who I had never known.”
She looked at her phone. D was different. A fresh start, a new guy. Maybe this time it’ll be different, she thought.
Maybe. But a little voice in her head thought differently.
She shut her laptop, turned down the lights and went to bed.
“It will be different,” A muttered. “Good or bad, it’ll be different for sure.”