February 12

“I’m back. Sorry to have cut you short. I like your place. It’s cosy,” she walked in to join him back in the kitchen. It looked like the food was ready and the table was set. She picked up her glass of wine and washed it down with some cheese bites. She felt light inside her head. It wasn’t the wine. She reached for his hand and in a childlike tone said, “Let’s have some food; I’m famished.” He let out a laugh and pulled her close. She seemed so tiny in his arms, this woman who little by little was taking up a huge space in his heart. Is this love? Is this how you feel when you’re in love? Do you see magic around you? Wasn’t it meant only for hopeless romantics? Was he one of them now? As she looked softly into his eyes, he felt the urge to press his lips on hers. The alarm in his head went off, Too soon! Too soon! So he kissed her, instead, on her forehead and lead her to the dining table. The place suddenly seemed too quiet or their hearts were racing loudly, neither knew which. They ate in silence, finishing off the bottle of wine. The silence was neither awkward nor uncomfortable; it was the kind that screamed bliss, it was the kind that allowed the heart to beat in new rhythms.

They had finished eating. “Would you like some more wine?” he asked breaking the silence.

“Yes, please. I’ll get it while you clear the table,” she said. She opened another bottle, walked to the couch and settled on it in a corner. He joined her there and she poured him some wine. 

“How did you like the food?” he asked her. 

“How did you know I like steak and roasted salad? And wine?” she replied. 

“Well, I took my chances. And by that question I’ll take it that you liked it,” he answered. 

She smiled and in his heart he thought Don’t do that. Don’t smile like that. It kills me that I can’t kiss you. Those lips. God save me! She noticed that he looked amused staring at her so she shook him, “You don’t seem your usual self. Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry,” he flushed, “you have a beautiful smile.”

“I get that often,” she blushed. 

“May I play some music?” he asked intending and hoping to dance with her. What she said next took him by surprise.

 “You may if you dance with me!”

It must be some divine interference. Surely the gods must be on my side. He nodded and went to the music player to slip in a cassette. She looked at him and thought of how selfish she was. She wanted the dance. She wanted him to hold her close in an embrace. She wanted to sway to the music along with his body. She wanted to press her head against his shoulders. She wanted to pick up his scent on him. Isn’t that why she reached for his hand in the kitchen? She knew she was falling miserably in love with a man that reminded her of him. Did that mean that she still loved him? How could she be in love with two different men at the same time? For now, she decided to blame it on the wine and let those fiery emotions drown her. But before that, she wanted a dance. 

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