Hello, again.

She knew she was fidgety in class today. She even missed the tips that she always gave her students during the lecture for their benefit during examinations. Something she had gained from years of teaching, paper setting and research in Biology. Teaching was her first love, and over the years had become her only love.

But today was different. She knew it was coming. He was going to pop the question. That was probably another side effect of being too deep in love. One couldn’t keep surprises.

It had become quite evident in the last few days. Their bond had become stronger than ever. They had come a long way from the day they had met, three months ago, on her forty first birthday; and longer still from the day they had first met, eighteen years ago in her parent’s house in Kanpur, amidst his relatives and hers. She had sat across the room from Shiv, revising the list of questions she wanted to ask, reciting in her head the right tone and manner of putting them forward. Without being particularly handsome, Shiv had managed to send the right vibes across the room. She found herself waiting to speak to him. And when they did, she was relieved to know that the feeling was mutual.

Like all weddings in the neighbourhood, theirs was a grand affair for them, the grandest her parents could afford with their modest medical salaries. The marriage had lasted three and a half years. The disagreements had lasted longer, till she finally moved to Delhi.

And then, three months ago, while he was visiting her city for a conference, they crossed paths again. It was almost like a gift from the heavens. As she was returning from home after a ceremonious dinner with colleagues – her birthday treat – she happened to stop at the same place as his taxi had for fuel. Conversation fuelled between them like firework. Differences melted like ice and a new bond began to grow.

A lot had changed in the one and a half decade when they were apart. They had experienced life up close, savoured independence, regretted loneliness, overcome situations, ran the rat race and settled in their comfort zones. Things they had fought over appeared silly when they looked back. They even laughed on some of the situations they had managed to put themselves in, while they were together. But there was one thing that hadn’t changed. The vibe they gave each other. It was the same vibe she had felt again when she noticed him staring at her curiously from the other side of the fuel station.

It was perfect – perfect time, perfect place, perfect plan and the perfect man. Too perfect, maybe, to be disturbed by anything.

 Sargum, will you be my wife?” he said. Just the way she had imagined all day in college and before coming to the restaurant. 

“No.” She said. 

Of course he was stunned. But she knew he understood. Because they met at the same place the next day as well… just like before. 


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