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I unwrapped the gift, and as I saw a chocolate box inside, my dopamine levels were increased.
Imraan: So Inaya Pectas, how was your day today?
Inaya: It was good.
Imraan: Why good, why not excellent?
Inaya: Days can’t be excellent. Only birthdays or some special occasions could be counted under excellent.
Imraan: why do you stay so serious Inaya? Always?
Inaya: oh no.. I’m a happy-go-lucky sort of person. I don’t stay serious.
Imraan: happy-go-lucky people don’t cry.
What shall i say next?
Imraan didn’t ask me anything straight away. His ways to know about me, were always different.
Since I didn’t have any reply, I remained silent. I was a happy bee, as I recall about myself. I was a different person completely. I was someone like Imraan, curious, happy, excited.
Imraan: which song shall I play?
Inaya: Why do you want to play a song? Weather is great. Winter is coming. It’s all good this way.
Imraan: If you’ll stay quiet like this, I’ll start feeling sleepy.
Inaya: so indirectly, you’re asking me to talk.
Imraan: Duh! Yes Inaya. Please talk.
He’s so engaging. He always want people around him to chit chat. It’s been really long, I’ve met someone full of life. I guess, I should live this moment now. I’ve been waiting for this the whole day and just because of him, I can’t spoil everything.
Inaya: So where are we going?
Imraan: You must be feeling hungry. We are going for a dinner.
What did he just say?
Inaya: Sorry I didn’t get you.
Imraan: We’re going to central. In Intrinsica.
I don’t know what is he saying. Which outlet is named as Intrinsica? And I’ve been working in one of the most finest area. Yet.
I took out my mobile phone, slowly. And who else could’ve helped me that moment except Google?
Inaya: Are you crazy?
I bursted that moment.
Imraan: Woh woh! What happened?
Inaya: You’ve asked me for a coffee. We aren’t going to this Intrinsica.
Imraan: What happened? You don’t like their coffee? They’re the finest in the world.
Inaya: I’m telling you I AM NOT GOING THERE.
My voice raised and yes I became too furious that moment. He looked at me and swiftly parked the car on a side.
Imraan: Why do you panic? What is it? Tell me honestly.
Inaya: I’m simply asking you that I can’t go to that place. You can drop me home if you don’t want to go any where else.
Imraan: I know you don’t want to betray Starbucks but I thought we could have dinner there too.
Inaya: it’s not about Starbucks. It’s about Intrinsica.
I sank myself in the seat, with my hands closed and my eyes trying to find a place to hide. Imraan took a deep breath and leaned towards me.
I looked at him and his intriguing eyes, didn’t made me look away then.
Imraan: We’re friends Inaya. Tell me what’s wrong? You can tell me right?
That moment, I decided to tell him the truth.
Inaya: I can’t sip in a coffee which costs 1500 bucks.
And there it was, a disgusting laughter.
Inaya: stop laughing please. Don’t make my fun.
Imraan: I’m not making your fun but you looked so cute while confessing that. Okay, tell me where do you want to go?
Inaya: let’s have a cheat meal today with a coffee.
Imraan raised his left eyebrow, turned his face a little towards me and took a U-turn.
That night, we sat in his car, with a plate of dimsum and a grande of Starbucks.
Imraan: How do you know this place?
Inaya: I used to come here in my college days.
Imraan: this is a nice place. Roadside outlets. I liked it.
Inaya: you did?
Imraan: Yes ofcourse. By the way I never ate something while sitting in my car. This is the very first time.
Inaya: You’re lucky enough. Whenever I come here, I have to stand and eat.
Imraan: why don’t you buy a car.?
Inaya: Two reasons – first is obviously money and second I don’t know how to drive.
Imraan: oh okay. Are you done? Let’s go out and throw these boxes in the trash.
Inaya: oh yes!
As we were coming back, Imraan rushed towards the other seat and asked me to sit on the driver’s seat.
Inaya: What are you doing? Why aren’t you sitting on this seat.?
Imraan: Because I want you to drive.
Inaya: No way Imraan. I’ll hit someone. I’m not even a beginner, I’m zero.
Imraan: Stop being scared about things inaya, I’m sitting here, right next to you.
His voice was composed as ever. He told me how to start the engine. And as I did that, I started jumping in excitement for I started a Porsche by my own. That was enough for me.
Inaya: I did it. Now come back to your place we’re getting late.
Imraan: (stepping out) Someday I’ll teach you how to drive.
We were crossing each other to be seated where we’re meant to and he held my wrist and asked me to stand in front of him.
He stared at me and that smile, i could see that again.
Imraan: I don’t know, its just that you’re extremely beautiful.
Inaya: Liar you’re. And to how many girls have you said this?
Imraan: you are the fourth.
Inaya: such a flirt.
Imraan: First is granny, second is mom, third is Azmi aunty and fourth is standing here.
I stood there, quiet, without even asking him to leave my hand.
Imraan: Can I ask you something Inaya?
Imraan: Can I hug you once. I’ve never asked any girl for this. I don’t know i don’t feel like giving you a casual good bye hug.
I didn’t had the answer.
What Inaya? Say yes.
Imraan: Only if you’re comfortable.
Inaya: Umm, okay.
He was expecting a denial i suppose. And my yes, brought a huge smile on his face. He came close to me with certain millimeter steps and when he finally held me, though my heart was coming out, my storms were calm. Imraan’s arms were a relief that I was heavily searching for.
~ TO BE CONTINUED