After yet another tiring day at work, I chose the nearby McDonalds outlet for my usual solitary dinner. I needed a junk food treat desperately.
There wasn’t anyone tonight but the girl ahead on the queue seemed to have a jolly long chat on the counter. A minute later, out of a rude mixture of frustration and hunger, I interrupted.
‘Could you please move if your order is complete?’
She turned and began scrutinizing me. Half expecting a cold response, I straightened my shoulders and amplified my frown. In return, I received a warm smile.
‘Can I help you place your order sir ?’
‘Oh I dint think you were staff. I expected someone in the uniform and much less prettier’
I regretted the moment I said those lines.
Again a top to down scrutiny. This time I received a hearty laugh. The long pause in between seemed to have worked in my favour.
I ordered my regular meal with an awkward smile and she said she would deliver it to my table. The night seemed to be a lucky one since I found my favorite corner seat in the open terrace vacant.
‘Quite a starry night ain’t it? Said the husky voice from behind. She stood there with one arm holding the plate and the fist of the other resting on her waist. She seemed to be in good shape. She had a cherubic face with soft curls, sharp brows and big round eyes. I must admit the big eyes are always a distraction for me. Finally after a few seconds, she plonked herself on the opposite couch.
I continued talking. ‘Yes looks exceptionally beautiful tonight. So what’s your story?’
‘College break.Fourth year architecture. I am a regular here and those at the counter are really close friends of mine. Right now they are curious about you. ‘ A wide grin followed.
I could sense that all glances were directed towards our table.
‘ I am Shiv. Working somewhere I do not enjoy. And no friends around here definitely. ‘ I replied eyeing her curious group with a sigh.
Again the weird oppressed laugh ending with a wide grin.
‘You look like a lonely writer waiting for a story to happen. You must realize that you create the plot not the inverse.’
I was impressed .’You seem too wise for your age. Your lines display great experience. What might be …?’
‘Smarty pants you could just ask what you want to know.Ill tell you my age. You want more sauce packets?’
‘I am fine. Go on.’
She persists, returns with a few sauce packets and laments
‘I am 26. A few years younger than you.By the way, you laugh like a teenager. Only your laugh belies your age.’
She’s charmed me all the way home by now. I wonder what to say.
‘By now I am quite sure you would be registering all these dialogues.I could give you better dialogues, you know.’ As she continued her impromptu screenplay, I keep staring, pausing only to laugh at her simple humor.
And since then we have always laughed our hearts out together.
Only change was the meal for two served by someone else.
PS: She liked the story but still insists on changing her dialogues..