Are you sure? , he asked.
Yes Akshay. I shall leave in another ten minutes. Don’t worry.
She glanced at him as he stood up and walked towards the door, quickly but carefully. He was a keeper,of that she was sure, for such an innocent and warm guy was hard to come by these days. For her,the past hour spent at the cafe with him was probably one of the best dates ever. She wanted to cast this day, this moment in her memory.
As she scourged for the journal in her handbag, she noticed Akshay was still standing near the door. Slowly, he walked back to her,albeit with a slight apprehension.
What happened Akshay?
Well, It did not seem right to leave without you. Come along, please.
Oh! That’s really sweet. But you should go ahead since you are already running late to meet your friends.
She could not have asked for more care and affection. Although she wanted to go with him now, she knew he would be delayed further.
Its not really that. Its just that I have to tell you something, a little personal maybe.
Her heart skipped a beat. His face turned taut as he glanced at the door. He still stood there while she stared at him, wide-eyed, in disbelief, conjuring up hundreds of scenarios in her head.
What is it, Akshay?, she asked,restraining her voice a tad too much, out of the sheer anxiety.
He kept glancing at the door, missing her question completely.
Akshay? , she asked touching his arm, jolting him back to the consciousness.
He looked into her eyes.
This place is a little crowded. Let us step out, please.
The suffix ‘please’ never sounded better. She knew her brain was in dire need of re-calibration. She quickly replaced her journal inside, stuffed the wallet in one corner, quite unlike her usual self. She got up with a jerk, knocking off the salt shaker from the table. He had not noticed this, as he stood gazing outside.
He held her hand gently and motioned her to walk ahead, displaying every ounce of chivalry he possessed. She wore a wide smile as she walked up to the door. She had been so deep in thought, that she nudged the door hard on the poor black dog that had been sitting right across it, scaring it away.
She turned to face him. Her eyes were transfixed on his lips.
You look beautiful today.
You already said that twice today. What was the personal thing, Akshay?
Well, There is this thing about me. That is the real reason why I did not want to leave alone.
I hope you don’t judge me, he said as he pointed to the black dog.
She turned to look at the small creature sniffing near the door, not understanding either his answer or the turn of events.
Why would I judge you, Akshay?
Well then, the reason I could not leave alone, the reason I invited you outside, that personal something, is that I am too scared of dogs.