Not Just On The Blogs
Love is in the air all around me offline too.
Today after work I went out with a group of friends. Just a simple get-together at one of those cafe's. Lots of people coming & going to have lunch or just coffee or tea & sheesha. Un-winding on the last day of the working week. Relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Comfortable seats. Raised voices talking over each other sometimes - saying nothing very important really. Lots of topics but nothing covered in too much depth. Some people reading newspapers. Some with their laptops open pretending to work. Arguing over seating space. Melody TV on with the sound muted. Occasional sarcastic comments on the videos. Lots of laughter & teasing. My natural habitat.
Usually I'd jump right into the conversation & lose myself in it. I find it comforting. Like wading slowly into the sea when the water is just right.
But today something struck me & made me sit quietly listening & smiling to myself. Two of the people present - a guy and a girl(I'll call them A & B) - clearly had something going. You could feel the electricity. Was almost getting static in my hair. On the surface they were brutal to each other. He would make fun of everything she said. But it didn't change the fact that he never missed a word she said - even though she wasn't sitting next to him & she was talking to other people.
Don't really know them very well. He(A.) is my banker. Thought he was a nice guy so I invited him to join us for lunch once almost 2 years ago. Everyone liked him so he just became part of the group. Funny thing is he ended up a lot friendlier with some of them even though I was the one who introduced him. Me & him still don't have much of a relationship outside the bank & the group.
She(B.) is a friend of the girlfriend of one of the guys. Pretty convoluted I know. Same story. I see her around a lot but we never really sat down & talked. She's a very gentle, refined, shy sort of girl. Sometimes I got the impression that this group is kind of too rough for her. You need to have a pretty thick skin to hang around with them. They don't do please or thank you or nurturing here. If you can't take being teased all the time & can't hold your own you're bound to feel a bit uncomfortable. And I could tell she was sometimes. She would get this startled look on her face. Or look really embarrassed.
What caught my attention was that when A. would tease her she wouldn't draw back or get embarrassed at all. She'd give back as good as she got. It was the only time I'd see her come out of her shell. That was a dead give-away. He brings out the mean in her. It's got to be true love right?
I couldn't miss it because they remind me of me & K. I mean am no shrinking violet but the way he always seemed to be half-listening to her even when he was talking to others across the table. That's me & K. Am always half-listening to everyone else when he's around. Sometimes I'd get a little irritated by it - the way I can't get my mind off him. It's embarrassing & I get teased a lot about always being distracted when he's there. So I'd say something I know is guaranteed to provoke an answer from him to whoever I happen to be talking to. And sure enough K would pounce on it. Even though he'd say something mean & horrible usually it would still make me smile & think gotcha you've been listening in too. And I'd know the meanness is just his way of saying:"Will you please get out of my head?"
Just couldn't miss that little routine playing around me. Spent sometime silently speculating on how involved they are. Have they come to an understanding that they're just keeping secret for their own reasons or are they still playing the chase game with each other?Couldn't tell. I guess my insight has its limits.
Was shaken out of this reverie by one of the guys telling me his kid brother - a university student - has a C++ test on Sat & could I help him cram. Here & now?Who can study in the middle of all this noise?Just move to another table everyone said. So I gave the kid my keys & told him to get my laptop from the car downstairs. And I took his textbook & the test material & found a table that was a bit isolated & more quiet. Everyone knows teaching is not my forte but luckily he was a smart kid. He didn't give me much trouble. He got things right the first time I explained them & he asked smart questions. We actually spent more than an hour going over the test material. Enjoyed it sort of. I think that if he spends the weekend practicing everything I told him to practice he should do pretty well on the test.
I left him to it when I saw a group of girls arrive. One of them was the love interest of my friend R. Their story is still in a state of inertia. Remembered that I had plans to speak to her. And it was a good opportunity to catch her without him around.
Just went up & asked if I could speak to her in private. She said sure & we found yet another isolated table. It was a bit awkward. Don't know when I developed into such an interfering, meddlesome busybody. Good thing no one else was around to catch my performance of Cupid. Got right to the point. Wasn't as difficult as I thought because she seemed to be relieved to have someone talk to her about it. As soon as I told her that he thought she was taking too long to respond she just started talking & talking. In a nutshell she does have feelings for him but she doesn't feel ready to think of marriage yet. She wants to date for a while - to see what kind of couple they would make. But because his feelings are so much stronger than hers she's scared of giving him hope when she's not sure of the outcome. Basically she's worried that if she got into a relationship with him & then didn't feel it was going to work it would be difficult to end it. Told her that she needs to explain this to him because he needs to know where he stands. So she asked me if I would explain it to him. Didn't like that. Told her that what I can do is tell him I had a talk with her & that she is interested but that there are issues they needed to discuss. But that I was not going to be carrying messages back & forth about the intricacies of their relationship.
Maybe I was a bit too blunt there. Frankly thought less of her for not being brave enough to talk to him herself. Don't like people who beat around the bush & have problems being open. She seemed embarrassed, started apologizing for troubling me etc...And eventually agreed to what I suggested. And she got up first. Had the feeling she wanted to escape the situation. So we went back to re-join everyone else.
Am happy I have some good news to give R but if necessary I will explain to him too that this is the end of my involvement. Don't expect it to be necessary though. He's not like that.
Love continues to be the recurring theme in my life these days. And it still makes me happy.:)