Short Story: A Romantic Dinner

Inspired to write more frequently by the positive feedback that I got for my last post, I have decided to complete this short story which was in my drafts from quite some time. I hope you like reading it. Please use comments section to send me your feedback.

***

A Romantic Dinner

I hate summers. I hate summers like everyone else in Hyderabad. One thing that I particularly hate about it is that the day starts early. The rays of the Sun fell on my face through the open window as if the Sun was waiting sincerely all the night to wake me up like an alarm clock. Like every other day, I woke up from my bed, put on my spectacles, walked up to the hall and picked up the news paper. Like every other day, I opened the astrology page and started reading what was in store for Capricorn.

“This is your day. You may receive some good news at the office today. You are likely to get more involved in work.  A friend may surprise you. A romantic dinner is around the corner to make this a perfect day.”

That brightened my usually dull Monday morning. Monday! Why can’t it be Sunday forever.

I heard a beep on my iPhone and I unlocked it punching the boring four digit code and saw a message from Deepa that she is going to start in thirty minutes. I brushed my teeth in a minute and rushed to get ready as I can not imagine going to office in a bus sweating like a pig by the time I reach office.

Like every other mother, my mother woke up well before I did and prepared the most delicious breakfast and lunch. She is proud that her little daughter is now a big software engineer in an even bigger software company. This I call, the text book definition of an Indian middle-class dream coming true. Children settling as software engineers, doctors, and for some lucky few, IAS or IPS officers in the government.

I messaged Deepa to wait for five more minutes before she starts and knowing me well that five more minutes is always ten more minutes, she honked in-front of our home after fifteen minutes. The mad city traffic already started. I told her sorry a couple of times without really meaning it. We knew each other for a long time to really mean a sorry or a thank you.

She dropped me at my office. Her office is a block away from mine.

I remembered what I read in the news paper in the morning, though I do not completely believe in the astrology and stuff, I am superstitious to an extent to believe in anything that makes me happy.

I have been working in the same office in the same project in the same place for last two years. It’s not as boring as one may think as there is always a sense of superiority that I quite paradoxically enjoy.

I started my day by cleaning the spam from my office Outlook inbox and then went for a coffee. I was waiting for that good news to come to me as the paper said.

Before the good news came, there came Rakesh. By the way he looked and walked, I was sure he had some news for us.

“Have you heard?” he said while he was still a few steps away from us, and he lowered his voice when he came close to us and said “Pradeep has got promotion!”

“What the,” I swallowed the four-lettered word and my face had shown that expression instead.

“That guy spends more time in his manager’s cubicle than at his disk. No wonder he is promoted.”

We discussed how stupid it was to promote him and talked about a couple new movies and by that time I finished my coffee.

I returned to my desk a little bit disappointed but remembered what I read in the news paper and wishing that good news will come sooner to make this otherwise boring day a little interesting.

Midway through the day, there wasn’t any good news. I went for an early lunch as Monday lunches usually are interesting with people discussing what they did during the weekend. Rupa, with her never ending and unbelievably soup-serial-type domestic troubles with her newly-wed husband and her in-laws, bored me like she always did. I hurried through my lunch, part because I was in no mood to listen to her troubles and also I did not want my manager to nag me more to finish the work.

It was seven in the evening when I finished the work that my manager wanted. It was then I called Deepa to see when she is starting home. Unfortunately, she started already and told me that she texted me which I missed seeing.

I was left alone to cursing myself and decided to stay a little late before the mad Hyderabad traffic eases out.

At eight thirty, exhausted and hungry by a boring Monday, I went to a nearby restaurant to eat a quick dinner.

When I saw the same news paper at the entrance, I remembered what I read in the morning. A romantic dinner is around the corner. Really! There wasn’t any good news still. But the monkey inside me imagined that I may meet a guy at the dinner and may be that would make a good ending to a boring day.

The waiter helped me find a decent enough place and was surprised to see I was alone. Why an averagely beautiful looking girl who is a software engineer would go for dinner alone in Hi-Tech city?

I ordered Biryani and started to go through my Facebook feed, liking some photos and statuses.

Before the food came, there came a handsome guy and sat right in-front of me on another table. For a moment I remembered about what I read in the paper.

‘A romantic dinner is around the corner.’

What a correct prediction, except that he was joined by another girl and they had a romantic dinner, around the corner.

I hurried through my dinner thinking same old thoughts and shamelessly glancing at that guy a couple of times while he quite proudly and possessively fed his girlfriend with a spoon. I hate public display of affection for some weird reason. It was nine in the night and I could officially use a cab that my company provides for free.

My mother was eagerly waiting for me even though I spoke to her four times after I started from office accompanied by a company security guard.

Exhausted from a not so interesting day, I hurried up to sleep and had a smile remembering what I read as my day’s prediction.

Everything happened as it was written. I heard a good news, but not for me. I had a surprise from my friend, Deepa, but it wasn’t pleasant. Romantic dinner was around the corner and I was a spectator.

I went to sleep and the Sun woke me up again on Tuesday and as they say, life continued.

***

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13 Comments

  1. Prasad
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    All the ingredients in this write-up makes it a perfect recipe for a short film with the same title :-)
    asusual, good one Chandu

    • Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Prasad. I am in for directing this short movie :)

  2. Amit Kabra
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Nice read.

    Well suspense brought smile to my face since I wasn’t expecting it. Keep writing :)

  3. Swathi Singireddy
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    Good one Chandra! Very realistic story like the way you took the story till end keep writing:-)

  4. ashwini
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Anniah , you always rock!!! I really really love to read your blogs….

  5. Karteek Manchala
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Well written Chandu,
    well paced and cool!

    Anyways whats the name of the girl!

    • Posted January 30, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Thank you Karteek. I am glad you liked it. Name of the girl, well I haven’t really thought one.

  6. Vishal G
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    One thing that I liked the most in this is that you havent revealed that “I” is a “she” till some time, which is what many good story writers do :)

  7. Divya
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Good one!! liked the climax:)

  8. Shilpa
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    :D well written! I see where u got inspired about the office conversations ;)

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