She stared at her coffee, as if making sure it was the right brew that she had ordered. Inhaling a lungful of the heavenly aroma wafting from the mug, she felt her taste buds getting aroused! Her fingers moved forward to curl around the mug, but stopped short. All of a sudden she felt her life slipping out of her body - a feeling that had become almost an everyday occurrence since the past few days. A feeling which would be invariably followed by an avalanche of questions she tried to find answers for.
Would he keep his word? Would he really come all the way to meet her? And, most importantly, would he find her appealing enough as he always claimed to do? Appealing enough outside the virtual world where they had been meeting all this while?
They had been classmates in school, some 25 years ago. Meeting after all this time via social media, they had instantly bonded thanks to the nostalgia for their school days. Their friendship had grown over the days and unbeknownst to either, they had fallen in love! They kept putting off meeting in the real world for fear of rejection or getting their hearts broken. Life in the 40s could get tough, especially for singletons, and neither wanted to get into something that stood the risk of fizzling out before it even began.
The coffee shop had been decided upon as their meeting place and she had arrived a good 30 minutes early. The coffee in front of her had begun to cool down, prompting her to place an order for another. She looked around in trepidation, trying to look into every face she saw around her. She knew his face very well now - she gazed at his pictures day and night, she knew it by heart!
The fair skin, the broad jawline, the metal-framed glasses perched on an attractive nose and the salt and pepper shock of hair that looked forever ruffled. And, the smile...ummm! Thinking about him seemed to have resuscitated her. She chuckled at the thought and felt herself blushing. How would they react on coming face to face after such a long time? What would they say to each other? They talked nineteen to a dozen during their phone conversations, but, this was different.
Her eyes scanned her surroundings as her heart cartwheeled within her chest. Her second coffee stayed untouched as her mind busied itself in every scenario it could think of. And, just when she had decided to give up, her eyes came in contact with the ones she had been looking for, and her heart skipped a beat. Sitting diagonally across in the corner of the cafeteria sat the man whom she had last seen as a 15 year old school boy, smiling at her with the lop-sided grin she had come to love!
They stood up simultaneously and walked towards each other haltingly. He, not taking his eyes off her for a second; she smiling a nervous smile as she put one foot after another. Their palms - now cold - touched, and their smiles gave way to nervous laughter. Giggling uncontrollably they hugged each other, albeit hesitantly, and fell into the nearest chairs. Words that had eluded them so long, poured out in gusts. The initial anxiety now gave way to the easy camaraderie they had shared virtually all these days and the world was quickly forgotten.