It's been a while and it is about time this happens. They simply did not know who should play the role of the drop and who should wait at the window seat. Somehow they both preferred the window seat. Enough signs were exchanged often that the palm is outstretched and waiting. May be they were just waiting for the rain.
On a cloudy day he called her to meet at a familiar seashore. It seemed that a gentle shower was imminent. She arrived, dressed in the colour of clouds, half-expecting him to hide roses behind his back. He greeted her with a smile, half-expecting her to half-expect what is playing on his mind for the day. She had the answer ready. She just wanted him to ask the question. And she thought to herself 'Sigh! Isn't it the case for quite some time now?'.
He had the question ready that day. But he chose to unfold it in a game. After the settling-in conversations, he asked her, "How about an interesting game today?" She knew he is fond of little games. She was glad to respond "Why not? What have you come up with for us today".
He explained. "This is called the Me-too game. Let us exchange simple statements and questions to each other. One should only answer 'me too' or 'no no' as a reply. Let us do it in turns"
"Super. You start" She was thinking God! Is he doing it? He wants me to say 'me too' when he says 'I love you' Why wouldn't I?
"Agreed" He was thinking Do not rush it. This is going to be special.
His turn to ask the first question. He was prepared! "I like the calmness of the sea and the texture of the sand here" The opening should be generic.
Her answer. Okay.. Let the opening be generic. "Me too. It is so relaxing"
"Your turn now to ask" I am not going to make it that easy my lady. Let me see if you say it first.
Oops. Didn't think of it. Clever! So he still wants me to say. I am not going to make it that easy my man. Game on. Let's play. "Hmmm.. Let me think." Play safe. Play safe. Facts! They are the safest. Get a common fact. "I am a January-born" Phew!
Smart! Wow.. How beautiful she turns when she acts smart. "That's easy. Me too. My turn. My blood group is AB+ve" Surprise!
Wow! Where did he know my blood group from? We never talked this. So, our blood is the same too :-) "Me too." Now think. Any other common fact? ... Yes! But isn't it a bit lame? Heck.. go with it.. "I have one sibling".
"Me too. But come on. Do you expect me to say 'I have one father and one mother' next? :-) Let's play interestingly. We know enough facts. Think of feelings." I think that is a good clue. Isn't it?
"Ok ok.. no more facts. Your turn" Wait! Is he prepared with a script of questions for this? God.. can't you just say that you love me!
"Yep. I like to read Paulo Coelho" Especially about love. And then discussing it with you.
I know. How often have we talked about it? Wait.. That sounds so rehearsed. So you are ready with a question paper! "Ya.. Me too. How did you start thinking of Coelho all of a sudden?"
Caught off-guard. Steady. Steady. Act as if you are thinking long before each question. "Ya.. even I wonder! Somehow this shore and the impending rain makes me think of him. I think it might rain today"
"Aha! So you think of Coelho when it rains. Tcha! I thought there will be some section for romance in a guy's brain!"
Just like the usual, love was hanging invisible in the air over them like a saturated cloud just about to pour, exclusively for them!
"Ok ok.. your turn now. Don't divert the topic. Let's see how romantic girls think when it rains" Mavale.. Maatuniya! Ippo pesu..
My foot! What romance will I do with a tube-light guy like you? "Enough enough.. You will never know what a girl thinks. Ok. Back to the game. I like to see the white colour of the clouds mingle with the sea's blue here. It looks so romantic" Is that enough of a clue? Spurt it out.. you moron! I ll play it your way too.
She is dressed in white. I am in blue! Is that a prompt? Step it up.. "Me too. Hmmm.. Think of romance, of late I am getting glued to Ilayaraja's love songs."
"Is that a statement or the game's question to me?"
"Of course. We are playing. Your move"
"Me too. My turn. Let me just play further on your cue. I am getting glued to love songs of late. Not only Ilayaraja. Even if it is Devi SriPrasad"
"What? DSP?! Since when did you acquire this taste. Honestly I can't tell 'Me too' for this. So 'no no'. But seriously..."
"Shut up. Simply play the game. Your move" As if he is one Mozart himself. Bird-brain! I wanted to talk about love. Not about DSP..
Oops.. Did I go one step too long. Careful! "Ok. Actually.. I don't think Ilayaraja is the only man. There are others too.. You can even say D.Emman"
So you are comforting me now :-) Poda.. I can't even get angry on you. Wait.. I ll give you a direct question.. "Me too. I like people who speak their mind openly"
Tricky question. Alert. She wants me to tell it. Hold on.. it applies to her too. She too is not speaking her mind openly "Me too. But isn't it easier said than done? People whom we know very closely or even we ourselves are reluctant to speak out openly. Everybody has their own ego. What to do?"
I know that is directed to me. But understand.. I have dreamt for long that you will propose and I will happily accept. I have even made shadow rehearsals for the moment.. I am ready. Just let me live my dream.. I know you know as well. How special would it be?! Just imagine. But if you still insist... I wouldn't mind taking the initiative.. I am just under-prepared. Just give me time. Let's do it today.
He could see her eyes distracted into some introspective thought. There was a heavy silence. He was expecting it to be like this. In spite of all those signs she gave, he still had an inkling of a doubt if they are truly signs intended or mere figments of his imagination. He has been scarred before as well. He couldn't be the happy-go-lucky boyish lover to express love at the drop of a hat. A man has his own complications. But how late can be too late?
Lost in thought himself, he suddenly noticed the sparkle in her eyes. She was not looking at him or at the sea or anywhere in particular. Her gaze seemed to pierce deep into some unknown far land. One minute, they seemed to ask questions. The next minute, they seemed to know it all. They looked girlishly cute one minute. They looked assertive as steel the next minute. The minute after, they looked calm as a Zen truth. And during all this, they looked beautiful as ever and as usual. Looking at those eyes make him feel that even tomorrow is too late. He came to his senses first and broke the silence.
"Ahem.. After the break. The game is still on. My turn now! .... (one deep breath) I think I am in love" This is it. The next time I am going to say it is her.
"Me too" She said almost instinctively and then realized what is happening. She took a few seconds to recoup. This is it. He is saying it. He is saying it. It is happening. Time seemed to stop for her. In spite of all those rehearsals and dreams, she felt a very different and an uncomparable joy at the moment.
Yes! "Interesting. So who is it? And by the way, the game is still on. It is your turn now" He brought her back to the world again.
What?! O wait.. the game! He hasn't told it is me yet. And even now he throws the ball at me. I am going to kill him :-)
She took a few seconds of silence and a few deep breaths. He waited for her to respond with a curious and a knowing smile. And then she said, with the same smile, "I said 'Me too'. As a response to your question. Now my turn.. I say 'Me too' again."
Smart! And how beautiful she becomes when she gets smart.. "Me too. And I say 'Me too' again"
Yes! "Me too"
"Me too" I want to hold you and kiss you right now.
"Me too" Hold me right now..
"O yeah.. Me too" And he held her in his arms. It was about time this happened. And it rained. Exclusively for them!