I was speechless for a second not longer, but it was one long second.
She was wearing a shiny, shimmery disco-ball kind of dress, very unlike whatever image I had thought up of her.
I barely knew her. She was my roommate’s friend. We’d met just a couple of times. I couldn’t — and still can’t — even remember her name. I mumbled something that sounded like a greeting.
I had been tired before I met her. I still was. I had to turn my gaze away towards my roommate who was busy on the phone. Did I notice a smile curl on her lips?
“Do you know of any good places which serve nachos?”
Before I could answer, my roommate got into the conversation. She spoke of pub places that served nachos. I didn’t know any place that made good nachos. “I have a craving for them,” she had said.
I wanted to make her nachos then. Hell — I didn’t even know how to make them. She wasn’t satisfied by my roommates answers as the nachos at all those places were just blah add-ons. I had always thought of nachos as add-ons. Not any more.
I felt embarrassed as they kept discussing food, clubs & people. I felt old, felt my age. I mumbled something again, left the room to them and moved to mine.
I was having dinner & watching a film when she walked up to me. She had worn a jacket over her dress. She signalled — can you hear me? I took off my headphones.
“Do you want to come with us?” she asked.
I wanted to join her but dinner was sitting on my lap.
She looked at my plate. “Oh, but you’re already having dinner.”
“What’s that you are having?
“Yeah, though so,” she giggled.
She then spoke about how she had gone vegan a couple of years ago. She was babbling. There was a shine in my eyes — the kind that made her talk and me listen. There was something about the dim room, the lights, her dress, tandoori chicken and dahi. It made me want to blabber together. Just sit, feed each other and talk.
My roommate, who said this on coming out of her room, certainly was.
“Bye,” I said.
“Bye,” she smiled as she left.
I went back to my tandoori, dipped it in dahi and polished it off.