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  • It was snowing that night, and it was freezing, in the middle of February.

    Two days ago, I met her as we had decided in the lounge by the corner of 10th and 22nd. She had generously agreed to meet me for a nightcap after work.

    I had known her for a better part of 6 months now; mostly over email and chat and I was really hoping that she had appreciated the ton of effort I was putting into projecting some intellectual and witty conversation; this was the sixth time I was meeting her; she looked the same as ever - beautiful, and definitely deep in thought - ever the picture of elegance and dignity. I knew her due to work, she worked in an agency that had executed on some new ad campaigns for us, and the first few times I had met her, I had presented her the results of the budget, which led to the ads being executed.

    I had grown attracted to her in a way that I had never felt towards anyone before. I did not want to be "one of those Guys, Ab, one of those guys - you are definitely one of those guys." I just wished I knew what she meant by that.

    "What do you mean, Lisa? Really, what does one of those guys mean? Indian?"

    "You being Indian has absolutely nothing to do with it - even if you were from Neptune, you would still be one of those whatever we call living beings from Neptune."

    “There are no living beings in Neptune that we know of.”

    “You get the point.”

    “So, why did you call me here?” I asked.

    “I did not, you called me here, Ab.”

    “Yeah Lisa, I did – I wanted to tell you that the results of the forecast.”

    “What about them has changed since I spoke about them to your boss two days ago?”

    “You are not going to like it.”

    “What Happened?”

    “The budget has been cut down for the second round of ads.”

    “Yeah Ab I know – your boss told me that they had cut it down by a percent. That’s perfectly fine.”

    “Yeah Lisa, we just can’t do the full budget. There is no way we can do it.”

    “Ab, I know – why are you telling me something I know already? Why are you telling me this in middle of a snowy night? This redundant piece of information could surely have waited till morning tomorrow. It’s not like the campaign could critically get hampered by a loss of 500 bucks.”

    “Just making sure we are on the same page.”

    “Is this your idea of meeting me outside work?”

    “No.”

    “Ab, this is just pathetic.”

    “Look, I was telling you the results of the forecast.”

    “Ok, that does not change the fact that this is lame.”

    “Lisa, this is not any excuse whatever you might think.”

    “Guys like you, Ab – just so you know there is something perverse about going out on a date with a guy like you knowing it is a date with a guy like you.”

    “A Guy like me?”

    “You know you are hoping to be half-drunk, have some awkward sex that you will celebrate after and in the intent of finding more in future endeavours, get embarrassed more often than not.”

    She then pointed to her body and said in a very clear voice, “This is what you want. This is always what one of those guys want, guys like you.”

    “How are you so sure that’s what I want?”

    “Why else are we having drinks here under false pretences?”

    “Lisa, I did not go to High School in America – what I know about proms is thanks to Hollywood, and aren’t they the world’s best teachers! I was working like mad on my SAT’s after high school in India so I could come to a great school in the States that would teach me something I wanted to learn. On whatever level, it worked out ok, and I have a job I like in an industry I really enjoy. So, if I get a call now from work, chances are I will take it not because I want to flash my importance but because I genuinely want to take the call. I can’t write thoughtful poetry to win girls over; I don’t have muscles to flex for girls who are so inclined. The times I have had one night stands, I was reasonably drunk for me to pull it off, and more importantly, I now admit with a decent measure of shame, so were the girls in those instances. What I do know is I want to take you out to dinner, and ask you how your day was because I really do want to know how it was. I would try to be conversationally sensible that credits your prodigious mind and gets us thinking about something, and hopefully kiss you goodnight when I drop you back home. There is absolutely no earthly and/or ungodly reason why you should not go out to dinner with me on a day when it works for you. It is pretty sad that it won’t happen because you think I am one of those guys because you maybe dated a couple of jackasses who clearly were one of those guys. It’s very disappointing that I am very shy when it comes to speaking my mind when it matters with the people who matter and very unfortunate that I know I lack the courage to do so. Let me pay for these drinks, let’s finish them and get out of here. It is late, and I am sorry for having kept you up at this ungodly hour on my account in this godforsaken weather.”

    “You don’t like the snow, Ab?”

    “I hate it.”

    "There is something magical about snow in a way that we can never understand."

    And that was it.

    I dropped her off to her subway stop and went home, rode the train to mine, and was walking in the snow to my apartment. I even checked my phone in the hope that there would be an email from work that would offer me the reprieve of making me feel less stupid for at least some seconds.

    But when I reached the entrance of my building, she was sitting there on the steps, a thin lock of hair elegantly resting on her cheeks, her legs folded, resting her elbow on her knees, her chin resting on her interlocked fingers, with her patient eyes looking at me.

    As I approached the steps, she remarked, “So you wanted to tell me the results of the forecast.”

    “And you also thought I was one of those guys.”

    “Yes.”

    “Lisa, I am sorry I made up this preposterous excuse of wanting to see you outside work. My IQ doesn’t necessarily break a bank, but I am certainly dense at some things. I just never learned what to do next when you think you like somebody and want to get to know her better. But many people learnt – and I am assuming Dick and Dick learnt half of it at least.”

    “Dick and Dick?”

    “Those couple of Jackasses who started the “one of those Guys” club and have no idea they did.”

    “Yeah, they did start it.”

    “I’d never make a fool out of you, Lisa. I do like you and do want to get to know you better, because I think you are one of the most beautiful and pretty people I have met. There is something about .....”

    But she cut me off at this point, looked at me with those piercing patient eyes and said, “You know what Ab, you should not talk so much.”

    She leaned forward and I have never felt so vulnerable in my life as I did in that moment. And then as I raised my hand to put that lock of her hair behind her ears, I hesitated for what surely was a nanosecond, and she smiled, looked at my hand, jerked her eyes to the lock and then smiled again. I put that lock of hair behind her ears.

    And then we kissed, and the next thing I said to her was, "So, does dinner day after work for you? Can I pick you up at 7-30?"

    "Day After? Ummm, sure, it works, but tomorrow does too."

    “Come on, let’s find a cab to get you home.”

    " Why day after?"

    "Because we are expected to have some light snow then. And yes Mademoiselle, I see the sense in the magic of snow.”
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