I slowly walk inside the room and look at the only empty chair near the bar, cursing myself for treading inside so early. Even, earlier than my friends who I was expecting to be there already. I started feeling awkward standing all alone among the crowd of people dancing and drinking. I was continually being conscious of myself being so dressed up in spite of being able to blend with the crowd so easily. Gathering courage and twisting my cellphone between my fingers, I moved towards that empty chair. While being seated, I dialed my friend’s number and waited eagerly for someone to answer, but no one answered my call. I started looking at the crowd. Shifty glances from one person to another. My gaze stopped three chairs away towards my right. A guy was sitting there apparently alone rotating his half empty glass in his left hand. Registering I hadn’t ordered my drink yet, I turned towards the bar tender and ordered something that would help me sail through the immense wait. After a minute or two that felt like hours, I got my drink. I shifted my gaze again towards that chair. But there was no one.
I started searching for him on the dance floor. He was nowhere to be found. I felt uneasiness that had nothing to do with the wait for my friends. It was so hard to find that perfect combination of crisp white shirt and a pair of blue jeans. Ah! Small sigh escaped me, there he was. In so simple and casual attire, yet he just stood out from the crowd. He was dancing with a girl. My heart felt a small pang. This guy had probably come with his girlfriend. And then I saw, another guy come closer to her. I felt somewhat relieved. My phone rang. It was one of my friend’s. I had five minutes to savour the moment now and brood over about this guy in the white shirt. After those short five minutes, I saw the door open and horde of five or six people enter, waving and shouting towards me. Those were my friends. The unruly pack, but they were my friends none the less. He looked towards them and then towards me. Our eyes met. I got more conscious.
After a small ceremony of chit chat and few drinks, we walked towards the dance floor. He was not there. I would have forgotten about him altogether, but I brushed against someone while dancing. I looked up. It was him. He said sorry and moved towards his group. Fighting through the whirlwind of thoughts that occupied my mind, I resumed my dancing. And the evening ended and we all came back home.
I had a very restless night as I was unable to sleep. In the brief encounter that we had, I was able to sketch his face perfectly in my open eyes. It was crush at first sight. I don’t remember when I dozed off thinking about him.
I felt slight giddiness the next morning, which had nothing to with the drinks. It was a different kind of hangover. Time passes so quickly, I had already reached office. Checking the time on my watch I rushed into the elevator. I took few seconds to register the guy in front of me. We both looked at each other and quickly looked down. Yes, it was him and somehow I had this feeling that he recognized me. He worked near my office. It was a happy thought. Unconsciously, just to confirm I looked towards the panel with floor numbers. Only a single button was pressed. What! We were going to the same floor. I looked towards him. He also had this puzzled expression. And the elevator door opened and I quickly rushed towards the entry gate. I was suddenly too embarrassed and conscious to be at the same place with him. I wanted to be with him and away from him at the same time.
I quickly composed myself. It was either the end of this brief stint or the beginning of a new story.