We sat in that rusty pie shop,the first time we shared an evening. The one on the 4th cross street, just two blocks away from where I lived. I have always been here, ever since I got to know pies and cakes. He was shy and that was nice. It was a first time, for me with a boy and for him in that pie shop. I waited for him to choose his favorite. “What do you like”, he asked me.
“ Umm, I have already placed my order and you?”
“An apple pie, with some melted yellow cheese and a coffee”, he winked at me and smiled at the waitress.
That made me smirk, rather sheepishly but I pretended to be such a cool person.
He had been my neighbor for four years and sure he would know what nuts I was made of or he didn’t care. But I knew his; bike lover, jogger, weekend smoker, shoe lover, sexy stubbles, black hair, clean nails, cute smile, well, pretty much of my kind, except for the smoking part.
I liked him and every one in my life knew that. Why didn’t I tell him? Because he had someone else in his life. Why am I here today then? Because we both were at the pie shop, in two different tables, alone and didn’t know what to do when our eyes and smiles exchanged greetings.
The table looked so clean and round that it was like a painted canvas when it was filled with our pies and coffee. My Coconut cream cake did to me what water does to lungs after an exhaustive jog. I wanted something bar my slobber to stroke my throat. It’s ok, I felt better and asked
“How come you alone here?”
“Why not?”, he replied with his pie and a smile and yet managed to keep his mouth half closed.
“What happened to you girlfriend?”
“What?” Alright. Those days, it wasn’t so easy or cool to be talking about love affairs, you see.
I munched on my pie and went, “your girlfriend, I have seen you here with her”.
He waited for the pie to be patiently swallowed and said “We are not together now” and gently smiled.
It was like how you felt when a plane you are in, takes off. Suddenly, the coconut cream pie and the raspberry sauce on top of it was the most exotic thing to eat in the whole world.
“Hmm, it’s wonderful, you should try it sometime”. The cheese neatly dripped and fell in place on top of his apple pie. Ohh yea, it must be. “The coffee goes well with it”, he said, sipping.
Nodding was the only thing I found sensible to do.
“I may be moving out of this town soon, will miss all these”. Smile intact, voice cool, he said that to put out a moment of joy that was gushing inside my veins. Yea, best things in life are free and come in small packages.
Fifteen minutes and a few heavy heart beats later, I decided I should leave. There was no point sitting with a guy who seemed to have his life all sorted out. I knew he didn’t feel the way I did for him.
I paid though he insisted that I let him.
I picked my bag, smiled at him and got up “Listen, there’s something I want to tell you. I have always liked you. I have known you for some time. And I think you are..” I didn’t have a word to complete it but went on “Anyways, I think it doesn’t make any sense now. If you ever think you like me, just give a call. I smiled like I would to a friend. “Bye and have a good life”, and walked off.
He called me from where he was.
“Hmmm ?” I didn’t know how he felt but I was pretty cool to just move on.
“I don’t have your number”
“Why do you need?”
“To tell you I like you”. He still sat there with a paper napkin in his hand. The only other thing I
could see in the entire world was nothing. Taking one sip of coffee as if to feed some reality, he smiled, yet again.
The usual chaos went on in the café’ with laughter and the clatter of coffee mugs, my heart tickled and that moment seemed just bloody perfect.
A year later.
The waitress passed on a warm smile saying, ”Apple pie with melted yellow cheese and two coffees?”
And we replied in unison “Yes, Please”.