Read all the previous parts ->> here – A tale of Love and Lies is a work of fiction.
The Happy Prince
My colleague Priya and I were loitering in Crosswords. She was searching for the book “The Happy Prince” for her daughter.
I jokingly asked her to take me home and gift me to her daughter. Instead, she snapped at me and asked me to do my favorite time pass, eying girls. I countered her to shut up. Priya smiled, asked me to behave, and indicated that the sales girl was smiling at me. And then, suddenly, my eyes found a familiar face. I saw Enayat once again.
“And here we meet again!” I patted her back from behind.
“You!” her jaw dropped. “You just scared me, man.”
“What are you here for?” she asked.
” I am a salesman here.” I winked.
“Liar, Liar pants on fire!” She smiled.
I mentioned to her about the search for” The Happy Prince.” She excitedly said Oscar Wilde was her favorite. So I endorsed her views to impress her without knowing anything about Oscar Wilde.
She suddenly asked, “Can I ask you something if you don’t mind?”
“What?” I asked casually.
“That day, you were flirting with Soumya,” she said and asked, “Are you a Sagittarian by any chance?”
“Yeah. But how did you guess?” I asked curiously.
“It was a random guess, and I have heard much about Sagittarians.” But, she said, “as a matter of fact, as I know, you Sagittarians are the biggest flirts!”
“What have you heard about them?” I asked, more curious now.
“Like Sagittarians are great flirts, and one should stay away from them. They can go down to any level to impress their counterparts, and one shouldn’t trust them easily.”
“It’s a lie!” I said, looking offended.
“It’s the truth. You proved me right. I haven’t seen any guy like you who outrageously flirts with strangers.” She said plainly, with a bit of anger or disgust that I could not figure out.
I stood there speechless for a moment.
“I am still awaiting a reply, Mr. Sagittarian,” she said.
“Well, that’s called appreciating beauty. Sagittarians speak the language of Love, something others like you fail to learn, Sweetie!” I said with a smirk.
“I am going, bye!” She said, vexed, and started walking.
“Ok, no, Sweetie! Wait, I was kidding.” I ran behind her. She stopped once and said, “You say you are an Oscar Wilde fan, and you seem to love his love stories, right?”
“Yes. His love stories are the best.” I replied.
“I want to know your views on love,” she asked me, glancing through the pages of ‘Aleph.’
“But why suddenly?” I asked.
“I just want to know your thoughts about love.” She shrugged and looked straight into my eyes. It was not easy for me to look into her eyes. I looked away. After thinking for a while, I said,” Love for me is – L for loyalty, O for my wonderful craziness for you, V for the violin strings of my heart, and E for everything between you and me.”
“I’m serious,” she said.
“Love is a special feeling,” I said as I casually chanced my eye adjacent to her.
“Will you mind not letting your eyes go astray, or should I leave?” She looked irritated.
“Well, nobody knows what love means, and neither can one ever be sure of being in love or out of it,” I paused.
“But if it is mutual and unconditional, then it probably will last a lifetime, and whatever lasts so long has to be special. So Love for me is special and omnipresent,” I said, proud of my answer.
“I disagree with you.” She snapped.
After browsing through a few more pages of Aleph, she looked at me and said, “We love something or someone at every point of our life. Falling in and out of it is natural and uncontrollable. In fact, it is an everyday phenomenon, and it’s absurd to call it special,” she said and continued, “anyways talking about love and falling in love are two roads and poles apart.”
To which I immediately added, “Indeed! You talk of Love, and I fall in Love; here lies the difference.”
She gave me an ugly look, and we moved towards the literature section, looking for Oscar Wilde’s book. But, unfortunately, my phone rang at the same time.
“Virat, who is that cute girl?” Priya had called me.
“Is she your new girlfriend?” she curiously asked.
“No!” I riposted.
“Liar! Stop lying. So she is your new victim,” she uttered.
” No. Good Bye!” I said and disconnected her phone call.
I stood next to Enayat as she glanced through the books. Finally, after 2 minutes, I broke the silence and asked, “Would you mind if I ask you something?”
“What type of question is this?” she asked and said, “Minding or not minding will depend on your question.”
I fidgeted with my mobile phone and asked, “Can you give me your number?”
She laughed loudly and said, “Go earn my number.”
“Please, Please, Please, Enayat,” I begged to put my arms together. I felt like I would earn something precious in my life, the phone number that would help me learn more about my lovely, Enayat.
She drew her eyebrows closer and said, “Stop it! I don’t like all this.” Finally, after begging, pleading, requesting, nagging, and pestering, Enayat shared her number with a statutory warning not to call her after 11 pm.
“This, my friend, is the ultimate gift of my life, my greatest joy,” I said, looking at her cell number and winking at her.
“You are hilarious, Virat,” she said.
“And to add to your knowledge, your favorite Oscar Wilde doesn’t write love stories; he is a satirical writer,” she sarcastically said while I grinned shamelessly. Someone had rightly said that – if you make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.
We soon left crosswords.