Incoming Text. Phone Buzzing.
“So what you doing for Christmas?”
“I have annual leaves. Planning to take a short solo trip”
“Lucky you, I don’t have any annual leaves for Christmas this year, rather I am working. Am glad it’s a long weekend though”
“I have an idea if you don’t mind”
“I can travel to your city and can share new years eve together in case you don’t have any other plans”
“Awesome, I am glad you asked. I am anyways new to this city and had absolutely no plans. I would be grateful”
“Ok, then, Let me get the flight & stay booked”
“Stay? You can just crash over to my place”
This is their 3rd day of chat over the dating app they had been using
In the era of modern technology, online dating, virtual meetings, it was but inevitable that they wouldn’t have been affected by it.
It is still not widely accepted that online dating, blind dating apps can lead to real-life relationships; it is considered a way of getting into casual relationships if you know what I mean; fun-filled evenings, perhaps nights and a follow-up date if you are really lucky.
People swipe in, meet up and the story ends before another starts to end soon again; the cycle goes on. But Tina was making use of the technology to her advantage in a very different way than it was intended.
Tina, a psychology final year PhD student was working on her thesis on human behaviour on how strangers interact in a created environment like a date vs. non- created environment like public transport, departmental stores, malls, etc. and she found a very fun way of finding characters for her thesis. She signed up for a popular dating app, swiped left and right, choose interesting personalities which she would decide over a couple of chats and finally meet up with them.
Her agenda was very crisp and clear, she would talk to her date, ask a list of questions which she had almost memorized by now; after all, she didn’t want her date to feel like they were being interviewed, it would then defeat the purpose of her analysis.
She had met over a dozen people this way. Although she had to abandon some dates midway due to the wild twists and unsolicited turns they took, overall, her experience was going well. At least she was making good progress on her thesis.
As soon as she would board the return cab from her dates, she ensured that she immediately took notes before she would forget any points.
But her next scheduled date was a little different. For the first time, someone was flying down to see her from her city. She had gotten herself into the role of a host, almost carried away forgetting the agenda of her dates in the first place. She had got herself into a soup and now she had to drink it all.
It was finally D day, she met her date at the pre-planned destination right outside the airport. Her list of the questions were running over her mind and she was recalling the new ones she had added onto her list.
Max was an introvert, but the friendly next-door neighbour guy.
He was the one whom you could call at 2pm in the night and he would ensure he got you out of trouble.
He was the one you could count on. But he wasn’t a very social creature, he preferred reading books at home to going out to the park for a picnic, choose spending hours making a meal from scratch rather than order go to fine dining at a popular resto.
But dates are different, and he was in a new city, he had to do his research on where can they go, which places would be ideal for a date; His mind was running over the schedule for the next two days; although he was a guest, he was planning as if he were the host.
He was nothing less than being an idealist.
While he was in the flight, he was trying to recall what triggered him to catch a flight and fly 1000 miles for a date? Was it worth it?
He knew deep within that there was something special about this feeling; meeting someone he hasn’t seen before, flying away miles, plans of spending the new years eve with someone he had just known via texts for less than a week. It sounded crazy to him, but he tried hard to convince himself that he didn’t decide on this at the split of a wrong moment, rather he believed and trusted his instincts.
The flight landed, he didn’t have anything except his cabin luggage so he straight walked out the exit and tried to match the face on the profile pic with the girls around him and in about a couple of seconds he was about to find the most suitable match.
Their eyes interlocked and she started to walk towards him. Now he was sure it was her.
The moment Tina saw Max, she was blown away at first sight like she had never been before. She had forgotten all questions she had lined up for the evening and the new additions for the next day.
She walked towards him like she had been waiting for him for ages and as if they knew each other since time immemorial. From the bold and strong lady, she used to be, she was suddenly the timid one, lacking words for even small talk, as she approached him, she was a complete loss of words.
“Hey “, she finally uttered the only words that she could.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, the flight got delayed due to bad weather”, apologized Max.
“That’s ok, “replied Tina, before giving Max a side hug, “Let's get the cab”, she suggested.
She booked a cab via her phone app and in about 10 mins they were onboard towards her apartment.
They were both seated on the opposite edge of the cab rear seat, too shy to make a move or get closer.
There was an awkward silence with Tina wondering on how to make Max comfortable as she was the host, and Max wondering the same for the gentleman he was.
“And that is how granny and grandpa met”, exclaimed Grandpa, “now go off to bed kids– the rest will be continued later. It is time for bed now”.