You had always had a very clear idea of how, where and when one should fall in love. And even after years of being bombarded with romantic movies and romantic songs and romantic commercials, you never believed in the existence of that meeting-him-in-the-middle-of-the-pouring-rain kind of love.
That was before The Day.
You spotted him the minute you walked into the room. It was pouring outside, and he was as soaked as you were, as anyone else was in the crowded lobby of the hotel.
He walked up to you and asked something you didn’t quite hear and smiled when you answered something completely unrelated. And, before you quite knew what had happened, the scene cut to a table in the back of the hotel restaurant, where you and he sat drinking sultry apple tea with a touch of cinnamon.
You talked for an hour or so, and somewhere in between you found yourself giggling. Then he had to leave and you had to leave. Phone numbers exchanged, you each went your way, but you found it hard to concentrate on what you were doing for the rest of the day.
When you got home, you called your sister, you called your friends, you even called your mother, before finally working up the courage to call him. And they all had something to say about the whole business – of course, you heard nothing of what they said.
He picked up the phone after the first ring. Your heart swelled to an impossible size at the thought that he’d been waiting by the phone for you to call.
The conversation lasted for another hour or so, and somehow the day and place where you were to meet him managed to register. But nothing else did.
You are going to meet him today, and you’ve worked yourself into a state. As you place every single article in your closet between your body and the mirror – trying to figure out what you want to hide and what you want to show – you try to recall the two long and meaningful conversations you had, but you find them wrapped in a thick mist, as fluffy and pink as candyfloss.
You meet him outside the movie theatre, and a part of you is thinking you should go to dinner and then to a movie, not the other way around. He’s almost half an hour late, and you’re irritated, but when he explains, you let it go – after all, it wasn’t really his fault.
He asks which of the movies you want to see, and you sugar-coatedly reply, “You choose.”
And that’s why, ten minutes later, you’re sitting in a dark room, full of screaming, popcorn-throwing teenagers, cursing yourself for not noticing that besides the two dramas, the war movie, and the science-fiction one, the cinema was showing a Chinese martial arts feature.
For the whole two hours of the movie, his eyes are glue to the screen. You could stand on your chair and do a belly-dance while stripping – he wouldn’t notice.
Fragments of your conversations start breaking through the pink goo, as well as the words of your friends, especially your best friend’s cliché: Love at first sight is often cured by a second look.
Surprisingly enough, by the end of the movie you’ve developed a splitting headache, and your agenda a serious case of overbooking for the next two or three years.
You turn down his offer to take you home, saying you’ll take a taxi instead.
You don’t. You walk home. Thinking of what happened. Reinstating your fate in the non-existence of love at first-sight. Damning all the romantic movies and romantic songs and romantic commercials you’ve been bombarded with all these years.