The Day After

“And how was your evening?” “You came home late.” “Was he here last night? I saw you on the balcony with someone.” In such a way, my flatmates bugged me the next morning. I answered them just shortly. What should I tell them? It shouted inside me: “Yes, you were right. You warned me that it wouldn’t be a harmless date and now, now I don’t know what to think.” But I kept my feelings for myself. “It was nice. We’ll see how it can work”, was my short answer. That evening was eating me. My heart was in my mouth. Was this the beginning of a wonderful love story or only one of these encouraging first dates that peters out? I didn’t know it, but soon I would get a first clue.

The Day After3
Me and my co-workers

After a sobering morning, a thousand questions and too less sleep, I finally went to work. Lost in my thoughts, I sat at my desk and fulfilled my duties. Once again I had to create a new brochure. I hoped that the routine would divert me from the evening’s disappointing end. But nothing, simply nothing worked out. I took my first break after a short time. My colleagues followed me to the cafeteria. I grabbed an Indian coffee and sat down on the first bench that came along. “What’s the matter with you? I thought you had a date last night.” Exactly like my flatmates my colleagues also pumped me. And I denied again, didn’t want to reveal too much. I was afraid that I could raise too much hope because I still didn’t know what this last strange message was up to.

Shortly after I came back to my office, I got an answer. He wrote me. Lo and behold: He had to walk home in the middle of the night. He was sorry that he wrote me such a message. He was just annoyed. It wasn’t my fault. My day brightened much more as we also agreed to meet for a jointed lunch at Subway. (Over the next few months, it should be our favourite fast food restaurant when we wanted to escape from the Indian food. I still can’t see any of these restaurants without thinking of him.)

I had never spent my lunch break outside the cafeteria. I lived several miles away from my work. This district was absolutely strange to me; and I was even happy that I could memorize the way from the bus stop to the company. My colleagues stood helpfully by my side. They explained in minute detail where to go to. Or I could also take a rickshaw: “Go to Google Office. That’s right there”, said one of them. The others told me that I could go by feet. “This is only a ten minute walk!” I decided for the latter alternative and promptly got lost. I wrote my Brazilian. I hoped that he would rescue me from my plight. Somehow it worked. I arrived at Subway later than expected. And there he was. Topped with one of his sunglasses he smiled at me. He walked up to me the last few meters and gave me a kiss. I couldn’t believe it. He kissed me again. I had butterflies in my tummy and my heart leaped into my throat. I was just as nervous as the evening before.

It was incredibly crowded at Subway. Of course, it was lunchtime. It felt like twenty Indians were in front of us and took an eternity to decide for a sandwich. We used the time and talked a lot. “I work just five minutes away from here and my apartment is close, too. This is quite practical. You’re welcome to come around and see our flat. It is incredibly beautiful. There is a huge roof terrace where we organize barbecues regularly.” Does he wanna invite me to another date or was it the clumsy attempt to give me a room in his residential community? I absolutely envied him for his short commute and his seemingly unbelievable beautiful apartment that he shared with six other people from all over the world. I was allowed to get to know them more explicitly in the next thirty minutes. He talked about his roommate who lives nearly exclusively in front of his computer, a German-Colombian couple in his flat who hang around together for days and his introverted Swedish roommate who had even shattered a chair in anger. His stories sounded crazy and exciting. He had been through so much in India. I, however, was a rookie who still has to deal with one or another peculiarity and the Indian accent itself. But all that didn’t matter at our first lunch. We were equal, enjoyed our togetherness, surrounded by dozens of pairs of eyes, probably wondering what these two strangers wreak here.

We finally got our food. Now we had to find a seat in the scramble. In addition to the outdoor tables, there was a separate room. We climbed up the stairs and sat down. After a short time a waitress came across and told us that these tables belong to a different restaurant. We left embarrassed and ate the rest of the sandwich walking. It was already time for rushing back to the office. He escorted me for a while. On a crossroad he gave me a short goodbye kiss.

The Day After
Mahindra Satyam office in Hyderabad

When I walked down the long straight road to my office, it felt like I was floating. My thoughts were only with the last 24 hours. I was happy and insecure at once. Even before I was sitting on my chair, I wrote to him. And he also to me. “It was amazing with you. Let’s repeat this soon”, was his shortly reply. We continued writing the whole day and even at night. I was already addicted to this stranger.

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