She looked at the mirror with some nervousness and examined her fine lines beside the eyes. She curled up her lips a bit and saw the wrinkles staring back at her like roots of long lived trees and felt a bit old. In fact too old to be elated, the state of the mind she was in. She smiled and saw the wrinkles getting a bit deeper and then suddenly for a moment she didn’t care, she turned around and away from the mirror. Quickly pulling out the foundation concealer from the drawer, she used some slippery glowing pink liquid to hide her marks of age. That’s it, she was as young as a thirty-five year old, if not twenty.
The phone was ringing incessantly and Dora rushed to pick it up. His familiar husky voice was on the other side – ‘so I’ll see you at 8pm in front of Her Majesty’s Theatre. I’ll be wearing a black hat’. She smiled and uttered a faint ‘yes’. She sensed something strange about this man, and the feeling never left her for a moment in the last three months. She hasn’t seen him, this would be their first meeting – a ticket to the theatre and the dinner by night. She was planning what to wear – the red dress to her knee and the black fur coat should be fine but she did not wear that dress for years now and was not feeling confident to wear red at 45…what about the purple one and probably a matching pair of trousers to go with it? But that would be too pale for a first date, she has to draw his attention and impress him. The three months of email and text messages shouldn’t dampen out because of her poor dressing style for the special occasion. She finally settled for a dark green dress that hid her legs and gave her a more decent and mature look. It was 5 pm so she still had three hours to get dressed. Dora went back to her computer and checked the emails. She was re-reading her emails, the ones sent by him. ‘Dear Dora – I wish I knew how you look like, I’m so intrigued by you. Your messages, emails, your sweet voice, everything is so captivating. I must say I’ve fallen in love even before meeting you’. She smiled when she read his sincere words, her heart was beating faster.
The very thought of actually meeting him was like a dream, a fantasy that was about to turn to reality. She felt like a teenager with a strong crush, riding on a cloud of fantasy and she didn’t want to be pulled down to earth. She dreamt of him, a shadowy image so many times, although they never exchanged photos and did not know how they looked like. ‘Let’s keep that a secret’, he said. ‘The possibility of a blind date is very exciting to me, I am absolutely confident that I will like you. If I can love your soul without meeting you, I can love your body when I meet you’. So that was it, they never shared photos and communicated with emails and text messages rather frequently. Initially she was skeptical. Meeting a man online through an online social networking site is a good thing, but actually dating a guy, meeting him in reality, in person, she was not too sure. The man’s description on the profile attracted her. He sounded honest and straightforward, not like others who gave a hundred stories with no real content. He was 50 and instead of his photo had the figure of a cartoon put up on his webpage. She thought it was hilarious and sent him a message – ‘Hi – do you look anything like that Cartoon?’ He was already online so he wrote back instantly ‘Yes I do’. They struck it very soon and became online friends. In fact during the first few days, hardly a day passed when he didn’t write to her and she didn’t reply. She too didn’t have her photo, just the picture of her favorite flower up on her webpage and he joked that he would like to gift a garden full of flowers to her. She smiled when she thought of it. After nearly 10 years of single life, it would be nice to have a man who would offer her a garden of flowers.
He wrote about his life, he was married once but it didn’t last too long and left him feeling dejected and depressed for a long time. He had no children but would like to have one someday. Apart from this bit of information about his private life, he didn’t say much. He was a businessman with own property dealings and real estate firm. ‘I used to do something else earlier, now I’ve switched to my own business, it helps me make more trash’, he joked. His member ID was ‘nicepropguy’ and he would call himself just that. He never referred to his real name. She too hesitated from giving out her real name. The idea of blind online dating was best combined with some anonymity as they were pouring their hearts out on the emails and anonymity helped to make this communication easier. She called herself ‘plainjane’ and he addressed her as Jane, telling her how she has always put him at ease from the very first day of their online chat. She too felt the same – he was so unique, slightly mysterious, never spoke too hard about his personal life and she like it that way. She would have turned away from him if he told her too much about his ex-wife or previous lovers. She too didn’t give out much. Just that she was married too for a few years and the marriage dissolved due to differences. He understood her sentiments and her need for privacy and did not ask her further details.
She made many friends in the virtual world and no one really mattered as much as he did. Then the inevitable happened and she almost expected it. He wanted to meet her in person. And this was the day she waited for – going online to off the line from virtual to real was like crossing a bridge of distance and coming close. She was excited, anxious and as she played in her mind the whole process of introducing herself to him, over and over again, she was getting even more excited and more nervous. ‘God I’ll stammer’, Dora thought. The fact that she did not go out on a date for many years made the process even more difficult. But she finally managed to calm down and completed the dressing up process. With a nice shiny purse, a pair of glistening black stilettos, her brown hair gracing her shoulders, she bit her pink glossy lips lightly and started her car.
She steered through the crowded London streets. It was dark in front of the theatre when she finally reached Leicester Square. She found a parking place and then slowly walked to the front of the theatre. It was still slightly dark, not very well lit and the entrance to the theatre was too crowded for her to figure out anyone or anything. She felt like she was getting dragged with the crowd and wanted to call him and looked for her mobile in her purse. She was looking inside her purse when all of a sudden a tall man dressed in all black and wearing a black hat pulled her towards him and kissed her on her chin near the lips. She was so taken aback that she wanted to shout but became speechless with anxiety. He quickly apologized and continued pulling her into the theatre, almost by force. She still didn’t know how to react, she almost became a dumb doll and she didn’t even manage to see his face. Her heart was beating even faster and she wanted to seek help as the man continued to pull her through the darkness and they finally found a seat inside the theatre. She started breathing heavily while seated next to him as he still held her hand quite tightly. ‘Can you tell me what is going on?’ She finally managed to say. She was almost in tears.
‘Nothing really’, he pulled out a small box. ‘I want you to walk down the aisle with me’. She started shaking now and opened the box with her nervous hands. It was a small diamond ring. He removed his hat and looked at her now with those intense very familiar blue eyes that she has stared into for many years and said, ‘a second time’.
The music played loud and the show began.
Copyright - Saberi Roy, November 20, 2007
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Saberi Roy.
Published on e-Stories.org on 22.11.2007.