It had been a long week, and there were two things on my mind; a very cold Fanta and cocktails. I went to one of my favourite spots and sat on the balcony. From that position, I had a view of the street but could also enjoy the music and simultaneously enjoy two worlds. As planned, I first had the cold Fanta and then went on to have my cocktails. Then a waitress came a nudged me.
“Hi, the guy on that table is requesting you to join him,” said the waitress.
“Hi. Where exactly?” I asked her.
She pointed to the table, and I turned, looked at the guy, declined the offer with a brief smile, and then shook my head. I went on to sip my cocktail as I observed the people on the street. An incident on the street had me smiling before I was interrupted by the waitress again.
“The same guy has asked me to ask what drink he should get you,” said the waitress.
“Just tell him I’m okay,” I told her. At this point, I debated whether I should leave if the guy didn’t take the hint. That was when the guy seated close by turned to me.
“He can’t take a hint, huh?”
“I hope that’s settled now,” I responded.
“Downside of being pretty?”
“More like people who don’t know when to be persistent and when to let it be,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“At the risk of getting on your bad side too, women can be confusing and the persistence works many times – devil’s advocate,” he smiled as he asked the waitress to bring us more drinks.
“I see what you did there,” I told him.
“You’re almost done with yours. I’m being thoughtful,” he said.
“Oh, we’re going with thoughtful?” I asked as we both smiled. We talked for the next three hours. He felt like someone I had known for years. It was finally time to leave, and we only realized that we hadn’t introduced ourselves to each other when we got to saving each other’s phone numbers. That was when I learnt he was Karani.
He called me later on to confirm that I had gotten home safely. We spoke for about thirty minutes before mutually agreeing it was time to go to sleep since we both had errands the following day.
It was a busy Saturday, but I hoped he would call or text. He eventually did in the afternoon.
“I really enjoyed your company yesterday and would like to go for coffee, a meal or whatever you deem fit for a Sunday,” he wrote. I couldn’t help smiling, and we decided on the time.
We decided to go to a popular restaurant for a meal. Karani added a twist to the plan. He suggested we sample out different dishes, and given the sizes of the portions, it took us a while to get full. It was an interesting way to learn about each other’s preferences. Before we knew it, we had spent six hours chatting and enjoying food and drinks.
It was apparent we had a connection. The usual question about each person’s dating status came up, and we both declared our singlehood. Despite having been disappointed by men in the past, I had no reason to doubt him. I also decided that I wouldn’t go fishing for information about him on social media, but I would instead learn more about him as we interacted; after all, the truth always reveals itself.
The next few weeks were filled with interactions with Karani. He was the number one topic on my phone and life. We could talk about anything as he had so much range. One minute we’d be talking about music, and the next minute, about kitchenware. He was also very attentive. On a phone call, I mentioned loving white roses, and he had a bouquet sent the following day. We both loved reading, and when I mentioned I had just started reading a particular book, he suggested we do it together like a book club. To top it all, we’d read each other the book on our night phone calls.
There were so many firsts with him. I couldn’t remember bonding with someone over so many things. Karani was also a good communicator, making trusting him easy. He would call during lunch breaks and in the evening. We’d talk about each other’s days and even offer each other insights on personal and work-related matters. Listening to us, one would have imagined that we had been dating for months.
Then four weeks later, I had to travel for work, so the communication was inconsistent. My schedule was a bit busy, so I took longer than usual to get back to him. This continued for two days; on the third day, he took long to respond to a text. I initially thought he was busy, but it was still unread hours later. I could see that he had been online, but I had no reason to imagine that he was ignoring me without a good reason.
He still hadn’t read my message or contacted me a day later. I got worried, so I texted him, asking him if he was okay. The message went unread too. Soon I also couldn’t see his profile picture. It was so strange because we had not had any disagreement or issue that would explain his behaviour. Since I hadn’t bothered to follow him on social media platforms, given I wasn’t active on any, I could hardly find out more. If I didn’t have our messages, I would have questioned whether the past four weeks had actually happened.
When it became clear that I had been ghosted, I went through our messages with a fine-tooth comb to figure out where I missed the signals, but I couldn’t figure it out. After a couple of days of fighting the strong urge to send him texts and images of things we would find funny or things we would have discussed, I accepted that my interaction with Karani was over. At least I had good memories, but the mystery of why he ghosted me still lingers.
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