“Sorry, I got held up!” Ragini said, sounding breathless as she sat opposite to Ashwin.
“I have a reputation, you know.” He said. “People quake in fear when they hear about Ashwin, the encounter-specialist.”
“And yet a simple girl-next-door, a teacher who teaches in the kindergarten, often humbles you!” She smirked. “As your childhood bestie, I am not awed by your profession.”
“Quickly choose what you want to eat. I am hangry.”
“When you aren’t!?”
“Watch it, lady. You have already taxed my patience today.”
“All right.” She said as she perused the menu. “I will have lemon juice and a veggie salad.”
He narrowed his eyes. “What happened?”
“Raags, do not try me any more today. I know you hate salad. Tell me what happened.”
She sighed. “You know I was supposed to meet Rahul yesterday.”
“The guy from the matrimonial.”
“Yeah. Well, he dropped out. Said he had acted in haste while deciding to meet me.”
“You probably dodged a bullet there. Guy looks mighty unstable to me.”
“Easier for you to say, Ash. But I have always been conscious of my weight. I just thought that may be…”
“Do not go there, Raags. This has got nothing to do with you. You will find someone who is more deserving and worthy of you.”
“But this is the third guy who dropped out even before I could meet him! I mean, why is this happening? I just want to feel confident about myself. I think losing some weight will…”
“Raags, listen to me. You are a beautiful soul. These guys who are backing out – I think they have registered in the matrimony just for fun. It gives me chills, imagining you meet someone with a vile mindset. I think you should go for someone who knows you the best.”
“And who would that be, Mr. Counsellor?”
“Why, me of course.”
Ragini’s jaw dropped.
Ashwin smirked. “I have rendered you speechless! This one is for the records.”
“Ash, do not flirt with my feelings.”
“I am serious. We have known each other since our childhood. I already have spoilt you rotten, giving in to all your whims.”
“And you are the only one who can handle my grumpy self.”
“Ash, what are you even saying?!”
“Come out with me on dates. Let me woo you.”
She laughed. “The encounter specialist wants to woo me!” She stared at him and nodded thoughtfully. “I am in. We both should give each other a month. If it works out for us, great, but if it doesn’t, no hard feelings.”
Ashwin inhaled sharply. “Okay.” He smiled when she changed her order to a cheese sandwich.
He had always loved her but it was only today that he had seen a flicker of attraction in her eyes. So what if he had to hack into her matrimonial profile and threaten every guy who expressed any interest in her?
She was his, and he would do anything to keep her in his life.
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