As messages went, it was short and simple. But he'd been staring at the screen since Goregaon station and the train was now pulling into Ville Parle. As a move, maybe it was a little more complicated.
It was Friday evening. Most people, work week weary, would be streaming into homes, pubs and restaurants across the city meeting friends and loved ones . He was heading to a shared 1-bhk in Santacruz, already planning a meal for one and hoping something good was on the telly. This was his typical Friday evening in the city.
The idea of sending the SMS came inexplicably. And immediately felt like a bad idea. Pointless. Then he thought about having to spend the weekend sitting on the floor of his room watching tv, hearing the clock tick and thinking about nothing in particular. Maybe it wasn't that bad an idea after all. He started typing, read the message twice and cancelled it. The question had to be perfectly phrased - subtle, fresh, interesting, non-domineering, not verbose, appropriately flirty and definitely, absolutely not desperate. Any wit, implied or otherwise would be a bonus. He continued typing, adding, deleting and cancelling words and sentences over and over.
As messages went, it had to be short and simple. As a move, it was becoming very complicated.
Eventually, the right words appeared. Or so he hoped. He paused, smiled and began to imagine the positive response, the agreed rendezvous time and place (he'd suggest Bandra), the right restaurant... heck, afterwards maybe they'd even take a stroll on the Carter Road promenade. Anything could happen, right?
But Ville Parle was gone and he still hadn't hit 'send'. What if the answer was 'no'? Again. He'd look stupid. Again. But looking foolish was okay, right? After all, if there's anything he'd learnt from the movies, it was that polite, geeky persistence was considered cute. More importantly, it was successful. Most of the time. He was definitely sending the text.
"What's the point? Is it really going to go anywhere? And knowing your luck, the answer will be 'no'. Do you really need to look any more idiotic? Or desperate? Do you really want to do this? Do you..."
It really was a perfectly simple message - Dinner tomorrow?
As the train pulled into Santacruz, he hit 'delete' and stepped out.
Song for the moment: Lonely no more - Rob Thomas