“Kids, this is how I met your father:
It was the 19th of May. I can remember it clearly. The sun was bright, birds chirped in the distance, leaves swayed gentle in the summer breeze. You know, all the clichéd conditions required for a perfect love story.
But this isn’t one of those. In fact, there are events in this story which will probably make you think that this is by far my single most embarrassing story. Come to think of it, it might well be.
Anyway, as I was saying, it was the 19th of May. I was eighteen, studying for my medical entrance exams and was very much the shy, introverted girl I had always been. Your father, a very handsome and very broke college student, was just about managing on the meagre salary he earned at Sally’s Café. It was tiny, cozy and served by far the worst cold coffee on the planet and the noise was unimaginable. I had been there about twice before and it was only because I really had to pee that I stopped outside and ventured in.
As per the rule to use the bathroom, I had to buy something. So I sat down and bought a chocolate brownie, the least expensive thing on the entire menu. As I found out only later, that wasn’t your father’s usual shift, making the probability of us meeting even smaller and the both of us that much luckier.
I won’t go into the details of what went through my mind when I first laid eyes on him, but boy, did my heart race. He looked up and he just knew he’d won her over. He smiled his boyish grin, full of self-confidence and flirtatiousness, and walked over. My heart raced faster with every step he took.
“Hi, can I get you something?” he asked, leaning in.
I opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish. Words refused to come out.
“Are you okay?” he asked, now looking genuinely concerned.
A voice inside my head sternly warned me to get a grip on myself. I was determined to make sure that the next words that came out were going to restore my self-esteem. That was definitely not the case. Again, some goldfish-like behaviour and then a ‘no, thank you’ which sounded like a croak. Gosh, even now, I think how humiliating it was!
Your father, always a gentleman, offered to get me some water and walked off without another word. During those next 50 seconds, the voices in my head argued with one and another more than ever before.
Finally, when he returned and actually hinted at his interest, I was ready. I wasn’t going to let my father’s behaviour keep me from living my life. It was love at first sight for me.
Flash forward about seven years, both of us graduates from college, living in a small apartment on West Side. Your father surprises me with a picnic by the lake where we went on our first date. At the end of that very delicious and expensive bottle of champagne was a beautiful ring. He got down on one knee and whispered: “Will you marry me?”
Once more, goldfish-like behaviour. He actually laughed this time, already used to my inability to communicate during flustered situations.
“I’ll take that as a yes” he laughed.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Keya Viswanathan, 10 IG
*This story won the first place in the inter-house story writing competition.