It started raining today. The smell of wet earth took me back to the night I met Sam. I was out at the neighborhood cafe to get some coffee and pastry. I was about to go back home but it suddenly started raining. I decided to just stay back in the coffee shop till it stops raining. My gaze fell upon this guy reading a book sitting in a corner seat of the cafe. I usually would not have talked to any stranger but he was reading one of the books which I always wanted to read, Shantaram. I somehow managed to gather the courage and walked up-to him.
“Hey, I hope I am not disturbing you but I would really like to know about the book you are reading. I have been meaning to read it but haven’t got a chance yet.”
“Oh! And here I thought you are offering me to have coffee with you”
I grinned and smiled slyly. He saw me clenching my fist and immediately understood that I was uncomfortable and changed the topic.
“Well the book is good. I am not from Bombay but the observations the author has made are pretty detailed and interesting, now I feel that I know a lot about that place”
“That’s nice. Do you think it’s worth buying the book?”
“Well I think it’s worth borrowing it from a friend. By the way this friend’s name is Samar and you are…”
“Oh! How rude of me. I am Rumi. “
” Well Rumi. You are in luck and also at the right place today. I just finished the book and was about to go out but it started raining, so I thought to just re-read some of my favorite quotes from the book. But now that you made the effort to come and talk to me, you can have it”
“No, I didn’t mean to borrow it from you. I just wanted the review. “
“No, Please have it. This way we can meet again to discuss about the book and whether it was worth asking a stranger about it”
I couldn’t really understand Sam at that moment. I didn’t know if he was trying to flirt or was just trying to be nice and funny. I was misconstruing his sense of humor for flirting.
“Well if you insist on it, I will take it. But how will I return it to you?”
“How about we meet at this coffee shop in two weeks and then you can return it and also buy me a coffee”
I hesitantly smiled and took the book. I glanced out to see it stopped raining. It had.
“Thank you for the book Samar. I will see you soon. Bye”
I hurriedly walked out of the cafe before I could see if he was still looking at me. I wanted to look back and smile but I didn’t. A sense of consciousness crept in. I just kept walking. I reached home with a smile on my face. Was I smiling all the way along the road? I had completely lost track of time and also forgotten about the book. That whole night I was just thinking about Sam.