It was early Monday morning. Only the two of us were there. Now was my opportunity to ask her to have lunch with me. I stood there watching her, nervous, scared. Since my breakup with Darshika, I haven’t looked at another woman or thought about dating again. That was until Naudia joined my department. The moment I set eyes on her, I was blown away. She’s a gorgeous, smart and easygoing woman. Everyone in our department likes her and she gets along with everyone.
I can see that I’m not the only guy in the office who’s attracted to her but she doesn’t seem to be interested in any of the guys who are always hanging around her. I don’t know how she or they manage to get any work done. I try not to make it obvious that I like her and want to be more than her co-worker. We see each other in the cafeteria or in the department’s kitchenette and we chat. She’s so easy to talk to.
As we chat, I can’t help wondering if she has a man in her life. I know she isn’t married or engaged but she could be in a relationship. After weeks of wondering about her marital status, I finally asked her, “Are you dating anyone?”
She looked at me for a moment and then shook her head. “No, I’m single. What about you?”
After I got over my surprise that she was interested in knowing if I was single or not, I replied, “I’m not dating anyone.” I didn’t mention Darshika and that we had split up a year ago. It wasn’t important. Naudia and I chatted for a while longer and then, we left the kitchenette and returned to our desks. The next time we exchanged any words was when she was leaving for the day. I looked forward to seeing her the following day and since she started working at the company, I have been going into the office an hour early when it’s just the two of us.
And, now here we are, just the two of us. She’s not sitting at her desk but in the lounge area on the sofa by the window, doing something on her laptop. I wonder if now would be good time to approach her of if I should wait until later when we had another chance to be alone. What would I say to her? Should I just come right out and ask her to have lunch with me? Would she know that it’s a date or would she think it’s just lunch between co-workers? What if she’s a Christian? Would she be interested in dating a Hindu man? Would she want to date a man of a different race and culture? All these questions ran through my mind and I felt my resolve to ask her out weakening.
Suddenly, she glances up and our eyes meet. My heart begins to beat like crazy and I suddenly feel very warm. She smiles and beckons me to go over.
Taking a deep breath, I walk over and stand there looking down at her, thinking how amazing she looked. “I didn’t mean to disturb you,” I muttered apologetically.
“You’re not disturbing me,” she quickly assured me. “Did you have a good weekend?”
“Yes, I did. It was my mother’s 60th birthday so we had a party for her.”
“60? That’s nice. Do you have any siblings?”
“Yes, I have two younger sisters. One is in university and the other is working at a Marketing firm.”
“I wish I had a sister. I’ve two brothers. One is older and the other is younger.”
“And I wish that I had a brother. Do you get along with yours?”
“Yes. We’re very close. What about you and your sisters?”
“I have a very good relationship with both of them. We’re always texting each other.”
“Arjun, wouldn’t you like to sit down?”
“No, thanks. Sometimes I think I sit too much.”
“Is your name Hindu?”
“Yes, it is because I’m a Hindu.”
“I’m Christian but I’ve always been curious about other religions. I’m very interested in finding out more about your religion.”
Now was my chance. “Maybe I could tell you about it over dinner?” I could feel my face get hot when I realized that I said dinner when I meant to say lunch. It was too late now for a retraction so, I braced myself for the worse. It was one of those moments when I wished the floor would open up and swallow me.
“Sure. Dinner would be great. Just let me know which evening this week works for you or if you prefer, we can make it Saturday. That way we don’t have to worry about work the next day.”
I stared at her for a while, completely floored. Her smile deepened as she returned my gaze. “Saturday works better for me,” I managed to say.
“Good. Dinner on Saturday, it is. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Me too.” Ecstatic, I went and sat down on the sofa next to her. We stayed there until 9 and then, we went to our desks.
I don’t know how I managed to get through with my work because my mind kept wandering. I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come. I hope that it will be the first of many dates. I don’t know how my family would react when I tell them about Naudia. Most likely, they would have a problem with me dating her because of the differences in our religion, race and culture but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, I just want to focus on the positive–my upcoming date with Naudia.