Twirling the ringlet of hair that crept sneakily away from her brow, where it was supposed to stay, she stole a glance at his chiseled face.

One eye on his smartphone, he looked up briefly, flashed a quick smile at her and asked, ‘So what do you like to do?’

Head whirring, she thought desperately about what she ought to answer.

I love to read, you know? The kind of books that make me forget what day it is or what I ought to eat for lunch or how warm it is in the room because I forgot to open the windows before settling down to read. I love the smell of paper between my fingers, the kind of musty smell that drives me crazy with longing and whips me into a feverish frenzy that won’t let me rest until I’ve finished the last word on the last page of the last chapter.

You know that feeling you get when you have to say goodbye to a close friend at a college reunion? That’s how I feel when a book ends. A part of me weeps that the story is done and I want to dive right back into the experience all over again.Β 

Fingers clutched the warm cup of coffee that sat smoking on the table between them. If it could talk, it would urge her to open up her heart and spill it all out for him to hear.

Instead, she cleared her throat and gently replied, ‘Oh, I like reading.’ Within seconds, she flushed a deep red because she felt he might be judging her.Β Reading? Who reads these days? Shouldn’t people be all tech-savvy and up to date with the latest apps?Β 

Eyes gleaming, he put the phone down, looked up at her oval visage, glowingΒ in the setting sun, and said, ‘What a coincidence. I like to read too!’

Suddenly, the earth seemed to move again and she relaxed into the comfortable cradle created between them- a haven that only bibliophiles knew.

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35 thoughts on “Rendezvous #FlashFiction

  1. Wow! I loved the characterization and simplicity in the story. The way you narrated the part of female protagonist, showing the anxiety to open up and announce the love for books makes it so real and beautiful. Also, the happy endings are always great! πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve had so many of those intimate relationships lasting well into the small hours of the morning. Pop sticks his head in the door and says, lights out! He stares at me and I realise its the end of the road. Slowly ever so reluctantly I close the pages of my latest deep space sci fi trekkie adventure.Its game over!

  3. It was almost like I was her. At least it will be me, when I meet a guy! I really hope he responds the same way, like the guy in the story. πŸ™‚

  4. I saw someone with a Tshirt that read “BOOK LOVERS… NEVER GO TO BED ALONE”

    “The kind of books that make me forget what day it is or what I ought to eat for lunch or how warm it is in the room because I forgot to open the windows before settling down to read.” ….ME TOOO I heart those aaawe

    ~B

  5. Thats how a good conversation, relationship will start.. πŸ™‚ In my case, my husband thought it was a passing fancy and he is still amazed that I read so much.

  6. The best thing about bibliophiles is they can connect anywhere. And the conversation can go on and on … I could so relate to the goodbye part … it sure feels like that when a good book ends.

  7. Shailaja, I can relate to this line ” Reading? Who reads these days? Shouldn’t people be all tech-savvy and up to date with the latest apps?” because I have been asked this question, though not verbatim.You are brilliant with your choice of words.

  8. A truly true piece of work connecting at every comma and full stop with me. It’s as if you were reciting my mind to me when she is desperately cooking up that answer in her mind.

    Loved it.

  9. What did I think?
    I did not think, Shailaja. I simply drooled at the way you whipped up this delicious scene, which I could feel happening right in front of my eyes! So beautiful. ..right from, “twirling the ringlet of hair that crept sneakily away from her brow”, to the last sentence…Ummm! Magic!

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