Strangely famous, strangely familiar…

Make way for our fifth entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…

She couldn’t believe it! After all these years of being incognito, she finally saw him here! He seemed to have ripened with age! It had been 15 years since she had last seen him. She wasn’t sure if he had ever seen her. Not to say that she hadn’t tried. She had dropped her pencil box like a million times in class, smiled coquettishly at him, tried to embellish her school uniform (stretching the limits of permissible in the bargain) in an effort to stand out of the crowd. For him. She could have batted her eyelids in Morse code, for all the attention he gave her. And now here he was. He was still effortlessly stylish, impeccably dressed and oh-so-handsome!

She opened her purse and rummaged through it for her face mirror. She opened it, checked her make up and then turned it a little sideways to catch a glimpse of him. He was chuckling away to glory, presumably watching a movie. The dimples! How had she forgotten about them? They seemed to have gotten deeper with years, and age seemed to have done him more good than evil. She saw his eyes flicker to her mirror and a frown formed on his face. “oh shit” did he see her? Now what was she to do?

She took a long deep breath, reminded herself that she was no longer a school girl, had one look at her impossibly packed appointment diary to boost her ego, and coaxed herself that she could handle it. She turned around, smiled her most confident smile, and tried her hand at some light hearted banter primarily to find out whether he remembered her

“hey there, anything good on the telly?” (wow, really what an opening line! I might as well have asked about the weather outside)

“um…not really. Just the usual, the weather report being the most interesting” he smiled a wry smile.

“not really a movie buff are you?” (strike one) 😦

“I do like movies, but I preferred it when movies were more than formula, dumb attempts at stilted conversations, and more about intelligent dialogues and meet cutes. (strike off strike one!!) 🙂 what about you?”

“Me too. They really don’t make them like Casablanca or Breakfast at Tiffany’s anymore”

“More’s  the pity”

“Any recent movies that caught your eye?”

“Not really. Are you travelling to Sydney for the film festival?”

“Yes actually. I’m a director

“wow! Really? Made anything I heard about?”

“if you’ve heard about ‘Pin the tail on the horse‘, then yes”

“Wow! You made that one? Wow! Saw that one with my wife, quite enjoyed it. I must say, you’re quite talented. I can’t believe I’m talking to Liz Preston! Pleasure to meet you!”

“Actually, the pleasure’s all mine. It has been a while.”

“I’m sorry have we met before. I have this feeling I’ve seen you before”

“Remember Liz Blair? The adenoidal girl in ninth grade?”

“Liz Blair? Wow! It really is you? You seem so different! Wow! You’re going on the list of my most prestigious alumni! Lizzie, is that you really? How many years has it been? How time flies!”

“Its been fifteen years!  And yes, time does fly!”

And then they lapsed into conversation trying to bridge the 15 year gap. Anyone who saw them talking could never have guessed that this student- teacher duo had barely spoken to each other while in their schooling years. Boy! Does fame make the world a kinder place or what! But don’t tell that to Liz Preston!

A Second Shot

Here’s the next entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. As said earlier, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…

Here’s the next entry:

The memories were like snapshot bullets that she had been dodging for years and had finally hit her, square in the face- that face of the man who had once meant everything to her. It was overwhelming! She sat there motionless for what seemed like eternity.  The flight was in the air. She went to the washroom and barfed.

Looking into the mirror she saw how far she had come from those days. Then she had been a smiling girl in her early twenties with the glow on her face typical of those in love. The glow was gone and so was the love. The hair was shorter, sassier. The clothes were no longer t-shirts, jeans and sneakers but smart suits and stilettos. The woman was no longer the girl he had known. The only thing that connected the woman and the girl was the pain that he had left behind- the hurt that had become a part of her life and had never left.

This was probably her only chance. She walked back with a calm face; she wasn’t going to let him go this time. A deliberate trip on the Jimmy Choo and she was on him. He stared at her like he was seeing a ghost and then his expression changed. Straightening up her ruffled clothes, she looked at him and acted like she was surprised. “Matt,” was the only word she said. He looked quite taken aback himself. “Lizzie… Wow! It’s been so long. You look…look so different,” he said.

“Yes Matt. It’s been a while. You look almost the same. Nice meeting you after so long.” He did look the same. The neatly ironed shirt and trousers, the cropped spiked hair and the goofy grin were all at odds with each other but blended so perfectly on him. She wasn’t surprised that she had fallen for him. He ran his eyes appreciatively over her and she blushed. She returned to her seat but they kept talking. He was a senior editor now. They talked about old times, their college friends, work… The more they talked the closer they came; she could see that old look in his eyes. He wanted her back.

The flight landed. He invited her over. It was a cozy apartment. As she was about to go to the guest room to crash he pulled her towards him and looked into her eyes. She was uncertain; did she really want to do this? All her courage almost melted. “I missed you so much. I’m glad you’re back,” he said and leaned in for a kiss. She kissed back and soon they were in a passionate embrace. She broke the kiss and said they’d better sleep. He looked at her dazed with desire and confused. She kissed him on the cheek and went to the guest room and locked the door.

He woke up in the morning and found her gone. There was a note on her bed that read:

“I’m sorry. Goodbye.”

It was his handwriting, the note he had left for her on their bed when he went away.

In a coffee house, Liz sipped on her cup of Cappuccino and smiled. The last laugh was finally hers. And the hurt was gone. She was free.