Smell of the new books is enchanting. One of my favourite fragrance in the world. Therefore, the bookstores is the must place to go, in every new city. Period. They say arrangement and the collection of books says a lot about the place and its people. Well must be true about the place. Organised and cultured.
It still felt like a dream, like am on some episode of travel show, walking the streets of Alberobello. It’s so beautiful and so familiar, feels absolutely like I have been here before. May be because the stories about the place he had told me never left me. Strangely it was deeply rooted in my thoughts, the places he mentioned, people and streets he described. I visualised it all as he recited. It was exactly like it. Perfectly perfect.
I wish he was here somewhere. I would have given him a surprise but i guess may be I would have been more surprised if he were actually here. Sigh.
Because what happened back there was terribly embarrassing, I mean who runs away from the date?
I still regret that amazing night- under the sky, sitting on the bench looking at the city lights, listening him talk about his stories and life at Alberobello was just so perfect that I actually got so scared of ending it or loosing that moment when he wanted to kiss me. I freaked out and ran away even without saying proper good bye, thinking it would end up like a usual fling. So, my dear fucked up head told me, “Stop being greedy, stories are awesome. Keep it. Sex will ruin it. Don’t do it.. Run away, leave him, before he does. It’s not good being left by such a hot man, Go. Go. Go” And I left.
For few days I couldn’t believe what I had done. It was so very embarrassing. I had tossed myself. And assumed he never would like to see me again bcoz of my stupidity. And anyway, hot men like him gets women easily I thought. There was no chance he would have fallen in love with me. I was probably thinking a lot. There are much hotter women out there than me. He would have never called back if I had slept with him that night. So, I convinced myself this is better and never called him back. Well, he did not call either. Hence, Proved.
I buried him in my thoughts and moved on.
Back to admiring the beauty of Alberobello, the bookstore I was checking out was exactly like he had told. Small cozy place painted in mustard and mix of orange colour giving it a feel of dusk, teak wood furniture, vintage lamps, candle stands and the smell of adhesive all over of new books and old. Place had such good vibes. There was a little cafe outside too. I remember he said, they had amazing cinnamon croissant!
I picked out a random book from art section thinking he would have touched the same book sometime. Felt really stupid doing that but I couldn’t help but do it anyway. I remember, I web stalked him for few months then stopped it because it felt so creepy like an stalker. He was an artist. So there were chances he might have touched this book. I giggled at my own thoughts and opened the book.
After few pages, I got up to get myself that famous croissant. As I took it and turned back to my table, I saw a man trying to sit at my place and looking at the book.
”Sir, excuse me.. that’s where I was sitting.. Do you mind.…..” and he turned towards me.
Holy shit. It was him. Crazzzy.
Whatttt? You gotta be kidding me. It had to be a dream within dream.
“Jack, What are the odds?” I trembled.
“Wow, this is surreal” he was equally amazed.
“I was thinking about you” (I think I said that loud. Oh god, typical Indian I am. So loud.)
“I wanted to see you then”
“Say nothing. I need to breathe” and I sat down on chair.
“Yes! I think so”
(No I wasn’t. Why are still so hot? Why still that amazing voice? And please don’t talk about Poetry and Psychology now. I fall in love. Again.)
“Your hair looks good. You look more prettier” He said and gave that world’s most amazing smile and made me blush.
“How come you’re here?” He asked.
“Just, travelling. And you?”
“Remember I told you… My aunt stayed here, I am staying with her since few months now”
“Oh yes. Almost forgot your aunt story”
“You’re having cinnamon croissant! You remember lot of things” and he smiled again .
” I do.”
“Why did you run away that night? And you never called me back. Was I bad to you? I always wondered”
“God..No. It wasn’t you. It was me. I got so overwhelmed and I liked you so much that I didn’t wanted to just sleep with you and forget it.. So may be that’s why. I am really sorry for that behaviour” My heart raced so fast saying that.
“I liked you too” he said.
(I might faint I felt. Did he just said that? Did he? It’s a dream. Definitely a dream. Don’t wake me up.)
Then we ate croissant in silence for next 10min and vaguely smiling at each other and trying to avoid the eye contact.
He invited me to meet his aunt and join them for dinner. I agreed and we walked to his place. It was getting dark. Streets were lit up. Narrow lanes with white little houses on both sides. It was getting colder. Clear sky made those white houses look even more beautiful. We reached the place. He introduced me to her aunt. Had wonderful Italian food. And then he walked me back to my hotel.
“Are you staying here for a while?”
“See you tomorrow? Or you’re afraid?” He was laughing at me now. I just wanted to look at him and freeze the moment. He should be arrested for being so mesmerising.
“I’ll see you tomorrow” I said.
(I so wanted to kiss him and eat him up but hey, control!!)
He came forward and hugged me good night. And my heart raced again. And my head exploded with the voices ‘Why on heart he smells like those books?
Should I kiss him? Or wait? I missed the chance few years back. Not again. Hug me more. Don’t leave’
And while I was busy encircling the thoughts, he tucked strand of my hair behind my right ear, held my face, pulled me and kissed me.
I was out of thoughts and words. Did heaven just burst on me?
“I wanted to do that so badly. Sleep tight, beautiful. Good night. I’ll come to pick you up at 9 tomorrow.” he said and smiled and left.
And I stood there like an idiot for next few minutes, touching my lips.