When I look back, I have never been on a first date first date. In the past relationships, we had known each other since school or undergrad, so things just flowed into one another. We used to hang out, and then we watched movies or we ate ice cream. But the romance of the first date was never there. I never missed it. I didn’t know it existed.
I went on a first date yesterday. We sat holding hands in the cab. We watched a play. My first live theatre. It was in a language neither of us understood, but the artistes were par excellence. So much so that their expressions said it all. Language wasn’t a barrier. It was an open show, under a colourful canopy. It was chilly and cold. My hands were freezing and my thighs were shaking. It was cold. He asked if I’d like his jacket. I politely declined. I didn’t want him to be cold too.
The show finished. It was a beautiful experience. The depth of emotion was new to me, especially one portrayed in person, in flesh and blood.
We hung out near the food stalls. We chatted on and off. He insisted on the jacket then. It felt snug. Warm. Like a hug.
We got a cab back to my place and held hands in the cab.
We spoke at length about the play. About the emotions and its relevance to society. About what we can do as individuals to raise strong children.
Somewhere during the date, we stopped being him and I, and became us. It was in that moment, when he looked right into my eyes and said – what is it that you want to say but are worried I may not like it.
I told him. He didn’t like it. What he said. I didn’t like it.
But unlike before, instead of that being an issue, we chose to disagree and moved on to other topics. Being right or wrong was inconsequential to us. Being heard was more important.
He dropped me home. There was a long hug. And a kiss on the forehead. And a whispered wish- Good night.