It’s fifteen minutes into the training and I’m already annoyed. Nobody told me this would be such a waste of time. I have a hundred other things to do. I’m about to text my supervisor my feedback when things get interesting. We get put into groups of four. Ah! Looks like there’s more to this training than someone droning on about standard deviation and statistical analysis. My group has three others, one is a friend I’ve known for years, a girl who’s barely 21 and looks like she’s just arrived in the city and a third person I’ve never seen before but is clearly good friends with my friend.

We are given a task to complete within the group and the work kicks off in full swing. I find him intelligent, good-looking and a bit cocky. His cockiness annoys me. Not enough to make me detest him. Just enough to intrigue me. The half-day training ends and the girl excuses herself, says bye and gets picked up by a gentleman who’s clearly her father. My friend asks what I’m doing for lunch and I tell him I have no plans. He invites me to join them. I say yes.

It’s half an hour later when the conversation steers towards philosophy. I say something that he insists on contradicting. I pause. I reflect. I try again. Again, he’s got a contrarian view. I wonder if he’s deliberately trying to rile me up. It’s clearly working. My friend watches on, a mute spectator. He smiles, cocksure of what he’s saying as he demolishes yet another argument of mine. I’m now extremely annoyed. I challenge him. He quotes something in Sanskrit. I’m struck dumb. I’m taken aback by the verses that I clearly understand.

He smiles. It’s a drop dead gorgeous smile. “You didn’t expect me to know this did you?” He asks. I admit that I didn’t. “You say you don’t like people being judgemental, but isn’t that exactly what you did?” I lower my eyes, unable to meet his gaze. Yes. I admit.

“Come here.” I hear authority and insistence in his voice. I look up. He’s steps closer. “You’re extremely interesting you know? And beautiful too.” I hold my breath, not sure of what he’s going to do next, but willing to wait and watch. He gently puts two fingers under my chin and lifts my head. He smiles, silently seeking permission. I shut my eyes, giving it to him. He kisses me. It’s a kiss that takes my breath away. It’s a kiss that makes me want more. And then I know. This is the beginning of something very beautiful.

Fiction: Beginnings

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