(This is the first part of a short story which is entirely a work of fiction.)
Rohan honked his car as he reached Pooja's house. It was about 6:15 in the evening. A cool breeze was blowing but Rohan had his air conditioner on. Pooja hurriedly walked out of her house and got into the car. Rohan smiled.
"You are looking too good today!"
Pooja smiled. "Thanks!"
"No comments about me?"
"You always look good Rohan. Whats is the point in telling you again and again?"
"Haay!" Rohan exclaimed and started the car.
Rohan drove towards Colaba Causeway. They were heading to their favorite hang out place, Mondy's, short for Cafe Mondegar where they were meeting some friends for a beer before heading out for dinner. They reached in about fifteen minutes. Rohan handed over his key to the valet and took Pooja inside. Rohan could never help smiling at the “Reality is an illusion caused by Alcohol Deficiency!” quote that greeted them as soon as they entered!
"Let's get out of our illusions now Pooja!"
They found that their friends Rohit and Neha had already come and taken a table. They greeted each other and sat down. They ordered beer for all and some onion rings and french fries to go with the beer. Over the next couple of hours, they chatted and caught up with each other. Rohit and Neha had just got married about a year back. Rohan and Rohit were best buddies from college. They had studied Marine Engineering together and though both eventually moved away from this field, they kept in touch and hung out every weekend.
It was about 9 o' clock when they thought it was time to head out for dinner and Rohan and Pooja said their byes to Rohit and Neha and left Mondy's.
"So where do you want to go?" asked Pooja.
"Hmmmmm.... I don't know, where do you want to go?"
"How about Indigo?"
"Yeah, sure, let's do Indigo today."
Rohan drove straight to Indigo which was hardly any distance from there. They had to wait for about half an hour to get a table which was quite short considering it was a weekend. They waited and chatted in the meantime.
When their turn came, they took the table and ordered the food.
"Pooja," Rohan began, "you realize that we are getting married in eight months? God! I am kinda psyched yaar!"
"Why? What is there to get so psyched about? We know each other for two years now."
"That's right. But somehow, this whole marriage thing na, it is really scary. See, now I stay with my parents, you stay with yours. We meet regularly while both of us have the freedom to do what we want. It is all so nice. Why change anything?"
"We have discussed the freedom bit right, Rohan? Both of us have promised to give each other the freedom to have our own lives. What is the problem?"
The waiter brought the appetizers and the drinks.
Rohan took a sip of his drink and continued.
"You're right Pooja. But I don't know. I am really scared. What if you and mom don't get along? I mean, I know both of you are great friends and all. But staying in the same house is different Pooja."
"I think that should be the last of your worries Rohan. I love your mom more than I do my own!"
They finished their dinner talking about their plans for the week and then Rohan drove Pooja home. As Pooja was getting out of the car, Rohan kissed her gently on her forehead. Pooja held his hand and said, "Don't think too much. Everything will be all right! Trust me."