“Standing up, she said, ‘if you had read as extensively as you claimed, you would know the very first thing about books: never judge a book by its cover.”
From first impression, she seems easy to get. No offense, but there is a category of women who you know will not give you that much of a hard time to get. It is something about them, their posture, the aura, the way they relate to people and things around them that gives them away. I have met quite a number, and I have been right almost every time. Not to say that I intentionally look out for them, but come on, for a lion, a limping gazelle is an inviting meal. I think the explanation made things worse, but nevertheless, back to Sofia.
Even the name does not create impressions of complications. So, with a confidence inspired by my recent luck in a business transaction, I approached Sofia. She was standing alone, sipping a cocktail, and looking quite uncomfortable. I assumed it was the being alone that was unsettling her, so I even felt I was doing her a favour giving her company; My arrogance, oops, confidence doubled.
I walked over to her, looked at her for several seconds without saying anything, as if I was contemplating whether she was worth my time or not, then I said, “Hello”. It was not a greeting, it was an announcement. She paid more attention to me, then, unbelievably, she dismissed me. The way she did it, with a slight turn of her head, as if I was a pestering little boy was not the impression I had formed. I said hello again, this time a bit more carefully. And she looked at me again, and with a questioning look, answered, “hello”.
Suddenly, my confidence was not so high anymore. But I have been in worse situations before. Readjusting internally, I introduced myself, and asked if she minded company. I did not expect her to say no, and she did not. That was more than eighty per cent of the work done. A few minutes with her, and I would have her dancing calypso to my tunes. Even better, she turned and faced me fully. The first few minutes, I was trying to gauge her character type. She turned out to be the novel-reading kind. Guys, it is good to always know something about everything. Soon, we were deep in the world of literature, discussing authors and styles of writing, and to me, she was purring along smoothly. I was a hundred per cent certain this was a closed deal.
Even when I suggested we go get something to eat, she was up to it. That was within an hour of meeting her. But, at some point, I would have to redirect the conversation to more specific affairs.
I was not exactly here to make a pen pal, or a novel reading buddy. I no longer even read novels. With a few calculated moves, silences, strange unexplained long looks at her, I maneuvered the conversation to us; two literal souls, very loving of literature, and passionate humans.
Emphasis on passionate. I flirted a little at first, then told her bluntly that I have never met anyone quite like her. She was not flustered, not even moved. Instead, she laughed out. That was totally unexpected, not at this point. I told her I was deadly serious. Then, she called the waiter and paid the bill.
Extremely wrong signal. This was not supposed to be happening, unless I had misread her this entire time. But everything was perfect for the kill-shot. In a few short sentences, she told me she had enjoyed my company, especially the bit when she kept wondering when and how I would stop pretending I was interested in books, and get straight to what had really brought me. I silently looked at her.
Standing up, she said, ‘if you had read as extensively as you claimed, you would know the very first thing about books: never judge a book by its cover”. And she walked away.