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She looked up from the computer screen at me, our eyes met for about 5 seconds, and I was struck by her beautiful eyes. I guess it was my lucky day, the only computer available was opposite hers, I had the only choice to sit there. Through the entire workshop our eyes kept locking at every interval and every time she got the coding correct her eye would light up and she would yell “YES!”. It was so fascinating to see her, I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame, it was quiet refreshing to see that. The workshop ended and she picked up her belongings and walked out of the lab.
I searched for her, my mystery girl the entire week, just to get a glimpse of those mesmerising eyes. But there was no sign of her at all. The following week after a morning lecture, I went to return the borrowed books at the library and search for a few that were recommended for further reading by our tutor. As my hand reached out for one of the books, another hand reached out for the same book from the other side of the shelf. I was not going to let go of this book as I had been waiting to get my hands on it for weeks. A pair of almond shaped eyes peered over the book to look at me, and I forgot about everything and stared into the same captivating eyes from last week, they belonged to none other than my mystery girl. Time stood still as our eyes locked in a super charged strong magnetic connection, my large hand covered her smaller hand, neither of us in a rush to let go. She smiled at me, and I let go of her hand and the book. She whispered a “thank you” and walked away. What was I thinking? I needed that book, but it was all forgotten and I let her take the book.
One afternoon, I was rushing to the lab for my workshop, as I went to open the door, it swung open and there she was trying to walk past me, all she did was look up at me and with a smile and said “Hi! give me a sec.” and ran off like there was a fire. I stood briefly at the door confused and watching her walk away. Once she disappeared round the corner, I walked into the lab and sat at an empty desk and fired up my computer, I carried on with the exercise our tutor had given us to work on. I heard a shuffling sound at the computer to my left but did not pay much attention to it as I was too deep into working on the coding. A “YES! Woohoo” made me jump and look up from the screen and my mystery girl was sat next to me. I looked at her and she smiled back at me, and I looked away! Now why did I do that? I was having an internal battle whether I should speak to her or not. By the time I decided to speak to her, there were a group of guys who came to our bank of desks, and they started talking to my mystery girl and I lost my chance to speak to her. This bumping into each other carried on for months and we never spoke to each other. I was always mesmerised by her expressive eyes that I could not strike a decent conversation with her to get to know her.
I sometimes sit and think about my mystery girl and wished I had gathered the courage to speak to her in the 3 years at university. I had several opportunities to do that, but I did not take a chance, everything came down to “what if?” Was it the fear of rejection? Or was I too shy to speak to her? One can only hope.
Every Fridays after work in the city, my colleagues and I meet up for a few beers at the open bar in the square in the summer before we head home for the weekend. This was life before the lockdown now that everything seems to have settled and gone back to the new normal, we often meet for a drink. Last month on a Friday night, I was having a couple of drinks with my colleagues, and I see this beautiful woman walk towards the outdoor bar with a group of people. Our eyes met briefly as she walked past me to get to the bar. Now where had I seen those eyes before? And then it dawned on me that those where the same eyes of my mystery girl. The universe had thrown in a second chance my way and it was entirely up to me to take it or leave it.
Its now or never, I gathered the courage, handed my beer to my colleague, and excused myself, I walked up to her and tapped on her shoulder, she turned to look at me quizzically, those eyes knocked the day light out of me, they are still as expressive and mesmerising as they were at uni. “Excuse me, I think I know you, did you used to go to Kingston University?” I heard myself ask her, “Oh My God! YES! I know you too! Gosh it’s been like what 20 years?” she responded, and she gave me big hug. And we briefly caught up on our careers and we discovered that the offices we worked at were so close to each other, I had to let her get back to her colleagues.
Yes, I did ask for her name and number to keep in touch. Was it fate that brought us together after all those years? I contacted my mystery woman and we agreed to grab lunch the following week. We discovered a lot about our personal lives. She had recently been widowed with no children and it had been 3 years since my divorce. The more I got to know about her, the more I wanted to spend time with her. Was this our second chance to have a go at life again?
I was fortunate enough to get a second chance and put the “what ifs” to rest, it is entirely up to us on what we want to do with these opportunities.
By Indi Basra
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