She saw him staring at her from her vantage position at the bar counter. She turned, made a nanosecond’s worth of eye contact, flashed a picosecond smile and went back to nursing her gin & tonic. She knew he’d come to her within the next three minutes.
He sidled up to her in two. She grinned. It was textbook. They sat in comfortable silence, elbows brushing, sipping their drinks. Few minutes later he decided enough was enough and turned to face her.
‘I’m sorry! But do I know you?…’
She threw her hair back and laughed. Her laughter made a mellifluous symphony with the mild jazz music that was playing in the background.
‘Are you trying to chat me up, Mister? Coz that was one bad pick up line.’
He looked affronted, ‘No, no! I get that it belongs to the corny pick-up line category, but I do feel like I know you from someplace before. I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.’
He turned his back to her and signaled the bartender for a Scotch and Soda. He knew she’d re-initiate the conversation. It was textbook.
He felt her hand on his elbow and smirked. He drained his glass and turned to face her.
‘Slim pickings, eh?’
She shrugged, ‘Present company’s not that bad.’
‘Can I buy you a drink?’
‘Alright! G&T with a twist and no more corny lines.’
He ordered their drinks and ran an appreciative eye over her. ‘You look beautiful, Miss?’
‘Miss would be just fine, Mister!’
He ran a hand through his wavy curls. ‘Are you sure we haven’t met before? I could swear I might have seen you somewhere.’
She stirred her drink with a long index finger and licked the drops before they fell, ‘Maybe in a different life. Are you from around here?’
He shook his head, ‘This is the last place I’d be from. What about you?’
‘First time here. But it feels like I’ve been here before.’
He raised his glass, ‘To first meetings and déjà vus!’
They clinked glasses. She learnt that he was a marketing personnel who traveled a lot, and he nodded and smiled when she said that she was the trophy wife of an Industrialist. They talked fondly about their children and shared stories from past.
‘It might be the drink talking,’ she slurred after her fifth drink. ‘But, I feel that I’ve met you before too.’
He felt a bolt of daring course through him, ‘Maybe, this might bring back some memories.’ He leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. Her eyes froze for a moment and then she returned the kiss with fervor.
He broke the kiss after what seemed an eternity, ‘You know, I have a room here.’
She got up in one languid motion and hooked a finger towards him, beckoning.
‘I’d love to see the interiors.’
They stumbled into the room like a weird eight-limbed creature. After a long and passionate session of lovemaking they fell asleep in each other’s arms.
An hour later, she woke up feeling dizzy and out of place. She took a long moment to assess her situation, then noticed the man fast asleep next to her and screamed.
He got up and looking completely bewildered. She pointed a finger at him.
‘Who the hell are you?’
‘I’d like to ask the same question, lady!’
‘I’m calling the Police, you bastard! Did you drug me?’
He tugged on a stray strand of hair that was dangling on his forehead, ‘Lady, I don’t know what the hell is going on. I came to this hotel for a conference. That’s all I remember.’
They dressed up in silence. She opened the mini bar and grabbed a water bottle from it.
‘So, you don’t remember how we ended up here?’
‘I’m sorry! I don’t.’
She passed him the bottle, ‘Neither do I. What do we do now?’
He finished drinking and tossed the bottle into the dust bin, ‘Lady, I don’t know your name or where you are from. I think you don’t know me either. Let’s just forget everything.’
They didn’t speak a word after that. They didn’t even glance at each other as they went their separate ways.
Back in the room, Tom and Gina were howling with mirth.
‘This is the part I love the most, Gina!’ Tom hovered near the air conditioner.
Gina came floating up to him, ‘Ha! I love the first eye contact they make after we leave their bodies. I never tire of seeing the reactions.’
Tom tried to kiss Gina, but passed right through her. ‘Dammit! It’s been fifteen years and I still keep forgetting.’
Gina chuckled, ‘That’s why we enlist the assistance of such beautiful human beings. Say, you up for one more go? I can see quite few prospects on the dancefloor.’
‘Sure! It’s Saturday night after all!’