Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing3 mins 196 3 mins 196
“I don't know why you think that he has a crush on me,” Neha admonished her best friend, “especially when he always sits at your regular table.”
“That is because he thinks it is your table! It was my day off, and you serviced that table three months ago when he had come to the café for the first time.” Payal averred. The childhood friends had been serving as waitresses in the same Chaayos since last year.
“By now he knows pretty well that it is your table. Why, three days back when you were off sick, he enquired about you and conveyed his wishes for your speedy recovery.” Neha persisted.
“Last week, he confided to me that he likes your sunny smile and positive attitude.” Payal wasn’t about to back down.
“See, he has even started having these small talks with you. He has never uttered a single word to me beyond the niceties and his orders.”
“Those small talks have largely been about you. He is hesitant to speak to you because of the ‘thing’ he has for you.”
“Don’t read the newspaper upside down, Payal. He hasn’t missed a single day here since the past three months, and always sits on your regular table. Why does he ask about you when he doesn’t see you? Mark my words, he has a huge crush on you.
“You are the one looking at the wrong side of the mirror, Neha. He hasn’t missed a single day since the first day when you served him. He always takes the Chaayos Special Tea as the last drink of the evening, which he calls ‘Neha’s special tea.’ He speaks to me about you whenever he gets a chance. What more signs should he give you?
“Well, I can’t flirt with a man who has a crush on my best friend. Especially she also happens to like him.”
Payal’s cheeks turned a bright red at this.
“I might like him, but it does not matter. The same way that it did not matter to you back in high school when you stepped aside for Mohit and me.”
“That was different, Payal. Both of you liked each other. I was the third part of the triangle that had to make way.”
“Exactly, that is what I am saying. Our man here likes you, and you like him. Hence I am stepping aside.”
“You are being very adamant here," Neha was exasperated. “That's it. I won’t serve him anymore. It is your table, and you handle him from now on.”
“You cannot do that!” Payal was incredulous. “I will ask our Manager to assign that table to you right away. You will be obliged to take care of our man on the table then.”
There was pin-drop silence for half a minute.
“Well, if he is interested in me, why hasn’t he asked me out yet?” Neha was suddenly practical.
“Come to think of it, he hasn’t asked me out either.” Payal pondered.
Both of them started to speak in tandem.
“Payal!!! The man has taken ages to ask you out, plus driven both of us on the verge of a serious quarrel. Is it worth it?”
“Neha, God knows when our man will have the guts to ask you out, but he has already led us into this catfight. This is not worth it.”
“The devil! I am not serving him from today.”
So it happened that neither of the two served Mr Poker Face that evening. He didn’t turn up at the café from the next day onwards.