She looked at her watch pondering over the fact that she would be stuck at the airport for another 2 hours. “Damn these airlines!” she wondered. Finding her way across the airport her eyes came upon a book store. The bookworm in her mind instantly tickled her, and in the very next moment, she found herself inside the big shop. Running her slim fingers over the books on the shelves, she came across a book named, “Life is what you make it” by Preeti Shenoy. She flipped through the pages and started relating her own life with the protagonist of the story. She quickly turned the pages and stopped at the epilogue section. As she read through the lines, she smiled to herself; assured that everything ends happily. Just as she put the book back in its original place, a guy in a grey suit bumped into her. She stole a glance at him, and then at the book in his hands, “I too had a love story.” He saw her staring at the book and wondered,” Wow! What luck! She is so stunning and she likes to read books? Could it be that she is travelling on the same flight? I must be drooling right now- get a hold of your senses, Raj.” He said ‘sorry’ and moved away from her. He stopped and turned around only to see her pick out another book, “Jane Eyre.”
He roamed around for another hour, more for the sake of the lady he had bumped into earlier. People may find it cheap or even perverted, but to him, it was the law of attraction. As she reached the cash counter to buy the book, he ran over to the desk and stood next to her. She saw him standing on her right and smiled at him. He was head over heels for her now. But a moment later, he realised that she was smiling – or more so, giggling – at the book that he was holding, “Eleven Minutes.” He realised his foolishness and was even more embarrassed now. But the way she was smiling at him, he was pretty much sure, that there was a spark in between them. No matter how haphazard his thoughts seemed to him, he was adamant to make his move. The lady, on the other hand, was playing hard to get. She’d been curious ever since she saw that they had both picked out romance novels when they first happened upon each other, and since there was nowhere else to be, she hung around at the store. She was very much amused on seeing him rushing to the counter with whichever book he could find just to get there in time. But more than that she found it quite funny to look at the book he was carrying. Once she was done paying, she turned to him and said, “Are you going to buy that? It’s quite good, actually.” “I..I just grabbed it. I like Paulo Coelho,” he was repeatedly cursing himself for stammering in front of her. “Want me to suggest something?” she asked in a flirtatious manner as she moved her hand through her hair, and gave away a smirk. “Yeah, why not? By the way, if you could, I would like you to suggest me a romantic novel,” he said, following her lead.
“Romance, huh! Alright. Would any Indian author do?” she looked at him, and as he nodded, she reached out for, “If it’s not forever, it’s not love.” They looked at each other and smiled shyly. He was moved by her boldness and she was impressed with the child in him, and at the same time, she liked the man he was. Just like any other love story, they both felt the same way towards one another. Soon enough they were sipping coffee together. “Is this a date?” she said, finally breaking the silence. “I don’t know. Well, maybe. I would love to go on a date someday.” He thought it was a cheap shot, but it was better to be clear than to beat around the bush. She giggled as usual over his way of talking. And he just loved those small things she did. Unfortunately, the impending sense that had been gnawing at both of them finally became undeniable as the flight announcement was made. He picked up his bag and started walking towards the gate with her. She had an exchange flight at Delhi, so she bid him proper goodbye; hoping that at some point, they would meet again. As they reached the gate, he asked her, “What books did you buy anyway?” She sighed and said, “If it’s not forever It’s not love” and “ The one you cannot have.” He looked at her and felt a terrible jolt in his heart as he realised, maybe she was the ‘someone’ he could not have.
A few months later, at an airport somewhere, Raj was going through the books in a store. Just as he was about to pick one out, someone rested a hand on his shoulder, “Do you want a suggestion?” There she was; all the same, even after all these months. He shook his head and said, “Maybe this time, I should suggest something.” He took a turn and reached out towards a bookshelf as he picked something out for her, “Can love happen twice?”