It was a weekend evening and we had planned to meet for ice cream. As usual, I was excited. Nervous. And a bit unsure. This was my first ever dating app date and I haven’t met her before. It was all chatting chatting and a wee bit unruly chatting.
This was years ago. I was 22. Just installed Tinder. And was swiping through. I don’t remember swiping her, to be honest. Partly because I wasn’t picky enough in my swiping. And partly she hadn’t put much effort on her profile apart from a single pic.
We matched. Texted. Moved to Facebook. Yes, this was the good ol’ Facebook era. Before the instagrams and snapchats took over. I don’t remember what we chatted. But remember it was mostly lame and boring texts. I didn’t have the dating app rizz. Not that I have much now, but I would like to believe I have improved a lot (How you doin’ :P).
We texted for a few days. More than a week I suppose. I was asking for a date. And she was being coy. Neither saying a yes nor a no. She was following the standard dating etiquette I suppose. Finally, after quite a few long days of boring texts, we agreed to meet up for ice cream on a weekend evening. It was monsoon season I think. I can’t recall for sure.
I dressed up in my black tee and blue jeans. A clean pair of shoes, cuz Facebook said shoes are the first thing people notice about you (of course, the internet says the truth). Too much perfume. And too much hair wax.
I had a Honda Unicorn at that time. Was using the same to commute anywhere and everywhere. It was a blue beauty. But somehow I didn’t like the color much. I liked my helmet color though. It was black and had a sass about it. Looked cool overall. But on that day, I wasn’t too fond of my helmet. Reason? I had a slick hairstyle and the helmet was gonna ruin it.
Still, grumbling and mourning my hairstyle loss, I picked up my helmet and took out my blue Honda Unicorn. Geared up. Started the motorcycle. The kickstarter on it had stopped working long ago. I was completely reliant on the electric starter. I started and went to the date spot. It was 5-6 miles away from me. I had a good evening bike ride.
She hadn’t come to the spot yet. I messaged her. We had moved to WhatsApp by now. She texted she would be there in 5 minutes. 15 minutes later, she had arrived. She was wearing a white tee, blue jeans, and a dirty pair of shoes. But she was cute. Cuter than her Facebook pics. Far prettier than her Tinder pic. My heart was already skidding down the road. Ready to fall down.
We ordered ice creams. Don’t remember which ones. I was too busy chatting with her, staring at her, and smiling at her. Not gonna lie, I was nervous. But she seemed nervous too. But she was smiling at me. With me. So there was this weird nervous cute energy flowing between us. Few call it awkward. I call it sexual tension. Okay, it was awkward.
But by the time we finished our ice creams, we were laughing and giggling. The nervousness had paved the way for chattiness. She was chatty. I wasn’t, but on that day I was. We were sitting close. Thigh brushing thigh. Occasional shoulder rubs. But most of all stealing glances at each other’s eyes.
We decided to take a walk. We went out of the ice cream parlor. She asked, how did I come? The ice cream shop was a mile away from her and she had walked there. I showed her my motorcycle. She wanted to go for a bike ride. I said why not. I started the motorcycle. She hopped on the passenger seat. This was the time when helmets were not compulsory for pillion riders. Now though, you have to plan beforehand.
It was already dark. A bit chilly as well. The wind was blowing. As we rode, she put her hands on my shoulders to keep the balance. She was talking and telling me something. For the life of me, I couldn’t hear anything apart from gibberish sounds. I was nodding and saying yeah a lot. That’s the only thing I was saying.
After some time, she stopped talking. There was silence. The road was empty. The only sound was my motorcycle going brrr and the gust of wind. Somehow the silence didn’t feel awkward. At some point, she rested her head on my back. It was just the two of us, riding on a motorcycle, on an empty road.
I parked near a park. We went in and talked a bit more. She talked about her college (she was 20). Her school days. Her hometown. How much she loves Breaking Bad. She talked a lot. I don’t remember much now. I only remember how much of a coward I was for not kissing her in that park. Where were my balls when I needed them?
It was getting late. We left the park. I dropped her to her place. She was living in a hostel. She bid me bye. Smiling. I bid her bye. Smiling. And regretting not having the guts to go for a kiss.
I rode back to my place. All the while singing loudly. The wind made sure no one heard my atrocious singing voice. But even if someone did, I didn’t care. The dopamine was high on me. ‘Hey Jude’.
This doesn’t have a happy ending though. But neither is it a sad ending. Post the date, we texted a lot for the next 2-3 days. Then things slowly started to fade out. Something or the other came up and we just couldn’t meet. She had her exams. I was busy trying to succeed in my first job (oh my naivety). We tried to meet up and then slowly we gave up trying. Life happened.
Looking back, it was a cute fun date. Nothing more. Nothing less. A moment that warmed my heart. And years later, I am glad I went out with her that day. For if not nothing. it gave me fond memories. My first motorcycle date. My first dating app date. And in the process, I started to like my blue Honda – a little more.