Who blinks first

Like any other day my friends and I were hanging out at our college’s favourite café. The newcomers would also come to the café and it was a good opportunity for us to talk to them and make new friends. My friends and I started to leave when I suddenly saw a creature of beauty in a yellow salwar kammeez standing near the billing counter. I took my friend along with me to the billing counter. She was startled, which was clearly evident in her eyes and for a brief moment our eyes met. I asked her why she wouldn’t greet her senior to which she apologised and greeted me. 20th September, the day feels like it was yesterday. Every moment is etched perfectly in my memory. I was eating my lunch at the canteen alone when I saw her and her friend pass by. I felt bad that she didn’t notice me. Just as I thought that to myself, she came to my table and greeted me. I started to ask her whether she would join me for lunch but before I could finish my sentence, the two of them were at my table. She sat opposite me and her friend sat on the side of both of us. Then I got an idea. ‘Will you play a game with me?”, I asked her without second thought. She was surprised at my question and asked me what I had in mind. I told her about the game where we stare at each others’ eyes and whoever blinks first, loses. The room was suddenly filled with sunlight and there was no more rain. The dark clouds were barely visible in the sky. All I could see was her beautifully chiselled face glowing in the sunlight. Her nose was pink as candy, which mesmerized me.
“The loser owes the winner a cup of coffee is that okay?” I asked. She took up the challenge readily and we stared into each other’s eyes. Thirty seconds passed by but I found myself lost in her eyes. Her gaze was as sharp as a knife piercing right into my soul. Her eyes were clear as crystal into which I could see my own reflection. Calling her eyes just “beautiful” would be a sin! I could feel my heart racing and I couldn’t take it anymore. A minute or so passed by. Her gaze was still fixed on mine. Now I could see her eyes welling with tears. My eyes too welled up and I conceded. I blinked first because I couldn’t bear to see her cry.
She let out a cry of joy, rejoicing in the fact that she won. I was so happy to see her happy. “I accept my defeat, now I shall keep up my end of the bet. I shall buy you coffee”, I said. So the next Sunday we went to the café, spent some time together and had coffee together.
Three days later, I found her chatting with her friend in the corridor and I followed them. I felt bad that I was eavesdropping but I don’t regret it. I was lucky that they didn’t notice me following them. Her friend asked her how coffee with me was to which she replied that it was fine. She continued to say that, although she hated coffee, she agreed to come as she wanted to go out with me. I froze. I did not know what to do. All of a sudden my ears became muffled, time slowed down, I was suddenly conscious of my fast heartbeat. I then suddenly came back to my senses and I heard her tell her friend that if I would ask her out again, she would go out only for tea. I felt so happy on hearing this. I was not able to contain my joy.
Without a moment delay, I went and stood in front of them to let them know I had heard everything. She was startled at first but then started to blush.
“Ready to go drink some tea?” I asked with a smile.


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