This is one of those spontaneous things. I’m not looking back to see what I’ve written and I’m not actively planning what might happen either. It’s just a story on a theme that’s been on my mind for a while now.
She knew exactly who she wanted to be when she grew up. She wanted to be an investment banker. Well, she was only six so she didn’t know what an investment banker was, exactly but she did know that when she grew up she wanted to go to work wearing starched cotton saris, high heels, and a briefcase (this was before laptops were invented or at least heard of in India). And she knew it had to be a real job in a large office with lots of money involved because she loved her piggy bank and Papa told her that offices have even more money in big banks.
She worked hard towards this dream. She studied English and Math but not much science. She set herself a goal and worked towards a degree in Commerce. She worked hard and went to an IIM and somewhere along the way she fell in love.
He was a bit of an idiot, to be honest. Not sure of his life nor of his work. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was smart, yes, that’s true. He was smart. But in the ways that really mattered he was a bit of a doofus. Now what do I mean by that? I sound a little like a rambling old woman talking aloud to myself thinking all about this boy the lovely girl was in love with but not helping you readers understand him at all. So let me try again.
He was a boy good at math and physics and many other things. He wrote the most lovely prose and could shoot the best three point basket you ever saw. He could do all sorts of weird things with test tubes in the Chemistry lab (now don’t go trying to make it sound all sexual. That was not meant to refer to anything but weird colours and strange experiments). He was a bit of a musician too and a little bit, just a little bit, on the fringe of the cool group. Well, that’s who he was in high school and I think he never grew up.
No matter how many things he was good at, he was never really good at finding out what he wanted to be when he grew up. Well, perhaps that’s the trouble with being good at too many things. You have to choose and make a commitment and then wonder about how things might have been. Better to wonder than to do nothing at all, some say. But it takes real courage to make a leap of faith and who really has courage at 18? (lots of people do but acknowledging it takes away from the romance so please overlook that terrible rhetorical question, gentle reader)
Well, so one day they met. He wasn’t 18. He was 26 and the girl was 27 and starting her career as an investment banker. Not in Hong Kong but someplace equally exotic, I forget where it was. He was doing something interesting. I think it was travel blogging or maybe it was snorkeling instruction or something equally ridiculous. Did I tell you The Boy’s family was rich? Oh, you guessed. That’s good then. So there he was, doing his thing and there she was trying her hardest to figure out what to do now that she was there, working in a big office with all that glass and The View. She thought it would take much longer than it did but although she wasn’t wearing starched cotton saris (somewhere along the way she figured out it was kind of lame) she was wearing skirt-suits and high heels and carrying an important laptop and making very important presentations.
They met at a party, I think. A friend of a friend of a friend introduced them. Or maybe it was just one of those things. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. He was a goofy doofus and she had just let her walls down and we all know what happens after that. After all, The Boy had all it takes to woo a girl. A smile, a nod, an exciting life, and an endearing charm. Well, that’s not all it takes but The Girl was looking to be wooed and The Boy would do. There wasn’t anything wrong with him after all. He wasn’t a serial killer or anything.
So one thing led to another and they went on dates and they went on to have amazing sex. I think it sounds about right. It was a light-hearted relationship that wasn’t meant to be serious but obviously they fell in love. There was no way around it. And besides, I love this story I’m writing. I can’t kill it by not letting them fall in love.
So they fell in love. This serious cliche of a girl and this goofy cliche of a boy fell in love and something amazing happened. They stopped to think about it. That was just ridiculous. I mean, who ever thinks about falling in love? You can think before you go out on a date, before you decide to consummate a relationship, before you decide to get married or have babies or both. But why would you ever want to think about being in love? But they did it, these two. They thought about what would happen next.
The inevitable happened. They broke up. I mean, come on. Love is never going to stand up to rational thought! How does it ever make sense to actually, truly be in love with someone? What does it even mean to be in love, anyway? It’s one of those instincts that’s deep rooted somewhere. (What was that part of the brain it’s fashionable to talk about these days? Wait, got it). Falling in love isn’t the Pre-Frontal Cortex’s job, it’s the Amygdala’s job. Or something like that. When you stop to dissect love, it falls to pieces.
So anyhow, they broke up, this boy and girl. And they weren’t too heartbroken. They just went their separate ways. And they were the freaks of nature who had no ill-will toward their ex. They were genuinely happy for each other and they never tired to stay friends.
Time went by. The Girl became Vice President of something. They Boy joined the Family Business. They both dated other people and they both tried approaching every relationship with the deep rooted professionalism and decency they brought to everything else. But it didn’t work. No one else was willing to be rational about being in love. And so one day, feeling very rational about the whole thing, The Girl emailed The Boy saying, “Would you like to meet?” The Boy was indeed single and he replied, “Yes, I would love that”.
They met for coffee and they had a bit of a chat about various things. The Boy was still a little ridiculous but he’d channeled it all into thinking up new product ideas. The Girl was still very focused and determined. But she’d hit a ceiling and was looking to do something else. She was bored. He was frustrated because he just couldn’t find anyone who’d share his enthusiasm for new ideas. And so they looked at each other. The familiar energy hit them both. The chemistry, the memories, the great sex.
“Why did we ever break up?”, she asked.
“We broke up because it was too easy. Love is supposed to be hard”, he replied.
“Well, what do you think now?”, she asked
“I think we should start a company together”, he said.
Her face lit up with a toothy grin. “Sounds perfect. That’s just what I need!”, she said.
And so they did. They started a company together. Some people make babies. Others nourish corporations. They never did get married to each other. But some stories are just meant to be. Or in this case, not.