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Still Unconvinced…

An uncomplicated love story.

 

By

Manjaree Sowani

 

And that’s exactly what this is, uncomplicated. So, don’t read it if you want a glamorous, sharp and witty story.

 

Well, for starters, it was a good day. The kind of day when all the angels seem to be celebrating in the sky. The kind when the trees are spotted with flowers and it’s just windy enough to fly a kite.

 

The three of us used to live in adjoining houses. That is to say- I lived in between the two of them. So, as I was lying in the garden, reading a book, Dennis’ head popped up. He wanted to know if his ball had fallen in my garden, and I told him I couldn’t care less if it had.

So then my other neighbour Gladys’ head popped up the opposite fence and she wanted to know if she could drop in to say hi.

 

And then, they saw each other.

 

Well.

 

You could see his jaw dropping slightly, and her eyes brightening, almost at once. I, of course, did the right thing and introduced them immediately.

“Gladys, this is my pal Dennis. Dennis, this is our new neighbour Gladys.”

“Hi.” He said.

“Hello.” She replied.

Both of them blushed, and I rolled my eyes, wondering if this was going to happen all summer.

 

Time passed, and both Gladys and Dennis became good friends of mine. The only irritating thing was, that every time I phoned either of them, they would proclaim to me that they were in love, it was so beautiful, life was wonderful… Yada, Yada, Yada!

Every time they met each other however, they would blush a brilliant red, mumble something like, ‘Hi.’ And try to run away as fast as possible. Then, when they were talking to me on the phone – each would tell me how great the other was, and just how lucky he or she was to be able to look at the object of their affection without fainting or going mad. Of course, both of them made me swear not to tell the other person anything. And, of course I told the other person everything.

 

 

 

Not that they believed me.

 

When I told Dennis she thought he was handsome,

Dennis would tell me, “It’s not possible for someone as good-looking and smart as her to fall for a jock like me.”

 

And when I repeated that to Gladys, she would just laugh and say, “You are just saying that to make me feel better --- Imagine the coolest guy in school falling for an un-cool DORK like me??”

 

Well, I have to admit I was not at all nice to them. I would tease them unmercifully, and otherwise embarrass them. Besides, I couldn’t help being a bit jealous. I knew Roger (my Boyfriend) was a great guy. But I also knew that I could never love him like those two loved each other.

 

So one day, I finally told Gladys, “I’m going to the pizzeria today, at four. Dennis is going to be there.”

She looked up with a puzzled expression on her face, and I continued, “If you don’t come and tell him that you like him, then I will.”

She blanched, and exclaimed, “You Wouldn’t!”

“Try me.” I replied. “I will.”

 

I told Dennis the same thing --- Gladys was going to be at the pizzeria at Four, and IF he didn’t come and tell her…

 

         mushy, ain't it?

 

 

 

When the two of them arrived at Tony’s that day, (Both In their best Clothes, I might add) they still wouldn’t say a word, and the three of us sat there looking like we were at a funeral. Finally, I got sick of both of them and said, “Okay, that’s it. I’m telling…”

And both exclaimed, “No Jenny --- Don’t!...’’

Immediately, I left the table, and left them looking at each other quizzically.

By the time I came back with the pizza… Well, I don’t know what they said to each other but both were laughing merrily.

 

And holding hands.

 

So, love bloomed. The two were seen together everywhere, and they always seemed to hold hands.

As I said to Roger, “It’s sickening.”

 

Anyway, that’s the end of their story.

 

Gladys soon moved away from Shimla to the States, and both of them forgot each other. (Except for an occasional letter.)

I mean, at least, SHE forgot HIM. He would come to my house everyday to tell me how much he missed her, and how he WISHED she’d come back, and how beautiful she was, and how he wanted to see her again….

 To even things out a little, I began to tell the poor heartbroken fellow a lot of things about Roger and me.

 

Ok, soon, he began to change. I thought he’d forgotten her. And I was right.

He stopped speaking about her, and started talking more about himself. The more we talked, the more we laughed, and in between that laughter --- something clicked.

 

Well, when he first told me he thought he loved me, I disbelieved him, naturally enough. I rejected him, by laughingly saying, “Yeah right! As if! Gladys yesterday, me today --- who’ll it be tomorrow? ”

 

“You.” He replied.

“I’m sure it will.” I said, sarcastically.

“Ok, don’t worry.” He said, as he got ready to leave, “I’ll convince you.”

 

 

And so, he did. For five years he tried hard to convince me, and for five years, I ignored him. Until in the end I realized --- I was convinced.

And so twenty-five years later, I am still convinced.