They sat in the nearest café they had found just to get refuge from the blazing sun and what felt like a hundred degrees.

They ordered their coffees and sat sipping in silence. Beads of perspiration formed on his forehead despite the air-conditioned café.

Finally, he addressed the problem.

He – So, you do know that it’s her birthday soon, right?

With the ceramic coffee mug in hand, she scoffed.

She – So, you do know that I’m her best friend, right?

His perspiration increased somehow and the nervousness was now apparent.

He – Yes obviously, you’d know! So I’m thinking of getting her a bouquet of her favourite flowers – orchids.

She kept silent for a while and then spoke in a grim tone.

She – She hates flowers. Especially orchids!

His tension had now peaked at having his plan crash like a house of cards.

He – I thought every girl likes flowers.

She put down her mug rather loudly.

She – Listen, I know her well. She’s my best friend. If you want to win her over, feed her!

He nodded like he was mentally taking notes.

He – What kind of food? Any specifics?

She – Non-vegetarian food. Especially bacon and lobster! She loves it.

A bright smile lit his face as he relaxed a little. He had a new plan now.

She (to herself) – And that’s how you protect your best friend, who is a vegetarian by choice, from any kind of heartbreak and from people who try to steal her from you.

And she smiled!

Author: Zainab Haji

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