He walked over to her table with false confidence. He hadn’t ever done this before.

She sat quietly at the corner table in the noisy café. Amongst crying children and the honking cars outside, she sat reading her book with unreal peace. She was indeed beautiful.

Extremely nervous, he walked up to her.

He – Is this seat taken?

She – Not really.

And he sat down with a contented smile.

She – So, what brings you here? My so-called ‘beauty’?

He – Actually, it was the book you were reading! It seems like a newly published.

She – It is! It’s by my favourite author. But you don’t seem like the kind of guy who would read books.

He – Fair point! I don’t. I just wanted an ice breaker for this conversation and lo –

Suddenly, his phone rang and the ring was followed by quite a few text messages. Straining to read what they said, he looked at the phone as she cleared her throat loudly.

He – I’m sorry. Where were we?

She – On your phone?

He looked at her with a blank expression as if scrutinizing something.

He – You know, I don’t trust people who wear masks.

She – I don’t even trust people who keep their phones in front of them when they talk to me. It means they won’t give me their undivided attention.

Saying so, she got up and left in a sweep without another word.

Dumbfounded, he sat there looking at her leave.

A moment later, he turned towards the table again and found her book that she had forgotten behind.

He smiled upon seeing his own name printed on the cover of the newly published edition of his most recent book. He opened it to the first page and signed it along with a little note.

‘I wish you would’ve stayed behind a little longer. You would have had the chance to meet your favourite author and I would have had the opportunity to know the name of the girl in the pretty hijab.’


Author: Zainab Haji


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