You know you have walked into the wrong place when you walk in and find the man-you-did-not-date right in front of you. Thanks to the caipirinha a few minutes before, you tap on his shoulder, and say “hi”, without thinking too much, to receive a “oh hi!” in a surprised tone.

I move to the back of the hall from where I see him checking out a woman dancing next to him, while I hang out with the lovely people I was lucky to be hanging out with, and who deem it extremely necessary that I wear specs, or rather start wearing the specs I already possess. I guess it helps to have a few friends who are faithful enough to see your hurt or bruised ego, and try to nurse it.

I see him a few more times during the breaks, between the puffs of smoke, and his beers. I could always see his bald head from where I was, it was a little distracting, despite the lively conversation that was around.

The bald head distraction continued for a whole while from out of the hall and inside the hall, and I had made peace with myself and the unexpected crashing into him, till he decided to come to the back of the hall, near to where I was with a woman.  Well the day was sure presenting not one, but two surprises!

It finally starts to make sense. The weird conversations while I was away, the weird good bye when I was back made a lot of sense on seeing them together.  I had asked him during his fumbling around the apartment in his awkwardness “What happened to you?” His answer had been, “I don’t know” when it sure should have been “I met someone”.

So naturally friends start analysing her, I get the reality and regain my composure, and Maie comes over and the rest of the day seem better.

Maie seemed to know half of the crowd. His school friends, his college friends, his sports friends and work friends would take turns in spotting him, while I wondered when the crowd would just disperse so I could finally enjoy a few minutes of conversation with him. He seems to have no issues holding my hand in public, and it was a good feeling to be with someone who did not seem to give a fuck about what the world thought of holding hands or not. Most of all I was glad that he was around, especially when I tapped on the shoulder of the man standing in front of me to inform him that I was leaving.

Maie looks in the direction of the guy to whom I said bye on my way out, and goes “That’s the dude?”  I nod and reply “Don’t ask!”

And thankfully he doesn’t.