Excerpt 4 : Evening Walk

When she asked if it would be possible for me to accompany her for an evening walk, I was confused. I read that translated message again on WeChat and rechecked it on Google Translate.

I immediately texted her “Yes, what time?”

She told me to meet her outside ICBC ATM at 5pm after her dinner.

Yes,dinner. It is pretty normal in China to finish their last meal of the day by 6pm. She would eat hers by 4:30 pm. When I enquired, she told me it was a part of her skincare regime to eat nothing after sunset. I had no valid point to argue about it because she had flawless skin.

Sipping on my tea, I had a fleeting thought of being honey trapped but when she texted me that she was waiting for me, I ran downstairs without any negativity in my head.

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Unlike, last few days it was warm in Shanghai. I left my apartment gate and turned right towards ICBC bank which was about half km away. After around 200 steps, I saw her standing next to London plane tree. I will never forget that she was wearing black formal with platform heels for an evening walk.

I said, “Good Evening.”
She replied,”Good Evening, how are you?” and offered me a pineapple slice she was eating.

Her English was as good as my Mandarin. We both knew nothing except greetings and salutations. Walking towards the park, she texted me if I liked sunset. I nodded expressing ‘Yes’. Though Shanghai is a crowded city but this part of the city was peaceful.

Our evening walk was longer than what I expected. We tried to converse in English, Mandarin, Random sign language and ended up using WeChat. We had nothing in common but we talked about all kinds of stories like why we are atheist, why she loved spring season, why she couldn’t watch Secret Superstar, what she knew about India and why she wore formal that day.

She looked comfortable sharing her past and broke down while telling about why she couldn’t complete her graduation. She wiped her tears and plucked few cherry blossom flowers.

We were gazing at the sunset behind the Einstein Sculpture as the sun was dipping down, spreading hundred shades of orange in the sky.

She looked at me with moist eyes and whispered,”You, good man. I miss you.”….

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