An evening at the book cafe.

The smell of freshly brewed coffee stimulated my senses as I browsed through the trove of books on offer. I paid my respect to the Orwells and the Rowlings and settled down on one of Stephen King’s earliest works. With the tastiest chocolate-shake for company, I was soon engulfed in King’s universe.

‘Is this chair taken?’, a voice suddenly interrupted me. A bit startled , I looked up to find a girl staring down at me with the most disarming smile. Without waiting for an answer she sat down in the chair opposite mine. After exchanging pleasantries with the owner of the cafe, her restless eyes scanned the folds of her bag. My geeky heart somersaulted as she pulled out my all time favorite, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy’ from her bag. She hid her face behind the book and I was reminded of the one in my hand. The prose wasn’t interesting anymore. I kept stealing glances at the beautiful eyes partly visible above the book. I could sense her struggle to hold back her laughter and realized that Mr. Adams had her enchanted, as she had me.

My brain raced at an insane speed trying to search for an excuse to talk to her. ‘Talk about the book IDIOT’, I found myself thinking. As I thought about it, it seemed perfect. This was right up my alley! Nothing could go wrong when Hitchhiker’s was involved. I frantically racked my brain, searching for the wittiest line from the book.
‘Offer her a glass of the ‘Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster’- lame!;
‘Tell her that you are mostly harmless’-creepy!;
‘Ask her if she knew where her towel was!’- even worse!

I was about to break sweat due to the struggle.She wouldn’t even remember my existence if I didn’t come up with something soon. For some reason, she moved her book aside. I hastily turned my eyes to my book. When I glanced back at her, I found her smiling face still looking at me. ‘I like your T-shirt’ she said. I looked down and realized that my t-shirt read, ‘The answer is 42’. Unable to believe my luck, I smiled back.

42 was indeed the answer to life, universe and everything!


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