30 October. 5:00pm.
She took a deep breath. Her heart was pounding so hard it felt as if it had jumped into her throat, forming a lump there. "Its ok...Calm down..", she thought to herself, willing herself to relax.
To the people on the street, she looked like just any pretty girl. A long flowy top that fitted her just right, hair clipped behind her ears and left to flow in soft cascades down her back, a bag slung over her shoulder. Someone with a keen eye might have noticed that she was looking at the signposts, trying to find her way in a strange place without asking anyone. And without giving away the fact that she was a stranger.
She walked on, observing the quaint little houses that had chickens roaming the verandah, small children playing hide-and-seek, the wine shops at almost every turn and an odd vada-pav seller here and there. A picture of him playing the guitar and headbanging right in the middle of this scene and scaring away the children and the chickens suddenly filled her mind. She smiled inspite of herself, remembering the long chats they had in chatrooms. "No wonder you love it here dude, this place seems to feed your rebelliousness regularly..."
Eventually she reached the place, because the many gullies seemed to lead to just one destination. A familiar flutterring sensation claimed her abdomen again and she felt the heat rise to her face. Finally! She was meeting him at last. So many invitations and coy rejections later. This time she had decided to take the first step. But was'nt it a little too late? She vehemently shook that last thought off. She was'nt about to let negativity get to her mere minutes before her first date. No way! Her first date! Excitement coursed through her veins, inexplicable emotions ran riot as she entered the place.
There were so many people there, it was impossible to spot him. She started walking slowly inorder to avoid stepping on anyone, all the while keeping her eyes peeled for him. But no matter where she looked, she could see no sign of him anywhere. A sense of great abandonment enveloped her, suddenly, completely. A sob broke out from her heart, so heavy with feeling she thought she won't be able to breathe anymore. Tears glazed her vision but she still kept looking. She had to see him, she could'nt go back without seeing him.
A man passing by saw the sobbing girl. "What is it, Miss? Looking for someone?", he asked gently, not a bit surprised by her tears. "Alex...Alexan-der", she answered through her sobs. "Come with me, he's there" the man replied, pointing far right. "Umm..I was just going to put this up", he murmured awkwardly and unnecessarily for the girl had eyes only for Alex. He led her to where Alexander was. And on her first date, she saw his eternal resting place, for he lay buried under a mound of fresh earth in a graveyard. She looked on as the man fixed a granite plaque above his grave. She read the words "In Loving Memory of Alexan..." and as the tears escaped in swift streams down her face, she could read no further.