Love at first sight? | Sunday Observer

Love at first sight?

21 February, 2021

Sarah and Nicolas, the soon-to-wed couple bring Samara across the border to Canada, hidden in their vehicle as she’s wrongfully accused of carrying illegal drugs. They pretend to be married although they aren’t. At the border, Sarah is arrested for carrying an ornamental gold pagoda in her handbag. She’s bailed out the following day and a court case is filed. She wonders why Nicolas and Samara don’t turn up to inquire after her and, learns later that they’re in a secret affair and they’ve betrayed her. She attends the court case alone, pays a fine and faces a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment. The following week, she flies to a city far away, finds employment there and settles down.

Episode 6

Sarah stepped on to the bus that was somewhat crowded. All the seats were occupied and she had to keep on standing. The bus moved slowly, yes, noticeably slowly, however, quite suddenly it took a brisk turn and, Sarah lost control of her hold. She almost ended up falling but, she was helped. Yes, a hand stretched out to help her. She moved her eyes along while being helped, until they ended up on the face that belonged to the hand and rested her eyes on a very handsome man. 

He gave her a smile and, it was immediately returned, and sudden impulsive feelings began to develop within her. Was she in a sudden desire? A desire to see him again? To own him? Not to let go of him? To cling to him? Questions rose in her, though she hardly knew they did. She was in a state of daze, confused and somewhat bewildered. However, regardless of her own unawareness of knowing the same, she loved it. Perhaps she fell in love. Love at first sight? It was yet a question. 

“You can hold here so you won’t fall again,” he said with a smile, giving her space to hold.

His deep rhythmical voice was equally charming. She was almost floating in the air. She loved it. Who would bid farewell to the kind of sentiment that rocked you and, you felt like your heart was soothed? No one. Just no one. Sarah was in the same state, fortunately or unfortunately. Perhaps, he was in there too, just like her. His eyes didn’t leave her. They stopped right on hers. They were talkative, just like hers. 

“Going home, after work?” He asked, in an effort to hold on to a conversation.

“Yes.” Sarah ended up giving a brief answer.

“Where do you work?” 

“At the pancake restaurant in town.”

“Really? I’m sure you’re never hungry, then.”

Sarah gave out a quick laugh at his remark.

“You too, after work?” She asked.


“Where do you work?” 

“At the gem cutters.”

“That’s interesting, perhaps you must be very rich.”

They both burst out laughing at Sarah’s remark.

Sarah was initiated to fall into a lot of wit. She enjoyed it when it started. So, began their spontaneous conversation that looked like a coincidence but, really, wasn’t. Neither of them knew it was destined. They fell into a soothing conversation without their knowledge, and smoothly they were falling in love. How beautifully pathetic! And of course, pathetically beautiful! How amazing! All lovers are really in love in their minds, with the notion of being loved and loving. The feeling is a cluster of unnoticeably brief moments, misunderstood as a whole. So, Sarah was going ahead with it and, so was he.

“You still haven’t told me your name,” he said.

“You never asked,” Sarah said.

They smiled at each other again, before he said aloud.

“Okay, what’s your name?” he asked.

“Sarah, and you?”


“That’s a very rare name.”

“So is Sarah.”

The bus came to a halt and so did their sweet conversation.

“This is where I get off,” he said. “If you let me, I’ll accompany you to the end.”

Sarah was silent. He was still gazing at her, expecting an answer. Sarah wanted to be quick and give him the best wonderful invitation and ask him to come with her, throughout her entire life, but she held her breath for a while, not knowing why, perhaps to maintain modesty, the modesty she thought that was. 

“We’re leaving in five more minutes,” the conductor announced.

Sarah thought that the five minutes were the longest time, ever: one twelfth of an hour - three hundred seconds. But, really, she didn’t know that even a second was made of a cluster of unfelt moments, just like she didn’t know it when she was extending her sentiments for the first time, towards her newfound love.

“We’re leaving in one minute,” the conductor announced.

“Please tell me! I’ll come with you if you say, ‘ok’. The bus will start soon.”

Sarah was shaken, suddenly. There were still an immeasurable number of extremely brief moments and, she spoke.

“Yes, please, come with me!” she said loud.

And so began the journey.

Were they walking along a flowery path or on a red carpet? She didn’t know or she wasn’t very sure either, but after a few more stops of silence, it was her time to get down and, they both did together. It was quite late and in the dark they stopped to talk on the road.

“I have to walk about ten minutes from here,” Sarah said.

“Okay, I’ll let you go then. Will you give me a call, tomorrow?” he asked.

“Yes, what’s your number?” 

“Do you have a pen, I’ll write it down.” 

“Really, I’m very good at memorising numbers. You don’t need to write. Just say it! I’ll remember it,” she said.

That was right. Sarah had an excellent memory where numbers were concerned. Once said, she could remember well. But, he wasn’t sure. 

“That means you aren’t going to call?” he asked.

He sounded disappointed. It sounded as if he thought that she was trying to ignore him. But that wasn’t so. She did want to call him. But right now she didn’t want him to think otherwise so, she held out a pen to him. He wrote the number on a tiny piece of paper and gave it to her. She looked at it and put it in her handbag. They parted with the hope of seeing each other again.

Sarah found herself in bed that night, with pleasant thoughts about the amazing man she coincidentally met. His words were echoing in her heart.

“Tomorrow isn’t a working day for me. So, call me!”

He was the most handsome man she had ever met. Holding his hand for the rest of her life was the best that could ever happen to her. She quickly fell asleep, having the same pleasant, soothing dreams. It was Sherman, Sherman and Sherman. Everywhere, it was Sherman and no one else.

The next morning, she hurried to the university. Before the class began, she decided to make her first call to him. It was a cherishing expectation to listen to his voice again. She walked to a telephone booth in the university premises. There was a line of students waiting to make calls at the booth. She had to wait and, it wasn’t easy. She wanted to excuse herself and move to the front but, she waited. The line was extremely lethargic and slow-moving. She hated it. She thought she was spending a few hours there. The more she clung to time, the slower it was moving and, so was the line. She was spending an immeasurable number of extremely brief moments and, however, finally it was her turn. 

She held the receiver, and pressed the buttons, the number that was well written in her mind - 852147. She heard the ringing tone at the other end and felt as if an abnormally long time was being taken to answer. After several rings it was answered. She heard an elderly female voice and, her guess was that it was his mother.

“Hello, could I speak to Sherman, please?” Sarah asked, in her best formal voice.

“Oh, he’s gone out. Are you the girl who’s looking for a job? He told me you’d call.” The lady sounded as if she was expecting her call.

Sarah was confused - perhaps, he was helping a girl to find a job.

“Are you ready with your resume to hand it over to him?” The lady asked again. Sarah was silent.

“Are you looking for a job?” The lady asked, amid her silence.

Sarah thought for a moment. Perhaps Sherman wanted to help her find another job, better than her restaurant job.

“Not really. I haven’t spoken to him about a job,” she said.

“Oh then, you’re another girl. He’s not home right now. He’s gone out. I’ll tell him when he returns. What’s your name?”

“I’m Sarah. When will he be coming home?”

“I’m not sure of the time he’ll be back. It’s not a working day for him. He’s gone out with his wife.”

Sarah stood still at the reply. She wondered if she really heard it. So he’s married? He has a wife? Then why did he sound like he wanted to meet her again? Why did he ask her to call him and to meet her? Why did he sound disappointed when he thought she wasn’t going to call him? Was he just playing a prank on her?

She cut the call short and started walking to her class, disheartened.

--To be continued next week