* * * *
"Sit ma'am, sit here," the bespectacled stranger in the black jacket motioned with his hand for me to take a chair next to him at the refreshment table. "I noticed you since this morning. Yes, that look in your eyes, it drew me," he explained. Who is this stranger? I thought. The whole conference hall housed at least 300 other patrons right then, so explain how a mere slip of a girl like me could just draw a person with her eyes. Come to think of it, I had felt a strong sensation of being watched because my shoulder blade was constantly itching.
Nevertheless, not to be rude, I sat down and looked at him expectantly. What other bizarre things would he say now?
"I'm Simon, you never heard of me, but I have heard of your father. And I didn't expect to see his daughter here, although I do apologize I might sound like a stalker. But with your surname and the area you registered you were from, I supposed there is only one person by that name there, and you must be closely related to him," he smiled, showing perfect teeth and looking at me with that eyes that quite rightly looked like they must have seen everything. "Are you?" He asked. I blinked. "His daughter?" He rephrased.
I blinked some more. "Yes, yes. Like you said, there is only one person by that name there, so yes I am," I reaffirmed his words, and sat straight to at least give the impression that I wasn't as startled as I must have sounded. He smiled that knowing smile. Perceptiveness, hmm.
"Forgive me, but I am very concerned," he started. OK. "I see trouble in your eyes," he said slowly as if looking for the right words to express himself without confusing me more. And merely gazed into my eyes. Some men have been known to use that trick, but there was something about him that was strangely familiar. He looked intelligent -- but let's not get ahead of ourselves -- for someone that looked to be in his late twenties. And I must be doing more blinking in the space of 5 minutes than I did my entire life because all I did was stare at him and motioned with my eyes for him to go on and tell me more.
"I don't really know who you are but you shouldn't wear your heart on your sleeve like that," he spoke as if to a child. Wait a minute. What? "Tell me what's bothering you."
"Excuse me Sir, but why do you presume there's something bothering me?" I asked, slowly and warily, at the same time maintaining the eye contact. "You don't really know me, and as for knowing you... well, even if I am whatever you say just now, why would I tell you?" There. Putting on a smile that didn't quite feel convincing, but defiance was the only armor I have then. But damn it, he piqued my curiosity already..
He slowly raised his head, gave me a one-over and just when I thought he was going to give me another one of his all-knowing smiles, he slapped his hands on his knees and leaned back.
"Are you seeing anybody?"
"What? What has that got to do with anything? What's my father got to do with this?"
"Oh. you are single and not seeing anybody! Just my blessed luck. So that's where the troubled looks come from." Leaned back and smiled and gazed.
"Mr. Simon..." With a warning tone.
"Are you always so defensive?"
"Are you always so invasive?"
"Ditto. My apology miss. I was merely curious. Do you want to have coffee sometimes?"
"We're having coffee now."
"I mean as in away from this scene, like in a coffee date. I know you like coffee."
"How do you know that? Maybe I like tea."
"Nah, you look like a coffee person. Besides I read your blog."
"Oh.... you do? How?"
"You're listed, right? Don't worry, I'm not usually like this. I could continue to watch from a distance and I could be wrong." Laughed softly. "It's all a big coincidence and I saw you there and I just kind of know it's you."
"Oook. Where did you say you come from again?"
"I didn't." Smiled. "I must insist we carry on this conversation outside of this boring conference here. Another 5 minutes break. What do you say, Miss Coffee Girl?"
"Give me one good reason why I must accept a coffee invitation from someone who could be a potential stalker, who might I add, is practically a random stranger who knows my dad! How strange and yet irrelevant is that?"
"You are an intriguing woman with a wonderful sense of humor, sarcastic at just the right tone, and something about that brain of yours that calls to me like a song. Like you're speaking some of my thoughts and while I failed at putting them in words, you succeeded quite unexpectedly. Come on, don't let me tell you all now. I need some ammunition for confronting a possible mirror of myself." Smiled widely. "Do it for the coffee."
"Mirror huh? For a complete stranger, you do know how to choose your words. Flattered. Very. Ok, I accept then."
"Great. Shall we go right after the final sessions?"
"Afraid I'll change my mind?"
"I know you wont. Coffee lovers take their words seriously."
"Hmm... you're right." That's the most subtle form of blackmail ever used on me.
"Wait... and that little info about my dad?"
"Coincidentally, I do know him. Sorry, but he really makes a good pickup line, isnt he?" Laughed at himself.
"I'll let him know."
* * * *
Scored 6 for derailing on random topics.
Scored 7 for originality.
Scored 8 for stealth stalking method.
Scored 9 for brilliant show of chivalry.
Scored 10 for using dad. Almost didn't see that coming.
And he reads my blog! Extra points.
Oh let's just leave the episode at that, shall we? So hey, you, if you're reading this, thanks for the coffee. And the permission to recount it. Use my dad's name in vain again and I will personally bring you to see him.
On another note, anybody else stalking me out there? Come out in the open, buy me coffee and who knows I could make an entry about you too.
Note: Name has been changed to protect identity.