They sat in the car for almost half an hour and there wasn’t one second of awkward silence between the both of them.
All of the 30 minutes were filled with words. Far from being the clichéd setting of a breakup scene, the mood as these words were spoken was one of excitement, warmth and comfort.
He knew she was doing more of the talking. It was close to midnight and he had been listening to her for the better part of the evening – which started at 8pm. He was glad that he could slip into the role of a listener effortlessly. He was happy about not having to talk too much.
Her company was already a perfect salve for any internal emotional turmoil on any night.
During the dinner earlier, it was enough to see her beaming as the wait staff placed a plate of fried pork cutlets on the table. Or that smile on her face as they walked into the restaurant renowned for Japanese cutlets.
It was only when the car pulled up at the driveway outside her house that he told her about his yet-to-be-published book. It got her a little excited as she immediately started a mental checklist of her contacts from the publishing industry.
“I know of someone who’s good in cover design!”
“Ah… next time when you need an editor…”
From the excitement, she lapsed into talking about her future – which was her primary concern that night, given the current economic climate – for a few minutes. Then, the conversation moved back to the topic of his little book project again.
If not for the luminous LCD display of the car clock – which read “11.53”, the car might not have remained in the driveway for just 30 minutes. Reluctantly, he initiated the end to their night.
“Wow. It’s close to midnight now,” he muttered.
“Ok. I guess it’s time for me to go,” she responded.
He watched as she lifted the door catch, grabbed her bags and got out of the car. At that moment, a negative thought struck him.
“Thanks for tonight! It has been a great time of catching up with you. Good night,” she exclaimed as she slammed the door.
The car remained in its position for a while more – until the gate to her house was closed – before it sped off into the night.
Busting the speed limit on the expressway by more than 20km/h and amid the cackle of the BBC presenter on the radio, he wondered if he was in love.