20 questions

“I’ll be late,” mom texted me as I stood waiting for her outside college. Pulling out my earphones, I plugged it into my phone and strolled down the street.

After a few minutes of walking, I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I looked back to see a man standing behind me, presumably talking.

Gesturing for him to stop, I pulled my earphones out.

 

“Hi” he said politely. “Really sorry to bother you but where is the nearest coffee shop in the area?” he asked.

Since we were standing right opposite the place he was asking for, I was confused.

“Um, right there,” I said pointing to the café across the street.

“Oh damn! Okay thanks,” he said turning red.

I gave him a thumbs up before plugged my earphones in and started to walk.

 

A few seconds later, I felt another tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see the same man there.

“Hi, I’m Rodor. And that was the best pick-up line I had.”

Not knowing what to say, I stared at him blankly.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Amara.”

“Will you have coffee with me?”

“Now?”

“Yes.”

I agreed to go only because I had loads of time to kill.

Or at least that’s what I was telling myself.

 

We walked awkwardly together to the café across the street, and managed to find a table in the crowded room. After ordering, to make our conversation less awkward, Rodor suggested we play a game of 20 questions.

 

“What do you want to be in life,” he asked.

“A writer,” I said without thinking.

 

“Okay since I’m sure you write a lot, what part of a story is the hardest to write and why?” he asked, sipping on his coffee.

“I think for me, endings are the hardest. And it’s only because they’re false. Because nothing truly ends. Maybe it changes and transforms. Still, a novel must have a last page and a poem, a last line.”

“But ultimately everything ends right? Look at dinosaurs, their species have just stopped.”

“No, not really. Lizards of all kids are descendants of dinosaurs. Like I said, they’ve transformed. Their genes are still present here,” I said munching on a breadstick.

His game seemed to be working.

 

“Who is your favorite author?”

“Anais Nin.”

“I’ve never heard of her.”

“Google her. She’s definitely worth knowing of,” I smirked.

 

“How often do you lie?”

“Everybody lies,” I said smugly.

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“Because that’s a terrible question. I’m sure you wouldn’t answer it either if you were asked.”

“Fair enough. Okay let me rephrase… how do you know if a person is a good liar or not?” he asked after thinking hard.

“I think anybody who says they are a good liar is obviously not. Only because any legitimate liar would insist that they are honest about everything.”

He laughed. He had nice teeth. His dentist must have made a bomb by them. I was sure no one could have been born with such a perfect set or pearly whites.

 

“Going back to writing… what is easiest to write? Generally,” he said knowing he wasn’t clear.

“Hmmm, I think it’s far more easier to write about why something is terrible. Rather than why it’s good. You know, generally,” I said winking.

 

“Okay. What do you think about relationships?” he seemed particularly interested in my response for this question.

“I think, every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle. The person in power is usually the one who likes the other person less.”

“So in our situation, you would be the one in power?”

“Is this a trick question?” I laughed.

 

At that moment my phone rang. It was my mother and I knew she had reached, and was waiting.

“I’m coming,” I texted her and stood up to leave, handing him the money for my order. Looking at my expression, he knew better than to argue with me about it.

 

“My mom is here,” I said. “Thanks for the coffee.”

“We should do this again. It was fun.”

“Sure” I said. “But next time I ask the questions.”

“Deal. And by the way, you’re wrong about the power struggle theory.”

 

“Maybe you are too. After all, isn’t everyone wrong about everything just about all the time?” I said, smugly staring into his chocolate brown eyes before walking away.

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