S:     So, how did it go?

A:     Great!

S:     Two things that gave you away: the millisecond you took to answer my question and your over-enthusiastic tone, which didn’t match your facial expressions…at all. So, let me ask again. How did it go?

A:     Not so great.

S:     You’re surprised?

A:     I don’t know. I mean this was the first time we really met, you know. We’ve met thrice before, surrounded by family each time so we never had a chance to exchange much more than meaningless pleasantries and awkward glances. But this time it was just the two of us, sitting alone in a restaurant for a good two hours.

S:     And you learnt that this girl, who you are supposed to marry in four months, isn’t all you hoped she would be? I’m shocked! Outraged! Ameen’s parents choose a random girl for him, who he’d never met before and she isn’t a perfect match? What is this world coming to?

A:     Well, there is nothing wrong with her. She is beautiful, intelligent, educated and beautiful.

S:     You do realize that you just mentioned beautiful twice?

A:     Did I? Anyway, so as I was saying, there’s nothing particularly wrong with her. It’s just that after the first twenty minutes, we didn’t have anything to talk about, nothing that excited us both in equal measure, something that would lead to a passionate argument or a satisfying consensus, or anything. It was all very painfully boring. At one point, I cracked a joke. I was the only one laughing and I felt that the entire restaurant was laughing at me. Everyone but her.

S:     I’m sorry to hear that. Not really, but yes. So, what are you going to do now?

A:     What do you mean?

S:     Are you going to call it off?

A:     What? Are you crazy? It was just our first real meeting. People need time to learn about each other, and to love what they learn. I’m sure that as we keep meeting during the next four months, we will discover more of each other and hopefully it will be enough to fulfill our parents’ plan for us.

S:     It’s unbelieveable how you start a sentence with meeting and ‘discovering’ each other and end it with the parents. That’s the whole problem, isn’t it? The decision has already been made. All you two are required to do is accept it and learn to live with it.

A:     We’ll see. I’m not giving up on this. I can’t. She can’t either. She told me that.