(Birmingham, B11 2NU, UK)
Alternative to cooking, our usual resort was ‘Bombay Dream’ (a Pizza with luscious meaty toppings and tremendously hot jalapeños and chillies). Pangs of hunger churned my stomach but a long queue waited ahead. I slipped out. The Italian Pizza Restaurant opposite to this little pizza joint had often caught my attention but having a palette for hot stuff I always declined it. Seemed promising that moment.
Credit crunch had badly hit the place. There was one customer gazing at the stalk of a wine glass, perhaps waiting for his lady love. I was welcomed by a broad smiling manager. I felt embarrassed being there only for a quick hunger fix. Graciously, she brought the menu. My eyes skimmed through the text.
Mozzarella and mature cheddar cheese seemed to accommodate my urge. I thus asked for Ristorante Mozzarella; thin crust , Edam cheese, mozzarella, delightful mix of herbs, layered over a special sauce. Simply enticing and mouth watering.
I looked around at the medieval setting; wooden paneled walls, high ceiling , a distinguished chandelier hanging very elegantly but low. I was over awed with the aura which kindled some memory and further strengthened when my pizza box arrived. My nostrils embraced the smell. I instantly got drifted back into an enchantment.
I was single and literally committed to the matrimonial websites. On that particular evening I had spotted something promising; age 43, degree holder in architecture. I emailed him my number and he called instantly. Most amazingly we chatted for long. Soon I was putting on my uniform for such dates; printed black chiffon skirt with a black jersey top and embroidery running from one shoulder to the waist diagonally.
I was looking for a flashy car but he arrived in a white Mercedes van. I could see my effort to dress up pouring down the drains. He had a delightfully comforting face than his voice and photo had promised. He apologized for bringing his work automobile due to inevitable reasons.
He reflected amicable persona. We stopped at an Italian eating outlet. That evening; I had my first Ristorante Mozzarella. We had the best conversation. I still remember with each bite it was one pun, one joke, and laughter reflecting honest fun. That was my first pizza at an Italian place and wonderfully so.
We then went for a walk, in the starry night, on the River Thames bank. We were standing on the cemented border on the bank behind the Globe Theater that I poured out my private life. Tears trickled down my cheeks. He asked me to close my eyes. I was apprehensive of typical masculine advances but to my surprise, he kissed my forehead and said, ‘I am honored. Thanks for sharing’. He dropped me home later.
Our meeting didn’t bear fruit-he didn’t want children but I did. However the ‘one in a million meeting’ starting with the pizza pan and ending in that kiss is what made a memory. Unforgettable, tender moment.