Paul: Hey, did we meet before?

Michelle: Why don’t you try something new?

Paul: Christmas Eve, Mandy’s Place, Jersey City, New Jersey, 2013, All the fun and frolic leading to a bad hangover the next day. I dropped you and three more girls at the airport as you were all in a hurry.

Michelle: OMG! That was you! Thanks for saving us that day. And, sorry for the mess in your van. We reached the airport just in time. Five minutes and we would have had to take the next flight and miss another party that evening.

Paul: Great. This new thing worked, thought it is an old affair. It’s just that you were so hung over you did not notice my face.

Michelle: I’m so sorry. I did not mean to be rude. I’ve been getting way too many sick messages like this.

Paul: It’s surprising, though, you don’t talk the way people do…I meant like…ppl do…

Michelle: I do that normally. Since you were formal and normal enough, I thought I’d go with the flow.

This is how Paul and Michelle started communicating on a social dating network. Few weeks after their initial conversation, they exchanged their phone numbers and started talking to each other regularly.

Almost after a couple of months, Paul and Michelle decided to meet…for a date, of course.

Paul would travel to Boston and they planned to meet at a pub downtown.

“You look better than your picture.”, said Michelle.

“I wanted to say that, too, but did not want to make it so cheesy. I’m just being careful not to overdo.”, said Paul.

They ordered some dinner and talked for nearly two hours. To her surprise, Paul did not offer to drive Michelle home. Instead, he told her that he had some urgent work and would call her next week. He insisted that they should go a normal date once again.

Paul called Michelle after one week and arranged for a second date. He followed all the etiquette, made her laugh, told her stories, entertained her, and they both spent some great time together that evening. Paul dropped Michelle at her home and gave a passionate goodbye kiss.

Michelle was glad things were going the way she wanted to.

Michelle decided to take this story forward by stepping back for a while. She decided to not answer Paul’s calls for at least one week. She would get in touch with him later saying that she had to travel to Mexico suddenly and lost all the contacts in her mobile.

As expected, Paul was desperate to hear back from Michelle. That was one of the toughest weeks for Paul as he did not know how to deal with the silence from Michelle. He did not know if he made any mistake or if he hurt Michelle in any way. His fondness for Michelle grew in that week more than the last few months.

After that week, she gave him a surprise visit, and he was thrilled to see her after that week.

Finally, he decided that he could not take the distance any more. So, he discussed with his best buddy, as always, and planned to propose her soon.

Paul made a grand plan to propose her in between a movie screening. And, it was a rom com that Michelle had been waiting for a long time. It was totally unexpected for Michelle and she accepted his proposal for marriage immediately.

A week after the proposal, they started discussing about their future.

“I have already applied for a couple of jobs in Boston. And, I will definitely make it to one of them. We can then move in together. I thought it’d be better if I move to Boston, rather than expecting you to move to New Jersey.”, said Paul.

“That’s so damn sweet. I always wanted to be around in Boston so that I can visit my grandparents regularly. At this age, there is no one else to take care of them. I wish my parents were there to take care of them and me.”, said Michelle.

“Let’s make a family soon and make your grandparents happy. I’m sure we can make them happier very soon.”, said Paul.

“Let me be true to you. I never expected you to be so understanding and family oriented. I thought you were careless and did not respect much of women and their emotions. That’s what I told my friend after our first date.”, said Michelle.

“Trust me. These were the exact words my friend George told me after our first date, when I had to leave suddenly to help one of my other friends. I wonder it has something to do with marriage. He is married. So, he must be able to understand women more.”, said Paul.

“May be, it is serendipity or more of a common sense from people who understand women.”, said Michelle.

“But, he has been a good buddy for me all the while. All these years, I have used my ideas to get into a relationship and I was always a failure. I trust his judgment now, as it worked wonders for me. For example, the first gift I gave you and the idea to propose you in the theater. We both worked out these together. We would sit randomly and explore all the options and arrive at these ideas. It worked wonders for me. It was never so easy for me.”, explained Paul.

“Let me understand something. Did he suggest you to propose me in the movie theater?” asked Michelle.

“No. We are brainstorming all the options. He suggested that I propose you either in a restaurant or drama theater. I thought it would be easier to propose during a movie screening as we both a movie buffs.”, said Paul.

“What if he manipulated your ideas to make you come up with the idea of proposing in the theater?”, asked Michelle.

“It is very possible. He is good at mind games. And, he works as the Sales Director for Sears. He’s a very successful marketing genius.”, said Paul.

“My friend’s husband too works for Sears in Sales. His name is Owen. They must definitely know each other.”, said Michelle.

Paul was startled for a moment. He was silent for a couple of minutes.

He started prodding Michelle with so many questions, “Tell me something. Who gave you the idea of the game tickets gift you gave me? Who suggested you to remain silent for a week? Did anyone help you in these decisions?”

“Nobody gave me the idea. I discussed these things with my friend Christine. She is Owen’s wife. She helped me with all my relationships. Trust me, she is an expert. She works as a PR agent for a top company. Why do you ask these questions?”, asked Michelle.

“And, her full name is Christine Hamilton.”, said a confident Paul.

“How do you know her full name?”, asked Michelle.

“Because, her husband’s name is George Owen Hamilton, who happens to be my best friend. Only, I call him George. Nobody even knows that he has a George in his name. I know him since college”, said Paul.

It finally dawned upon them they were manipulated all this while into this relationship. They both were otherwise awkward.

They both were silent.

“I need to talk to my friend urgently and sort this out. Can we meet after this is all cleared?”, said Michelle. Paul agreed and they both went away without even talking when they would meet again.

Paul fought with his George for all this drama and Michelle stopped talking to Christine after Christine admitted that it was their plan to unite them.

It has been one month after this conversation and there has been no communication between any of them.

Christine and George tried to get in touch with their friends in many ways. Paul and Michelle did not even try calling each other. They did not know how to react to each other.

Finally, George sent a message to Paul saying, “Michelle met with an accident. It’s not serious. Do you want to meet her at the hospital?

Christine sent a similar message to Michelle saying, “Paul met with an accident. It’s not serious. Do you want to meet him at the hospital?”

Neither George nor Christine went to the hospital on that day.

But, they both got calls from their friends that evening saying that they want to get married.

Paul and Michelle got married after three months in a grand ceremony.