2 February

High BP laughs in a big ha-ha-ha kind of a way.

High BP: “Appi, a private detective? You are joking, right?”

Me: “It’s not my idea. Neempatta suggested it. She thinks Pallo is hiding something big. And if we have that information, we can fight the case better.”

High BP looks thoughtful at Neempatta’s name. Why is no one inclined to take me seriously? Why is my suggestion laughable, and the same suggestion sensible, if made by Neempatta? I am annoyed.

High BP looks at my surly face:

1.    And leans over
2.    And pinches my cheek. What?

I need a makeover. All my friends AND FOES seem to take me for a 7 year old, of the cute and pinch-able variety, and I’m fed up of being black and blue all over with their friendly demonstrations of affection.

High BP: “Where have you been? I tried calling you over the weekend. But your phone was unavailable.”

I had got 3 missed calls from him that I had ignored.

Me: “I was out of town.”

High BP: “With the ever-ready boyfriend?”

Me: “No …o.”

High BP: “Of course not. I forgot your oath of no-pleasure. Naughty weekends could never be part of your agenda, could they?”

Me: “What do you know?”

High BP: “So they could? Then how about …?”

I glare at him, wondering if even he would dare to make such a suggestion. He laughs.

High BP: “How about a movie some day?”

Me: “You’re asking me out on a date?”

High BP: “Why? Is there anything in your contract at Neem that says you can’t date a client?”

Me: “No.”

High BP: “And anyway, I’m not asking you on a date. Just a movie. A movie doesn’t qualify as a date, in my book.”

Me, not wanting to sound like a Victorian prude: “Nor in mine.”

High BP: “Good. Then, Wednesday, fine?”

Me: “No, it’s not fine. It’s a weekday, for one. And I don’t want to see a movie. I’ve checked the papers. There are no good movies this week.”

High BP: “So we’ll see a bad movie. Come on.”

Me: “No.”

High BP: “OK, I’ll call you on Wednesday and see how you feel about it. If you want to go then, right?”

Me: “We’ll see.”

I can hardly ask him not to bother calling. But I do want to make it clear to him that I am NOT going to go out with him. Neempatta’s hints rankle as does High BP’s growing familiarity. What does he mean by pinching my cheek?

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