“Hi! Recognize me, eh? I’m your one and only point of contact in the matters of the heart. I am the oldest and most authentic Cupid and I have no branches. And today, with much regret, sorrow, nostalgia, and anger, I would like to resign from the job. Why? Because my position has been made redundant, by intelligence- both human and artificial. People think they know better when, where and who to love. They observe, not admire. They calculate, not dream. They judge, not feel. It seems they have developed an antidote to my arrow. And Artificial Intelligence is the worst. Ages ago, I would toil to make the surroundings just right- romantic rains, fragrant flowers, scintillating sunshine, and buoyant breezes. These dating apps would just decide everything by your left and right swipe. Where are the old school love stories? That childhood crush turned into lifelong love, how badly I miss it!”
Unaware of Cupid’s rants, she’s busy entering numbers on her laptop. There’s an urgent video conference with clients and she has to explain the entire social media strategy. The chair is quite uncomfortable and so is she. She doesn’t even know who’s the owner of the house. She came to the city for her college friend’s wedding. When she got this urgent call, her friend sent her to this quite and lonely flat, saying that it’s her friend’s home.
The flat was supposed to remain empty till evening but there was a crowd already. The guest and the host, both were there. He unlocked the door and entered. The bride to be already told him about her friend and the video call. He tiptoed into his room and vanished, only to reappear after a moment. This was a voice he was familiar with. He hears it every day in his dreams.
Through the glass door, he peeped into the dining room where she was sitting, with half her face buried in the laptop. He saw her eyes and recognized the innocence, still there even after ten years. Her smile, bigger and more frequent, still made his heart race. Her slender body was replaced by love handles. Her sweet voice carried tons of confidence now. It was as if he was going through a checklist to assure himself of her identity.
The meeting went really well. She was happy and satisfied. The pitch came through and she just earned her company a big project. She was never this career conscious woman, all she wanted in her life was the guy she collided into on her first day of college. How unambitious was she and yet, it was her biggest ambition. After all, he was the one she dreamed into life. Since she was five, every night she would dream of him in weird, inexplicable ways. Still, when she saw him, she immediately recognized. And funnily, she could still see the same face across the room, through the glass door.
It was an awkward meeting. After a gap of six years, they were physically present in front of each other. Their racing hearts started a chain reaction. They let loose the flood of thoughts hitting them with lightning speed. How they met. They became friends. She fell in love. She proposed. He was in denial. He liked her. But he thought he deserved someone better. Someone more beautiful. Someone witty and intelligent. Someone confident. Someone ambitious. He met that girl one day. All hell broke loose. It was not a love triangle. It was a love-locked-triangle. There was no exchange of hearts. There were confusion, destruction, and heartbreak. Then one day she made a decision- to move on. She was good at it. She never looked back. And now she was there, standing in front of him; a happily married, independent woman. Luck didn’t shine on him either. He recognized her love but little too late. He was never at peace since that day. But today, they both realized the love- pleasing yet painful, happy yet sad, mature yet childish, platonic yet passionate. Lost in each other’s eyes, they could just say, “Hi”.
Miles away, witnessing the same, Cupid finally smiled with content. “Too late but just in time”. Whistling blissfully, he tore his resignation letter, flipped his sunglasses and walked triumphantly to meet his friends, Joy, and Blush.