Rendezvous | Sunday Observer


28 February, 2021

Sarah and Nicolas, the soon-to-wed couple bring Samara across the border to Canada, hidden in their vehicle as she’s wrongfully accused of carrying illegal drugs. At the border, they pretend to be married although they aren’t and, Sarah is arrested for carrying an ornamental gold pagoda in her handbag. She’s bailed out the following day and a court case is filed.

She wonders why Nicolas and Samara don’t turn up to inquire after her and, learns later that they’re in a secret affair and they’ve betrayed her. She attends the court case alone, pays a fine and faces a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment. The following week, she flies to a city far away, finds employment there and settles down. She coincidentally meets a young man and falls in love with him.

Episode 7

Sarah couldn’t concentrate on her lecture; her mind was far away, thinking of the abrupt ending of perhaps a long-lasting love story, even before it started. The lecturer went on speaking. Following a course in Education, Sarah thought the content of the present lecture wasn’t relevant. Of course, the ongoing lecture was a futile one. What famous people said about education wasn’t at all relevant to methods of teaching that needed to be approached, but that was what the lecture was all about. Perhaps, Sarah was too rigid that she didn’t accept the relevance of it.

It was a long lecture and she was often dozing. In her doze, she pictured the beautiful meeting of the previous evening. She met him, fell in love, perhaps at first sight, he appeared like prince charming, showed all the interest, but then, he was married. And that was the end. She began to feel the warmth of his touch that she felt when he extended his hand to help her on the bus; it was yet tranquilising her. She felt that she was still on the bus.

It was taking a turn and she was going to fall, a very masculine but gentle hand was reaching out to help her, she held on to it and then suddenly she woke up. Students were leaving the lecture hall, and she was still dreaming. She opened her eyes wide and saw that the lecturer had his eyes straight on her, almost giving her a smile, a very understanding one.

“Had a rough night?” he asked.

Sarah felt embarrassed.

“Yes.” She whispered softly.

It was evident that, as she spoke so softly, her reply didn’t reach the hearer. He was still looking at her from a distance, admiring the girl’s reaction to his question. Sarah in her panic started putting her belongings into her backpack. She was sufficiently affected by the lecturer’s remark and, somehow succeeded in putting all her belongings in, while he watched her, although some fell on the floor in the process and, she had to pick them up. The lecturer still had his eyes on her, and she had to go past him to exit the hall. Her eyes cast down and with a faint smile on her face, she flew towards the door.

“Sleep well tonight so, you won’t be tired tomorrow! You’ll be able to listen to the lecture well.” He made a remark very politely, as she went past him and Sarah exited, giving him a smile.

She went straight to her evening job that she was more than content with, sat in the crew room and began to have her lunch; she had quite a long time until her work shift. Her thoughts were still far away. She wondered if she could find Sherman somewhere in the world and ask him why he was showing a kind of enchanting interest in her if he was married, if he already had a wife. But, she didn’t want to call him again - perhaps his wife might answer and be suspicious about him.

Just then she was struck by a sudden thought and, she opened her handbag to find the piece of paper with his phone number on it. She searched through it leaving her lunch aside while Amy entered the room.

“Sarah, you have to come in five minutes. It’s a busy day.”

Sarah heard it but, she was still digging into her handbag.

“Did you lose something?” Amy asked.



Sarah didn’t give a straight answer; she kept searching for her treasure until Amy left the room. However, she couldn’t find it in her handbag; somehow it had been misplaced. She entered the dishwashing area without further delay and started her daily task. It was comforting, as usual. She kept washing.

The dirty dishes were sprayed, put in the sanitiser and taken out clean; next, they were taken away to serve scrumptious food well decorated, neat, colourful and tantalising. But, they came back to her - the messy and loathsome leftovers and, Sarah made the plates clean again.

It was a chain of happenings and, amid her enjoyment of cleaning them Sarah was preoccupied, thinking about Sherman. Finally, she began to wonder if she had really met him. Was it simply an illusion, last night? She thought for a moment.

She started home after work, following the everyday humdrum existence, and still searched for Sherman when she got on to the bus; he wasn’t there. She got down the bus and walked home, looking back frequently thinking that he could be following her but, still, he wasn’t there.

She went to bed quite late, thinking of the next morning and the lecture to follow. Her eyes were almost closing and her hand was reaching the table lamp to turn it off when she suddenly caught sight of something on the floor: the little treasure she was searching, in her handbag. She quickly rose to her feet and picked it up. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she read the number. She had always been over trusting her memory. She had made the call to the number 852147 but, really the number he had written was 825147.

How striking! She had confused the two numbers and made the call to another household! And quite surprisingly, there had been another person by the name of Sherman living there! He’s the one, married! One who had gone out with his wife when she called! Her Sherman was of course sincere and genuine. And after all, Sherman wasn’t a very rare name, then.

There was another Sherman living close by. Perhaps her Sherman was expecting her call. Perhaps, he was still waiting for it. Perhaps he was thinking the same when he wasn’t receiving a call from her.

Sarah quickly walked to the window. The telephone booth on the other side of the road was making a genuine invitation. She put on her overcoat and ran outside, made her call to the right number and finally reached him, the one most longed for.

“I was waiting for your call. I really thought you’d call this morning,” he said.

“You know what, it’s a long story. I got confused with the number.”

“Can we meet now? I can

come there.”


“Please come to the outdoor restaurant next to your bus stop. I’ll be there in half an hour.”

Sarah quickly ran back, put on a good outfit that she thought she looked good in and, found herself with him in no time, in the place he had asked her to come. They began to sip a fruit juice falling into an extension of the same beautiful conversation.

“So, tell me about you!” Sherman said, in the same rhythmical tone.

“I’m just living here by myself, following a university course to become a school teacher and working in the restaurant at the same time.”

“That’s really good. I have a special liking to that career - teaching. My mother was a teacher too.”

“It’s good to know.”

“By the way, do you think, as a university student, you can give tuition to schoolchildren?”

Sarah wondered what he really referred to and, she was silent for a while.

“Yes, but I don’t know how to find students,”she said.

“I can help you. My sister’s daughter is in need of a home-visiting teacher. I can introduce you. That way, you can expand the class and gain some experience too.”

Sarah was silent for a minute. It sounded like a great idea. Also, it was a stepping stone to the career that she wished to pursue. Perhaps she could make more than what she was making now.

“Yes, I’m interested.” She blurted out without giving any more thought to it.

“Tell me about you too!” She said taking her own time.

“Well, I’m living with my family. I have eight siblings, with me, it’s nine. It’s a large family, right?” he paused with a smile, “I have two of my brothers and my eldest sister living together with me now, and her daughter who’s eleven years. My sister is a single mom, her husband died of a sudden heart attack when she was expecting her daughter. He never even got to see his baby.”

“I see. That’s sad to hear,” Sarah said.

Again there was a silence before he spoke.

“I’d like to introduce you to my family, maybe soon,” he said.

Sarah looked at him, his genuine, sincere smile had encompassed her; yes he had already taken all of her. Above everything else, his intention of introducing her to his family was a pleasure. She was being lulled in her thoughts.

To be continued next week

Copyright - Santhoshya Jayamali Seneviratne