They were playing quirk-quirk. When he said he found her habit of clicking pictures of odd objects weird, she retorted with saying his habit of twirling his moustache while watching television was peculiar.
Decades ago, on the evening they first met, they had played scrabble. They had little time to talk about quirks. Perhaps they should have. Then she’d have known he was petrified of puppies and she’d have unwittingly told him about her fascination for men in spectacles. Although that would have only made him feel desired since he wore a pair himself. But that evening they didn’t choose to talk at all. Of the myriad things couples do on first dates, they chose to play a tedious board-game.
Years later, little had changed apart from their receding hairlines and humungous eye bags, but here they were in all their dreary glory, sitting in a park, celebrating their thirtieth, over a game of scrabble and quirk-quirk.
They played both the games simultaneously. At one point she stopped to tell him that they hadn’t gifted each other anything. It was a big day after all. He made no apology for coming empty-handed.
As the board filled up with letter tiles, he expressed with a deadpan face, how he liked it when sometimes she held on to the edge of his little finger even as she slept on the other end of the bed turning her back to his and how he adored her little notes tucked away in the most unlikely places reminding him to pay his electricity bills. He also said that leaving a note in his shoe was rather ingenious of her.
She added her own bits too and told him how it cracked her up the other day when she caught him secretly attempting to gel his hair because she had mentioned in passing that men who gel their hair looked hot. Both agreed that the high point of their lives on certain days when she stopped by and they slept together, was waking up in the shape of a right angle triangle — with their heads joined at the top and base supported by his huge golden retriever who sneaked into their bed in the middle of the night, as though no one had noticed. They both agreed Joey had no sense of his size and that he needed grooming sooner than later.
They realized after quite a while that they had inadvertently abandoned their game of scrabble. They also realized that their favourite game of quirk-quirk had taken a pleasant turn — it appeared, as though they were sharing a romantic evening, much to his displeasure.
After all, all those years ago when she had popped the proverbial question herself, he had refused politely, akin to someone turning down a cup of perfectly good tea. His reason for such blatant refusal was that marriage was too amorous and romantic a proposition.
30 years on, they still dated.