The Omnipotent – A short story

As soon as she stepped out of the Uber, she noticed a gentleman standing there with his hands clasped , carrying a wine carrier . “So , He must be the date,” she thought. He opened the doors and held on to it, as if he was a professional chaperone and her of a Royal blood. As they entered the restaurant , she wondered whether they would get a table. They did have a reservation, but the crowd inside that small reception made her wonder whether they would get a table before midnight. The guy she came in with, slipped in a few dollar bills to the waitstaff and a few seconds later, they had a corner spot . The Staff told him that was the best spot , and he nodded as if he was a regular. They handed over the menu to each of them and bowed themselves out. She has never seen two waiters waiting at a single table. He pulled a White wine bottle out of his bag and winked. One of the waiters winked back at him and brought two wine glasses. 

After a minute of exchanging pleasantries , he threw a curveball. “When do you think anyone’s life actually starts?” Before her brain could process the actual meaning of that question, 

 “I think Life starts at 60”. He said, looking at her to get a nod of approval. 

“What a weird way to start a date” she thought. 

It’s not her first date with weirdos, but her weirdos never  dressed this well or took her to her favorite restaurant ! The last guy she had a date with , threw up right on the table and she had to book an uber for that guy. But something about this guy gave her a soothing assurance.  

She brought herself into the conversation with a ‘Why’ . And She meticulously waited . He signaled the waiter and he came immediately like a genie out of a bottle . He asked the waiter to open the wine bottle  and as he  popped it open , she continued with a a   ‘why would anyone’s  life start at 60’? 

As soon as he heard her repeating what he said , he pounced her with the eyesight of a tiger watching over  its prey. 

“I think , at the age of 60 , a  man finally starts living freely in this world”. She looked as if she wanted to hear more than just a proclamation of a well shaved guy. So he continued, “ I don’t want to ask your age because that would be so rude to ask on a first date ! So I’d rather start with mine!  Today is my 30th birthday and just by looking at me , and been here with me for the past hour , do you see me as successful or happy“ 

He looked at straight at her and before she could answer , he continued. 

“Before you answer, you could be thinking about – how does anyone determine that and  by what measures!“ 

He threw a quick smile and continued.

“One could measure it by their current wealth , or family or education, or by their  current lifestyle, or by their  job or even by someones expensive rugs they  have at home.“  he paused for a second and poured the wine over the glasses, the aroma quickly filled the table and she wanted to grab the glasses as soon as he finished. 

He continued, “ All those things don’t matter.” 

“It all starts with the same question: how does one feel about himself? right? “. 

“If you ask me , my answer would be – ‘I don’t know’. He left a measured pause and ended the sentence with a “yet”. 

She felt that the conversation was going in circles. But something kept her up with him. 

He unequivocally finished it with “Is buying whatever you want , sleeping with whoever you want  , doing whatever you wish,  is it what a happy life promises you? And if someone lives that life , do you think they are happy and successful in their life? “

She looked at him for a few seconds almost as if she didn’t want to answer any further. She took her own time and used that to gauge his looks . He was tall, had strong cheekbones , well built , courteous, and  weird. Yet his weirdness didn’t freak her out . She found his weirdness to be a magnet that pulled her closer to him. 

 She took a sip of that white wine,  which was supposedly made in  1472. At least the bottle had that year in it. She thought it must be a fake.  To her surprise , that wine tasted amazing. She was also bewildered by the fact that he brought his own wine to the table .. and no one asked a thing. 

To top it all,  she saw her waiter’s eyes opening up, as he opened up their wine bottle and started asking questions about that . He only left after taking a sip out of that bottle ..how rude, we should not tip him, she thought .  Then the wine kicked in and pulled her back to the conversation. 

“Well it sounds like a successful life . If not successful, at least a happy  life to me. I mean what else anyone needs at this point in life? A yacht? A penthouse? A good wife?”.  She bit her tongue as soon as she slipped those words. She knew she went a bit too far. No one talks about marriage on first dates . Not within an hour of meeting. She thought that this was all the wines’ doing!

“And she took the bait” , so as he thought and continued.

“ Okay let’s start from the beginning, not from my very beginning of course, as that would confuse you!” , but she was already confused. 

 “As my brain picks bits and pieces from the recent memory chamber, i always remembered having a lot of people around me.” 

“ I was fortunate enough to have a lot of them . They were there to take care of me , people were there to feed me , people cleaned my shit for me. “ He stopped there for a second and said, “ Well, luckily that last one didn’t last too long”  with a smile. 

“All those times , people were happy to be around me”

“Next 10 years were weird. I started making friends, some of them liked me, some of them hated me.  I started having pubic hair and started.. ” before he finished the sentence , He looked at her eyes to see if this conversation was making her uncomfortable .. but he saw a shine on her eyes , like a diamond under the midday sun and that made him continue. 

“In my teens I was most miserable. Now as I look back at it, I wouldn’t have done all those things, if you asked me to do it today . I made my parents uncomfortable. I made my girlfriend uncomfortable. Sometimes they made me uncomfortable , none of them I am proud about today or worth talking about “ . I kept making the same mistakes , every.. single time..

He threw a quick smile while shaking his head. 

“Then came college life. t was fun.   Had a lot of booze,  women , little studying here and there and I graduated. I saw tears in my parents when someone awarded my degree. And all of sudden , I was a man. As everyone expected me to be.  Until that point I never really had any responsibilities.  All those things my family expected out of me are done. They felt that their job is done, and a runner passes the baton to next, now it was mine to take over. They did give some hints on where the road in front of me would take me and what is important..”

My father said “ Son, education and hard work are the only things that will lift you through times”.

 My mom would say “you should respect all the women in your life , else it will be miserable on you.” 

My uncle would say “ all that matters is a nice ass and good salary” 

My grandma would say “ you are a Beautiful boy , don’t let those gypsies curse you “. and she says that to every kid who seeks her blessing.

And I did all of that , except for that nice ass as my uncle suggested. She adjusted the dress below her waist without getting up. 

He continued.

“Then I went to work. I slowly started rising through the ranks. Now i have my own company. I earn six figures and I am dating”. He noticed that the glasses were empty and poured another round  and looked at her for a while as she drank through the next glass. She is invested into his story now and wanted to know more.

“Now People think I am successful . They think the obvious next step is to marry and buy a house and raise a family”

 “Ok. Get married. A family and then what? “ Now she started asking questions, or may be it was the wine, he thought..

Now all those people who always had a bit of advice for me are  shrugging and throwing their hands around and saying ‘hey it’s your life! you need to live it the way you see it. ‘ 

And I don’t like it. Not one bit. As i know where that would take me to. its not because I’m not capable of doing that myself. But because they all led me to this point in time of my life. All those decisions they made for me ,made me who I am today. Don’t they have a moral responsibility to guide me on my next thirty years? He bit his lips as he said that and took down his wine in a single gulp.

She thought he had a fair point . But this is how everyone grows ! She is still puzzled by where this is all leading to . “Okay so what are you going to do now? “ 

He didn’t hesitate , “ I think we are going to go to my house,   share a bed and then we will see how it goes.” He laughed. His smile was both devilish and childish. She did like his confidence. its not the first time and probably wont be the last time for her to share a bed on the first date! Yet , she wanted the play to continue!

“Okay I’ll follow along. Let’s say we go home and we had great sex ,and say you like my character and I like yours.. then what?”  “Don’t you already like me?” He laughed as he saw her, like a warm knife cutting through soft butter. 

Now she took another glass of wine and ended up nodding her head !  

“Why don’t we dance? “ as he stood up and asked for her hand. Her cheeks blushed.. She noticed that no one else was dancing, some soft jazz music that was playing at the restaurant was not meant for dancing and there was no place for a dance at that restaurant.

As they started dancing, all the heads on the other tables turned towards them at them. Once they sat down , she finally asked,  “Do you do this to all the girls you bring in to date?” 

“Not the ones I’m planning to marry.” he was cheeky..

She is flummoxed now . She threw a fake angry tantrum at him by saying “ did you say that one in plural?”

And he was laughing now , “so that’s the part you are worried about.”? 

They went home , had great sex , as they say lie under the soft plush blanket , she asked “okay ,so what now “

“Let’s get married. “

“Okay, let’s say i go along with it, what then? do we book a venue?  Is it going to be a spring wedding?  is it going to be a winter wedding? ” She had a thousand questions on her mind. 

He shook his head and said  “let’s do it right now”.

“I don’t think you can marry anywhere, silly” ,  she said, while tapping on his nose 

He lifted the pillow and took the diamond ring out.  She was in shock now. Did he plan all these all the way through?

And he got out of the bed, butt naked , he bent the knee. 

This is all happening so fast for her but all good she could react was with a “yes” as tears started rolling out on her already red cheeks. 

Next Morning , they got married on the nice sunny California beach. They had kids who grew up to be successful in their life.  And his 60th birthday came as if it was only a few years between their marriage and that date!

On that date as they cut thorugh the cake that had the number 60 on it, she asked “I almost forgot!  you said Life starts at 60 right, does this mean your life only starts now?  . She asked with utmost sincerity. She wanted an answer to a life long question that was buried so deep in her mind ,That just popped out.  

He frowned. Tear drops came out of his eyes and rolled through his wrinkled cheeks. He looked sad. 


‘Why did you ask me that! Especially on this day’ 

‘Why do you all do the same thing, Everytime?‘

She sat there frozen, as she never saw him cry once for the past 30 years. 

“I wish you hadn’t asked that” he said with his head looking at his feet, with a tone that is both comforting and terrifying. “We were so happy all along, you had the chance to ask this question on every birthday I had with you” .

He wiped his eyes. and said “As they say, all good things come to an end. “ 

He kissed her cheeks while holding her hands , unable to control his tears and said  “Good bye my love“.  

She watched in horror as he started turning younger by every passing second .  In a minute, he was just a baby crying out his lungs. He tried to crawl through the blanket on the beach sand , as if he wanted to crawl into the ocean!  


Twenty Nine years later, on a corner table at a restaurant , someone heard a man saying

“I think Life starts at 60” 

Hi, I’m tamilvalai

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