Thank you for submissions to “The Power of Attraction”. I am thankful I had entries, to be precise 3. Here’s entry B.

This story came to me with a title. A short yet sweet headings. It is called “The Perfect Picnic”. I contemplated long and hard if I should rewrite its contents. As I read the lines, I realized the words came with deep emotional sentiments. I shall not disrupt the bond of the written task.

The story unfolds ….

I was 20. We had been together for almost five years. In our final year of university, we both left for Melbourne and we were excited to finally be in the same place after a long distance relationship. However, it turned out that our campuses were 2 hours apart from each other so we only had weekends.

Having been in the relationship for so many years, we both knew we were facing some rough patches. The spark was an on and off thing. I supposed it was expected having been together for so long and with our final year in university, our busy schedules and separate lives didn’t help much.

One weekend, I decided to change things up a bit. When he visited my campus, I got the help of my friend, to keep him occupied for a couple of hours. Now, he was always talking about how nice it would be to have a picnic in a lovely, green park somewhere but Melbourne can be a real pain when it comes to the weather, especially towards autumn. Plus, I hate the cold and he knew it. There was no way I would sit outdoors AND enjoy a meal in that weather.

While my friend kept him busy two hours down, I was keeping myself busy in the kitchen. First up, I can’t cook. I can prepare instant noodles and fry a decent egg but God help me, I can’t cook. So I took the safest possible route: Pasta. Yep, threw the pasta in, whipped in the sauce and the main course was ready. Next, garlic bread. Which I oh-so-predictably burnt in the process. Ok too late to do anything now. And being on a student budget, I couldn’t afford a bottle of Merlot. So I got a bottle of Coke for $1.99 and two plastic wine glasses. I spread my bedsheets on my bedroom floor, opened the windows to get that ‘breezy’ feel and turned off the lights. I lit candles and let the glow-in-the-dark stick ons on the ceiling become our stars for the night. And in the background, I played Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ – which was our song.

And as planned, my dear friend happily steered him to my place where he knocked on my bedroom door. Voila – my own little picnic, especially for him. It’s been 8 years and I still can’t forget the look on his face. We spent the evening eating cold, salty pasta and he munched my burnt garlic bread like it was the best he’d ever tasted. At the end, we clinked our plastic glasses of Coke and toasted to more indoor picnics and glow in the dark stars.

It was a simple gesture but it reminded that the both of us of how the little things mattered most. And we didn’t need the sprawling lawn or expensive wine for our ‘picnic’. We just needed each other.

P.S: It didn’t work out between us in the end but we’re good friends now. Still… it’s the one romantic memory that has stayed with me.