Hazy lights, fast cars and the drizzle. That’s all she remembered, that’s all that she cared about, that’s all she should care about. So then, why did her mind keep fleeting back to those hands? She had held them with so much fervour, she had felt so much in those fifteen seconds, she had squeezed them so tightly; like there was no today and like there was no one else as important as him, in that particular moment, that moment where time lost its worth.
Maya knew something had changed. She could recall the songs that played on the radio. She could feel his hair brush across her face. She could smell him; a mixture of alcohol and perspiration. She wanted to know every detail. She needed to every detail.
‘Listen, what if it is all a mistake?’, she asked her sister.
‘Nothing is ever wrong, when you remember how he smelt!’ Sanaya was busy filing her nails, without paying much attention to the apparently vague description Maya had offered.
Maya sank back into her bed and under the blanket. It was cold. Was it cold that night too? She didn’t remember shivering, at least not because of the chill. She shuddered. Who was he? What had he done to her? Was she right in feeling happy or was it a misplaced emotion?
She stared at her cell phone. He had texted over an hour ago, it still remained unopened. The last time she checked, he had sent a virtual kiss. Why?
‘Maya, man just have fun with him. He’s giving you a golden opportunity’ Sanaya retorted suddenly, taking Maya by utter surprise. The phone fell down, switched off. Maya hurried to take it off the ground and switched it on. She opened the message.
Meet me today?
Maya’s fingers trembled. She couldn’t.
She felt her heart reach her mouth. This is not fine. This is not fun. I don’t have fun. How can a relationship be fun when he’s already in a semi-relationship with someone who wasn’t her?
She rushed to the washroom. Cried. Washed her face and returned. Sanaya saw it happen but did not react. Maya silently thanked her for not asking what happened.
‘What is his name?’
‘Let it be.’ Maya didn’t want to take his name, for fear of making it real.
‘Wow. His parents sure loved The Beatles’
Maya laughed and lightened up. She replied to his text message saying she would meet him that evening. In her head, she decided to say everything to him clearly, to his face; that she is the emo kind of girl, the kind of girl who falls for her benifit-buddy, the kind who fucks up friendships cause she falls in love too easily, the kind who needs love.
Sanaya begged her sister to grow up.
He never made it to the evening coffee, she slept through the night. He texted her a few more kisses.
The next week went by with random conversations. She never mentioned to him, what she had planned to. He kept playing the kiss card. She kept falling for him a little more, with each kiss. She went back to that night again..
Glazed eyes, the high of weed, the spilled alcohol, the broken glass and stripped off clothes. She remembered pushing him away, she remembered going closer. She remembered the feel of his hand against her body. She remembered getting up and leaving. And him following. And then, the drive. The shortest drive from one lane to the other. The most beautiful drive with the prettiest lights.
Maya pinched herself, she went out into the drizzle and stood there till she was wet and till she could feel the shiver again. She looked at her phone. Had he messaged? She kept checking. She kept waiting.
Months passed by. Maya forgot about the night. She took it as an adventure. She was happy that it had happened and glad that it was over. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her, she wasn’t as hot as his fiancé and she wasnt as beautiful as his ex girlfriend. She didn’t even like the same songs, surely they couldn’t be a good match!
But she still waited, without expecting much. She was used to it, by now. The ones she liked never liked her the way she wanted them too. The ones who liked her were never good enough.
Months passed. She got one more virtual kiss. Her heart fluttered. An unknown number. Who is this? Who else, Maya, who else?
A tear rolled down her cheek. Was it a joke? Isn’t he supposed to be married? No he wasn’t. So? She can’t go through it again. Meet me. Okay, she decided.
He made it to the coffee shop this time, with tulips in hand, and lilies. He wasnt sure which she liked. She walked in, hassled, because of the mud and monsoon. He loved the rains. She looked at him, he held her glance. She moved closer. They kissed. This time, she felt it. She felt all of it and everything came rushing back; the night, the touch, the moves, the taste and it was wonderful. It was beautiful and yummy! He had touched her hair that night, he had felt her cheeks.
What happened, no fiancé? Could he not go through with it? She never asked him because she knew she did not want to know the answers. She was happy to be in his arms, she was happy he hadn’t left her. Sanaya was wrong, that kiss was not just fun.
He looked at her and told her just one thing, and the world as she knew it, changed.
‘That was for all the virtual ones I sent to you. Thanks for being such a sport! I never knew girls could keep their emotions away from kisses! Here, see the ring I’m gonna give to her tomorrow.’
That coffee they had together? It was bitter.