“You know what the saddest part of this life is?” she asks, eyes bright and open.
“Do you know what the time is?” he grumbles, patting her back to sleep.
“I don’t care. The saddest part of life is that we spend half of it worrying about inconsequential things.”
“And you chose to wake me up to tell me that, at 3. A.M.”
“No, I chose to wake you up because I was missing you.”
“I was right here.”
“You know what I mean. I had this epiphany and I had to share it before I forgot.”
“And I know you’re going to take some time, do you mind if I light a cigarette?”
“neki aur pooch pooch? Why do you ask stupid questions? So I realized how I got this mark on my arm. I had walked into a tree branch on my evening walk. And I realized there was something on the tree. It was a mattress. Some soul is going to treat a tree like his home and am stressing about pointless things!”
“It took you a bump in the arm instead of the head, but am glad you get it. Now can we go back to sleep? There’s this brilliant woman who I want to hold and fall asleep next to.” he smiles as he tucks her back into his arms.
“Do you know how incredibly happy, you make me, when you eat?” he smiles as she gulps down one more scoop of mashed potato. “You make an incredible mess, when you do, but it’s such a pleasure just watching you eat.”
“What is there to be happy about that?” she asks, her mouth half-full.
“Didn’t your mother tell you not to talk while you eat?”
“She did. Do I look like a person who listens?”
“You do. That’s the worst part. But you’re not a person who listens. You’re not one of them, sheep. You’re a wolf. That’s what I like about you.”
“You just told me that I eat like a pig and I look like a sheep in a wolf’s clothing. What is up next? Calling me an ostrich?”
“No you’d never be an ostrich. Ostriches are tall!” he laughs.
“That was mean.” she says, her lower lip fake-quivering.
“Don’t try your drama with me. I know when you’re really crying. But let me tell you why you can never be an ostrich. An ostrich’s brain is smaller than any of it’s eyeballs. But yours, my love is bigger than a thousand of normal ones put together.”
“And again, yet again, you manage to render me speechless.” she smiles as she traces his lips with hers.
“You know I always know when you’ve touched my phone, no?” he says, one eye open as he adjusts so his head rests on her fidgeting arm.
“I know. I know when you’re not sleeping. Your snoring stops.” she giggles.
“I don’t snore.”
“Yeah, right. I was half awake because of your incessant snoring.”
“What have I told you about throwing big words at me in the morning?”
“I don’t even want to go there now. I wanted to see which new witch is trying to cast a spell on you, currently.”
“I tell you all about them, don’t I ? And I tell you what I reply also.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Well, this is me.” she says, her lower lip quivering.
“Aw. Don’t do that now.”
“You trust me, no?”
“Always.” he replies
“And I, you. Like the song – “Forever trusting who we are.” she replies, kissing the top of his head, taking in the stale cigarette smoke that never failed to remind her of home.
“For someone who claims to be a bookworm, you do know your Metal. You should know this one too, from my next Metallica song – “Wherever I may roam…”
“Where I lay my head is home.” she completes his sentence for him, adjusting his head on her lap. “For someone who claims not to have a heart, you do know exactly what to say to melt one.”
“You should see the difference in yourself these days. I love the confidence in your eyes.” he laughs as she smothers him with kisses.
“You have very bad timing, at giving compliments, you know.” she says, unbuttoning his shirt.
“No, but seriously. You make me so proud.”
“I don’t know about that, but I make myself proud these days, though. That, for me is a huge thing. Look how far we’ve come from those days, hunh” she sighs, resting her head exactly where his heart beats.
“You’re a princess, I’ve been saying that from the start. I wish you could see yourself like I do.” he says, kissing the top of her forehead and breathing her in.
“Yeah, right! Let me adjust the tiara on my head. Are you even looking at me? Ratty shorts, your old tshirt, and don’t forget the chappals!”
“You know what I mean.” he grunts, his lips almost twitching, the first sign of seriousness setting in. “I hate it when you let the world take you for granted.”
“Yes, I do.” she replies, a solitary tear escaping the corner of her eye. “And that’s why I think I like you a little.”
“I know. Me too.” he replies, taking her into his arms and wanting, yet again to build a shell around her.
“You make me want to sing tapori songs for you, you know. Like jump out of bed, put on a lungi, and just sing, like those current maare type songs.” she says, snuggling in to his arm.
“You do realize you’re a fully grown woman, saying that to a man, don’t you? That’s got to be wrong, somewhere, in some world!”
“That’s what you think! What is more romantic than a fully grown woman professing her love for you this way? Most men would want something like that, you know.” she laughs.
“Well, I am not most men.” he fake admonishes, puckering his lips like a petulant child.
“And I, am not most women. You should know that by now.”
“I do. I do. Do you know how many women I meet? And how many women…”
“Stop. Yes I know. The famous Don Juan that you were.”
“And yet, none of them, none of them have ever said something this idiotically romantic to me, ever. You’re one of a kind. Maddening, but one of a kind. Why do you want to sing tapori songs for me, by the way? You never explained.”
“Because your hands. Your hands have magic. Truly electrifying, the way they affect me. Now shut up and go back to massaging my head.” she giggles