Fiction 113

“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.”








Fiction 112

“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.







Fiction 111

“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


Fiction 110

“You exasperate me. But I can’t help but fall in love with you over and over again, you jackass!” she laughs, mock biting his arm as he envelops her into a hug.

“First, explain what exawhatever means. Is it a good thing?”

“Shut up! Stop pretending to not know. And it is so difficult to fight with you. Or continue a fight with you, you know. It’s like I’m fighting with myself. I am not at peace, I can’t drink, I can’t smoke, I’m not hungry. It’s unlike fighting with anyone else. I don’t know why that is.”

“It is because you are me. And I am you. And it’s pointless  fighting with oneself.”

“For someone who pretends not to read, you realize you just sort of quoted Rumi?”

“Whose roomie? Is she hot?”

“There you go again. Never mind. Just shut up and pass me that smoke.” she laughs





Fiction 109

“Will you get done sometime today?” he asks, looking down at her while he buttons his shirt.

“I will, I will.” she smiles, running her fingers down his shirt.”I can’t help it. You look so good in this shirt. But you’d look good even in a trash bag!”

“Was that a compliment or an insult?” he laughs

“That was a veiled compliment. You’ll understand it someday.”

“You sound more and more like me each day, you know. The sarcasm – you’ve got that, spot on!”

“I won’t tell you the same cliched nonsense about two becoming one, but I’ll tell you this. With me, you’ll never have to finish your sentences. Because I’ll know what’s going on in your head. I always do.”

“That is scary and sweet at the same time. Not too many people scare me you know. But you do. In ways you can’t even imagine.” he draws her close and plants a kiss on her forehead.