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.




Fiction 108

“There’s always this moment you know…” she says as she twirls his hair around her fingers. “When you truly know.  That this is it. We’ve fallen for that person, hook, line and sinker. When did you know that about me?”

“What’s the name of the movie we watched last Thursday?”

“How is that an answer to this question?” she sits up, angrily.

“Come back here. Tell me the name, I forget, I’ll explain. It has Renee Zellweger in it, I remember.”

“Of course you remember her. Jerry Maguire. So you knew when we watched the movie for the first time? That was years ago.”

“No. There’s this dialogue. This thing he says to her – ‘You had me at hello.’ So yeah, you had me with your high pitched “Hi!” I’ve never seen anyone greet a complete stranger with that brilliant smile, which is the purest I’ve seen.”

“Aww. That is by far the sweetest thing I’ve heard.” she says kissing him.

“Your turn now. When did you know?”

“Remember the first time you came to visit me and asked for a book or a newspaper to read in the loo? That was when I knew!”

“Only you can bring a loo into the most romantic conversation we’ve ever had. Only you!” he laughs, engulfing her in a bear hug.




Fiction 107

“You know how many people think I’m good? I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and it feels so good!” she squeals, jumping into his arms.

“Hmm.” he says breathing in her freshly washed hair.

“Why are you not more surprised? You should learn to at least act more enthusiastic.” she buries her head in his neck.

“Well, they think you’re good. I know you’re good. Why should I act surprised when I know you’re getting what you deserve?”

“I give up.” she laughs.

“Give up on what?”

“Give up trying to wheedle compliments out of you when you’re not willing to.”

“Wheedle? Is that even a word? Or are you making it up just to confuse me?”

“It is a word too! Look it up.”

“You make me want to read up more, learn more, when you rant about something, I want to research on it. Isn’t that a compliment enough?”

“You do know how to shut me up.” she laughs. “No  one else has figured out how to.”

“I know other ways to shut you up too.” he smiles, planting a kiss on her lips.