It was strange what happened between us. We are not lovers, we are not friends, and we hardly know each other. I don’t know how it works on your side of the world, but on mine, random kisses are still not so common. I thought the term sexual energy and moment of awkwardness leading two people to grab each other in an embrace was something too bookish and surreal, something which happens only in Woody Allen movies but apparently that assumption was wrong. It happened with us. I think of that moment which we had and I cannot cipher what I feel about it still. It’s been seven days and six nights but I can see it in my mind over and over again. Is that normal? Is that a fascination, like something which means I want to have it again? Or rather my greed, something like me wanting more than what took place? I have no clue.
I have kissed in the past but those kisses were out of love, out of anger, out of repulsion or out of lust. This was what? Out of meaninglessness? I still remember the sequence of things that led us to it. You were sitting across the table. We were in the office, late at night and due to boredom – I started chatting with you. While you were telling me about how your boy friend is becoming over possessive every passing day and how you hate that part about him, I was busy typing a prose to tell you how your feet looks edible under the table from where I can see them while you hang your footwear on toe top and swing it in a play. Somewhere in between I remember you walking or me following, or was it the vice versa? How does it matter now, or may be to people who shall judge us – that question will be the only one that would matter. Outside - The moon was half. Stars were shining in a teasing manner. I could hear breeze whispering into my ears, asking me what I want. I had no answer to that then. I don’t have an answer to that even now. You were sad and your eyes spoke the same. Flirting is my way of making girls smile when they are sad. I don’t know the moral aspect of it, but it works and I stay loyal to that tested formula. That night was no different. He called you up, you disconnected, and I gave you an angry look asking you to talk to him and make a call back. You said, you have smiled after many weeks and would rather want to stay in the moment forgetting all troubles of the world you and him belong to. I thought this was a fair point.
We took the stairs to make a way back to our cubicles and talked of places where there would be no cameras in the office building. From where did that discussion started? You were looking beautiful while asking that in your innocent fake voice. I take the word beauty back, let’s call it interesting or may be attractive. I could smell your hairs. I noticed you from the corner of my eye – you looked hot (read attractive again). Who spoke kiss first? Me or you? Or maybe it was time; Time that make people think what they think and people do what they do. It speaks; Speaks in a language that only two people frozen in the moment can understand or recall.
“I don’t think there is a camera in here”, I said, pointing to a lonely corner on the second floor back stair exit.
You were quiet and waiting and said nothing in return. I believe in consent and I thought I saw it in your eyes. I held your hand and told you something I cannot say here. I grabbed you and our bodies dragged each other to the darker end of the space. You giggled. We were close, my hand touching your waist entering under the T while your breaths were fast pacing. Our noses were touching and I could feel your air on my lips. I could smell your lip balm. I could see it shine. I wanted to taste it. I told you that I regret smoking a few minutes ago from now. You said – you are used to the taste of it. While I was trying to understand what it meant, we started kissing. In between I opened my eyes and found yours closed. You were busy eating my lower lip when suddenly I could hear you whisper “It’s ok”. I paused and found my whole body shivering. I pushed you away but you continued to hold my hand and you were gently caressing my fingers with yours.
“I had kissed people in the past”, I said.
“I know that”, you replied smiling.
“I want to do it again, I don’t know what went wrong” – I said, ashamed of the fact that I had shivered like a child. You pulled me closer to you, we started kissing again; Deeper this time. Your tongue tried to make mine calm but the shiver had started again. I tried hard to make a move, one that would make me appear strong and memorable among your list of kisses if you had one, but I could envision tears rolling down from the eyes of the boy who had been begging to get your attention hundreds of miles away, I could also see me laughing on myself while making him suffer and kissing his girl. Was it guilt? I know it was not that but something else. Something was wrong. Something was not working. The kiss was over. I walked away first and sat on the stairs.
You said – “you don’t need to feel guilty about it.”
“I was not feeling guilty” I replied… “I am just feeling something that I don’t know.”
“That happens with you always, that is the thing I like about you” you said.
Cigarette was back on my lips. I was glad to be smoking again. My lips were rejoicing the familiarity while I was busy understanding my ever growing fascination for things that are bound not to last. Things like a smoke pile coming from a bud, that would rest in peace in the air it flies upon, or a flying bubble born from the bottom surface of a bucket which disappears as and when it comes to the surface of water top, or maybe, we – “us”, fall in the same list.
I told you that I am not emotionally available, I had been in love and I don’t think I can be in love again. You said you don’t want love from me, you said I am like a star which is untouchable but you find it fascinating and can’t stop yourself from being awake whole night to see it. I liked the correlation.
“Why were you shivering”, I heard you ask.
I spoke nothing. I thought of the girl I loved. I think after kissing you – I realize for the first time, how special she was. I never told you why I shivered but may be you like the mystery about me and I would like this to be kept as one.
“Thanks for kissing me on the forehead, I felt safe” you spoke before making your way back inside, towards the desk.
I smiled and said nothing in return. I saw smoke dissolve in air. It smelled nice. It smelled like you, you in the moment when we were kissing. I came back inside and found you sitting on the seat, calm and at peace. What were we suppose to do now? Pretend that nothing happened? I was waiting for you to give me a clue when I saw your feet, bare – playing on in the same way again with the footwear and then an IM popped up on my screen from you which said “Thank you”.
I typed “why”.
“For watching my feet whole night”, you replied with an expressionless gaze on the monitor.
I could see a story starting in that very moment; Stories of the kind that has no beginnings, no endings, and no meaning.
This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs fromYashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.