We were kissing, her face in my hands. She grabbed my hair and pulled me back, then flicked her tongue across my neck. I jolted forwards and licked her left ear. “Eww, I have never liked that move.” She complained. I let go of her ear and leaned back a little.
“Now just because I am growing my hair out, it doesn’t mean you can tug at it.” I said while she slid her finger through my cleavage.
“But baby, I love doing that.” She whined. “That’s the only reason I want you to grow it.”
“And I am stupid enough to listen to you.” We exchanged another long kiss.
Her phone buzzed.
“Some idiot needs you to save him and his money again.” I walked back to my chair.
“I have a feeling that when we break up, you will shave your head.”
“You are not that important” I replied.
“Achcha?” She continued typing on her laptop.
Sitting across the table from her, I tried to get back to reading my book. I couldn’t. The first time I shaved my head was when I broke up with my father. He was a nice man, except for when he lost his temper. I used to dread his bloodshot eyes as a child. I would do something mischievous, he would find out and he would stare at me with those eyes clenching his fists. That’s how it would begin. In the next half hour, Jerry would run all around the house and Tom would chase me, except it wasn’t funny. Not now, not then. Never. He would tell me how I am good for nothing and how I am curse to his family. He would slap me hard on my face and back, pinch me on my hip till it bleeds, drag me by my hair and lock me out in the balcony. The minute I was locked out, I would turn my face towards the wall, so none of my neighbors could see me. Ashamed and cold, I would fall asleep on the floor. Even though I cried myself to sleep, I loved sleeping in the balcony. It felt safer. In some years I had got used to the process, I stopped running away and I would stand in the room near the balcony when he would get angry. I couldn’t stay in the same room as him for too long unless I was forced to. Whenever he was around, lines played themselves like a song on loop. Either he said them or it played in my head. “Tu kisi kaam ki nahi hai.” “Kahin jaa ke mar kyon nahi jaati.” “Pichle janam ke paap bhugat raha hoon main.” “Kalmuhi, kutti, sab ka jeen haram kar diya hai tune.” I grew up hating him and myself. When he died, I didn’t feel anything. I’ll be honest, I was happy. I still don’t completely understand how I feel about his death. But I am glad, I don’t have to talk to him anymore.
“I don’t know what I am doing with you. I am 30, I have other responsibilities. I did not plan on dating a 24 year old girl. You just happened to me and I love you. But I don’t know what I am going to do with you.” she said.
“Keep me.” I smiled.
“I wish it were that easy” She sunk back into the chair to avoid eye contact.
I tried reading, but none of the lines were registering in my head.
“What time are we going to Sneha’s for dinner?” I asked.
“I have lots to finish. I’ll call her and cancel. Sorry. There is food at home though.”
“Okay, sounds good to me. I’ll buy some cigarettes and be back.”
By the time I was back, a plate of hot food was waiting for me at the dining table. I could hear her punch the keys of her laptop really hard. I finished dinner and flicked through channels on the television. At some point, I fell asleep on the couch.
I woke up in a few hours and I could still hear the typing. I knocked on the office door, half asleep and groggy.
“Babe, just half an hour and then I’ll be done.” She said as she opened the door.
“How about some dessert?” I took my shirt off and yawned.
She giggled and slammed her laptop shut. “Come here you.”
She was the only girl I have known to find that move irresistible.
I fell into her arms and tucked my face between her breasts. It felt warm and nice.
I looked up and kissed her. We had a theory that our lips shared more chemistry than we do. We couldn’t stop kissing, as always.
In no time, we were on my bed.
We didn’t have sex. We made love that night. We didn’t say a word to each other until climax. A few moments after, while we were both recovering, she put her right arm over my stomach, entwined her legs in mine, came closer to my ear and whispered “I missed you.”
“I love you.”
“I’m lucky.” She smiled with her eyes half open.
Engulfed in each other, we fell asleep in no time.
The next morning when I woke up, she was gone. And so were all her traces. She was gone. Just like that. Vanished in thin air. I slept in the balcony all day.