“Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
I went into the bedroom to see Rohit engrossed in his phone. He saw me and tried to put the phone away, but I told him to finish checking and responding to his messages. “What will you do in the meantime?” he asked me. “Don’t worry about me. I have to wind up the kitchen, brush my teeth and take care of a few other things,” I replied. This seemed to please him, and he went back to his phone. I finished doing all these things and went back to the bedroom.
This time Rohit was talking to someone in a soft voice – I suspected it was someone quite special judging from the manner in which he was talking. As soon as he saw me, he told the other person that he would call back later. I urged him to continue, telling him I had only come in to take my phone. I went to the study, settled into my couch and started checking comments on an article I had posted earlier that afternoon. A couple of minutes later, Rohit walked into the room looking for me.
“I was sitting all alone in the bedroom and you are holed up here,” he mockingly chided me. I explained that since he was talking to someone, I did not want to invade his privacy and moved to the other room. “It was just a friend I was talking to, no one else,” he defended himself. I smiled and told him it didn’t matter who he was talking to; all I wanted to ensure was his privacy, nothing else. He walked across the room to the window and struggled to open it (sliding windows!). I took this opportunity to pull his leg and break the ice; till now, our conversation had been relatively formal, and I really wanted him to feel at ease.
We went back into the bedroom and I gave him a change of clothes for the night. I stepped out of the room to allow him the privacy to change. When I returned, I noticed the shirt Rohit was wearing; I had not seen it earlier since it was covered by a pullover. It was a classic gold and black printed shirt – the design was unmistakably familiar. “You are wearing a Versace-style shirt,” I told him. He did not understand. I explained to him who Versace was and asked him to look up some shirts online. The very first one he saw closely resembled the one he was wearing. Rohit seemed very pleased to see this. “I bought the shirt for Diwali,” he said.
He felt completely at ease now and lay down comfortably. I sat down beside him and he promptly started showing me photos on his phone. The very first one he showed me was of his nephew – sister’s son – who was born that very day! One by one he showed me photos of everyone in his immediate family, and those of his cousins and close friends. By now I felt deeply connected with him, as if I had become a part of his life and his family in our very first meeting.
It was the first time I was sitting so close to Rohit. I could feel his heavy breathing and the heady smell from his body. He seemed to be a smoker – I could catch faint traces of cigarette on his breath. I am allergic to cigarettes, and it immediately led to a few sneezes in quick succession. “I am allergic to cigarettes, hence this reaction,” I told Rohit with a smile. “I will rinse my mouth very well after dinner so it will not bother you anymore,” was his innocent reply. It was possibly a sign of things to come later in the night.
The doorbell rang and I went to answer it. Dinner had arrived and I laid it on the table for Rohit. While he was eating, I showed him a couple of my family’s photos. “You seem to have a really nice family,” he said. He was enjoying the food and looked completely at ease by now. I was incredibly happy just to be in his company, enjoying the conversation and light-hearted banter. Rohit did not have a large appetite; he hardly finished half the food which was ordered. While he washed his hands, I cleared the table and stored the leftover food in the fridge.
By the time I returned to the bedroom, he was lying down. I lay down beside him and asked if he needed more pillows, water for the night or anything else. He seemed happy with what he already had and didn’t need anything more. Since Rohit had to leave by the early morning bus, we both set an alarm for 5 am on our respective phones. Once this was done, he drew closer to me and we continued talking for a while. I touched his arm to check out a tattoo and felt his skin unusually warm. I asked him if he was running temperature. “Why does your body feel so hot?” I asked him out of genuine concern. “That is something only you can tell,” he replied seductivey.
I planted a small kiss on Rohit’s cheek. He brought his body really close, put one of his legs over mine, and reciprocated with a kiss on my cheek. I gazed at his beautiful face and looked into his eyes – he was smiling. Before I knew it, his lips were on mine and we shared our first kiss. It was the sweetest and most intimate moment I had ever experienced. Our emotions knew no bounds after that. All our desires, repressed for the last few days and the last few hours since we met, seemed to have been unshackled. He loved me so tenderly that there were many moments when I wanted to cry.
I spread out Rohit’s body and kissed it again and again. Each time I looked at him, he smiled and brought his lips to mine. Till that day, I never knew what ‘making love’ was. Rohit loved me like no one else had done before, to the extent that I even laughed a couple of times when he touched me. “No one has ever touched me like this before,” I confided. I also told him that I had recently read somewhere that if you don’t laugh during sex, then you’re with the wrong person. “Tomorrow, after you leave, I will cry the entire day remembering you,” I said. His only reaction to all this was another smile and kiss on my lips.
It was time for our bodies to unite completely. After taking adequate precaution, I requested Rohit to take it easy so that there was no pain. Although he was as gentle as possible and did not use any force, the pain was unbearable, and I tried pushing him away. He immediately withdrew himself and I started apologizing, fearing that all the loving moments we had just shared were destroyed. Even at this moment he surprised me. He told me to lie down, relax and not worry about anything. After a few moments I changed my position so that there would be less pain. It worked well and I said a silent prayer when it was over.
Rohit rolled away from me and I said sorry again. His loving response was, “No problem, baby. Don’t worry.” This made me feel worse, and I started babbling in a painful voice, “I think I have become too old for all this. I don’t think I am capable of making love anymore. I don’t know why it was so painful.” In response, he kissed me on the cheek, wore his clothes and got ready to sleep. In less than a minute he was snoring softly. I lay down beside him, still feeling terrible at having been a disappointment.
Unable to sleep, I went to my study to finish an article I was writing. After half an hour, when I was finally ready to sleep, I went back to the bedroom. Rohit had turned to one side, his back towards me, and was sleeping like a baby. “He will never talk to me again,” were my thoughts as I drifted off to sleep.