“Are you going to name me?”, he wrote via Facebook messenger.
“Not if you don’t want me to”, I wrote back promptly.
“I don’t”, he said.
“Fine by me”, I wrote. “Tell me your story.”
‘About a couple of months back, I matched with this girl. She seemed fun to talk to, and pretty soon, we had exchanged numbers. Turned out, we had a few friends in common, so it made the conversations all the more easier. Both of us worked in Gurgaon and lived in Delhi , so I figured meeting wouldn’t be very difficult.’
‘Anyway, so we kept talking for a week or so, there was light flirting involved, and all in all, it was light-hearted fun. In the week that we spoke, we hadn’t met – both of us had a tough week at work.’
‘One weekend, Saturday night I think, I was getting hammered at home, alone. It was around midnight, and I was generally bored. I decided to text her. I sent her a picture of my drink and asked if she was up for having one with me.’
‘She wrote back in a few seconds saying she’d be delighted to, but she’d take an hour to come, because she was somewhere in Gurgaon. Wow, I thought. To be honest, I hadn’t quite expected her to say yes. I mean, we had never met, and who’d be crazy enough to meet someone for the first time at his house, that too, at this time of the night? Anyway, I thought she’d pass, and I’d just eat my dinner and crash. Clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. Plus by now, I was piss drunk.’
‘I wrote to her saying sure, see you in an hour, sent her my location, and drank ten glasses of water in the feeble hope that I sobered up before she came. An hour, many glasses of water, a boxful of mints and mouthwash later, she texts from the lift. See you in a second, she says.’
‘Anyway, so in she comes. We hug awkwardly. It’s past 1 in the morning now, and I’m trying very hard to keep my eyes open. I pour her a drink, she downs it before I can sit down, which is good because it appears I have to get her another one.’
‘Me, I’m drinking water, but I pretend I’m drinking vodka, because I’d look like an absolute ass if I was drinking water while she was drinking whiskey. Four whiskeys and three glasses of water later, I ask her if she wants to eat anything, and I hope she politely refuses, because food is going to take an hour to come, and I’m really sleepy and I don’t know if I can stay awake for another hour.’
‘She says no, she says she ate and came, and I ask if she’s sure, and she says absolutely. Not one to persist at two in the morning, I quickly let it go. She pours herself another drink, and I’m shifting slightly uncomfortably on my sofa because if this goes on, I’ll have to keep drinking water till the morning, and I pee a lot if I drink so much of water, and I don’t want her to know I pee a lot – it being the first time we’re meeting and all that.’
‘At three in the morning, I ask her if she’s staying the night, or driving back. She says if it’s all the same with me, she’d rather stay back. I take the hint. I wish I hadn’t drunk all that damn water. Feeling bloated as fuck.’
‘At three thirty in the morning, I ask her if we should call it a night and hit the bedroom. I think she wants another drink, but she says sure, and gets up. Asks me for a change of clothes. I give her a pair of boxers and a T shirt.’
‘I go inside my bedroom and switch on the AC. I have three bedrooms, but only two have ACs. But the other room that has the AC doesn’t have a loo in it. She enters my bedroom and stops at the door.’
“Are we sleeping in the same room?”, she asks.
‘I try and camouflage a double take by facing my back towards her. Surely I misheard. Surely, she didn’t say that. Was I under the misplaced illusion that this was a booty call?’
“Not if you don’t want to”, I tell her. “But the other room doesn’t have a loo. If you’re okay with that, take that room. Here, it’s this way”, I tell her walking her to the room.
“No, no. It’s fine”, she says half laughingly. I’ve never heard a half laugh before, and it sounds like a jackal’s getting laid. I visualize a jackal getting laid, and I laugh back – a full, throaty laugh.
“What’s so funny?”, she asks settling into bed.
“Oh, nothing”, I say, not wanting to tell her about the sex-crazed jackal, and being misunderstood as a psycho.
“Could we change sides?”, I ask her. “That’s kinda my side of the bed.”
‘At twelve past four in the morning, I’m rehearsing moves in my head. The-swing-the-arm-over-and-place-it-gently-on-her-stomach seems the most logical maneuver given the circumstances, but it has the potential to be misconstrued as a cuddle. Not a big fan of cuddling, I decide to go with the roll-over-and-play-dead-and-let’s-see-what-happens maneuver.’
“Going to sleep so soon?”, a familiar voice asks in the dark.
“Yup”, I say, quickly turning over and stroking her hand, “Unless you have something else in mind?”
“Why are you rubbing my face?”, the voice in the dark asks.
“My bad”, I apologise. “It was dark, and I meant to stroke your hand.”
“Does that usually work?”, the conversational voice in the dark persists.
“Not usually, no”, I admit, removing my hand and placing it on her tummy.
“I’m fat, aren’t I?”, the voice in the dark asks, as it gets closer to my ear.
Not wanting to get into a never-ending debate, I say perhaps a little too loudly, and maybe a little too quickly, “Fat? Of course not, don’t be silly.”
I follow it up with a half laugh, I learned a few minutes ago.
‘But now that she’s put the idea into my head, I can’t get it out, and I can suddenly feel a roll of flab under my T shirt (not the one I was wearing, the one she was wearing). I lean a little closer and kiss her on her cheek.’
“Hang on”, she says and half sits up. “Are we going to make out?”
‘I close my eyes, but she can’t see I’m closing my eyes because it’s dark. She’s a nut, this woman, I think to myself. ‘
‘Aloud I say, “Wasn’t that the plan? I mean, where do you think this was going?”
“Oh okay!”, she says.
‘And faster than Sonic the hedgehog, she throws her clothes off. And starts biting my ear. It hurts, but I can’t tell her that, so I gently try and pull it away, but it hurts more because she has a firm hold on them, so I tell her it hurts, and she says she’s just getting started.’
“So how was it?”, I ping him, curious to know how it panned out.
“Disastrous. Gtg. Meeting”, he pinged back after half an hour.