It was another drunken night. Another one of those one night stands. Shila woke up dizzy and still unsure of where she was. She looked around and barely recognized her room. Then she looked at her side and the man she had hooked up last night was still there, snoring. She couldn’t see his face but he had an admirable physique. Who was he? She could barely remember. She had a blurry image of meeting him in the bar last night and they had talked of Tom and Jerry or something like that before they were in her car making out. When was she home? Probably after midnight because the guard was asleep. The man turned and Shila rubbed her eyes to bring them back to focus. ‘Wow! He doesn’t look bad,’ she thought. ‘Bad? He is kind of yummy actually.’ Big forehead, large eyes, curved lips and a little stubble, a man she would be ready to go on a date with. The man woke up with a lot of twisting and turning as Shila smiled at him.
‘Would you like some coffee?’ she asked him. She never asked guys for anything. They were all turned out as soon as they woke up or she woke up. Except a few who had lingered to get her contact number. She denied of course.
‘Um… sure. No cream though,’ he said wearing his pants.
‘Don’t have any,’ she got up and moved towards the door, ‘would you bring the newspaper from outside?’
‘Yeah. I’ll bring some samosas as well,’ he replied.
‘Oh no! He too!’ Shila thought. When a guy left for bringing anything he never returned. It was an understood sign.
‘I know what you are thinking. I’ll be back,’ he smiled.
‘Whatever works for you. I’ll be in the kitchen,’ she pointed and left. After some time she heard his footsteps behind her. She turned to see he was standing at the kitchen door smiling.
‘You didn’t go,’ she turned back to the coffee machine.
‘The door is locked,’ he came closer.
‘OK, I’ll unlock it,’ she turned and saw him looming at her, ‘what do you want?’
‘How about a kiss? I’ve been meaning to ask for it since I woke up, but you are quite tense,’ he moved closer.
‘A kiss? I’ve been meaning to ask him that ever since I woke up!’ Her cheeks turned crimson.
‘I know,’ he said as if reading her mind and massaged her lower lip softly with his thumb. He pulled her closer and their lips brushed against each other and he sucked on them hungrily, but tenderly. Shila enjoyed every sensation running through her body and gave in, invading him, tasting his soft tangy smell of sleep and alcohol.
‘You taste like soft, fresh cream,’ he said between the kisses.
‘I thought you didn’t like cream,’ she pulled away.
‘Not in my coffee,’ he pulled her back.
‘That’s OK,’ she kissed him back.
They moved back to her bedroom as he tugged on her lips and she unbuttoned him.
‘I still don’t know your name,’ Shila said after an hour or more.
‘Then you must be quite eager for me,’ he smiled.
‘Shut up. I bet you don’t know mine as well,’ she hissed.
‘We are just two strangers here. But I answer to name Arun,’ he said.
‘So Arun do you know what to call me?’ she got up but he pulled her back.
‘Will Shila do? I saw it when we came in last night,’ he said.
‘You’ve got a memory then. But I need to eat. I’m tired and famished,’ she got up and he pulled her back again.
‘You wait here. I’ll bring something,’ Arun stood up and went to the door.
‘OK. There is a restaurant close to the building. They have great food,’ she said.
‘I’ll be back in ten minutes,’ he said and left.
‘They all say they will be back but they never are. You just wanted to make a good morning and so did I,’ she thought and got up. She was scarred so much by her past experiences that it was not possible to believe that anything good can happen in her life. She made coffee and sat at the sofa. Arun, if he decided to come back was already fifteen minutes late. She went to the balcony. Wind was cold and sun was hidden in clouds. The Sunday morning was not beautiful. No mornings were anyway. She had been living like this for more than three years. She had a perfect job, great salary, great friends but no family. She never cared for her parents much who had disowned her because she had left her torturing husband and came to Delhi. They blamed her for not working on their marriage. He blamed her for not working on their marriage. She was fine with living alone but she also wanted to be close with someone and this quest led her to night clubs and random one night stands.
She liked it in the starting but then it started boring her. They were all alike, good-looking and mind numbingly stupid. She was tired of them and wanted to get out of all this but week after week she found herself back in the club picking some random guy, a little of this, a little of that and they would fall like logs of wood on her. But Arun, Arun was different. He actually listened to what she was saying. And she certainly remembered him passing out before they made it to the bedroom last night. Nothing had happened then. It was in the morning when they came as close as two people could be. But even that didn’t matter, because he was gone just like the rest of them and wouldn’t come back. She moved closer to the edge of balcony. It had rained last night and floor was somewhat slippery. She moved too close to the edge and slipped, falling for a hundred foot drop. As she hit the stone pavement her last thought was, ‘no one came for me and I’m dying, alone.’
People rushed to the dead body as blood spread on the pavement giving it a tinge of black redness. They stood watching, speculating, talking as Shila took her last breaths. From a distance Arun came rushing with flowers and a plastic bag in his hand. He had seen her too close to the edge and wanted to warn her, but she looked lost. He came through the crowd and fell on his knees close to her and said softly, ‘Shila I had promised to come back, see I’ve come. Don’t go now.’