A Pop Tart’s psychotic love story

girl

I thought of him every day, and many a days, I used to drive up to his home and just stand outside his window, hoping he would crack open that curtain and see my car and know I was there. Then he would know that for me, it wasn’t over. I had realized it yesterday. A song made me realize that I was still where I was 5 years ago. This wasn’t over. It couldn’t be. The singer was singing about how sometimes love lasts but sometimes it just hurts. And mine was supposed to last.  We had met on a cold Delhi winter’s day in Nehru Park – just walking our dogs. My golden retriever had taken more than a friendly interest in his tiny Apso, and as they canoodled, we had looked at each other and shyly introduced ourselves. His name was Karan, and I had compared him to the mythological Karan as soon as I met him — kind, check, generous, check, serious, check, gorgeous, check. According to some legends, Karna had loved Draupadi the whole time but never professed his love. I didn’t want that to happen with us. So I had made the first move. Looking back, maybe that’s where I made my first mistake.

For a while though it seemed as if he wasn’t interested. He was always the one to put the phone down first, the one to break away from long breathless kisses in cold isolated museum corridors, and always the one to cancel plans. He had the upper hand, but I had a feeling he was going to come around. After all, he would see that I was everything he ever wanted.

And then one day, before I knew what was happening, he realized it. Maybe I had secretly thought it will never happen — that I would mope and cry when he told me there was someone else. But that winter, he waited outside my hostel dorm till I got home from class. As I had walked up to him and smiled, he stood really close to me, with barely any space between our bodies for the cold air to pass through and had said “I love you” into my lips – his frosty breath melting into mine. We were a sight that day – standing breathing into each other’s mouths with the white haze around us forming little hearts. Or at least that’s what it looked like to me. It was a heady feeling. We stood like that for seconds but it felt like many hours. Karan’s words had made me forget about everything else. It was like the first time you realize your body registers desire, that current — you know what I mean right?

Later, we took a rickshaw ride and went to eat momos at our favourite guy’s stall, but somehow we didn’t talk much that night. It was as if his words had said everything we could ever have to say to each other.  There was just one more thing to do. We had to touch each other. We had to feel each other before the desire took a form of its own. And so later that night, we kissed each other hungrily in a dark film theatre, surrounded by many others like us, who just wanted to get some loving heat that chilly night.

And so it had happened. He had told me he loved me, and I had what I always wanted. And he seemed happy too. I looked at his face every day to gauge if he still meant those words. But though he hugged me and let me snuggle into his arms, the hearts in the air didn’t form anymore. He seemed happy though. I remember asking my brain to not be paranoid. Days were passing by – the cold I loved so much abandoned me and the sun came out. It was Delhi’s heat and Karan seemed to be thriving as much as I grew dry. And that’s when I felt it first. The “I Love Yous” were still there, but our bodies – one hot with energy and one hot with fever—were starting to chaff off each other.  And there was a bad kind of quiet in our lonely moments. Yes, they were lonely. Because even though I was still living in the night that the icy hearts brought us together, Karan was already spiraling far away in a supernova that was too bright for my liking.

Does this happen with everyone, I remember thinking. Does all kind of love wear off?  Why were my opinions,  that he found so charming before (even when I said Rahul Gandhi was my vote for PM and that people should never wear tiny, tiny shorts), now unbearable to him? Was my smile now just a pale reflection of what it used to be? Was it only in the winter that I seemed desirable? Did I just fade away in the summer? He seemed indifferent to my questions, and every day, the conversations got shorter. It was a year later, and he stood outside my college gate again. This time, his frosty breaths just froze me over. “It was over” were the three words for this year. It was over.

But as I said, it wasn’t over for me. It had been five years and it wasn’t over. You just don’t walk out on this kind of love. You need to work at it. Why had it taken me so long to realize it? Karan was with someone else now. I had heard they met in a bar. And that he had wooed her for months before she even agreed to go out alone with him. Her roommate knew a friend of mine and so every painful detail of their courtship was for my perusal. In some sadistic way, I wanted to hear everything as well. He had placed roses all over the house when she wasn’t there, cooked her dinners, staked outside her house in the rain – he had become majnu for her, and she had finally relented. She wasn’t even pretty – her strange Goth clothes hung over her size zero body like body bags. For some reason, that made me think of her in a real body bag — the body bag they would carry her out in after I plucked her eyes like Beatrix Kiddo. But he loved that body bag girl –he had pretended he needed her desperately, and she had finally relented. She had been taken in by his lies. Didn’t she know he would leave her like he left me? At least I knew he loved me. Yes, he had, he had said it so many times. Sometimes I used to count how many times he said it in a day – and once he said it 19 times. Wasn’t that just lovely? Nineteen times, in a world where people didn’t even give you 19 seconds of their time.

He had loved me, and he was just infatuated with her. Five years was long enough for an infatuation. They had moved in together and stayed in a barsaati in Lokhandwala, that struggler haven in Mumbai. I had left my Delhi to be close to him. Not so surprisingly, she wanted to be an actress. How original! I had always thought that my friends who hated their ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend were crazy. After all, he is the one they should have hated. But now I found myself in that position. I didn’t hate him. If it was possible, I craved for him even more. Sometimes I lay on my bed and curled into a fetal position and just said his name over and over, hoping he would hear it 40 kms away. I tried to think about him intensely so that he would feel the brain waves and get drawn to me. I did hate her, hate her so much. I just wanted to poke her with needles one puffed lip at a time. I wanted her to die a slow painful death. I hated her and she would feel what I was feeling when he left her – for me.

I was standing outside his apartment building. It was five years later. I could see the fairy lights that twinkled from his window. I was going to go up there and tell him that it wasn’t over and he needed to come home with me. And he would agree, he would see me and remember that night in the winter of 2007. He would remember and then he would regret it and then he would hold me all night. Yes, this felt nice.

And as for his girlfriend, she didn’t want to mess with me. If I had to, I could become my Beatrix Kiddo, aka Black Mamba, version in a second, and I really didn’t think it was morally wrong for me to kill her. I had the justification ready in my head—it was scary. I could cold-bloodily tell myself that a person like her didn’t add any value to the world and if she disappeared, no one would even care. So she better keep away.

I was wearing my sexiest dress that just ended below my crotch and my pink bra peeped out of its deep neck. Oh yes, he wouldn’t be able to not want this. I know I do sound psycho – much like Christian Bale in American Psycho – throwing chainsaws on people. But I was more like the Joker – I saw sense in all that I was doing. “See, I’m not a monster…I’m just ahead of the curve.” I wasn’t mad. I was the one in control.

There were times I had thought of letting Karan go. I was gorgeous and too smart for my own good. I would have found someone every easily. I knew I was a catch. But that’s exactly why I wanted to be with Karan – he understood me, he knew my nooks and crannies, he could clean those dirty thoughts away from the dark corners of my mind. So once I got him, I would abandon the Joker and go back to being Merry Poppins herself. Though, secretly I always thought Merry Poppins was dark in her own way. Sometimes the nicest looking people are the scariest. Like that bunch on FRIENDS. I remember one night getting high on hash cake and seeing once and for all clearly what the FRIENDS’s bullshit was all about. They were dark, distorted people. That Monica, with all her OCD screeching away, Rachel the selfish slut, Phoebe the wannabe savior of the world, Chandler the loser who used humour to make himself seem more likable, Ross the pushover, and Joey… well, Joey was normal. Yes, he didn’t pretend to be anything, and that’s why I liked him. I was like him.

I wasn’t trying to be nice. I was as bad as I could be, and you can’t hold that against me. I was honest right. Ok, I needed to stop talking. I must have looked strange standing there in the rain in that dress that seemed to be shrinking. As I climbed the 15 floors to his apartment – I never took lifts, they strangled me — I had time to think about why did I really love this man who wasn’t really nice? I mean yes, there was that lovely declaration of love. But there was also the time I had spent with him later. And those had not been the most fun. He was cheap, and not in the way you would think. He didn’t grope me in the middle of the road, or crack explicit jokes at my expense. Instead he used to take my money. Once he pocketed the change brought to me by the pizza guy. What did that say about him? That was my Rs 100, you moocher, I had thought in my head as he neatly filed the note in his wallet and gave me a look that said, “you think I am adorable, right?” I know that sounds pretty pathetic even for me, but I was in love like fools usually are– I did all the work and got nothing in return. Maybe I needed this man to make me believe I was exactly like the portrait in my head — I, the Princess of Darkness, the Queen of Sunshine, the biggest bitch that ever lived, and the gem of this earth. Me, who was every woman a man wanted and every woman aspired to be. I needed a man to make me feel worth all my delusions.

And so I kept on loving him – you know the kind of love I have been talking about – the one that doesn’t end even five years. Five years of him being with someone else – someone so completely opposite of who I was. It was like he wanted to date her just so he would forget me. Did people do that?

Well, anyway, so even if I didn’t like him much I did love him. Yes, that’s just the way it works. I didn’t like him with my mind, but with my heart, I was crazy for him. Ok, enough with all the justifications. I had to get there and just tell him that I loved him, and that was that. And then he would look at my dress and say yes just like that. And then that bag lady with him would seem exactly like what she really was – a usurper of my property. And so I rang the bell. There was a slight hustle behind the door and I saw a small head peak out – It was the bag lady. She looked even smaller than I thought she was. “Siya, what are you doing here,” she asked me. I gulped, now how could I put this? “I have come to make Karan mine again. So if you move aside, I want to talk to him.”

She gave a smile – a crazy smile – and I was a little bit like, “Hey bitch, keep those grins for your next boyfriend.”

“Well, he can’t move right now,” she said.

“Why? Do you have him shackled to a bed or something, playing sexy kinky games?” I grimaced.

“Something like that, but less sexy and more scary,” she smiled again.

Now I didn’t know if it was due to those serial killer books I had got hooked on too, but I knew all was not all right inside that flat. She opened the door silently, and beckoned me to walk behind her. Her small frame was dressed in an oversized black kurta that looked much like a tent, and was swaying in front of me like death’s cloak. Her hair was short now, like she had cut it herself, and her eyes were thick with kohl. “He is here – take a load of that.”

And was it a load to take – that muscular body – with the six-pack that I had loved so much – was lying on the floor in a circle of blood. His eyes were scared and open wide in amazement. And where his heart used to be, was just one big hole. “It’s in the fridge. I wanted to make sure I preserved the hatred.”

“Aren’t you happy I did this?” she continued. “After all, look at the way he treated you. I know he told you that you were ugly. He used to tell me all the time. He deserved to die. I had a good thing with him but he was just getting into my head. He wooed me with the lovely declaration of love and I was hooked. I was like a pet rat. But rats bite if they need to.”

She sat down just looking at the body, staring at it, and kept playing with the blood on her hands. “Did you really love him enough to come here to ask him to be with you again?” she asked me and I strangely found myself thinking about a double cheese pizza I wanted to go eat after this thing was over. I was digressing. I shook my head, not really answering her question, but getting myself back to the present. “I thought I did. But I don’t know now. Did you love him?” I asked her.

She got up, and slowly started circling his body, “Maybe. Maybe that’s why I killed him, because I f he had been alive, I would have never been able to let go, and so… but I am sorry if you still loved him,” she smiled and touched my cheek with her bloody hand. “Holi hai!” I almost shouted. I really had to schedule that psychiatrist’s appointment. And then she kissed me on my lips – I had to stop reading serial killer thrillers, I was really losing the plot – first trying to get a man back into my life, then having an inane conversation with his killer and now kissing the killer. But it felt natural.

She kissed well, this little minx. And even though I was aware of the fact that I was kissing a girl, I was even more aware of the fact that I really I didn’t care that Karan was dead. And that his heart was in the fridge. I felt like the Snowman from Jo Nesbo’s book. I felt that there was justice in all of this. He needed to die. He had been a bad man. She was looking at me in surprise, “You are different from what he made you out to be. I like you.”

“I like you too,” I said, “Now why don’t we get the hell out of here?”

We started laughing hysterically. And when we were done, our sides were aching but our hearts were healed. It was time to start anew. We both held hands and walked out. And once again, Kill Bill was playing in my head. And I could hear the famous Bill’s words to Beatrix kiddo, AKA me, as I got into the lift with her and as those claustrophobic doors shut. “You’re not a bad person. You’re a terrific person. You’re my favorite person, but every once in a while, you can be a real cunt.”

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Human Shaped Void

There is a Haruki Murakami quote, that says, “He followed his daily routine, and she followed hers. But without her there, Tengo noticed a human-shaped void she had left behind.” Uttara was feeling like that suddenly, without Arjun in her vicinity. She had decided to forget him and leave, but she now felt the emptiness. He used to fill her up, with longing, love, the waiting. His voice used to make her get up and face the world, and laugh as she did it. Love was such a stupid emotion — it made you make someone your lifeline. They became the human that switched a button on and off. They became the reason to look and be beautiful. They become your audience and you tried your best to be perfect for them. It’s true — you could move mountains for them, and jump through as many hoops, just so you could make their dreams come true.

Uttara curled up in a foetal position on her bed and cried bitter hot tears. Why had she let herself get engulfed like this? Why had she made him the one who mattered most? didn’t she matter to herself? Why was making him smile, or being his girl Friday her most important job?

Today, as she lay there, with no Arjun, she felt her insides ache. she tried taking walk and failed miserably. She saw people looking at her strangely and realised it was because she was crying, tears flowing down her cheeks. She couldn’t breathe, and had to sit down and take a sip of water. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t breathe without him.

In such times, people tell you to focus on other things — work, maybe a different love interest, the beauty of life. Books say ‘focus on you. change your thoughts’. Yoga says ‘detach and see things as an outsider’. Buddha says ‘with your thoughts, you make the world’. Uttara knew they were all right, and she needed to do that. But right now only his words rang in her ear, ‘I can’t start every day by telling you that I love You’. What good did philosophy and the secret to happiness did when the one you loved wasn’t with you? For Uttara, only that could bring happiness. His hands on her thighs, his lips on hers, his eyes watching her when she wasn’t looking, his voice that told her she was ‘so pretty’, him, him, him, him, him.

For Uttara, happiness was him. And he wasn’t there. here. anywhere. he wasn’t there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6: Kissing

lo

Uttara looked at the boy in the seat next to her in the broken down Maruti. They were driving down a road, and she didn’t really care where it went. He looked sweet, and she found herself looking at his lips, and comparing them to Arjun’s. Arjun’s kisses were her downfall, or the only thing that got her high, depending on her mood. She felt an unbearable urge to kiss this new boy — just to dispel the myth that Arjun was the best kisser in the world.

He was driving with his eyes screwing up a bit. “Do you wear glasses?” she asked him, smiling naughtily. If he only knew what she was thinking. “No,” he replied, “I am just trying to concentrate… Do i look funny?” And then he looked at her and grinned, “It will sound terribly corny, but you sitting there is not conducive to driving with focus. I had thought you would be attractive, but i didn’t think how much. Ok i know that sounds corny, and maybe creepy. It’s not creepy. I am not creepy. I promise. I am trying to have only pure, heavenly thoughts about you.” She laughed, and he continued grinning, “am glad you find that funny, because trust me, it’s hard.”

“In that case, you wouldn’t mind this,” she laughed, and scooted close to him, sitting between the two seats now. she pulled up her dress and put his left hand on her thigh, and then she leaned in and kissed his neck. she could feel him squirm, just a bit. And then she turned his face slightly, and kissed him. A soft kiss, their  lips barely entangled. But then she inched closer and he sucked on her lower lip, and she caught her breath. She pulled away.

She sat back in her seat. He looked ahead, and then turned back to look at her, now looking out of the window. He decided to not say anything. She put on her iPod and the band was singing “I’m falling in, are you falling?”

Uttara was thinking of Arjun. The last time they had kissed had been breathtaking. He had touched her neck and pulled her hair, if he just couldn’t get enough. It was as if he was keeping her kisses in his mouth to feel later. Like she did his. She felt his kisses every day, all day. and now there was another kiss in her mouth. There was another kiss. There was another kiss.

Chapter 5: Uttara, Karan and Arjun

girl

She was going to go on a road trip with a boy she didn’t know at all. Just because she wanted to forget a boy she knew too well. That’s how it worked, right? You could forget the old if there was something new in your life. Someone who actually thought she was cool, and fabulous. Someone who read what she wrote, and had decided that the inside of her head was an exciting place. Someone who wanted to talk to her all the time, about her. What a thrill this was going to be. And a change. Even though she was almost herself with Arjun, she had never really let it become about her. Because it was always about him. And that was okay — he was beautiful. She didn’t mind making it about him. But she was beautiful too — at least this boy seemed to think so. So maybe, this time, she would let it be about her.

The last time she had met Arjun, she had broken down. She had thrown a tantrum and cried, her face looking like a baby, with her eyes streaming and growing smaller, and her nose wrinkling. To herself, she looked like a little child craving for attention. All he had said was don’t cry baby. And she had found herself thinking about her father. One tear, and everything would be forgiven. Just to make sure she didn’t cry. She had been crying a lot the past few days and it just didn’t have the same affect on Arjun. And so she had vowed to never cry in front of him again. It made her feel foolish. She felt like he was laughing at her in his head. For the first time, she felt embarrassed she had cried. She was never going to cry in front of him again.

She was just going to go for this road trip. The boy, Karan, looked cute in his Facebook photo. His smile made her smile. That was a good sign.

Arjun didn’t like the idea of the road trip, but he was dammed if he was going to ask Uttara to not go.  If he did, she would think he cared. That he was jealous. She often got jealous of other girls he spoke to, but he had always been careful to play cool. Once in a while, he made fun of a guy she knew, but he never over did it. And most of the times he really didn’t feel jealous. It was because he knew she loved him. Love was an understatement here. He knew that the love she had for him was such a big love that she wouldn’t leave even if she wanted to. Right now, all she saw was him. And he liked that. And he trusted that. She loved him. And a road trip with another boy wasn’t going to change that. He trusted her.

Karan sat in his tiny, old Maruti, listening to the Eagles number Take It To The Limit and cringed. What if she didn’t like the music. No she had to love the Eagles. Everyone loved the Eagles. They were driving to Goa. And he couldn’t believe it.  She was beautiful. He had stalked her on Facebook and had fought the urge to like each and every picture. She seemed to shine. Yes. He had to make sure he didn’t say this to her. She would think he is one of those silly, pathetic boys who was keen to follow her around. She must be knowing a lot of those. No, he was going to be sorted and sane and be all grown up and not swoon. But she was beautiful.

He stopped in front of her house and saw her look at him hesitatingly. And then he smiled, and she did too. She sat in the car and said, “I love this song.” He heaved a sign of relief. They were good to go.

Chapter 4: Uttara and Arjun

They lay sweaty in bed, tired, but still kissing. “Our lips are sore,” he smiled, and she didn’t even hear him. She didn’t want to move from here. She never wanted to leave. Because as soon as she would leave, her life would return to the mess it was. Being in love, and knowing he was not going to be in her life forever, did that to a girl. But right now, it was perfect, in this moment. He seemed to love her so completely. As his hands held hers, she felt her heart tighten and her eyes tearing up. This was too much to bear — this love was too much to bear. Why couldn’t she love like all others, a fleeting, flighty love. Why did she have to make it about so much more. Why did she feel the need to give this man everything and more. Oh God, please make me feel less, she thought, even as she moaned under him.

Arjun knew what was happening. He knew she loved him more than anyone else in the world. This was the problem as well as the best thing about her. He could feel the trembling in her kiss, and her love seemed to pour out of her every pore when she was with him. It was like she existed only to love him, and make him feel like he was the best thing in her life, or would be in any girl’s life. Was he doing the right thing? Should he end this right now? Something was holding him back as well. What was it? Was it that he loved her too… like really loved her?

And then he said it.

She couldn’t believe he had uttered those words. She said, “don’t say that.” And he said it again, “why shouldn’t I? Doesn’t it make you happy?” It made her very happy and very sad at the same time. He had kissed her and rolled away, only to say, “If i could, i would have asked you to marry me right now.” She had felt her stomach drop. This man, this man was going to be her death. Once again, she urged God to make her feel less. She kissed him. “You don’t need to say it. I am already yours.” and he had scowled, “I haven’t ever said that to anyone.”

He hadn’t, he knew that. But why had he said it to her? Did he really feel it, or was it that in that second, he wanted to make her very happy, like she made him happy. She made him very, very happy. It was good to know someone was always on his side.

But one day, soon, she wouldn’t be there.

And one day, soon, he wouldn’t be there.

It was as if they both knew what they had thought at that instant.

They hugged each other close as they fell asleep. This was all they had for now, and they would make do. They had to.

Somewhere else, in front of a computer, Karan was writing to Uttara again. She had said yes to the road trip. Why, he didn’t know. Why had he asked, he didn’t know. He just knew this was going to happen. This had to happen.

Chapter 4: Uttara and Arjun

They lay sweaty in bed, tired, but still kissing. “Our lips are sore,” he smiled, and she didn’t even hear him. She didn’t want to move from here. She never wanted to leave. Because as soon as she would leave, her life would return to the mess it was. Being in love, and knowing he was not going to be in her life forever, did that to a girl. But right now, it was perfect, in this moment. He seemed to love her so completely. As his hands held hers, she felt her heart tighten and her eyes tearing up. This was too much to bear — this love was too much to bear. Why couldn’t she love like all others, a fleeting, flighty love. Why did she have to make it about so much more. Why did she feel the need to give this man everything and more. Oh God, please make me feel less, she thought, even as she moaned under him.

Arjun knew what was happening. He knew she loved him more than anyone else in the world. This was the problem as well as the best thing about her. He could feel the trembling in her kiss, and her love seemed to pour out of her every pore when she was with him. It was like she existed only to love him, and make him feel like he was the best thing in her life, or would be in any girl’s life. Was he doing the right thing? Should he end this right now? Something was holding him back as well. What was it? Was it that he loved her too… like really loved her?

And then he said it.

She couldn’t believe he had uttered those words. She said, “don’t say that.” And he said it again, “why shouldn’t I? Doesn’t it make you happy?” It made her very happy and very sad at the same time. He had kissed her and rolled away, only to say, “If i could, i would have asked you to marry me right now.” She had felt her stomach drop. This man, this man was going to be her death. Once again, she urged God to make her feel less. She kissed him. “You don’t need to say it. I am already yours.” and he had scowled, “I haven’t ever said that to anyone.”

He hadn’t, he knew that. But why had he said it to her? Did he really feel it, or was it that in that second, he wanted to make her very happy, like she made him happy. She made him very, very happy. It was good to know someone was always on his side.

But one day, soon, she wouldn’t be there.

And one day, soon, he wouldn’t be there.

It was as if they both knew what they had thought at that instant.

They hugged each other close as they fell asleep. This was all they had for now, and they would make do. They had to.

Somewhere else, in front of a computer, Karan was writing to Uttara again. She had said yes to the road trip. Why, he didn’t know. Why had he asked, he didn’t know. He just knew this was going to happen. This had to happen.

Chapter 3: Uttara

road trip

The time that she spent with Arjun was always riddled with confusion. Was he really having a good time? “Of course I am. Wouldn’t you know if I wasn’t? You know me better than I know myself,” he told her. Yes she did. And that’s why she knew he wasn’t really having a good time. Not all the time anyway. Should she be happy that he still wanted to see her, even though she didn’t make him that happy anymore? These questions were making her head swim.

She was sick with herself. She had become the girl who waits. It was as if her life was a waiting room, and it was all about waiting for him — when would he call, when would he meet her, when would he say he loved her, when would he pull her closer under the bedspread and… It was all about waiting for him. It was ironic, as she she hated waiting. She used to land up for meetings 20 minutes before time. She hated waiting. Had she ever told him that? She must have. But he didn’t seem to listen to her. She knew she said things, but did he actually hear them. Like she heard his things. She knew everything. Who he had spoken to, what he had said, what work was left and what had to be planned. If he asked her what he ate for lunch 2 weeks ago, she knew she could have recalled that as well. She knew everything and she didn’t forget. Because she was also the girl who loved him.

She left his house feeling lost. Should she tell him she had reached home and she loved him. No, it was too much of her. He was anyway showing signs of boredom. Wouldn’t real love mean you never got bored of the person? Irritated, yes. Angry, yes. Frustrated, yes. But never bored of them, right?

She decided to zone out. But could she really manage that? She put her cellphone in front of her, propped up next to her computer screen, which showed if he was online or not. She was pathetic she knew. But so were all women in love. She remembered the week before in the train, she had watched 4 women on their phones, waiting for the grey ticks to turn to blue on their WhatsApp message screens. They were pathetic like her. She wasn’t alone.

She would forget about Arjun and just write about music, the one thing that saved her everyday. Or did it kill her even more. When she plugged her ears with her headphones, she went into a world where her thoughts took over. And that was once a good world, where she used to think of things that would make her happy. Now, all she thought was of a bleak future, and fights, and arguments.

She was writing her next 100 words about John Mayer, an artist she regarded as the voice inside her head. He knew what she was thinking, and he made her feel so much better. But before she started to think about how she could encapsulate her love for a man in 100 words, her email pinged.
And there was that guy again. Karan. She grinned. That was sort of the opposite of Arjun.

She started reading

Hey

So I have been thinking about what music I would listen to on a road trip, if I just had one artist I could take along with me.  I think I could listen to John Mayer’s Stop This Train all the while.

What do you think?

Would you want to go on a road trip. Somehow, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to ask

Karan

She looked at the phone next to her screen. Then she looked back at the screen

She typed. Yes, let’s go.