As I waited for him at the airport, I went back in time to recollect if we had ever hugged. We had been friends from a very long time, but beyond the high fives and the pats on the back, we had never really touched each other. Oh yes, we had. We held hands in a school play. Thank God, I was the girl and he was the guy. Considering the way I was, I could have very much acted as a guy too. I have portrayed the role of a drunkard with élan and the trophy at home is witness to that.
I have hugged my boyfriends, I mean my friends who are boys, but I guess I have been a little reserved towards him from the beginning.
Suddenly, I could see his head and then the trolley. At one glance he saw me, and pushed the trolley towards me. Now that we were a couple, suddenly, I felt shy. Is there a phrase ‘shyly excited’ or ‘excitedly shy’? I was feeling that. He proposed me from across the miles and I accepted. It was inevitable in some way and somehow, I knew it all along that this is going to happen though I had dated other people.
A meek ‘hi!’ escaped from my lips and I just smiled. Had it been any other time, we would have been in a group shouting and cheering. His friends would have asked him which poison has he bought and then gang up to finish it. I remember us converting the dollars to rupees. If somebody used to spill a drop of the drink, we used to say that 50 Rs is gone.
We headed towards their apartment. It was the same place where I had met his gang of friends, the gang whom I named albeit fondly, the Trophy gang. They had this habit of lining up empty bottles-alcohol, deodorants, water, coke, and even ash-trays, as if they were some trophy. It was the same place where we had strummed the guitar and sang ourselves hoarse. I am sure the boys had their own pet peeves for having to run and get dressed, to look decent when a girl was visiting unannounced, while they laid nonchalantly in their bare basics on a hot summer day.
We met M in the apartment. Came to know B had moved out with his girlfriend in another flat and C had moved with his sister. M will be married in another 3 months and he decided to retain the flat. So, he would be staying with M for a month. The gang would be coming in the evening again I was told.
The room was suddenly quiet. I didn’t know what to do and took a bubble wrap from one of his gift items, and started bursting one by one. He took it from my hands suddenly and gave me his palm. He asked me to read his palm as I had often boasted of knowing palmistry. I played along. I traced the lines of his palm with all seriousness knowing very well, the trap. This was not a handshake; this was not our high fives, this was the first touch of new lovers.