Editor’s note: We have been getting a lot of submissions for our fiction section on dfuse.in and this one was rather interesting to say the least. It’s slightly away from the rest of what we have published in the fiction section until now and the reason for that is simple- we wanted it that way. We aim to curate upcoming and established voices in fiction across all genres and sensibilities. This is just a humble start on that path. Do mail us at [email protected], if you’d like to be featured here.
The following piece of fiction contains strong language and themes suited for a mature audience. Reader discretion is advised.
We were in a large bathroom at a house party. Our lips were locked, our bodies were conjoined in a powerful embrace that is felt, explicitly only by lovers. We were like two clouds, crashing together, creating thunders. Both of us were filled with terrible, heart breaking, intense emotions and we needed a release. When we crashed, it rained; not above us, but inside us. Together, we let the burden go.
I cupped her ass and pulled her closer. She had her head buried in my neck and she was softly moaning, when suddenly, the door blasted open. I quickly turned towards the door, catching a glimpse of a girl with glasses (probably a friend of hers) hastily apologising. She jumped away from my arms, shielding her vulnerability with a wall that I would never be able to break again. A wall that I could not climb. She shut the door back with force and stepped away from the light, as if the darkness will engulf her sins and make her invisible from the eyes of unfriendly gossip.
I walked into the backyard of my friend’s place without any expectation from the social gathering of a party. It was New Year’s Eve and I was prepared to do anything to get drunk, have a good time. It was a beautiful chilling evening and all the people that mattered most in my life were around me. As I stepped outside, I saw a few friends of the host. One of them was Her. She was wearing a short red dress, with a black jacket that came up till her stomach. A cigarette lightly hung from her lips, the tobacco burning to be sucked in. She was tiny, I noticed, and I could easily lift her in my arms. Her face had a slight blush, probably a hurried brush on the cheeks before the party. I admired women who made it a point to look beautiful. It was a competition where only women participated. The host introduced me to her and that’s when I looked first into her eyes. She gave me a glance, with a smile, that is reserved only for pleasantries, and then looked back into her phone, moving on with her life. I, on the other hand, was hung in a limbo. Not because it was love or anything, but because I wanted to look deeper into her life and I never got the chance again.
The Vodka-Gin-Whiskey punch traveled through my throat and splashed into my stomach. It burned and I knew I was hungry, but I didn’t care. As I walked around the perimeter of the backyard, smoking cigarettes after cigarettes, I pondered over trivial matters of love, loss and philosophy. She soon realised that I was missing the intense conversation of university gossip and decided to join me. She probably needed a change of scenario. A fresh gulp of air.
“I noticed your tattoos.” She said. “Thank you.” I replied with a smile. “Big Zeppelin fan?” she asked.I had two Led Zeppelin symbols on each of my arms. My eternal dedication to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the lead guitarist and vocalist of the legendary band. Music was partly a reason for the tattoos. More importantly, these men have intrigued me and I had decided to dedicate a part of my heart and soul (and skin too) to decipher them. Their lifestyles, the fanaticism to their music, their philosophy. All this cannot be explained at one brief meeting at a party. It takes patience and time and understanding.
I simply replied, “Yes.”
She smiled and reached to her shoulder and pull down a strap of her dress and she showed me a similar tattoo that few would recognise. I also glanced at her cleavage but she did not notice it in the dark.
“The Jones symbol.” I smiled.
She smiled back. Suddenly, I felt like reaching out to her and giving her a hug and not letting go. I had lost my guard at the first instant. It is very rare and unusual to find someone who loves the same music as you, let alone get symbolism etched onto their skin. I had fallen, with respect.
After a few drinks, she leaned close to me and whispered, “I’m messed up.”
I laughed and asked her why do you say that? She smiled and said, “I’ve done a lot of shit.”
She told me she had done snake bite once when she was away from home. I told her I cut myself often. She told me she had tried a few chemicals, but she wouldn’t tell which. I told her I had felt suicidal sometimes at night. She told me the mountains were overrated and that she preferred beaches. I told her the mountains were calm and the beaches were chaotic. She asked me if I loved bacon. I said bacon didn’t appeal that much to me. It was just another food. She pretended to be offended and walked away, with an air that shunned every other food and proclaimed the superiority of Bacon. After a while, she sat down and looked at me and took a puff of the cigarette. It was sexy.
Bacon was her favourite food.
At midnight, everyone hugged each other and there were sentimental dialogues and promises exchanged. I nodded, smiled, and wished them a very happy new year. That’s when I realised that she was missing from the crowd. I went inside the house, looking for her. In the adjacent room, I heard her screaming at someone, which seemed to be her boyfriend. Or her ex-boyfriend, I hoped. After knocking, I entered the room, pretending to look for the camera.
She suddenly said, “Please go away. I need some privacy.” I was surprised by the hostility, but went out. There were no tears in her eyes. Only pain. I felt the agony and I could see the cracks in her wall. One can always see the cracks in the wall when it starts to crumble. The phone call with her boyfriend (Or ex), was responsible for the cracks in her wall.
As I stood outside, I reached for my phone to dial my ex-girlfriend. It would soothe my wounds, I thought. But after repeated rings, she did not pick up. I felt ashamed. Weak. This wasn’t me. At a party, with all my friends, the alcohol. Her. I did not need my past to inflict more pain. I had the right tools for that all around me. I went to the kitchen and gulped down my drink. It burned more so I stared around, swallowing the bitterness. She came out after a while.
“Boyfriend?” I asked quietly. “No.”
“Sure?” I said with a hint of sarcasm to get some emotion out of her.
She looked me straight in the eyes and said with a waver in her voice, “Yup.” “So no feelings at all? I asked.
She got angry. “Fuck you.”
I said OK and stood at the door. She stared back. Under the tungsten light, I could see that her bra mildly supporting her breasts. Her dress ended somewhere midway on her thighs, leaving room for the black transparent stockings to seduce me. I wondered if she felt cold. She noticed me ogling at her. I softly asked, “What?”
At that moment, she bit her lips, took two strides and locked her lips with mine. I was stunned with the unexpected action. I felt ecstatic and complete at the same time. There is nothing more powerful than a woman in your arms. You give in and you get everything and the universe is blocked out in that moment. Her hands ruffled through my messy hair and her tongue searched for mine. We had forgotten about the party.
After what seemed like forever, we parted. In that state of intimacy, we both were swept by the fervour of lust. The passion was so deep, that it felt impossible to latch away. I felt animalistic. She did her hair, kissed me once again and walked back outside. I took in the experience and walked out a while later.
We went again inside twice to complete what we had started. The need, the lust, the thrill, seemed unquenchable. Both of us wanted it over and over again. It was the third time, when our bubble burst. Though she did not care what her voyeuristic friend would think and speak of her, I understood that her wall was now stronger. When she pushed my head down while I kissed her tattoo, I felt what this meant for her. More than the desire, it was her ‘Need’ to defy her boyfriend, her friends and (perhaps) family that was pushing her to me. There was no want at all, no feelings; just the need to defy. All was materialistic, a boost for the ego.
She pushed me towards the door and said, “You need to go before people start talking.” “Let them talk. I don’t care. I am here.”
I pulled her back to me and kissed her. There was a lock of her on her cheek and I moved it and kissed her cheek. She giggled and said, “Make up your mind.” I smiled and said I can’t. She just kissed me back.“Ok you should definitely get going.” But I disobeyed myself and pulled her again. Our bodies tussled to be together. To be away from each other.
“You should really make up your mind.” She bit my lips.
With tremendous willpower, I let her go. Not because I cared what people thought; but because she wanted to.
Before the end of the party, we sneaked a few more kissed. She threw me on the bed once and climbed onto me, not giving a damn about anything. I lifted her and carried her to the door and let her down, and gave her a final kiss.
I knew she had a boyfriend. Or at least a love that she could never let go. Even tonight, even in my arms. It was a fragile love that only the ones who are broken to pieces understand. Such a love cannot be replaced or replicated. Just like how a thread cannot join a cloth again. She was a thread and so was I. Isolated, with the memories of something that will probably never happen again.
The next day, we met for coffee and cigarettes. She confessed there that she still loves someone from her past; and that she was trying to woo him back. She made me promise that I never speak of that night again, because if people came to know about it, the word would soon reach to him and it would destroy all that she has been trying to build up. It hurt me to know that she was building a broken relationship. Her endurance scared me; I wondered how the guy would react when he got to know that the lips he kissed were kissed by me. She was cold and cordial to me and the intimacy that was seen last night was left back in that time. Time had frozen for her and she did not want our escapade to be part of her ongoing life. That day my heart had stopped. It stopped because of regret, because of her perspectives and because of the tiredness. There was simply no space in her or my heart to accommodate anyone else. And she made me realise it.
I pushed aside any misconceptions that I had and accepted the decision. If she never wanted anything beyond, it was fruitless for me to assume otherwise. We exchanged numbers and agreed to stay in touch, but I blocked her away from my life quickly. Memories are just another form of tattoo. Before parting ways, I hugged her and told her softly:
“I’ll be around.”
Months later, I found out that her boyfriend (after discovering our rendezvous) had deserted her. She soon moved to another city. I could feel her pain, if ever so slightly. A part of me wanted her back in my arms.
Eventually, I too moved on. It was roughly a year later when I got a message from her. It was like a wakeup call. The rusted soul of mine had suddenly been kick started by this message. Slowly, my heart and brain whirred, churning a new set of emotions. I did not ask her where she got my number from. The message simply read:
“You still around?” I smiled.