What Do I Say Now (Ruhail)
The first thing I ALWAYS did upon waking up was check my phone. I did that today too. And with groggy eyes and yawning, I opened my phone to see that I've got a reply from Saroj.
All thoughts of anything else flew out of my brain as I thanked whoever out there was looking out for me. It was just a 'hey' but it's better than nothing. I'll fucking take it.
I pondered over what I should reply. My brain pushed itself into overdrive and I just sat there like a moron for fifteen minutes looking at my screen. A hundred possibilities went through my head and I decided against announcing my eternal love for him. That would be confusing for him and mortifying for me.
I decided on a plain 'Can we talk?' and hoped like fuck I didn't come off as demanding. He didn't owe me shit, and I was in no position to ask anything from him. But just a chance to talk to him and apologize would be everything I could ever ask.
After sending the text, I took another deep breath. When I saw he wasn't online, I decided to stalk him for the millionth time in the last few days.
I've always marvelled at the beauty of him. His age just seemed to morph him into a more refined and gorgeous version of himself. He was somehow even more beautiful than he was seven years ago. His slender frame sported a bit more definition of muscles but not too much. His hair was longer and dyed a pale white instead of it's natural brown. The colour complemented his creamy skin. Like many North-Eastern Indians, he had monolids and his eyes were a warm brown. Which gave him a look of innocence while his body was made for sins. The sheer mix was intoxicating enough as I shuffled through his pictures but what made me harden in my boxers was the thought of his skin.
His skin was ethereal. It was soft, so fucking soft, it felt like butter under your hands. The first and only time I touched him, because I couldn't control myself anymore, I had kissed him and I could still feel the touch of his skin on my arms and my face. I could still remember how good it felt when I had brushed a few kisses on his pale, soft neck. The thought of how his skin would feel on mine made me moan inwardly. Great. A boner is just what I needed.
Looking at my phone, I bit out a curse. It was almost 9, and I had an appointment at 10. The drive was a bit long. I hopped into the shower without a delay.
After taking the quickest shower in history, I put on a pair of torn jeans and a black t-shirt. Since my head was shaved, I didn't need to worry about my hair. I changed out the small silver studs in my ears for two small silver hoops and put on a dogtag necklace. I looked into the mirror and shrugged. Whatever, I wasn't getting any better looking anyway.
I locked the door of my apartment and put on my headphones. I wasn't really a people's person and the looks I got from around my building weren't of the friendly kind. I ignored them and went to the garage where my motorcycle was parked. I slid on my helmet and rode my bike out of the building and into the busy streets of Kolkata. I was thankful that it was winter now, and I could slide on a leather jacket on. In the summer, riding the bike to work is nothing less than a form of torture. As a person who grew up in the foothills of mountains and forests, it was hard for me to breathe in the toxic airs of this concrete jungle. Don't get me wrong, I loved Kolkata, the city has given me everything my small town couldn't. But it just didn't feel like home.
I sighed as I parked my bike outside the humungous house just at the outskirts of the city. I took my camera equipment bag with me and made my way inside. It was a pre-wedding photoshoot, and I didn't send my other cameramen because I wanted to work on it myself. The wedding was of my best friend since college, and she and her husband insisted that I document their whole wedding. I complied, because they were great company.
I checked my phone once again, no text from Saroj. Shaking off the disappointment the knowledge brought with itself, I forced myself to be greeted graciously by my friends. The day went perfectly. The pictures were great, and they didn't even have to pose. They were so in love with each other, that every one of their postures spoke of it. I was happy with the work I had done and so were they. The villa where we currently were, was also the venue of their wedding which was mere weeks from now. I let my eyes wander in different directions as I calculated what kind of lights we should get for their wedding.
I was completely lost in thought when Ria, my friend, tapped on my shoulder, making me jump in surprise.
"What?" I asked her and she answered with a smirk.
"You have your head in the clouds." She said and I defended myself.
"I do not." I argued and looked at her husband for help, who just put his hands in the air in a defensive manner, stating that he was out of this discussion. I glared at him.
"Look, I won't force you to tell me anything." She said and I snorted. Right. When she wanted something, Ria was a tigress on hunt.
"I've just not been myself lately, I guess the sleep schedule, or lack thereof, is taking it's toll on me." I shrugged and she squinted her eyes.
"Is that why you've been out of it today?" She asked and I winced.
"Hey! I clicked some great pictures." I defended myself.
"I'm not worried about the pictures you dick, I'm worried about you." She said and smacked my head, making me cry out in pain.
"Ouch! That hurt." I said while rubbing my hand on my head.
"Good, it was supposed to." She said and glared at me.
"Riiii, trust me, I'm fine." I lied, and she didn't seem to buy it. "Look, I just have a lot on my mind with work and everything else. But if something is seriously wrong, you know I'd tell you about it." I sincerely said, hoping she'd trust me.
She looked at me for a long minute before nodding her head.
"If someone is giving you trouble, you can tell me, I'll take care of it." She said, and she would. Her father was one of the most successful businessmen in the city and her uncle was a political leader. Sh wasn't one of those people who did horrible shit just because they could, she had a heart of gold. But she wasn't shy of using her position if someone threatened the ones she loved. Luckily, or unluckily, that included me. I loved her to death, but she kinda scared me too. I just nodded in agreement and got up to take my leave. They wanted me to stay for lunch but I had had enough of socializing to last me a week, I needed some time alone.
I stopped my bike at a restaurant and ordered a plate of pasta and decided to check my phone again as I waited for food.
My heart skipped multiple beats as I saw the reply from Saroj.
'Sure. What do you wanna talk about?'
The text was casual enough and made me think if he really wanted to talk to me or was he just saying it out of courtesy.
I forced my brain not to think too much. The fact that he agreed to talk was alone a miracle for me. I wasn't someone who was good over texts. Well, I wasn't good at conversations, period. But I pretty much just sucked at texting.
'can we meet and talk? Please?' I texted and dug into the pasta that the waiter had put in front of me. I had skipped breakfast and I was starving. I gulped down the steamy goodness and sipped the coffee. Heaven.
'sure. there's a party tonight at the Gastro pub. You can come there.' He texted back and I flinched at the thought of being with so many people at one place. So much for being done with people for a week! I thought about requesting him to meet me somewhere more private but decided against it. The fact that he agreed to meet me made me giddy enough to try and socialize my way through the night. I checked my texts to see that the party was actually by a friend of mine. She was a model and she had invited me a few days ago. I had obviously decided to ditch it until now. I wasn't surprised that we were invited to the same party. We were in the same line of work. If I weren't such an anti-social person, surely we'd have met at one of these parties.
I texted back, agreeing to his plan and we decided to meet at eight. It was already almost six, so there was no way I could go on a run before the party. I'd just have to go tomorrow.
After paying for my food, I rode my bike back to my apartment. I parked my vehicle and took the stairs to the sixth floor instead of the lift. The exercise felt good. I opened the door to my apartment and got in, locking the door after me. My apartment was not too big, but it was perfect for me. It had two bedrooms, one of which was used as my personal studio. The other one, I lived in. The colours throughout the apartment was very basic and didn't really make people go wow. It reflected my plain personality in a lot of ways, I guess. It didn't have too many personal touches, but this is where I lived.
I shrugged my jacket of and my t-shirt followed suit. I got into the bathroom in my black jeans, trying to decide if I should take another shower. The chilly weather outside made me decide against it. I didn't smell bad. I was sure if I put on some fresh clothes and some perfume, I'd be fine.
I didn't change the pair of jeans I was in, but put on a black belt with a big silver buckle in the middle. The t-shirt I put on wasn't a crop top by a long shot but it was just long enough to show off an inch of the deep v's of my waist. The low riding jeans made it easier. The long sleeves of the t-shirt covered my arms so I didn't put on a jacket over it. I wore some chunky silver rings on my fingers and the earring I put on was a stud that was chained to the small ring that I hooped inside the piercing I had on the top of my ear. My other ear sported a thicker small hoop. I wasn't a make-up person but I put on some kohl just to make my eyes look a little bit more interesting. As a last touch, I put on a thick braided leather bracelet and before I can ruin my night with overthinking myself into believing I looked like shit, I left my apartment quickly.
The chilly wind outside made me decide against taking my bike, so I called for an uber. I had to wait for hardly five minutes before the uber arrived. I spent the five minutes searching for the perfect song and I decided on 'Stairway To Heaven'.
I pretty much zoned out the whole ride and the driver had to pat my knees when we arrived at the club. I awkwardly exited the car and made my way inside.
I took a deep breath and told myself that I can do this before finally getting in.