Fond and Fugue

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02

“It’s a new beginning, Amaya Thompson. <<Everything’s going to be fine now.>>” I mutter to myself in my mom’s native language, Hindi.

I unpack my clothes into my closet at my room at Nani’s house, keeping my mind busy from wandering on the fact that I am now 18 years old. Oh my, I’m legal hahahaha. The thought popping in my mind that I can’t even remember how I celebrated turning 18 and with whom.

“Nanima, I’m going to go explore the town and clear my head. Don’t wait for me. I might be late.” The response I got for, “Okay, beta [son/child].” Grabbing my bag that contains my purse, phone and some other necessities, I walk out of the door.

The town is relatively small, everything close by, beachside. It’s soothing, the smell in the air, the wind blowing in my hair as I walk to the shopping mall nearby as Google Maps guides me.

The building stood in front of me after a 15-20 minute walk. Immediately, one of my favourite franchises catches my eye, Forever 21. Affordable and stylish clothing. I don’t really like to shop alone, but Mom doesn’t like shopping, so I got used to it.

My fingers linger over the material as I walk by the clothes, my eyes doing a quick scan of the store to find anything that interests me. Almost immediately I reach out for a yellow off shoulder top, but another hand is placed above mine.

My head whipped to my side to see who’s body the hand belonged to, only to see a familiar blonde head that has always come in contrast with my brunette hair.

“Livvy?” “Ams? What are you doing here?” It was a good coincidence to have seen my first best friend after years. I pull her into the tightest bone crushing hug ever given and muttered under my breath, “I missed you so freaking much. We have wayyy too much to catch up.”

“Oh yes, we indeed do. First things first, when did you come back? I thought I would never see you again.”

“Long story which will be told in due time don’t worry. What’s your story? How’s Jenny, and your parents?”

“Everyone is healthy and will be very happy when they see you. Now, you haven’t seen the teen summer nightlife in this beachy town have you? Well, no fear when Olivia is here! We are going to party, so call your mom and grandma and tell ’em you’ll be late tonight. Woohoo! I’m so happyyyy!”

I giggle at her over-enthusiastic attitude that I’ve missed since I haven’t been back to my Nani’s hometown in a bit. With that, I dial up her number on my phone and let her know not to wait up and that I’ll come home late. To ensure my safety even more knowing the Indian women’s over protectiveness, I let them know I’ll be with Livvy.

***

I see the neon lights, and hear the loud music before we even reach the source of the party. I can’t believe they’re playing Sooraj Dooba Hain, well I guess it is a party song and it definitely suits the atmosphere. I lipsync to it instantly when Livvy disappears to get us a drink.

Sooraj dooba hain yaaron, do ghoont nashe ke maaro, rashte bhula do saare ghar bhar ke…”

Livvy nudges me to bring me out of my world, and hands me a new can of beer. Better safe than sorry at these kinds of places. We cheers before she disappears once again when she sees a cute guy. “I’ll see you in a bit, don’t go anywhere, Imma go try my luck tonight,” she says wiggling her shoulders and eyebrows.

I laugh at her not so innocent double meaning behind that and hum to whatever new beat that was playing, Spanish, maybe?

Since I don’t know anyone at this party besides her and the can of beer that has been accompanying me, I decided to enjoy the sea breeze and walk along the beachside. Taking my sandals off, holding them in my left hand, and the can of beer in another.

I’m not one to get drunk, but a can or two is healthy for me to let loose once in a while. Sitting on the sandy surface, toes soaking in the opening of the salty water, I sip onto the can only to notice it to be empty.

<<This had to finish now only right, haish.>> Too lazy to get up to get another, I just stay there swimming in thought process about what happened yesterday.

Suddenly, something wet tapped on my shoulder from behind. I see someone, a very handsome someone, offering me an unopened can of beer. Points for trust goes to this very hot, familiar-looking stranger.

My heart melted when he parted his lips to say, “May I?” pointing to the empty space beside me.

Looking around to fake a hesitation, “This is public property, right?” before laughing at his confused face, “Yes, but I get that can. Deal?”

“Good one, you almost got me there.” He takes a seat next to me and we are immersed in a night full of small talk.

*An hour or so later*

This almost feels like dejavu to an extent. Sitting and talking without stopping at any awkwardness. It’s like I’ve known this beautiful stranger for years when it’s only been a couple of hours.

Wiping the sand off my romper, I offered my hand to him, “Well, this was really nice. I’ll see you around, maybe.”

I strided off to find Livvy when I realised I didn’t even ask him for his name. Those sea blue eyes were all I could think about when I bumped into a very tipsy, “Olivia Martin, where have you been!?”

“Ams, I m-missed you. You should have been with me, this guy was su-super cute,” giggling like a drunken maniac. I sat her down trying to sober up my idiotic best friend so my Nanima wouldn’t freak when we come home.

***

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