This weather has truly ignited the romantic in me and today, as I came home, I couldn’t help but write a short love story. It just poured out of me. And somehow it’s not even that romantic. But let me know what you think. It’s called The Heat. As you read, listen to my favourite romantic song ever — Madonna’s Crazy for you. it could be playing as the background of this story — it’s appropriate.
Riya woke up from her dream panting. She touched her lips and they were wet as if she had just been kissed. Her mind was playing tricks on her. It was digging out people from the corners of her mind and constructing vivid dreams that were making her blush. Did she just dream what she did? She walked to the loo, a little unsteady, and washed her face. It was red and she found herself thinking about the dream. All she remembered was heat – heat that she could feel now, even when she was not sleeping. If she went back to sleep, would the heat return? Would the dream come back? She got into bed. She shut her eyes. She moaned.
The next morning was a dark one. Why was it that when it was wet, cold and raining, you felt the heat so much more acutely? She stood on the window and felt the cold shower hit her face. The phone was beeping. It was him – the one who looked at her as if she was the one, but had never said it. The phone rang. It was him again – the one who wanted her, and sat close to her at times, and she felt his skin talking to her. What If one day, the one you couldn’t have, shouldn’t have came in your way? What if they wanted you? What if all it needed was a yes?
They stood facing each other on the street. There was so much to say but Riya knew they didn’t want to talk. Why bring anything up when all it did was spoil things? There was no need to explain why they felt this strange tension – one that overruled all logic. The tension that was like last night’s heat. It enveloped her, and she could feel herself feeling short of breath. His hands were on his waist and his face registered concern and then he smiled. What did that smile mean – was he amused at her swooning? Or did he just know that she was going to give in to him? Did that give him power over her? Did she mind it? No, maybe she didn’t. She wanted him to dictate terms – maybe because tomorrow, when everything went back to the way it was, she could say it was his doing. She could pretend she just went along. She could say she was seduced.
Yes, she wanted to be seduced. She wanted to feel sexy – and that looking at her made him want to grab her and do things she knew she would never do. It was like she was 14 again, and she was playing Contact sitting in the school field. And some said, “I pass my msg to…” and slowly, subtly, sometimes not subtly, little fingers squeezed each other as they tried to pass messages without the “seeker” coming to know. Her hand was squeezed by him and they had maintained the pressure. The game was over. But they didn’t move – how could they? It was a perfect excuse to touch. It was like she was 16. She was talking on the phone – lying to someone about where she was. He had walked from behind and snuck his hands into the front pocket of her jeans. Then he had said, “Do you like that” into her ears. She had. It had felt so intimate, and she had not moved. She was 22 and he had kissed her in a club as they listened to a Turkish band play Michael Jackson’s Beat it. She had tried not to move. Today, she felt the same. She couldn’t move. The rain was falling and a fog was forming around them. Or was that just the fog around her mind. Was her heart going to win? Was her body going to betray her?
The kiss was imperfect. But that’s how it marked the return of the heat. They had never done this. It was so new to them. They didn’t know which way their heads should tilt. It was clumsy. They didn’t know what to do with their hands. Riya kept hers firmly by her sides. She didn’t want them to let him know how much she wanted this. His hands remained at her waist – sometimes caressing her back, but most of the time still, like he couldn’t believe they were there. She liked that. She liked that he wasn’t blatant about wanting to kiss her. She liked the fact that he knew there was something wrong about it, but they just couldn’t help it. She liked it that he would like her, even if she hadn’t kissed him. It made it more respectable – this whole business of them standing on a street and kissing each other. There were people stopping to watch now. He broke away and grinned, “maybe, if you want, we can go home.” Home? Where was that? whose home? “My home.” Riya knew she should have said no, but obviously she would say yes.
In his room, she felt strange – not guilty, just strange. She sat on his bed and looked at him with sad eyes – eyes saying stop and don’t stop at the same time. He sat down next to her, close. “We don’t need to do anything.” She knew she didn’t, and she knew he didn’t. But didn’t they need to? She smiled and then slowly bit his ear. The heat had a mind of its own.
She walked back home – through the honking cars and the rickety sounds the city was making as it was winding down for the day. Her lips were wet as if they had been kissed.
And she knew, tonight, she wouldn’t dream again.