a one morning stand

‘Are you going to do this or should I?’
She had green eyes, a slight twinkle in them which adequately hid her deep seated despair and exploding paranoia. Her name was Tania and beneath all her exuberance now there was a silent prayer, pleading with the lord.
‘I think it makes more sense if you go. He won’t make a big deal then.’
Aakash was calm and collected. Not because he found himself in situations like these often but because he just always was. He didn’t want to overreact now and nor did he want to get all excited like Tania. As far as he was concerned there was nothing wrong and they both should just talk and the previous night wouldn’t seem that scary anymore.
But he couldn’t be more wrong.
Same old story..
Boy meets girl in an upmarket pub.. guy too smart for his pants..girl too hot for her heels..sparks fly..they dance, they drink..they drink a lot, they kiss a lot..they lose their bearings, they lose their head..it all seems fine, its an adventure..nothing to lose, all to gain..its just one night..the rest clears itself the next morning..the world isn’t the same anymore..same old, same old.
‘Really? I’m the girl and you want me to go?’
‘Well I can’t use what you need to buy. I won’t tell you to buy a pack of condoms so how can you expect me to buy these tablets.’
‘If only you had bought a pack of condoms last night or atleast one, we wouldn’t be standing here.’
The funny thing was that if they had been sensible enough to do that the previous night they would not have been standing here. Aakash would have been at work in his bright and snazzy office where he was the National Creative Director of a leading Ad agency. With three awards for his recent Nike print campaign, Aakash was on top of the world. Perspective and clarity had set in. A little haze, some smoke and a loss of inhibition had brought it upon him.
Tania was a journalist with a city tabloid which had taken celebrity gossip to not only the bedrooms of its readers but also of the people they reported. The irony for some reason, though abstract, was sending chills across Tania. She knew better than to be in a situation like this. She had warned and preached and begged many a friend to be careful of this very night and especially this day. It had all come apart.
‘There are too many people there. I am used to buying it from a departmental store where you can easily put it along with all your other stuff and not have too many eyebrows being raised.’
‘But Tania we don’t have that luxury today. We both messed up last night. We just got to move on with this and get done with it.’
She didn’t like his tone one bit. I mean a little compassion wouldn’t hurt. But he sounded like a god the previous night. How can men change so easily the moment the sun rises? A question no woman has been able to answer yet. She wished all this hadn’t happened but a small part of her thought the previous night had been magical. In his arms she felt alive again. Her job, her life and her friends made her forget reality. With him she felt real again, one with herself and one with him. Aakash felt like a guy she could have spent her life with. He was fun, extremely funny, a great looker, intelligent beyond imagination and amazing in bed. She really couldn’t ask for more but then maybe she was looking for something more and the way the night had unfolded worried her. For all her broad minded thinking, she wanted a guy who would take care of her and atleast buy her a bunch of pills if she asked him to.
‘The more time we waste the more pointless this entire exercise becomes.’
Aakash just couldn’t understand why he needed to do this. He also couldn’t believe he had been so reckless. He had been there before and he had come out alive. But this time was different. Tania was not just another girl. He remembered every moment of the previous night so vividly. From the moment he offered her a drink at the bar to unlocking the door to his house to feeling her hair in his fingers and then feeling her body in the darkness and then seeing her face in the moonlight which came through the window. He would never forget the look she had on her face at that moment. For the first time it felt so right. He had never expected to feel like this with anyone because he felt love was something he wasn’t ready to experience. Wait! Why was he suddenly thinking of all that? Solve the problem. Move on.
They finally walked together to the store and stood at the back of the 3 customers that were at the counter and kept looking around waiting for them to go. Eventually they walked up to the counter and stood in silence expecting the other to speak.
The pharmacist looked at them blankly and then looked at Tania for some reason as if he knew why they were there. Aakash laughed a bit in his head and conveniently turned to join the pharmacist in staring at Tania. Caught in between the stares Tania couldn’t stand her ground anymore.
‘ I need contraceptive pills. I don’t know the brands because I usually never need to buy them because I usually sleep with men unlike last night.’
Touché! , thought Aakash to himself but he was a little offended.
As the pharmacist went to the back of the store to get the pills, Aakash edged closer to Tania.
‘I think when you were screaming out my name for about an hour last night, I was pretty sure you were sleeping with a man.’
Tania blushed but then collected herself. ‘I guess I was mistaken now, wasn’t I?’
The pharmacist returned with a whole host of packs. He laid them out in front of Tania and without saying a word asked her to choose. Tania was absolutely baffled and really didn’t care which one she picked but then she couldn’t afford to buy something that may solve the problem and create a new one. She picked the brand which she had recently read about in a magazine.
Aakash watched in wonder at Tania selecting, frowning, cursing under her breath and finally paying. He still remembered looking at her the previous night somewhere between his fifth beer and her third vodka while she kept speaking about her job. She had this wild innocence about her and an easy charm. She could make you want to grab her and kiss her yet you would want to just sit for days listening to her. Her hands moved around a lot when she spoke, her eyes flashed wildly yet she was always looking at you. Her eyes seemed to ask many questions which just didn’t need answers.
‘We are done here. Let’s go now.’
‘Let me drop you to work Tania.’
They both got into the car and began to find their way across town in silence. Tania’s mind was still lost in thoughts of the previous night. She couldn’t believe how gentle he was. She had been with such monsters in the past who just seemed to be competing with themselves. Aakash was just like a cool summer breeze but so easily and much to her excitement could change to a devastating blizzard. He had at no point let the passion die and he spoke to her like they had been together for ages. She remembered him talking about his childhood and found it extremely fascinating that he could be so animated and so open about all that he had done all his life. He actually liked talking and listening, a rare combination in a guy. She distinctly remembered the look he had on his face before he slept off. It was like he was asking her to stay.
She turned to look at him driving and thought she could see the same look on his face now.
The roads were completely free and Aakash was a little annoyed at the lack of traffic and for once wished it was there. If only he could speak to her about what was in his mind but she seemed extremely pissed off about the events of the last night. He knew she wouldn’t be too happy with any recollections or praises for what had happened. He really wanted to take this night beyond just a medical shop and a drop to her office.
As they drove into the building where Tania worked, she looked at him for a sign. She didn’t want this connection to end with a few contraceptive pills and a boring drive. These are not the memories she wanted to end it with but he seemed too determined to end it at that. She just wished he would turn, hold her hand and ask her not to go.
As she got out of the car, Aakash just hoped she would ask him for dinner tonight or atleast a coffee.
‘So thanks a lot Aakash. Hope you have a good day and meet you around sometime.’
‘Yup please don’t thank me. Take care.’
Their eyes mingled in each other’s for a while and then he pulled away and drove while she looked for a few moments hoping for him to stop. Aakash looked into the rearview mirror for a few seconds and then saw her walk away into the building.
Their one morning stand had come to an end...