(This chapter has been bowdlerized from my "book" for being explicitly sexual in nature. So it can feature here.)
"I was about to come. Russell Peters calls it arriving but you know how it is when the act is hardly over and all you want to do is squirt it all inside. I slowed down and tried to savor everything about you. Your closed eyes, the muffled moans to not let your neighbors figure what was going on inside, the light jazz playing on your turntable, the moss-green satin bedspread, and the huge yellow cushions. I wasn't prepared for this and I had come to say hello and give you some imaginary flowers. White, I think. Or yellow, don't know. How did it start? I wanted to reconstruct how it all started but felt myself laterally expanding within you."
You can't really write an email explaining things after a lovemaking session goes horribly wrong. But that's precisely what I sat to do. Write to her about why I came so soon. Laterally expanding within a woman is a surefire indication of things coming to an end. And end it did, although it wasn't supposed to be over so soon. How long, five minutes? Maybe seven? What is wrong with you, Shuvo? And now she won't want to meet you a second time, I guess. Like all the others. Like Babli in Calcutta who was hardly warmed up by the time it was all over for me. And I didn't get a second chance.
"Hey, am in Calcutta next week, would you like to meet?"
"Oh, Shuvo, what a pathetic mistiming! I am leaving for a shoot today and won't be back in almost a month. How long are you here?"
Mistiming, indeed. It is all about getting your timing right. And that's where I went wrong from class 2 in school. Mrs Dhar couldn't make me learn to read time. "What time is given in the first diagram?" she would ask me, pointing to a diagram on the humongous blackboard that ran from one end of the classroom to another. Believe me, the clock turned into Donald Duck. And when I finally learned to read time, it wasn’t anything to show off because even Daffy could by then. So, my timing was wrong and so was everything else. I could manage to get a girl to bed, but would invariably abandon her when she was in midflight. And then she called. Not Babli, the woman from today.
"Am sorry, you know... I was so... unprepared"
"What are you sorry for Shu? I enjoyed every bit of it. Am just feeling bad about him. I shouldn't do this to him."
Okay, so she was trying another excuse about not meeting me again. Not bad, she almost sounds convincing.
"Don't worry, let's not do it again. I mean, I too didn't know it was all gonna happen. Just those ladies outside your lawn..."
When we were about to leave her house, we spotted some of her neighbors chatting outside her lawn. We both had to leave in a hurry, but were stuck inside. In consternation you hug. We hugged too and somehow this was a long one. She didn't stop my hands from sliding inside her kurta in search of gold. Her eyes were closed, breathing heavy, and as I tugged her kurta upwards, she lifted her arms. Before I knew it we were on her green bed, stark naked. And we made love, slowly, with caution, muffling our moans. It was pure, natural, missionary, and without any foreplay. The situation was our catalyst. It was all so lovely, so romantic; I just wanted it to last forever, forever. But then came this lateral expansion thingy almost like a Hun and ended it all for me. (Why do we associate Huns with everything bad?)
"Oh no Shu, it was lovely."
What was she saying? Does she want to..."Do you want to come over this week, sometime?" I almost regretted saying it.
There was a long pause, to end which I hastily added "I mean, to have coffee, perhaps, or Darjeeling tea, anything?"
"Did you like me so much, Shu? Do you?"
What can I say? She is really not making an excuse, is she? Is she, does she...I mean, really?
"You know I'm in love with you, don't you? I'm just wary of saying it. It will make both of us very neurotic. We will both want things we can't give each other. And you have a child."
"So do you, so do you..." her voice faded, as if she didn't want to believe in it for a while.