She opened her eyes slowly, bliss receding into reality. Last night was something different, something special even, maybe. Last night faded into morning as she beheld an almost surreal vision of the sunlight kissing his gossamer hair, touching a side of his angular cheekbones, his lips barely quivering as he lay sleeping. She looked at him fondly humming a few lines from a Leonard Cohen song he had introduced her to – “I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm; your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm...” He barely opened his eyes to the sound of her almost musical voice, and smiled at her. He seemed almost angelic to her, and why wouldn’t he when he had become her salvation in these past few months.
She had become his saviour. The last woman he had been with had broken his heart. But then again he thought, his romantic life had been one shipwreck after another. His first love had in fact gone unrequited. He had been with a lot of women since then and he had bewitched them all, so much so that all women he had held close had asked him if he would remember them. He had replied trying to sound sincere that he always would. Yet in his heart he knew there was one woman who he could never forget. And ironically this woman would never ask him if he remembered her. This woman was someone who he’d never hold close, never touch. Such are the little ironies of life and love. He knew that the woman he was with now thought he was naive and young and he knew that the love she thought she felt for her was ever so slightly mingled with pity and a protective instinct.
She loved talking to him. He was forever interesting, and talked for hours at an end, his conversations ranging from something as mundane as the weather to something as esoteric as Baudelaire’s ‘Fleurs du Mal’. She listened enthralled, joining in and when she ran out of her depth she hung on to his words, shutting her eyes and letting his voice wash over her, occasionally shivering as his long fingers caressed her body while he kept talking.
He was forever afraid that he’d lose her. He remembered a line from a John Green book which ran along the lines of “....if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane”. He had been completely swept away by her. She was the second woman ever to have bewitched him. The first time he had crashed and burned when he’d felt this way. This time it looked good to him. He felt like he was free falling. But he knew she’d catch him. At least he knew he would have to take the risk. He talked so much forever trying to fascinate her, the way her very presence fascinated him. His soul knew that words were all he had to take her heart away.
When she’d entered her profession, a lady had advised her that it would require her to give her entire body to the client. However, it was best to save a kiss for someone special. And she did exactly that. In the five years that she’d been in her line of work, she’d been with a different man every night. Sometimes more than one man a night. She’d always woken up feeling soiled, like sparrows in a gutter. But she’d never kissed a man. She felt differently about this boy.
His friends had warned him that he was becoming a serial womaniser and that he was no longer capable of emotions. He thought so too. It all changed when she came along.
That morning she kissed a man in a long, long time, her lips slowly brushing against his, savouring the intimacy.
That morning was the first time he’d woken up with a girl in a long time. He’d gone to bed with many, but it was the ones he’d woken up with who became special to him.
One thing they both knew for certain that morning, almost at the same time, was that their relationship had changed forever.
Sketch By: Jash Adeshra