‘Here, have another,’ Harry spoke, offering her a cigarette, which he lit for her and she placed it between her forefinger and middle finger and took a puff and started coughing. ‘Take a smaller puff,’ he said as he gave her first lessons in smoking. ‘Careful! Don’t get your fingers burnt,’ he said as he slightly shook away the ash from her burning cigarette.
It was her first time smoking, and she had already had a few drinks which made her dizzy. Down four cigarettes, Izzy couldn’t describe the feeling, her body was in a rush, her head was spinning and she could barely sit straight. She could feel the blood rushing from her head, through her arms, down to her legs and toes and back to her head. It was as if she was hovering.
‘I should leave now, I feel so sleepy’, Izzy mumbled, holding her head, as if trying to keep it from bursting. There was something inside her that wanted her to stay. The comfort of the bed and the weird sensation in her body were begging her to go to roll over and sleep, but the sane part of her head knew that she shouldn’t stay here and trust this man.
‘You can sleep here if you want to,’ came the words from his mouth, and she didn’t think twice before reaching over to unbuckle her sandals and rolling over in the bed. The blood rush was still there, and she felt like her body would dissolve into thin air. She saw him standing at the foot end of the bed, unfolding the blanket and carefully covering her up, to put her to sleep. It was an aww moment for her, the one where you gush for a while over the sweetness and gentleness of a man.
Anyways, back to the weird feeling. She felt like puking, a huge stream was building up inside her stomach, and she felt the release could happen any second. She held her hand against her mouth, trying to stop the feeling, while Harry was next to her telling her that it’s all right. Next moment she was stumbling her way to the washroom, holding onto the furniture to keep from falling. After some quick but embarrassing moments of release, she was escorted back to the bed by her knight in shining armour, who was so supportive in the whole of their journey, mouthing words like ‘Sshh’, ‘Its okay!’, ‘It happens all the time’, ‘This is the only way to get drunk’ to cheer her up.
And then came her favourite part. The only reason why she said yes to him tonight. Calm down, perverts! It was the part where they talked. She loved long conversations, not loved but craved, the part where you just lie there and talk with a bare heart. She felt a kind of intimacy in this act, more than anything else and she felt alive, even for a little while.
“So how’s it going for you?”, he asked as she was tucked inside her blanket, and her head felt a little better.
“Just started my job! And now I’m independent like I don’t have to ask my parents for cash every month!” she bragged as she knew it was a big thing for her, leaving her small village, going to college and landing a well-paid job in a big city at a tender age of 23 was a feat in itself. She prided herself for this.
“Not many girls from my place are working, most of them are still in college, feeding off their parents’ cash. Some are on Instagram posting reels while a few are married with kids! It’s weird, isn’t it?” she giggled as she knew she was judging them, but she was enjoying it.
“Yeah, everyone has a priority! You had yours!”, Harry answered. He was looking straight up at the wall in front of them, resting his head on the top of her belly. Occasionally, he looked at her as she spoke freely and passionately.
“Well, yeah, whenever I feel bad about myself, or about my life, I open up Instagram reels and check those people out. I tell myself, ‘Hey! At least you’re not doing this. You have a life! You’re not posting some stupid reels like a moron!’ and that makes me feel better”, she cackled at her joke and wondered how witty she was.
“So you got any plans for the future? Like settling down with someone, making babies and stuff?”, he asked politely, as he was holding hands with her.
“This feels like a job interview. I like your choice of words. Babies are the stuff people make when their life gets too boring.” Again, she smiled at her wit. “I mean people get married when they have nothing left to do in life, like they feel they’ve done it all.” She moved her head while speaking to stress those last three words.
“I feel marriages are the biggest scam ever, like giving up on your independence so you can have a person for life. I don’t even see the point.” As she spoke, he was looking keenly at her face. Her soft curtain bangs were sitting right over her forehead and covering her dark brown eyes. He slowly slid his fingers and pushed them aside, tucking the strand of hair carefully behind her ears.
She stopped for a while, acknowledging this act, which she found cute and affectionate at the same time, and continued, “Like dating someone is fine. You find this amazing human being with similar values, go out with them, eat, talk a lot and grow with them as a person. It’s so much simpler. Now how about marrying an actual stranger, and you don’t know anything about them! Like what if he doesn’t get my memes or listens to Baadshah’s music! “
She had a very particular taste in music and memes and half the times she got ignored by men. Later she came to know that they didn’t get her memes. Another win for her.
“But don’t you think it’s more interesting with a stranger like you know nothing about them. Then you learn new stuff every day.” Harry argued.
“But what if you don’t like them, what if they don’t meet your expectations?”
“Then we divorce them!”
“Ah, it’s not that easy man. There are two families involved now.”
“Nope! It’s all good until you make kids.”
“Yeah, well, your choice!”
“Do you feel happy most of the time?” Izzy asked, as she took the liberty to run her fingers through his hair. She rarely did this, but maybe it was the alcohol or the fact that she felt comfortable around him, she couldn’t resist the temptation to feel his hair.
“Yeah, well I do all the stuff for myself. Like I don’t love anyone else more than I love me, so obviously I’m happy.”
“That’s good for you!”
“I had my bad times, times I saw myself a loser, but then I worked on myself. I know my worth and don’t settle for less!”
“That’s pretty cool, “ she replied, still holding his hands. “I guess we should sleep.”
“But you aren’t working tomorrow!”, he looked surprised.
“Yeah, it’s just the booze.”
“Sure, hon! Good night.” He moved over towards her and gently placed a kiss on her lips, looking into her eyes and smiled a little.
“I had a good time”, she confessed as they both rolled over in bed, cozy and tucked inside their blankets.
“Me too”, he smiled and kissed her forehead.
The twinkle in their eyes and their calm face while asleep showed that they slept with lighter hearts.

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