HE GREETED ME with a frail smile as I offered him a teacup.
“What’s wrong? You don’t look good,” I asked perching next to him on the couch. My eyes rested on his face as the evening sun trailed behind the horizon. Even the glum of the evening couldn’t hide the gloominess of his melancholic face.
He didn’t speak except fiddling with the handle of his teacup, his eyes on the carpet and mine on him. His raven black hair clumsily touched his forehead. His parched lips slightly parted as if two dried leaves struggling with the thorns. He looked in deep thoughts. It felt as if he was fighting against his own will.
My heart wept when I saw him like this—sad and worried. “Tell me,” I whispered sneaking closer to him on the couch, my hand stroking his head. He looked up and everything around me faded away. I could only see the depth, the darkness, and the loneliness of those obsidian eyes. I slithered a little more and wrapped an arm around him, pulling him closer. My other hand gently rubbed his arm.
Just as the last ray of sun crept behind the darkness, his hand moved around me. In moments, our bodies moulded into each other, sharing our body heats as easily as we shared our problems. His chest rising and falling against my breasts, our breaths in perfect unison as warm blood ran wildly through my veins.
In his arms, the world stopped revolving. The moment froze. The time stood still. There wasn’t anything around us. No wind, no moon, no rain. What remained was a heartache.
Within moments, he pulled away and smiled. “Thanks.”
“Thanks, for what?” I reflected his grin.
“For the hug.”
Flush rose to my cheeks when he looked at me that way. Not like a friend but like a lover with intoxicating eyes that made my heart gallop at an enormous speed. Hot blood ran into my veins. Desire grew, not letting me breathe and when it was hard enough to control my shaky resolve, I rose from the couch.
“I will see you soon.” I sprinted to my room.
“Where are you going?” he called me from behind.
“Coming. One minute.”
I ran to my room and closed the door from inside, trying hard to ease my thumping heart. I pressed my head against the back of the door and closed my eyes. “God! Please. help me.”
A soft tap on the door made me jittery.
“Sania.” I heard him as a fist pounded again on the wooden door.
Taking several deep breaths with failed attempts at calming down my racing heart, I opened the door. My eyes met his and again anxiety captured me in its giant wings. Why was it happening? I had hugged him before. Today’s hug was far different from all those platonic feelings I once had for him.
“I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. It’s just a hug. You need not worry about anything.” How easily and quickly he said those words. Was it only a hug for him? Didn’t he feel what I had felt in his arms? Didn’t he feel the warmth? Couldn’t he feel the thumping of my heart against his chest like I felt his heartbeat against mine?
If these feelings weren’t mutual and only one-sided, I got to keep them to myself, not giving him even a single hint that in any way I felt drawn toward him.
But what to do with this heartache and the strange sense of happiness that was alluring me from somewhere far away. I was not able to ignore the sudden surge of euphoria that hit my entire being as and when he got close to me. I was not able to neglect the rush of hormones as and when, accidentally, our skins touched.
This had never happened before. I always regarded him as a friend and loved his company but never in a sexual way, never trying to woo or seduce him. Something which I desperately wanted to do now. Was I falling for him or had I already fallen for him and now my love needed to reach its final destination—the physical intimacy? Did I want to have sex with him? I didn’t know.
A jumble of questions whirled around my head as I stared at him, standing at the doorstep of my room, trying to find out the answers in his eyes.
“You alright?” His husky voice pulled me out of my thoughts.
“Yeah. I’m fine.” I cleared my throat, brushing a hand in my hair, a faint smile forming on my lips.
“Did you listen to what I just said, Sania?” His forehead creased as he touched his throat. “Don’t take me wrong. I was only tired and when you offered your arms, I couldn’t stop myself from going into them.”
“It’s okay. Haven’t we hugged before? You looked sad so I tried to help you. Nothing else from my side also.” I somehow forced those fake words out of my mouth when inside I felt something which was in stark contrast to what I just told him. When in reality, I felt like going into his arms again, holding him tight, taking away all his worries and pains, diffusing them inside my body by osmosis, begging him to squeeze me hard, praying God not to let the moment end and prolong it till eternity.
“Oh, that’s great. So we are good now.” His facial muscles relaxed, and he smiled from his heart. A smile that made his dark eyes twinkle like two shiny stars in the twilight of the evening.
I nodded, trying to avert my gaze away from his charming face, fixing it to somewhere else, at something that was lying in between us, if nothing, at least to the rug below my feet but not at him.
“Maggie for you?”
And I nodded once again before turning around and marching my way to the en-suite. That was the only place where I could find refuge and cry out loud, releasing the deep emotional pain stored in my heart and heal it back to life. Because I felt dead inside when he crushed my feelings by expressing that our hug was nothing but platonic. Click below to read more!