There was silence. The sun was almost setting and was as bigger and orange as it can get.

Sunny got busy working on rose plants, plucking the leaves that had dark deposits from insects. Atul and I walked towards the rocks, actually four oddly shaped stone boulders the size of a bean bag that were scatterred under the canopys of pungai and parijatha trees.

It was Rex’s Idea to plant those trees, for the fragrance of their flowers and the cool breeze. The fact that the parijatha flowers bloom in the night had always fascinated him. And placing the boulders instead of an carved bench, gave it touch of being away from the tools of civilization. The pungai, when it bloomed, would transform the place into an little white and voilet flower bed..

We stood near the rocks, neigther inclinded to sit down…. my thoughts still pondering over the looming marriage. And Atul might also have been occupied by it, for it affected him at a more personal level than I. It was a topic, we hardly talked about.

“Isn’t there a law against adultery, that could penalize the gay guy cheating on his wife?” I said out loud, not particularly expecting an answer.

“There was! I think.” he stated calmly, adding “until we helped to revoke it”.

“What do you mean?”

“There is an adultery law, IPC 497  i think, that talks about punishing a man who has sex with another mans wife. But there is nothing that stops a married man from either having sex with another unmarried woman or a man.”, he added after a brief puase.  “Of course, the law doesn’t consider gays exist, even though they have decrimilaized sex between men.”

He continued. “As far as the wife filing a complaint about his man having sex with other man (usually it is men), what would she say.. now that 377 does not consider sex between men illegal. The divorce cases that have been filed talk about many other charges, except gay sex.”

I was just listening to him and did not want to interrupt.

“Initially when this girl finds out, she will be too ashamed to take the matter to anyone. She would blame herself. When she gets over that phase, and reaches out to family for help, she will be told to keep quite. Unfortunately, even after knowing the truth, she has to endure him.

There are gay guys who have absolutely no respect for their wife’s views. I know of one case, where the guy left the girl saying he was unhappy with their sexual life. Not letting her know that he was gay and making her think she was the cause of his unhappiness.

Can you imagine what he put her through?”

His eyes were becoming moist.

He finally said, “I feel guilty sometimes Aryan.”

I let him be.

I knew he was referring to that short but traumatic fling (or as he would call a relationship) he had with Madhan in pune. On their third date, Madhan revealed he was married. But it was too late for Atul who was becoming insanely attracted to him. He overlooked the fact, when Madhan said he was not happy in the marriage and is considering a divorce.

Things were going good, until Atul wanted to go hang out with Madhan in the city, movies, dinners. Just spending time at home on weekends wasn’t good enough. Madhan resisted the idea vehemently. And when Atul insisted, Madhan skipped meeting him the following weekend, and the following weekend. There was no response to his calls. Atul was completely shattered. He even messaged saying, he would never ask him to take out. Atul was 22 at that time, and Madhan 32. He begged him to come back in his messages and promised he would not be chlidish again and ask him to take out.

After three months, Madhan called back. He wanted to meet. It was like the old times.

That night, Madhan said. He was put in Jail. His wife had registered a complaint against him and his family saying that they were harassing her. Atul was furious on her, how can she file false charges?

The relationship continued, but on Madhan’s mercy. Atul was never to discuss about Madhan to anyone. He obilized.

Madhan would come to Atul on some weekends and when he din’t he spoke on the phone. As time passed, sex and the talk were not sufficient, an emptiness and strange kind of disgust was eating out the love he had for Madhan.

He started going online. He chatted. And in one such chat, he came across a guy who when talking about mutual friends talked about Madhan. Through him, he came to know that Madhan was meeting that other guy over the weekends, weekends that he did not meet Atul. Atul realized that he was being used only for sex.

He broke up with Madhan.

He was sorry he was furious on Madhan’s wife.

He realized that, he couldn’t bear the thought of Madhan seeing someone else, even though he was not married to him. But he expected Madhan’s wife to be ok with her husband’s affairs.

The sun had set. We three walked into the house.


“Clubs” he said, “are depressing” and after a small pause he added “to me”.

Those words came out without providing any context, except that he had seemed lost in thoughts for a while now. It has already been four hours since we left Boston, having slowed down by the snow, we drifted into different thoughts and possible different worlds, though confined in the car.

We almost reached end of route 89, heading towards the Bus stop in White River Junction.. In a few minutes, I would be dropping him and will have to head back.. In a few minutes, I may be seeing him for the last time.. In a few minutes, I was hoping he would ask me to stay back.. As we got near that junction, I was fighting with hope and hopeless thoughts..

His words, were not particularly aimed at me, but I was the only other person in the vicinity, stranded in the car with him in a slow moving bumper to bumper traffic.

He reformed the statement..”There is something depressing and disgusting about clubs and meeting people there!”

“Why?” The question definitely formed as a reflex in me, but I couldn’t muster to say it loud. The implication of the statement was engulfing my senses. The senses were combating the shock of the statement and the fact that we met in a club. The fact that we visited more clubs, danced in the clubs.

He didn’t need my prompting to continue voicing his thoughts..

“I am not sure why I even go to gay clubs, they always make me sad.. and the thought of finding love in the club is ridiculous. Of course, People there find love every other night, even if that does not last long. Everyone has slept with a few and is always looking for something new.”

Even if he wanted me to say something, I wouldn’t have been able to. Luckily, or unluckily, he continued..

“I am not saying I am any different from them. But I used to be different. The idea of love was meeting that one person with whom I could spend the rest of my life with. And I thought I had…. ” his voice trailed into silence, and I knew his thoughts wandered again, may be around his forbidden first love..

“Isn’t it disgusting to imagine yourself kissing a person who has kissed half the people in the room?”  I wasn’t sure if that question was pointed at me,  I held my silence..

I am pretty sure, he was thinking “Yuck”.. his whole body twisted and turned which is usually associated with an disgusting or repulsive situation or thought or smell or taste…

He was silent again, but the words he let out started echoing in my mind very loudly. It was hard not to feel that he intended those words towards me, was that whole “yuck” thing about me kissing the black jacket stranger on the night we first met? but then why did he kiss me eventually? why did he accept my proposal to date? Is his venting really about propriety or is there something much deeper than that?

The most mundane task are a blessing in disguise to pull us out of the concussioning thoughts. Driving through unknown roads was a blessing. I crossed the bridge at the end of 89 and asked him for the directions. If not for want of driving directions, I would not have been able to speak another word for a while..

Turning to last page of my notebook he held in his lap, where he had earlier scribbled the route, he said “take the exit onto I-91-N”. I obliged.

He looked out the window, there were big bill boards advertising the malls and the food places near by, he looked at them and said “I think i know how to take you from here” and put my notebook onto the back seat..

It was not long before, we parked in front of a Chinese restaurant adjacent to the bus stop. There was a sign saying, parking only for customers, but we parked it anyway. Who would come out on a stormy night?

The bus was an hour late, people were scattered around the waiting hall in small groups with their luggage.. May be, it was the warmth of the crowd, it was feeling suffocated with the many layers wrapped around me. A stark contrast with the fierce cold just outside that revolving door through which we walked in, where i needed more layers to keep me warm.

I wish I could have waited for the whole hour, but my car that has been so resourceful these past couple of days was outside, parked illegaly, unattended in the snow.

It would soon be covered with snow and the tyres would slip, if i tried to take it out and besides i was longing for the solace of aloneness to get away and fully reflect on the recent revalations from him..

I was with his luggage, as he got back from the enquiry booth…

“They are all waiting for the same bus”, he said “you should get going”.

I handed him the bag, I was carrying.

“Call me once you get home. “, he said.

Waved my hand and walked out towards the door into the freezing cold. Even though I had my gloves and the jacket removed, it didn’t feel that cold. The parting had taken away all the warmth that I had started to feel inside…. The cold bye, was severe compared to the cold of the storm….

The angel was still around when we got back in, and the place was still crowded..

I couldn’t help but notice that some feathers from angel’s wing had fallen.. and he seemed a little tired.. and there was an thin layer of dried sweat.. it was very tempting to go and feel him.. and may be pluck a feather or two..

He found some guy he met before and so we were going towards that guy. That guy was very cute.. wore a tight t-shirt that showed off his well built muscles and the v-neck giving an glimpse of the trimmed chest.. he had a nice smile.. and that sexy stubble.. That v-neck guy was with another guy who was relatively quite.. and kept to himself..

I was stealing some looks of ‘v-neck’.. and it seemed like he was returning them.. we were flirting with our eyes.. my fantasy for good looking guys with beard was taking me over….

I knew I wouldn’t be able to make any reasonable conversation with them.. without making my interest obvious.. so I ended up taking the only way out of those two very interesting choices, abandon both of them and look around..

1am.. It is that time of the night where some people indulge in hunting..

I relaxed myself by putting my back to the bar resting my elbows on the bar table where they serve drinks. After 1am.. not many people come to take drinks and it is a cool place to hangout..

I started wandering around the room with my eyes.. At the left corner of the dance floor Drag Queen was leaning towards the DJ… it was kind of dark in there.. the bright TV screen above grabbed by attention..

It was displaying messages sent to some number via mobiles…

User 819> Ron needs it badly
User 820> Can you please play something of P!nk?
User 821> The guy in the straw hat is very sexy..

After a quick scan.. I wandered my sight towards the guys on the dance floor and like always that guy in white shoes, skin tight jeans, funky shirt and his ears pierced was in the front.. dancing and looking around the room to see who was watching him.. These days I almost look for him as soon as I enter, as if he is part of club cafe..

The new waiter at club cafe.. the tall one who goes around with a tray of glasses.. was now performing an sleezy number on a pole in the right corner of the dance floor.. There was drunk guy trying to touch his arse, while the waiter was trying to avoid it..

Some guys and girls sitting in the chairs cheering them up…

There was a bunch next to them.. who were just standing and involved in a very serious conversation…. laughing every now and then..

Next.. one guy in late fourties.. short.. and chinese.. looking at no one in particular.. and everyone..

Then that tall guy with a bag hanging around his shoulder, he is another guy I have seen so many time and he is always with that bag even outside the club..

The black guy and his white friend.. the guys who I have noticed together since the time I entered.. the white one seemed to follow the black one.. all around.. and i could not tell if the black guy cared so much… what struck was that the white guy had followed the black one to the rest room and there was some kind of a murmur…

Then a guy in a black athletic jacket, folded hands.. no drinks..

My wandering stopped.

He was looking at me and I hadn’t realized that I was staring at him and I had a smile on my face.. He was still looking at me.. I moved my eyes away from him..

After giving a decent gap of two seconds, moved them back in his direction..

He was still looking in my direction.. he wasn’t smiling.. it was just a stare.. a cold stare…

I made a quick turn to see if i could indulge myself with the company that I already had.. The v-neck was looking at me.. he had that smile.. “i know what you are upto” kinds.. and he looked in the direction of the guy i was looking.. Damn! he knew i was looking at him. I gave him an “Oh well!” smile… We were communicating with out words.. and it did not feel strange..

I turned around to take another quick glance at the black jacket guy..

He was standing next to me on my left.. I looked at him with slightly enlarged eyes.. and the next moment when I regained myself.. I said “Hi”.. or probably i just bowed my head..

No reaction.. he was staring into my eyes.. He was looking much hotter from near.. a well exercised body, clean shaven face.. soft blond hair.. the jacket fit him so well…… just like a mannequin… I was starting to blush a little..

“Hi”.. he said. it was so sudden and quick that i would have missed it if I wasn’t staring back at him.

“Aryan”.. I extended my hand.

“Tom”.. he returned…

“Having fun?” I asked

“Ah”.. he shrugged… Was he or was he not? Well. may be he wasn’t. after a few more seconds of blank stare I introduced him to the guys on my Right..

“These are my friends”.. I said. All of whom I had met a few hours ago…

He moved a little towards them.. and said “Tom” to them.. looking at the extreme right guy.. That guy said “Alex”.. he turned to v-neck.. “Alex” and then he turned towards Him.

He did not say the name. black-jacket waited..for a couple of seconds and was getting impatient… “What is your name?”. he demanded.

“Why do you want to know?”  was His response and after a long pause said.. “What is the point in knowing my name? This will be last time we will see each other..”

It was true, if he went back to India this will be the last time.. but there was certain coldness and certainty in that tone that startled me..

Is he always this blunt? I remembered the way he responded to Willy.. when asked about “type”.

He did not tell his name.. and black-jacket wasn’t pressing it any further..

black-jacket moved back and stood in front of me. And we were back to blank stares…he was starting to annoy me…but his hot fit body was very attractive.. even though he did not have a beard…

why today? May be I could have taken his number and sent him away or I could have probably just excused myself to another room.. but i didn’t.

I was clearly interested in three people to different degrees at the same time.. What a mess!

“Do you wanna dance?” I asked to cut through the awkwardness..

He moved backward, away from the bar.. signing me to move towards him…so I guess that was an “Yes”.

I moved closer to him, away from Him.. Them..

DJ was playing… “I .. just a little bossy… ” or something like that.. I didn’t care much for the music anyway.. But black-jacket was mouthing them.. and he was pretty good in his steps. I was moving along, making random movements..

at some point.. he held my hand.. lifted it up..  gave me a slight push to and turned me around.. and as soon as i turned back towards him.. he started to turn around.. and when he came around to face me.. i lost my balance and pulled him down…

he held me and pulled me back from falling.. that was the first time i saw him show some expression.. he was smiling.. doesn’t matter if that was the expense of an clumsy feet..

i knew that move.. and this time with prior notice.. it was more elegant.. and as if i was to be rewarded he hugged me..

he body was still moving to the music… mine was moving along with his rhythm.. not necessarily in tune with the music playing in the background..

we swayed anyway….

we were of same height… and i could feel my lips trembling with tension.. i couldn’t see his.. and i did not want to.. i was exploring his greenish eyes..

he kissed.. and instantly pulled back his head..

“Sorry”.. he said. still holding me..

“What!”.. I asked…. distancing myself a little from torso and tightening the hold a little..

He shook his head side ways..

After a couple of moments, he looked back into my eyes.. and kissed again.. and this time it was longer.. and his tongue was trying to break in.. and it did not face any resistance from mine.. it was welcomed with a wet tongue..

He did it again.. He pulled back and said “Sorry!”..

I waited… and it repeated again.. and this time when he started pulling out.. i pulled him back in. We weren’t dancing anymore… our hands were feeling each other and the tounges exploring the deepest held secrets..

When we finally parted…. I waited..  He did not say sorry this time.

“Why did you say sorry earlier?” I asked.

“Because I kissed you….” he replied.

“It was good”.. I said. and we kissed again. It didn’t matter that I did not know anything about him.. He was a good kisser. He was mumbling in between the kisses something to the effect that “you are a good kisser”.. “you kiss good”.. “you are beautiful”… and I was shutting him up with a kiss… and sometimes mumbling the same words back at him..

“Do you live in boston?” he asked.. a brand new sentence.. “No”.. I said and it struck me. I was the prey! He hunted me down… and I let him.

I realized I was still in Club Cafe.. It was too late now.. It did not matter if I was being watched….

We kissed again.. and again.. till the lights went on…

We walked towards our company.. I noticed that v-neck was giving his cell number to another cute guy..

The v-neck gave me that “you are mischievous” look.  I returned it with “you too”…

I looked at Him, he gave an very casual indifferent smile…

The club closed…

We said good bye to v-neck and his friend..

“About tomorrow.. Salem.. I will call you…”, he said before taking the cab..

black-jacket and I walked towards my car…

Will he call me? does this change our plans?  of Salem… Photographing Boston skyline… May be I should have not kissed…

Wait.. why am I even thinking about Him and what he thinks about me? Why am I not thinking about the black-jacket….

Was that a wrong turn?

And I was still going the wrong way.. I have to turn around.. at some point…

I looked at the clock.. the two dots were blinking…. but the digits remained the same…. The station was still playing stuff from the Valley.. it has been only few minutes since i left him at the bus stop.. but it seemed very distant in time..

there was something cold and permanent about the way we said good bye.. a simple hand shake with only a momentary lock of eyes….. no hugs.. no exchange of smiles…. no turning around for that last look as I walked out of the exit….

It did not feel right.. By now, I was supposed to see some sign of inter state 89.. I noticed the signs, several of them.. one every sixth of a mile.. while I was going up to white river junction..

He was going to catch a Bus from there…. The bus that we missed earlier that afternoon and the bus we have been trying to catch up with, the bus which was supposed to be at white river by 5pm.  It was 6pm when we reached the junction, the bus was delayed just like our car….

May be I should have stayed back till the bus arrived.. May be not..

It was easier to leave the place while he was still there.. If not, I probably would have just sat there.. looking at the invisible impression that he would have made only visible in the space of my mind..

I hate saying good-byes…

May be the sign boards are only in one direction.. but that doesn’t make sense, nothing makes sense anymore..

There was no sign in the next minute or two.. or five….

I do not have GPS.. everyone has it these days.. I wish I did.. It has become like a mobile.. people are walking with GPS these days… may be I will just wait for GPS to be integrated into phone.. Google Phone probably has it.. What am I thinking… Why am I even thinking of GPS….. One of the things I am proud of is my driving is my sense of direction, I always get out of the unknown places after exploring them by accident..

Right now.. I had no sense.. whatsoever.. and that included the sense of direction..

I was so occupied by him or the lack of him….

i just wanted to be on the road..

just drive…without thinking..

after few miles and several minutes, i saw Christmas lights through the thick of the leafless trees..  I was certain now..I am going in the wrong direction.. If we had come this way.. i would have remembered..

I would have remembered the twinkle of his eyes from the sight of decorated lights…

I shared a few moments like this in the past few days with him.. the first time I observed that was when he first looked at the Boston skyline from the Mass Ave Bridge….. We were on our way to Club Cafe from Cambridge…

We were still yapping in that front bar, when Willy(william) and Andy(anand) decided it was time to go.  They were going to campaign for Obama the next day in New Hamshire..

“Do you want to come with me for a drive to drop them?” I asked Him.. and quickly added “I am coming back here after..” as if to clarify that I was not interested in taking him to my place.. It was only a casual request…

He took the seat next to me in the car.. We were driving down the New Bury street.. when Andy asked about our Weekend plans.

I had nothing planned….

He was planning on going to Salem…

“Salem! isn’t that where they executed witches?” I remembered reading about it in travel book.. 1000 places you must visit in US.  It had secured an place in my list of places to visit, but I wasn’t very particular about going there this year. But if he is going, why not…

“Yes, do you want to go?” he asked me.

And the plan was made. I broke the obvious rule.. “Never meet a guy two days in a row”.

They were now talking about the clubs in Boston and as if in a morbid way, the conversation turns into comparison..  They were comparing the clubs in Boston with those in New York.. And New York is decidedly more fun.. and who ever says otherwise is kind of looked as uncool.

The club conversation now took its logical turn.. what is your favorite club..

His was Stone Wall Inn.. I had never been there..though I had passed it several times from outside.. I have gone to Monster (Big B.. crossed my mind) which is right across from Stone Wall Inn.. and at the very instance, we were passing by Paradise in Cambridge..

“Thats my bar around here”, I said..

Willy let out a sigh! I think I heard Andy say “it is sleezy”.. and the Willy added.. “oh.. the older men”.. and conveniently added .. “Guy likes older men.”

Yes, It is sleezy.. I was thinking, but it is also true that crowd in Paradise is more diverse and friendlier.. And as far as my liking towards older men.. “Really?”

I probably did say I liked older men to Willy while playing that club game “who is your type?”.  I am amazed at how people can define their type, my type can’t be expressed completely in terms of physical attributes.. May be I was pointing at people who looked like Paul.. older than me.. confident demeanor.. that slight beard…

(Are older men my Type? or was I looking for Paul in other men…)

I looked at him.. He is nothing like Paul in his looks.. He is twenty something.. Has boyish looks.. not really the hunky-dorky-next-door types.. but more of an homely-innocent boyish looks with a pinch of subtle wickedness..

He is not my type….

“What is your type?” Willy was asking him that..

“I don’t really have a type”.. he said..

“What do you mean? what kind of guys do you date?”.. Willy wasn’t going to let it go. He can be very persistent..

“I don’t date”. It was clearly an well rehearsed response.. He was pretty sincere and he meant it. There was no emotion in it.. It came out as a matter of fact. That put Willy to silence for some time..

It was Andy’s turn, he asked him about his job.. He was working for an insurance company and was on an assignment for an year in US. He had spent the good part of it traveling and he had three more months before he was returning to India.

“Are you planning to come back?” Willy asked..

“No…..I guess…… I don’t know……… may be I will come later for another assignment.. I don’t know…”.. he was spacing out..

Did he want to come back and his Job wouldn’t let him? or if there was something else he wasn’t sure about. May be he has a boy friend in India. May be thats why he doesn’t date.. may be thats why he doesn’t want to come back.. I was making up some theories of my own..

We dropped Willy first and after a few blocks.. Andy.. and took the turn back to Club cafe.. and I poped it out….

“What did you mean.. when you said you don’t date?”..

He looked towards me.. “It is a long story…..”

I waited for a few minutes.. but he did offer anything..

“Tell me.. ” I pushed like old friends..

“Later.. ” he said..

I looked at him… to understand what that “Later” meant..

I saw .. a twinkle in his dark black eyes.. a slight curve on his lips.. almost a very subtle yearning for something….

I followed his eyes towards the left of  my window and there it was…

that mesmerizing sight.. I have spent many a summer evenings savoring…

Random and predictable glitter from Boston sky scrappers.. The stretched square of prudential with a square sandwich on top, with a thin elongated blue tower… the oval spiked crown of copley.. the dark tall flimsy hancock tower reflecting the lights around it.. the golden tomb of the state house..

the dim light at the esplande.. the distant stretch from the financial district.. the hanging bridge with violet illuminated  string.. white and red lights of the speeding vehicles through the storrow drive..

the reflection of it all  in the charles..

He was seeing it now.. just like the way I have been seeing it..

“I would like to photograph this view”.. he said.

“Can you?” I asked…

“I have an SLR, you can’t take with a normal digital”, he understood what I meant without having to say it. I have tried several times before but the lights always blur while I take the photograph..

The passion for an art has a way of bringing out the best in the person and at that moment, he was the most beautiful person for me. He was going on about photography, cameras and his interest of taking up a masters course in photography.. how he likes to travel.. how he prefers photographing objects than people..

his yearning… “I wish I had it with me right now.”

“We could come back here tomorrow night” I told him.. At that moment a private thoughts crossed my mind.. I wish he had more time in US.. I wish I had met him earlier.. It was just a wish!

So we agreed.. the next day we go to Salem and come back to boston for shooting the skyline…..

We headed back to Club cafe and we had about an hour to spend before the doors closed…..

Finally!! there was the sign.. I was driving on 91 instead of 89.. but I had no motivation to correct the course..

I did not want to stop…

I did not want to change…

I was going away from home……

The drive was going to be longer….

It was a long drive home… It is two states away from where I live, more than eight quarter miles..

I would have never imagined myself being there on the last night.. the last night of a long weekend and the last night of a short romance… It is, the only four day weekend, I have in the year. Thanksgiving. It is a tradition to spend time with family and friends.. and I choose to spend it with friends and Him.

I broke the first rule. “Never offer yourself for a guy who is out of town”. Oh, and when one rule is broken.. there is no point in maintaining other rules.. and so I found out, however painful it may be.. I can’t have rules! at least not when it comes to gravitating towards a Guy!

the drive was slow.. ten miles per hour on an seventy five mph inter-state highway, there was slush all over from the first snow of the season.. and the cars were following each other very religiously. they were following the tracks laid down by the vehicles in front of them.. and in turn reinforcing the track they just followed.. a slight diversion from the track, which was now marked clearly by the layer of snow and ice that was untouched by the brutal black tires.. will send the car off the road and possibly into the valley.. or will just make the car turn around and block the entire traffic following it…

on one side of the road was a mountain, the rocks frosted with ice and snow. On the other side.. the snow capped hazy blueish pines glowing in the misty moonless night.. i would have enjoyed the peace and gloominess of the sight.. but tonight, it was very painful…

painful to have an empty seat next to me.. i turned on the radio.. and quickly tuned it to a different channel.. i could not bear to hear the same songs that i heard with him moments ago…

I looked towards the empty seat…. as I reluctantly followed the tracks..

It all started a month ago..

He was sitting on a tall legged bar chair, right across the entrance of the dance room in Club Cafe..long slender legs.. one stretched out, surely touching the floor and the other folded in.. one hand on the round table and the other holding a glass. dressed in full sleeved, round neck blue sweater.. tight jeans..  white and yellow stripped shoe..

he stood out in the crowd… an east-indian face amidst caucasians, blacks, asian and hispanic…that was the first time I saw him..

It was boys night out.. we moved to friday instead of our usual saturday to watch the Halloween Costumes.. another colorful night, that brings out the creative best..

There was an angel with only feathers, an underwear, more like a thong and of course a fine chiseled body. I don’t remember how long we stood around him.. but when we finally made to the corner which was the only place with some space.. the extreme corner where there is a tiny dance floor..

There was something unusual about Club Cafe that night, it was as if Club cafe had put on new costume, it had shed its typical snobbish self.. there were exchange of pats.. flirts.. smiles.. and numbers..

we saw a guy dressed as Nurse, two guys in bath robes, navy men, police officer, a greek noble with a golden crown. and there was a monkey, an corrupt politician. and the best of all Ellen DeGeneres.. she was so Good she could fill in for the real Ellen.. (later I was told she got the best costume for the night…. )

I saw Him again.. he was going for another drink.. he wasn’t smiling.. neither was he not smiling.. there was a certain indifference in his presence..  it was as if he was there and also not there..

One of the boys.. decided to go into the front room and the rest of us followed.. we stood there watching people walk in.. I was still intrigued by the look on his face.. was he new to Boston? does he have friends? Should I go talk to him?

It started to itch..

So I set out to scratch it… back into the dance room.. squeezing my way through the crowded room.. I am sure I must have stopped to see the angel, but I don’t remember anymore….

He was sitting alone in the chair with his drink.. and I walked straight to him.. he looked up at me..

“Hi, I am Aryan”… I said…

“I know”.. he surprised me.

Surely, I don’t forget people.. I sat next to him, waiting to hear more..

“G Aryan.. I have seen you on my friends list on Facebook.”.. he offered as a way to bring me out of puzzlement.

“Which friend?” …. and so we got to talking…

The next thing I remember.. he was hanging out with me and the boys in the front bar room…. It would have been hard to tell that we all had just met him..  He still intrigued me, but he didn’t seem like a stranger or a like new face..

He felt like someone I have known for a while..

Have you ever met a guy for the first time and have felt that you have known him from a long time?

I can only blame that familiarity on the trust that gets attached to a person who gets introduced through a friend. OK.. he wasn’t literally introduced, but he and I had a common friend.. a friend that I trust….

being single on a saturday night in new york, without a plan means endless possibilities.. may be the plan is to get some decent plan. plan or no plan, it was an perfect night to vanish into the crowded night.

dinner with friends at nooch around 9pm was the vantage point.. while they were enjoying their leeche margaritas, i feasted my eyes with the evening delights.. nicely dressed cute guys.. some alone,  some with friends and some on dates..

nooch is this dimly lit pan-asian bar and restaurant. there is literally no space between tables, so it is hard avoid getting into each others way or to not eves drop.. probably that was designed by intent.

we finally settled in our table for six.. with me on one of the corner. the table next to me was for two, which was occupied by an cacuasian and an asian. there was a pillar between me and the asian, so i could only look at the cacuasian.

not sure how it happened, but it almost became an involuntary action to look at the cacuasian every few minutes. sometimes i would catch him talking, sometimes listening and sometimes looking at me. after a
few glances.. we were locking our eyes..

just the eyes.. he would not smile and i didn’t either… he continued his conversation with his friend or a date may be.. i ended up eaves dropping and listen to them talk about their families..

were they on a date?  if he was on a date, why were we locking eyes.. was he having a bad date? or is he just flirting around? oh well.. it is his problem!

or is it? how would i feel if i was sitting next to him on a date.. what would i do if he was flirting with the guy on the next table! may be i will also flirt with the guy on the next table..

so anyway.. it was that time when the asked for the bill. he excused himself to go to wash room.. and i was watching him as he did it.

he did not give me a glance.

i excused myself and was standing next to him in the queue.

we smiled. first time since we looked at each other about 30 mins ago..

“how is it going?” he asked.

“not bad”, i said.

“you look cute”, i added.

“are you in town?” he asked.

“for today..”, i said.

he took his mobile out, i typed my number on it. he rang the number. i silenced the ring.

it was his turn in. he went in, came out and nodded as he walked away.

when i came back to table, they were just walking out.. and for the first time i looked at the asian guy. he had this sweet smile.. but he wasn’t looking at me. as they walked out of the door.. asian went out
first and caucasian looked back as he closed the door..

we were all set, bill was being split and were making plans to head to therapy from there. i received a message from him telling he would be up for getting together a drink or something and he would be awake.. suggested i call him however late….

i let my friends take the cab to therapy, i called him…..

i skipped meeting my friends at therapy, but caught up with them at posh!

[We had an wonderful date. Went out to a park, went ice skating and then dinner. We stay a few miles apart. So communicate over IM or SMS. It was the third day after our first date..]

Me on Day 3 at 8:47pm : I am still out. Will be late.

He on Day 3 at 8:52pm : Ahhh what r u up to.

Me on Day 3 at 9:00pm : Dinner with a friend.

He on Day 3 at 10:57pm : will I maybe see you online tonight?

[ We had a quick chat that night, and met him a couple of days later, went to the beach.]

He on Day 6 at 00:44am : hi – did you get home already. Just wanted to text you good night.

[ I spoke to him, we met again couple of days later. We went shopping. We brought shoe on 1+1. Later we had dinner with his friend.]

[The following week was hectic. we only had IMed each other. He suggested I move close to his area so we could meet even on busy days. I told him I have to think about it..]

He on Day 14 at 4:30pm : hi there, what are you upto?

[I called him and let a message that I will talk to him later.]

He on Day 15 at 10:23pm : hi. Haven’t heard a peep from you since you left a message last night. Say hi on here if you get a chance.

[We IMed. Met him for dinner the day after. He was disappointed I have not been able to decide on whether I should move close to him. I told him, we should take it slow. He did not like the response. There was no msg that night…]

[He IMed a couple of days later. I was busy with work and also did not want to deal with the confrontation at that time. I IMed back. will be right back.]
He on Day 18 at 10:10pm : is 35 minutes considered “right back” I don’t know Haha.

[I ignored the message]

He on Day 18 at 11:44pm : bye fucker

[I ignored the message]

He on Day 18 at  11:52pm : Get out of my country

[I ignored the message]

He on Day 18 at 11:58pm : You ll die lonely you know

[I ignored the message]

He on Day 19 at 00:03am : I’m throw those shoes out – if you want to return then tell me and ill leave them outside near the door.

[I wish I could block SMS from some numbers…]

He on Day 19 at 00:15am : I’m sending something to india – a hurricane a tidal wave an earthquake maybe but it will only affect those that deserve it.

He on Day 19 at 00:34am : I’m not stoping this till you respond.

He on Day 19 at 02:09am : if you don’t txt message something back on here by morning I’m gonna call [company] to get you on the phone!

[I woke up that morning with 6 missed calls and didn’t receive any call at [work] to which I am grateful!]

He on Day 21 at 07:07pm : do you want to go on aim to chat?

He on Day 21 at 10:10pm : Hey what r u up to?

[Called him the next day and told him I don’t want to talk to him. He asked if I was angry, I told him no. but I was upset.  Thankfully no more surprises since… ]

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