I turned out to be lucky the second time around. After my first breakup I didn’t think I could ever fall in love again. Sounds cliched, I know. Anyhow, half a dozen proposals later, I met Akash. We were trainees in the same company in Hyderabad. Our casual hellos soon turned into late night conversations over the phone. We were falling in love… And somehow, it wasn’t scary.
When all of this happened, we were both living in the accommodation provided by the company which was inside the office campus.One Friday night, we went out partying with 4 other friends. By the end of the night we were all tipsy and couldn’t go back to the campus because of it. Now, 3 of our 4 friends were extremely drunk and it wasn’t possible to lug them to a hotel. So the 4th friend volunteered to stay with them and all 4 of them took a room close to the pub we were partying in. The place was already full though and the rooms looked a tad shady, so Akash and I decided to go to a nearby hotel.At first, the receptionist was reluctant to entertain us because he had only one empty room and also because of the classic ‘hum unmarried couples ko room nahi dete’ excuse. Somehow Akash managed to convince him. As we walked towards our room, he glanced at me and immediately sensed the slight discomfort that I had been trying so hard to hide. ‘I am sure there’s a couch,’ he said, winking at me. I let out a small giggle but said nothing. He was my boyfriend. Why was I feeling so awkward about it? Was it because it had only been a month? Did I not trust him? I didn’t know.He unlocked the room and we stepped inside, only to realize that it was much smaller than we had imagined it would be. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach and those combined with the slight awkwardness that I was feeling did nothing to help the situation.
As I stood there, kinda frozen in my tracks, Akash came up to me, gently slid his fingers through mine and said, ‘I am kinda, sorta nervous too, you know? Nothing is going to happen before you are ready for it to happen. Not today… Not ever.’ Suddenly, the awkwardness went away. I smiled at him and instinctively hugged him… For the first time. It felt SO good. It was warm and comforting and for those couple of minutes, I didn’t care about the rest of the world. We broke away from other’s embrace and he kissed me on my forehead. He proceeded to settle down on the sofa while I made myself comfortable on the bed. But neither of us could sleep. ‘I can’t sleep,’ I told him. ‘Me neither. Want to watch some TV?’ he asked. And, so we did. We sat on the bed, put half a dozen pillows around us and watched a really old Hindi movie that was playing. Midway, he gently put his arm around me and I snuggled a little closer to him. It didn’t feel weird or uncomfortable. It felt…perfect.We spent the night watching TV, chatting and reading the weirdest forwarded WhatsApp messages. At 6:00 am, we decided to head back. Just as we were about to step out of the room I stood up on my toes and gave him a small peck on his cheek. He looked at me, half amused and half happy. He then came closer, planted a small kiss on my lips. He pulled away to gauge my reaction only to find me smiling and blushing. And then our first actual kiss happened.
We got back to the campus around 7 and went into our respective rooms. I couldn’t stop smiling all day - and I knew he couldn’t either because an hour later he texted me, ‘I cannot stop thinking about you…’It was the first time I shared a room with my boyfriend and I can never forget what a wonderful night it was. * Names changed to protect privacy.Images: Shutterstock