Sex and cigarettes

She was late today. It was fifteen minutes past three. It was past her usual ‘ciggy break’ time. Sid had known all her timings. This would be her fifth cigarette of the day. And if she had the time, she would smoke a joint.

Sid had helped her light a match when he noticed she wasn’t comfortable using matchsticks. That had been the first time they had met. A friendship blossomed instantly. Three years had gone by. They had gone from being random pals to good pals. He went to her birthday parties, and she let him treat her on his birthdays. But like she said, “I am just Bee to you!”

Ouch… that had hurt. Sid had wanted more. More so that he could care for her. If she permitted, hold her and love her. How could he not? Bee was cute, smart and yeah, intelligent. She had a weird dressing sense. Some women called her an attention seeker. But he knew that he knew her better. It was a one-sided love affair.

Bee, perhaps knew what he felt. She knew he was attentive than most of the men she knew. He listened to her, spoke to her. He was always so reassuring. Was it love she wanted? She wasn’t sure about this. Love, falling in love… it was a sham. Her parents had a love marriage. That was 23 years ago. And now they were forced to live together. A bitter, battered existence. Bee did not want this. She hated going home.

Kevin had been her solace. They had met in FTII, Pune. He was a student there, and Bee was attending a film appreciation course. Kevin had been her first. First to kiss her, to hold her and make love to her.

Made love? Had he? Nah it was just good sex. There was no looking back on that. Whether it was with Kevin or not. Yes, she wanted to have sex. The act of sex itself, made her feel good. For a few moments at least she felt close to someone. It was a matter of connection for her. That one moment of ecstasy was enough. If she ever had the opportunity to settle down, it would not be for love. She needed a home to go back to, to go back to someone who cared and someone who would tuck her into bed every night.

Bee never really had a real relationship. All relationships boiled down to sex. She saw it as a vent for her suppressed feelings. Feelings of anguish, her fears, and frustrations. A year at the rehab had undone her completely. She no more trusted her parents. After all, it was them who sent her away.

Sex and cigarettes were her life for now. The smoke would let her lose herself for some time. People looked at her like she was available all the time. This wasn’t true. She wasn’t a whore. She was just emotionally deprived. Her smoke and fuck buddies understood this.

But Sid was different. She had known this all the time. He spoke to her like a regular guy. He never judged her. She had talked to him about the guys she had slept with…discussed them. He had listened carefully. But suddenly, she did not want to face him.

He had called last night. Had spoken his heart out. That he was ready to love her, he loved her. He would help her to start a new life, to get out of this muck. But was she prepared? Damn it, she couldn’t smoke a ciggy that day!

She had to answer him. Was she ready to spend the rest of her life with him? Would he or not change?

It was almost 3: 30 pm. She should have been here, thought Sid. Whoa, there she was. But she looked distant.

Hi... Sid!

Hey, where were you? I have been waiting…damn! I am so anxious….

Hey, hold on…Sid. I cannot do this!

What? Listen…

No please you listen… Kevin called…

And?

And you know… yeah, we are meeting up. And um, he’s staying with me….

Ok. You could have messaged me, I missed my bus. It’s ok. See you some time then.

And that’s that. Sid knew this would happen. Been knew this would happen too. He took the bus, and she called Kevin, " Hey Kevin, how's London treating you?"
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