"Write about a sleepover, a slumber party or the time you stayed somewhere overnight. " - Sujatha. 10 minutes, timed.
It was the first time I had taken an auto rickshaw at 7:00 in the morning. I’d stopped at the general stores and picked up a bottle of milk before I went home, the neighbours merely assuming I’d walked out 15 minutes back to get myself some breakfast.
Of the first time that I slept over at your place, without intending to, before name-tags entered our spaces and feelings, before the need to touch replaced the need to connect, of that first time, I remember the morning the most.
I don’t know when I went to sleep. I know we were arguing about something, there were a couple of other friends in your room. Your room, all amber glow, low mattresses, cigarette haze, Pink Floyd-tinted. Some time later, we were alone, talking about boyfriends and girlfriends, listing the 30 things-we-wanted-to-do-before thirty (I still have that paper, your signature scrawled over it, handwritten in short exclamations like the ones we shared with classmates in annual slam books), lying low, propped up by soft, decade-old cushions. Talking, discovering, flirting with our boundaries, flirting with a reality that was about to change in ways we never really expected.
I remember waking up on the floor, my back hurting, while you were asleep on your stomach on a bed close-by, Wish You Were Here still playing to the fall and rise of your breath. I remember smiling, and then laughing uproariously at this unintended sleepover, the taste of independence, the tang of having done the forbidden. I remember waking you, and you brushed my hand, muttering, no pretence of manners on display, just a regular, ‘bye, see you.’ I had walked out of your sleeping house to an already awake morning, humming, trying not to catch your neighbour’s eye.
And while we would eventually turn into lovers, we became friends that night.
3 hours ago