Stories Varied - A book of short stories (Part 7, page 1 of 5)

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Part 7

A Touchy Affair

In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep-starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what to come in Goa. [*]

When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny. His excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher. And that made him fall behind the pair as they made it to the baggage section. But during the inordinate wait for their belongings, Diya’s tentative glances furthered his longing for her. When it was time to get into a cab, as Diya was at contriving to reserve the seat behind the driver for her, he made bold to brush her bottom to raise the tempo. What with her acquiescing glance propelling out his anxieties, he got into the front seat. Sitting besides the driver, as he turned his head towards her for an all-clear, her eyes emitted green light for him. And as the cabbie began conveying them to her place in Panaji, his train of thoughts led him to Delhi, where it all began.

Rishaan first met Kiara when he crossed thirty and she was nearing twenty-five. That was at the Delhi High Court, where he was an upcoming counsel, and she, a promising junior lawyer. What with his starry-eyed demeanor setting up their stray encounters on an enamoured course and her reciprocal glances catapulting them onto the romantic stage, they tied the knot before the corridor gossip could acquire a scandalous tenor. Even as they were twice over the seven-year itch twice the year before, as her man leaned towards another woman, the thirty-year old Diya got under Kiara’s legal wings. When he was introduced to Diya, a decent-looking project head in Oa-Sys, she did not sweep him off his feet and he too could not stir her heart. However, with the formation of their friendship triangle, he began to nuance Diya’s nubile charms based on her marvelous seat, and yet, his loin was never on fire for Diya’s possession. Maybe weighed down by grief, as her heart too didn’t stir to a romantic beat, in spite of their close proximity, they remained sexually languid.

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