Day 34 of 100 Indian Tinder Tales
Inspiration: American pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein. Think this is Kiss V.
R shares her story from London about a Tinder romance in the South of India.
“You know how when you get older and your entire circle of girlfriends grows a plus one? I installed the app under duress from one of my girls, who said, “Ok, you need to find someone and now.” And so it began…after three just about ok dates including one where my date got piss drunk (who does that on the first date?), made me pick up the tab (don’t ask!? older and wiser now) and thought it was his birthright to kiss me (seriously!).
Wary of what Tinder might throw at me, I mostly left-swiped until I landed on S’s profile. “I’m not here to hold hands and run around trees.” Hmm.. interesting, I thought to myself..a right swipe later we had a match! I made the first move.
Many moves later…
We were lost in the heady chemical embrace of a conversation that had my hormones racing.
In the midst of a colorful conversation, a lunch plan had surfaced.
“Are you on the menu?” I could almost see the mischievous smile that possibly lit up his whole face.
“Cheesy, aren’t you? I am not on the menu, darling. I’m a chef’s special. Medium rare – I’d reckon.”
“I like mine very, very rare,” he said under his breath. “I’m pleased I ran into you..I think I’m attracted to you on at least 13 levels right now.”
Gushing, I said, “I want to see you, in person.”
A few days later, my phone buzzed loudly, “All my unwashed clothes, smell of you.” I read his text over and over again. Each time, the memory of many evenings strung together grew more vivid.
His tight grip on my waist, his lips gently tugging on my ear lobes, his fingers lazily making their way down my bare back, his surprisingly cold breath on my neck, his cigarette laced cologne scent sent me into a dizzy spell.
We were addicted to each other, at least it felt like we were. The conversations never stopped, over text and in person. We talked about ideas that changed the world, what our working lives meant to us, raising a family, about life, materialism, love and the need for validation, sexual conquests and everything under the sun. At one point we had to stop and say “let’s not meet this weekend.”
But of course that didn’t work! It was easy with him. Decisions. What to do, where to go.. everything seemed uncomplicated. Of course, sometimes I felt like he had a UN general assembly in session, inside of his head. But when he was with me, he seemed with me –attentive to every last word. He was validation!
We never held hands, his Tinder sub-text made that clear! But when he did hold my hand, in bed.. it was to pin them above my head to stop me from stopping him. I was insatiable, I yearned for every chance to be in physical contact with him. I cherished his every touch, revelled in his obvious desire for me and experienced unadulterated pleasure at his hands. Is this what they call burning desire?
I remember the day he said he had to move to a different city. I got word that I would be moving too. While this was an exciting start to a new chapter of work-life, I knew in an instant – it would mean the end of us. Besides, he was clear from the start that this was nothing more than let’s-see-where-it-goes and while this was a first for me, I bought into it. What did I have to lose when there was technically nothing at stake. I decided to see him off at the airport knowing it could be the last time I saw him. We hadn’t discussed the future, we wanted to play it by ear. As we sat in the cab, on a fairly long ride to the airport – I chided myself for being silly to see him off. We had that presumably last cup of coffee, the last cigarette and I walked him to the departure gate, silent and somewhat unwilling to accept. I stood there not knowing how to articulate the storm of emotions stirring inside of me. I kissed him one final time and said goodbye. By then we had agreed to stay in touch. How could something feel so complicated and uncomplicated at the same time?
A month later, after trying to date other people we decided to go on a holiday to Pondicherry. Of course everything was followed up with a statutory warning akin to that on a box of cigarettes. ‘Smoking Kills’ aka ‘We are still just seeing where this goes’.
An old colonial bunglow made for a lovely date and white wine and sea-food, great company. We sat on a bench across the boulevard from the sea – eating ice cream, not saying much. We walked through cobbled streets of the French quarters with me wishing he would hold my hand, even if for a second.
He did hold my hand, that night, in bed. We had a weekend I will not forget. He missed his flight and stayed an extra night. I was unwell and he brought me soup, a quiet dinner later, we turned out the lights and turned in. I knew something was amiss but I was too tired to reason with myself. I woke up nice and early, feeling like myself again. He was still asleep, turned on his stomach, his hands under the warm pillow, stirring just briefly. We had breakfast and I stopped over at work for a bit. Head down, staring into my computer, all I could reminisce was our weekend and how something was about to change. I still didn’t know what. I kissed him again that evening, just before he got into car and left for the airport.
We spoke a few times after that. By now, denial had left me and I knew he had gotten inside my head. A little something I didn’t know I was going to do when I first met him. I cant remember if it was a phone call or a text message.
“I met an old flame, in the US, and we have been spending a lot of time together.”
I asked myself how I was doing and I was doing well.
Until he said, “I’m engaged and I’ve decided to get married.”
It wasn’t a large earthquake, a minor tectonic movement – perhaps. At first, I consciously decided I was going to be fine but then the questions wouldn’t stop bubbling inside of me. “Why not me?” “Did we stand a chance?”
This man, I dated didn’t believe in relationships and marriage, he was cynical to the point I gave up arguing with him about how some relationships and marriages have their own rules..So how could this happen?
It was never meant to be me. But this was the reality and I know these things can happen all too suddenly. A close friend continues to remind me, “you were the catalyst in his life”.
And now every cell in my body believes that. He is married now. At least the date on the wedding invite has passed. He will always be a wonderful and eventful four month chapter in my life and I will continue to send him some light and be on my way.”