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One Night Stand
One Night Stand

© Samreen Noor


4 Minutes   9.1K    176

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Soni woke up and realized her flowered cream curtain had turned a bright shade of blue that hurt her eyes. She stared down the length of the curtain; there were figures leaping out of it. She heard sounds coming from far away, kitchen utensils, car horns and what seemed like an irksome recurring thud, just above her head. The figures on the curtain were mermaids, and Soni could have sworn they were drowning in the blue. She tried to get up, but it seemed like her body weighed a ton and she could not bear the weight of it. Her throat was drying up, and she pictured all the rivers she had ever seen. The swelling rise of blue water all around and Soni was drowning in it, surrounded by mermaids. Her throat itched in the vast expanse of water as she struggled against it, and then a blackness creept in and shrouded her.

“Soni wake up, you need to go home”, said Tarun in a worried voice. Soni sat up straight hurriedly and the room swam across her eyes. She took a moment to be stable and drank the juice Tarun offered her in two gulps. Tarun kept on asking her if she was alright, whether she would be able to reach home, and a thousand other things. It seemed laborious to listen to him, understand what he said, and then give appropriate replies. She started booking a cab. She just wanted to leave.


It started nearly a year ago, when she moved to this city with a new job. Of course, Soni knew that she cannot run away from herself. Nevertheless, she wanted a fresh start.

Soni had always done what was expected out of her. She graduated, took up a good enough job, found her special someone and got married with her parents’ consent. At 27, her life seemed perfect. Then one day, she was discussing with her neighbour, who also happened to be her good friend, the feasibility of buying a Tibaldi for Bentley Crewe 60 Silver Fountain Pen for her pen aficionado husband. Her neighbour felt responsible for saving the obscene amount of money Soni was planning to spend and confessed that it was common knowledge that her husband was cheating on her with a younger woman called Navya, who resided in the same neighbourhood. An hour later, Soni was still in disbelief when she confronted her husband and found it was true. It was the first time when Soni felt a despair like she had never felt in her life. She felt defeated and had no idea how to deal with it. Everywhere she turned, she could feel pity in people’s eyes for her. Finally, when she could no longer bear it, she left her town.

Soni started drinking a week after she moved. And never stopped. Her reason was that she wanted to have the “happy high” feeling that comes after a few drinks. She refused to term it as addiction. Soni almost didn’t realise that she was binge drinking with no sense of control. Her partying till the wee hours, her weekend conquests gave her a sense of achievement. Her subconscious knew that it was a desperate attempt to gain a false sense of pride, compensating for the rejection she felt. But no epiphany ever reached her conscious brain; no inner voice admonished her on morality. Thus, she continued in this state, oscillating between emotional unfeeling and self-enforced bliss.


This was another regular weekend when she was drinking in an up-scale club. The firang (foreigner) was sitting alone in a corner with an Old Fashioned Cocktail. Soni thought he looked a bit like Jake Gyllenhaal. He had already thrown appreciative glances in her direction. Just as she was about to head in his direction, she felt a tap on her shoulder. She saw him after a year but it seemed like he was never out of sight. Tarun and Soni spent the night together- dancing and drinking and reminiscing about the days they had just started courting each other. Soni did not remember when they left the club and reached Tarun’s apartment. Her head was still spinning when he woke her up mid-day and she just wanted to sleep. His guilty incessant explanations seemed to drag on and on. He was saying something about the two of them being divorced now, and how it was wrong and unfair to his present wife Navya. Unable to take it any longer, Soni decided to wait for the cab outside the building and made her way to the door. Tarun stared at his beautiful ex-wife incredulously as she turned towards him, fitting her small feet in her high heels, and said to him, “Relax, it is just a one night stand”.

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