“What?” she asked. “Wanted to remind you that got my flight early tomorrow, so we’ll leave early after meeting your friend.” she said yes and started applying her make-up. She knew very well when to wear what make-up. She decided to keep it natural today so she just applied some blush on to give that natural pinkish cheek, gloss and kaajal to make her eyes look big!!! She reached the drawing room calling out for Shiv while wearing a heel that matched very well with her grey kurti. She found him stand close to her and kissed her neck and said slowly, “you look beautiful.” She smiled and opened the door and left while he followed her closing the door behind. She called up Shubhro, “sweetie we just left. You are coming to pick us up or…?” Shubhro said that he’ll be there in 5 minutes. Shiv and Maya reached the main gate of her society with many eyes looking at them as they were standing really close. Maya cared a damn, so did Shiv. Shiv took out a cigarette and looked at Maya and said, “Hope you don’t mind?” she nodded her head in No and asked him, “from when did you start smoking?” Shiv lighted the cigarette, took a long drag and then replied, “Stress at work. Beer is not possible every day, so…” she smiled and looked on the road waiting for Shubhro. There he was in his car and waved his hand at them and opened the front door for Maya. Shiv said, “I’ll sit in the front you sit behind.” He opened the door for Maya and sat next to Shubhro. They said hi to each other and Shubhro started driving. They spoke about work and social life. Maya was looking out of the window, thinking nothing. Shiv was looking at her through the rear-view mirror. She was lost looking outside.
Shubhro said parking the car, “babe, we reached.” Shiv looked at her and she smiled at them. They had dinner and spent some quality time together. Shiv and Shubhro spoke a lot and Maya as usual cracked some sad jokes, where she alone laughed. They had a good time. Shubhro dropped them. It was 11 in the night and they reached home. Maya asked Shiv, “You packed your bag?” he nodded his head, having a look on his texts. They changed, and now was the awkward moment as to where will Shiv sleep. Last night was special, but today they are just friends. Maya told Shiv, “you sleep on the bed; I’ll sleep in the drawing room.” She went to the bed where Shiv was half lying already, grabbed a pillow and a blanket, just when Shiv held her hand saying, “Why? Why can’t you sleep here with me? Remember we do have a relation, so what if it’s a casual one!!!” he had that one cheek dimple, while he gave that naughty smile of his. She couldn’t resist and just sat on the edge of the bed, facing him and told him, “so when are you coming back?” he shifted from the right to the left side of the bed, gave her place to cuddle besides him, she cuddled in and kept her hand on his chest and he said, “No idea. But will let you know whenever I am back.” Shiv looked at her and asked her, “was I the first guy, you…?” she stopped moving her finger and took a deep breath and thought to herself: “you don’t love Shiv, then why does it matter if you tell him the truth or lie to him. He is your friend and making love is just a temporary thing.” She asked him in return, “it matters?” Shiv just held her hand and said, “Obviously not but just wanted to know about the 4 years you spent…” Maya smiled gave him a friendly hug and said, “You’re not the first one.” Shiv had a sad smile on his face but then just took her back into his arms and kissed her forehead and said, “I am glad that I was your first kiss though!!!” she smiled back at him and said, “indeed!!!” they were listening to old Hindi songs, kissed each other a couple of times but didn’t make love again that night.
Shiv didn’t realize when he fell fast asleep but Maya didn’t sleep that night. Not because Shiv was leaving but because, he reminded her of her first time. Maya was sitting on the bed with the pillow on her lap and there she was lost in a flashback.
Maya had reached Mumbai for the first time for her first job as an assistant to the writer. She was at the gigantic CST station and was speechless to see another big city. She thought to herself then: “is it bigger than my Kolkata?” then she just took a corner at the CST station and called up her boss Joydeep Bhattacharya. Joydeep told her that he is at the station itself. It was impossible for Maya to find him in that crowded station. Joydeep asked her where she is so that he can find her. And finally, Maya met her first boss. He was the perfect writer boss she had thought of. He looked nerdy with a spec, to give him that exact nerdy look and he carried his laptop wherever he went and a couple of novels, basically he had a bag set up for himself and carried this bag whenever he was out… Joydeep had arranged for an apartment for Maya but Shiv had also made preparations for her. She informed Joydeep about her apartment and also informed him that she has to go and meet Mrs. Stella Andrews and she handed him the address.