Where did they meet? hmm, let's see. This is the part I always get wrong. I think they both don't agree on the same story either. They just came across each other they said.

Sona of the golden skin, Rohit of the darker shades.

She took him walking down her street everytime he visited. Not too far from her home, just till around the corner. He was never too fond of walks, yet he never complained, never showed any disinterest.

She showed him a picture of her ex boyfriend. "I'm so over him", "Oh we were just so different", she said, but remarked how she still thought he was a very handsome looking guy. Rohit was not very worldly wise (my Rohit, he should have known, but he was such a kid), he didn't realize that facts don't change with the relationships. He looked at the picture and tried to see what she did. The handsome guy's hair were parted on the right, he was wearing a dark red t-shirt. Rohit, he didn't like red color for t-shirts at all, found them too flashy.

Next day he bought a dark red t-shirt, next day he started trying to change the way he combed his hair. Wasn't easy. But he had to do what was on his mind. The birds on his window were chirping the warnings, the birds were singing the coded songs, they asked him to not try to be someone else. They told him he's beautiful just the way he is. But Rohit didn't listen, he didn't know how. He couldn't understand the language of birds, he was so stupid. (Oh how stupid he was.)

One night she told him, Sona of the smoke rings, she wanted to give up smoking. He had asked so many times before, but she never gave more than a smile. He took it as a sign that she ha ha loves him. She showed him a new pack of cigarettes she had in her pocket and said that the last one in the pack would be her last. After that, Finish Khatam Kaput!

Sona told him how she loved goatees on men. He started to grow one from next day. Sona, she told him she just dislikes general chicken, he took it to be his religiously duty to never have one himself, although he liked it pretty fine.

"What do you want?" I asked him one evening over dirty martinis. "What are you looking for? Where will you stop".

He meekly replied "acceptance"

"It works both ways", I told him. "If you're to be accepted, you have to accept. And the first to accept you will have to be you."

But Rohit, he did not listen. Rohit he was so naive.

She told him one day how she loved Jazz. Rohit had never listened to Jazz in his life (beats me!). Next day he bought a Jazz CD, and for days afterwards, all he listened to was Jazz. He downloaded information about Jazz, the famous Jazz artists, the history, he jumped into jazz, covered himself all over.

Then one night she called him and talked with him of her childhood and parents, and pets and dreams. She told him she had smoked the last cigarette in the pack that evening. They talked into the night, she seemed so sad. She told him she wants to go away. "Where? France? Australia? London? Vilayat? Where Sona? Where?". "Away from you", she said. "I need to go away. Don't ask me why..."

"And what about me?", he asked.

"What about you?", she asked back.

"I'll miss you. I'll be alone"

"For how long? a month, maybe two," She said, "I have to go. I can't stay in your life just to save you two months of heartache. No one cries for anyone forever, no one dies for no one else. You'll forget me sooner or later. Believe me. This much is true."

She disconnected the phone. He tried calling back, he tried to see her. He felt like a stalker. He stopped after a while.

One night he bought a pack of cigarettes. Same one that she smoked. It was a ladies cigarette I think, I'm not sure, not too familiar with cigarette brands honestly. He smoked his first cigarette rather impressively, without coughing, smoked it all. Later he felt like tar was flowing instead of blood in his veins.

I saw him in his dark red t-shirt listening to jazz, smoking a cigarette in his second floor balcony one evening. I was walking on the pavement below. I stopped and asked him "What are you doing?". I had to shout to make my voice reach him.

"Keeping her alive," he answered.

"Have you learnt to listen to the birds yet?" I asked.

"What are you talking about?" he looked at me with confused looks.

"The birds! The Birds!!", I shouted back, "Do you understand their language yet?"

"No" he said, still looking at me with his confused eyes.

I walked away leaving him in his smoke rings. Rohit of the pockmarked face, he was such an idiot.

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