I'm with Suneeta this evening, last time before we get engaged <
After what felt like hours, but in fact were only a few moments, I gathered enough words to make a legible sentence, "I told you I never even kissed her, I'm a little...surprised you asked me this question..."

"Was she the only one you were ever involved with?", Suneeta asks. She's still looking in my eyes, and is so peaceful and calm. Its like she's asking me how much sugar I like in my tea.

I smile at the situation. "I'm just thinking what makes you ask these questions?", I'm trying to change the topic so hard, but its a tough spot. I know I'll regret lying to her sooner or later. We are not getting in a relationship here, it's a marriage. Its a life long commitment ...

But I know I'll also regret telling her the truth if I did. Every time I compliment her on something, like she's a good kisser, or something, she'll think I'm comparing her...I wouldn't want that if I were in her place. Its not fair on part of life to put you on a life altering fork and not give you enough time to decide.

"You don't have to answer", she tells me, still very casual, "...and you can ask me the same questions if you want...".

I was so wishing she would not bring that up. And I don't know if I should ask her or not. The truth is I do want to know! but I'm scared because I have a faint idea what her response will be...how can she be so open about her life and I can not. Maybe its because I'm sorry for my decisions and actions, and she's not.

Maybe I'm a habitual liar ... maybe I feel I'll be breaking the silent trust Mabel had on me if I were to talk about it because this is not where it'll end. Kind of girl Suneeta is, sooner or later she would also want to know who Mabel is, how I met her, lost her ... all the stuff. Its not easy. Its opening a can of worms.

Maybe if Mabel and I had a simple relationship it'd be easier. It's tough to justify an extra-marital relationship. Too much moral fabric to tear, too many responsibilities to bear. Its a heavy burden ... maybe that's my flaw, I'm not honest to even myself. I was never able to justify my relation with Mabel to even myself. I've always been the same foolish courageous kid, wearing watches too big for my wrists, shoes too big for my feet, dreams too big for my eyes ...

Not able to decide, I uttered "Okay, tell me...". And as always, regretted immediately; I could've easily said 'No! Its okay! I don't care about your past!' and talked of how important it is for both of us to care more about our future and not think too much about the past. Ball was in my court - I screwed the last chance I had...

She had already started, "Okay, well technically I'm ...".

"Suneeta! forget it. I don't care to know. Really", I interrupted before it gets too late. I had to. I know all her response will do is pain me.

"What you want to know ... I'll tell you. I've made some lousy decisions in my life. I regret far too many of my actions and decisions. And I've not been a very honest person and I'm not proud of most of my life so far ... but since I met you, I've identified my flaws. I've started to hate my shortcomings instead of accepting them as my nature ... I want to be a better person. You make me want to be a better man. It's progress for me as a person, real progress. And I value it a lot! Its like I have found a reason to be happy in life. You gave me wings when you showed me the birds..." I have no idea if I'm making any sense to her. Maybe it takes to be in my shoes to understand me.

"Let me just say this - my name is a misnomer. About your life, I know more than I care to. I have no desire to know anymore ... I just hope you've already gotten over this guy you liked, and I also hope I'm not just substituting him in your life ... if you still want to know the specifics ... ask me.", I say in almost one breath and then pause to look at her.

How can she still be so calm? So serene? She just has what it takes...

"You've really started loving me haven't you?" She smiles at me and asks.

Do you see why I fell for her so quickly now? How can I not? I pause to sit back on my chair and faintly smile.

Before I answer she speaks again, "I do have one more question!" ... I don't reply, I just keep looking at her. If she asks a sensitive question now - I'm in a soup. I'm at peak of my honesty right now, I'll regret answering this next question, whatever it is ... I just know it.

"Will you hold my hand while we walk back to the parking?" She asks and gives me an open smile. I almost blush and feel so light, its like I'm flying.

"Not if its too cold, then I'll tuck my hands in my pocket" I say. She starts to laugh. And I just noticed, if you listen closely, over and above the noise of traffic and people around you ... New Delhi also has a background music, something like that sixpence-something-something song - Kiss Me ... remember? Yeah, the same guitar, the same voice ... it's funny.



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