Harry was sitting in the front seat next to the chauffeur, with Anita and Swapna at the rear. With two women on his back at the same time, he was in a dilemma. A part of him was overjoyed with Swapna’s decision. Another part was heartbroken. Being with his soulmate at the end of the year was special, but they had company.
As he turned back, he saw Swapna whisper something in Anita’s ear. He was glad that the two of them got along well. Khush was following them with Shamiq and Aneesha. Anu and Sanjib had to rush back home to prepare for their house-warming brunch the following day, the first day of the decade. Invitations had been extended to the group that evening.
The bay windows in Harry’s apartment offered a 220o view of the harbour. Conscious of his foolishness earlier in the evening, Shamiq was subdued. Anita stopped thinking about him, concentrating on her own issues with Harry. Khush, Swapna and Anita got cracking with dessert cocktails.
The music was soothing. Swapna pulled Harry up for a dance to her favourite song by Louis Armstrong; What a Wonderful World. They were lost to the world.
Khush and Anita felt awkward about getting intimate with each other as both had been close to their departed friend Shom. Shamiq and Aneesha felt a bit out of place. Particularly because Shamiq was trying to be extra civil with Anita. Anita, on the other hand, was noticing him for the first time. She discovered that he had changed from the time they had their first encounter a decade ago, the memory of which was loathsome. She asked how he was able to attract a lot of women to himself. Clearly embarrassed, he thought it was because he was a giver, a masochist, unlike a macho male who is a sadist.
Anita said that she would have to figure that out. She kept swaying her body to the beats, prompting Shamiq to react. Soon, they were the second couple on the floor; Khush and Aneesha followed suit.
At the stroke of midnight, the pyrotechnics illuminated the sky. Soulmates Harry and Swapna, were lip-locked and lost to the world. Only those who are lost to the world find themselves. Shamiq whispered New Year greetings in Anita’s ears, their arms around each other, and their spirits buoyant.
To be continued…