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She watched him, seated with one leg sticking out, cigarette in hand. He always made her day. Misfortune be that she never saw much of him, of late. In between two heart failures, almost stabbing himself to death, and collision of his forehead on metal, ( things that were inexplicable in her world) he seemed to be in good spirits. Of course add to it looking frail, being skinnier, bouts of coughing between sentences, and two women who took turns in calling him. But he was back to living this “ life is short, but it is a while!” life.

“So what’s new?” he asks.

“Nothing much, just the usual”. She tells.

Her usual comment. Not out of dislike for self expression, rather due to non comprehension of what be the latest in her so called life. Of late she had lost touch of it. Funnily she seemed to even have a “boyfriend “who was supposedly in need of time to “sort out his fuck buddies”.

She had abandoned her efforts wasted on trying to convince this “boyfriend” to explain to relevant parties that they were NOT together. He refuses, thinks he is cute and funny in doing so. And audaciously explains “ I am liking this too much to tell her that!”

Yes people did state that she had too much tolerance for nonsense. But his manipulative humour was sadly starting to get on her nerves. She had made up her mind, over the weekend, to knock some sense into him but she did not seem to have reached his level of reasoning.

The two parties in contention would eventually know when the time be right. Till such moment she chose that they be blissfully ignorant of reality and assume that her “boyfriend” was dating a bitch.

She had no time to waste on such. Especially now that he seems to be entangled in sorting out his “screw list”. Such consumption of valuable time, when it was not of her concern. Definitely not. She had already clarified that she had no interest in being contacted by any on the list, and to be questioned by any either. She preferred to believe that her mind had been clear to him, though she knew he did have moments of attention deficit disorder.

“Ok, what’s on your mind? Spill it!” he drags her back to the world of smoke and sanity or insanity.

“Sorry. Got a little lost in my thoughts!”

“I noticed!” He adds, laughs, then coughs.

“Seriously!” She stopped at that, made her famous face of annoyance, knowing very well that whatever she may add, would fall on deaf ears.

She wished she could separate those fingers that entangled around the smoke stick. Smoke, pain, booze and scars there be in abundance. His phone rings, he picks and tells a girl that he will call when he gets home, which in this case would be at a time not too near.

Her phone reacts to his, an SMS. Author speaks of “epiphany”, “writer’s block” then asks if she likes poetry. Yeah yeah , whatever! The charm of those overused lines, words were waning. Their effect being lost on her, with all the bullshit she was being fed. She was fed up, resolute not to respond to such wasted words.

“Him?” he asks.

“Yes.” She nods.

“Ok, you are easily played!” he laughs.

“This is why I never hit on you. Did not wasn’t to lose what we had.! He pauses. “When you like someone, you don’t need time. You know it! This dude, well sorry to say he is a jackass! Just tell him to f off!”

She could not but laugh with this logic of his. There be no fault when one said, it takes one to know one. In this instance a jackass.

Despite a “jackass” she was glad he was there, that messed up head of his, full of random facts, and his pockets filled with phones and cigarettes.

She rested her head on his shoulder, his hand wrapped around hers. It was natural, the two of them and such moments. Two lost souls, two “shit magnets” as he put it. She felt the bones against her cheek, his frailness, the ever familiar tobacco smell.

“Let it go, he does not deserve you. You are no one’s option. You should be the option!” He looks at her, smiles. Then adds. “ By the way, I love you!”

She knew he did. She knew it for a while. She was scared for him. The incessant cough, the 40 smoke sticks and the stubble of a week to which he paid no heed, worried her, made her want to shake him by his shoulders till sense befell upon him. But then she wondered if his state could survive such.

“Talking to you is like hearing myself speak at times.” She says lifting her head from his bones.

He turns, plants a kiss on her cheek.

“I missed you. It sure has been a while!”

Yes, it had been. And she knew it had been too long. She had no knowledge when she would see him again. “if” she would see him again.

He turns, takes out a cigarette. Matchbox, snap, fire, puffs of smoke, tobacco smell and him in his own Zen mode.

Back to that world filled with smoke, and anticipation of booze in a few hours.

As smoke filled the empty space between them, she looked away.