“Wake up,” he said as he rolled over her side and kissed her mouth.
Morning kisses are an interesting amalgamation of oh-this-is-so-fucking-hot-I’ll-tear-your-pants-off and I-know-what-you-had-last-night. The room was dark and dreamy at 5 in the morning and she could see a silhouette of his face as she tried to crinkle her eyes open.
“What time is it? Ouch…Your beard,” she managed to gasp and talk while playing with his tongue.
“I’ll shave today. Okay?” he broke the kiss.
“No. It’s nice. Brings the poet out in you quite well,” she giggled while settling her head on his chest.
The snooze alarm began to ring. He promptly hit it off.
“I can see your face in this dim light, you know?” she whispered.
“Wow, Grateful Dead must have written the lyrics of Supersonic Vision thinking about you,” he snickered.
“Shut up,” she tried to get up, as he laughed and gently put her head back on the chest.
“I’ve to finally leave in a bit, you know?” she paused and slowly said.
“Hmm, I’ll drop you to the airport.”
“That’s not the point.”
“Then what is?”
“What about us?”
He rested his elbows on the pillow and looked down at her face.
“I think I’m in love with you,” he said.
“You mean as friends?”
“No, I mean for real. ‘Cause you’re like the coolest person I’ve ever met, and you don’t even have to try, you know.”
“I try really hard, actually,” she said as both of them broke into a smile.
“Are we totally going to pretend that we didn’t lift that entire thing from Juno?” she asked.
“Totally. Just like we pretend we are not Jesse and Celine.”
“You know Celine is real. Her name was Amy Lehrhaupt. Almost 30 years ago, Richard Linklater met Amy in Philadelphia and the two spent an unforgettable night together.”
“What happened after that?”
“Hmm.. She couldn’t watch Before Sunrise even though she was the inspiration.”
The snooze alarm began ringing and brought their train of thoughts back.
“Ugh” he exclaimed as he hit it off without even looking at the phone.
He hugged her without a word. A bone crushing warm embrace where he buried his head in the small of her neck.
“What happened?” she smiled as she played with the back of his floppy hair.
“I know what you’re thinking.”
“Mmmhmm… we are still in the middle of our movie. Don’t try rushing towards the end.”
He looked up and kissed her. He smelt of tobacco and sunshine.
“Not even if it involves driving sneakily into a National park and spending the night in a car?”
“You’re a chicken! You will never stand butt naked under the moonlight and let me click that kissing picture.”
“Oh please, I’ve been working out. Haven’t you looked at my abs?”
“Haha ohyes my Ashton Kutcher. Wait, Kutcher didn’t have this godforsaken beard in the movie.”
“And Amanda Peet wasn’t a journalist either. We have to have our own individuality. It is OUR movie at the end of the day.”
“Mmm… but will you play the guitar and sing for me like he did below Peet’s building?”
“I’ll do better. I’m armed with Gulzar and Saadat Hasan Manto, lady. Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa toh nahi,” he crooned in his husky voice.
“Gulzar in the streets, Godzilla in the sheets. You’re terrible,” she giggled and kissed his nose.
The alarm rang.
“I really need to get up now. Promise you will write to me?”
“Listen it’s 2016, even though we believe we are still trapped in our 90s childhood with big black telephones.”
“It would’ve been so much fun had you been there in my childhood. Would you have made your sister call my landline so that you could talk to me?”
“Please, I would’ve called on my own. And then ask your father to let you meet me at CCD after Math tutions.”
“Liar,” she giggled.
He grabbed her hair and put his tongue in her mouth. She kissed back. She took his tee-shirt off and bit his ear.
“You know what’s the best part about A Lot Like Love?”
“It’s just like us. A lot like love but not love, like, infatuation, crush, relationship, nothing. It’s just *this*. No labels.”
He kissed her more passionately this time and took off her tee-shirt.
“When will we meet again?”
“We never know that and that’s the best part about us. Maybe another two years, or three or…”
“You’re my Celine. You’re not Amy. Do you understand me?” he panted.
“And who are you? Linklater or Woody Allen? Wait, what if the next time we meet is at your movie’s premier? You will finally make your movie, won’t you? I’ll wave at you from the back of the crowd.”
“Or even better. At your book reading. In Greenwich village. You know that small book cum coffee shop down the street?”
“Are you gonna say ‘hey’?”
“I’m gonna say ‘hey’.”
Sunlight filtered through the window as they made love. Her nails dug deep in his back. Their limbs entangled in an infinite loop. He kissed her forehead as he put her head on his chest. He tried to say something.
“Don’t. You will ruin it,” she said looking at him.
Their eyes shone with hints of tear.
“Are you sure it will always be better this way?” he asked.
“Yes, because otherwise, eventually… we will realise that we are only normal people just trying to be special.”
“But that’s just so complicated.”
“Yes it’s complicated but that’s the most beautiful part about it.”
The snooze alarm kept ringing. Nobody reached for it.
“Are you going to write about us?”
“Maybe. Maybe not.”
“Am I the muse?” he smiled.
“Yes, you’re the muse. The muse with the mole,” she looked into his eyes. The morning sunlight made crisscross patterns on his face.
“I’ll get up,” she kissed his nose and got up.
“Where’s the next chapter going to be?”
“Meet me at Montauk,” she said.