it could be the overpoweringly fragrant flowers tucked into her hair or the strange notions the old women in her family had of romance, but something had left kalyani's eyes furiously red and irritated. it could also be that being told to cover herself, to resist the urge to bring up that "american music" in conversation and to keep an arms' length distance from the "Boy" had left her simply irritated.
The "Boy" who was not to be called by name, himself, now sat confused and fidgety. when Kalyani had told him three months ago that she wanted to wait till marriage before they "did anything" he had accepted her words because she looked nervous even talking about anything which would constitute "doing". Also because he wondered if contradicting her on the sensitive issue of "doing anything" would drive her running to her mother and his, with a narration of the Scandalous Actions of the Boy. Three months had thus been spent sitting through many movies holding hands and in CCDs across town, over many cups of coffee.
Now, fifteen days away from their wedding, he sat at the appropriate distance from Kalyani and wondered what he was doing, visiting her. Kalyani herself, picking on the silk threads of the sofa's fabric, seemed quiet and angry. As she did so, an aunt set two cups of coffee on the table and discreetly pressed Kalyani's fingers down to keep her from plucking at the sofa fabric. She patted her hair and pulled Kalyani's dupatta closer to her neck for good measure. As she left, the Boy noticed Kalyani's breathing grow visibly heavier. He realised that in three months, this was the first time he had heard her say the word "fuck", even if under her breath.
He decided that polite and chivalrous was the way to go and said "something wrong?". The words "they all know that in eighteen more days, you'll see a lot more than my neck anyway!" fell suddenly on his ears and as she said them, Kalyani realised that eighteen days from now, everything she would do would be what she "should do, as a wife". She knew the Boy would not understand why she had kissed him at precisely that moment, on his lips and hard. But she would have a lifetime to explain, fifteen days later.