Like Water

A boy and a girl travel cross-country to one another, trying to decide whether to run away from their family and religion to marry.

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5. TAXI

The taxi driver’s sister was flying in today, all the way from Chicago. She was the glitzy and loud type that made people sweat at restaurants, and always painted her thin lips in the brightest colours. He couldn’t find a single similarity between them, but he liked her company in small doses. He insisted she stay at a hotel, to spare his wife more than anything, and with her arrival, he wondered if he was on the same plane as Ezra’s girl. How many people could be squeezed onto one little plane? How many journeys could have the same destination?
“It was funny really, we were going to the same college; but for entirely different purposes. She’d come all the way from India, and I was following the traditions of my family. We were so polar to each other sometimes. A lot of the time.”
 Now Ezra was talking about the first time he’d kissed her. The taxi driver had politely blanked out of the respect of Vidhi mostly, but thought it couldn’t get much better than “vanilla-fireworks, kind of like the freshness of new bed sheets.” 

The music was playing lightly, as background noise when the boy needed a break from all his words. They were spilling from him like an malfunctioning dam. The driver didn’t mind as such, and but felt bad when he caught himself drifting out of listening. It had been a long shift, after all. “This is our song.” Ezra said, with a sigh. He remembered playing it to her over the phone when it wouldn’t load on her laptop, and screaming the lyrics down the line when she complained she couldn’t hear it. Her laugh over the phone was electric, and nipped the receiving end until he could feel it almost pinching his cheek. 
“We dated for a few months. School was busy, and we were hardly together on our shifts. Then she got that internship…”

 

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