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40 of 365

I grabbed the copy of Roget’s thesaurus just as she stretched her hand out. Was I supposed to apologise? The next instant, she leaned across and pulled out an older copy of the book. Damn! I hadn’t seen that one. The pages looked yellow and she ecstatic. She opened it to inhale the smell of yellow paper. I was still shy to do that in public. She seemed to be experienced. She smiled at me before walking away.

From then on, we shared passionate stories from Sartre to Camus, from Woolf to Nin, from talking toads to talking foxes; the list was exhaustive. Our conversations were inspired by the literary world, often surrounded by the literary classics. A world we both fondly escaped to for inspiration as well as for pleasure. But, our mutual aversion to technology had restrained us from exchanging phone numbers. Our conversations were through long letters, eventually, and animated face time, initially. We never needed to plan our meetings. With serendipity by our side, we bumped into each other in every book store in the city. The relationship itself had begun at a rickety, old second hand book store that few in the city knew of. In many ways, she found me at a time when I felt lost. It feels like she saved me. In that distinctive way in which a lost soul is saved; through the magic of words, through a riot of colours, through the soul of music.

Just like the day we met, our thoughts were always freakishly in sync. She seemed to understand from the little I said. She even comprehended from the nothing I said. We are only a year old. Yet I feel our relationship is far too deep, too complex for my vocabulary to express. Sisters in another life? Two peas left to find each other? Other such cliches pass through my thoughts. I open my copy of the thesaurus and inhale it. It makes me miss her presence.

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