“Everything in life is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power,” he said, (in)famous pearls of wisdom from Oscar Wilde, pop-cultured by House of Cards. Though I’d heard the quote a few times, it wasn’t until now that I realised the vehemence it came with.

A couple of hours ago, just as I was getting ready for some downtime by the pool, he entered the room like a man with a motive. One minute he was holding my ass longingly, the next minute he was pulling down the zipper that kept my modesty somewhat intact. Pinning me against the study, he took me from the back. The sight of my bare breasts peeking out of my swimsuit and his primal instincts in the mirror, added to the incessant fire of longing. I’m pretty sure the entire floor heard me scream that evening. At this point, it’s imperative for me to give you a bit of flashback.

Zain and I had met in our first year of college. I, a sweet convent girl, with romantic aspirations. He, a devious co-ed boy, who had had his share of misadventures with the opposite sex. So intoxicated were we in each other’s company that we spent most of our free time together, and then talked over the phone into the wee hours of the night. Things were platonic for a long time. To him, mixing friendship and intimacy was as lethal as consuming a glass of Glenfiddich after a heady dose of meds. I, on the other hand, couldn’t tell the two apart. Sharing my precious, most vulnerable moments made me fall in love.

It wasn’t until the summer after college that things took an amorous turn. He’d call me home when he was alone, on the pretext of watching our favourite TV series. By the end of an episode, we’d be lying next to each other, his hands wrapped neatly around my waist as I got a whiff of testosterone, masked as Issey Miyake. Shortly after our first kiss, he moved cities. Distance stepped in and did its thing of rupturing the safety net we’d carefully built together. We both moved on — he swiftly and skillfully, me painfully so, after collecting the shreds of what I imagined would have been a beautiful relationship.

We stayed in touch intermittently through the years, but I was convinced there was something unfinished between us. This weekend was supposed to be a reunion of sorts. He happened to be in Kochi for a conference, while I was eat-pray-loving myself through southern India. The first evening consisted of incessant chatter. We were ready to bite each other’s ears off with narratives from the years we hadn’t seen each other. And then, as the conversation took the intimate route, as it always did, he commented on how I’d gotten sexy over the years and how he’d like to do me. I couldn’t refuse the offer. A hot teaser on the neck set the stage for a night of bedroom gymnastics that would put weeklong bouts of cardio activities to shame. So why I was sitting by myself and drowning my disappointment in a large cup of cocoa, when I should have been basking in the afterglow? That evening, I came face-to-face with my 16-year-old self. The one who’d spent several years imagining and reimagining what these years of longing would culminate into, each fantasy more colourful than the other. This beautiful boy standing before me, had given me my very first taste of romance. I went through the motions with his body, expecting to find his heart. What actually transpired was so carnal that it left no room for emotions whatsoever.

The truth is, we’d both metamorphosed through the years. I was certainly not the girl who crossed her legs in public as she wore ‘appropriate’ skirts. So why I was expecting him to be the person from ten years ago? Why was I expecting him to make love, when we both just wanted to fuck? Had I lived out my hotel room fantasy with a hot stranger I had met by the bar, dirty and full of surprises, I’d have bragged about it for hours. There was only one way to turn this holiday around. I stripped out of that heavy armour of expectations and put my sexiest swimsuit back on.