korra4life

United States of America

I'm no longer on WtW and have withdrew the majority of my pieces. If you want to get in touch, you can message me on Instagram or my email (found in 'Message from Writer').

Thanks for being around, guys! Keep writing and DFTBA.

Message to Readers

I wrote this piece a very, very, very long time ago, but it has grown in popularity recently. I'm not sure how or why, but I've been getting likes for it a lot within the past month. So I'm just going to republish it, but I haven't changed the story. Thanks for your support!

Tea-Coffee

April 28, 2019

PROMPT: Polar Opposite

15
My dark blue headphones pulse with music, filling my ears with a melody of sounds. I watch as more people board the train, filling every spare space. This was normal in Mumbai. Or as normal as Mumbai can be. 
I drum my fingers against my canary yellow book bag as the train pulls away from the stop. I slip my ticket out of my threadbare red jacket and hand it to the conductor who's attempting to squeeze through the crowd of people. He stamps my ticket and hands it back. 
"Hey, give him my ticket, will you?" the man behind me asks, reaching over several people to wave his ticket in my face. I grin and nod, taking the ticket. The conductor stamps it and I hand it back, trying not to hit anyone in the face. The man gives me a bright smile, his brown eyes lighting up. 
I turn back around and wait for my stop. The music thrumming in my ears causes me to nod my head to the beat. I get lost in the deep bass and soulful lyrics. I close my eyes, tuning out the bodies pressed against mine and the stench of too much perfume and not enough deodorant. All I see is darkness punctuated by neon lights matching the beat of my song. 
The train slows to a stop and I push my way through the crowd, yelling goodbye to everyone I recognize. I get several responses and one of my Aunties gives me a kiss on the cheek as I slip out of the wide doors. 
The man who asked me to turn in his ticket jumps out, just as the train starts moving again. I slip my backpack on and hop up the stairs, two at a time. The man follows me before tapping my arm, just as I reach the top. I turn and pull my headphones down onto my neck. 
"Can I help you?" I ask, tapping my foot to the beat currently pulsing against my throat. He rubs the back of his head and gives me a sheepish grin. I realize that he's most likely my age. 
"I, um, wanted to say thanks. You know, for helping me out in there" he says softly. I smile and nod. I stick out my hand, suddenly wanting to introduce myself. It's a habit of mine, to just introduce myself to everyone I meet. My parents used to say that one day, I'll get myself kidnapped for being so friendly. I used to just laugh it off.
"Of course. I'm Vineeta Parthasaarthy, Neurosurgery Major at Grant Medical" I say brightly, shaking his slender hand. I can't help but notice how soft his hands feel and how dark his hair and eyes are. 
"Nice to meet you. I'm Arjun Parihaar, Engineering Major at UoM. Are you a freshman?" he asks and starts walking towards the business sector. I follow and gaze at everyone around me. It's another habit, to memorize every detail I can. 
I tie my hair into a ponytail and give him a side look. "Not at all. I'm a junior, but thanks for noticing" I laugh and skip ahead. I see Uncle Reyansh and go over. He gives me a tight hug and we talk for a few minutes about home. Then, he gives me warm coffee to drink. 
"Thank you, Uncle. See you!" I say and skip back towards Arjun. But, Uncle calls me back and hands me another coffee, giving me a wink. I roll my eyes and hand it to Arjun, my hand touching his slightly. 
"You know a lot of people" Arjun says, sipping his coffee easily. I shrug and spread my arms, tilting my head back. The cool wind pours over me. I love being in the city. Some don't, claiming it's too dirty and polluted. I love it here. 
"It's not that I know a lot of people. I find people so... interesting. Don't you, Arjun," I ask and turn back towards him. He was gazing at me, but turns away quickly. I stop walking and tilt my head. "I have to warn you, Arjun. I'm not looking for a relationship." 
"Me neither, Vineeta. But, don't you think these things just happen? I wasn't planning on seeing you on that train. I also had no idea we'd get off at the same stop." I decide to consider his words and I nod. 
"I suppose so. But guess what, Arjun? I'm a Muslim, and your name dictates you're a Hindi" I grin and start walking backwards, sipping from my coffee. 
Arjun seems surprised but tries to mask it well. "Your name is Hindi. Parthasaarthy is definitely a Hindi name" he mumbles. Then he looks up from his coffee and gives me a wink. 
"My father is Hindi. But my mother was Muslim and he gave up his religion. Absolutely romantic, don't you think?" I pretend to swoon. My playlist ends and I take out my phone to change it. Arjun comes so close that his shadow falls over my phone and I can smell his sweet honey-scented soap. 
"I think... I like you, Muslim Vineeta Parthasaarthy who finds people interesting," he says, his voice low. I look up from my phone and stare at him. "What do you think?" Cars speed by, honking fills the air. The scent of spicy bhelpuri fills my nostrils and I stare right into his eyes. My lips slowly curve into a smile and I take a step back. 
"I think... I can't say how I feel right now! I have to get to know you a little more!" I yell and run into the street. The pulsating music in my headphones plus the screeching of car tires and honks make my heart beat faster. I dash to the steps of the massive library and turn to see Arjun weaving through the streets. He climbs the steps of the library and grabs my arm. He leans in close. 
"I'm fine with that, Vineeta. But, next time, before you run off, you'll need to give me your number first" he whispers. I grin and nod. 
"Sure, Hindi Arjun Parihaar. Except, in order to get my number, you'll need to buy me a fresh kati roll. And, we'll need to go to this absolutely amazing karaoke bar. Unless, you're not willing to put a little effort into getting my number" I ask, already heading down the steps. Arjun laughs, the sound like the wind. I see a few other Uncles and Aunties but I don't go to them. Not yet. 
Arjun catches up to me and gently takes off my headphones. He puts them on his own ears and starts dancing. I try to hold back a laugh but I can't help it. His dancing is terribly funny. "I'm willing to put in a lot of effort for you. I know the best place to buy kati rolls. But, we'll need to take a rickshaw" he yells out as he continues dancing. I turn and look back at the street. Rickshaws and other cars honk and swerve around one another violently. 
Several people in suits and skirts with phones to their ears pass us as they walk. I wave to a few, my mind working. Finally, I turn back to Arjun. 
"Let's go, then." 
This was a really cool prompt! My main character is not my exact opposite, but she's close! 
Also, the title comes from the fact that most Indians, when someone comes to their home, they ask them if they would like tea or coffee by saying, "Tea-Coffee." I feel like that is perfect.

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6 Comments
  • Dmoral13

    I love everything about this piece!


    8 months ago
  • Livelovecats

    So much detail, such an amazing character. I can't think of any ways this could be better. Pls write more :)


    10 months ago
  • Quille

    Wow. This is breathtaking :) Masterful, but that doesn't even cover it :DD


    10 months ago
  • f l o r a

    the review is complete.


    about 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    Thank you! You have absolutely no idea how that makes me feel. :D


    about 1 year ago
  • Blotted Ink with a Broken Quill

    This is sooo amazing. You are a truly masterful writer. I think you really understand how people work.


    about 1 year ago