This wasn't the first time I was in Kerala, privy to a deliciously slow sunset on a beach, swarming with olive-toned tourists and the soft clamour of waves.
This wasn't the first time I'd lost one of my expensive leather floaters, now drowning in a gurgle of saline water. This wasn't the first time I was alone.
'Been here before?'
'Talking to me?'
'There isn't anyone else...'
'No...I mean...there's always someone else...I have this theory that we are really never alone...'
'I want to be alone.'
This wasn't the first time I had asked her to go away, indirectly, like the blurred headlights on the highway.
'Following me? This can't be sheer
'You haven't shaved again!'
This wasn't the first time I didn't care. A storm was building up. I knew it from the way the sand under my feet felt.
'What day is it today?'
'You seem like you stopped caring for things...a long time ago...'
'It's time to call it a night.'
'I'll wait for you.'
This wasn't the first time I had walked back. And then...
'Dushyant Singh Kanoria.' 'Ummm...'
'Look, I'm kinda messed up...July 29...is...'
This wasn't the first time I was with another woman. It had just started to drizzle, the sound of crickets, strangely intimate.
This wasn't the first time I lied about the way Diya and I had first met...in a secret garden. The scent of tropical flowers equally potent.
'Names are weird. They mean a start. And you're clearly not in the mood to...'
'Yes...sorry I didn't get down to your name.'
It was the first time I'd met someone. Just like myself.