As told by Jason D’ Cunha to GunmasterG9.
Illustrated by Anshumaan Sathe
I used to call her Cookie. She was very beautiful. I had a crush on her since I was very young even though she was 15 years older than me, and my distant aunt too. She used to live in Pune with her husband and two kids. I lived in Mumbai.
We met or spoke very rarely yet I used to feel strongly for her. I used to feel so much lust towards her. I wanted to be in bed with her. But as I grew older, around 20, my feelings for Cookie began to change. I really wanted to get to know her better as a person. Over the years, for me, I had developed some kind of bond with her but I still felt like she saw me as a small child.
Then, suddenly, everything changed.
I was chilling at home one day, and out of the blue, Cookie called me. She said she needed to talk to someone. She didn’t sound okay and I was worried that something was wrong. She asked for a video call and I immediately said yes. I didn’t even realise that I wasn’t wearing a shirt at that time. When she called, the sight of her terrified me. She had a black eye, her face was swollen. She told me that her husband was abusive towards her, and had been like that since they got married. He would get drunk, hit her and sexually assault her. I suggested she should call the cops, but she didn’t do it out of fear. Plus, her parents didn’t support her and had said that after her marriage, it wasn’t their concern how she got treated. I was 23 at the time and didn’t know how to react. I said I wish I could do something to help and she replied that she just wanted to be heard. She just needed someone to talk to. So, for about an hour, I listened to all her struggles on that call. At the end of it, she thanked me for listening.
That call was the beginning of a friendship you could say. We never really put a name to it or discussed it. It was just a new version of our relationship. More intimate, warmer. I was working at a call centre back then so my work hours were a little erratic. But we texted every day. Very routine, mundane, monotonous texts about our daily routines. As far as I knew, I was a shoulder for her to cry on when she was very vulnerable and didn’t have anyone else to talk to. Although from my end, there was a lot of infatuation. For me, she was this perfect person and I just wanted to be with her.
Compared to the girls around my age, my conversations with Cookie were very different. We would talk about anything and everything. I was very vulnerable and open with her. I would share things about my past, my family – things I hadn’t shared even with my closest friends. I never had to filter my thoughts. She just listened instead of telling me what to do all the time. That was very amazing for me.
The texts slowly became calls. One morning, I had just woken up when she called me. I told her I wanted to use the washroom and she started teasing me about having a boner! I was blushing full on. I didn’t know what to say. I panicked and just hung up on her. She then called me every morning and teased me the same way. She’d say that she was okay with it and that we could talk about it. Once, during a call, she asked me to show her my boner. For a quick moment, I actually turned the camera around and did so. Her face turned red, her jaw dropped. That was my first time ever of phone sex over video! I don’t even know what to call it. She asked me to masturbate on video. I remember, my phone was so horrible. It had just a 2-megapixel camera. But when I did what she asked, she just stared at the screen the whole time, her eyes wide open and her face blushing. Through that call I kept thinking, is this a dream? Am I really awake? I was feeling really shy, because this had never happened to me before. I was getting excited wondering what she was thinking on the other side. I really wanted to look below her face. Was she playing with herself? Deep inside, I was also really happy. In Dhoom, the way the character of Uday Chopra imagines any girl he sees with a car, and two children – that was me. Only in my case, it would be four kids because she already had two of her own! We would video call each other all the time and spend the whole day together virtually.
In the meantime, her relationship with her husband kept worsening by the day. He kicked her out of the house at one point and she came to Mumbai with her kids. Her parents lived in South Bombay and I lived in the suburbs which was far from there. But luckily, my grandmother used to send food to her parents’ house every Sunday. I was more than happy to deliver it, because I could see Cookie more often. I asked her to attend this function at a Bandra church every Wednesday evening so we could now meet twice a week.
The day I turned 24, I asked her to meet me. We hung out for a while, went to a club, drank together, danced together. That was the first time I held her so close to me. My hand was around her waist. I still remember how good she smelled. We had such a fun time! After I went back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Maybe it was the alcohol, I took out my phone and texted her saying I really liked her. She replied saying she felt the same way too. My heart began racing! I was just filled with joy! We began to meet more often. She would come to my office and we’d hang out after I finished work. My colleagues also met her many times. They seemed unbothered that she was older than me. Maybe because she didn’t look much older.
Once when we went out, we got very drunk. She suggested that we take a cab instead of my bike so we got one. We sat in the backseat. She leaned on my shoulders and said that she really liked being with me and how I took care of her. I looked at her, and we kissed. Our first ever kiss. We started passionately making out in the cab itself. 45 minutes of kissing each other, on the neck, on the lips, biting each other, putting my hand inside her t-shirt, I loved it all.
When we reached her house, she said let’s go to the terrace. Sadly, I didn’t have a condom on me, so we didn’t have sex that night. The first thing I did after dropping her back home was to buy 10 packets of condoms! Finally, when we did have sex, I was over the moon! I had always wanted to be in bed with her and I was really, really happy. It was like the typical puppy love that all couples initially have.
Whenever Cookie and I had sex, there was a lot of foreplay. It seemed really adventurous. This didn’t happen with the girls closer to my age. As in, the foreplay was not as intense and they were also afraid of PDA (Public Display of Affection). I really like foreplay because it builds the tension between both people. Cookie was bindass! She and I would tease each other a lot in bed, have a lot of fun. There was no pressure to do anything because she knew her way around me. Initially, she would show me what part of her vagina to lick, how to fondle her breasts, what things she enjoyed. She had had so much more sex than me so she had a lot of clarity in thought. I always knew I would be good in bed because she herself had told me how I could make her feel pleasure and she was patient while I got better.
All of this was happening in secret, of course. My mom suspected I was dating someone. She would frequently ask if I was seeing anyone. I would simply deny and move on. My mother is like the CID so I was scared. Very scared. But the family knew Cookie and I had a good bond and that we got along well, so no one suspected us. We would act very casual in front of them.
Only two of my closest friends knew what was happening. I’ve known them since we were six and I share everything with them. They did warn me initially not to take things further with Cookie because the situation was so complicated. But once I told them I was dating her, they never judged me. They were very supportive but advised me not to keep high hopes, that everything could spiral down anytime.
Until I met Cookie, I’d never care what anyone else thought and just said whatever I wanted to. Maybe I was harsh and rude at times. But she would sit me down and make me think about my behaviour and my words. I slowly became more thoughtful towards others, thought about them a little more. If I wanted to be treated with respect, I had to treat others the same way. It’s always a give and take. That’s something I definitely learnt from her.
For six months I was in my La La Land with Cookie and then one day, I heard the husband had come back. He wanted her and the kids back in his life. Apparently, he had realised his mistake and become a better man or something. I didn’t buy any of it, it was all lies to me. I guess I had hoped somewhere along the line that she would divorce him. But that never happened. She told me one day that she was going to meet her husband – she wanted to give him another chance. I asked her what about us? She seemed very unaffected by that question and just said yes, we can still be in touch. I said if she went back to Pune, I couldn’t travel there often. She just replied: then let’s meet only some times, what were you expecting. That she was after all a married woman. I was just shattered…so disappointed. I met her a few times after that. She would always say she missed me, she missed having a conversation. So, I guess she was not as unaffected. There was something.
Honestly, through our entire time together, I was never unaware of reality. That she was married, she was my relative and that I couldn’t be with her forever. Even her kids and I knew each other well. But none of it bothered me because I just wanted to be with her for whatever time I could. But the ending was so abrupt, which is why it really hit me hard.
Then, life went on. I got busy with work and avoided going to family functions altogether. We didn’t meet or talk for very long. But some years later, I met Cookie again at some event. It hurt seeing someone whom I’d shared such an intimate experience with. I wondered, what was all that effort and time for? Was it all a waste? We spoke that day. I remember, I was smoking outside the venue and she joined me. She asked for a smoke and I offered. She told me what we had was really beautiful, that she had never had such an experience and that she will always cherish it. It was nice and sweet of her to say that but I had moved on. It didn’t really matter to me. The truth is we could’ve been really good friends and figured something out if things had ended differently.
Much later in my life I heard that Cookie went out with many younger guys. I heard it was because she wanted to have lots and lots of sex and her husband didn’t give her enough affection and time. Looking back, I realised that for me, being with her was a dream come true. But I never knew her side of the story. Maybe she was looking for sex and not a relationship. I could be wrong, I could be right; I really don’t know.
People have this stereotype that it’s easy to impress an older woman and date her. I feel it’s not true at all. Older women have seen younger guys and know how they think even if the guys don’t spell out their thoughts. But it’s not about ‘older women’ and all that really. I’m not at all saying don’t date an older woman. I mean, what’s the harm in it? People are okay with a younger woman dating an older man. Look at Milind Soman and his girlfriend. But when Priyanka Chopra married Nick Jonas, she got so much flak for it. For me, compatibility matters. Age is in our mindset, really. A woman older than me, if we are on the same page? I would be happy to date her.
But the one thing I’ll always stick to is that I’m never going to be with someone who hasn’t fully ended their previous relationship. Even on dating apps or when I ask out someone I meet, I ask them if they are currently with someone or still in the process of ending things. If they are, I immediately back off. I don’t want to get involved in any way. I’ll wait till they have ended things, settled down and moved on. Because if not, they can be vulnerable and I don’t want to just be a shoulder to cry on or a dick to ride on. I’m not very into casual sex. I’ll only be with someone who’s as madly in love with me as I am with them. It has to be a two-way street.
I once met a woman online and asked her what she expected if we got into a relationship. She said nothing yet, because if she had any expectations and they weren’t met, she’d be hurt. She’s right in a way. But I feel if you set your expectations openly, make it clear that you’re looking for something, that will bring stability. I don’t feel it’s asking for too much. There may be mess-ups, people may break their promises, or cheat, or lie – it’s human. But that doesn’t mean you don’t set any expectations. For me, if I don’t have any expectations, I don’t think I can have a future in that relationship.
Jason D’Cunha is a 28-year-old guy wanting to know what love really is, and is still in search of his Miss Perfect. He is often found sitting and admiring couples around the city. (He is still friends with Cookie and hopes she tells him why she did whatever she did.)
GunmasterG9 is a 24-year-old guy, who is an amalgamation of someone who’s perpetually confused but constantly ambitious at the same time. Disaster is a natural part of his evolution toward tragedy and dissolution. A passion for music, a love for art and a wish to be a Pablo Neruda in a world full of Chetan Bhagats!