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29 June 2007 @ 05:44 am
Don // { double sided }  
Title: double sided
Characters: Don; Sarah Ailes
Prompt: None.
Placement: This takes place in the middle of my fic-verse, in the year 1997, and before Don - The Chase Begins Again.
Word Count: 1407
Rating: PG for petit gratuitous language.
Spoilers: None for the film; a little for my story, but that's how you should read it.
Author's Notes: How years of friendship turn into love, Don-style.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Don - The Chase Begins Again, not even that golf ball that Don used to kill the mole in that COMPLETELY AMAZING scene. I do own the Ailes brood, and this particular take on Don's past. Please don't sue me; I'm a college student now, and you won't get a dime!







I sent him a mixtape. I can't believe I sent him the mixtape. I mean, when I was making the mixtape I had every intention of sending it to him. As I listened to Bonnie Raitt sing about love sneaking up on you when you least expect it, I knew that I had to send this to him, that I had to tell him before he got serious about any one of his random girlfriends. When I listened to Without You I thought about how depressed I'd been when he was away at university, about how alive I felt when he returned. I knew I needed to send it to him. I had every intention of sending it to him then, as the tape played, it felt right. And then Oasis, the perfect unrequited love song, the song that echoed my feelings about him, the song that was my anthem throughout my first year of college. I wasted my first year of studying at Harvard because Wonderwall always seemed to play around exam time, when I was so tense and in need of the soothing Indian heat. Wonderwall always seemed to play when I needed to study or write a paper, when I just wanted a friend to talk to. I've got friends here at college, but none of them can read me like Don could, from the moment he met me he could read me like a Winnie The Pooh book. So Wonderwall was the kicker, the real meat to the mix that I knew Don had to hear. I was so vindicated when I made this mix. I almost sent it to him without the final track, from this new band that Karen turned me on to. It's this brutal love song about the pain you'd go through to love someone, about how long you'd be willing to spend with that one perfect person, however imperfect they may be to the rest of the world. The line that he keeps repeating over and over again is "I love you more than I should". This was the perfect ending to my mixtape, the perfect accent to really send the point home. I love Don, love him too much and have loved him for too long and have no real way to explain it except for the fact that he is Don and I've never wanted anyone else.

I wrote him a short note, very short to peak his interest and not seemed too attached to the sentiments within the songs. I wrote like I thought he'd write if he were professing his love to me. Honestly, if it were up to me, I would have written sixteen pages. But he never reads my letters if they're too long. He always listens to the music.

I wrote:

Just a short mix. The subject is something you should have known about a long time ago. Listen to it near the fountain, if you can.


I didn't sign it, and now that I think of it... what if he doesn't know it's from me? What if he thinks it's from some other bimbo who's fallen in love with him, and gives some beautiful, dark Indian girl his heart by mistakenly transferring my beautifully composed mixtape to her.


As soon as I slid the package into the mail slot I regretted it. I tried to get it back, and made quite a fool of myself in the process. Everyone stared as I slowly discovered that my arm was not long enough to reach into the bottom of the bin, where the package rested. It was two in the morning (aren't all crazy love-related and suicidal things done in the evening?), and the only people around were too drunk to help me. So I walked away and came back to my dorm and thought about the fact that I won't ever be able to face him again. I thought about the fact that I'll never have any more phone calls from New Delhi, no reason to buy ten 1,000 minute international phone cards when they go on sale in January. I thought about the fact that my summers will now consist of finding things to keep me out of the house and away from Don. I'm thinking about going to Israel to pick oranges... maybe a missile from Palestine will hit me and end my misery.

I ruined my relationship with the only person I've ever loved. I could have just kept the friendship, however sporadic, going until I returned to India permanently, when I'm sure he would have fallen for me. He just needed to spend enough time with me. Now he's going to get a restraining order to make sure he doesn't have to spend any time with this nut job who's been living next door to him for the past thirteen years. He probably thinks I've been stalking him all that time. I'll be the laughing stock of the neighborhood when I get back. Surely then the gossip will have spread to the women, and they'll never let me live it down.


I want to die.


I can't believe I sent him the stupid fucking mixtape.




Love Sneakin' Up On You - Bonnie Raitt
Without You - Badfinger
Wonderwall - Oasis
Ten Million Years - Black Lab





She sent me another mixtape. I listened to it once, the whole thing, by the fountain in her yard at about three in the morning. I couldn't sleep and had the time to kill, so I walked over and sat down on the edge and pressed play.

When it was finished, I listened to it again. As it was rewinding, the whirring of the tape sent my thoughts after it. What the hell did she mean by this?

I listened to it again, picking out the lyrics more carefully. She forgets, I think, that English is not my native language. Maybe I'll ask her to send me Hindi songs from now on, or at least write the lyrics down. It's really a pain in my ass.

The theme of the whole thing was love. Love sneaking up behind you, love when you're apart from the person, love when it's not returned, and love until the end of time. And it wasn't friend-love, hey yaar love, brother-sister love (except, as Sarah would say, in West Virginia). This was a mixtape of romantic love sent to me from Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

I wondered for a moment if it was even from Sarah, until I checked the handwriting on the note. I don't know too many people in Massachusetts, either, and certainly none who would send me a mixtape. I don't know why I even questioned it. She's been sending me these tapes since I left for Oxford, since she read about it in some magazine as a good way to keep a friendship going. While I was there I had to explain to my mates that, no I wasn't getting these from a beautiful, exotic Indian girlfriend but from my kid neighbor who was paler than they were. Sure, she was more to me than a kid neighbor, but I wasn't going to tell them that. And she certainly wasn't the kind of romantic love to me that would explain this mixtape.

She certainly wasn't.

But is she now?

She's never been bad to look at, never been ugly like I insinuated the first time we met. Not fat, not plagued by acne or an abnormally large facial feature. Her eyes are the right distance apart, and quite beautiful if she's wearing the right color blue. But she's still so pale, so American-looking. Her hair is brown, but her skin is never tan and she even has freckles around her cheeks. Freckles? But she's no Pippi Longstocking, thank God.

She's not voluptuous, not like Pooja who's got those full lips and the great ass. Her features are too small to be exotic, to be really beautiful like any of the girls who throw themselves at me when I walk into a club.

But she is smart, and comfortable around me in a way that no one else is. She makes me comfortable, too, and always tells me when I'm full of shit. I smile when I think of her telling me to stop running around like some Amitabh Bachchan impersonator with bad clothes and get a real job, or at least a decent kurta to replace my imported brand T-shirts. No one else tells me those things. No one else sends me a mixed tape professing love from another continent. No one else has the balls.

As I think of her now, she's not looking so average. As I think of her now, I'm wanting to call her on the phone and hear her voice more than I want to grab a drink with Sonia.

Maybe, with some more of this thinking, I could love her.
 
 
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