The Patient Sikh: Part Eighteen–The TalkPhoto by Renee Fisher on Unsplash This an excerpt from a novel in progress and a work of fiction. So Sonny is just ignoring me now, I said to Sarita as we ate mushy pasta in the dorm cafeteria. So ignore him, she said and took a bite of even mushier broccoli. This is not a game, I sighed. Oh but it is, Sarita continued. For him it is. So you have to play. I don't like games, I said and shook my head. You have to act as if you don't care, that's the only way you'll get his attention, Sarita smiled. I don't know, I said and took a sip of water. I don't know what's happening or what to do. Why is this happening? I knew I could never find love or find a boyfriend. I knew it would never work out for me. I think something may actually be wrong with me. What? I’m not sure,” I said and stared at the stale food. The brown and white carpet on the floor was screaming at me for some reason. “Nothing is wrong with you, something is wrong with him. He’s an asshole, that’s what’s wrong,” Sarita stated very emphatically. Her nostrils flared. “I know, but I love this asshole,” I said and stared at her sadly. She licked some marinara sauce off her lips.  “Love? How do you even know that you love him?” she asked looking annoyed. “I just know,” I answered. “You do not. Do not even tell me you know what love is.” I looked at a dude sitting at a table next to us wearing a navy blue baseball cap. He looked like he didn’t believe in love either. “I mean I’m not sure, but I know what I feel…” I trailed off. “I don’t think I’m capable of love. I’m not even sure if I believe there is such a thing,” Sarita said and looked kind of pissed at me. Her nostrils continued to flare. “What do you mean?” I asked. I wondered if the dude with the hat could hear us. “I mean how do you know there is even such a thing as love? Can you prove it?” “You don’t believe in love? Then what are people singing about all the time and making movies and writing books about?” I asked staring straight at her. The curls in her hair were tight. “I think they are making it up. I think we want to think there is such a thing as love because it makes us feel good,” she said and shook her head. “You’re wrong, love is real. It may be the only  real thing. I love you,” I said and smiled at her. The boy with the hat had to hear this! Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash “Don’t make me puke,” she laughed. “You have no idea how much I love you,” I went on. “If love exists, I don’t think I’m capable of love, like romantic love,” she said very solemnly. “Why, why would you think that?” “Because I just don’t think I have the capacity to feel that anymore.” “Did you love Rahul?” I asked her. Rahul was the first guy she ever had a thing with. “I don’t know, but he was an ass too. They’re all assholes,” she sighed. “Maybe we should become lesbians,” I said. “You idiot, you don’t just become a lesbian, you either are one or you’re not. And anyways, I could not handle the emotions of a crazy girl!” “That’s true, I have to be the crazy one in the relationship.” “You are the crazy one in any relationship, don’t worry about that,” she smiled. “Don’t you dare call him,” she said very firmly. “I won’t,” I sighed again. “I don’t believe you,” she said and looked at me suspiciously. “Do you think I’m needy and pathetic?” “You mean generally speaking?” she asked and laughed. “No, I’m serious, do you think I’m desperate?” “Honestly?” she asked looking at me curiously. “Yeah I think you are a little desperate.” “I am aren’t I?” “Well I mean you want this too much. You need to let it be a little bit. Let him come to you,” she said and looked out the window as the sun was shining through it. “I’m afraid he never will,” I declared and closed my eyes. I tried to imagine a world without Sonny. I could not. I could not see my life without him. nina  If you would like to read the beginning of this novel in progress, The Patient Sikh, visit the following links in chronological order: The Patient Sikh: Part One The Patient Sikh: Part Two–The Wonder Years The Patient Sikh: Part Three–Sonny The Patient Sikh: Part Four–Song Lyrics The Patient Sikh: Part Five–Your Song The Patient Sikh: Part Six–Coffee Talk The Patient Sikh: Part Seven--Chocolate Covered Love The Patient Sikh: Part Eight--Kiss And Tell The Patient Sikh: Part Nine--Street Chess The Patient Sikh: Part Ten--Ravi The Patient Sikh: Part Eleven--Understanding The Patient Sikh: Part Twelve--Hey Jealousy  The Patient Sikh Part Thirteen--Me The Patient Sikh: Part Fourteen--The Telephone The Patient Sikh: Part Fifteen--The Dress The Patient Sikh Part Sixteen--The Car The Patient Sikh: Part Seventeen--Silence