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The first part of my submission for a course, Fiction Writing Workshop. The story is a heavily edited version of a blog post I wrote before, ‘How to know that you are dating a crazy woman’. The blog can be viewed here.

Strike a conversation and throw in a hint that you would want to go out with her. Give her some time. Your hint was supposed to be subtle, perhaps bordering on a fling; she will choose to run a mile with it anyway.

She will reject your advances, but it will not be long before she will start questioning her decision. She will hint at wanting to hook up with you – obviously not meant in the literal sense, because she will claim she is much too innocent for that. You will be pestered to ask her out again, simply because she doesn’t want to do that. You will ask her out again, and because technically, you approached her, this will give her absolute control – the kind of control that a prison warden has over his inmates. Her reply will be in the affirmative this time.

You will convince yourself that you love her.

Your ‘relationship’ will be a big secret. When together in public, you will have to talk to her like you would to any other friend. You will wink at each other, but that will only be for the two of you to see. Somewhere during all that winking, she will notice the colour of your eyes. She will later tell you how beautiful they are.

No one must know that the two of you have upgraded your status from friends to lovers. You will be allowed to hug everyone but her, and you will definitely not be allowed to hold her hand. She will be like a museum artifact – to be looked at, but not to be played with.

Worry not. This phase will pass.

She will gradually tell her inner circle about you. And then she will change her Facebook status from ‘Single’ to ‘In a relationship’, thus ensuring that the commitment becomes ‘official’. Since she will want to mention who she’s ‘In a relationship’ with, it means that both of your Facebook statuses get changed. Rejoice.

The transition from keeping the relationship a secret to making it public will not be subtle; it will probably take one night, or less, given the amount of time it takes for her to successfully take over your Facebook profile. She will memorize every detail of the two thousand something tagged pictures you have, posting little love notes on the ones she especially likes. It is highly unlikely that she doesn’t like them all, unless you’re with another woman in a picture. She will demand that you remove those pictures immediately.

When you log into your Facebook account next, she will not only have commented on your pictures but would have been rampant on your Facebook wall as well. Brace yourself for a plethora of “hugs” in asterisks as well as the clichéd romantic messages. It is vital that you reply to her wall posts, else she will get offended and flick a dozen questions at you to find out why you’re ignoring her. You will have to comment on all her pictures.

Come her birthday, and she will expect diamonds for presents. You, being short on cash, will only get her gold. You will take her out to an expensive place for lunch, where she will order the garden salad. You will take her to watch a movie, where she will cling to you like a monkey strapped to your leg. She will love the fact that you spent the entire day together, and that includes the customary ‘Happy Birthday’ phone call, because she couldn’t have spent any part of her day without having talked to you.

You are not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, but she will want to be extra nice on the 14th of February. When you tell her not to do anything special for you, she will cancel the huge teddy bear but will still get you the gigantic box of chocolates. Her card will not have any mention of love, boyfriend or relationship. Instead, it will read ‘You and Me. Me and You. Such Good Friends’. It will recount the story of how the two of you got together, and she will remind you that had she not “pushed you” to ask her out again, the two of you would not even be together. The story in the card will reinforce her stance as the driver in the hiccupping truck that is your relationship.

Your cell phone inbox has always had a series of messages from her, but now they will have more content asking you about the ‘surprise’ you are planning for your first anniversary. You will want to commemorate the occasion by sliding in a big surprise – literally. She will claim that her modesty will not allow it. You will end up taking her out to lunch for your anniversary, and she will come back hurt at the lack of red roses and promises of fidelity. Apologizing incessantly will only make her angrier, but at the end of the day, she will call you up to cry over how stupid she had acted.

You will meet her every weekend, but pretty soon the week long stretch will be too much to take. You will propose meeting her once a week in addition to the weekend, but even that will seem too little. Skype will become the solution to that, because having a webcam on will ensure that she can see you all the time. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t talking, it doesn’t matter if you’re busy with your work, it doesn’t matter if you’re asleep; she will just want to see you at all times. She will need to be assured of your presence – literally – in her life at all times, and so having a functional webcam will be the central ingredient to her well-being. If you have to leave the camera unattended to go to the loo, you must orient it towards the door so that she can await your return, much like a kid waiting for his boomerang. Expect her to ask you to call her up while you brush your teeth. Something about hearing you gargle will make her feel like the two of you share your lives with each other. Just be grateful that she doesn’t want to hear you pee.

Sharing login details for all your online accounts with each other will be a must. If she dies, she has chosen you as the person worthy of getting rid of her accounts. She will consider this an honour bestowed upon you. Remember to bow down to her. Also remember her varied accounts of how she is going to die – ranging from dropping dead to the ground for no apparent reason to being murdered by a necrophiliac – which will make it seem like the Grim Reaper has nothing better to do than plot her demise. It will be her way of preparing you for that instance – or instances – when it happens.

Somewhere around the eighteen month mark in your relationship, she will casually bring up in conversation a moment from four years ago when you gave up your seat for her at a school play. She will define it as the moment when she had “already started falling for you”. Do not be baffled if neither you nor anyone else present at that play can remember any such incident.

(Keep checking back for part 2!)