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You heard it right. I’m not the writer. It’s the other one.

The other one, you know, like in The Hulk where the green monster lives inside the professor’s body. A monster lives inside me, too. Only mine doesn’t thrash villains or crash buildings, she writes.

Oh no, it’s not great, trust me! She doesn’t let me have any fun. Last year, all my friends went skydiving. It was on our bucket list, you know. But my writer-hulk didn’t let me. “You can’t die before I finish this book.”

“To hell with your book,” I told her. “YOLO.”

My friends didn’t talk to me for two days because I refused to dive. And she didn’t talk to me for a week because I said YOLO. She hates short forms.

I think she hates my friends, too. She doesn’t let me reply to their texts for hours—days sometimes—because she doesn’t want to “break the momentum.” When they comment on my posts with a red heart or a clap-clap-clap, she asks them to “express using words.” But when they do that, she judges their grammar!

You think I’m funny? Aww…thank you. You know I told my writer-dementor that her stories could use a little humor. But she doesn’t do funny. She is in-tense. Does not let up. Like once I was with this guy, and we had this great dinner, and he told me all about his fantasy football league, and I laughed at all his jokes, and I knew he was about to kiss me, so I closed my eyes… that’s when she screamed, “Open your eyes! Open them, open them.”

I was like, “Shut Up! I want to kiss this guy.”

“Kiss him all you want,” she said, “just let me see his face so I can write about it.”

Can you believe it? So, I got really upset. I said, just write that I kissed the crap out of him, led him to a dark corner in the parking lot and gave him a blow job. And she did. That idiot! She actually wrote about it. I mean, my mother is gonna read this book, for God’s sake!

You’re right, I’ll tell Mom it’s all fiction blah-blah. She’ll probably believe me. But there are some people who won’t, you know.

Like, my boss Jojo, who has this cute one-year old baby, chubby cheeks and all that. One thing I have learned after seven years in corporate is that you ask your boss about her baby. Every. Day. So, I asked Jojo but Jojo became super sad. Her son had pooped seventeen times the previous day. At first, it was watery and yellow. By afternoon it got all greenish and mucus-like.

Yaa, sounded gross to me, too. I mean, I was eating lunch then.

Anyways, the pediatrician wanted to know how the poop smelled. Now, Jojo hadn’t paid attention to the smell, you know, so she did what any mother would do—she fished out all of that day’s diapers from the trash, and smelled them one-by-one. She said she felt closer to her son after that, like she knew him better. How beautiful is that!

And in the middle of this, the other one—the bane of my life—starts: “If her mouth is curling downward, it’s a sign of disgust, right? Can you ask her to elaborate on the smell? Does Jojo’s left shoulder always twitch when she lies?”

I said, “Stop pooping on the fucking poop story!”

That made her shut up. My boss, I mean. I had said it out loud. It was very kind of Jojo to not fire me right there, but when the book comes out…

Control her? Ha! Could the professor control the Hulk?

I do have a secret weapon against her, though. She gets drowsy while watching any non-documentary type movie. Like, a few weeks back I watched The Fast and The Furious with my date.

No, he’s not the same guy I told you about earlier—that didn’t last. He said I used too much teeth.

Anyways, this was a very fit, all-protein-no-carb kinda guy. Initially my inner asshole complained that we were going to a “brainless” movie—her word, not mine. But, fifteen minutes into the movie, just when Roshan and I were beginning to feel each other’s fingers in the popcorn tub, her live analysis started: This scene is powerful, that character is shallow, blah blah. I requested her, nicely, to keep her mouth shut. Then all the cars started racing, and Roshan also started his analysis. He talked about accelerating speed, she about accelerating plot tension. He admired Vin Diesel’s biceps, she his pithy dialogues.

Oh yes, super annoying it was! But I knew what was coming: her post-movie ennui. My plan was to reach post-coital stupor before she came back to her senses. So, Roshan and I skipped dinner and went straight to his apartment. But all those hours in the gym had increased Roshan’s stamina in the bedroom, too. He was still at it when she started stirring.

Soon, she was taking notes:

Her naked legs hung in the air,

Like a sleazy chandelier.

I ignored her and focused on Roshan. It only spurred her on.

His manliness was enough to astound her,

His quads flexed as he continued to pound her.

“Dear God, just stop it!” I said. Out loud. Unfortunately.

Roshan’s face twisted. The pounding stopped.

“Not you, Roshan. I was talking to the other one,” I explained.

“The other one? Are you seeing someone else, too?”

“Oh, no. No, no, no.”

He rolled off me and grabbed his T-shirt.

I had to do some damage-control. Fast. “See, the thing is,” I said, “I am writing this book. No, let’s just say that the book is being written by me. It’s a little complicated because—”

“You’ve never done this before,” Roshan completed my sentence.

“I, yes, it’s the first time I’m wri—”

“I knew it,” he interrupted me again. “But that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s okay if you are a virgin. Hey, in fact, it’s better.”

Yep, I rolled my eyes, too.

Then he said, “Believe it or not, I was also a virgin once.”

“You were?” I asked in a sarcastic tone, hoping he would laugh.

“I was,” he answered sweetly.

“He was,” the writer repeated. That smug bitch!

Of course, she wrote about it. That’s what I got for trying to control her.

So, when this book comes out, I’ll have no friends, no family, no job, no chance of ever getting another boyfriend. Only my name on this damn cover. And I didn’t even write this!

A disclaimer? Hmm… why didn’t I think of that! Yes, I’ll add a disclaimer to the book. And to my facebook profile. Hell, I’ll get it tattooed on my forehead:

I solemnly swear that the thoughts expressed here are of the wretched writer-parasite who feeds off me, not mine. Not Mine!


Shipra Agarwal (she/her) is a doctor-turned-author who studied creative writing at Harvard. She is the co-author of "Between Pleasure and Pain" (Sunday Dinner Publishing, 2023) and is working on a manuscript of interlinked stories, "That Thing We Don’t Talk About" (shortlisted for the First Pages Prize, 2022). An Authentic Voices Fellow and Assistant Fiction Editor at Identity Theory, Shipra writes about the small towns of India, similar to the one she grew up in. Her work appears in Witness Magazine, FlashFlood, and Janus Literary. Shipra can be found hiking and kayaking in Arizona, and at

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