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  • I had just returned from a semester in Rome when I first met Rithesh. I was a star-crossed lover and Italy was all I wanted to talk about. The coffee, the food, the history, the Bangladeshi hawkers. Italy! Italy! Italy! I was regaling his roommate with my adventures when Rithesh walked in and introduced himself. I shook hands with him, looked at him suspiciously and went back to my stories. But then he gently interrupted my flow to tell me about the time he went bicycling through Naples when he was in high-school. My eyes lite up. I was riveted. Finally, someone who would understand my zealousness. And someone that had equally interesting adventures to share!

    We chatted for four hours straight. Our conversation meandered in and out of medieval history, the specific quality of the skies in Italy and how much it reminded us of India. A week later he asked me out. And I said yes.

    One evening, a couple of years into our relationship, we were watching TV when Rithesh said he had a confession to make.

    "I've never actually been to Italy."

    "What? Why'd you lie then?"

    "That was the only way I could get you to shut up and talk to me! I don't regret it."

    "So you didn't bicycle in Naples?"

    "No."

    "How in the world did you lie so convincingly? You even knew about the old gelato shop?"

    "I had seen all that on a Discovery documentary."

    I thought about it for a moment. I wanted to be angry but a giggle escaped. I laughed. And he laughed.

    -----
    We are nearing our 8 years of togetherness. To celebrate this year, we're headed to Italy in the fall. We may not bike, but we'll probably rent a SmartCar and zip across Italy.
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