Avasa

Discussion in 'English Sex Stories Indian' started by Commodore, May 18, 2016.

  1. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    Avasa.

    "Nadya, look," my sister Saima says seriously. "I really do think this is a phase. You've just convinced yourself that you're gay. It's all power of suggestion."

    I sigh. She is not happy with my coming out. Not because she is prejudiced. She, like me, is a privileged member of the educated Indian elite, and probably a future member of the ultra-liberal intelligentsia that speaks in English and lives in big urban cities like ours, Mumbai. But being gay in India is fraught with danger. I am from a Muslim family, which, although semi-religious at best, is still concerned about tradition and 'what people think'. The rule we've been brought up with is: do what you want, just make sure no-one finds out.

    It's a wonder I've developed a sense of ethics, given the hypocrisy I've grown up with.

    "Saima, I know what I feel," I say to her, looking away. I just can't stand to see her look so worried about me. She is three years younger. We are both in college, she a freshman, and I, a senior. I never wanted to burden her with my baggage. But I've been out to myself for a month now. I had to tell someone. "And you know what I'm talking about. I've been attracted to girls since I hit puberty. You remember right? When I was thirteen, I told you about the effect my best friend had on me when she danced with me?"

    "Yeah, yeah," says Saima, half-angrily. "Which is why it seems to me that there were far more environmental reasons for you turning out gay."

    "Etiology is a useless debate," I contend. "It doesn't matter what factors shaped my orientation. Once it's shaped, it's shaped. Environment? Genes? Hormones? Whatever the fuck. It's done. I can't change it."

    "Ugh, you read too much psych literature." Saima sighs. She can see that I am sure about what I am saying. And it is alarming her.

    "Listen," I touch her arm. "This is not your problem. I just thought I'd tell you. Don't worry about it. I'm going to deal with it somehow."

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    "Like hell it's not my problem!" she suddenly yells at me. "You know our parents would probably disown you if they heard us having this conversation!" I'm twenty-two years old. In a year or so, my parents are going to start pressuring me to get married. That's just the way it's done here.

    "Relax! They'll never know. I'm not an idiot. I'm not going to go around parading my sexuality." I ruffle her hair.

    "Look, Nadya," Saima manages to calm down. "I still think that, if at all possible, you should try to live a heterosexual life." She pauses, then continues, and I can detect a quiver in her voice, like she's about to cry. "It's just...I'm just worried about you. I want you to be happy. You know that on a personal level I don't give a fuck whether you're gay or straight or whatever. It's this society we live in. It's closed as hell, and it will eat you alive. You know that as well as I do."

    "I know that," I nod grimly. "But I can't deny myself the right to live."

    "I don't want that," she agrees. She gets up to leave. As an afterthought, she gives me a long hug. "You know, whatever you decide, I'm with you."

    I smile up at her. "I know that. Thanks."


    ******


    She's riding a motorbike. Women ride scooters in India, sure. But it's extremely rare to see a chick on a motorbike. And a chick doing wheelies is unheard of. But there she is. Showing off in the parking lot of my college. She isn't even wearing a helmet. I can see her from the court, where I have been playing basketball, and I am completely smitten.

    "Who's that?" says Mohan, my best friend since third grade, who is playing with me. If I wasn't lesbian, I might be going out with him. He knows, of course. When I told him, he started laughing about how we had even more in common now. I really do adore him.

    "Beats the hell out of me," I stare at her. Even though I can't see her features, she looks sexy as hell. Her dark hair is cropped extremely short, in a boy cut. It is streaked blue at the ends. She's wearing a tight tank top over a pair of baggy men's cargo pants. And a bandanna tied around her arm.

    "Looks like your type," says Mohan, grinning.

    She's done showing off, it seems. She parks her bike. She starts walking a self-assured, confident walk. My heart stops. Is she coming toward us? She looks a bit older than me. I think she knows I am gawking, because she raises an eyebrow at me.

    "Hi, I'm Avasa," she begins. Her voice is breathy, and makes me melt. "I'm looking for my brother, Arjun. He's an assistant professor here."

    Her sexy androgyny is making me wild with desire. She has a pierced eyebrow. She looks like she might be from Goa, another part of India. Goans have Portuguese looks, because the area used to be a Portuguese colony. I am only 5'4" next to her tall 5'8" frame. Her blue-streaked hair is extremely trendy, lending her the look of a femme pirate boy. I have straight black hair that suddenly seems too plain. She is fair-skinned. I have olive-colored skin, which my mother keeps insisting is too dark.

    I am suddenly very self-conscious standing in front of her.

    Mohan pipes up, "Arjun Kumar, right?" Arjun Kumar, I know who he is. He teaches psych. Actually, I'm acing his course. I'm just about to open my mouth and say something, when Mohan starts talking again. "Well, he's probably in his office," he says. "Room 214. Would you like me to take you there?"

    "Yeah, that'd be great," she says. He leads the way, and she follows him. He turns back for a split second and winks at me.

    Traitor. I give him my best dirty look. I pick up my bag pack and head off to the cafeteria to have lunch.
     
  2. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    Halfway through my meal, I notice Arjun eating with Avasa. I can't stop staring at her. When she smiles, the corners of her eyes crinkle. She looks like she works out. She has gym-built biceps. Me, I'm just a hundred pounds, skinny as hell. And I smoke like a chimney. I have trouble opening cans sometimes.

    "Nadya!" My thoughts are interrupted by the sound of Arjun's voice. I look at him as if to say, "Who, me?" He is nodding at me, and waving to me to join them.

    My palms are sweaty. I pick up my tray and sit next to him so that I am facing Avasa. "Hi, Arjun," I manage to say. He's more like a friend than a professor. He doesn't let his students call him 'Sir'. He says he's too young for that.

    "Nadya, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your last paper," said Arjun.

    "Really," I say, desperately trying to come up with some kind of witticism to impress the girl across from me, but my mind seems to have gone blank.

    "Oh, this is my sister, Avasa," he says, gesturing.

    "We've met," she says, half-smiling. Probably thinks I'm a freak who's completely overawed by a biker babe.

    "You're the most promising student in my class," Arjun is telling me. "And I was just telling Avi how much I respect you for your feminism. India needs more young women like you."

    "Thanks," I say, embarrassed. His sister does not seem impressed.

    "I saw you and your friend staring at me in the parking lot," she says matter-of-factly. "What, have you never seen a girl on a motorbike before?" She speaks with an accent. She sounds like she might have lived in the United States for a while.

    "Uh, well," I stammer. "It's not the most common thing around here, you know."

    "Give her a break," says Arjun to his sister good-naturedly. He turns to me. "Don't mind her. She's a real arrogant know-it-all. She likes to believe she's street-smart."

    "I am street-smart, Bhai," snaps Avasa.

    "Oh, so *that* explains the wheelies," I retort.

    Arjun's eyebrows furrow as he looks at his sister and frowns. "Are you doing fancy things on that bike again?" he asks. "You know, I'm warning you, I'm going to take it away if you keep acting stupid."

    "Oh, Bhai," she says, smiling wickedly. "Do you even remember a time when you didn't let me have my own way?"

    It's obvious that he's incapable of staying angry at her. He punches her playfully. "You're undermining my authority in front of a student." He looks at his watch. "Okay, kids, I have a class right now. Avi, will you see yourself out?"

    "Yes, Bhai."

    "Okay," he gets up to leave. "See you in class tomorrow, Nadya."

    "See you," I say, smiling up at him as he goes. I get up to leave myself.

    Avasa leans forward and pulls me by the arm. "Where are you going? Stay." It's not a friendly request, it sounds like an order. She's a bit too forward for my liking. Inexplicably, I sit down again.

    "What?" I say, a little gruffly.

    "I just got back from Michigan recently," she says. "Bhai and I lived there since I was eleven."

    "Shoulda known. You seem pretty burger." I give her my best "ugh" look. 'Burger' is what we call people who are overly-enamoured of American culture as opposed to their own. It's a derogatory term. 'Desi' is the exact opposite.

    She clearly could not care less what I think. "I'm new in town, and don't know anyone yet. Tell me some of the fun places in Mumbai where I can go."

    I am put off by her cockiness. "Go pick up a tourist guide."

    "I see the locals are quite hospitable."

    "Stop acting like an ABCD tourist. The 'locals'...geez, look in the mirror! You're Indian!" I shake my head. Being born desi and not acting it is the ultimate crime.

    "I never wanted to come back," she snaps. "It's just that Bhai insisted that he wanted to teach here for a while, and I didn't want him to be alone."

    "So you don't mind denying your heritage?" I'm not a nationalist -- in fact, I'm very skeptical of nationalism -- but I do have a sort of, oh, call it an unsentimental patriotism and a devotion to my culture.

    "I really don't feel very connected to a country where being a 'goodindian girl' implies that I can't lose my innocence and, by extension, virginity." She looks at me with disdain. "Well, guess what? I've lost my innocence...and my virginity. Oh, no. Now I can't be integrated into Indian society. My life is over."

    "Lose the fucking attitude." I am irritated as hell. I take out a cigarette and light it. "You don't know a damn thing. It's a Third World country. The problems are huge. Thankfully, everyone is not as defeatist as you, running away first chance they get."

    Her eyes narrow, and for a second I am almost scared. "You don't know a fucking thing about my life."

    This conversation has quickly become too personal for a first meeting. "Look, I'm sorry if I offended you," I begin. "I should probably go."

    She's unmoved. "Spare me the insincere apology." I can see there's no point in pursuing this conversation, so I pick up my tray and leave.
     
  3. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    I'm practicing guitar in the studio at college. I started playing a year and a half ago. It's not very common for girls to play guitar in India -- the underground rock 'n' roll scene is very male-dominated. So it was only a natural expression of my feminism for me to step forward and show the boys that I could rock as hard as they could.

    "Not bad," I hear a familiar voice behind me. I whip around to see Avasa standing in the studio, cockily raising an eyebrow at me. She's wearing leather pants and a loose-fitting white shirt, her blue-tipped bangs flopping over her forehead. One word. WOW. She walks toward me. "We can be together," she says. For a second, I'm confused. Then I realize that it's not a come-on, just the name of the song I was playing.

    "Jefferson Airplane," I stutter.

    "Yeah," she says. "You have a nice voice."

    "Thanks. Uhhh, how long have you been standing there?" I ask, slightly embarrassed. I'm not bad at music, but I have a fear of performing before an audience.

    "Well, I came to find you, and your friend Mohan told me you'd be here," she says. "So, basically I've been here five minutes."

    "Why'd you come to find me?" I ask stupidly, even though I know the answer.

    She walks over and sits down on a chair next to me. "Because I wanted to apologize for yesterday," she says. "I was out of line. I didn't mean to insult Indian culture."

    "No, no, it was my fault," I start babbling. "I obviously came across sounding self-righteous when I had no right to judge. No, you don't understand. I do this...I start popping off and I don't know when to stop...I'm pretty sure it's a disease, I've actually been considering therapy for a while now..."

    She bursts out laughing, and puts a hand on my arm. "Relax, Nadya," she says. "It doesn't really matter whose fault it was." I smile goofily. "I play guitar, too," she says. Her face becomes mocking again. "But, uh, I'm surprised to find that you do. You didn't seem like the type."

    "What did you think?" I ask with a smile. "Do I really look like the stereotyped 'good little Indian girl' to you?" Now it's her turn to smile. "So how good are you?" I ask.

    "Pretty decent, I guess," she says, swaggering. "I know my power chords. I can do almost anything from Sonic Youth to Black Flag."

    "Serious?" I exclaim.

    "Serious as a fucking heart attack," she insists. She takes my guitar away from me and strums the opening chords to Sonic Youth's "Teenage Riot".

    I give her my standard lopsided "I'm impressed" smile. "I'm in love with rock 'n' roll, but I'm partial to punk and indie," I say.

    "Yeah?" she says eagerly. "And I thought I was the only Indian girl around here who loved that kind of music. What else do you listen to?"

    "Well, lots of stuff," I say. "The local pop scene is a little too pop-y for me. The underground rock scene is better, but it's dying. I do like a lot of classical music, though. I also like qawwali music from Pakistan. You into that stuff?"

    "Not particularly," she says. "I haven't even really tried it out."

    "You're kidding me, right?" I'm appalled. "Classical music gives me a high."

    "I was in the USA, remember?" she says. She sighs, beaten. "Yes, I'm a little, what you would call, burger." I smile. "What do you write about in the college paper?"

    "Well, let's see," I say, starting to pack up my guitar. "There's a lot I want to say, but I have to sugar-coat my words so that I don't offend people. I'm tired of the patriarchal setup that Indian society entails, I feel stifled by a culture that largely treats women as baby machines, and I am sick to death of the religious divides, capitalism, and poverty that surrounds me. Most of my articles are based on issues like that."

    She's listening to my outburst intently. I can tell she understands my rage. "By the way, you can call me Avi," she says pleasantly.

    Avi. I like the sound of that.

    "Does your family live here? In Mumbai?" she's asking.

    "Well, no," I say. "My parents live in Allahabad. Papa's in public health. Mom's a doctor. Both are hopelessly bourgeois, of course." We laugh. I face her. "You look like you're from Goa."

    "Am I that obvious?" she asks.

    "Well, you do kind of stand out," I say, before I can stop myself. I start blushing. Nice faux pas, I chide myself. At this rate, the whole world will figure out that I'm gay.

    She seems to be smiling a knowing smile. And she's looking at me out of the corner of her eye. Is she checking me out? I realize I'm looking like a mess, so I untie my ponytail and let my hair down. Not taking her eyes off me, she says, "So why aren't there more girls in rock in India?"

    "Well, why aren't there more women in rock all over the world?" I counter. "It's a male-dominated area of music. Women are ghettoized. I have a Freudian theory about it having to do with there being a general guitar-as-phallus prejudice."

    "I can see why Bhai likes you," she says, laughing.

    "You guys are real close, huh?" I ask.

    "Yeah," she says, and for the first time I see her face soften and get a look of pure adoration on it. It was different from the lean, muscular look she usually sports. "My parents died when I was nine. Bhai took care of me ever since."

    I'm not sure how to react. "I'm sorry," I say, wanting to kick myself for spouting the world's most overused cliché.

    She senses my discomfort. "What do you study?" she asks.

    "I'm majoring in economics right now, but I'll probably do social development in grad school." I zip up the guitar case and sit down next to her again. "The plan is to study and work abroad for a while, and ultimately come back to India to do social work."

    "Sounds like you've got it all figured out," she says.

    "Yep, that's me," I say. "Hyperintellectual, career-minded, oversexed, independent woman."

    "Has this oversexed woman gotten a boyfriend yet?" she asks mischievously.

    "Uhhh, well, let's not go there," I laugh nervously. "Okay, you got me. I don't have much of a track record with guys." The adorable crinkles appear at the corners of her eyes again. I'm getting a little sweaty, so I take off my denim jacket, revealing a sleeveless blouse underneath. Wait a second. Did she just stare appreciatively as my bare shoulders came into view? Or am I just imagining things?

    "So Avi, you haven't told me what you do," I say.

    "I majored in business studies," she says. "Right now I'm sort of in between things. I'm going to go to law school soon. I want to be a corporate lawyer."

    "Really?" I ask. I'm very skeptical of corporate lawyers. "That sounds...uhhh..."

    "Greedy, selfish and spineless?" she finishes. "Don't be so judgmental."

    I smile at how well she can read me. "Why'd you come back?" I ask.

    "Because of Bhai, of course," she says. "He wanted to spend a couple of years teaching here, so I just tagged along to keep him company."

    "So no plans to settle in India," I venture.

    "Why do you care so much?" she says in a frustrated voice.

    "Because I feel an obligation to my country," I say. "I can't just leave. I want to change the way people think. Except if all the good people go, that's never going to happen."

    "Ah, the dilemma of the liberal, alienated Indian," Avi says, smiling wryly.

    "Welcome to my world. It's lonely here." I laugh.

    "You're too idealistic," she says. "You're going to be disappointed."

    "Maybe," I agree. "But I'd be more disappointed if I didn't even try. No plans to come back, like, ever?"

    "Well, none at the moment," she says. "But I guess you never know." She winks at me. Our shoulders bump together, sending shivers down my spine. I'm sure she did it intentionally. My gaydar is beeping.

    "Are you wondering if I'm flirting with you?" she asks, enjoying my shock.

    "Uhhh, well, aaah," I begin hemming and hawing.

    "Yes, I am." She's getting up to stand in front of me, and grinning ear to ear.

    "Oh, okay, so you're...that way..."

    "Yeah, like you."

    "Oh, God." I jump up, and raise a hand to my forehead. "Wait...so this entire time you've known...how do you know...did Arjun tell you?" I'm guessing Arjun knows I'm lesbian. He is a psychologist, and I have been badgering him with questions about homosexuality, since, like forever. I open my mouth to argue, but start smiling and shaking my head in disbelief.

    "The wheels in your head are turning," she says teasingly. "You're a smart girl, aren't you?"

    In spite of myself, I find the situation hilarious, and before I know it, Avi and I are laughing together.

    "You're evil," I say, finally.

    "You can blame my brother for this," she says, still grinning. "It was all his idea."

    "I should've known," I say, still a little taken aback. "And you really are too butch to be straight."

    "I've been a big ol' dyke since I was five," she laughs. "But I'm not so much 'butch' as I am the more fanciful 'butchy'. You know, like a Necker cube. It plays with your mind." She winks again. I think I'm going weak in the knees.

    "You could've just asked me, you know."

    "Well, this was more fun," she says, cracking a smile.

    We are standing up and facing each other. In a split second, she puts her hands on my bare arms, pulling them to her shoulders, letting her fingers brush against my skin, and evoking feelings I didn't know I could have. She slips one arm around my waist, and uses the other arm to brush away the hair from my face. She's looking into my eyes like she can see my soul through them.

    "I'm going to kiss you." She isn't asking for my permission.

    She moves in and kisses my mouth. My entire body throbs as I feel the sensation of her lips pressing against mine. My head is flooded with her scent...she smells like thyme and lemon and soap. And then her tongue enters my mouth...and I can't think anymore.

    When we break off, I'm breathless. She's suave and calm and in control. This was better than anything I have ever fantasized about.

    She gets up, runs a hand through her short hair and grins down at me. "Need a drink?" Boy, do I ever.
     
  4. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    "Things are moving real fast for you these days," says Saima, clearly upset. We are talking in her dorm room. "You've already landed a girlfriend...I mean, what, are you planning to live life in the fast lane now?"

    "Calm down, she's not my girlfriend just yet," I say. "I mean, it's clear that we're going to see more of each other, but we're just...treading water, so to speak."

    "Who the hell is she anyway? What do you even know about her?"

    "I know her brother," I argue. "He's an assistant professor. Top-notch guy."

    "Yeah, he seems like a real smart guy," says Saima. "Setting you up with a girl -- his sister, no less -- here! He's lost it!"

    "No-one will find out," I insist. "We'll be careful."

    "You're all mad."

    "Can't you just be happy for me?" I start rubbing my temples with my fingers.

    "Happy?" she yells. "Your life is becoming a Deepa Mehta movie!"

    My eyes flash with defiance. "And I wouldn't want it any other way!" I pause for a second. "You know, you have to meet her."

    "Oh, no," she says. "Really, Nadya...not interested."

    "Why the hell not?"

    "Because she'll just tick me off," she says. "I mean, God, I can't believe she tricked you into being alone with her, and then she *jumps* you, ANNNND now she's dragging you full circle into what appears to be some cross between film noir and soft porn."

    "Oh, come on, she didn't jump me, we just kissed."

    Saima is wide-eyed and is clearly contemplating all sorts of bad things. "She's femme fatale, and you are dumb enough to fall for it."

    "Please. She's anything but femme."

    "Oh, point well taken," she says, sarcastically.

    I laugh cynically. "Well, what do you want me to do now?"

    "Okay, Nadya," she says, trying to relax. "Please, please promise me that you're not going to do anything too stupid or flamboyant. Please tell me that you're going to be excruciatingly cautious. Promise?"

    "I promise." I give her a hug. "Don't worry too much."


    ******


    I hear Avi's voice behind me over the now-familiar sound of her motorbike. "Hey, Nadya." I turn around. We're in the parking lot. I've been waiting for her.

    "Hi," I say, letting her kiss my cheek. She's in her customary street wear as usual, the denim jacket, the baggy jeans, and the tank top screaming out 'bad girl', all the while oozing sex and naughtiness. Fuck. I just want to kiss her neck.

    "Ice-cream?" she asks me, staring appealingly at my conservative ankle-length sarong and matching blouse. "I know a great place nearby. I got that tourist guide you suggested, you know."

    "Ice-cream is good," I say. Then I eye her bike. "So we're going to go on that thing?"

    "Um, yeah," she says, grinning widely. "What's the matter? Scared, are ya?" She's taunting me. She holds up a helmet. "Here. For you."

    "And you're too tough to wear one of those, I suppose," I rejoin.

    "But of course," she says. "I'm pretty tough." She sure as heck looks the part. She looks at me impatiently. "So are you in or out?"

    "Fine," I say. "Damn, I've never sat on one of these before."

    "You'll survive," she says nonchalantly. I wear the helmet, irritated that my hair will now get spoilt, and get on the bike behind her. She gives me a bemused look. "You *do* realize you'll have to put your arms around me, right?"

    I feel stupid. I think I'm blushing. "Um, yeah." I tentatively slide my arms around her waist, getting goose bumps as I do so. She *does* work out. I can so tell.

    "Hang on tight," she says, revving up the bike. We race off.

    She pulls over outside a coffee shop. We go inside, getting a few stares from people who are surprised to see two girls get off a motorbike, and order lattes. "Do you know any other girls like you around here?" Avi asks me.

    "Sadly, no," I say. "I suspect there must be, though, but everyone is so paranoid and scared, I doubt if anyone will ever try to make it obvious."

    "You know something?" she says. "I think it's damn spunky that you've come out on your own, sitting right here in Mumbai. Most indian girls who are lesbian only come out when they go abroad to study."

    "Uh-huh," I smile, basking in her compliment. "I'm twenty years old, and coming out with a *vengeance*, baby."

    "You're braver than most."

    "And nastier than sex."


    She laughs. "And can I safely assume that some of that is bullshit posturing?"

    "A little bit, yeah." I shyly bring a hand to my forehead.

    "Well, I gathered that you're new at this," she says, grinning at me.

    "Uh, well," I begin, slightly embarrassed. "See, in this society..."

    "So, basically, you have about as much sexual experience as a doorknob," she cuts in. I'm turning beetroot red. I really am transparent to her. "Until now, anyway..." She smiles broadly and rakes up a finger through a strand of my hair. I half-wish she would just jump me. I lean back, resting my head on my hand, and shifting my weight to reveal my curves to her. I know she's looking at me -- albeit discreetly.

    There's no other word for it. I feel sexy.

    "Don't worry, though." Avi puts her hand on my thigh and lets her voice become husky. "I'll take good care of you. If you let me take charge, that is."

    I'm trying to come up with an appropriate response. "What are you suggesting, bondage?" I swear, I meant it as a joke.

    "Sure, if that's what you want." She can't stop smiling at my innocence.

    I was brought up with the notion that *any* kind of sex is bad if not with your husband. S&M is a far cry from any of *my* sexual fantasies.

    "Uhhh, yeah, I don't think so," I said, becoming uncomfortable.

    "Why not?" she says. "If there's one thing life has taught me, it's 'don't knock it till you've tried it'."

    Yeah, I'm a little freaked out. "But won't it *hurt*?"

    "Well, you tell me." I honestly think she's dying to laugh. She's talking to me like I'm a child. "When you're sexually aroused, your threshold for pain goes up. Your body releases endorphins in response to pain. Get it? Pain becomes a stimulus for pleasure."

    I'm quite mortified at the idea. "It sounds degrading to me..."

    "That's nonsense," Avi says smugly. "It's not like *political* submission...it's just *sexual* submission for that particular sexual scenario. It isn't reality."

    She hasn't removed her hand from my thigh. "Besides," she grins, "it's consensual, negotiated beforehand, and the submissive can stop it any time. The whole point is that one person generates tremendous excitement out of completely *trusting* the other person and the other person generates the same excitement out of fulfilling that trust." She pauses to look at me. "I think it's an intense expression of love, don't you?"

    She is gripping my thigh more tightly now.

    I bite my lip to stop myself from moaning. Even though I can feel tingly in my nether regions, and I'm wishing I had worn that other panty, I'm stubborn. "It sounds like objectification to me. Like the dominant is using the submissive for pleasure."

    "The dominant is going out of her way to please the submissive," argues Avi. "And as for objectification...for God's sake, there's always a power dynamic in sex and a small degree of objectification...and please don't tell me you've never objectified any human being."

    "Not someone I love," I say. "When you love someone who loves you, it's consensual!"

    "It's consensual objectification, then," Avi says easily. "Why can't you p.c. women just come to terms with it?"

    "Excuse me for wanting to have sexual ethics!" I snap.

    "Hey, I have sexual ethics too," Avi snaps right back. "But I'm honest enough to admit that I'm human, and to a small degree I can't help objectifying. Get your head out of stupid Dworkin for five seconds, and join the real world."

    Now I'm irritated.

    I push her hand off my thigh and light up a cigarette. "Don't assume," I say. "I'm not a big Dworkin fan anyway. And quit patronizing me."

    "Put that out," she says, reaching for my cigarette. "My God, how much do you smoke?"

    "What's your problem?" I move away.

    She shrugs. "It's not healthy. I mean, for you in particular, 'cos you're so skinny." I ignore her and inhale more smoke.

    "I'm serious," she says, sounding genuinely concerned. "It's not safe. If you were ever attacked, you'd be a goner."

    "And I suppose you'd knock 'em dead." I roll my eyes.

    "Of course," she says confidently. "I know self-defence. I even know some martial arts." She puts a hand on my shoulder. "You know, I could teach you some basics. Just enough to stun your attacker and get away."

    She's not trying to impress me. I think she really cares.

    "You should come over to my place. We'll jam in the basement and then I'll teach you a couple of things."

    "You have a studio?" My eyes become saucers.

    "Sound-proofed and everything."

    "Allll riiiight!" I whoop in the air. "I am sooo there! When, when, when?"

    "Whenever you want," she says, grabbing my hand. Why, oh, why are we in public? I am DYING to let her kiss me.

    We smile at each other, still holding hands underneath the table. It suddenly hits me why I'm drawn to her, in spite of the fact that we disagree on so many things. I feel secure and protected around her.

    To me, she's the picture of everything I always wanted to be but was taught not to be...tough, independent, and truly free. And I know that I want her.
     
  5. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    "Who's the man-girl you're always hanging out with these days?" asks Alka. We're both doing some studying in the room.

    I'm a bit miffed at the label. "She's a friend. She's Arjun's sister."

    "Well, nice hair," says Alka, "but I honestly couldn't tell if she was a guy or a girl for a second. Maybe she's a lesbian."

    I make a "pffft" sound. "I don't know. Why should it bother you, anyway?"

    "'Cos it's gross," she says, wrinkling her nose.

    "It's okay to think homosexuality is gross for you," I say. "It's not okay to think that homosexuals are." What did I ever see in her? I mean, yeah, she's kind of cute and vulnerable, and I guess I always wanted to take care of her. But she is so...conventional.

    "Oh, you empathize with them, don't you?" she says mockingly.

    "Yeah, I do," I say. "And I don't understand why you're being so 'us versus them'. What have they ever done to you?"

    "I just don't understand homosexuality," she says. "I mean, how can you even consider someone of the same sex?"

    "Well, maybe you should do some homework," I retort. "And stop throwing around stupid, mindless rhetoric."

    "Why do you care so much?" she sneers. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think *you're* lesbian." She means it as an insult.

    "Well, *I'm* not." The words come out sounding more defensive than I had intended. I want to kick myself. "But I don't care if anyone else is."

    "Does she like dressing up all macho?"

    I'm getting more and more annoyed by her dumb questions. "I don't know. Probably, if that's how she dresses up."

    "What's her point?" asks Alka. "I mean, if you're a girl, act like one."

    "And play with Barbies and wear makeup and have babies." I look at her scornfully. "Gender roles are a social construct. It has nothing to do with your biological sex. God, why can't you open your mind up just a teensy bit?"

    "Oh, stop it," she waves her hand. "It's not my fault they're freaks."

    "People like you are the reason why it's taken transgendered people so long to win the right to vote here," I answer quietly. I think I've hit a chord.

    "Okay, okay, Naaadya." She comes over and puts her arms around me from behind. "Don't be mad at me."

    I can't help a smile. She is cute. And innocent. It's just ignorance, I tell myself. That's why she says these things. She's a victim of society.

    I wonder how long I can keep blaming society for the way individuals behave.


    ******


    "Did you ever stop to think about Lycra?" Mohan is asking me, as we eat lunch in the cafeteria.

    "I'm hoping that's a rhetorical question." I take a drag of my cigarette.

    "I'm serious," he says. "I mean, who's the guy that thought, here, let me make clothes out of sling-shots?"

    "You need to quit thinking so much." I roll my eyes at him, taking another long drag.

    "I think it's an evil scheme," he insists. "My last girlfriend..."

    "Your *only* girlfriend," I remind him.

    "Whatever," he says, annoyed at being interrupted. "She used Lycra as a weapon. Anytime I was foolish enough to try and give her a hickey on her shoulder, it was like whiplash."

    "Are you aware that you are still talking about Lycra?" I look at him with an incredulous smile.

    "I wish you would take me more seriously."

    "I would if you weren't talking about inane conspiracy theories all the time," I say.

    "Someone's a little high-strung today," he says. "Are you PMS-ing?"

    "I don't PMS."

    "That's what they all say."

    "Ugh."

    "Hey, given that you're getting some these days, I should think you'd be happier," he teases.

    I give him a look. "I haven't gotten any yet."

    "Maybe that's the problem," he says, grinning. "When can I hang out with her, though? You know, check her out for you." He's like my big, protective teddy bear.

    "Soon," I say, laughing. "But trust me...she's great...she's amazing, in fact...that's not what's bothering me." I light up a fresh cigarette.

    "You're going to die," he says, eyeing the cigarette.

    I shrug. "So will you."

    "You're likely to die sooner."

    I sigh. "I'm likely to die sooner in any event, now that I'm gay."

    "Hey, relax," he says. "What's this about?"

    "Come on, you know the religious right is capable of anything," I say. "If this gets out, my parents will die of shame, the family will be disgraced and I'll get shot before you know it."

    "Sv-veethaart," he says, putting a hand on mine. "That's never going to happen. We're going to keep it a secret. And you're not alone...you know that."

    "Thanks," I say, allowing myself a smile.

    "So, what will you wear to bed when the big night comes?" he asks, and I'm pretty sure he's getting a mental picture.

    I get up, picking my tray. "Almost definitely Lycra."


    ******


    She kisses like the devil.

    It's late and Alka's spending the night at a relative's, so we have snuck into my dorm room and locked the door. Her lips burn into mine, with her hands moving savagely over my back, one of her legs between mine. I've slipped my hands into the back pockets of her jeans. Our breasts rub together rhythmically, sensuously. She is gentle, yet firm, letting me know who's in charge. I never had a chance. I am powerless in her arms.

    When she finally stops, I try to hide my disappointment.

    "How many of your friends know you're out?" she asks me.

    "Uhhh, the short answer is, *none* of them," I say. "Well, except Mohan. And my sister...she's cool with it, although she worries about me all the time. And my homophobic roommate, I *really* can't tell her...I used to have a crush on her, and I'm sure she'll figure it out if she knows I'm gay." I look around, as if to make sure Alka isn't watching. "Thank God she's not around right now."

    "Why do you care so much about her?"

    "She's my roommate, Avi. I have become a bit attached to her, you know."

    "How can you be friends with people who won't see you the same way if you came out to them?"

    "Avi, it's not that simple," I say. "I mean, they're conditioned by society...there isn't much freedom of thought around here...breaking out of the vicious cycle is hard."

    "You did it."

    "Yeah, but I can't *judge* people for not being able to," I say.

    "But they're judging *you*." Avi is facing me, with her arms crossing her chest. "Do you really want to hide for the rest of your life?"

    "It's a catch-22," I say. "I don't want to leave my country because, well, I have work to do here. But if I stay, I have to stay closeted. Especially if I want people to listen to me about human rights."

    "And what about *your* right to live the way you want?" Avi was adamant.

    "Listen to me," I say, just as tenacious. "I'm a human being first, woman second and lesbian third. Those are my priorities. Okay?"

    "'And lesbian third'," she mimics me. "Real cute. I hope you know that putting that part of you in the third slot doesn't just affect you."

    "I know that," I say, getting peeved. "That's why I'm making it clear to you. You're free to walk away any time you want. No-one's tying you down...least of all me."

    Avi looks at me with a mixture of admiration and frustration. Then she laughs, with a twinkle in her eyes. "Boy, you really are hard-headed," she says. "Did it not occur to you, though, that there are probably others like you in India? If you care so much, you should do something about it."

    "It's a little more complicated than that," I say. "It's my parents and family."

    "Do you really give a damn about what they think?"

    "They're my parents, Avi. I can't go around flaunting my sexuality. They will never, ever get that we're just like straight people."

    "But you're missing the point! We *aren't* like straight people. It's our *difference* that makes us real."

    "It could also potentially make me very, very dead." I lie down on my bed and stare at the ceiling. "Now look who's being idealistic."

    "I'm not being idealistic," Avi asserts, sitting down next to me. "If I were you, I would get the fuck out of here as soon as possible. I'm just pointing out how your decisions contradict your *own* ideals."

    I move away from her and sit down on my bed. "You know, I can't have it all," I say. "Besides, we can't ask for our rights as lesbians when we don't even have our rights as women and as human beings." I lie back on the bed, looking disturbed.

    She sits down beside me, and rests a hand on my stomach. I close my eyes. She brushes the other hand against my cheek. "Hey," she whispers. "Sorry I'm being so hard on you. It's not my place. I don't want to stress you out, okay?" She bends down and brushes her lips lightly against mine. My breathing becomes ragged. She's about to get up, but I hold her arms and pull her down.

    "Will you make love to me?" I ask coyly, shocked at my own confidence.

    "What, right now?" she stammers. Is that a glimmer of insecurity I see in her hazel eyes?

    "Well, I'm ready," I say, sure of myself. "And you?" She avoids my gaze. "Well?" I ask, somewhat impatiently. I try to turn her face toward me, but she doesn't comply.

    And right then, I know. "You've never done this before, have you?" I ask, half-smiling, half-incredulous. She doesn't answer me.

    "Well," she murmurs. "Just my luck, never met the right girl."

    I get off the bed, staring at her tauntingly as she sits with her head down, hands folded in her lap. "Oh, man, you are a big talker!" I laugh. "All that sexual savoir-faire...you had me totally fooled! I'll bet you aren't even half as aggressive in bed."

    She allows herself to break into an embarrassed smile. I bend down and look up at her face. "Butch in the streets, femme in the sheets!" I chant teasingly. "Butch in the streets, femme in the sheets!"

    She leaps up, grabs me by my waist, swings me around, hauls me onto the bed, and looks at me contemptuously. "I'll show you who's femme in the sheets!" She starts tickling me, and before I know it, we are rolling on the bed, and I am laughing so hard that tears are coming out of my eyes.

    And then we're kissing. I don't know who started it, or when. All I know is that Avi is kissing me and her hands are in my hair and her fingertips are caressing my body through my clothes.

    She breaks the kiss and strokes my cheek slowly. She gets off the bed and turns off the lights. The moonlight streams in through the window. A cool breeze is coming in, lifting the curtains and enveloping our bodies.

    She comes back and pulls me up into a sitting position. For the longest time, we are just gazing into each other's eyes. She tips my head backwards slightly and starts kissing my neck, my soft gasps filling the room. She gradually moves her lips back up to mine, and kisses them ferociously, sucking, nibbling, our tongues alternately meeting and retreating.

    She is slowly unbuttoning my blouse, never taking her eyes off my face, listening to my short breaths. Her hands are moving urgently. She wants to see me in all my naked wonder, now. She has my shirt off, and she leans in and unhooks my bra from the back, her lips grazing my shoulder. My body pulses as she moves closer to me. She takes off my bra, and pulls off my skirt, leaving me in only my panty, which is getting increasingly soaked with my juices.

    For a second, she stares at my mound in anticipation. Gently, she lays me back down on the bed.

    She loses no time in pulling her own T-shirt over her head, and taking off her own bra, so that she is facing me only in her jeans. I can see her lean upper body, her erect nipples on her smooth breasts, her beautiful well-toned belly.

    She approaches me, her body looming above mine. I can see her positioning herself on top, I can see her face coming closer to mine, I can see her eyes feasting on my body. She kisses my mouth slowly. She brings up a finger and offers it to my mouth enticingly. She traces the outline of my lips with her finger, before finally slipping it into my mouth. I suck at it hungrily. She teases me, withdrawing her finger and inserting it into my mouth again...withdrawing and then inserting again... I grab her hand and take each one of her fingers into my mouth one by one, brushing them with my tongue. I run a finger over the outline of her hand, finally tracing circles over her palm.

    She grabs both my hands, intertwining her fingers with mine, and pins my arms back down. She kisses my eyes, my nose, my chin, my cheeks and my forehead. She sucks my earlobes.

    I sigh silently.

    I wrap my legs around her. Her hands are moving here, there, every-fucking-where. In my hair, on my arms, the base of my neck, encircling my thighs. Her belt buckle rubs against my smooth crotch, creating delicious ripples of pleasure through my lower body. Her nipples are hard and pressed against my chest.

    She stops kissing, and sits up. Still positioned between my legs, she takes off her jeans, and slips off my panty, so that we are now completely naked. We both stare, like little children having eaten strawberries for the first time, wanting more, unashamed of our nudity. Her body is milky white against my olive-coloured skin. She strokes my thighs with her arms for a second, and then she lowers herself, rubbing her body against mine for the longest time.
     
  6. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    I have to bite my lip to keep myself from crying out.

    Our bodies surge and ebb together like the tide at sea. She is above me and in between me and beside me, all at the same time. All I can hear is our quickened breathing. The fear of getting caught increases my excitement, and as I look up at her, I can tell she feels the same way.

    She rolls over, and pulls me on top. I kiss her greedily. But I find quickly that she is more interested in giving me pleasure. She is getting a high just knowing that *I* am getting a high. I can feel her getting wet...she is engrossed in the taste and sight and smell of me. She runs her hands down the silkiness of my back and over my hips and down my sides, kissing my neck and hair incessantly. Her knee is between my legs, touching my sex, making me get more and more wet.

    With her arm around my back, she pushes me back down. She kisses my collarbone. Her tongue draws a wet trail down my chest, between my breasts and over my soft stomach. She delights in my curves and softness and smoothness, letting her hands and tongue explore my body. Her hands start kneading my hips, as she places tender kisses over my belly. I moan as quietly as I can. "Ohhhh, Avi. Ohhhh, ohhhh, ohhhh."

    The mention of her name makes her look up at me briefly. The radiance in her eyes has become a fire. She looks at my body so long and so hard that I can feel my skin burning, feel the heat of her eyes on me. She moves upwards. She cups a breast in her hand, gently massaging it. I can't stand her gaze anymore. I have to close my eyes. She touches my nipple with her fingertip, running over it, rubbing it, teasing it. I quiver with delight beneath her. She brings her lips down to my breasts, kissing each in turn, sucking at each nipple, using her tongue to outline slow, sensuous circles around them.

    The pain is exquisite.

    My body rises, my fingers raking down her back, feeling the intensity and the passion and the anticipation of the explosion that is bound to happen for the both of us. She rises higher above me, offering me her breasts. I stroke them and hold them in my hands, before finally taking them in my mouth one by one, letting my hands roam down between her legs until I can feel her wonderful wetness, and the smoothness of her sex, my hand covered with her juices. She moans in pleasure. I bring it up to my mouth and lick off each drop.

    Our bodies are writhing together in ecstasy, sweaty, salty. I want to feel her inside me. She knows it. "I want to take you," she whispers in a raspy voice. "I want to *know* you're mine."

    She bites my left nipple, feeling its hardness, and quickly kisses me violently to keep me from crying out in pain. Her hand wanders down my body, over my belly and between my legs. The heat is incredible. She is sucking my lower lip, and her hand is exploring my pussy. She moves her finger through the creases of my soft labia. My clitoris is completely erect, but she is deliberately making me wait to tantalise me. Her fingers brush against it, once, twice, thrice. I push up my body against her so that our vulvas are pressed up against each other. I grab her arms to tell her I want her this instant.

    She circles my clitoris with her fingers, rubbing it harder and harder. She squeezes it, and it is all I can do to keep myself from screaming. She pulls my clitoris gently, and releases it, and repeats this until she is sure I can take no more, and our bodies shake and throb and pound against each other as our orgasms hit us, perfectly synchronized. "Ohhhhhh, God...ohhhhh..." I just can't help groaning in pleasure.

    She decides that she wants to give me more. "Oh, no, Avi, seriously, leave me alone," I whisper. "Don't touch me. Leave me alone."

    But she is not listening. Spreading my legs apart, she rests her lips on the top of my mound, and moves her tongue down to my labia, manoeuvring through the folds until she finds my clitoris again. Her arms are wrapped around my thighs, restraining me from moving. She licks the lips surrounding it, and then lets her tongue roam over my clitoris, nipping it slightly.

    "Uhhhhmmm, uhmmmm, ohhhhh God, have mercy..." I wail, as wave after wave of pleasure-pain overwhelms my body.

    She penetrates me with her tongue, pumping hard, diving in and taking it out rapidly, taking in the scent and taste of a girl she knows and wants. Once again, we are both on the verge of climaxing. It hits us like an avalanche, our bodies wracked with desire and pleasure, and we both moan silently. I arch my back upwards, and she finally lets go of my legs, giving me room to thrust myself against her as she moves her body upwards and lays down on top of me, overcome by her own orgasm.

    When the pleasure has abated, she cuddles against me, front to front, and wraps her arms around me. We kiss briefly. There is nothing to say. The moment is perfect. The wind has died down. For a while, there is only silence as we look affectionately at each other.

    Then I can resist no longer. "Never did this before? Are you sure?"

    She strokes my hair and laughs. "Well...I guess I've done my homework."


    ******


    We meet every day now. Sometimes I take her to eat good ol' desi food and tell her what she's been missing. Or we go to her house and jam in her basement. We sound great together. She's given me more confidence about my voice. My voice is soft when I sing, but it can switch to this piercing, angry yowl whenever I want. Avi jokingly calls me a "Jekyll and Hyde" vocalist.

    She made me quit smoking.

    And my God, when do we not do it! I spent an entire weekend at her house when Arjun was gone on a conference, and I honestly think we had more sex than food. The sex is not exactly what I'd expected, but interesting nonetheless. She claims she gets off just knowing that she's getting me off. I can just lay back with my arms behind my head, and she still orgasms. I tell her I think she's turning me into a regular pillow princess. She tells me she wouldn't want anything less.

    I've also realized that self-defence lessons with Avi are pretty pointless. Even though I keep protesting, "Avi, now let's be serious about this", she can't help it. When she knocks me down while demonstrating, five seconds later I find I'm naked and realize that she's taken off my clothes. And before I know it, we're making wild love again. And again.

    She's insatiable...fortunately, so am I.

    Arjun and I have become good friends...he's like the goofy older brother I never had, always teasing the two of us. "Avi, what, *more* flannel? And Nadya, what, *another* women's studies book?" Then, squinting, deadpan, "Are the two of you dykes?"

    brother and sister have an equally un-p.c. sense of humour, I've found.

    I've introduced Avi to my friends – but only as a "jamming buddy," of course. Mostly everyone's been acting like she's some kind of mutant because she dresses in a somewhat masculine way. I despise everyone for being so narrow-minded. Sometimes, I can feel Avi bristle next to me when Alka or someone is giving her stares. I get angrier than she does.

    That was expected, though. What really disappointed me was that Avi and Saima were quite cool and distant with each other. Avi tried in the beginning, but Saima made her feel unwanted. To Saima, Avi's the reason why my life is upside down. I just wish they could try to get along.

    Fortunately for me, though, Mohan is always there to save the day. He and Avi have practically become best buddies. We even let him join us in Avi's basement so that he can mix music for us when we practice.

    "You guys sound quite good," he says. We can do covers of plenty of bands, including most of the riot grrrl bands, plus others like Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Agnostic Front, Bad Religion, and Motley Crue.

    "I think we should start a girl band," laughs Avi.

    "Hey, let's," I say, suddenly serious. "A band with a political agenda."

    "Why not?" says Mohan. "But you'll need a drummer and a bass player."

    "We can scour colleges in the city," I say, thinking about this. "We can look for a girl drummer and bass player. There's gotta be someone...it's a big city."

    Avi's the only one who looks a little less than excited. "I'm not so sure that the *agenda* will sit down too well with your intended audience," she says.

    "Who's being a slave to society now, Avi?" I scoff. "Come on...our intended audience will just be the college crowd...that sounds doable...I don't see us doing more than small, college concerts...what do you say?"

    "Well," she says, considering. "All right. Let's do it."

    I'm all excited. I jump up and plant a big kiss on her mouth.

    "Oh, now, I don't want to see that!" says Mohan, jokingly, although he's watching with eyes peeled.

    "Watch it, we're getting a man aroused here," says Avi, pulling away from my hold.

    "Don't cut out the live action!" complains Mohan, and I promptly whack him on the head. "Ouch! Okay, okay, I'll be good."

    The next day, we're out combing all the colleges in Mumbai, passing the word around that we need a girl drummer and bass player. One week later, we get two phone calls, one from Nandini, a drummer, and one from Deborah, a bass player. When we meet them and hear them play, we know we want them.

    Nandini's funny and energetic, perfect for a drummer. And she has her own drum set, which she brought with her to the audition. Debbie's quiet and charming, and her melodies are enthralling. But we still had to explain a few things to them.

    "You see," says Avi. "We want a political agenda. We're humanist, feminist, we want rights for minorities, and we want rights for gay people." She emphasizes the last bit.

    "We're lesbians," I blurt out, indicating Avi and myself.

    "Do you have a problem with that?" asks Avi, probably ready to sock them if they said 'yes'. She gets her guard up instantly in situations like this, and she would shoot every homophobe if she got the chance.

    Both Nandini and Debbie start smiling.

    "I'm Christian," says Debbie. "I know how minorities are treated in India."

    "Yeah, you don't have to be so defensive," laughs Nandini. "I'm down with it...but it's a little risky."

    "Well, we can't exactly shout it out," I admit. "But we want the gay rights stuff to be in the music. We don't intend to flaunt around our own sexualities or personal lives, though."

    "Are you guys together?" asks Nandini. She's obviously outspoken.

    "That's none of your--" begins Avi, still aggressive.

    "Yeah, we are," I cut her. What's the point in keeping secrets? They're going to figure it out eventually.

    "Cool, maybe you can give my boyfriend Samir a few tips," jokes Nandini. "I mean, he knows where to go, he knows how to make it nice...but the instant I tell him to go south side, he's like a deer frozen in headlights."

    Avi relaxes and starts smiling. It's obvious Nandini and Debbie are cool and have a rebellious streak.

    "One last thing," I say. "We need a name for the band."

    "Two Dykes and a Couple of Liberal Straight Girls," gibes Nandini.

    "A little more agenda-specific, please?" I point out.

    "Fuck the Status Quo," says Avi.

    "*Too* agenda-specific," I say.

    "How about Desi Insurrection?" offers Debbie. "You know, it has an Indian touch, but it's also saying 'Revolution!'"

    "That's great!" I say. Nandini and Avi nod their heads in approval.

    I'm totally psyched. How can it be? But it is...we've found the perfect bandmates.
     
  7. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    All of us -- that being myself, Avi, Nandini, Debbie and Mohan -- are at Avi's place, getting ready to practice in the basement.

    "Hey, listen," Avi says to everyone. "Why don't you guys head off to the basement, and Nadya and I will be down with refreshments in a minute?" Everyone exchanges knowing glances, and I go red as a tomato.

    "Uhhh, sure," says Nandini, with a wry smile. "Sure. Refreshments. Of course."

    Avi ignores them and takes me by the hand, pulling me to the kitchen. "Gee, that was subtle," I say sarcastically, before wrapping my arms around her waist, and getting up on my toes to kiss her.

    She shakes her head at me, and moves away. This isn't a make-out session. "I...I have something to tell you," she says awkwardly, looking at the floor and shifting her foot.

    I face her with my arms folded. "What?"

    "Well, it's, uh, it's like this," she says, avoiding eye contact. "Ever since I met you...it's like...everything about you is so perfect...even the things that normally irritate me, I love because it's you...I mean, I like your pretentious, New Age art-speak...even your p.c. nonsense is adorable... You make me feel all big and dumb and I want to take care of you and protect you."

    By now I know what's coming.

    She takes a deep breath. "What I'm trying to say is, I think I'm falling in love with you...I mean, I *know* I'm in love with you. I mean, I...I love you."

    I think I'm going to cry. She's a regular dyke on a bike, but she has a romantic, sensitive side.

    "How long have you been preparing that speech?" I say, moving close to her and letting my hands play with her short, silky hair, forcing her to look at my eyes.

    "About two weeks," she says, and she actually looks terrified.

    "I love you, too," I say, tilting her face down so that I can kiss her lips. "So much..." We kiss for a while, and then I bury my head in her shoulder, letting her hold me.

    I hear Debbie calling out. "Are we ever going to start or are you guys planning on having dessert before dinner?"

    "Coming," Avi calls out, chuckling. She kisses my forehead and we go down to the basement with a crate of Cokes.


    ******


    I'm working on an assignment...or at least trying to...I can't stop thinking about Avi and our band and how much fun all of us had last night. We'd practiced for six hours straight! We were all sweaty and exhausted by the end of it, but it was amazing. I don't know where we got all that energy from. We must have covered about twenty songs, easily. Mohan mixed and recorded everything, and I thought we sounded pretty good.

    A knock on the door interrupts my thoughts. "Come in," I call out, not looking back.

    Someone opens my ponytail and lets my hair fall. I know without seeing exactly who it is. She effortlessly lifts me off my chair and turns me around to face her. "Avi, I'm studying," I pretend to complain.

    "Sorry, I missed you, babe," she says. "I had to come."

    "I really have to finish this--" I can't finish the sentence because she's already wrapped her arms around me and is kissing me.

    "Come on, take a break," she says between kisses. She slides her hands up my blouse quickly and squeezes both my breasts. That's it. I give in to temptation.

    She locks the door. She comes back to me, and starts kissing me again. She pushes me toward the counter where all my make-up is, and hoists me up by the waist onto it so that she can kiss my neck. At this point I am moaning ceaselessly, my arms wrapped around her shoulders.

    Neither of us notices the door unlocking.

    "What in God's name is going on?"

    Avi jumps away from me, as if she's just gotten an electric shock.

    Oh, fuck. "Alka, hey," I mumble.

    She's staring at us like she can't believe what she just saw. "Are you...are you a lesbo?" she asks me, a look of pure disgust on her face.

    "Yeah," says Avi aggressively. "Lesbo, queer, dyke, slut, whore, anything else you wanna add to that? We're all those things."

    "Avi, calm down," I say.

    "How dare you!" Alka's yelling. "How can you do things like this in a room you *share* with me! And kissing a girl? Sick!"

    Oh, God. This is not good. Avi looks like she's going to explode.

    "Who the fuck are you to judge us?" she sneers. "Are you some fucking saint?" She moves toward Alka menacingly. "Do I look like a pervert to you? Do I repulse you? Am I a sexual predator?"

    Alka moves back, looking horrified.

    "Avi, just shut up!" I yell.

    She looks at me with surprise. "What did I do? It's your stupid homophobe friend who's passing judgments!"

    "Avi, just go," I insist, pushing her out. "Just leave, now."

    "What is wrong with you?" she yells at me. She points to Alka. "It's her...she's the one who can't get her head out of her ass long enough to see that she might be wrong."

    "Get out," I say, firmly. She doesn't look like she's going to listen. "I mean it. Get the fuck out of my room NOW."

    Her face shows both anger and hurt. "Fine. Fuck the both of you. Have a fucking good night." She leaves without looking at me.

    I really didn't want Avi to leave that way, but Alka's my *roommate*. And the way Avi was ripping into her, there was no way the situation could have been resolved.

    "Alka, listen," I begin, weary. "I'm sorry for the way Avi yelled at you. But I'm gay...if we're going to be friends you're just going to have to deal with that."

    Alka looks at me, her eyes on fire. "Maybe you should teach your dumb cunt of a girlfriend some manners," she says angrily.

    "Don't call her that!" I'm trying to stay calm, but it is impossible. "You provoked her!"

    "We can't live together anymore," she says.

    "Okay, just shut up and listen to me, Alka," I say. "I was confused and scared my whole life, can you understand that? Ever since I realized I have these feelings for girls, I've been trying to fight it. But I can't do it anymore. Okay? Can't you get that? Can't you put your prejudices aside for five seconds and think about our friendship, if it ever meant anything to you?"

    She's listening. She lets out a deep breath. "Okay. This is really weird for me. I need some time to think this over." She looks up sharply. "But I swear, I never want to walk in on you like that again. Understood?"

    "Okay," I say, rolling my eyes at her immaturity. "And I hope you know that this is supposed to be kept confidential."


    "Fine," she says.

    "Alka? I'm really, really serious here! You know what will happen if anyone finds out."

    "I get it. I won't tell anyone."


    ******


    I nervously ring the doorbell. Arjun answers the door. "Hey," I say quickly. "Where is she?"

    He doesn't need to answer, because I can hear incredibly obnoxious guitar riffs coming from the basement. He smiles weakly at me, embarrassed. "You know where to find her."

    I walk down the stairs and take a breath. Damage control. Here goes. I open the door and walk inside. I see her playing the guitar. She's knocking out staccatos like she's lost her mind. Her fingers are moving so fast that they're almost a blur. She's head-banging, her eyes closed.

    "Avi!" I try to yell at her. "Listen, we have to talk!"

    She sees me, but ignores me.

    "Avi, come on, don't be silly!"

    "I can't hear you."

    "Then turn off the stupid music!"

    "What?" she asks, feigning ignorance.

    "TURN IT OFF!"

    "Why?"

    God, she is a difficult person. Now I'm losing patience. I walk to the corner and yank all the wires out of their sockets.

    "Geez!" she yells at me, taking off her guitar. "What the hell is your problem?"

    "I want to talk to you!" I say, walking back toward her, and standing so that I am facing her.

    "I'm just not in the mood," she says obstinately.

    "What happened back there?" I demand. "With Alka? Why did you just lose your cool like that?"

    "Look, unlike you, I have some pride, okay?" she says. "I'm not going to stand there and watch someone insult me and my girlfriend and our lifestyle. Somebody's gotta teach people like that a lesson."

    "Teach her a lesson?" I bellowed. "You completely ripped into her! Even if there was some receptivity there on her part, you killed it completely!"

    "Well, what do you expect?" asks Avi, eyebrows furrowed deeply. "You want me to be passive-aggressive like you? Well, guess what. I'm not going to do it."

    "You'll never get people to understand you unless you respect their point of view. You can't hurt their sensitivities."

    "Really?" she sneers. "Honey, only those people's sensitivities get hurt, who are overly-sensitive."

    "It's a culture! You can't change a culture overnight!" I am exasperated because she is just ignoring things that, to me, are ground realities.

    "And you need to get up some nerve!" she says. "Stop apologizing for who you are. Stop saying, 'I'm sorry that I hurt your sensitivities.' You want to change culture? Live your life as loudly as you can."

    "You just don't get it!" I throw up my arms. "India's problems are much more basic than having the right to broadcast your sexuality. You wanna know what our problems are?" I start counting off on my fingers. "How do we educate the masses? How do we get people three *fucking* meals a day? How can we create more *fucking* jobs? You won't get it...you haven't lived here."

    "I've lived here long enough to know that silence is the enemy."

    "So what are you suggesting?" I say, a touch of irony in my voice. "Okay, from now on, I'll run around wearing a sandwich-board saying 'I'm a vulgar lesbian' and ringing my bell."

    She is equally sarcastic. "As opposed to what? As opposed to you running in circles around your hetero roommate? What you ever saw in her, I will never understand."

    "What is THAT about?" I ask incredulously. "What does that have to do with anything?"

    A note of self-consciousness enters her voice, like she doesn't want to give something away. "Nothing," she says. "Just forget it."

    "Excuse me? Do you care to elaborate?"

    "Well, you always seem to care about her goddamned sensitivities. Can't do this, might offend Alka. Can't do that, might offend Alka. Why do you even give a fuck what she thinks?"

    I grow wary. "I'm sorry, but, uhhh, *where* is all of this coming from, exactly?"

    She bites her lip. "It's just that you give her -- your former flame -- an awful lot of leeway. More than you give *me*, that's for sure." She can't even look me in the eye.

    "You're jealous of her, aren't you?"

    "I am NOT."

    She can't hide anything from me. I allow myself to start smiling. "You're jeaaalllousss!"

    "Pffft. Like hell. She's straight, why should I be?" She's looking away from me, the way she does when she's cornered.

    "Oh, honey," I say in my most patronizing voice. I put my arms around her waist, and get up on tiptoe, planting a big sloppy kiss on her mouth. "It's only you, baby," I add, in a melodramatic voice.

    "Shut up, bitch," she says, trying desperately not to smile, and trying to break free of my grip at the same time. "And get off of me!"

    "Never!" I say, gripping her even tighter. I pout and make a small kissing noise at her. I let my voice drop to a fake, breathy whisper, and say, half-sultrily, half-sarcastically, "I want you. Sex me up, baby."

    "Yeah? Lose the Marilyn Monroe act, and we'll talk, *baby*," she says, imitating me. She can't help a small smile now.

    "I saw that!" I say, triumphantly. "A smile! Finally! God, you're tough!" I grow serious quickly. "Are you stupid? You honestly think I got anyone but you on my mind?"

    "Ugh, I hate confrontations," she says.

    "Yeah, I know," I say, cupping her face in my hands and forcing her to look at me. "And you have huge intimacy issues, too. But you need to hear this right now. There is no way I could even think about being with anyone else."

    She raises an eyebrow. "Really?"
     
  8. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    Avi's dragging me up the stairs by the hand. My head is already getting woozy. "Hey, are you two going to eat dinner--" Arjun is asking. Neither I nor Avi is least concerned about food right now, so we just walk right by him. "Oh, right, I forgot I'm invisible," he shakes his head. "Kids."

    She takes me to her bedroom and quickly locks the door. She lifts me up in her arms and kisses me on the mouth. She sits me down on the bed, and dims the lights. Admittedly, I'm just a little nervous and I'm sure it shows on my face. She comes back and sits down next to me. She lets her hand slide up the inside of my thigh.

    "Listen," she says quietly. "Don't be scared. I promise I won't hurt you. Anytime you want me to stop, just say so, okay?"

    "Okay," I mumble.

    "Nadya, do you trust me?" she asks me.

    I look at her directly. "Yes," I say. "More than I trust myself."

    "Then you needn't worry." She winks at me. "*You* are going to love this."

    I manage a smile. "Bring it on."

    I'm wearing a sleeveless, slinky shalwar kameez with a silk dupatta around my neck. She slides off the dupatta with a finger. She pulls me up by the hands so that we are both standing and facing each other. She places her hands on my neck and starts kissing me. I run my hands through her silky hair, savoring every second of her kiss. It grows faster, harder, angrier. Before I know it, I'm unable to breathe and my heart is beating against hers so hard that I can practically hear it.

    In a quick split-second maneuver, she has my bra out my sleeve. Fuck, where did she learn to do *that*?

    The kissing has not stopped. Her tongue is exploring corners deep inside my mouth. She unhooks my shalwar and lets it drop to the floor. I step out of it, so that I'm now only in my sleeveless kameez. Slowly she slides her hands up through the side-slits, over my belly and just touching the bottom of my breasts. She starts unzipping the kameez from the back.

    She stops the kiss almost reluctantly. She puts her hands on my shoulders, staring into my eyes. Never dropping her gaze, she slides one strap down my shoulder, exposing my left breast. She cups it, squeezing it hard, and starts kissing me again.

    My hands are shaking at her waist. My legs are trembling.

    She lets her hands move down from my shoulders to my back, to my hips. She slips them under the kameez, so she can touch my wet underwear. She gently rubs my clitoris through my underwear. She leaves one hand right there...just barely brushing against my pussy. God, I want her to take me right there and then. I want her to enter me. But she gives me a stern look that tells me not to be so impatient and overeager.

    She uses her free hand to slide the other strap down, and eases me out of my kameez. Her hand is still touching my sex through my panty, her tongue is now working on my chin and neck.

    She lifts me up and slowly lays me back down on the bed. I strain to see what she's doing, but she instructs me to close my eyes. I obey.

    Soon, she is rubbing oil over my body. She is straddling me, and massaging my thighs, stomach and breasts, releasing the tension in all my muscles. Don't stop, baby, I pray. Keep touching me like that. She is crushing my breasts and kissing me wildly. My hands are sliding her shirt up her back.

    She bends down, kisses my neck, and whispers in my ear, "Turn over." I lie face down on the bed. She rubs the oil all over my back, her hands moving leisurely but strongly up my back, loosening my body till I'm in a nearly trance-like state. She pulls my panty down for a second, and rubs oil over my hips, slipping a creamy finger between them just to tease me for a second. I cry out sharply.

    I realize that she has taken off her clothes. I can feel her hard nipplespress against my back as she massages me. I can feel her wet between the legs.

    She kisses the back of my neck. Then she gets off me, and for a few seconds, I am wondering where she is.

    Then I know. "Relax," I hear her tell me. She lifts up my arms and starts tying them to the bedpost with silk scarves, allowing my head to rest comfortably on the pillow, my stomach down and my back and hips facing her. She moves my legs apart. I am getting more and more wet.

    "Do you like it rough?" she asks me, mischievously.

    I can only moan in reply.

    "I'll take that as a 'yes'," she laughs.

    She slips her hand inside my panty again, and touches my clitoris for a second. I can barely breathe, let alone make noise.

    I feel her hand come down and hit each of my buttocks in turn through my underwear. She does this four or five times, very gently. She strokes and massages my hips again. Her hand comes down once more, this time harder.

    Once. Twice. Thrice. More, baby, more, I want to scream.

    She continues stroking my hips, letting her hands move down to the outside of my legs, whispering their way up the insides, brushing against my sex yet again. She slides my panty down my legs and pulls it off. I feel her hit me. Her hand is getting harder. I count mentally. Five times. Ten times. Fifteen times. She touches my hips again, using her fingertips to caress them, stimulating them, enhancing my sensations. She brushes her lips against my warm, soft hips, planting feathery kisses on them. She slips her fingers between my buttocks every now and then, but not long enough for me to orgasm.

    The combination of spanks and soothing caresses is making me lose my mind.

    "Harder," I murmur.

    Her free hand is gently stroking my cheek. She brings her hand down on me another time.

    One. Two. Three. Four.

    "Faster."

    Five, six, seven, eight.

    Hell, I could easily go for a hundred more.

    Her touch is rhythmic and light. She spanks each buttock alternately and then smooths and caresses my hips and the insides of my legs, as I squirm before her.

    I am moaning. My pussy is throbbing. My juices are dripping down my legs. She senses how close I am to orgasm right now. She starts untying my hands. When she has released me, she turns over my body so that I am facing her, only to tie me up again. This time, she spreads my legs apart, and ties them to the corners of the bed as well.

    She surveys me for a few seconds. Seeing me tied up and completely under her control is exciting her. She is getting covered with her own juices. I am sure that if she let herself, she could come right there.

    She climbs on top of me, kissing my mouth with an insane passion. I can see her erect nipples. Her breasts are looming above me. I want to lick them so desperately. She lets me. Hungrily, I let my tongue roam over each breast in turn. I kiss and lick her nipples.

    Then, as if to say, "Enough!" she twists both my nipples. My body archs upwards in pleasure. My hips are still burning from the spanking. The heat is radiating throughout my body. She licks each nipple and sucks my breasts for a while.

    By this time, I don't even care if I am making too much noise. Arjun probably has headphones on to drown me out.

    She moves her lips down my stomach. She sprinkles kisses all over my belly, her hands rubbing the inside of my thighs. After what seems like a lifetime, she lets her hand cup my pussy and apply pressure. I am writhing in frustration. I want her to let me release.

    She moves her head between my wide-apart legs. She finds my love bud and bites it. "Ohhhhh, God, uhhhhm, uhhhhm, Avi." While her tongue flicks my clitoris, she slips two fingers inside me. And then a third.

    But before I can climax, she pulls out her fingers and just sits between my legs, a strange smile playing on her lips.

    And then she does it again. She slips her fingers inside me, and licks me, and pulls away as soon as I am close to orgasm.

    "Please, Avi. Take me now. PLEASE." I beg her as urgently as I can. My entire body is overcome with ecstasy.

    "Do you want me?" she asks.

    "Yes," I gasp. "Now."

    "Only me?" she is tormenting me on purpose.

    "Only you. I swear, only you."

    "Good."

    She outlines my pussy lips with her fingers. She slips her fingers inside me again, her tongue at my navel, and pumps hard, in and out. It is only a matter of seconds before my orgasm rocks my body. I swear, I have never had an orgasm like this before. I am shaking so hard that I think I'm going to hurt myself. She is kissing me, and in a few seconds, I feel her body responding to mine, as she reaches her climax.

    She is on top of me. Our bodies have finally calmed down. She unties my hands and legs. She cradles me in her arms, a twinkle in her eyes as she pushes the hair away from my face. She kisses my lips briefly. "Did you enjoy that?" she asks, grinning. "You little animal, you."

    I am exhausted. I can only smile. I cuddle up closer to her.

    And before I know it, we are both giggling like a couple of schoolgirls. This letting go of inhibitions, letting my guard down, letting myself truly belong to this other person who truly belongs to me...this feels amazing.
     
  9. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    "Don't go."

    "Avi, I have to go, I have a class in two hours, in which I have a quiz. And we have band practice this evening, so I have to study before that." I sit on the side of the bed, and pull on Avi's jeans. They are too baggy for my skinny frame and slide down so that the belt is just below my waistline. She stares at me, unable to hide her desire. She runs a finger down the center of my bare back. I can't help but let out a soft moan. Encouraged, she moves closer and nuzzles my neck from behind, allowing her hand to fondle my breasts from the front. "Avi!" I have to use every ounce of my willpower to get up off the bed.

    She leans back in bed, and props herself up against a pillow to get a good look at me. "God, you look goo-ood in my jeans."

    "I'm going to take a shower, slut."

    "I'll join you, you stupid vanilla-dyke."

    "No, that's okay. I don't have time, crackwhore."

    "I can't believe this is our bedroom banter," she laughs.

    "My 'good little indian girl' days are sooo behind me," I say, laughing.

    She looks me up and down sensuously. Just her gaze sends tingles down my spine. "I'll make it a quickie."

    "Avi!" I sigh. "Can you stop thinking about sex for five seconds?"

    "Not when it's with you."

    "Charmed." I roll my eyes. In a flash she's out of bed, pulling on her boxers and T-shirt. She winks at me. I know she's going to pounce on me -- literally -- any second. "Don't you dare, Avi!" I manage to yell, racing toward the bathroom.

    She's lightening fast, of course, and has me up against the wall in two seconds. My mind turns to jelly, the way it always does when I'm in her arms. She's teasing me, her mouth hovering just millimeters above mine, nearly touching my lips, but not quite. I can feel her hot breath on my face. Better sense prevails apparently, and she backs off suddenly. "You have that quiz. I don't want to keep you from your work."

    "Yeah, I guess you're right," I say reluctantly, kissing her cheek and going inside the bathroom. Then, with a wry smile, I add, "By the way, we can try name-calling next time."


    ******


    "Why do you have to call yourself 'dyke'?" asks Saima. "Why can't you just be a nice li'l 'lesbian'?" We are having dinner together at the cafeteria.

    "Gay, queer, dyke, whatever," I answer patiently. "It's all about reclaiming words meant to insult us. If I don't call myself a dyke, someone else will. This way, if anyone tells us, 'Step off it, lezzies', it's just like, 'Tell me something I don't know.' Get it?"

    "I suppose," says Saima. "I just don't like the sound of the term."

    "It's just semantics. It's no big deal."

    "I guess."

    "Saima?" I begin. "Can I make a small request?"

    "Yeah."

    "Why can't you try to like Avi?"

    She obviously does not want to discuss this. "I won't lie to you...I don't really get your choice. She's kind of crude, and, well, she's got this masculine energy or something."

    "Yeah, 'cos she's butch," I argue. "She's not comfortable with stereotyped femininity. What's wrong with that? Besides, I find her sexy."

    "Look, I don't know," says Saima. "It's just a little personal for me, okay?"

    "Personal?" I say.

    "I support gay causes," says Saima. "I want gay rights, blah blah blah. But I never thought my *own* sister would be gay, and well, frankly, it's just weird for me. I guess on some level I'd hoped you would snap out of it, except your girlfriend pops into the picture, and now there's really no chance. And my life is permanently warped."

    "*Your* life?" I say, seething at her outburst. "I'm only going to say this once. This is NOT about you. Okay? This is about *me*, and this is *my* life."

    "Nadya, I'm sorry," she says instantly. "I just...can't stop worrying about what will happen if our parents figure this out."

    "They won't! And you're going off on a tangent. None of this is Avi's fault, and you know it. All she's done is keep me sane this whole time."

    There's an uneasy silence.

    "Saima, what happened?" I ask sadly. "We used to be so close. We're in two different worlds now."

    "Nadya, it's not metaphorical. We *are*, quite obviously, in two different worlds. We can't help that."

    "We can try to understand each other, can't we?"

    Saima draws in a deep breath. "Look, I can try to change the way I feel about Avi. But you need to give me some time to get used to all of this. It's a little overwhelming. I can't promise anything, but I can try."


    ******


    Desi Insurrection just had their first mini-concert. Nothing big, just a small event in Nandini's garage. We only called our close friends and family members, and played covers, since we haven't got enough original music just yet. Now we're just mingling with the small crowd of about fifty people.

    "You guys rock," gushes Gauri, one of my dormmates. "And Nadya, you're an awesome front-woman."


    "I swear," adds Alka. "Who'd have thought someone as skinny as you had so much energy?" She was nice enough to come in spite of the big fight with Avi. If the lesbianism still bothers her, she's hiding it well.

    "Thanks," I say, blushing. I'm still on a high from the adrenaline. The last hour and a half, I've been prancing around on stage, playing my guitar and singing like my life depended on it.

    "Yeah, I definitely think this has potential," Saima chimes in. "But you need to do some more original stuff."

    "I know, I know," I say. "We're working on it. I've got some lyrics down, and Avi's working on the chord progressions."

    "Nadya!" Nandini runs over to me and gives me a big hug, pulling me aside. "I want you to meet someone. This is my boyfriend, Samir." A tall, shy-looking guy with floppy hair offers his hand to me. "Samir, say hello to the most wonderful desi dyke you'll ever meet."

    "Hi, nice to meet you," I say, smiling warmly and shaking his hand. "Nandini's told us so much about you."

    "Why don't you guys talk and I'll get us a couple of drinks?" says Nandini. "And where the heck is my favorite bass guitarist? Deb?" She walks away.

    "You girls can *play*," says Samir. "It's great that there's a legit Indian girl band now. I mean, I know we have that pop band, Viva, but this is different. This is so..."

    "D.I.Y.? Independent? Not prepackaged commercial bubblegum pop?"

    He laughs. "When I met Nandini, I knew she had this self-reliant streak in her. It was the reason I fell for her. I never wanted a girl who treated her boyfriend like god. Most girls do that."

    "I know," I say, laughing. I eye Nandini, who was now chasing Debbie around the drinks table with her drumsticks. "You really like her, don't you?"

    "Yeah," he says. He obviously worships the ground she walks on. "I know she's the one." He looks back at me. "But it's complicated. I'm a Muslim, and she's a Hindu. Both our parents know we're going out, and they have serious, serious issues with it."

    "We all have problems like that," I say. "No-one knows that better than me. But you can't let that stop you."

    "Believe me, I don't intend to," he says. "We're going to fight it, no matter how hard it gets."

    "Babe, why so serious?" Nandini returns with Debbie and drinks, slapping Samir on his behind. "Missing me already?"

    "Yeah, honey," he jokes, putting an arm around her. "Tell you what, drummer girl. Why don't you get on top so we can take down the patriarchy tonight?"

    "Okay, *that*, *that* is the most fucking mind-blowing pickup line you've used on me yet," says Nandini, laughing. "I don't wanna talk, I don't want to hear anything, let's go. Right now." Samir has his best "aw-shucks-tweren't-nothin'-ma'am" look on his face.

    "Get a room, you guys!" says Debbie, giving them both a look. She turns to me. "By the way, I think you should save Mohan. It looks like Avi's going to make him cry."

    My eyes wander over to where my girlfriend is talking to Mohan. I know she's been intentionally avoiding my sister and friends, and I don't blame her. She's in her sexy leather pants and sleeveless jacket, with her arm around Mohan, who does, in fact, look mortified. As I inch closer through the throng of partying people, I manage to hear her tell him, "So, my friend, in conclusion, what you really need, is a nice leather daddy."

    Mohan looks like he's going to throw up.

    "Avi, leave him alone!" I yell. "Stop messing with the heterosexuals!"

    "What?" she says innocently, moving away from him. "I was only giving him some advice."

    "Nadya," says Mohan painfully. "I think I'm gay!"

    I sigh, and put an arm around him. "Moe, you're not gay. Trust me." I grit my teeth at Avi, who's got a self-satisfied smile on her face.

    "No, I am," he says. "Avi just made me realize it."

    "She's messing with you!"

    "But I think Ricky Martin is hot!" he wails.

    "Are you stupid?" I'm trying not to laugh. "If you were really gay, the idea wouldn't make you so miserable!" Avi bites her lip to stop chuckling.

    "She knows what she's talking about!"

    "She's a nutcase, you moron!"

    "Hey!" protests Avi, jabbing an elbow into my arm. "Keep that up, and you'll have to get rid of that leftover energy by yourself tonight!"

    "So I'm not gay?" asks Mohan timidly.

    "NO!" Avi and I yell in unison.

    He lets out a sigh of relief. "Don't you just love this guy?" laughs Avi, ruffling his hair.

    "I need a beer," he says, leaving the two of us alone.

    I grab her hand discreetly. Not everyone here knows we're lesbian, so we still have to be careful. She tucks a strand of my long black hair behind my ear. "You want to spend the night at my place?" she asks me.

    "Wish I could," I say. "But I've spent too much time practicing playing, and I got midterms coming up."

    She bends down to whisper in my ear. "I love you."

    She doesn't make such an obvious display of affection very often, except in our most intimate moments. "I know that, silly. I love you too." I want to kiss her, but I settle for giving her a bear hug, buddy-buddy style. "But we've got the weekend."

    "Ah, yes, the Big Songwriting Weekend," says Avi. "Not much chance of getting any action there." She smiles. "But that's okay. I just want to spend time with you. Even if it's without sex."

    I pinch her firm buttocks. "Uh-huh," I grin. "I'll believe *that* when I see it."
     
  10. Commodore

    Commodore Well-Known Member

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    The weekend has come and gone. I've found myself to be a more prolific songwriter than I had expected. I'd written a few songs before, but never with the kind of passion that I have now. I suspect Avi has had something to do with unleashing my inner rage. I feel freer than I ever did before.

    Since then, we've even done a few small concerts here and there. Usually in people's garages, occasionally in a rented auditorium. We can fill a room with maybe a couple of hundred people. Some of our fans are gay teenagers, since we've been doing covers of gay bands. It's been nice to find other lesbians, many of whom we've privately taken into confidence.

    We've made it clear that we're not out for fame and fortune. Any money we've made, we've donated to charity. I bought books for an orphanage we're supporting...good books, I thought, books that might help kids get enlightened as well as educated.

    The feedback has been encouraging, but I want to increase our fanbase.

    "I'm tired of passive aggression," I tell my band mates, as we pack up at the end of a practice session in Avi's basement.

    Avi looks proud of herself, knowing she's had a lot to do with this change.

    I ignore her. "Let's do a bigger concert in my college. We want to keep it slightly restrictive, because our content is too controversial. So invite-only, and student-only. We pick the colleges we want to invite."

    "We'll need sponsors," says Nandini. "Samir's older brother has a business. I'm sure he can help us."

    "I can design the posters," says Debbie. "And my father works for a publishing company. I can probably get tickets printed out, too."

    "Fabulous," says Avi. "But when do we do it?"

    "Holi," I say immediately. "It's coming up. We'll do the concert the night of the college festival." Holi is one of India's most loved cultural events. It's a harvest celebration marking the climax of spring. People get dressed in white, and throw colored powder at one another.

    Debbie snaps her fingers. "That's perfect."

    "Uhh, except we have about four weeks to prepare," says Nandini. "I think we've got our work cut out for us."

    "I'll have to talk to the college admin," I groan.

    "Nadya?" says Avi. "Do NOT give them a heads-up about some of the content. Just mention that we have a political agenda centering on humanism and feminism. You show them any of the actual lyrics or spoken word material, and this ends right now."

    "I know that!" I snap.

    "No, you're tempted to be the goody-goody that you inevitably are," she says. "I know you too well. You'll have to learn to take a risk."

    "Hey, this was *my* idea, okay?" I snarl. "I'm the brains behind this operation. You -- you can stick to being the brawn and just lug the equipment around, okay?"

    "Ooh, ouch," she says, pretending to be insulted.

    "Face it, Avi, *I'm* the resident academic," I scoff.

    "Stop being so condescending," says Avi, derisively. She beckons me with her finger. "C'mere. I'll give you a good fuck and then we'll see if you can still talk like that."

    "Girls!" interjects Debbie, taken aback. "I know you're dykes, but you can still be ladies!"

    "I think we're shocking the liberal straight girls," I grin.

    "Well, the overt sexual innuendos are always entertaining," says Nandini, "but I will never understand your relationship."

    "It's tough love," laughs Debbie.


    ******



    It is the night before the concert. I go inside Avi's house from the backdoor. I can hear arguing coming from the dimly lit dining room. I get closer and see Arjun and Avi sitting at the table. I stop at the door and listen.

    "Avi, I want you to go back to Michigan with me," Arjun is saying.

    "I can't, Bhai. I need her."

    "Bring Nadya with you," he says. "We can all move there."

    "You know that's stupid. She doesn't have citizenship, and it's hard to get it."

    "We can work that out."

    "She doesn't want to leave India. Why don't you get that?"

    Arjun seems frustrated. "Avi, how long do you two think you can live here? Two years? Three years, tops? Eventually someone's going to find out, and then there will be trouble. Get out of here before that happens."

    "Bhai, I told you. She doesn't want to go. And I'll go wherever she goes."

    "For God's sake, be reasonable, Avi," says Arjun. "I adore Nadya, okay? But your objectivity has gone to hell because of your love for her. She's dragging herself down, and she's going to drag you down with her."

    "That's *enough*, Bhai," says Avi, enraged. "I don't think you understand. This is a woman who wants to change things. She doesn't run away from problems, she *faces* them. And I don't know about you, but I'm tired of running away from my problems. I've been doing that since we left India. Dragging me down? She makes me want to be a better woman. And that's worth more to me than any stupid gay pride parade that I can't have here."

    I'm a little stunned.

    "You're being shortsighted."

    "Bhai, my decision is final. I'm staying here with Nadya. That's it."

    "Have it your way." Arjun gets up and leaves the room from the other door. He doesn't see me.

    She puts her head down on the table. For the longest time, I stand in the doorway behind Avi, staring at the back of her head. I want to stroke her hair, but instead I breathe the moment in and let it sear into my memory.

    She realizes she's being watched and turns around to see me. She smiles.

    "How long have you been standing there?" she asks.

    "Long enough," I manage to answer, my voice ringing with emotion.

    She gets up and walks to the doorway. I can't hold back the tears any longer. She puts her arms around me and lets me cry into her neck.

    "I love you, Nadya," she whispers.

    "I know," I sob quietly. "I wish you didn't."

    "Don't say that."

    "Arjun's right. I've totally made your life impossible."

    "Sweetheart," she says. "For the first time, I feel like I'm *living*." She lifts up my chin and kisses my lips softly. She lets her lips run all over my face -- over my nose, eyes, cheeks, earlobes and chin.

    "Avi, I'm scared."

    She envelopes me in a tight bear-hug. "Don't be. I'm with you. And I have faith in us."
     

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