*Based on true events
The Past: India. I was 18 years old. On the verge of turning 19. Sitting at a coffee-shop in a large restored colonial bungalow that sold overpriced knick knacks and clothes on the inside. But the coffee was good. I would do anything for good coffee. Engaging in a little pretentiousness seemed like a fair tradeoff. My friend said something funny, I laughed out loud. I deadpanned in kind but this time I heard a snicker from the next table. I turned my head with all the cocky self-confidence of a brand new adult to see who on earth could possibly catch on to my wryness, deliberately delivered with a straight face. She sat there at the next table, grinning at me. I grinned back. She appeared about 25 (she was 26), wore white linen capris and a thin sleeveless tunic that lightly caressed her dusky skin. She had her obligatory ostentatious shades sitting on the table, next to her rather obscenely colorful hobo bag. Old city socialite. My friend knew her companion. Apparently, my friend and her companion’s niece were good friends. We were introduced to each other. I liked her right away. She kept grinning at me. Like she was in on the inside joke in my head. She was the proprietor of a local boutique that sold antique furniture and books with the odd social cause on the side. I was mentally scoffing but after two years in India, I was more forgiving of individuals who did not lift a finger to earn a dime.
I would see her often in the 6 months after our first encounter, Her odd social cause encompassed sponsorship of many of the theatre shows, festivals and music concerts that I volunteered and attended in and around the city. I did it because it made me feel good. She did it because it made her look good. I found out from our conversations while wrapping up these events that she was as good as engaged to a strapping young childhood friend with a tentative wedding in the works the upcoming year. I didn’t really care. But I did enjoy her company. And I did notice the way her dusky collar bone stood out almost tauntingly against her favored linen tops. A friend had assumed the responsibilities of planning a classical music concert along with a series of lunching-ladies with time and money on their hands. She was one of them. When the first batch of leaflets were printed, my friend in a hurry to catch a plane to Delhi dropped them off telling me to give it to She as a favour. She was in charge of publicity of the event. “Sure…”.
It was 6 in the evening, I entered her palatial white kingdom and walked up the long green belt from my parked car to the entrance. She opened the mammoth wooden door herself. I was surprised, I expected a lackey to open the door and for my name to be announced before entering her presence. She was adorned in a white sleeveless kurti and white cotton skirt. Our usual banter started the minute I stepped through the door. I always teased her about her elitist societal status, she always teased me about how inappropriate my jokes were for an 18 year old. While I found a nice spot for the stack of leaflets I carried, She mentioned buying a new painting. “Would you like to see it ?” …”Sure”… “Its right through here”…. I walked with her to a narrow hallway with muted evening light filtering through the odd window. Placed on one side of the wall was the painting. I furrowed my brow… “That looks like a pig”… She came closer to me and peered at the painting… “ Its an elephant”… “That may be, but I still think it looks like a pig”… I grinned…She nudged me with her elbow… “Shhh”… “Here look at this fella’s face, you call that a trunk?” … She stood right by me and turned to say something but stopped short. We gazed at each other. Suddenly, my hormones with no warning whatsoever told me to kiss her.
“Kiss her, damn it” .
Her eyes darted to my lips and to this day, I don’t know who moved first but our lips were upon each other. Just touching, barely moving. She inhaled deeply and I pursed my lips. I enfolded hers in mine, enjoying the soft wet texture. She gently ran her tongue along my upper lip, I briefly opened mine. She did it again. So I mimicked her. I tasted her with my tongue. When our wet muscles met , I whimpered. I had never kissed anyone before much less a woman who’s tongue was currently caressing mine. Deeper and deeper she drew me in. My hands started wandering over her waist. I sought out her bareness with my fingers. She grabbed my face and plundered my mouth. Her sudden aggressiveness played havoc with my 18 year old hormones. I wanted every inch of her duskiness deeply embedded against my skin. My nether parts clenched with pleasure. Suddenly, I stopped. I pushed myself away. We were both breathing deeply, staring at each other. She looked stunned, placing her fingers against the lips that just been intimately crushed against mine. I saw a rim of tears suddenly appear around her eyelids. I was confused. I was randy. And I was 18. I turned around and walked out of her house. I wasn’t to see her again for another 6 years.
(to be continued…)