Alternative Title: A World Without Straight People.
(Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Please read the story. All characters in this story are fictitious)
Everything appeared new to her. She was elated on one hand and nervous on the other.
“Fatima Airlines? Second Line,” told the security looking at her ticket.
“Hmm?” She did not understand.
“Second Line, ma’am. Scanning,” he pointed at the suitcases in her trolley.
“Oh! Yes. Thanks.” She laughed hesitantly, as she moved her trolley towards the scanning machine.
First baggage scanning, then check-in, the last step is security, she remembered her aunt telling her at least twenty times in the past one week. She felt embarrassed and laughed at herself. Until now, she had come to the airport only to bid farewell to others. Today is the first time, she had actually crossed the visitor’s area and come inside the airport.
Just few minutes before her mom came to bid farewell and was all excited about her trip abroad for work. “My baby! Look at her. All grown up. Traveling abroad on her own!”
The airport looked more beautiful than she had imagined. It was clean, well lit and sparkling. It was burning hot outside, but the airport was fully air-conditioned. It felt even more cold, as she was nervous and anxious. She finished scanning and joined the check-in line. It was crowded. She tilted her head to her left, to look at the counter, skipping the long line. Two men with infants in their hands, were talking to the woman at the counter. Between them and her, were approximately fifteen people. It would take at least thirty minutes. It’s good that she came early.
She moved her eyes from the counter, slowly backwards. Unknown faces, mysterious gestures; she skipped all of them until she came across his face. He was standing ‘two people’ in front of her. “Wow” exclaimed her heart. Her eyes refused to move any further.
Charming face. Sharp nose. Attractive eyes. Bushy eyebrows. His mustache was dense too. At the bottom of the mustache, were those slightly wet, beautiful lips. The blue shirt he was wearing suited his dark complexion. She could see his chest hair, peeping above his shirt. She moved her eyes to his hands, they were hairy too, as she thought they would be. Strong arms, long legs, he stood six foot tall.
“Excuse Me,” said a voice from behind. She turned, distracted from that pleasant sight.
“The line is moving” the woman standing behind her said, pointing at the empty spot in front of her.
“Oh, sorry!” She realized the person standing in front of her had left the line. Now there was just one person between her and the guy in blue shirt. She moved her trolley to close the gap. It was heavy with two large suitcases and a small hand baggage on top of them. Her trolley tilted to the right wresting control from her.
“Oh, no..no …” Before she could control, the suitcases started slipping.
Blue shirt heard her pleas and turned around. His eyes met hers. At the same time, the woman standing behind her, leaned and stopped the suitcases from falling.
“No problem” said that woman and extended her hand with a big smile on her face “I am Aishwarya”
“Hello! I am Sruthi” she replied, shaking Aishwarya’s extended hand, but her eyes were still on the blue shirt. He was also trying to maintain eye contact with her.
“Iran?” asked Aishwarya.
“Me too. Is this your first time to Iran?”
“…” Sruthi was busy looking at the blue shirt.
“Is this your first time to Iran?” Aishwarya asked again.
“Oh yes,” Sruthi realized she couldn’t ignore the woman anymore. They both started talking.
In the next twenty minutes, the line moved quickly. Once every ten seconds, blue shirt didn’t fail to check her out and she didn’t fail to notice him checking her out. Sruthi became little excited and had butterflies in her stomach.
After checking in, the line split into two for security. One for men and one for women. Sruthi finished her security screening, came out of the line and sat on the chair at the waiting area. The men’s line was moving slowly as the Blue shirt waited to be screened by the metal detector. He was now standing with both his hands stretched out. He had a broad, well built chest and an attractive physique.
He now caught Sruthi looking at him, and smiled at her. It was their first sign of acknowledgment. An introductory gesture. Sruthi was little taken by his reaction. She smiled back, nervously. He now looked at the seats next to her and then at her, as if trying to say something. Three chairs were attached together. She was at one corner and the next two were empty. Though confused initially, Sruthi quickly realized that he was indicating that he was going to sit next to her. She grew anxious.
Blue shirt stepped out of the security line and walked towards Sruthi, dragging his hand luggage. He came close and sat leaving one seat between him and her. Sruthi’s heart was now beating faster. She immediately opened her handbag, acted busy and pretended to not notice him. She opened and closed her handbag’s compartments, without knowing what she was looking for. She didn’t know what else to do.
What if he starts talking? Should I use my real name? He is a total stranger. What if somebody notices us talking?
“Hmmm” She heard him clear his throat.
Sruthi slowly turned towards him.
“Our flight is almost ready. They said boarding will start in the next ten minutes” said Aishwarya, who had just walked out the security line. She kept her hand luggage next to the chairs and parked her big body in the empty chair, between Sruthi and the blue shirt!
To be continued.
Poll : Kolaveri – The Queer Angle? Participate in the poll and tell us what you think.