What Time Do We Leave?

“I like you. I really do. But I am not gay,” she says.

WHAT? But you just slept with me last night.

[Editor’s Note : When we called for submissions for the third edition of Gaysi Zine we received a lot of short stories from writers all over the world – unfortunately, far more than we are able to feature in the zine. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to publish the best of those stories here on the blog.]

“I like you. I really do. But I am not gay,” she says.

WHAT? But you just slept with me last night.

It’s all over my face and I want to throw the sheets, the mattress and the nightstand at her, but what do I do? I say, “It’s okay, Kriti, I understand.”

It’s okay that you tongued me so (damn!) well last night. And then you moaned so loudly when I fingered you till well, my own two fingers were sore, and I thought that my flatmate would have to leave the flat or the neighbours would have to leave the neighbourhood. It’s okay that my sheets have stains the size of…

“I think I’m going to go home,” she says awkwardly and breaks my reverie.

“Do you want some coffee or tea before you go?” I ask.

“No, I’m good. Thanks,” she says, picks up her bag, puts on her flip-flops and leaves.

I scream. Actually, no, I don’t. I’m not the kind. I’m the sweet, supportive, mightily horny kind. The kind who is honest about what she wants (read: pussy). But ends up becoming friends with supremely hot and supremely straight women, who may like her, they even sleep with her, but don’t want to date her.

Secretly, I think I don’t want to break my pattern. I think I’m trying to break them. To somehow convert them. To somehow have them pick me over, well, cock. But that isn’t how it works, does it? Cutting my hair short and being super flirty isn’t going to do it. Then, may be a strap-on would? Where would I even get a strap-on in India?

Stop. Stop. May be it isn’t quite all over with Kriti. May be she just needs some time to process this. Perhaps she was just feeling really self-conscious in the morning. I mean, I am one of her closest friends, even though we’ve only known each other for what three, no, four months now. Perhaps I should just give her some time to absorb what just happened and let her come back to me. Let her realise how beautiful my (ahem) touch is. I mean, ‘I really like you’ has got to mean something. Isn’t it?

***

“Sam, it’s been two days and she hasn’t called me.”

“Who?” She says groggily on the phone. God, she’s so hung-over again.

“The love of my life, Sam. That’s who.”

“M, who is it this time?” She’s finally listening. Thank god.

“I can’t tell you on the phone. It’s too much. Can I see you at home?”

“Sure. Oh no, wait. I’m not home.”

“Where are you?”

She laughs and says, “I’m not exactly sure. I went home with this really cute guy last night, who is probably in the shower as we speak.”

“How nice. What’s his name?”

“M, I don’t remember. Let me call you back when I get home.”

“Okay. You do that. And get home safe, you fool.”

“Yeah, I will. As soon as I find my pants.”

***

I’m moping about in bed when Sam finally calls.

“Sam, I don’t feel like getting out of my pajamas. Do you mind coming over instead?”

“Sure. I’ll be there in 15 minutes.”

That was an hour and a half ago. I pick up my phone to dial her number and the doorbell rings.
There she is, standing in front of me with a bottle of rum and a gigantic bottle of Coke.

“Its 1o’clock in the afternoon, Sam.”

“Perfect time to drink, I know.”

“Yeah, well, I guess.”

“Just go get two glasses from the kitchen. Actually before you do that, come here and give me a hug. Oh don’t be grumpy, come here.” We hug and I get two glasses from the kitchen and we get shit-faced on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. My mind isn’t racy any more. I’m not thinking about Kriti. Everything feels perfect until I get a text. From her. Asking me if, ‘I’m okay?’ and then, five minutes later telling me, ‘I really do want us to stay friends, M’.

I smile. Friends. Yeah, right.

“Who is it, M?”

“Kriti.”

“What is she saying?”

“She wants us to stay friends.”

“But do you?”

“No, I don’t. I just want to jump on her.”

“Ha! Is that the reason why you’re upset?”

“What?”

“That you can’t jump on her anymore?”

“Yes.”

“But M, that’s how we met. Remember Jimmy’s crazy party?”

“I do remember, Sam.”

“You were so cool the next day after I told you that I like men.”

“I know. I guess it was just different with you.”

“How?”

“You were funny and smart and you called me out on my bullshit from the start. That’s why I knew I wanted to be friends with you no matter what.”

“M, that’s probably the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

“And probably the last.”

“Ha!”

“…”

“Meera is throwing a house party tonight.”

“Meera, the super hot Mallu girl from your building?”

“Yes, M. Meera, the super hot Mallu girl from my building. Do you want to come with me?”

“Doesn’t she live with her boyfriend?”

“Yes, she does.”

“Then, no, thanks.”

“Meera’s younger sister who is also super hot is visiting from Bombay.”

“How hot?”

“Your kind of hot.”

“Sam, please explain.”

“Curly hair, dusky skin, big…”

“What time do we leave, Sam?”

“At seven. We leave at seven.” She says and pours another drink.

***

About the guest author

Komal Singh

Komal Singh is a fiction writer, based in Bangalore. Beer, books, films, good food, parks, connections and travel make her really happy. She tends to move around a lot - always planning her next move, perhaps to feel more in control. But lately, she hasn't felt the need to plan or be in control.