It was almost summer when I first saw her. After a long and one of the coldest winters I had experienced, days were getting warmer again and I couldn’t have been more relieved. The Jacaranda trees had started to blossom and I was already smitten by the beautiful violet canopies and carpets of the Jacaranda flowers all around the place. Having lived in the temperate city of Mumbai all my life, I was unaccustomed to the cold climates of Sydney, and needless to say, a stranger to the beautiful Jacaranda.
She was very much like the Jacaranda- beautiful in the simplest ways. And frankly, that was the reason I first noticed her: she was so comfortable in her own skin, she didn’t care what people saw when they looked at her. We took a class together that semester, and that is where I first saw her; but it wasn’t until the very end of the semester that I noticed her. Even today, when I think back to that time of my Masters, I kind of wish I had met her earlier on during the semester, and then maybe I could’ve spent more time with her. Maybe.
It was the second last class of the semester, and I saw her sitting at one end of the classroom chatting with a couple of other students. She wore a plain black t-shirt and a pair of baggy trousers, with her hair tied in a messy ponytail. Something about her intrigued me, something I can’t quite put a finger on. Maybe it was her extremely casual appearance and the way she talked (you know the cool, ‘I don’t care’ way). I don’t really know. But whatever it was, it really drew me to her. Oh, and also, something about her screamed out to me that maybe, just maybe, she was gay (yay!). I decided I had to talk to this girl. The only problem was, I am an extremely anti-social, clumsy, shy, introverted gay girl. Also I’m an average looking brown person with a thick Mumbai accent and have absolutely no experience in flirting with any girl, let alone a white girl. Also, my gaydar (look up urban dictionary if you’re not sure what this is. Also, you probably need to up your gay-game if you don’t know this term) is pretty much useless, which meant that there was a very, very good chance that she was straight as a stick.
Anyway, I didn’t really have the balls (read: labia) to casually say hi and strike up a conversation with my newfound crush. I stole occasional glances at her throughout the class and tried to make eye contact just so that she’d notice me. At this point I didn’t know her name (I know I suck), but thanks to my amazing detective skills, I found her through the online portal for that class (hail high tech education system). Needless to say, I then looked her up on Facebook, but was in a dilemma whether to send a request or not. Side note: I’m going to call her Lisa for the sake of this story.
The semester ended with me being a pussy (and therefore getting none, haha get it?), and finally, after a long, excruciating last class, I went home and decided that I shall send her a request on Facebook. That night, I went on to her profile (probably for the thousandth time) and pressed the ‘send request’ button with all the courage I could gather. She accepted my request the next day, early in the morning. Good start, I thought; she knows who I am. I decided to be a little bolder and to text her. I messaged her and asked, “Hey. Just so I know I’ve got the right person, we’re in the EIA class together, right?” and then the long, painful wait. She was a terrible texter (pretty sure that’s not a word, but you get it). I got a reply saying “Yes. :)” Pretty much a dead end, I thought. But I wasn’t going to give up on this one so easily- I had come too far to give up now. I replied, “You know, you should talk more in class. I wanted to talk to you last class but you left pretty quickly after class was over.” This was a high-risk territory I was breaching: either she thinks I’m nice and continues the conversation, or she thinks I’m a creepy stalker and decides to block me. The wait was a long one. She replied the next day saying, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m generally a pretty quiet person. Also last class dragged on for too long so I was keen to get home. Was there anything in particular you wanted to talk about?” I swear when I read this text, I fist pumped and did a little victory dance. After this, we started texting; at first she replied after every few hours, but later the conversation picked up speed and we started a legit chat. By now I was a little surer that she was at least bi if not gay. I intended to find out soon. To my surprise, that night while saying goodbye, she asked me to text her the next day if I wanted to talk or if I’m bored. I said okay. We started talking everyday after that; and the number of hours each day just kept increasing.
In a couple of days, I realized why I was so attracted to her. She reminded me of my childhood best friend, who also happened to be my first and only girlfriend, and also my ex (Whom I was still not completely over yet. Lesbians I tell you!). You know there are some people with whom you just click. Lisa was that person for me. On the third day, I decided I’m going to tell her why I started to talk to her. So when she texted me that afternoon, I said, “I gotta tell you something. You know how you asked me why did I text you in the first place? Well I just realized it’s because you remind me of my ex best friend who is also my ex girlfriend.” I said this, and for the next one minute literally felt like my heart was ready to explode: I had just come out to her, told her about my first girlfriend AND alluded to having feelings for her, all in one line. How’s that for letting it all hang out there? She reacted simply by saying, “Hmm. That’s potentially a problem for you. Cause it means you’re projecting your feelings for your ex onto me.” I was relieved that she wasn’t freaked out by the fact that I had feelings for her. I said, “You don’t have to worry about my feelings. They’re my problem, and I’ll keep them in check.” To which she replied, “I’m not worried about myself, I’m worried about you and your feelings.” This was strangely a pleasing thing to hear, since it meant she cared. I was a happy little nugget. She said, “By the way, I consider myself to be bi, if you’re interested in knowing. Also, are you gay or bi, if I may ask?” (Another victory dance) “Gay, I think.” “Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page.”
A few days went by, we talked more and more each day. I was completely love struck and addicted. I couldn’t go a day without talking to her. She started calling me Romeo, courtesy my corny lines and overly romantic soul. I started calling her Juliet just to humor her. We started joking about marriage, getting a dog together, taking vacations, our honeymoon, even sharing a bed together (you get the idea). Basically we started acting like the typical U-Haul lesbians that we were. Except she wasn’t. And it took me a while to realize that.
We decided we’d go ice-skating together. This was going to be our first date, and also the first time we were actually, officially going to meet (because remember how I didn’t have the balls to talk to her in class?). Two weeks after we had first started talking, we met outside the skating rink. I was scared she’s going to run once she realizes how ugly I look IRL. She didn’t. It was mildly reassuring. However, this was my first date with a girl and that too at an ice skating rink. I was so nervous; I was sweating in all the wrong places. Sure, I had been in a relationship with a girl before, but she had been my best friend since I was ten and so our dates weren’t really “dates”, you know? This was different. This was a DATE. Also, I had never been ice-skating before. I was solely relying on my complacency about my balancing skills and the fact that I had some amateur experience in roller-skating. And also on the fact that if I fell she might find it cute, and teach me how not to fall by holding my hand (wink!). Well, to sum up the ice skating experience, it was beautiful (and mildly painful). Beautiful because it was pleasantly chilly with some sunlight, the rink was practically empty, and she held my hand a few times. Painful because I fell on my bum twice and it was basically cardio for one and a half hour straight. She’s a soccer player (that explains the sexuality, haha. Sorry about stereotyping, but it’s a joke, relax.) So she was pretty comfortable with the whole regime. I on the other hand am a lazy ass who doesn’t give two fucks about physical fitness and although I’m really thin and look kinda fit, I’m sure I’m just as unfit as most of you reading this (yes that was an asshole comment, but you know it’s true). So it was excruciating for me at times to keep up with her as she practically floated around the rink with much ease. We skated for an hour and a half and then decided to grab some lunch. The rink was next to our university campus, which is pretty nice by the way, with a good amount of green spaces like lawns and creeks and a big pond. We went to the pond after lunch and decided to sit by one of the willow trees. This was pretty much the best date I had ever had. It couldn’t get any more perfect. If you doubt me, try lying down on green grass on a sunny day by a pond under a willow tree with someone you really like. Or even when you’re alone. Anyway, we ended up spending about five hours there, until sunset. We got Pride and Prejudice from the university library (she wanted me to borrow it and read it) and she read some of it to me. Sunlight fell on her hazel eyes as we lay there and I saw the most beautiful color known to mankind. Yes, it was the quintessential lesbian date that lasted from morning until evening. And yes, it felt awesome.
I got home that evening and she texted. I felt relieved that she hadn’t disappeared on me after deciding I’m too ugly for her. I thought about the wrinkles that formed around her eyes when she laughed or smiled and how beautiful they look as I fell asleep that night. Yes, I had only met her once and I was officially in love. We decided the next day that we would go out for dinner for our second date. She asked when am I free. I thought it was a good sign that she wanted to meet again soon. We went out for dinner only a couple of days later. We ate Thai and discussed Australian Aboriginal history. Nerdy lesbians, I know. We walked back to her car and I contemplated kissing or at least hugging her. Multiple times in the night I thought I could/should hold her hand as we walked. But I’m just a miserable little chicken with no balls. I didn’t do any of it. And I still regret it. (Tip: If the moment feels right, don’t overthink it. Do it.) I came home that night and was content despite the mild setbacks such as not holding her hand. It was going well.
The next day she was busy so she didn’t have the time to talk. I was a little upset. I tried hiding it, but I’m the personification of every Arian trait and keeping calm just doesn’t come naturally to me. The next two days went by, and were pretty much a repeat of the earlier day. I apologized for being an asshole and not giving her enough space. She apologized saying she was just as grumpy so it was probably her fault. Then she dropped the bomb. “I have to talk to you about something” she texted. All hell broke loose. I already imagined the conversation that would follow, bit by bit, in my head. She said she felt it wasn’t going to work out because it seemed to her like I wanted some “super-serious” relationship and she didn’t. That was it. She said she didn’t want to elaborate or talk about it. I had so many questions. I didn’t get a chance to ask them. The reason she left, the mistakes I might have made, the possibilities we may have had, all of it still haunts me. It catches me off guard and I find myself drowning in gigantic waves of these thoughts. It was going well, and suddenly it wasn’t. I thought I had rediscovered love, and turns out I hadn’t. Ironically, she had told me about this show called Catfish. It was sort of a joke. She would joke I might be the catfish in this whole situation and I might dupe her. Well, I don’t know if I have been Catfish’d or not, but I do certainly know that I had started believing in love second time around. It’s almost winter now. And I’m desperately waiting for summer, to see if the Jacaranda blossom brings love to me once again.