Fiction: If And Only If

She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”
—J. D. Salinger, “A Girl I Knew”

I jolted awake to the thundering noise from outside. Bombay and its rain can be very unpredictable sometimes. I tried to move but my legs were tightly entwined with my girlfriend’s.

I thought of laying still but I knew I won’t be able to go back to sleep. It was a long weekend and T had decided to spend the entire day with me. I had hoped that it’d be a good day to just relax, and talk but she decided to stress over her work and some new projects she had just undertaken. It was the longest time we had spent together in months.

I turned my face and looked at her. She was in a deep sleep and I was afraid to wake her up for our day together was over and she was to head back to her house. You might say this was a relationship in its infancy, but we had been together for 6 years and our attraction to each other had lost its momentum. I knew it was coming to an end, but thought maybe a couple of more months.

I gently untangled my legs from hers, and sat up. I put my glasses on and saw that it was 7:00 AM and time to feed the cats. I reached across the bedside table and knocked my iPhone off the side and wondered if I’d woken her up.

Tara didn’t move. Trying to wake her proved to be a fruitless effort.

I met Tara six years ago at a blogging conference. I was never the type to flirt with women, much less meet a high note key speaker and blurt out my sexuality while admiring her work. Tara was a couple of years older and lived in Mumbai with her family. She had long legs, something I gravitated towards in women. She worked for a non-profit organization and was a guru of social media. She worked on many grass-root level projects for the minority and was always travelling or meeting people or organizing events. The only time we would get to see one another would be on Sundays for a quick brunch.

I had a weakness for older women, especially ones with hint of gray coming in at the temples. Sometimes when I could not sleep, I would run my fingers through her hair wondering when I would finally go gray myself. I was attracted to her classic good looks even though we had no real common interests: politics., food, movies, TV shows, books, none of it.

I hadn’t realized how quiet Tara was at first, especially about her emotions, until after our sex life took a turn. In the beginning, there had been plenty of chemistry. Our first date consisted of going to the Prithvi café and her coming back to my hotel room, throwing me on the sofa and finishing me off. Now our evenings consisted of me watching her post on Twitter and FB, talking about work, and ordering Chinese food from down the street. We would kiss, hug and feel each other up. What about sex? None. The raw sexuality I felt with her in the beginning, that first spark, was long gone.

I thought about getting out of bed and going to sit in the living room. My patience was waning. I wanted it to work, though I didn’t know it would.


“What?!” Tara jumped up with a look of terror on her face.

“ It’s raining outside. Do you still have to go back home?”

“Huh! Yeah babe. Family lunch with Kapoors. Come here, sleep with me for five.“

She opened her arms and made place for my head on her shoulder, and started rubbing her foot on my leg, trying to get me to relax for a brief moment with little success. She pulled me closer. I could hear her beside me breathing deeply as she wrapped her legs around me. Within seconds, she was sleeping again.

I grimaced as I faced the ceiling. This was getting old.

I slithered out of her arms and to the edge of the bed without waking up the sleeping giant. I made my way to the bathroom and hit the light switch.

I looked like shit.

At 30, I believed that a lot was going to happen, but looking at myself in the mirror just then, I didn’t feel like it. They say 30 is the new 20, but I knew it was a load of crap. Most people think I’m younger because of my athletic frame. I was conscious of my health, an avid swimmer and in decent shape. I swim every other day, and have kept the lean body that I acquired on the state level championship back in college.

Shifting my head to one side, cracking my foot back and forth, I wondered what would happen today.

Food. I really wanted eggs and a tall mug of black coffee. I would want to go to the library and get some books. I would want to go down on Tara. She would want to go home, and spend time with her dogs and family. Tara would fall asleep by 10 o’clock. I would not.

I threw some water on my face thinking it would snap me out of it, but my mind was still wandering. If I left before Tara got up, there would be no time to see her off. I decided to wait. I would wait for her to wake up.

It was only 7:25. Sitting down on the cold bathroom floor, I shifted a little trying to get more comfortable in my awkwardly small bathroom. I could never understand why the bathrooms had to be so small in Bombay. My bare feet felt the cold floor, so I lifted them, resting them on the toilet seat. The bathroom door was not locked but I decided to play with myself a little. I hooked my little finger into the waistband and yanked my panties halfway down past my hips. I sucked my fingers and ran them the length of my happy trail to my untrimmed pubic hair. I was feeling the warmth in there against the cold tile wall I had pressed my back against.

I flicked myself roughly as fantasies ran amok my mind. I thought about someone sitting on my face. I thought about getting strapped to a bed and fucked. I thought about some girl telling me she loved watching me get myself off. I was nowhere close when Tara’s face appeared in my thoughts. Her brown eyes, her mouth slightly open and her pink tongue almost touching her lips. My muscles tightened, my toes curled and I pinched my nipples hard just as she would and I began to cum. Dropping my head to the side I grabbed onto my wrist biting it hard leaving a mark. It had been days since I masturbated.

Little beads of sweat ran down my neck as I pulled up my panties. I felt limp for a moment, taking in the release that seemed to wipe away the tension I was feeling these last couple days.

After a few seconds, I caught my breath, stood upright and reached for some water to wash my face and my hands.

That’s when Tara’s alarm went off, and I knew it was time for her to go.


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