Games People Play

Note: This is a fictionalised version of a terrifying fact. All resemblance to you and yours is probably not incidental.

There’s a special feel to the morning. H gets out of bed, stretching into the limitless possibilities that the day can bring forth. A coffee and a smoke later, she gets down to business: sending endless smiles to new and old alike on her favourite Lesbian site, PS. The fact that she isn’t a member and can’t do much more than smile doesn’t deter her from researching the newbies or giving old timers another chance. And so when her online avatar LoveMe sees Dykes-Do-It-Right staring at her face, she gets that feeling inside, jumping with irrational hope. She reads every word of this latest profile with utmost concentration – weight, height, hair, interests, the way she framed her sentences, her wit, spellos… it was flawless. Apart from her irritating parenthesis every few words <giggle> <gasp> <sob> <nod>. But she could just skim over these really fast and pretend they weren’t there. And there it was… a gorgeously encrypted email id. “If you want to, it’s the User who will always be At ….Gee, I forgot what I was saying.” She’d done it right, alright. But LM was nervous. It was all panning out; her gut had told her today was going to be special…could DDIR be it? She opted to send a feeler first before launching into serious exploration. A smile would do the trick. DDIR would consequently check out her profile. If she liked what she saw, she’d write back. It was a safe gamble. Click. Send.

No news for two days.

LM frantically checks mail by the hour. Her disappointment is frightening. Could it be that DDIR is swamped with emails from those who weren’t as chicken as she was? Of course, it has to be. Who would want an emoticon blinking when you could get the real stuff? LM pushes out all the arguments, determined at sweeping out any sign of pessimism. Check. Sweep. Check. Sweep. Check…weep. “Oh well. She obviously didn’t like your profile”, says the voice in LM’s head. “Which is okay because then she isn’t like me.” “No no… that’s not true.. I liked what she wrote, and so it means she is like me. But then why wouldn’t she write?” Weepy strikes again. LM vows not to switch on her computer till night. 8 hours of abstinence. Abstinence from disappointment. She barely makes it through 2. Sitting with a cup of tea, visualising a smile reaching across the monitor, she goes to her PS inbox.

Smiles (1).

She’s shocked. She certainly wasn’t expecting it – hoping but not expecting. What if the smile is from someone else, someone she doesn’t care for, one of those oldies who she’s already tried and tested and weaned off? She looks on, drinking her tea, sip by bloody sip. But tea finally gives in to reality and with a tight swallow, she clicks on (1).

DDIR has sent you a smile.

Oh my lord…. my god….my god…good god…. shit….

A beaming LM gets up and walks the length of her room a thousand times, sitting every few minutes in front of the computer, willing her brain to think of the most amazing intro. “Hi, I’m glad you smiled….” “hey…you finally got me….” “hi…I’ve been waiting…” “Hi… should I send you my pic?” “Yo! So wassup…” “Hey… never thought you’d write….” The cycle of events was predictable, endless. Think. Write. Delete. 4 hours later she was so exhausted with the tension that she wrote: “Hey…” and signing off, she clicked Send.

Then she took a sleeping pill and slept.

5 in the morning. The world around her seemed fast asleep but the pill had worn off and left her fresh, ready to bounce into a new day. There was no question of what next to do – on came the sleeping machine, and there she was in all her glory: “Hey back….”
Time rolled on. LM and DDIR had some more conversations and when they crossed to entire emails of 15 words or more, they decided to switch to chat. H changed to FussyMe, DDIR metamorphosed into Girls-Just-Wanna-Have-Fun. They chatted for long minutes and longer hours. Impressions were formed at frightening speeds. She’s fun. She’s intelligent. She’s witty. But is she hot?

“Can we skype…?” FM asked GJWHF one late night, or early morning. Silence on the chat – GJWHF isn’t typing. FM’s brain is already launching into self-abuse: “why the hell did you have to say that…shit…now she’s going to make an excuse and go and never come back…damn…god…please…don’t do this… rewind…”


“Ok? Are you sure?”


“I thought for a second you were hesitating so we can always do this later.”

“No, it’s Ok. Let’s do it.”



“Look we don’t have to do this.”

“No it’s totally cool. But not now. I’m sleepy. How about tomorrow sometime?”

“Ok. Sounds good to me. But you’re sure?”

“Yeah. Don’t ask again. <angry face>”

“Ok.  How do I find you on skype?”

“My name is Hard-To-Come-By.”

“Wow. You sure are. I’m MountainGoat.”

Time rolled on. MG and HTCB skyped their way into the 3rd month. They were comfortable with each other. Their voices, their faces, their thoughts, their real identities. MG had gone back to being  H. HTCB became KD.

The obvious next step: “Should we meet?” H asked KD one afternoon as they looked at each other through LCD screens. KD looked behind as if she heard a noise and excused herself… “I’ll just be back” leaving H hopping into madness inside her mind… “shit shit shit…you’re seeing the woman as it is…what was the need for that? Fuck… now what…she’s gone off coz she doesn’t know how to say no…damn…why can’t you ever let her make the move…why does it always have to be you…gawwwwd!”

“Hi…sorry. There was someone at the door. Yeah…sure…I’d love to meet…”

Time rolled on… many visits took place, some here, some there. Good chemistry. Great vibe. True, H wasn’t totally comfortable in the company of KD’s friends and equally true, KD didn’t quite like the smoke around H’s head but they could ignore it for the time being. How great it was to have found each other – how awesome to be in love…

“Should we live in?”


“Do you want to move in with me?”

“KD… that’s huge!”

“Of course it is H… but I think we’re ready for it, don’t you?”

“I don’t know… I mean, I would love to but sharing physical space is another ballgame…”

“Well there’s only one way to find out if you’re up for it…”

“You’re right … give me some time okay?”


Time rolled on. H moved into KD’s life good and proper. She adjusted as best to everything that was so new – the house, the neighbours, the noise, the rhythm, the sounds, the air; KD adapted to the lessening of space, mentally and physically. The love was the important thing, concentrate on that, both said to themselves. But the girlfriend’s friends still troubled H. And there was this other thing about KD she didn’t like and that other thing she hadn’t noticed. And there was no point in talking to KD about it because she looked forever peeved. Besides, their sentences averaged 1-4 words these days. KD stayed out late in office. H stewed at home. Darn. Now what?

And so it was a day like any other when H decided to get back on PS. It was innocent. Just for time pass. She created a new account – “TakeMe”. She looked up all the ladies she hadn’t even glanced at in the last 8 months. A hundred smiles whizzed through. She even encrypted her email id on the profile. Days and nights became more fun…chit chatting with strangers, flirting once again, exchanging vital bits of info – tall, brown eyed, short hair, curves… H slept with a smile on her face, oblivious to the distance creeping in, unaware of the deep chasm that lay between her and KD on their queen-sized bed.

And then one morning, TM dived into her Inbox and saw Smile (1). Brimming with the confidence of those who feel this is their moment, she clicked. And there before her she saw something that made her stomach turn cold and within a second, her head was full of blood, pumping madly, thumping loudly:

Dykes-Do-It-Right has smiled at you.

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