Those Lips

Yasmin sat staring at the wall while she absent-mindedly fiddled with the Rubik’s cube. She kept staring at the cube until the colors became a haze. And quite abruptly she dropped the cube on the table, got up and decided enough is enough. She will have a shower, order in some food and watch some TV. She will think about it tomorrow. She will sleep and when she wakes up she’ll know exactly what to do. She stepped into the shower and while the hot water caressed her she couldn’t help letting her mind wander.

Friday night’s meet-up with the girls was routine. Getting out that one night in a week with friends gave Yasmin a sense of purpose, something constant, something steady. But lately, Yasmin dreaded Friday nights. She hated pubs. She hated the drunken garble because that is all she heard. She laughed at jokes half-heartedly because there was nothing else to do…to say. The interesting conversations seemed to always happen on the other end of the table. She would try hard to lip read and maybe make a comment but nobody heard her. Drinking did nothing for her, either. She never drank enough to get drunk. And by the end of the night, she was sober amongst a bunch of drunk women, taking the auto alone, to her place where she stayed alone.

Friday nights were the only nights she felt lonely.

But last Friday, she regretted reading lips from across the table. Lips that smiled and stunned her. Lips she couldn’t take her eyes off. Lips, she wished she could slowly touch with her thumb and trace their outline. Slowly. Lick them. Kiss them.

It was a little late by the time she realised she’d been staring too long and was perhaps being rude, for she saw that the smiling lips were attached to a face that had eyes which twinkled and were now looking straight at her. She felt flushed and suddenly it was as if the alcohol had hit her. She looked away immediately and got up to pay a visit to the ladies room. She couldn’t bear to go back and the loud thump-thumping wasn’t helping either. She quietly snuck out of the pub and decided to make her way home.

She felt like an idiot. She kept cursing herself for having silly fantasies in a public place about a total stranger. And at the same time she felt her stomach muscles tighten at the thought of those lips and those smiling eyes that were filled with mischief. She shook her head to shake the thought and berated herself for being such a coward…no, a pervert…no, just horny…no no no…coward. Focus!

‘Ok! Stop!’, she told herself. Take a deep breath. She shouldn’t have had that wine she told herself.

“Yasmin, you ok?”

She looked up to find Bindya standing there looking concerned. “Yeah I’m fine, do you have a cigarette I can …bum…” Shite! Too late! The lips! There, standing right next to Bindya were those luscious lips and twinkling eyes! “I should stop calling them that”, Yasmin made a mental note.

“Sorry. We are on our last one, but we can share?” asked Bindya. “No escape”, thought Yasmin as The Lips took a deep drag off her cigarette. “Are you leaving already?” asked Bindya. Yasmin barely nodded while she tried to keep her eyes off The Lips. “Yeah, long day. Should head home”, she mumbled while her head screamed to escape right away. “Oh, come on…we barely get to see you. You are such a party pooper. We might be going over to Moina’s after this. Come no?” “Who Moina?” Yasmin blurted.

“Hi, I’m Moina. I don’t think we’ve met.”

The Lips was speaking to her now and held out her hand. Yasmin put her hand out sheepishly and smiled. “Hi. Sorry…I really got to go.” She quickly hugged Bindya and said her byes promising to meet them again next Friday.

She did not go the next Friday only to get a call from Bindya the following morning throwing a tantrum for not having turned up. It suddenly occurred to her that she had missed Bindya’s birthday. Yasmin apologised and wished her a belated birthday and in turn got arm twisted to going over to Bindya’s for a Sunday brunch. She asked,“Who all will be there?” “The usual…but a smaller group. Hey, Moina was asking about you. But you’ll meet her tomorrow in any case.”

Yasmin barely managed to stifle a “WHAT?” and her horror…excitement…knot in stomach… She mumbled about a headache and said she’d see Bindya tomorrow.

Her head had been muddled ever since and even this shower wasn’t helping. She felt strangely trapped. She decided she didn’t want to eat anything after all. Poured herself a glass of wine and picked out the biggest bar of chocolate from her secret stash, crawled into bed and watched TV till she passed out.

The party seemed like a blur. As usual, everyone had conversations to make except for her. There was much chattering and giggling, none of which she could hear. At least this time it wasn’t the other way round! Yasmin decided to get some fresh air and walked to the balcony only to be intercepted by Bindya on her way. Bindya seemed drunk, grinning ear to ear and talking so fast that Yasmin could barely follow what she was saying. Not that Bindya seemed to mind. She abruptly turned away and started talking to someone else in the same boisterous drunk way.

She wondered what Bindya had meant by ‘a smaller group’ since the house was swarming with women she knew and those she had never seen. So far there was no sign of Moina. Yasmin let out a sigh of relief but she was also disappointed. She decided to make her way to the restroom. She washed her face and stared at the mirror for a while trying to figure out if she was drunk or just fatigue. The latter, she decided.

After what seemed like a long time she noticed that there was someone behind her in the mirror. There she was. Those lips pursed, looking concerned but a smile waiting to appear. Their eyes met in the mirror and Yasmin felt her cheeks flush. She looked away only to realise that Moina had moved forward and was standing right behind her. So close that she could feel Moina’s warm breathe on her hair. Yasmin felt her body tense up begging silently for Moina to touch her.

She wasn’t sure what or how it happened but there she was, kissing those lips and those lips were kissing her back. They moved from her mouth and traced her jawline, slowly down to her neck and ran along her shoulder blade. They tumbled somehow onto Bindya’s bed while Moina’s hands slowly but steadily unpinned Yasmin’s saree and unwound her out of it. Moina’s lips in close tandem with her tongue were working wonders on Yasmin’s skin. The neck…the cleavage and finally devouring her right nipple while her fingers worked on her left. She could feel Moina’s wetness while she straddled Yasmin’s thigh. Their collective moans had drowned out the loud party noises. Her back arched and Moina’s grip tightened around her thigh.

She ran her thumb on the contours of those lips that smiled while they drifted off into a blissful slumber.

She woke up with the start to broad daylight and a noisy television. It took her a moment to realise she was in her bed, in her house, alone. Confused, she walked around her house to make sure she was fully awake and that this wasn’t her imagination. So then, if this is real, was that a dream? She sat back on her bed feeling dejected. She pulled her covers up to her knees and sat staring mindlessly at the TV. Slowly she smiled, grinned…

Like she willed, she slept and when she woke up she knew exactly what she had to do.
“So which saree shall I wear today?” she said aloud to herself.

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Neelima Prasanna Aryan (also known as Nilofer), is a self-taught graphic-designer art director and illustrator. As a queer feminist woman, her work over the years has been with organisations that focus on the rights of women, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalised communities. Cat humom, city-hopper, lover of all things delectable and kooky; Neelima's art is not for the light-hearted or the narrow-minded for they are mostly loud, about women, large bodies, self and queer, love and intimacies.

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