She was always in her own world, a Walter Mitty, loved green eyelashes, kept to herself and oh yes, she had a habit. She was a chain smoker, had a tattoo on her arm saying “Fuck”. I always loved her stilettos; her dresses had a Boho – Chic influence, the bijouterie though didn’t have a feminine touch. She had seductive looks in her eyes. She wore multiple lenses too, sometimes green, sometimes brown, just anything.
She never gave a damn to those who made juicy gossips about her bold attires, revealing her cleavage, her navel or her topless blouse revealing the strap and also ignored all the advances of those boys, no they can’t be boys, they are men. She always appreciated my looks, she said I had lovely curves, also had a heavy chest, my hips are worth holding and that both of us can go to a night pub and dance holding ourselves.
“Look, Karan, Jenny is always asking me to join her for a weekend so that we can spend time together in a pub”, I told my boyfriend.
“She is a bad girl, don’t ever go near her, has a filthy mouth with no filter in her tongue. So don’t even give a heed to what she says”, Karan cautioned. “And am I not enough for you? Don’t we go together to the nightclubs and drink?”, Karan said holding me in his arms and taking my lips fully in his mouth. I was completely lost when we made love and that too at Karan’s friend’s place. Karan always took bold steps and when I am with him, he goes wild. Murmuring he said, “Jenny said the truth; you have lovely curves, guess I will make you pregnant on the first night itself”. Karan spoke, but my mind was with Jenny – ‘she is so beautiful, why is she mad at me? Why can’t she have a boyfriend? Why can’t she get married? Why does she stay away from her parents?’.
“What are you thinking?” Karan whispered entering me, cupping my breasts in his hands. He kissed my neck then said, “You think a lot, give a break. I will be off for a tour and once back, let’s go to Kashmir”. We broke in sweats, Karan left the hall, fixed two cups of coffee and returned. My head was on his shoulder and I said: “Come back soon, I am feeling weird these days”. Rubbing my cheek he said “Just a few more days, then you will be mine forever”.
Karan left for his business trip and then it happened. I was in my room when Jenny walked in. She was in her shorts and a tight sports bra. With a packet of cigarettes in her hand, she pulled the chair in front of me and smiled, “Hey, so boyfriend gone, feeling lonely?”. “No, not exactly but yes, I do miss him”. “Stop all this nonsense; once you get married, it will all blow away. Your man will find another one and flirt with her” she said. “Just stop it, Jenny. Karan is not like them, he is honest. Why can’t you settle with one?”
Puffing up her cancer stick and blowing that puff on my face, she pulled her face close to me and said, “Want to know? Then come on Saturday, sharp six in the evening, to my place. No pub, your hermit boyfriend might take offense, so my place is good enough, this is my address”.
“But you stay in this hostel. You have a separate place as well?” I asked bewildered.
“Look you ask too many questions, either come or just get lost”, she walked away.
I looked at the calendar; Karan was coming on Sunday morning, Saturday I had no plans as such, so I could go to Jenny’s place. Jenny was angry on me and I don’t like if anyone was upset. She is my good friend.
Wearing a typical Indian attire and with my trademark lipstick, kohl in my eyes, with a touch of mascara on my lashes along with a red bindi on my forehead I reached her place. I was flabbergasted by the magnificent compound, lovely place. ‘Then why the hell did she stay in that stupid hostel?’ I wondered. There was an eerie feeling but I couldn’t figure out why I felt like that. I reached for the doorbell, but there was no need, it was half open. I reached the hallway. I could hear the faint music of Jimi Hendrix. I gradually climbed the stairs, there was no one to be seen, I had carried some flowers for Jenny and a perfume for her. There I see the door, so there is Jenny.
For strange reasons my heartbeats started pounding like a tiger, I mean she is my friend; I shouldn’t have such feelings at all. I opened the door and –
They were on the floor, clothes everywhere, their lips locked and their legs wrapped around each other. They made love sometimes, they sucked each other sometimes, they licked their breasts bare and their lower privates. I stood there dumbstruck when those flowers and the perfume bottle dropped from my hands.
“Bang”, the sound was loud enough for Jenny and her friend Molly, my acquaintance as well, to look up.
“Oh hie, come join us, threesome is fun. You are a dancer too, your curves are sexier. In fact, I love you more than Molly” Jenny grinned,
Howling, I said, “I just hate you, Jenny, Karan was right, you are a filthy woman, you are, you are, you are….” I sat on the floor.
I couldn’t say a word, I was panting. Jenny pulled herself up, wrapped a blanket over her, pulled a new cigarette and lifted me from the ground.
“Is it a crime that I am a lesbian? What is my fault? God made me like that. I was thrown away by my parents, just that I cannot love a man. I work in a nightclub, earn money, struggle rather; people hurl curses to me but still I push myself. This home is not mine, it’s Molly’s and you know, Molly is married and how unhappy she is. She was forced to marry some guy whom she never loved, she calls me when her husband leaves for a tour and in exchange for my flesh, I get money from her. And why do I stay in a hostel, huh? That’s the place where I can live a decent life, I have no place and my work, do you know the whole day I sit in a park doing nothing? Oh yes, in the evenings I go to those clubs, dance, and there I get my money. My parents didn’t allow me to complete my education, they made no contacts with me, they are not even aware if I am alive or dead and I really don’t know how long this hostel will allow me to stay with a fake employer certificate I provided. And you, yes I love you, you are an Indian beauty. If a man can love you, so can I. I am a man with a body of a woman, so this is your friend Jenny, go for it”.
I had no words. Tears storming my face, I embraced Jenny and I spoke softly, “Jenny, I cannot have sex with you, I am not bisexual, I respect you, so instead of leading this wretched life, why don’t you complete your education and get a decent job? You are a good dancer, start taking dance tuitions, and sex – it’s all in mind; have control, don’t run whenever someone calls you. The money you made from the nightclubs, invest it somewhere and on that interest, lead a life and then you can have a partner of your choice. Please don’t go for multiple partners, you will get STD’s and HIV. As for me, yes I am your sister, your family, so don’t feel you don’t have a home, you have one right here in my heart”.
She broke down “You will marry Karan and go away, and Karan hates me”. “So what, Karan doesn’t need to know everything. As a woman, I can feel your pain, so don’t cry, let’s walk together, let our journey be similar. I will marry Karan and you too marry your partner but only after you start living a decent life”.
Society still struggles to accept homosexuality but please understand, they are humans too. They need love, and they too need an understanding heart. There are cases where lesbians, gays have committed suicide, but why? There is no need, is it so difficult to extend a heart of sympathy to them?
Jenny made no contact with me after that. I stayed in that hostel for a month and then I married Karan. That one month I saw Jenny leaving in the morning but she reached hostel in the evening and that too before ten. In the dining hall, she avoided an eye contact with me; she just had her share and left. She grew introvert, I did leave my wedding card for her but she never came.
During the days when Karan made love to me, the memories of Jenny came rushing back, her tear stricken face, she looked bold but no, all she needed was love.
“Gay kids aren’t a “plot point” that you can play with. Gay kids are real, actual kids, teenagers, growing up into awesome adults, and they don’t have the books they need to reflect that. Growing up, my nose was constantly stuck in a book. Growing up as a lesbian, I was told over and over and over by the lack of gayness in said books that I did not exist. That I wasn’t important enough to tell stories about. That I was invisible. Why are we telling our kids this? Why are we telling them that they’re a minority, and they don’t deserve the same rights as straights, that they’re going to grow up in a world that despises them, that the intolerance of humanity will never change, that they’re worthless? It’s not true.”
― Sarah Diemer