Pride

By My Side 4.5/5 (1)

Needles pricked my arm. Head pounded like crazy. Parched mouth heavy with cigarette taste, it took effort to crack open my eyes. Blinking a few times, the features facing me became clear. Well groomed beard, messy hair covering his forehead, he was relaxed and naked.

What the!

Head spun as I sat up straight pulling my arm from under his abdomen. My stomach churned as the events of the previous night played in front of my eyes. Grabbing the pants from the side of the bed, I ran into the bathroom.

How did this even happen? We were drunk, yes. My friend brought along his friend, that gay- the one beside me. Making sure he was still asleep, snatching my shirt, keys, and wallet, I left the house in less than a minute. Stopping in a nearby park watching the young and old walk, jog, and gossip with fervor, tears burned my eyes.

Nausea threatened again, choking me. The bitter aftertaste still tingled on my tongue. What have I done?

Fuck!

I had a steady girlfriend. A few more before she walked into my life. All females. The shrill ringing of the mobile phone jolted my thoughts. She was back from her trip. Had to answer the call.

“Honey… on the way. Will be there in twenty.” My voice was hoarse. Guilt-ridden.

Will she know what happened? No, she can’t. Not unless someone told her.

———

She opened the door and flew into my arms only to step back immediately.

“Ugh! Too much drink last night to not miss me? Go, take a shower.” A playful smack on my back. I flinched.

Shower, yes. I stood still under the steaming hot water as the images floated around me. Smoking, drinking, relishing the chicken. Asking him if he ever slept with a woman, the friction that followed when he dared me to kiss a man. That moment when I tasted his alcoholic breath on my face before he laughed. The stupid friend ignored us when he his girl called. Idiot.

Was it me who initiated the second kiss? He was surprised before kissing me back. We tumbled into the room late night. I traced those muscles rippling under my touch. He was a gym freak while I had a small soft paunch.

“It’s sexier than a six pack.” His words echoed.

What was I thinking? A bloody dare. It was supposed to be gross.

———

“Are you alive?” Her voice cut in, bringing me back to reality.

“Yes.”

She sat on the bed, our bed, smiling at me. Yet, she looked concerned. “Are you feeling good?”

I pulled her close and nodded. She sighed, her arms coming around me. She smelled of lilies. Hugging her, the memories of the night drifted away into the dark.

“I ordered waffles for you.” She sat watching me dress in a tee and shorts. For the first time, it made me uncomfortable. But I couldn’t ask her to leave.

Two mugs of hot coffee made the day marginally better. She prattled about her trip. I ate in silence. The mobile too was in silent mode.

———

With no plan to step out of the house, we ordered dinner. Watching her move around the house, the lure was too familiar. I reached for her, desperation clouding my senses. Tasting her lips was heaven. I let it wash away everything else, sinking into her. We’ve always enjoyed sex; sometimes slow, at times rough. Never had to question anything before.

The night wouldn’t let me sleep. How could I enjoy being with both? Easing from the bed, I checked my phone to see missed calls and messages. It was tempting to ignore them. My friend was surprised about my sudden exit in the morning. He wanted me to call him sometime. And, there was only one message from him.

“It’s okay. I understand.”

“It’s not okay. Understand what?” I texted back.

Damn. Should’ve deleted it.

Shit. He was replying. Was he waiting for my reply from morning?

“That you are bi.”

“Bi?” What was that? I never bothered to know about any of this nonsense. Wasn’t my concern, anyway.

“Bisexual. Attracted to both genders. Another classification of ours. Ever felt this way before?”

The words blurred as I read them again and again.

“NO.” My fingers shook. How dare he suggest that I was one of them? He could be jealous of me. I had a girl. He didn’t. But he did not need a girl.

What if he was telling the truth? Was he?

Internet.

Taking a few deep breaths, I searched about bisexuals. The flags, faces, and blogs filled the screen. One caught my attention. It was by someone who ‘came out’ when she was 38, had a husband and three kids.

Hazy memories rushed forth. Staring at good looking men- classmates, teachers, colleagues. Wasn’t it simply because I liked them? Was it because I liked them?

No. That was normal.

Wasn’t it?

Bi? Throwing a cushion, I slumped onto the sofa.

Ignore it. Ignore him. Forget everything; marry my girl, live happily.

Yes, I could do that.

“Hey, anytime you want to talk, I’ll be here.” The mobile beeped.

Damn him. How could he be so calm? Of course, he had always been there.

What about me?

———-

As expected, she was shocked, then enraged. The house felt empty without her. But he was there, giving space when I needed it and holding close when the agony was too much to handle.

Someday, she might understand. Maybe. Hell, I hoped at least my parents would understand. Strange how the times have changed.

“If you like both, what’s the big deal? Stick to women and be done with it.”

A valuable piece of advice my dad gave me. If only life was that easy.

Among the crowd for the first time, fear clawed its way.

“Hey, we are fine.” His soft smile assured.

I nodded gripping his hand. We would be fine; one day.

***

This is an entry for UniK-4, a 1000-word writing event at ArtoonsInn.

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Categories: Pride, UniK-4