Archive for the ‘pages out of a life’ Category

Complications, Mr. Angry points out, occur when the thought recurs not once but several times.

I found myself wondering about the five o’clock shadow, for the fifth time that day. I’ve always been a practical woman and back then, a sensible little girl. Whenever it was time to write Santa a letter, I never asked for snow, a treasure chest, or a million dollars like my siblings did. I asked for fifty bucks, and two day’ furlough from house chores.

My reaction to the five o’clock shadow was no different. Because I believe ghosts leave only after you ask them to, I messaged him on Skype. “Okay, let’s go see a movie.”

We went. He was pretty sweet. He bought me popcorn and all the junkfood I wanted. He offered me his jacket and held my hand. We were acting like young lovers. Not wanting to complicate an already complicated situation, I told him, “I’m not here to fall in love.

He let go of my hand.

The next morning, we chatted and agreed to meet for lunch. What I want, I told him, is an orgasm. I don’t want to fall in love. I just want to find release. My hands are efficient, but I’m getting tired of this do-it-yourself business.

I can give you that, he replied. Is that’s all you want?


All right. Meet me tomorrow. I won’t be gentle. You’ll come so many times you’ll need help walking.

Good, good.

I won’t be gentle. I’ll make sure you won’t ever forget my name. He went into lurid detail, telling me how well he multi-tasks. I’ll ram you from behind while my fingers play with your vulva, and when you’re oozing with cum and you’re thrashing wildly, I’ll eat you. All of you.

Sounds fun. Let’s start with lunch, then eat our way into another meal.

Okay, I’ll see you in an hour.

I showered so quickly I arrived five minutes early. I waited thirty minutes more before calling him up. I’m running late, he said. Give me two hours more.

Okay, I said, even though inside, I was a conflicted and conflicting mass. I trudged to the office, figuring I’d get some work done while I wait for him. But my imagination and the anticipation proved too much. It wasn’t long before I abandoned all pretence of work altogether and propped my legs widely on my table. There, in the dark and to the gentle lull of the air blowing out of the airconditioner, on the desk where I sign many a government form and vacation leave applications, I brought myself to a quick and furious climax.

Damn you, five o’clock shadow.


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Saturday Jaunt

“Will you go with the group?”

She looked up, not entirely sure who spoke up. It was G, one of the creative department guys. “I’m not sure,” she told him in between taps of the keyboard.

“You should go. It’s a wonderful place. You’ll love the spring.”

“I’ll see. Tell me who you round up to go with us.” She was noncommittal, already bored with the conversation, and wishing he would just leave.

“Will you bring your husband along?”

She looked up. So this was what it was all about. She was amused. “I never go somewhere without him.”

“If your problem is geography, you won’t need him. We’ll pick you up and drop you off, too.”

She thought for a moment. Was this one worth it? Physically, he wasn’t bad-looking. He was well-muscled; lean where he should be lean, and taut where he should be taut. He thinks quickly on his feet, too. More importantly, he makes her laugh. Occasionally.

She came to a decision, right there and then.

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He was not a very convincing teacher. He was fresh out of school and nervous as hell. The class could smell his fear but they chose not to be unkind. He was the first goodlooking male they had seen in years. What does it matter that he sometimes stammers, that his stare wavers, that he had this habit of nervously steepling his fingers together whenever he was asked a question he hesitates to answer? He was the only male teacher in that all-girls school who was not ugly, not married, and not nearing retirement age. They were willing to forgive him anything.

He was twenty. She was fourteen.

She liked him the first time she saw him. He was hooked the first time she opened her mouth. She tried very hard to catch his attention. He was always willing to give her attention. She baited and taunted. He was enthralled. She was not like any other fourteen-year-old he had come across. But that was the problem. She was fourteen. He was not like any man she had ever talked to. But he was not just any man; he was her English teacher.

They argued over Shakespeare. He idolizes him; she thinks he is boring. They talked of economics, space exploration, morality, the Victorian age, and sex. She liked being outspoken. He enjoyed being shocked.

The one time she missed class, he was worried. The next day, he went to their house and visited her in the hospital. She was taking care of her sick sister. She never saw him; he never told her.

He hated the way he felt about her. He became distant. She hated what she thought was absence of feeling on his part. She became insolent.

Then, one day, he told other teachers how he felt about her. They were aghast. He was their Golden Boy. They had great plans for him. They told him not to pay the student any attention. That girl has a long history of liking male teachers, they said. Do not pay any attention to that child. Do not take her seriously. You are just an infatuation to her.

He listened to them. He felt betrayed by what he heard. It hurt his pride, that he was being used by a child. And so one day, he simply stopped talking to her. He brushed her and her questions aside. He no longer wrote comments on her papers. He would not even answer the questions in her eyes. He became very critical of her work and frequently gave her a dressing down in front of her classmates.

She was baffled and hurt. She raged. She baited him even more in class. She wrote scathing essays. But he remained indifferent.

A year after, he got married. To a woman they both love. He asked her to his wedding. She showed up with the biggest smile in the world and a heavily banged up heart. She sat next to a teacher who gripped her hand. She was clenching and unclenching her fists; the teacher must have known how she felt as he walked down the aisle.

Ten years later, they meet again. Over Yahoo Messenger.

He was married. She was married.

“I’ve never been able to forget you.”

There was a lump in her throat as she answered, “My husband knows you, too.”

“We seem to be landmarks in each other’s lives.”

They laughed like old friends, close friends, scarred friends. She was 24. He was 31. For the first time in a long, long time, they could openly acknowledge what they were to each other, past and present. They talked about the things that transpired ten years back.

Sad and shaken at how much he could still move her, she tries her hand at humor. “The universe will always be funny that way. But I’m glad you are happy.”

“Yes, I am. But I will never stop wondering. What if?”

She smiled. He smiled. They let the question hang in the air. The universe is funny that way. Gravity brings even the lightest of leaves down to the ground. But it lets questions, achingly important questions, remain suspended in the air.
What if?

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