We begin our story at a small school in a city in South Asia that may be South Asian in geography but has a geography a bit akin to a meshing. The school has a Baroch posture of mass geometric shapes that undulate and at times continue in some postmodernistic, a bit futuristic sway.
Akram is a boy of about ten at this time; that’s how he is remembering it, for a “now” is actually when he is seventeen. His eyes are a bit honeyed, not fully black or brown or that terrestrial mixture. His hair is a wavy of both hellenic and middle-eastern origins. His skin is a facsimile of brown and white: fax for it seems as though someone expertly delved in wax and some caramel-chocolate. Of course as a child his eyes looked larger and his grin a bit cherub-like. Cherub-like grins in childhood do have a tendency of seeming a bit hesitant in adolescence or adulthood.
The boy is a bit quiet. Lips are pursed at times. His worse subjects are history and grammars (both English and his vernacular) and his bests are actually literature and mathematics and science. His mother was told that he excelled in geography but that his drawing was not so great. Art was another subject he despised because he did not understand colours that well or shading but just preferred to well make lines which were also crooked.
Like crooked smiles of either wickedness or hesitation Akram was caught by the older year five person and soon kissed. It wasn’t a girl. Not that he would be not pissed if it was a girl. He didn’t like girls. Not most girls. Girls his age giggled and teased and then at times looked and stared a bit more fiercely at boys or made faces like them. The twelve year old boy who kissed him was not so rowdy though he had a reputation of getting in some fights that happened with certain classmates of other sections.
It was not so lingering but it was hard and a bit amateurish but the emotions were real. Very real. And he didn’t know what they were. To that young boy love was effervescent but not rushed intense. The older boy’s name was Fazi and he looked him straight in the eye after the kiss. It was a bit too intentional as though he didn’t want to look afraid.
“I like you.”
“Like a girl.” Akram tried to make sense. To him girls can like girls and boys but boys only liked other boys to fight and liked girls for only kissing. At that time he thought that.
“I guess, but I can like you like that.”
“But I don’t have a pussy.” Akram did not know the proper term was “vagina” he thought the name meant that something whiskers as cat-face was something girls got when they were older.
“I don’t think that’s an issue.”
“Will you kiss me again?”
“I don’t know.”
“Was it a bad kiss?”
“Is there a bad and good kiss?”
“Well, you shouldn’t let grown-up strangers kiss you that’s bad.”
Akram nodding encouraged Fazi a bit so he kissed him again. Then looked at Akram. Akram seemed not too fazed by it anymore and nodded. Fazi kissed him again in that almost empty corridor. A janitor was lazily drowsy and didn’t care at all.
Seventeen year old Akram looks as Fazi as a friend. An older, cool friend. Fazi doesn’t therein lies a problem. When Akram allows Fazi to makeout with him it is mostly because he is bored and because he feels frustrated. Fazi knows their thing is not a relationship but he wants it badly to be one. He isn’t crazy about anyone as he is with Akram. As a kid he has been. Akram had gently tried to sever ties with them a couple of times. It has backfired a bit. Fazi was a bit more persistent and a bit too emotional prone to tantrums and outbursts but also that sly logic methodology of saying “let’s just be you got no one else” or “come on it’s not that much of a bad feeling right?” and Akram doesn’t know how to answer. At times he just says that he likes girls and wants to have a girlfriend to which Fazi laughs.
There was a time he was trying and Fazi had successfully sabotaged him getting a girlfriend. Akram was a bit timid. Was a bit introverted and at times too complacent so he didn’t always complain. Some of those girls were more people he thought he could bond with but realizing maybe she shouldn’t. But Mira was a different case. The young woman was four years older than Akram and two years older than Fazi. Mira was one of the reasons the so-called timid guy took on an older male (same-height) with more defined muscles at the time. Akram was a bit chubby at seventeen. Fazi had kissed Mira and had at one point successfully made her his girlfriend. It was, in his eyes, a test to show how “dubious” Mira was. Yet the case was that Mira had though Fazi was growing to like her and Akram had stayed quiet for he was shy.
It was that time that Akram took a stand to ignore Fazi. Fazi was adamant to stay with him but after some scuffles (which Fazi tried to alleviate sometimes by kissing) it was apparent that Akram and he were through.
Seeing Akram after all these years made Fazi’s heart leap. What was it that leaped really at times he could not tell…as in his heart leaped but something else. He had never really explained to Akram why he had loved him and ironically Akram had accepted that love without much probing or question. They have never had sex. They had however done some other things (mostly insinuated by Fazi). Akram was getting married to Mira. He was thirty-two years old and Fazi was thirty-four. Fazi has had only casual sex with people these days: both sexes. Yet, he had recently started seriously dating a person called Nibhay, who was the a year younger than him and had moved out to stay in the city with Fazi because he preferred him and loved him (stating that he exclusively loved males).
Seeing Akram Fazi could not resist but kiss him. Amateurish and awkward. Like that first time. That is when Fazi shamefully admitted to himself how wonderfully unrequited this was, without redamancy. It did not censure affection, maybe allowed sexuality but it was not the love he had wanted. Akram allowed that kiss; participated in it. As a liberation. All those years ago he participated to understand the same wave encaptured it now. For Fazi it was a good goodbye to a something that had no working or destiny. For Akram it was an end of an age of confused wanting and frustrations and feeling his wishes neglected. It was a complacency coming to an end. Both were cleansing out a selfish knot that was binding them.
Soon they raised their cups of lassi for a toast. Lingering on lips was the coyness of foams gone and foams to come.▬
*Authors note: When I write fictional pieces I will label them as “fictionic” from now on 🙂