There were certain conversations that never took place in the summertime. The sun might pride herself as the great elucidator, but winter was the season of humble introspection. When outside it was bitterly cold, what else was there to do but curl up in bed together? To kiss and touch and writhe in unison, then bask in the warmth of each other’s bodies?
When snowflakes like cotton balls fell from the sky, Devra wrapped her arms and a fleecy blanket around Priti’s shoulders and kissed her hair. Sighing, Priti rolled onto her back and gazed out the window. The streetlights made the falling snow glow bright white against a backdrop of blue.
“How did you know you liked girls?” Priti asked.
Devra was somewhat amazed the topic had never come up before. “You mean when did I first know?” she clarified.
“Yeah. Did you have a Eureka moment where you were like, ‘Aha! I’m a lesbian?'”
She recognized it was meant to be a joke, but Devra ruminated nonetheless. “Not exactly. I mean, yes, sort of, but I wouldn’t have used those words at the time.”
“Why not?” Priti asked without waiting for an answer. “Because you didn’t want to be pigeonholed or grouped into somebody else’s narrow definition of sexual identity?”
Devra propped up her head with the palm of her hand. “No. Because I was five.”
“Five, as in years old?”
“Wow,” Priti replied. “You started early.”
“It wasn’t a matter of starting, and at the time it didn’t mean anything to me. It’s only in looking back that my selective memory has chosen that event as significant.”
“Nothing big. I’m surprised I even remember,” Devra began. “When I was in kindergarten, I had this useless blob of a teacher, Mrs…oh, I don’t know…Mrs Blob.”
“Are you telling me this is a significant figure in your life and you can’t even remember her name?”
“Give me a break!” Devra teased. “I was five.”
“Okay, so you had a crush on Mrs Blob,” Priti giggled.
“God, no. No, it was Mrs Blob who made me wish I wasn’t a girl. I had this growing awareness that when I grew up, I would be a woman. Mrs Blob was a woman, and damned if I wanted to look like that when I got older.”
“That is so mean!” Priti admonished, giving Devra a playful kiss on the arm.
“No, it created some genuine anxiety for me. I didn’t want to grow up and be a woman if that meant looking like Mrs Blob.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense. What about your mom? She wasn’t a blob, and you knew her before your kindergarten teacher.”
Devra agreed. “And I had seven skinny aunties too, but at that age I didn’t recognize that they were women; mom was mom. I mean, some people think that way their whole lives: my mom isn’t a woman, she’s just my mom.”
“Yeah, seriously. So, you were five, your mom wasn’t a woman, and your blob of a teacher freaked you out?”
“Right, and then one day I found something that completely alleviated my little panic attacks,” Devra went on. “Some perv had torn pages out of a girlie magazine and left all these pictures of naked women blowing around the playground.”
“Oh my god!” Priti gasped, clenching her fist to her chest.
“Yeah, well, I picked one up and…” For a moment, Devra was lost. “I still remember her feathered blonde hair and her skinny frame, her perky tits…”
“And you wanted to look like her?”
Again, Devra reflected. “No, that wasn’t the thought process. I saw that naked playgirl and I realized for the first time that not all women looked like Mrs Blob. It’s not that I looked at this picture and I wanted to fuck the girl—I was five; I didn’t know what sex was—but it wasn’t a feeling of aspiration either. How can I explain it? I guess it excited me that there were women like that in the world. She was an image that represented something larger, something of myself.”
Priti didn’t seem quite sure how to respond. And then her girlfriend’s brow furrowed and Devra knew she was in trouble. Again.
“I’m not exactly a perky blonde playgirl,” Priti said.
“Thank god,” Devra chuckled, rolling on top of her and taking her curvy body in a big bear hug. She growled at Priti. “I’d never let you out of bed. I’d keep you chained to the headboard and…”
“Stop it,” Priti pouted, pushing her away.
Devra sighed. “What?”
“Stop…I don’t know…wishing I was somebody else.”
Devra rolled off as Priti struggled not to meet her puzzled gaze. Arguments always started this way. “What are you talking about?”
Flipping onto her side, Priti stared out the window and into the falling snow. “I don’t know. Never mind.”
Exhausted as she was, Devra knew better than to let herself fall asleep when Priti was in a mood. “Well, you’re obviously upset about something. What did I do this time?”
“Don’t be like that.”
“Be like what? I’m just asking you a question.”
“You’re trying to provoke me.”
Any reply would have “provoked” Priti further, so Devra kept her mouth shut and wrapped her arms around the girl. Priti was silent at first, but this was to be expected. It always took her some time to work up the nerve to speak her mind. “If you’re so interested in skinny white girls, why are you with me?”
“When did I ever say…?”
“Are you just going to leave when you find someone who fits the mold?”
“There is no mold,” Devra began, tracing her fingers across Priti’s stomach. “This is the body I love. These curves,” she said, grasping them, “these curves do it for me. These thighs and these hips…”
Priti flicked her hair away so Devra’s hot breath could enter her ear unobstructed.
“This fat ass,” Priti scoffed.
“This perfect, curvy, feminine ass,” Devra corrected, pressing her hips against it. With her legs, she encircled Priti’s while her hands wandered in the direction of Priti’s breasts. “And these tits, Priti. God, I love your tits!”
“Well, I won’t argue with you there,” Priti conceded. “They are pretty great.”
“You have magnificent tits,” Devra declared, sculpting them. “I love your body. Praise god you’re in it.”
With a pleased giggle, Priti pressed Devra’s hand downward. “I praise god when you’re in it…”
Devra laughed, tossing her head. “You watch too much porn, kid.”
Rolling onto her back as Devra shifted, Priti pouted, “I’m not a kid.”
Not this again!
“It’s a term of endearment,” Devra consoled, pressing Priti’s breasts together to bury her face in their gentle slopes. She licked them. Wrapping her mouth around their cinnamon flesh, she took their nipples between her front teeth. As Priti lay back, sighing with delight, Devra came to a realization. “Don’t tell me you’ve never seen Casablanca.”
“Nope, never,” Priti said, shaking her head.
“Add that to the list. We’ll rent it,” Devra replied. She felt like she was issuing a command, though that’s not how she’d intended it.
Priti groaned. “I hate black and white movies; everybody talks so weird.”
As Devra’s fingers descended upon Priti’s pubic hair, raking it like grass, she decided this conversation was best left undone. It was hard to tell, sometimes, what careless word might destroy the mood, and it probably wasn’t the best time to mention how uneducated Priti sounded when she made such statements. It puzzled Devra; Priti was the eternal student, but sometimes it seemed like she was trying to sound stupid.
“What are you thinking about?” Priti cooed.
“Ooooh, I like it when you say my name.”
Slipping her fingers into Priti’s wet slit, she purred, “Do you like it when I rub your clit?”
“But say my name,” she moaned, writhing against Devra’s slippery fingers.
“Priti,” Devra gurgled, flowing down her body and breathing in the scent of her gorgeous cunt. “What do you love most?”
Eyes closed, Priti breathed hard, tossing her head to flip stray bangs from her eyes. Devra licked her fingers and rubbed Priti’s clit, hot and fast, until squeals of pleasure emanated from the back of Priti’s throat. “Fuck me.”
“Is that what you love best?”
Priti nodded. “But say my name.”
“Fuck me with your fingers.”
“Yeah?” Devra teased, pressing her palm flat against Priti’s cunt. “Why? You like that sort of thing?”
Priti nodded, squeezing her eyes shut. “But say my name.”
“Priti,” Devra repeated, thrusting thirsty fingers into the pink.
Writhing, stirring, reaching up to the headboard, Priti sighed, “Oh, honeyfig, I love it when you fingerfuck me.”
“You love it, Priti?” Devra growled affectionately, pounding her pussy. Her breasts heaved, the light from outdoors highlighting her sienna-toned curves in shades of winter blue. Devra reached out to grab those perfect tits. It wasn’t enough to touch with her hand. She felt up that soft flesh against her cheeks, kissing Priti’s skin, sucking Priti’s nipples.
When Devra buried her face between Priti’s breasts, the girl tapped her calf with a sulky big toe. “What happened to fucking me?” she pouted, raising her hips to greet Devra’s generous fingers. Elbows against the mattress and fists clenched in the small of her back, she propped up her core and presented herself like a sacred offering.
Devra smirked. She fucked Priti though her arm was exhausted and her fingers cramped. Priti’s pussy was so wet and welcoming she just couldn’t stop.
Tossing both ankles over Devra’s shoulders, Priti put her body completely in Devra’s strong arms. Brimming with pride, Devra brought the gorgeous girl to orgasm. She knew it wasn’t just her magic fingers that did the trick. The sight of Devra pummelling her pussy turned Priti on more than anything. Priti was all about the visuals. Devra knew it was the sight of her surging muscles that made Priti gasp and writhe. That’s why Devra put on a bit of a show, biting her lip, putting on her bedroom eyes, and aligning her body between Priti’s thighs. The visuals heightened every flesh-on-flesh feeling, and she wanted her girl to come harder than ever.
When Priti couldn’t stand the screaming pleasure anymore, she rolled away and buried her exhausted pussy under the covers. Devra followed her beneath the cotton sheets, spooning in the light of the blue birch trees outside the window. Their bodies were a simple cocoon of feathers and cotton.
“I feel like such a traitor sometimes,” Devra mused.
“Don’t feel that way,” Priti cooed.
“At least let me tell you why first,” she said. “Do you remember the teen magazines from when we were kids?”
“You remember: they were full of glossy posters of, like, New Kids on the Block and…I don’t know…John Stamos and all those cool dudes.”
“John Stamos?” Priti giggled. “Did you have a big crush on him?”
“First name that came to mind,” Devra replied with a shrug.
“Yeah right! I bet you had your hands in your panties every time Who’s the Boss? came on.”
“You’re thinking of Tony Danza.”
“Whatever,” Priti said, shifting onto her back and folding a pillow to prop up her head. “I barely spoke English back them. Teen heartthrobs were not really on my radar.”
The duvet slipped down to her stomach and her gorgeous tits shone in the moonlight. Cupping them, Devra absorbed their tender warmth. She couldn’t get over what magnificent breasts her girlfriend had. She was so lucky to be with Priti.
“What was I saying?”
“About teen magazines,” Priti reminded her.
“Oh, right. My cousin Meghan and all my friends had their bedrooms plastered with these posters of New Kids. I had no interest—and I mean none at all—in any of that crap, but, god, they were so boy-crazy.”
Priti nodded slowly. “And you followed suit so you wouldn’t feel left out.”
“Yeah,” Devra said, ashamed to admit it. “Meghan gave me all the posters that weren’t so great or that she had doubles of and we put them all up with scotch tape. My mom came in and she was just mortified that I would be sleeping with all these boys in my room.”
“And then she was even more mortified when you started sleeping with all these girls in your room,” Priti teased.
“Yeah, but you’ve already heard that story. Anyway, my dad was just like, ‘Oh, she wants to fit in. It’s no big deal.’ He had no idea how right he was. I knew I was different—not yet in a way I could articulate, but I had an overwhelming sense of not being the same as all my friends at school. I knew I had to try extra hard to be like them, because it sure as hell wouldn’t come naturally.”
Priti smirked. “I come naturally.”
“That’s true,” Devra chuckled. “With no artificial sweeteners or battery-powered devices.”
Leaning close, Priti planted a tender kiss against her forehead, and another on her lips.
“When did you first know?” Devra asked.
Priti shrugged her tawny brown shoulders. “The moment I saw you.”
Devra rolled her eyes. “No, I don’t mean when did you know I was a lesbian. When did you first know you were?”
“I understood your question and I answered it,” Priti said, kissing her again. “The moment I saw you, I knew everything you would do to me. For me, it’s not about being a lesbian; it’s about being your girlfriend. You created this me, this Priti who kisses a girl and sleeps with a girl and loves a girl.”
“Oh, come on now,” Devra scoffed, though it pained her to reject the compliment. “You must have had some sense before I came along.”
“No, my honeyfig,” she cooed, her tone sticky and sweet as mango pudding. “You changed who I am. I saw you and I became a different person. I can’t imagine making love with any woman but you.”
Devra’s chest puffed with pride. “You’re such a romantic. I’m sure you’ll change your tune in a year or so when you’ve heard all my stories, but it’s really cute that you think so now.”
“That’s not a nice thing to say.”
“No!” Priti replied in an explosive pout. “You’re saying you don’t think we’ll stay together?”
“That’s not what I meant,” Devra replied, struggling neither to raise her voice nor roll her eyes.
Priti pulled the sheet up to cover her naked breasts. “Why do you never think before you speak?”
“Hey, it’s not my fault you always take things the wrong way,” Devra replied. It wasn’t a smart thing to say, but too late now.
“You are so infuriating,” Priti cried. Whipping her legs from under the duvet, she jumped out of bed and strode naked across the bedroom. Her face went such a bright shade of red Devra thought her eyes might pop out of their sockets.
It was a dangerous move in a situation like this, but Devra smiled. “Well, we sure do argue like married people.”
Priti’s arms fell to her sides. The snowy light from outside illuminated the muscles and curves of her abdomen, her breasts and thighs.
“You know, you really are the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met,” Devra gushed. “I’m glad you came around.” Her mind rewound to their initial meeting, to what might have been called courting at one time, to the endless come-ons that fell flat, and she started to wonder, “Hey, if you knew from the beginning we would be together, why did you resist me so hard when I first asked you out?”
Priti’s expression fell. She reflected, and then replied with a smirk, “I didn’t like you.”
“What?” Devra cackled, half amused, half confused. “You didn’t like me?”
“No, I thought you were very annoying.”
“But you just said…”
“I met you, and I saw in my mind all the things you would do to me in bed. It seemed so…I don’t know…frightening.” Priti sat on the edge of the mattress, and Devra threw an arm around her hips. “I meant it when I said you changed who I am. It’s not easy to change. It’s very, very scary.”
“Yes…” she mused. “I never told you that before?”
“No, I think I would have remembered my girlfriend saying she hated me.”
Grinning, Priti replied, “I’m sorry, honeyfig. If it’s any consolation, I don’t hate you anymore.”
Devra chuckled, “Yeah, thanks. That helps.”
“You know I’m kidding. I never hated you.” Priti wove her fingers through Devra’s. “It was hard to let go of the person I used to be. It was hard to let myself do things I’d grown up thinking were bad and wrong.”
“But you never had any inkling, when you were younger, that you’d be in bed with me today?”
Staring across the room, Priti replied, “There is one thing.”
Devra’s heart bounced in her chest. One thing was better than nothing. “Yeah?”
“It’s about my body…”
“Tell me.” Devra’s toes wriggled under the covers.
“It’s about the way my body reacts to a woman.”
“Tell me how your body reacts to a woman,” Devra purred, tracing her fingernails across Priti’s thigh.
With a velvet giggle, Priti said, “My body gulps when I see a beautiful woman.”
“Yes, my pussy gulps like it’s taking a long drink of water. It only does that for women, not for men. Only for beautiful women, as if it were clapping its lips like little hands to applaud their beauty. I noticed it a long time ago, the gulping.”
“And you didn’t think, ‘hmm…maybe I’m a lesbian’?” Devra challenged.
“My mind doesn’t use those words.”
Running her hand through Priti’s long hair, Devra started to say something but stopped herself. She didn’t want to risk another mini-argument or pouting session.
“You’re the one who’s so insistent upon the individual’s right to self-determination,” Priti continued. “So why should you get to choose what I call myself? That’s up to me.”
After consideration through squinted eyes and pursed lips, Devra realized, “You’re right. I’m sorry, kid.”
“Just like it’s up to you not to call me ‘kid,'” Priti scolded lightly, cuddling in under the covers.
A moment passed—a moment of breathing in the scent of her girlfriend’s hair, of touching Priti’s warm flesh and making her moan, of kissing her bee-stung lips—before Devra settled back against the pillows. “Out of curiosity, how would you identify?”
Priti took a very long time to respond with a simple, “What?”
She was obviously buying time.
“If somebody on the street asked you, ‘What is your sexual orientation?’ how would you respond?”
“Someone on the street?” Priti repeated with an air of insecurity.
“Fine, then, if I asked you….”
Devra wasn’t going to push for the answer she wanted to hear. Whatever Priti’s response, it would be a bold statement. I am statements were more than just words in the air; they were assertions of Self. They were defining moments. Devra was prepared to wait for an answer, and she did wait, even as Priti’s breath grew deep and slow.
“You don’t have to answer right away,” Devra purred, kissing her hair.
But Priti didn’t offer any response. She’d fallen fast asleep.