‘I fell in love with a girl just like you would with your boyfriend’

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A series on true experiences

GAY LOVE

Illustration: Samia Singh

MY LIFE is a lot like sheet music. All the notes on its pages are perfectly tried, tested and proven. There is not nearly enough room for trial and absolutely no room for error. Everything has to be fairytale perfect. At least, that’s what I was taught to think, and voluntarily thought as much, until I went along and found myself kissing a girl on a fine afternoon.

From that afternoon to now, I have kissed and worried her enough times to call her my girlfriend. She is a smart, eccentric girl, who drives me up the wall often enough to have changed the cradle-like pace of my life. The only hiccup in this wonderful story was that the music in my sheet was pointing to: ‘smart, eccentric boy’. However, no such symphony could be heard in my head for a boy. And here I was, hand-in-hand with a girl with nary a platonic, sheet music thought in my head.

Try as much as I could, these feelings that I was having for a girl did not have an explanation. There were none in any book, nor in my head, no matter how I searched. I felt them alright and people soon began to notice (at least, the smart ones did). But they too just laughed it off; it was good ol’ me treading an experimental pathway: For them, I was frozen in a till-death-do-us-part dalliance with a boy.

But me? I was closely entwined in the present with her. Thursdays were not Thursdays anymore. Christmas was not just Christmas. Heck, even socks weren’t socks anymore. Everything was different. We didn’t even spare blueberries. They too became ‘blooberries’. And none of this was out of a sheet. I did as I pleased.

When I was younger, this ‘do as I please’ business had always seemed positively unnecessary. My experimental endeavours came to an unceremonious end with touching the flame of a candle under adult supervision. I didn’t bunk college, I didn’t act funny with my parents when I turned 16, I didn’t even steal an eraser or eat my own scab. You could say I had always been excruciatingly boring. I didn’t even have glasses and braces that would fetch me some fair amount of ridicule.

She, on the other hand, brought with her an attitude that read: “I do the things that I do, because I want to, screw you!” So my hopeless compliance with people and norms irritated her far too much. She didn’t give a damn and I was busy smearing the world with my damned affection. Initially, this made us quite the disaster.

I didn’t know that caring for people could come in the way of anything. But yes, me caring came in our way.

When the people I loved weren’t laughing it off, they simply said that she would be ‘bad’ for me: Not only was she temperamental, she was also a girl. No, my friends didn’t have a problem with lesbians, as long as I was not one of them. My family, on the other hand, would have a big, fat life-size problem with the very concept.

To me, being in relationship with a girl was just that. I was in a relationship with a girl, like you are in a relationship with your boyfriend. It seemed natural enough. We fought endlessly, made up by writing each other letters, kissed inappropriately and discussed philosophy when bored. It’s not that I didn’t dread what my family would think of all this. If they were to find out about my not-so-good-girl behaviour, I really don’t know whether all hell would break loose or if they’d simply say: “Look at what the liberal arts has done to you.”

I don’t think the liberal arts has ‘done’ anything to me. I will always be the girl who touched the candle flame with adult supervision. I will always be the girl who cares and I will always look for fairytale perfects. But the girl in me that loves another girl will always be the one who kissed the naked flame.

Anonymous Is 19. She is a student in Bengaluru.

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