A Mid-Summer Tale







Kirti Sihag



 
Copyright 2023 by Kirti Sihag

 

Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash
Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash

As I sat down on the plane, I felt a shiver run down my spine while listening to Harry Styles Golden. And suddenly I was in Rajasthan, India. I was surrounded by greenery, but what held my attention was its tribal sands.

I can clearly point out the outline among the dunes, decorated with endless waves imprinted by wind. My leg was digging deep into the pure grains of sand.

So here we go again. 

I attended an elite school in the new BITS Pilani. Where everyone was so sophisticated that when you were wearing a rainbow-coloured t-shirt, you had an array of different comments coming your way. But anyway, that didn't apply to me because, to tell the truth, I was just there because my parents thought it would be good for me.

Yana is my best friend, but she always gives me a warm hug when we meet. I really appreciated that gesture. Yana was tall, slim-figured, and had two missing incisors. She was charitable and always at the top of every trending topic. But It was her eyes that always took hold of me. It made me want to tell her everything that I had to offer. One thing that got both of us talking all day was boys.

She would describe in great detail what kissing would feel like. How tender, soft, vibrant, and exotic is the moment of passion between a girl and a boy?

"But I think kissing anyone would be like that." I said.

She replied, "No. Only the chemistry between a girl and a boy would allow that."

I remained silent. 

Now the song in the plane changed to a Taylor Swift melody. But once this feeling overtook me, I couldn't stop. Like someone constantly kicking the chair I sit on. It stayed. 

"Have you packed your essentials for the trip?" Yana asked with a muffled voice in the summer heat.

Our High school was taking all of us on a two-day field trip in the rural parts of Rajasthan.

"Yeah. My mom helped me."

"Bro, that's an unfair advantage."

Yana's mother died of cancer when she was 7. She lives with her dad and grandma.

"I can help you with that. If you need, that is."

"Oh sure. Meet up at my home on Saturday." 

Yana's house was a two-story cardboard box. Literally that. But when I entered her room, it was a different world. On that day, the room smelled like Yana. She had lavender walls, a single bed, a computer on the table, and a chair. She had Harry Styles playing in the background.

"I bought a list of things that I thought would be necessary." I said.

"Okay. That would help.

The bed was stacked with T-shirts, pullovers, bras, sanitary napkin packets, hoodies, and jeans.

"Look at this top; I really like it. Do you think I should bring it with me?"

She held a lemon-yellow shirt. I thought that would look really good on her. I wanted to see it.

"Can you wear it right now?" 

She pulled the t-shirt she was wearing over her head, and I saw a sprinkled fountain of freckles on the left side of her rib cage. I knew then. Her skin, if touched, would feel chilled. I wanted to touch it.

"Riya?"

A drop of sweat dribbled down from my neck.

I look at her face. Our eyes met.

She put on the yellow shirt for me and smiled. I felt my heartbeat rising. Probably because of the poor ventilation in that room.

 In areas of shade, the sand was pleasant to touch. My schoolmates and I were allowed to wander around until our bus came to pick us up. Yana walked up to me.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm tired," I said.

"Let me help you with that!"

She held my hand and pulled me into the smooth embrace of the sand.

Between my laughter and hers, between my body heat and hers, between my kicks and her giggles, Our skins touched. It sent a blazing shiver up my neck. The sand was golden, and within my embrace, she was golden. 

"I found an illegal website to download any books for free. I will share with you the link." She said she was lifting her face off her computer.

While surfing the suggested website, I saw a hyperlink named Banned Books." Naturally thinking it was probably p**n, I clicked on it and discovered those books were about lgbtq+ topics and themes.

I read one of them called 'beyond magenta'. I think I opened a forbidden, cracked door. I told Yana about it. She was not interested.

But over the next few days, one thing became clear: I got to taste a piece of myself that I did not know existed.

I was bisexual.

I was in love with Yana.

And because she was my best friend, I told her. 

She never hugged me again. 

The plane has landed in Germany. My legs felt weak. After everyone had left, I was the last one on the plane. A kind-air hostess asked me if I was okay. I stood up and got down.

Choosing myself over anyone is the best decision of my life.


I am a high school junior and currently living in India. In a period of self descovery and adulthood I found my passions for writing. I have written several literary pieces (most of them personal) and I wanna explore more in the fields of literature. Writing for me is a liberation that I was fortunate enough to discover.


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