That Night

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I was 14 and I was crying because my sister had said something bad about my best friend. At the time, I didn’t understand why I got so emotional about it, but I was furious at my sister.

“STOP CRYING! You’re acting like a lesbian,” my mother shouted.

That was the first time my mother had ever used that word. I didn’t make much of it at all; it even got me to stop crying because I felt ashamed, even though I only had a brief idea as to what that word meant, but nothing exact.

Growing up, I was always a tomboy: super short hair, baggy shorts and t-shirts. I was always the only girl in a group of guys, always playing football or basketball with the school boys. All of these felt quite natural to me, I could never fit into a “girly girl” state.

Three years passed, I found myself in Canada.

I had just started my last year of high school, when I got invited to a friend’s house party. That’s the day I met Mike – a very flamboyant Asian gay boy – the first gay person I had met. I felt the need to know him, understand him, his self-discovery, his coming out story, his yearning of another man’s body. While he was telling me a story about his ex, he stopped for a moment, looked at me with a big smile on his face, like a light bulb had just lit up and exploded in his head, and asked me: “You’re a lesbian, right?”

To my surprise, this time, I wasn’t disturbed or ashamed of the question he had just asked me, “I’m not sure, I haven’t really thought about it much,” I said.

Then came my trip to Montreal and the mad crush I developed on the girl that lived across the hall from me. I had never flirted with anyone before, let alone with a girl, and I really wanted to. The thoughts going through my head were many: “What if she gets offended? What if she rejects me? What if she ends up avoiding me?”

On our way back to the dorms after a long night of drinking, I had mustered up some courage (courage being the alcohol); I looked into her ocean blue eyes, and said: “I really like you, and I have a crush on you!”

She looks at me with a little smile on her face: “Ah, that’s cute,” then plants a little peck on my lips, rests her head on my shoulder, and passes out.

As I came to discover later, whenever a girl says: “That’s cute,” it also means “I’m straight.”

I left Montreal with a new conviction that there was something more to me that I needed to discover. Set on exploring my sexual identity, I broke up with my boyfriend. I went on a hunt for anything queer: magazines, videos, movies, music, books. I educated myself about the dos and don’ts of lesbian sex, then thought to myself that I needed some personal experience and practice, after all, only practice makes perfect!

I kept running into her, at bus stops, at coffee shops. She looked familiar; she had gone to the same high school as me, and only lived two minutes away from my house. So we started a friendship, the more we talked, the closer we got. But then there were other thoughts crossing my mind, really, really naughty thoughts.

“The Buffalo” was a small club packed full with sweaty head bangers; heavy metal music pierced your ear drums. The air smelled of sweaty men and alcohol, the floor was sticky from all the spilled liquor. Jessica had agreed to come out with us for a friend’s gig, and I noticed she was giving me a curious look all night. I was intrigued.

As I was coming out of the bathroom stall, I saw her coming in, our eyes met for a moment, then, she disappeared in the stall. I washed my hands, then helped myself for a seat on the counter top. Feet dangling in the air, I waited for her to come out. As she was washing up, we kept looking at each other. She still had that curious look in her eyes. I grabbed her by the hand, and guided her close to me: she was now standing between my legs, arms around my neck, eyes locked. I could feel my heart beating faster and louder, I wondered if maybe she could hear it too. Finally her full-lips met mine. Tongues tied. There was total silence.

Slam! The bathroom door opens wide, and we’re interrupted by two girls. Excited at the sight of us kissing: “Ohhhh, you guys are sooo cute!” (Straight girls).

Later that night, when I was dropping her off at her house, we kissed one long kiss goodnight, and that’s how I got into my first real relationship ever.

A couple of weeks after we started dating she had already sought to come out to her parents and brother. I was impressed by her courage and yet terrified as to what their reaction would be. Her parents took the news really well, they even invited me over for dinner to meet me.

We were both each other’s first, so we took things very slowly as to make sure we were not rushing each other into things. One night, she had thrown a little gathering at her place, the whole night we kept on teasing each other. After our friends had all gone to their homes, we both felt it was the right time; tonight would be our first night. I was excited and terrified at the same time, scared that I wouldn’t know what to do, scared that I would touch her at the right place at the wrong time, scared that I would hurt her, scared that she would hate it. I will never forget the way she smelled, the softness of her skin, the way she looked naked, the way she tasted, the way she pulled at my hair, the way she trembled.

That night was the night where it all made sense: Why I never enjoyed myself with the opposite sex, why I had crushes on girls and not boys, and why I cried so much that day about what my sister had said.

A couple of months had passed in our relationship and I felt the need to tell someone in my family. I felt like I was suffocating when I didn’t tell them. I decided to tell my oldest sister, as she was the most open-minded of all of my siblings.

I called her into my room, sat down on the bed. I was already shaking. I had no idea as to how she would react. I had no idea how I was going to say it. She felt there was something wrong. Before I could even speak, I burst into tears. She hugged me for a while and told me to calm down, to spit out whatever it was I was trying to say. So I gathered all of my strength and three little words came out: “I like girls.” I couldn’t look at her. I had started to cry again. She hugged me, and kept whispering in my ear: “It’s OK, don’t worry.” As I started to calm down, she started giggling, then I started giggling, and when I asked her why she was giggling she said: “I kind of already knew!”

I looked at her with a questioning look on my face: “How in the hell did you know when I just recently found out myself?”

“I don’t know I just did,” she said. “Plus, you were always a tomboy.”

- Contributed by Tamar

Guest Contributor

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