It was not long ago when she felt fulfilled in her life. He had come in her life so unexpected and yet all informed. Mike she called him. “Short for Michael Mayer, like My-er, “not Mayor”” he had said “like many Indians do”. Yes he was American. Simple and part Indian thanks to his mother. They had met on Yahoo chats. She had spent all her youth online with men, understanding them, knowing them. She would not go on cam though, she would tell each and every one. In fact, she even lied for years that she does not have one.
Despite of all her bad times online, she knew that was the safest place she had. In real life, men were not so nice she thought. Online, they said what they wanted from a distance and she could say the same. “Without any fear”, she would add when she would say that to her gay best friend. “Harry”, she would call him for short, “you know how it gets online don’t you… I mean, you even go online naked. Who cares for what the other guy thinks of you, when he is far, far away… and may never even meet you”. Harry would smile, in embarrassment, wondering why did he have to ever tell her he did that just that once in life for his boyfriend and reply, “Sa-weet heart! You gotta understand. Some of them end up meeting you. You don’t want to be a whore online.” And she would reply, “Whore? You think I am a whore? Online? I never shown anything under my neck… not even to men who commit to me online”
He would reply, ”No wonder, they don’t stick to you. They all walk away”. She knew Harry was right. They didn’t. If a woman didn’t show those two things the men didn’t have, she was no less boring. “All men ever want” Harry would say, “is sex”. “And yes, there are those who say they never would and that they are really nice… I tell them, let’s bring a hot girl in bed with you and let her sleep with you or another hot man may be, like me” and would wink… “And then let’s see what happens to their urges of being men. All of these guys I tell you, liars. Why can’t people just say what’s on their mind, instead of posing to be someone else? Men think we are dumb”.
“I would actually think of it as true. We are dumb” she used to tell him. “We think everything will lead to love. How stupid are we? Look at me. Men touched me all over when I was a kid and I thought, they were my pals and loved me. Didn’t have a mother to tell me how a girl should behave. And then, I knew what they were doing, when I already was their fool. Thank God they never met me alone else I would be a whore by now. And then, online it’s no different. Only, they see you from far. All they ask me is how much I love them… and when I answer that question with “A Lot” they would say… can I see what you are wearing? I mean, do I have stupid written on my face? And then they are gone. Some of them, especially those who live in the icy places, they are weird. They want to talk to you and say all the good things and tell you they want to visit as well. But then summer kicks in and you realize it was just a lie and they are getting real action now that it’s not so cold and they don’t need me. But all this takes time for us to understand. And by then, you have stupid written all over you.”
Harry would laugh at her like she really did have stupid written all over her. And then he would say, “But didn’t you enjoy it, all the attention and all the nice things they said” “But it was not real”, she would add. “Yet, didn’t you love how he said those things, that guy from Canada. What was his name? Nirav was it? I think you are my Radhe he would say… Come on… calling you, “Radhe”… only I know what a Radhe you are? And they both would laugh. Radhe, laughed at that instant and deleted Nirav and blocked him, thanks to Yahoo’s exceptional settings she so loved.
Radha had only one guy who chatted with her for years and told her things that no one said. He would promise to meet her like so many of them, every time they chatted. Mike had said he will visit India in another two years. They had talked and said, they would be friends and only friends because he won’t stay here and they didn’t want to have a long distance stupid affair. She had told Harry, “What is wrong with him, long distance after we get in a relationship… I am not getting any younger you know? And I have wants”. Harry had only looked from the corner of his eye and laughed at this virgin because he knew how crazy she was about love and not to forget, love-making. Stupid that she was, she would tell him how she kissed her arm to try to learn how to smooch and even told him how every panty made her feel weird. Harry loved all this talk. Made him want to explode… But he never said this to anyone. This is what it was. He was not a weird gay man she had met… He was really a nice guy. In fact, all his friends were nice. It’s all over rated that gay men are weird, she thought. I mean, if you end up knowing a person, they are all the same, human. And humans are weird, she wondered. She would tell him almost every time they met… “Why are you gay, Harry… why?” And he would say, “So you know how men can be? Different and yet men, and our job is to understand “you lot””, he would say… as if women were some myth.
Mike had kept his word. He had come to meet her. He had come and spent two days with her and in the end spent the night with her too. They slept in the same bed as they didn’t plan on actually extending their date as she had left her keys at home and her room-mate was working that night. It was not a date either she kept fighting in her mind. “Why would there be one, we are just friends, isn’t it?” She fought that thought in bed. If he only knew what she was feeling. She knew they were awake because he won’t stop moving every few minutes. And then, “Are you awake?” He had said when they both were facing each others in the dark. She had just replied “Yes” when he had reached for her lips and she had felt like she had just met the man of her dreams. When the rays of the sun hit her face and she woke up, she saw him awake, looking at her. She was so shy and so afraid that she would have bad breathe that she didn’t speak. They had got up and sat in bed and she was fine. She was yet a virgin “and that’s all that counts” she had said in her mind. But every time they kissed and touched all over their body that night, she wanted to explode… Like a vampire shot by a silver bullet. He had left that afternoon after lunch to go back to the USA. She now knew, Harry was right and that she was smart for not being stupid and showing herself on cam all these years. Love can happen she had thought. He had happened to her.
Five months later, she sat looking at the rain, missing him, knowing that it will never happen again. He had kept in touch… but she had a feeling that this could not go on like this. She would be twenty seven now… she could not wait for him to come for two more years. And then she said to herself. “I am smart. I know to draw my boundaries. He is a friend. He will remain that way. I am glad I do not pose on cam and I am glad we didn’t do it, she had said. “We are friends only”. She respected him more and more because he kept his word of being a friend. She fought in her mind sometimes, that he did cross the line… but then she thought what Harry had said. “Men cannot hold themselves back if they had a hot woman in bed”, he had said. And she looked side-ways in the mirror, like she was checking herself out… “This Radhe, is dam hot man” she said and winked at herself in the mirror!