Neeta stared out of the window of the coach, the mountain air cool against her warm face. As the wind fanned her face she felt all her troubles falling away far into the depths of the valley below. Looking towards the mountains, she fervently hoped that this holiday would revive her sagging spirits and confidence in herself.
Sighing contentedly she looked at her nineteen year old son, Nikhil, sitting next to her playing on his PSP. Her younger son was away at boarding school. This was a hard earned, eagerly awaited holiday, planned two months in advance with her brother, his wife Aditi and their eighteen year old son Karan.
She always enjoyed Aditi’s company. Aditi was a mature forty-one year old who was neither frivolous nor shallow and who rarely lost her composure. It was so easy to talk to her. She was a sympathetic listener. Understanding more than what you told her, never giving unsolicited advice and she was never judgmental. Neeta valued Aditi’s opinions and admired her confidence in the face of every obstacle that came in life. She could confide in her knowing her secrets were safe forever. A feeling of warmth enveloped her as she thought of Aditi. She always felt protected whenever they were together.
A frown contracted her smooth brow. Recently, however, she had undergone a subtle change of feelings for Aditi which she was unable to understand.
An hour and she would be at the coach drop point where her brother would come to pick them up in his car and take them to the hotel where they had already booked a double room for Neeta and Nikhil and a triple room for Aditya and his family in advance, for four days and three nights, with the option to extend one more day if the boys wanted to.
Her husband was away on a business trip, as usual. She was relieved that he could not come. She always had a feeling of oppressive bondage whenever he was around. Such instances, thankfully, were few. He spent twenty-five days a month out of town but the few days he did spend in town he made her life as miserable as he could. He could with a few harsh and cruel words successfully tear her confidence to shreds and she was left trembling in fear. The physical abuse and beatings always came later after a couple of drinks.
She had never confided in anyone except Aditi. In fact Aditi’s sharp and penetrative intelligence had easily seen through the deception years ago but she had refrained from saying anything to Neeta lest she feel belittled. But one day Aditi had found Neeta crying uncontrollably and since then Neeta had never been able to hide anything from her. That day the carefully built dam of pent up emotions had burst forth in the face of Aditi’s sensitive understanding. She understood Neeta better than her mother ever could.
She had many a time cried on her shoulder, sharing intimate details of her unsuccessful married life. Aditi had always dropped everything and come to her help whenever she had called. Over the years Aditi had been a pillar of strength because of which she had found the courage to stand up to the brute of a husband but had never thought of leaving him for the sake of her two boys. She jerked herself and refused to dwell upon that part of her life. This holiday was too precious to be lost in bitter reverie.
Before seething anger could raise its ugly head and consume every vestige of sanity, the bus came to a halt and she saw her brother waving at her while her tall nephew came bounding towards them.
Neeta looked around.
“Where is Aditi?” she asked, carefully getting down from the bus.
“At least greet those who are present,” Aditya said in mock affront.
After the preliminary greetings were over Aditya placed his sister’s suitcases in the boot of his car. Telling the excited boys to get in at the back, his sister sitting next to him, he answered, “She is at the hotel unpacking. By the time we reach she will have finished and can help you unpack.”
Neeta sat back contentedly in the seat and closed her eyes feeling happy and relaxed after a long time. She was glad that she had agreed to this holiday, as she had been able to get out of the daily grind at work.
In twenty minutes they reached the hotel parking lot. The boys were out of the car even before it came to a halt. Neeta slowly, languidly got out, savoring every moment not wanting to miss anything on this trip. Aditya locked the car and taking out her suitcases from the boot, motioned her to follow. She nodded and fell in step.
Neeta pulled in a deep breath, the fresh air expanding her lungs. Someone was waving from the far end of the compound. Neeta forgot to exhale as she recognized Aditi. Her breath caught in her throat. Was that Aditi? She looked closely at Aditi’s tall, lean figure moving gracefully towards her. Neeta could not stop staring. Her eyes widened in wonder and amazement. Where had Aditi been hiding that figure? It was impossible.
Aditi was wearing tight fitting black jeans and a red shirt tucked inside the waistband Ümraniye Escort with the two top buttons left open. Her thighs looking toned under the tight fit. Neeta had always seen Aditi in a conventional salwar kameez, not once in tight fitting jeans. She looked breath taking. Neeta failed to understand why Aditi hid that figure under the folds of the large salwar kameez she always wore? Aditi was looking downright seductive.
Seductive? Neeta shook her head in disbelief. What was she thinking? How could she be affected by her brother’s wife in such a manner? But wasn’t it this very feeling she had recently started having for Aditi?
She shook her head to silence the buzzing that had suddenly erupted in her ears. She could feel them burning.
Aditi snapped her fingers in front of Neeta’s face.
“Welcome dreamy,” she was saying, a soft smile hovering at the corners of her lips.
Neeta looked into the large black eyes and swayed.
“Hey, watch it.” Aditi’s hands shot out immediately to steady her.
Neeta exhaled slowly. Taking in a deep breath once again she avoided looking at her sister-in-law’s face, making an effort at composing herself.
“Tired?” Aditi asked in a concerned voice.
Neeta nodded, grateful at being given an excuse to hide her sudden emotions.
Entirely oblivious of the feelings that she had unintentionally aroused in Neeta, Aditi retained a concerned grip on Neeta’s elbow and guided her towards the entrance of the hotel lobby. Her husband, son and nephew were nowhere in sight. She led Neeta up the flight of stairs to the first floor to their rooms.
The doors to both rooms stood ajar and excited voices could be heard down the corridor. Aditi smiled to herself. She had already prepared herself for three days of play station gaming. Aditya enjoyed gaming as much as the boys. Aditi didn’t mind being on her own on holidays. Being a voracious reader she always enjoyed time without husband and son, the added advantage on a vacation being the lack of any work. She would immerse herself in a tome barely looking up, avoiding meals to keep reading without interruption and whenever she did close her book it was to take long solitary walks among the hills thoroughly enjoying by her self.
Aditi led Neeta to the unoccupied double room and closed the door. The walk to the room had given enough time to Neeta to compose herself. She felt better when Aditi let go of her elbow.
Pouring herself a glass of water from the jug kept on the corner table Neeta settled into the sofa. Reclining her head and resting it on the wall behind, she watched Aditi as she lifted the heavy suitcases with effortless ease and placed them on the rack. Neeta saw the strong muscles of Aditi’s shoulder and arm flex and tense with the weight. Regular exercise and weight training was the secret of Aditi’s strong physique. Neeta wondered why she hadn’t noticed it before.
Why was she acutely aware of Aditi today? Did it have anything to do with her last conversation with Tanisha, her childhood friend? Tanisha was bisexual and had, six months earlier, advised Neeta to experiment and had encouraged her to be a little reckless now that she was over forty. She could afford to, couldn’t she?
“Babe,” she had said, “You don’t know what arousal is until you have been with a woman. A man has very little patience. The foremost thought in his mind is the pleasure that he will derive not what he will give.”
Neeta had been very uncomfortable and embarrassed that day. She had never spoken about sex to anybody ever before. The subject had been taboo. But that afternoon Tanisha had been relentless.
“Shed your inhibitions Neeta and let go of your so called morality that prevents you from indulging your deepest desires and wildest fantasies. It is time you started living for yourself. You cannot keep your physical desires repressed forever.”
She had started in surprise at Tanisha’s words wondering how she had guessed about her non existent sex life.
Tanisha had laughed at her surprised look.
“It is written all over your face, darling. I know you since we were five. That husband of yours is an insecure psychotic, a thick headed moron, who doesn’t value what he’s got. Such beauty and wasted on someone like that cad. For all I know, despite being a mother of two you are still a virgin!”
Neeta had given an audible gasp as Tanisha had leaned forward, with a sensual glint in her eyes, had continued, “I would love to have you in my bed but I am not going to be unfaithful to my partner. However you desperately need to get laid, my love. Ask Aditi perhaps she can help. I know she is straight but she’ll know what to do. She’s far too well read not to know.”
At that Neeta had blushed scarlet, grabbed her purse and scampered out of the restaurant where they had met for a late lunch as Tanisha’s tinkling laughter had followed her retreating back. Ever since, she had been unable to look at Aditi in the same Ümraniye Escort Bayan way. However much she pushed that conversation out of her mind it kept coming back. Her emotions that had lain peacefully dormant these past years had been cruelly stirred by Tanisha’s words.
These six months she had already made two trips to her mother’s house and each time she embraced Aditi on meeting her she had difficulty in letting her go. The need to explore her sexuality had become a hunger within her.
Neeta breathed deeply a few times and got up to unpack her things. It was becoming unbearable and she could not keep quite any longer. She found Aditi irresistible and she had to let Aditi know how she felt. But how would Aditi respond? Suppose the bond they already shared snapped forever? How would the reserved and undemonstrative Aditi react if Neeta told her that she wanted to feel Aditi’s warm hands all over her body and she desperately desired to be kissed by those sensuous lips which were smiling affectionately at her right now?
She had never felt such passion for anyone ever before in her life, certainly not for her husband. The attentions he had bestowed on her had been more of a humiliating ordeal than a pleasure. She had suffered his crude advances night after endless night which had always left her frustrated and dissatisfied, till she had finally put an end to it seven years back.
After both suitcases had been emptied and the contents placed in the appropriate places Aditi told Neeta to rest for a while and moved towards the connecting door. Neeta could no longer resist, she had to be close to Aditi. She had to find out. This uncertainty was killing her.
“Aditi,” she called.
Aditi turned around as Neeta moved towards her. She put her arms around Aditi’s shoulders and waited with bated breath, praying that Aditi wouldn’t pull away.
Overcoming a fleeting hesitation Aditi put her arms around Neeta’s waist and felt Neeta’s tense body relaxing against her.
“Thank You,” Neeta whispered.
Mildly surprised Aditi asked, “For unpacking?”
“For everything you have ever done for me, for always being there for me whenever I needed you.” Neeta said quietly.
Aditi held Neeta close.
“Is something wrong, Neeta?” she asked gently.
Neeta tightened her arms around Aditi.
“There is so much I want to say to you, Aditi.”
“You know I’ll always listen,” Aditi replied tenderly. Warmth flooded over Neeta.
Before she could say anything further, Aditya called from the other room,
“Aditi where is the third joystick? I can’t find it. Please could you give it?”
“Aren’t you done unpacking yet?” he continued.
“Be a minute,” Aditi called back.
Pulling away from Neeta but still holding her, she said, “You rest for sometime now. We will talk later. There is plenty of time.”
Reluctantly Neeta released Aditi and let her go.
Handing over the third joystick and multi tap to Aditya, Aditi made herself a cup of hot coffee and stood in the balcony of her room. The men, once again too engrossed in their game, paid no attention to her. She preferred it that way on holidays. This moment particularly she wanted to be left alone.
Neeta’s strange behavior these past few times they had met had unsettled her. Initially Aditi had been unsure, careful not to jump to conclusions, but now she was certain. Neeta’s touch and embrace were unmistakably sexual. The way Neeta pressed the entire length of her body against Aditi was no longer a sisterly gesture. Aditi knew Neeta had lived in denial for far too long. It had been almost seven years since she had had any physical contact with her husband, Jayant. Her physical desires could not be subdued eternally.
She looked thoughtfully across the lush green mountains at the setting sun while sipping her coffee. Right now she was at a complete loss to know how to handle this new situation. Jayant, an indolent and deceitful man, had never given Neeta a day’s happiness. It had been a hard life and she had never been able to share her misery with anyone or ask for help until Aditi had found her crying.
Since then Aditi had always gone out of her way to assist Neeta in every manner possible. Now Neeta was inadvertently asking for something which Aditi was quite incapable of giving. Neeta knew that Aditi was straight, for that matter so was Neeta. But what had caused Neeta’s sudden change of orientation Aditi failed to fathom. Aditi was entirely inexperienced to help Neeta in this matter.
Or was she? Aditi paused in her thoughts. Her heart beat a little faster and her breathing quickened.
She had read extensively on almost every subject including lesbian sex. Experience did count but wasn’t it about how well you used your mouth, tongue and lips? And wasn’t patience one of the foremost merits of a good lover? Aditi was very patient and very good with her mouth and fingers. She knew this was what Neeta was asking Escort Ümraniye her to do. But she had to wait for Neeta to be more explicit.
Making up her mind Aditi finished her coffee and came into the room, settling into the sofa with her book.
A few minutes later Neeta entered from the adjoining room looking gorgeous in an ethnic salwar kameez. She sat in the sofa opposite the bed. Aditi was relieved to see her joking and chatting easily with Aditya and the kids. Soon it was dinnertime.
Aditya looked at his watch.
“Come on boys, put the game away.”
Both boys groaned audibly but their protests went unheard as Aditya was firm and refused to give in.
“You have three more days to play. Come on now it’s time for dinner. I’m sure everyone is hungry.”
Resentfully they packed up giving Aditya some very dirty looks.
“You boys get going. Go to the restaurant downstairs and catch a table for five. We’ll join you in five minutes. Meanwhile, order the drinks and soup,” he said, as he carted the boys out of the room.
The three of them followed after putting the scattered things in place.
The restaurant was partially full. They saw the boys sitting at the far end. Aditi and Neeta sat side by side on the chairs opposite Karan and Nikhil while Aditya sat at the head of the table.
The two boys were fidgety with subdued excitement which the elders could not understand. A lot of whispering and glancing at each other was in progress. Then Karan whispered something in Aditya’s ear that brought a mischievous twinkle to his eyes and he looked at Aditi.
“What is it?” Aditi said, with raised eyebrows.
Aditya shrugged as Nikhil and Karan looked beseechingly at her.
“Well, the boys want you and Neeta to sleep in the double room and us three in the triple so that we can play as long as we like without disturbing you. That is of course only if you both agree.” He added quickly as he saw the look on their faces.
A tingling of excited desire had coursed through Neeta’s body at Aditya’s words which he had misinterpreted as objection to the proposed plan.
She hastily removed his doubt. Aditi also agreed, albeit a little slowly. The boys beamed at their mothers. She avoided looking at Neeta as they ate.
Soon dinner was over and the boys rose to go to their room rejecting Aditya’s suggestion of an after dinner stroll. Aditi who thrived on walking immediately agreed. Neeta too excused herself preferring a hot bubble bath instead.
As Aditya led Aditi away, he put his arm around her shoulders which sent a pang of jealousy through Neeta as she looked at them walking away together, blissfully happy and content.
Aditi stood uncertainly near the connecting door letting her eyes adjust to the semi dark room. Locking the door she looked around. Only the night lamp was on, spreading a faint glow all around. Neeta was partially lying reclining on two pillows on one side of the double bed, her eyes shut and tears pouring down her cheeks. Her cell phone lay near her on the bed.
Aditi sighed to herself and carefully making her way to the bathroom she brought the box of tissues. Filling a glass with water she sat next to Neeta on the bed facing her. Stretching across Neeta she placed the glass and tissue box on the night stand. Taking the cell phone she saw the caller list. The last call was Jayant’s. Aditi’s face hardened, an angry glint coming in her eyes. She switched it off and kept it on the nightstand.
Gently Aditi pulled Neeta’s unresisting form into her arms. Neeta rested her head on Aditi’s shoulder and put her arms around her neck pulling Aditi close.
“Would you like to share it with me?”
The loving tenderness in Aditi’s voice was enough for Neeta to breakdown completely.
“He’s hurt you enough Neeta. Don’t let him do this to you over and over again,” Aditi said softly, stroking Neeta’s back trying to comfort her.
“He is a lying, cheating, scheming, two-timing bastard,” she said brokenly.
“What has he done now?” Aditi asked even more softly.
“He says that I am here with a lover, having an illicit affair and is threatening to post visually modified nude pictures of me on the net. Can you believe the kind of scum I am living with?” Neeta said her voice and body trembling with mingled anger, fear, grief and humiliation.
Aditi held Neeta comforting her, running her hands over Neeta’s back. After a while Neeta began to calm down. Aditi tried pulling away but Neeta tightened her hold. Gripping her by the shoulders, Aditi gently pushed Neeta away. Taking a couple of tissues she wiped Neeta’s tear streaked face, then handed her the glass of water.
“Drink,” she commanded.
“All of us know his insecurity has reached levels of paranoia. He is too much of a coward to act upon his threat, you know that,” she reasoned gently.
Neeta wiped her nose with the tissues and nodded. She drank the water and placed the glass back.
As she looked at Aditi her breath caught in her throat. Aditi was wearing Nike gym shorts and a tee shirt which although loose emphasized her taut figure. Her thick, short hair was still damp from a recent bath and a dark lock fell tantalizingly over her forehead. Instinctively Neeta reached out a hand and touched the curly lock.