We have read a lot of love stories. I wanted this story to be a little different. I thought lets make a trip to India. We will get to read about the culture, people, cuisines, dressing styles, the history and the daily life of the people there. This is still a love story. Not world history and the romance will not be overshadowed. I could possibly take inputs from you guys and gals to see how much is tolerable :) Seriously I thought it would be a good idea. What do you guys think?
If I may suggest: Increase the font size before reading. It is easier on the eyes.
This is a fictional story with fictional characters. Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely a coincidence.
This story involves love and physical intimacy between two consenting adult men. If you do not want to read this or are prohibited by law, house rules etc, please leave.
The is a story about relations and not about sex. So there will be very limited sexual acts and even when it occurs, there will be no graphic details.
The story does not intend to preach any religion or culture. It is only an effort to take the readers on a vacation without the hassle of passports, visas, flights, lost baggages etc =)
The reader is at the liberty to stop reading if he or she does not wishe to continue.
My Blonde Brad - Chapter 04
Lei and Jason listened with rapt attention as I narrated to them what had happened.
"He kissed you?" Lei's eyes could have easily popped out.
"So what, he is your boyfriend now?" Jason inquired.
I had to laugh. This was just too hilarious. Jason can be so naive sometimes.
"No silly. You kiss a lot of girls. Are they all your girl friends?" I never could pass a chance to tease Jason. He pursed his lips as he always did when he was cornered in a verbal argument.
"Best fuck of their lives eh? If he is gay, you get him and if he is straight, I get him. Deal?" Lei came up with one more joke.
"Enough now. I am hungry. Let's eat. Sorry I kept you guys waiting." I almost blushed at the prospect of having Brad for a boyfriend.
"But what does all this mean though?" Lei asked
"I don't know. Why break our heads now. We'll wait and watch." I behaved like the adult I was. Hey! I am 21 now. I am mature.
"What about John?" Jason asked.
"I'll talk to him tomorrow." He is a good guy and also I hated to make one more enemy.
Tuesday afternoon after the class, I met John and apologized for what had happened the day before. He had calmed down but was not ready to mend things. I tried convincing him, but he walked away. I sighed disappointedly and walked to the cafeteria where Lei and Jason were waiting for me. They figured when they saw me walk in alone.
I took my chair. We had assigned names to each of the four chairs at the table. Each one sat in their own chair, no matter which table. It was some silly tradition of ours. The one to my right was Ed's and then had been taken over by John. It was empty now.
"May I join you guys for lunch?" A tall handsome guy who we know by the name Brad approached our table and requested Lei.
Lei looked at me and Brad followed. The permission had to come from me.
"Please." He smiled showing off his pearly teeth.
This was the first time I have seen him smile. He looks so handsome. He should do that more often. I realized they were all still waiting for me to say something.
"Sure." I said, not knowing what else to say.
He placed his tray on the table and settled next to me.
"Brad Taylor" he introduced himself to Jason.
"Jason Miller. What's up?" Jason shook hands and looked at me.
"Hey Lei. You look pretty today."
"Thanks." She blushed.
"You too Andy." he turned towards me and smiled.
I grit my teeth. "Brad. We don't want any trouble. I think you should leave." I talked to my tray.
"I am not here to create trouble. I promise. I just wanted to have lunch with you guys." He sounded sincere.
"I don't think you want to be called a hag. Or worse your friends might think you are gay." I wanted make sure he knew what the consequences might be.
"Fuck such friends."
He got startled looks from all of us.
"Oops. Sorry. I mean, I don't care what they think of me. They need me in the team more than I need them. I am gonna do what I want to do from now on." He seemed very confident and sure of what he was saying compared to last night.
So we ate together. I kept mostly quiet. Jason answered a few questions but Lei and he were chatting away like old friends. He had a natural charm and girls fell for it more easily than guys.
"Would you like to do your project with me? If you don't have a partner already, that is." He asked Lei.
"I am teaming with Jason." Lei said apologetically. "You can do it with Andy."
I squirmed in my seat trying to find a suitable escape. Nothing came to mind.
"I am with John. I am sorry." I really did not have a partner. I was counting on John, but there was no hope for it now.
"Oh OK. I understand." He said disappointedly. "You know, I was just asking 'cos I don't have any one. I am alone." He played his cards.
"Oh c'mon he is almost begging you. Say 'Yes'", Lei cajoled me.
I gave her a dirty look. "I will have to ask John." I had to cover my first lie. I must admit, even though the thought of spending time with Brad was exciting, I was scared. Scared something might happen. I might start liking him. I might start having feelings for him. And he is not even sure if he is straight, bi or gay. I was not ready to set myself up for any drama. There was already enough going on.
"No pressure. I can find someone else. But if are not with John anymore, then I would love to take his position."
I wondered if he was still talking about the class project. The guy was not just a jock, but a jock with a brain. Rare breed eh? No wonder he is taking all courses to prepare him for medical school. Now don't ask me how I know that. I just happen to know. Quit badgering me.
Three days had passed and since Brad started joining us at lunch. One afternoon we were at the cafeteria and Brad joined us as usual.
"Hey guys." He put his tray next to me and sat down. He always made sure his elbow bumped against me when he sat down, or at least I thought so.
"Hey Andy." He smiled at me.
"Hi." I looked down at my tray. Ms. Chang always found my strained conversations with Brad very amusing.
"It's almost a week and you still don't talk to me. Do you hate me that much?" he made a sad face.
"I don't hate you."
"Then why won't you talk to me?"
"I am talking with you." I was being smart.
"You know what I mean. If you don't really want me, I can leave." He almost picked up his tray.
"You don't have to leave." I was being polite.
"Then what's your fucking problem." He yelled standing up.
I was surprised. Lei's jaw dropped and Jason was stunned too. No one was expecting an outbreak from him. I turned around to see almost all the eyes in cafeteria staring at us.
"You hate me, you harass me all the time, you beat up my friend and one fine day you turn around and want to be a friend. I don't understand." I shot back at him.
He sat down and tried to put his arm around me. I pushed his hand away violently.
"I am sorry. OK? I didn't know what I was doing. I was stupid. I am changed now. Are you going to punish me our whole lives for my silly pranks." He was serious and apologetic.
I was trying hard not to get emotional in front of the entire school. I kept quiet.
"Won't you forgive me?"
I got up and waited for him to move, so that I could leave. He did not move.
"Brad please." I was getting impatient and fighting tears now. He finally moved and I stormed out of the cafe.
Brad followed me home.
"Andy, please...Won't you forgive me?" he continued from where we left off.
"I am not very sure, Brad. You've hurt me too much." I broke down.
"I am sorry. I was an ass. I told you I did those things just to fit in with my buddies. I realize I was wrong. I don't really hate you. I join you guys for lunch to meet you. Won't you forgive me? I don't know how to explain." He sounded sincere. "I will apologize to John, if you want." He added.
"Friends?" he extended his hands and waited for me.
I finally gave in and extended my hand.
"If I were you, I would apologize to John. He did not do anything wrong." I added.
"You guys should hug and make up." Lei and Jason, who had followed Brad and me, had finally caught up with us.
Brad did not even wait for Lei to finish her sentence. He pulled me into his arms.
He still hung out with his friends and joined us during lunch. There was no hope of John becoming friends again so I agreed to do the class project with Brad. We met twice a week before the class in the cafeteria to discuss status, what to work on and how to proceed. We did all our research separately. I took all measures to keep our meetings as impersonal as possible.
"I ran into John yesterday and I apologized to him." He said two days later when we were in the middle of our first project meetings.
I looked up from my books at him. He immediately looked down at his books.
"Well you asked me to." he was embarrassed about having to apologize to someone. It didn't matter to him that it was his fault.
"You don't have to do anything just because I asked you to."
"I'll do anything you ask me to." He said. "Except leave you." he added a disclaimer.
He knew how to charm people. May be a trait he developed as a child to be accepted and liked. It worked and I smiled.
So that's how it all started. He had turned from pig to Pygmalion in a day. He acted like we'd been friends for ever and as if nothing bitter had ever happened between us. I could never gather enough courage to ask him why he had kissed me the other night. I requested Lei to find it out for me. She was not going to let me have it easy. She declined to help. I still felt he had a lot of things to say about himself but was not ready yet. I thought he was not sure about his sexuality or was still in denial. After all he is only 21. He had to figure it out for himself. I decided that it was none of my business and never asked any personal questions.
Before we realized it, it was November already. Thanksgiving was fast approaching. Lei and Jason went home only during Christmas. It was just too short a break for them to make the long trip home. I had just visited home last Christmas and it is just too expensive for a student to fly every year. So going home this year was out of the question. I was going to be stuck here.
I called my brother on a weekend and we planned his trip. It was decided that he would arrive Thursday afternoon and leave on Sunday morning. Kevin agreed to provide the cab services. Everything was finalized.
I had two whole weeks to plan and figure out how I was going to come out to my brother. I talked to some of my gay friends who had come to their families. I read books to get some ideas. I found out that there is no easy formula out there. Every family is different. Every person in the family is different. It sounded like coming out to a sibling was the best way to start. Luckily, for me, I had a pretty good relationship with my brother. I put myself in his shoes to find out what questions he might have and came up with answers best to my knowledge. I was mentally preparing and rehearsing the dialogue I would have with him almost all my waking hours.
The last weekend before Thanksgiving, my roomies and I sat down to finalize the guest list and the menu. It was always the same. I mean, how different can the menu be each year. But we would take every excuse possible to chat, gossip, plan and fight. Lei was appointed to records minutes of the meeting.
"So, let's first talk about the guests."
"The three of us of course"
"My brother will arrive in the afternoon, so he should join us for dinner."
"Jamie said she would like to join us." Jason said shyly. They have been going out for about three months now.
"Of course Mrs. Miller" Lei wrote it down.
"And what about the guy you think is real cute?" Jason prodded Lei.
"Who? Ben? No way. He is cute alright but the guy has no brain." Lei sighed.
"I can pair up with your brother." She said looking at me.
Now we have another little tradition of ours. We go bowling or to a movie after the heavy dinner. If nothing we just switch off all lights and slow dance in candle light. Kind of like a little treat for working so hard the entire year.
"Definitely. I am sure he'd have no problems. He is going to like you a lot. More when he finds out that you are from San Francisco."
My brother goes to Berkeley and thinks it's the best university in the world and San Francisco is the best city in the world. I never argue.
"Great. Do you want to call John?" she asked.
"Well, you can try."
"I guess. But he doesn't even wanna talk to us anymore. So what makes you think he would come for dinner?"
"How many do we have so far?" Jason asked as if he was finding it difficult to keep track of the three hundred odd guests we had planned to invite.
"Oh, that means Andy doesn't have a date."
"We can invite Kevin." Lei suggested.
"His parents live here. He is going to be with his family." Jason dismissed her idea.
"Aren't you going to invite any of your friends?" I asked Lei.
"I don't have any close friends, other than you two...oh wait a minute. Are you talking about Brad?" she asked grabbing my hand.
"No. I was talking about Sue. You two are pretty close, aren't you?" I said trying to cover up what I really meant.
"We must invite Brad. He is a friend now." Jason suggested.
"Yea, we definitely must." Lei had a wicked smile on her face.
"So that covers Andy's date." Jason declared.
"No. He can't be my date."
"Why not? He adores you. He'll be more than happy to be your date." Lei said.
"My brother will be here. Remember?"
"Oh" realization dawned on both of them.
"Then come out to him before the dinner and you will be able to dance with Brad." Jason suggested.
"Yea right. Dance with Brad."
"No seriously. Why don't you talk to your brother before the dinner?" Jason asked again.
"I don't want to take a chance. If it does not go well, then it will be horrible 4 days. I think it is best to tell him like on Saturday night." I reasoned.
"How do you think he will take it?" Lei questioned.
"I donno. You know, this is not the same thing as telling him I like dogs more than cats. I really don't have an idea of how he is gonna react." I hung my lead low.
"I am sure he is going to understand." Jason moved closer and put his arm around me.
"He loves you. He knows you as a person. I am pretty sure this one thing is not going to erase everything else that you are to him." Lei gave more reasons.
"I hope he understands." I really wanted this to go well, so that I will someone on my side when I come out to my parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles and cousins.
We all went silent.
"Ok. Let's finish our planning." I cheered realizing that I was bringing down everyone.
"So is the guest list finalized?" Lei asked to confirm.
"Yes, 6 of us. 1 vegetarian." I enunciated.
"Your brother eats meat?" Jason was surprised.
"Yea." I was surprised that he was surprised.
"I didn't know Hindus ate meat? Isn't that like against your religion?"
"No. Ayurveda classifies food into three categories and gives the qualities of each group. We are at liberty to choose what we want to eat." I clarified. "And I tell you, my brother is very fond of meat."
"Just like you are fond of rice. Man, you eat more rice in one week than I do in an entire year." Jason commented.
I launched a paper ball missile at him.
"Peace boys. So we might want to buy a bigger turkey this time." Lei, as head of planning committee, tried to get us back on track.
"No. I think what we had last time should still be fine."
So we went on and one for another hour working on the finer details of the dinner. When we were done, we had agreed upon the 6 guests and on turkey, gravy, dressings, green beans, sweet potatoes, vegetable casseroles and salads. I can guarantee that this was nothing too different from last year or the year before.
"So you wanna invite Brad. You are gonna meet him at the cafe for your project anyway." Lei asked me.
"No. You invite him. I can't"
"Shy?" Jason is innocent and sweet but sometimes he can be evil, as he was being now.
"I am NOT shy. You guys want him here, so you should invite him."
"Yea right, as if you don't want him to be here. You are inviting him and that's my order." Lei pounded her fist on the book she was using to take notes and stood up. The conversation was over. The dictator had won again.
"OK. I'll ask him." I agreed with fake resistance.
I couldn't wait for my meeting with Brad the next day. This is paradoxical. I didn't want myself falling in love with a supposedly straight guy who kisses boys in his dorm room. At the same time I looked forward to my meetings with Brad. It was stressful for me to keep our dialogues impersonal. He was friendly and natural and just himself when I had to create this facade to hide whatever I was trying to hide from him.
The next day I was waiting at the cafeteria for Brad.
"Hi" he was fashionably late.
I looked at my watch.
"Sorry, I am late. Ran into a friend on the way." He always had a reason.
I just kept quiet.
"Very beautiful. Tall, black hair, nice ass..."
"Why don't we get started?" I interrupted unable to bear him continue praising some bitch. Oops.
"I was just kidding. I was talking about you silly." he laughed.
I turned beet red. It was getting harder and harder to remain aloof.
"I think I see a smile. Yes, I think it is. There you go. It is coming. Slowly but surely."
"Brad. I don't have the time for this. Why don't we get started?" I had to force myself to maintain a distance and not be carried away.
"OK. Sorry." He was visibly disappointed.
"That's alright. And by the way Lei wants to invite you to the Thanksgiving dinner. Can you come?"
He started at me for a few seconds. I gave him an expressionless face.
"Great. Sure. I would love to join you...her...you guys."
"I'll pass on the message to her." I said plainly.
What amazed me was that I never reciprocated his friendliness. I was even rude sometimes. He still continued to be the same way. He never quit trying. He was like a totally different person with no resemblance to the "Big Brad" I knew a month ago.
Thursday afternoon I accompanied Kevin to go pick up my brother from the airport. It had been more than a year since I met my brother.
"Hey Anand" He saw me before I did.
"Hey..." I ran to him. We hugged and I carried one of his bags and took him to where Kevin was standing. I introduced them and they shook hands. My brother and I sat in the back seat and chatted away in Hindi and English. We tried to include Kevin in the conversation but failed every time. He took pity on us and turned the radio on.
We reached home a little after noon. After the customary introductions and hugs and kisses we sat down to chat and drink coffee. Jason had offered to move to Lei's room so that Vijay could stay in my room. My brother said he was tired and wanted to take a nap. I helped him put away his luggage and he quickly fell asleep.
Lei had cooked most of the food. Jason was in charge of setting up the table. I was free as I had spent all of yesterday evening cleaning the place spic and span, mostly because I wanted to be free when my brother was here. Everything was ready. I woke my brother up at 3.30 as we had planned to start dinner around 4.30.
Jamie was the first to arrive. She is a real pretty girl with gentle manners, much like Jason. We all shook hands and she settled down on the couch.
"Is there anything I can help with?" she asked politely.
"Umm. We need someone to flirt with Jason. You can do that if you wanna" Lei teased.
"We've got it all covered. Thanks for asking. Ignore Lei." I interjected.
My brother joined us after a shower. We all sat there sipping wine or beer or nothing, chatting and waiting for Brad. Mr. Taylor was late as usual. He arrived after 5.
"Sorry, got tied up watching the game with the boys."
I rose and walked into the kitchen. Jason introduced Brad to Jamie and my brother. They all moved to the dinner table. I waited a couple of minutes in the kitchen before I reappeared. Lei brought the turkey and set it in the middle of the table. We all sat down. Jason said grace. We all thanked mostly for friends and family and Mother Nature's bounty and started dinner.
The dinner went pleasantly. Brad had charmed Jamie and my brother. All were laughing and giggling at his jokes and were having a lot of fun. Two hours had passed and we had by now moved to the living room.
"Monopoly?" Lei asked looking at everyone. We nodded and sat down around the tea table. We played for about an hour before we all got bored with it. It was dancing time. We switched off all the lights and lit a bunch of candles. Jason who had the biggest music collection among us and the only one with western music put on "Love me the way I love you" by Jerry Vale.
Jason partnered Jamie and Lei quickly partnered Vijay. I sat down on the couch leaving Brad on the dance floor.
"I wanna dance." Brad whined.
I pretended not to hear. He came up to me.
"No way." I said folding my arms against my chest, even before he asked.
"Are you working me Roman? C'mon. Don't be a spoil sport. I love to dance." He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me up on my feet.
So we danced for a few minutes. He held me close. I was scared what my brother would think. My heart was racing both with fear and the excitement of being so close to Brad. He seemed so relaxed and under control. He had his arms around my waist and I think I had my arms rested on his waist too. He looked into my eyes and sang "Love me the way I love you" along with the CD. After what seemed like eternity it was time to switch partners and I retired. So did my bother. Brad and Lei danced for a while. It is crazy, but we do it for the heck of it. Last year was so romantic, with Ed. I digress.
Finally the CD ended and all of then got back to the couch.
"That was cool. So romantic. You dance so well Roman." Brad said looking at me.
"Thanks" I smiled nervously hoping he would stop and wondering what my brother was going to think of all this.
"I have to get going." Jamie started.
"I think I will push off too. May be I can drive you home. Where do you live?" Brad asked looking at Jamie.
She told him where she lived and they both said good-byes and left. We were all tired. So we decided to go to bed. Thanksgiving was over. We planned for weeks and it was over. I didn't know why I was putting myself through all this. I never felt comfortable around Brad, but still, for some strange reason wanted to be around him. There were more important things to worry about right now, so I postponed the analysis of my relationship with Brad for later.
We woke up pretty late, had long showers and a lazy breakfast. Jason and Lei left for the "Day after Thanksgiving" sale. My brother and I decided to stay back home. So I was cleaning and talking to my brother about nothing in particular.
"Do you know what gay means?" I don't know where that came from. I was saving this discussion for Saturday night. I said it before I realized it.
"Gay? Why do you ask?" his voice suddenly was almost a whisper.
"Just asking." I decided to continue. Now is as good a time as ever.
"Yea, two guys sleeping together and stuff like that. Right?"
"No. Two guys or girls wanting to be partners for life." I clarified.
"Why are we talking about this now?" he was really confused.
"You live in San Francisco...so was wondering if you had met any. Don't you have gay friends?" I asked trying to be casual.
"No. Do you?"
"Yea, a few"
"Really? Do they behave weird around you?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, do they touch you, fondle you, try to kiss you. You know..."
I chuckled at his naivety "No they don't"
"Are they different? I mean, from us."
"Vijay they are as much human beings as you are."
"I know that. I mean do they behave like girls or wear women's dress and stuff."
"No, they don't. They are just like all other people except they like people of the same sex."
"I find that weird."
"I guess it is because you don't know anyone in person."
"Do you think gay people should be able to marry?"
"I don't think so."
"Umm...let's say 2 lesbians adopt a female baby and raise it. Won't they have feelings for it when she grows up to be a girl?"
"Eww... Do fathers have feelings for their daughters or mothers for their handsome sons."
"I am sorry. I just don't know about these things." He realized that I took offense and may be assumed it was for my gay friends.
"Yea. Lots of people are ignorant. They go with the image that the media creates."
"So why didn't your girl friend join you yesterday?" he changed the topic.
"I don't have a girl friend."
"Oh. Do you want a girl friend?"
"Do you have a boy friend?" he was starting to smell something. After all he goes to Berkeley. He is smart.
"Do you want a boy friend?" he was narrowing it down.
I stopped what I was doing and looked at him.
He did not speak for sometime.
"Are you telling me...?" he didn't want to complete the sentence.
"Yes." Tears welled in my eyes.
He did not know what to say.
"But you are so normal. Are you sure?"
"Yes." I didn't look at him. I couldn't.
"Does anyone else know?"
"My roommates know."
"How long have YOU known?"
"Since I was thirteen."
"Thirteen? And you never told me?"
I looked up at him. He looked more disappointed that I had kept this secret from him than shocked that I am gay.
I couldn't look at him anymore. I broke down. I cried. I fell on my knees, covered my face and cried. Vijay quickly came and wrapped his arms around me. I was exhausted and had run out of tears by the time I was done. Vijay stayed by my side all through it.
"Thanks Vijay." I said after I had gathered enough energy to speak.
"Hey...that's what brothers are for." He dismissed as if it was nothing.
So is Brad your boy friend?"
"No." It hurt a little.
Jason and Lei came back from their shopping spree and immediately realized what had happened. Lei hugged me and Jason patted my brother. We were one happy family. I never expected this to go this easy. I wished it would go as easy as this with my parents.
The next two days passed like a breeze. I took him to whatever attractions there were in the little University town and at times we played board games with Lei and Jason. But most of the time was spent talking. We talked about how mum and dad would take it, about Ed, about myself, a little bit about what was going on with him. With the weight lifted off my chest, I was able to enjoy my time with my brother more freely than ever. I realized how much he loved me. I now knew I could count on him to help me through coming out to the rest of my family.
It was Sunday already. Time for him to leave. Kevin took us to the airport. Jason and Lei squeezed into the small car to bid farewell to their new best friend. I hugged him and I don't know how many "Thank you's" I muttered into his ears. He left.
We returned home. I was happy for no reason and was laughing silly. I had crossed only half the well and I was already more happy than I had ever been. I had one of the most peaceful sleeps in a long time.
Thank you for all your emails. It feels great when you guys and girls write and let me know what you feel about the story. I have been so carried away sometimes that I am spending more time writing than doing my homework. Hehe. So I hope to bring some balance there. That's my problem. Don't you worry. Happy Valentines Day to everyone.
Please send comments, suggestions, questions to gay_love_fiction (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please mention the name of the story on the subject line.