Tony felt happier than he had ever been. The song of the birds was sweeter. The touch of the wind made his senses come alive. The grass was greener. Even the girls were prettier, though seeing them only made him want Manjula more.
They say that oral sex is not sex, but it is. Bill Clinton had been wrong. Tony did not feel a virgin anymore, and he could not think of Manjula as one either. She had been right. They had crossed a line, a line that Tony felt himself well rid of.
He still wanted to have full-fledged intercourse with her, of course, but he knew how much just this oral sex would have cost her. Let it wait. It was hard to see how he could be any happier than he already was.
He could not stop thinking about the incredible experience, to the point where he spaced out in class, or dropped sentences with his classmates in the middle of study sessions.
He even ran into Tiffany at lunch again one day. She stared at him for a moment before recognition dawned. “Say, aren’t you the guy who—”
“Thank you so much for introducing me to Manjula!” he boomed, warmly shaking her hand, then boldly kissing it. He could not resist bragging a bit. “She knows everything now! Everything!” he crowed as he walked off, leaving Tiffany flabbergasted.
He found Manjula on a couch in the lounge area. She smiled, that sweet gentle smile he loved so much. He snuggled up beside her.
“Somebody looks very happy today,” she said, with a tone of unmistakable smugness.
“It was paradise. Pure paradise. The only thing was—”
“Please do not say I did something wrong.”
“Nothing. But I didn’t do anything right, or anything at all, really. I didn’t give you anything.”
“I think I got the better side of that equation. How do you boys survive with only one orgasm a day? I had three.”
“I didn’t even notice—”
She laughed. “I do not think you were in any shape to notice. But it is okay. I know now what the other girls meant, why they take it in the mouth. You men have a baser, more raw sexuality than we women. Being close to it like that is like being close to the earth itself, rich and fertile and full of life. Never be ashamed of your carnal desires. They make you the man you are. And watching you react that way — so strong and powerful and yet at the same time so open, so exposed and vulnerable — made me feel like a goddess, like Lady Rati herself. It did not feel quite as good as your fingering me, but it was very close. In a moment like that, I only need one hand.”
“I still want to keep fingering you—”
“You will, believe me, you will.”
“But tell me one thing, I have to know…”
Tony’s face was red, he could barely meet Manjula’s eyes.
“Did it stink?”
Manjula snorted with laughter, so loudly that it drew stares across the room. “Of course it did not, foolish boy! I am a cleaner of dirt, not an eater of dirt!” She kept laughing until she saw just how relieved Tony looked.
“Actually,” she went on, “your kundi tastes better than some other parts of your body. Would you believe it is a little sweet?”
“I’m not sure I do believe that. I wonder if… next time… I could do the same for you—”
“Next time?” Her eyebrows shot up.
“I mean, if… I just thought…”
“I was only joking. Of course you can,” she said. “I am looking forward to it.”
Tony’s cock pulsed a little, and his eyes burned with a hot light.
“I wish we could do it more often,” he said. “Having to work around roommates really sucks. I wonder if we could go away for the weekend sometime.”
“I do not think either of us has time for that,” she said regretfully. “But there are always the holidays. We can learn how to ski together.”
Tony looked at her, thinking about how much there was he wanted to show her, share with her, explore with her.
“You know what would be great?” he asked. “If you go back to Sri Lanka over the summer or anything, I could go with you.”
“It would be awesome! I’ve wanted to go there for years, but my parents weren’t interested, and they always said I shouldn’t go alone.”
“I am sure you could manage. You are a grown man, and plenty of foreign tourists come to Sri Lanka.”
“But I want to go with you,” said Tony.
“There would be far too much gossip in my village. Even your staying in a hotel nearby would lead to rumours spreading.”
“But there’s the whole rest of the country! I have relatives in Colombo, Batticaloa, and Jaffna—”
“Who will also spread rumours, and probably will not even let me in their homes,” Manjula reminded him.
“Well, screw them then. I’ve read the tourist books. I can’t believe there’s so much to see in one small island.” Excitedly, he went on about the beaches, among the best in the world, the historical sites in Anuradhapura, whale watching in Mirissa, the elephant sanctuary in Pinnawala, mountain climbing at Adam’s Peak, wildlife in Yala National Park, festivals in Kataragama…
“You know more about travelling in Sri Lanka than I do. I have never been to any of those places. I have seldom gone far from my village, except to visit relatives in Colombo.”
“We cannot afford to stay in a hotel. If we do not have relatives to stay with, we do not go. And even bus fare to Colombo can cost as much as five hundred rupees.”
That was less than four Canadian dollars. To go a distance of more than three hundred kilometres.
“Foreign tourists usually take trains or tourist buses, which are air-conditioned and much more expensive,” she added. “But they go only to the big tourist sites you were talking about. Those are mostly in the Sinhalese parts of the country.”
“What I want to see most of all is Jaffna. Both my parents were born there. I feel I could understand everything so much better if I could see it, just once.”
“Why is that?”
“It’s where my ancestors come from. In that sense, it’s home.”
Home. Manjula’s eyes filled with tears.
It was not the beaches, or the mountains, or the scenery, or the sights that Manjula thought of when she thought of Sri Lanka. It was her aunt and uncle, who had worked so hard to give her the chances to grow and succeed in life. It was her three little cousins who looked up to her, who all called her simply akka, “big sister”.
It was also the way the birds warbled, early in the morning, the way the sunlight streamed into the hut. It was the soothing tropical heat, the lush palm trees, the cool evening breezes. It was sipping on falooda on a hot afternoon, tricking monkeys to throw down coconuts, swimming in little streams, sneaking a hot toddy when no one was looking. It was sitting on the ground, eating with your fingers off a banana leaf, the way the gods intended.
Tony could sense her distress. “Home… you’re really homesick, aren’t you?”
“I like it here too. And you have made life here very special for me. But there is no place like home,” she said, a woebegone expression on her face.
She lay her head on his chest and he stroked her hair for a while, wondering what he could say to comfort her. Then an answer came to him.
“In that same sense,” he pointed out, “Canada isn’t really anyone’s home, except for aboriginal people.”
“What do you mean?”
He told her the story of Canada, the real story. Not the dates and acts of dead white men, but the story of migration and upheaval. It was a tale that ran from orphan French girls desperate for a husband in the seventeenth century to Scots fleeing massacres in the eighteenth; from Irish dying of famine to Italians fleeing overpopulation to Sri Lankans running away from war and poverty.
For centuries, the long line of defeated peoples had trekked across the oceans to find a new place for themselves in this cold land of the north. All struggled with feeling homesick and lonely and foreign. All battled hostility and suspicion from predecessors who had forgotten their own origins. All learned to thrive, mixing the old traditions and the new, synthesizing a way of life that worked for them.
Finally, perhaps, as usual, a song captured his feelings better than anything he could have said.
U2’s Walk On was a song that talked not of a place in the globe but a place in the heart, of a longing to belong, to heal the wounds of separation and distance.
Tony halted abruptly, realizing the song’s ending was probably not appropriate to the situation. He just sat there for a while, cuddling her against him, listening to her breathing.
It did not occur to him that she could always google the entire song later.
Manjula came late to math class that afternoon. A little breathless, but he could not see any sign of pain on her face.
“Are you okay?” he whispered to her. “I had an appointment,” she replied, without further explanation. They resumed taking notes. Afterwards she excused herself again, saying she had to meet a group working on a project for economics class.
Tony thought this a bit odd, since she wasn’t heading in the direction of the library, or even the business faculty.
Later, they made plans for their next “painting” session, although, as Manjula winsomely pointed out, they were well past the painting stage.
“But before you come over, I want you to do something. Some Tamil homework.”
Tony was game for this; working on Tamil meant, as it always had, more time with Manjula.
“I want you to translate this Tamil song,” she said, handing him a printout. Tony thought he recognized it, from a popular mythological film from a few years ago.
“But no cheating by looking it up online,” she admonished. “I can google any translation that is out there. You must do this yourself.”
Tony could live with that. There were dictionaries on hand in the library.
He didn’t finish until just before Manjula’s deadline.
He stared at his translation. It was very hard not to conclude that she was sending him an unsubtle message. Orey Oor Oaril is performed in the film by a warrior princess. The Tamil version of the song is full of thinly concealed sexual innuendo. Ostensibly she is praising her betrothed’s “sword”, but Tony knew what Manjula had in mind.
Tony read up and down, checking again and again to see if he had gotten it right. The song had provoked a reaction in him, all right, though maybe not the one Manjula had been going for.
He headed over to her room, his pulse racing alongside his footsteps. He had no idea how this evening would end.
He knocked on the door. He heard a rustling sound of some kind before she finally said, “come in.” What did that mean? Usually she just opened the door.
Manjula was standing by the window, her divine figure framed by the bright sun, wearing nothing but a shy smile. Her right hand was over her breasts, with something shiny-looking between her fingers. Her left hand brandished a printed sheet of paper, blocking the view of her pussy.
What was going on?
“I saw the doctor.” She passed him the shiny thing, exposing her breasts. It was a packet of birth control pills. The first row was already finished.
“And I no longer wish to be a doctor.” She gave him the paper, letting him see her pussy. Her change of major to applied mathematics had been approved.
“All that you want is now yours,” she said proudly. There she stood, her nude body inviting and desirable, her face filled with love and surrender and fierce joy.
“Not all,” Tony replied.
Everything had fallen into place. It was clear to him at last what he had to do. His mind, his heart, and his cock were ready to speak as one. He dropped to one knee.
“Manjula,” he said, “will you marry me?”
He gazed into her eyes. Her beauty had etched itself into Tony's mind many times before — the twinkling in her eyes when she laughed, the wild ecstasy when he fingered her, the sweet smile and soft eyes that had mesmerized him so much. But that seemed nothing compared to the look of blissful hope on Manjula's face now.
She opened her mouth. Were her lips forming the word yes? They seemed to for a moment, then snapped shut.
She was looking at him with excitement in her face, but also doubt.
“Are you not afraid?” she asked finally.
“Why would I be afraid?”
“You said… you said that in this country people take years before they decide to marry. That they would rather break up than marry the wrong person.”
“You are the right person. I never want to break up with you. Not ever. I love you. I love you more than anything. More than life itself.”
Her eyes were wet, but still, she hesitated. “Please Tony, you must answer me something honestly.”
“Do you want to marry me just so we can make love? You do not have to do that. My body is yours, whenever and for however long you want me.”
“Of course I want you. I've wanted you from the moment I laid eyes on you. When I look at you I see a beautiful body I can stare at for the rest of my life. I see hands that always know how to excite me. But do you know what else I see?”
“I see a soul with courage. I see a stranger in a strange land, brave enough to try anything new and learn anything different. I see a brilliant mind and a generous heart, a heart that cares about people, deeply. I see someone who inspires me, who has made me a better man. I see the one who has taught me who I really am and where I come from.
“I see someone who doesn't try to change me or make me something I'm not. I can tell you my darkest desires and you're still willing to trust me with your body. You're the only one I can be myself with, completely.
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is far, far better life that I go to than I have ever known.”
Tears were streaming down her face, but Manjula summoned a smile. “You took that from a book, did you not?”
“And more.” His eyes bored into hers. “Every path you have trod, through wilderness, through war, has led you to this road,” he said, absolute conviction in his voice. “Become who you were born to be.”
And suddenly she was falling to her own knees, grabbing him, holding him tightly to her, pressing her body against his, kissing him with every ounce of strength she had. “Oh Tony, my beloved, my darling, of course, of course, of course, I will marry you.” He could say nothing else, her lips were on his, they were rolling around on the floor. She was wearing perfume for the first time, the scent was like wine, intoxicating him.
Manjula’s face was wet with tears, salty, warm tears, tears of joy. Tony could not think of anything else but how much he loved her, how badly he desired her, how he never wanted to be anywhere, do anything, but lay there in her warm embrace.
“I have learned as much from you as from any professor,” she said. “You have taught me about my body, what it means to feel, to live. When you touch me, when you kiss me, when you hold me, I can feel how much love there is in you, how badly you want to give it. I have never felt as safe with anyone as I do with you.
“I see in you a man who never stops trying to improve himself, never gives up trying to be even better than he already is. I see a man who always has something new to teach me, a man whose mind can challenge mine.
“I feel like a bird that has left the nest. I feel like a child learning to walk for the first time. You have given me a new life. You have shown me a future I could not have thought possible. You have believed in me as no one else ever has. And I know” — she was crying in earnest now — “I cannot face life without you beside me.”
They lay there on the floor, holding each other in their arms for a long while. Then, on a sudden impulse, Tony rose to his knees, put one arm behind her shoulders, the other behind her legs, and lifted her up. She squealed in surprise, but the workouts they had been doing together had paid off. He was now just strong enough to stand up and carry her to the bed.
Manjula’s fingers trembled as she fumbled with his buttons, but she brushed his hands away when he tried to undress himself. His cock rammed to attention when she pulled off his boxers.
“Your cock is so beautiful. It is my favourite part of your body,” she said, kissing it. She opened her mouth to wrap around it, but Tony had to block her. “I’m still new at this, I am not strong enough to do both—”
“Say no more,” she replied. “You are not leaving this room until you have been inside me for as long as you can.”
Now it was Tony’s turn to have tears in his eyes. Every girl he had stared at since the age of thirteen, every classmate he had been besotted with, every celebrity infatuation he’d felt, every romance-movie star he had longed for, every model who had seduced him online, every porn actress he had masturbated to, all of them were but signs on the path that led to Manjula.
They lay there together, their hands exploring and feeling every nook and cranny of each other’s body. Her skin was so soft and delightful. Her hands drew their magic on him, an enchantment all the more binding because of where he knew it would lead.
Tony could hear how powerfully Manjula’s heart was pounding, could feel how wet her pussy was, could taste the hunger and desire on her lips. She was his. This beautiful girl was going to be his wife. Her breast was in his mouth, her ass in his hands. The lovers could not keep their hands and lips off each other. They sucked and fondled and licked and stroked and kissed each other to their heart’s content, basking in the sheer, unadulterated pleasure they took in each other’s body.
At long last Tony lay on his back. “This may hurt a bit—”
Manjula laughed. “Do you mean my hymen? You forget I have done farm work. Mine broke years ago.” One step ahead of him, to the last.
She sat on top of him, the picture of brown beauty. Tony could not conceive of anything more wondrous than her naked body. Her hair flowed more smoothly than a waterfall, her breasts were as inviting as ripe grapes, her tiny waist as heavenly as the clouds. He could feel the wetness of her folds brushing the end of his equally wet cock. But none of that beauty could compare to the expression of devotion on her face. For what reason he could barely fathom, he knew that she loved him with every fibre of her being.
Slowly, gingerly, she began to lower her pussy onto his cock. Tony felt her power wash into his body, like the first sip of the strongest liquor.
In ancient India, the Upanishads told of moksha, of liberation:
For verily the woman is like the fire of sacrifice
her midsection is the fuel
her hair is the whiff of smoke
her pussy like a flame
the cock is the coal
that sets off the sparks of pleasure
Tony felt himself leave the plane of this earth and step somewhere beyond. Dreams and reality were melding into one. Time seemed to slow down, as if he could feel all of life foretold in a matter of seconds. As if through some mystic glass, Tony could feel their joy the day they would turn the keys and step into their own home. He felt the bliss of the day their children would arrive, out of this very same holy of holies he was entering.
Tony was burning. Indeed his cock was burning, inside a pussy that felt like dragon’s fire. He put his arms around Manjula and leaned her forward, thrusting into her. He could feel her body vibrate around him, hear her screaming his name, realized he was screaming hers.
In his vision Tony could see the struggles, the loneliness, the homesickness, the long nights agonizing how to pay the bills, the times of unemployment, of prejudice, of failure. But they were not his struggles, they were their struggles. There was no more he, no more she, there was only they. One hand washes the other. In the union of cock and cunt is found the strength to break all of life’s obstacles, beat back all the hammer blows of this world. Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they will become one.
Manjula was quaking, erupting, eyes rolling, hair flying, holding tightly onto him. Tony was shaking, moaning, and then rivets of power coursed through his body like thunderclaps. His seed poured into her like a storm. This was not cumming as he was used to, a wave of pleasure felt by penis alone. He felt this come from every inch of him, from his head to his toes, from the surface of his skin to the depths of his soul.
In those seconds Tony’s mind flitted through the years, dreaming of the old age they might one day face together, of letting go of youth and beauty, of accepting the rolls and the wrinkles of time. He dreamed of the pain of sickness, of senility, of finally the bleak day when one would say goodbye to the other. Yes, even pain is a dream, if that pain is shared as deeply as the pleasure. For life is more than a song. For every up there is a down, yet no misery faced together is a misery for long. No greater hope could they have, no dream could mean more, than that even fifty, sixty years hence, he might have the privilege of entering this pussy, no matter how much its beauty might fade. This was where his cock belonged. Where he belonged.
She fell on top of him, arms around him, holding onto him desperately. It could not have been more than a few minutes, but Tony and Manjula were heaving as if they had run a marathon.
“I’m sorry I could not last longer—”
“Do not spoil this moment.” She silenced him with a kiss. “Do not worry, I had two climaxes in that time.” She snuggled into him and lay her head contentedly on his shoulder. There they lay, listening to the sound of each other breathing.
“I love you so much,” she said at last. “I cannot wait to do this again.”
“If we get married soon, we could apply for married-student housing,” Tony reminded her.
Manjula’s eyes glistened. “We could do this every day.”
She looked up at him. “I have not forgotten those videos. Over time, one day… one day I want to try everything you desire. Everything.”
“But some of those are hurtful—”
“They are beautiful. I remember that Bible psalm you told me about. You are my shepherd; I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of lust, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your hands and your lips, and yes, your cock, they comfort me.”
Tony was too moved to respond. He held her soft, warm body close to him. He wanted to spend the rest of his life cuddling her. Just like this.
Paal irukkum, Manjula began to sing. There is milk. Tony remembered that milk and fruit are ritually displayed in Hindu weddings. They are not eaten. Just as there is a wedding bed, but no sleep takes place there.
She might not be a doctor. But they had found their cure.
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.