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“Taya only you would mistake cishet girlies and their over friendliness for flirtation” David said, dissolving into another fit of giggles with Tendo. I frowned deeply and took a long drag from the nearly diminished cigarette between my fingers. I looked around at the area of the park we were sitting at, actively focusing on anything but my two supposed bestfriends and their painful, constant reminders of last month’s less-than-enjoyable moments.

“Taya, baby wipe that frown off your face, it could have been much worse… trust me.” Tendo finally said, using the corner of their shirt to wipe tears from the inner corner of their eye. I stuck my tongue out at them.

“I am not going to explain myself to you two again. Besides no matter what you say I will never get over how mortified I was when Nitas hot friend had to give me a lesbian pep talk in the bathroom because I was crying. OVER A STRAIGHT GIRL! Everytime I think about it, I’m ready to meet my maker a little earlier.” I ended my short rant by flopping onto the grass, facing the sky. I tossed the remaining cigarette filter off into the distance and crossed my arms. I watched David and Tendo share a glance, purse their mouths as if to hold in laughter then fail and burst into yet another fit of giggles. I bit back a smile and flipped them off.

“You’re both chipping in for my lunch bill, you absolute assholes.”.


If there was a period of the semester that I absolutely abhorred, it was definitely exam week. It didn’t matter how well I felt I had grasped the content, it all seemed to prove futile. Hence why I was spending a Friday evening in the library, poring over my notes. I lifted my head and looked at the huge dusty clock on the wall above me.


It was almost time for me to call it quits.

I stood up and walked to one of the shelves, raising my arms above my head to stretch. I was extremely drained but I had yet to finish quizzing myself on the topic I had wanted to tackle today. I let out a huge yawn and leaned up to stretch again.

“Long no time no see Taya” The voice startled me and I quickly dropped my arms. Causing my right elbow to smack on the nearby shelves. My eyes filled up with tears and sharp pain shot up and down my arm.

“Fuck!” I held my elbow in my other hand and spun around with a snarl. It was Nita’s friend from the bathroom incident last time.

Fucking hell.

I blinked back my tears and forced my face to relax. This girl sure had a knack of finding me in the worst possible situations.

“Oh yes… um hi. You startled me.” I gave her a tight smile and made the move to walk past her. She reached out and softly grabbed my elbow. I looked down at where our skin connected, trying to ignore the exhilaration I felt at her touch. The skin near my elbow was broken. I winced. That was going to hurt to clean. I pulled away and stepped back to put some distance between us.

“You seem hurt, you sure you don’t want me to take a look?” She said, her voice light and with no hint of mockery. I shook my head.

“What are you? A doctor?” Why couldn’t I just say no thank you and move on? Where was this rudeness coming from? I shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, now anxious about how hostile I was coming off for no reason. The silence had become almost unbearable and just when I was opening my mouth to apologise, she replied.

“I’m actually a nurse, or studying to be one in any case.” She beamed at me again and I looked away. She was extremely attractive and it was exam week, there was no time for all the physiological distractions that evidently came with being near her.

“Right… Look, I’m sorry… I don’t really know much about you.” I shrugged sheepishly, not meeting her eyes.

“Yeah well last time you were not in the most conversational mood, there was little time to get to know each other don’t you think?” Her tone had a teasing quality, as did her smile but I felt my cheeks warm with humiliation. She was right. She had been trying to be helpful last time and I had panicked and ran off as soon as the tears had stopped. I didn’t even know her name. What an impression I must have made on her.

“Right… Look I’m really sorry about that-” I started, looking down at my shoes.

“Don’t worry about it. How about you give me a chance to introduce myself now? It doesn’t seem fair that I know your name and you have no idea what mine is” she stretched her hand out and I placed mine in hers, shaking it. I ignored the excitement I felt from the contact and smiled tentatively up at her.

“I’m Wothaya but people call me Taya. Nice to meet you” I said, slowly releasing my hand from her grip. Our eyes remained locked on each other and I watched as her smile shone in her eyes. I couldn’t tell the exact shade because of the dim, library lighting but they were definitely brown.

She was unfairly and alarmingly good-looking, I decided.

“Hi Taya, I’m Imani Maria or just Mani and believe me the pleasure is all mine”


I stuck an Elastoplast on my elbow and then flopped on my bed the minute I got back to my apartment. I flipped on to my back and stared at the ceiling. After that little interaction with Imani I had given up on finishing revision and high-tailed out of there, leaving her in the basement, probably wondering if running away was my brand. At least I had said bye this time and we knew each other’s names now. I sighed and flipped on to my stomach. What was it about Mani that had me so unraveled around her all the time? I was either this snippy little bitch or a fumbling, horny mess. I needed to get laid. If i was going to be friends with this girl (not that she has asked me) i needed to not be creepy.

The front door opened and I immediately perked up, my roommates were back home. I rushed into the living room and watched Tendo and David help each other out of their coats. I had lived with Tendo since the beginning of uni because off campus was slightly more expensive and with us being queer and in this country it was safer than staying on campus. When Tendo met David and lasted over six months, it was obvious he would move in with us. I loved living with them both.

“Am I glad you’re home” I said, pouting and holding out my hands. Tendo, the beacon of tough love that they were, walked past me and into the kitchen with a chuckle. David walked into my embrace and held me against his chest. I sunk into the hug and breathed the comforting familiar scent of their shared sandalwood cologne.

“How was your day sweetheart? Trying?” David asked me, brushing a braid off my face and tucking it behind my ear. We walked into the kitchen where Tendo had three wine glasses filled to the top with red wine and waiting on the small round kitchen table in the middle of the room.

“David, you really do spoil her. You hug her so much she thinks that’s an acceptable replacement for putting herself out there and actually getting a girlfriend.” Tendo said, sipping from their glass and giving their boyfriend a knowing glance. I groaned and grabbed my wine glass.

“Well baby, you have her so affection starved. I don’t know how she even survived your friendship before I came along.” David quipped, kissing Tendo on the forehead and taking the remaining glass of wine. I sat at the table, already halfway through with my glass, watching their exchange happily. I had never met two people more perfectly suited to each other than Tendo and David. Tendo could come off cold but they were really the most fiercely loving friend ever, they just chose to keep their love “rational” (their words, not mine). David on the other hand was a soft, loving bear and was never in short supply of hugs, kisses and words of affirmation. Together they made the perfect couple, Tendo a couple inches shorter than David and both of them with the most gorgeous deep brown skin and eyes. Tendo had shoulder length dreads that they always kept tied in a half ponytail and David had his hair cut completely short with waves. They inspired good natured jealousy constantly and if I had not basically made myself a non sexual third party of their relationship, I would be seething and green with envy constantly.

“Earth to Taya! What happened for you to be waiting at the door for us like a puppy with anxiety?” Tendo asked, snapping me out of my spiral of thoughts. Their eyes searched mine and I frowned and they immediately mirrored my facial expression.

“I ran into that girl again today. Nita’s friend. She’s called Imani- Mani I mean” I said, polishing off the rest of my wine and lifting the glass for a refill. David made a move to refill my glass but Tendo lifted their hand in a halt motion that made David place the bottle back down on the table. My frown deepened.

“You’re going to tell us everything, down to why meeting her has made you upset and only then can you get drunk” Tendo instructed, lowering themselves into the chair near mine. David followed suit and they both stared intently at me. I rolled my eyes.

“It’s not that big of a deal. She startled me in the library and introduced herself.” I said simply. Crossing my arms stubbornly to make it seem like I was done.

“That’s not it. You seem all wound up. Spit it out girl.” I groaned in frustration at Tendos intuitiveness. Couldn’t they just let me lie? No. That’s why I wanted them to get home in the first place.

“Okay parent i’ll tell you.” I mocked, pausing to give Tendo time to react. They ignored my jab and kept silent, waiting for me to speak. I groaned and lay my head down on the kitchen table.

“She makes me feel weird. Like today I injured my elbow and she tried to hold it to help me and I swear I felt something. Like a rush of warmth. I don’t know how to explain. Anyways she makes me frustrated” I lifted my head and ran my hands through my braids, accidentally tugging on one. I sucked my teeth at the pain then let out a huge sigh and looked at Tendo. They remained silent.

“She hasn’t wronged me or anything.Her presence just makes me feel… not like myself. But like I barely know her? So I don’t understand.” I finished, hating how whiny my voice sounded. Tendo looked at David and raised their eyebrow in silent questioning and David nodded his head, prompting Tendo to look back at me. I shrunk back, uncomfortable.

“Baby… you’re a lesbian and knowing your community, you’re probably already in love” they quipped, erupting into laughter with David. I rolled my eyes and let out a dry laugh.

“Okay we’re joking but you are definitely into her and the only way to alleviate those feelings is to reach out. Talk to her, see where it can go” David advised, reaching his hand over the table to gently stroke mine. He gave me a sympathetic smile.

“I’m assuming you got her number?” Tendo said, finally refilling my glass. I grimaced and then smiled sheepishly.

“I kind of ran away from her again.”

“Of course you did”

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