“Why are you like this, Samiksha?” Sara asked irritated, flinging a crumpled shirt at her elder sister’s face.
“First of all, don’t call me that girly name again. It’s Sam. Just Sam! Secondly, what do you mean by ‘like this’?” Sam asked Sara, confused.
“This!” said Sara, moving her hand up and down, pointing at Sam.
“What?” Sam asked again, looking at her reflection in the mirror.
“I mean why aren’t you more like me? More like a girl? You practically dress like a boy and behave like one all the time. You work out in the gym more than I comb my hair in a day and trust me I comb my hair a lot! Many times, I feel like I have a brother instead of a sister. You know once my friend looked at our photos and asked me if you are my brother. Even your name sounds like a boy’s.” Sara said frustrated.
“I don’t care and I don’t find anything wrong in it. I am happy to be the way I am,” replied Sam while fidgeting with the short tendrils falling on her face.
“It’s worthless to argue with you on this. Let’s talk about what’s next? Summer is about to end and you are going to college. Are you excited to experience hostel life?” Sara asked, sitting on her bed comfortably.
“Well, yes about college. But not so much about hostel life. I am terrified thinking about spending all my time in a girl’s hostel with so many girls around me. I wish I could stay in a boy’s hostel.” said Sam sitting beside Sara.
“Well, you can’t. You know that.” Sara said in disbelief.
“Wait, you just said that I look like a guy. I think if I make some changes, I could fool everyone. What do you think? My chest too looks flat now and anyone could mistake me for a boy.” Sam asked wearing a jacket over her outfit.
“I just have to work on my voice. How about this?” she asked speaking in a heavy voice.
“Are you serious?” Sara asked in disbelief.
“You can’t tell Mom and Dad. They would never agree with it. Promise me?” she asked.
“And what makes you think I will?” Sara asked her sister.
Sam smiled at her.
Two weeks later they stood in front of her college together.
“You know just how to get things done your way,” Sara said looking at her sister dressed in loose pants and men’s t-shirt with a hoodie. Her hair shorter than before styled at the side.
“Yeah!” Sam replied in a heavy voice, which she had perfected over the last week.
They stopped in front of the boy’s hostel and Sam turned to Sara.
“Its time to say goodbye,” Sam said with a sad sigh.
“Don’t be so upset, I might start thinking that you love me and actually like my company.” joked Sara and Sam laughed, taking her into a hug.
“You know I love you, little sis,” Sam confessed and Sara smiled in return.
With one last hug, she kissed Sam’s cheek and waved at her.
Sam gave her a glare whilst quickly wiping her cheeks.
She picked up her luggage and started walking inside the building, wandering around for a while before she found her room.
She knocked on the door once.
The door opened and she found herself face to face with a boy dressed in only pants hanging loose on his waist.
He moved his hands through his black hair and flipped them to the side.
“Hey, I guess you are my roommate. I am Arjun, come on in,” he said opening the door wide.
“Hi!” Sam replied looking around the room.
“I arrived this morning, so the room is still a mess,” Arjun said, with his hand still in his hair.
“It’s fine,” replied Sam putting her bag down.
She arranged her things and bonded with Arjun.
Her phone rang after she came back from dinner.
She moved to a corner.
“Tell me about everything. How was it? Did you meet any hot boys?” asked Sara.
“My roommate is pretty hot. I am happy that I am disguised as a guy.”
“I can’t believe you are saying this,” Sara replied in disbelief.
Sam laughed and they both talked for an hour.
“Your girlfriend?” Arjun asked.
“No, she was my little sister,” replied Sam.
“Do you want to watch a movie?” Arjun asked opening his laptop.
“Yes,” she replied moving to his bed.
They laid down and he put the laptop in the middle.
“Hey, bro,” Arjun greeted giving a side hug to Sam as he met her in the canteen after classes.
“Hi!” Sam replied with a small blush.
“I was thinking of going out for dinner today. It’s been a month now and we haven’t left the hostel once. What do you think?” Arjun asked her.
“Okay,” replied Sam.
“Really? Okay, I will see you soon,” Arjun said, leaving almost abruptly.
Sam shrugged at his weird behaviour.
She got ready in a grey t-shirt and white trousers with a black jacket above it. She was styling her hair when Arjun walked out from the bathroom wrapped in a towel around his waist.
Sam gasped before turning around and tried to ignore him.
Arjun walked closer to her and stood behind her moving his hand in his hair.
“I will be ready in a minute,” Arjun said keeping his hands on her shoulders.
Sam looked at his hands before looking up at him. They stared at each other for a while before Arjun moved back and started getting ready.
“What’s wrong with me?” Sam asked looking at herself.
She started thinking about all those awkward moments.
“I am ready,” replied Arjun after a while.
They both headed out and took a cab to the restaurant. They enjoyed the dinner and later started walking back towards the hostel. Arjun wrapped his hand around her shoulders and pulled her closer.
Sam looked at him. He stared back and leaned a little closer.
“Arjun?” Sam said in a small voice.
“Sorry,” Arjun said awkwardly moving back.
“I like you, I like you a lot,” he confessed taking a deep breath.
“What?” asked Sam taking a step back shocked, making his hands fall from her.
“I know that I shouldn’t have hidden it from you but I feared that you would leave and I didn’t want to lose you,” Arjun said after a while.
“I didn’t mean to hide it from you. All I wanted to have was a friend, Straight guys don’t accept me because I am gay and gays don’t accept me because I seem too straight to be gay. You were my friend and you were so… normal, and kind. I couldn’t help falling for you. I tried to avoid it as I didn’t want to lose you. I understand if you want to change your room now,” said Arjun looking at her.
“No, I won’t. I like you too,” Sam said with a small smile.
Arjun hugged her tightly and then moved back.
Sam called Sara that night.
“Hey!” Sara greeted on the phone.
“I told Arjun I like him.”
“What? Really? What did he say? Did he forgive you for pretending to be a guy?” Sara started asking questions upon questions.
“He likes me too. He is gay,” Sam explained her slowly.
“No, you didn’t do that. Are you crazy?”
“I couldn’t find any other way. I liked him a lot,” Sam defended herself.
“It’s wrong. He likes you because he thinks you are a guy. You can’t do this to him, ” Sara cried frustrated.
“He likes me for being me and maybe he is bi and not gay. I will tell him when the right time comes. Bye!” Sam hoped.
“Sa-” and Sara was cut off in the middle.
Arjun came after a while and took her into a back hug.
“I’m so relieved after telling you about my feelings,” said Arjun, rubbing their cheeks together.
“I’m glad you did,” Sam replied turning her face to him and brushing her lips with his.
Written by: Aanchal Agrawal