As I reached to hug, she twists. I held a breast. More then a handful. No bra. I was embarrassed, but she simply said something like, "That was nice." No sarcasm. I probably said, "Sweet dreams," or something like that. I was dropping her off at her new Melbourne flat. I drove off.
That moment could easily be forgotten, except Brindi telephoned an hour later. She offered another 'thank you' for the ride and, asking if I might visit one evening, said, "Just us."
She recently broke off a year-long relationship with an older, married man from Sydney – all to the good for her. She has more time for friends her age – twenty-three.
While she has some butch qualities, I never thought of her in a lesbian way.
We were both free on a Thursday. Ten days to wait.
A sort of a relative through divorcing and re-marriage, I'm thirty-three and have known Brindi since her teen years. At family events we sat and talked like older and younger cousins.
She radiates health in a milk-eggs, lamb-diet, Australian country-town way. If she paid more attention to her appearance, with blue-eyes, naturally curly and short blond hair, she would be considered attractive, even beautiful. A real eye-catcher. Instead, she is casual about her hair and what she wears, sometimes the same outfit days in a row.
Since finishing university studies she has been writing programs for computers. A bit shy and geeky (it fits) but – at the same time – bright and confident in a knowing-what-she-wants way.
Never having a lesbian experience myself, I hadn't considered the possibility until after she called. At least, not seriously.
I became apprehensive. A warped parable entered my thoughts: two Eves eating the forbidden fruit. In the accepting society of Australia, no longer banishment ... exile from paradise ... yet.
The next time seeing her – three days before The Thursday evening – we were with five other miscellaneous friends, blokes and sheilas A casual, come-if-you-can dinner (Chinese). It was Monday. Arriving late, I was not surprised to see her. Tangentially we have the same friends. I seated myself across the round table. To far to converse. Instead, we did a heap of smiling – sort of secret-sharing smiles. That's what I thought.
Afterward, outside the restaurant, hugs and cheek kisses are exchanged as we go our separate ways. Her ride is with a bloke living near her flat. She doesn't drive; no car. Bikes everywhere or takes a tram during the day.
On our parting, her hug seems a bit more clinging, sort of confirming my relentless imagining.
In my imagination, only imagination, what I anticipate (future-tense) Thursday:
As her flat is new, she will show me around. When she shows me the bedroom, I will see fresh sheets. The cover will be pulled back. She will look to see if I notice. I'll be cool. Say something about, "Nice pillows. Where did you buy them?" [This is the original version of a published and edited e-version -- See "I kissed a girl, II" edited by R. Perry. Look at comments and thanks to Kate, Michael, Michelle, and the Redhead in Florida for assisting....]