One Friday evening, I was on my way home after attending to my students’ queries on reproductive systems in the class. A chapter on reproductive system always kept me awake when I was myself a student. Today’s students’ are no different; I had lots of questions from my students, which had me extended hours of teaching that evening.
It was a pleasant summer evening. Walking past football field towards my home located on a hilltop always reminded me of my days here in Monggar High School, twenty years ago. The corner where Rinzin, Sherub and I used to spend Saturday nights over a bottle of ara still had thick bushy grasses. I could imagine the trio sitting and gossiping under the influence of ara while the full moon cruised silently in the clouds above.
Lost in thoughts, I trod up the path with a bundle of books on my left and my newly bought laptop hung over my right. As I approached my home, my eyes caught hold of a familiar figure of a woman collecting grasses about two meters below the path.
A woman in her early forties wore few dark patches and lines on her face, probably as a result of forty odd winters. She caught a glimpse of me, stopped and stared. I avoided direct eye contact with her, but closely examined who she was through the sides of my eyes. A closer look at her only rekindled vivid memories of some twenty years back, that blushed my face as the distance between us narrowed down. Despite so much of weathering on her once beautiful features, she still looked beautiful on her smile that enticed me twenty years ago. She was perplexed too.
Zangmo then could have been twenty. She was tall, slim and beautiful. Her father had found her a guy – a close cousin who wasn’t a perfect match to her, at least to my eyes. True to my judgment, Zangmo didn’t like him too, for they often picked up brawls.
Zangmo and her family lived in a large two storied house. Adjacent to her house was a small makeshift hut in which one of my distant cousins lived. I lived there for a year when I had to continue my primary schooling as a day scholar. Around that time I was only fifteen. Zangmo was my neighbor – a beautiful neighbor.
In the hut we had just done our dinner when suddenly there was a soft knock on the door. It was Zangmo, our neighbor. She said, “Tonight, none of my family members returned home and I’m all alone in that large deserted house.” I could sense she needed a company. “Why? Where did your father go?” asked my cousin. “They went on an errand and they must be already drunk by now,” Zangmo responded. They? Probably she must have hinted her guy. Thereafter, conversations went on for a while.
When conversations finally died out, my cousin looked at me and suggested, “You could take him for your company tonight.” To this she willingly agreed sending in a brief smile and a glance over me. I knew she was after something else, that night. But I didn’t like the idea. I did not say anything. Then there was a moment of silence in the room again.
“Go now, she is waiting for you,” cousin’s wife prompted. I reluctantly picked up my things and followed her speechless. As soon as we stepped in, there was a power black-out but the blazing fire from her hearth provided enough lights. I sat beside the hearth not knowing how to begin conversation. Zangmo meanwhile fetched a bottle of ara from her store and started filling in our cups. After gulping in few cups, she prepared her bed near the hearth. She stretched another mattress near her bed. Hmm! That was mine. Since we had not much to talk, we got into our beds respectively.
I closed my eyes and tried to get a sleep. I suddenly felt a warm and soft touch on my cheek. It slowly moved down, held my palm and gave a quick jerk. It was her hand. I pushed it away thinking that she must be having a bad dream. She stretched her hand again over my face, held my nose and pulled towards her. Inexperienced and dumb-struck, I failed to read and respond to her call. Finally, “Wai Yongba, tabthur yiphey odho ley,” she murmured in slight annoyance. I don’t know why she wanted me to sleep with her, but I slowly slid myself into her bed. As soon as I was with her, she slowly moved her hands over me from chests till hips and then over my forbidden parts. With every movement of her fingers over it, I could feel it swell gradually. This has only made me do the same for her.
“I’m being introduced to a completely different world,” I thought. I never realized there was such a thing, which is full of excitement. No one saw my part, nor did I make any attempts to expose it ever since I’d learnt to cover it up with my dirty shorts. But that night, Zangmo had touched it, felt it and screamed over it only to make me feel at loss and drowsy the next morning. Another encounter with her, feeling of loss did not last long as pride took over it. I was beginning to feel proud as she raised my level to adulthood. Thereafter, I had accompanied her in the forests to fetch firewood and in the maize fields to guard off wild boars. We made love frequently until she got formally married to a man of her father’s choice.
Today, I teach reproductive systems in classes seven and eight. Those days I was still in the primary school. So, in that case I had practical sessions first and then theory on reproductive systems. May be this is why my score in Biology never fell short of distinction. And this is why, I’m biology teacher myself today.
Brooding over these thoughts, I never realized that I had approached my home and the woman below my house when suddenly a sharp voice, “Ahh…Dorji, Juba shogsa. Ngachey shopping juni chhidhey,” took me by surprise. It was my wife with her strong Parop accent. “Oncha…oncha Zangmo,” I responded coolly to sound it normal. But I’m sure she did not expect my reply in Sharchopkha. At that moment, “Dorji! Is it you?” exclaimed another Zangmo right in front of me. “Yeah, I’ll see you later,” I rushed home sounding busy.
I opened my door with my mind filled with remorse over not sparing a minute to a woman who made me man, while at the same time feeling sorry to my wife for she still thinks that she got me virgin.