Author's note : As much as would like to say I did, I did not write this story. I received this from a friend of a friend, and after a little bit of editing here and there, I've decided to let this be in the same form as it came to me. The real author remains unknown, but the disclaimer that came with this asserts that this is just FICTION!
I listen to the last, fading strains of the lullaby for my baby boy as his mother rocks him to sleep. From my position on the bed, all I can see is the silhouette of mother and son, related in more ways than one. The light outside filters in through the windows, profiling the nude body of the Goddess who bore my son.
She sets him down on his cradle, and I hear him start to cry, only to be soothed for the sudden loss of warmth by his mother's loving pats into sound sleep. Convinced that the little one is truly asleep, his mother adjusts the blanket and looks one last time at her child.
Then she turns to me with a smile that I have realized I can't live without. "He has all your features, Daddy."
I embrace her as she settles on the bed, right on top of me. We kiss for some time, just savoring the feel of the other's lips on ours. Hers, soft and red, are so delicious that I often wonder how it is that I was fated to enjoy my own daughter. Sometimes, I think I will wake up and find that it was all a wonderful dream, but her weight against mine tells me that it isn't. The scent of her body, the heat of her loins, the tickling of her hair... it is all real.
My daughter. My lover. That's the reality.
Noticing my thoughtful expression, my daughter Poornima draws up against me, placing her elbows on my chest and resting her beautiful face on her palms. She nibbles on my nose for a couple of seconds, before dropping her hands to her sides and downing her face into my chest.
"What are you thinking, Dad?"
I kiss her forehead lovingly. The forehead that I had kissed many times as a father - the forehead that now belonged to me, her 'husband.'
"If someone had told me three years ago, that I would be living like this with my daughter, I would have clobbered him. And now..."
The plane took off, and I sighed, waving like a little child at the lifting bird. For the seventh time in eleven years, I was seeing my wife off to her nursing station at a distant hospital in Saudi Arabia. And in spite of the fact that we had hardly been together for the last ten-fifteen years, I missed her terribly. I loved her as much as our daughter Poornima did.
I could never understand my wife Anita's motivation for looking for a job abroad, especially when the family property that I had inherited as an only child and my own income as a freelance writer for movies were more than enough for an above middle-class lifestyle. She was adamant - she had studied nursing, and she did not want to let it go waste. I allowed her.
On this particular day, though, it seemed to me that I was more expressive about my sorrow than my nineteen year-old daughter was. That was strange, because I had always had the impression that she loved her mother more, evidenced by her joy when Anita came home almost every year. Maybe it was just resignation, I told myself, and perhaps a little of anger.
The anger I could empathize with - Anita had missed our anniversary this year, and she would be missing Neem's (my nickname for her) birthday the third week. And as much as I wanted to rail at her and command her to leave her goddamned job in that goddamned nation, I couldn't. I knew how much it meant to her, and I didn't want to be the villain in her life.
It was Poornima who broke our silence on the way home. "I don't want a party."
I pretended not to know what she was talking about. "What party?"
She gave me a look that was meant to say, You can never fool me, Dad, I know you too well. I smiled at her and ruffled her hair. Silken and smooth, it was jet-black and the envy of the hairdressers at the corner of our locality.
"I mean my birthday party - I know you have been planning one - you always do - and as much as I really appreciate it, I don't want to spend the last birthday in my teens with a bunch of giggling idiots who think that real fun is a cup of Coke and a piece of cake."
"And what do you want instead of the party, my dear daughter?"
"Just some time alone with my father... We hardly spend any quality time other than dinner together. I would rather spend one of my most special birthdays with my handsome hunk of a father."
I have to make a slight clarification here - they say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and I decided that her eyes needed some serious testing. Hunk would never be synonymous with Rajiv Matthew, and vice versa was just as true. But I didn't want to burst her bubble, so I just ruffled her hair some more. I agreed that I wouldn't plan the party.
At that time, I had thought she wasn't serious. It was only when she pestered me for two whole days that I got it into my thick head that she really wasn't too keen on a party, and instead, wanted to waste the day on her dear dad. I wouldn't complain - I loved her company, and save for my wife, all the family I had.
Two days passed. Anita had called upon her arrival at the Saudi capital, and promised to call again in a week's time.
And then... the atmosphere in our house was suddenly saturated by a strange kind of monsoon. Of the sexual kind.
People in the US, and probably the Europe, wouldn't find anything strange in short, scanty dresses at night time, but out here in conservative India, girls are brought up believing that modesty is tantamount to character, and I don't differ from that view of thinking. While I am an open-minded fellow, it's always been my contention that family values viz. decency and modesty are intrinsic to our way of life.
On the other hand, being a single parent makes it difficult to lay down the rules - Anita's absence was often for so long that it almost made me feel like a single parent - especially to an only child, and that too, a girl as well-behaved as my daughter. I was proud of her; she had that mixture of inner beauty and outer innocence that is so lacking among the rest of the youth who look to channels like MCM and FTV for guidance.
So, even though I was a little alarmed when I walked into her room to wake her up the third morning, only to find her having slept in an old shirt of mine and her panties, I decided to say nothing about it. It was, after all, the summer, and Indian summers, as anyone who has been in India at this time of the year knows, can get pretty hot. The shirt had ridden up her flat stomach, and now lay just a few inches below her breasts.
I was disturbed to find that it was getting a rise out of me. And it wasn't one of anger, either.
I suppose I could excuse myself with the two years of abstinence from sex - the last time Anita had visited, we had been too busy visiting relatives that we hadn't had time for anything else - and the sight of a young, rich body would definitely be antagonistic to platonic thoughts, but then again, I realized it was not just lust I was feeling. Not the mere physical attraction - even as I stared at her long legs, with their supple thighs and dainty feet, I knew the attraction went deeper.
Thankfully, I woke my daughter up without revealing the tumult of emotions raging inside my head. She smiled at me as she stretched, obviously expecting me to say something about the lack of clothing she wore to bed, but she didn't look too disappointed either when I ignored the bait. Instead, I just kissed her on her forehead and asked her to get her ass out of bed.
That seemed to have set the precedent. In fact, it set the pace for the descent.
Poornima took my silence to mean that I was okay with her independence, and given her maturity and tastefulness when in public, I really couldn't find fault with her. On the other hand, when I found her asleep in her underwear a week later, in just her bra and panties - I knew I had to talk it out with her. Unfortunately, I never found the heart to do so.
"Machamma went home," she said one day.
Machamma was our maidservant. "It isn't noon yet," I asked, puzzled. "Isn't she well?"
"I sent her home. For good. She wanted a raise, and I told her she didn't deserve the amount she claimed. She started shouting at me, accusing me of being... a bad girl, but I guess I lost it when she called you a cheapskate. After what you spent to save her husband. The bitch-"
"Language, Neem," I warned. That was the first time I had heard her call someone that.
"Oops! Sorry about that."
I nodded. Not that Machamma did not deserve the insult - she was a lazy busybody, and no one knew it better than she did. She flaunted her laziness, that woman, and quite frankly, it made my blood boil that she had had the nerve to call my daughter a slut. Neem was as beautiful as anyone could be, and that spoke more of her compassionate and loving nature than her evergreen face or the fantastic structure of her body. A body that I was increasingly becoming very aware of.
"Guess I'll just have to put out an ad for another Machamma," I sighed.
"You don't have to, you know. I could manage the chores myself."
"Of course. It's just the two of us, and with a little help from you, I bet I can finish the tasks in half as much time as Machamma." Seeing the doubtful expression on my face, she gave her trump card. "In case you haven't noticed, Daddy, I am a grown woman. In a couple of years, I will probably be having my own husband and kids." She grinned at me. "Then again, I guess you have noticed it, haven't you?"
I blushed slightly - of that I am sure - but I must also add that I recovered my composure quickly. "It's hard to miss, Neem, 'specially when you walk around next to nothing."
"Not next to nothing," she corrected. "I do cover my top, don't I? It's just these poor legs of mine that need some air-conditioning from time to time."
"You know what I mean..."
"Right." Realizing that this might lead to an awkward turn in the conversation, I changed the subject. "So what you are saying is that we don't have to look for a replacement for Machamma?"
"Yes. We've got me instead."
"My little housewife," I quipped.
She nodded her head. "Your little housewife." It struck me that she did lay a little more emphasis than was necessary on that last syllable than was necessary, but I let it pass.
Poornima took to her chores readily. It was vacation time for her, and since I didn't work by the clock, there would be no strain on her. She was a good cook, far better than my wife, and she packed a mean broom. Everytime I watched her dust our porch or clean our driveway, I felt a pang of the impending loss when she would get married. I was going to miss my little girl terribly at that time.
On the other hand, Poornima seemed to have no intention of curbing her 'open' attitude towards clothing around the house. It was quite a normal sight for me to see her in just her underwear and an apron puttering around the kitchen for breakfast and dinner, and used to it by now, I wasn't so troubled by the reactions that I got. She hadn't noticed anything so far, I told myself, so that put me in the clear.
The Thursday night prior to her birthday, I attended the stag party of a colleague's son, and obviously, being held at a neighborhood pub, the booze flowed freely. Since my house was less than a five-minute jog from the place, I allowed myself the luxury of getting saturated with the ethylated spirit. Three glasses, and I was seeing twins of everyone.
It took a couple of my friends to get me to my gate, and they staggered off as soon as my daughter opened the door. She was a vision of loveliness, hair still fresh from the recent shower, body enconsced in a bathrobe that had been conservative four years ago and was now close to revealing her feminine charms. I took in the sight of those long legs, exposed to the moonlight and to her father's dirty eyes, and I guess in my drunken state, I mumbled comments hardly suitable for any father.
Poornima supported me to the door, then went back to lock the gate. She then came back and seeing that I was still stable, took some time off to lock up the rest of the place. Then, right before my eyes, she took off her robe, and even in the inebriated state that I was in, it registered instantly upon my senses that she was wearing lingerie. Not the usual, cotton, 'girlie' stuff, but the real thing, the ones that I have seen on FTV.
Perhaps I am exaggerating, or perhaps not. I do not know how these images still remain in my memory, for I am a very weak drunk, and it was a wonder I hadn't passed out on the floor already. In fact, I did collapse on the floor - but before I did, as even Poornima confirmed the fact, I must have clutched at my daughter. My hands missed her shoulders, but not the swell of her breast. Poornima told me the next day that I fell on the carpet, my face buried in the bra that I had torn off her chest.
The next thing I do remember convincingly was a headache, and the pain in the eyes as the rays of the morning sun woke me up. For a few seconds, I was disoriented, the only thing coming to mind being the regret that I had probably made a drunken ass of myself.
It was then that I felt the soft, satiny hands across my waist. Out of the haze that still clouded my eyes, I looked beside me - and damn near had a heart attack!
Her right arm thrown over me, another placed where my head had cradled, wearing just her bottoms, was Poornima. Frantically, I looked around for any telltale signs - anything - that would give me the assurance that we had done nothing the previous night. Unfortunately, her breasts were too prominent for me to ignore, and my eyes fell on them.
Hundreds of tiny red spots, like love-bites, dotted her tits. The nipples still looked erect, and throbbed lightly in a dullish red hue. It was as if I had ravished her like a mad man.
For the first time, I was also aware of the musky odor of a woman in the room. Automatically, my eyes fell to her crotch. The material of her lingerie bottom was still soaking wet, and her juices - perhaps mine too - had spread on to the bedsheet as well.
As if on cue, Poornima sighed in her sleep and turned over so that she was facing the opposite direction. Her ass was clearly visible to me now, and it didn't seem as if I had ignored that soft spot of hers either. On either ass cheek were impressions of a male hand, redder and sharper than the bite marks on her breasts.
Oh my God! What had I done?
I buried my head in my hands, and the tears were flowing when my daughter's soft hands cupped my face and raised it to meet hers. "Why are you crying, Dad?"
For a few seconds, I did not reply. I stared at the beautiful face, even more beautiful in the freshness of the morning, into her sharp, black eyes; I stared into their depths, wondering if I would ever find forgiveness in them. She was acting as if nothing had happened, but sooner or later, she would know. She would know what a pervert she had for a father. She wouldn't remember our pleasant times together any more. Whenever she thought of me, it would be as the 'asshole' who took advantage of her.
I broke down again, but Poornima, darling child, would have none of it. Fiercely, she yanked my face up again, and although concern expressed itself in her eyes, her tone was one of indignation. "What is the matter, father?"
"I am sorry," I managed to say.
Didn't she know already, or had she really slept through whatever it had been that I had done to her? "I think I raped you last night."
Poornima laughed in my face. Without any inhibitions, she pointed to her breasts, giving me the invitation to look at them once more. It was only the emotional trauma that I was feeling that kept me from getting an erection, but I did feel my heart beat faster, and I did recognize that strange sensation in my tummy that told me that I was head over heels for my daughter. The physical sights were proving to be a major stimulus for my long-suppressed lust.
"You mean this? You've got nothing to apologize for, Daddy! It was great! See - I even came because of what you did to my breasts."
"Your breasts? You mean I didn't fuck you?" I didn't know for sure if I sounded relieved or disappointed. Neem shook her head, and I heaved a sigh of relief.
"What was that for?" my daughter asked. Then she giggled. "You should watch your language, Daddy!"
I smiled back at her. Thank God I hadn't actually completed an intercourse with her. The adulation of her breasts was still as taboo, but it was definitely less harmful than going all out with her. "It's just that I am glad things did not go any further."
For a split second, I thought I saw disappointment on her face, but my daughter immediately regained her sense of humor, and placing a hand on her panties, she giggled furiously. "Shall I get you another bottle of hard drinks?"
"So that you can get me drunk enough to go to bed? No way!" I was sure she was joking, and I responded in kind. "All I do want right now is to know what happened yesterday night when you I came home - all I remember of that is being dead drunk, reeking of alcohol, then you carried me into the house, took off your robe... then I fell, I guess, if my memory serves me right."
"You did fall," agreed Poornima, "But you tried to catch me for support, and ended up tearing off my bra. You just dropped to sleep on the floor, my bra clutched in your hands and your face buried in it. You were so out that it was a struggle to get you to bed - and I must admit I was more than tempted to leave you in the hall itself. I didn't bother to cover myself, though, because there was no other eyes to see me naked.
"I left you on the bed, then decided that I would have to remove your clothes. After they came off, I stared at your physique (she smiled broadly at this point, and I surmised she was just adding this to get a rise out of me). As I was turning to leave, you said something, and when I came closer, you just caught my hand and turned over in your sleep.
"Rather than fuss about the whole toothless issue by waking you up - and that would have been something, what with your hangover - I figured I might as well join you. I laid down with you, and sleep came a few minutes later."
She paused at this point, obviously waiting for an invitation from me to go on. A smile was curled at the corners of her lips as she tried to make her report as objective as possible, though I must add, with little success. She seemed to be pretty satisfied about whatever had happened. I nodded, and motioned for her to continue.
"Then, around four in the morning, I woke up, feeling a little thirsty, and had a glass of water. You had moved closer to where I had slept, but I thought nothing more of it until I realized that you were so close that I could feel your breath. After a few seconds, you threw your arms around me and pulled me closer, into a bear hug.
"I tried to get out of the vice-like grip, but then you said something like 'Oh, Anita,' or something, and before I knew it, your hands were on my breasts - should I continue?"
"Let's hear the whole sordid thing," I said grimly.
"There's nothing sordid about the whole thing," she corrected. "You started to knead my breasts, and as much as I knew it was wrong, it felt good. You have a way with your hands, Daddy, and if Mom has not complimented you on that, let me then be the first to do so."
"She has - let's leave it at that!"
"Sure thing. Anyway, so here I was, your daughter, enjoying getting felt up by my own father, and I was thinking like what more could happen. You were still dead to the world, and I wasn't sure how much I could hold on before I gave in, and then, the unbelievable happened. You started to suckle on them!"