desire of our hearts

9

What Did You Learn In Martial Arts Class Today? 

“Character” 

Throughout the cycles we go through in our lives and our training, we can polish and refine our character: “who we are”, along with our skills. As we train and develop our physical and mental selves, over time this constant refining and balancing can help us to grow as a person and refine our character, regardless of how we grew up. What we’ve been through in life maybe defines, “how we are” but not “who we are”. It can be difficult, painful and a process of making mistake after mistake, but we can change and learn, if we eventually let go enough to “listen”.

When we have the seed planted in our “idea”, our “heart”, we train, we work on it, we can now understand it, we work on it more, refining body and mind together until it becomes habit, this habit becomes our characteristic, which can be seen in our expression of ourselves. We then come back to that “idea” and we realize that we only scratched the surface and it can go much deeper, as we can now see more than before. 

We repeat this process over and over through training, thus refining our physical skills, our mental skills, which combined help us to find a balance of refining our Character, helping us to grow and learn. We don’t need to try to get rid of that that little bit of craziness and the quirky parts that makes us the unique individual’s we are. We can never be perfect, too good, or too bad, as we experience life, we experience many things, but to look at both sides and choose to walk the middle road is most difficult, to be neutral. We are trying to find our natural balance, as we can always work to be better than we were yesterday. 

Through training we can not only develop our skills, our minds, and our behavior, but we can refine our Character - when the realization goes beyond the surface, beyond the superficial driven by outside desires and ego. When the realization touches the soul, touches our hearts in a way, that we want to grow and change, to better ourselves, this helps us to grow so that each cycle when we look at the “idea” again, we keep seeing deeper and deeper into our development. The refinement of body, mind and Character or “Spirit” is The Tao of Martial Arts, The Way…

Train Well and Train Safe

10

#EliaMartellWeek - Day 1 → Elia and her Family.

Justice is in short supply this side of the mountains. There has been none for Elia, Aegon, or Rhaenys.” // “What is our heart’s desire? Vengeance. Justice. Fire and blood.”

8

It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.

I learn a few good lessons by watching this amazing shows, One Piece. If life is Luffy, then we are traversing on the ocean of mystery, looking out for the treasure we desire deep in our heart. The team, the Straw Hat Pirates, are  things we take along on our journey to discover this life’s quest:
- In Luffy, I learn that in other to realize your dream, you’ll need a heart as stubborn as rubber, that stretches beyond imagination and able to withstand almost all type of hazards.
- In Zorro, I learn that I’ll need deep devotion to discipline and inner-strength to overcome adversities.
- In Nami, I learn that I’ll need to learn how to navigate this stormy world and to map out my journey.
- In Usopp, I learn that I’ll need courage to overcome my greatest fear.

- In Sanji, I learn that I’ll need to believe that my dream place exists out there.
- In Chopper, I learn that I’ll need to believe that there is always solution to every problems, as there is cure to every illness.
- In Robin, I learn that I’ll need to learn more from my past, to keep looking out for knowledge.
- In Franky, I learn that I’ll need to equip myself with the right tool to deal with the change of the world. 

- And finally, In Brook, I learn that I’ll need to listen to the wisdom of life, and never forget to be happy.

What about you? What do you learn from One Piece? ^^

stone femmes experience a great deal of interrogation and criticism around our sexuality and identities, the nature of which is always explicitly homophobic and heterosexist. 

our desire and appreciation of butch identity is characterised as suppressed heterosexual inclinations and it’s often supposed our lesbianism is likely the product of child sexual abuse. 

even from within lesbian community, partnerships of stone butches and stone femmes are viewed with suspicion, distrust and an interrogative curiosity that intends to determine whether or not the way we have sex with each other qualifies us for “real” lesbianism.

stone femmes experience a lot of social pressure to be more flexible about our identities (ie: to date men, or perform sexual acts we are not comfortable with), or urged to confront “truths” about ourselves that we’re apparently denying. this has lead many of us to experience extreme discomfort with our sexuality, questioning ourselves what we know to be true in our hearts. the repeated insistence that our desire for stone butches is a desire for masculinity is a type of mass gaslighting in some sense, leading stone femmes to wonder if we really are lesbian and making the true and authentic discovery of our selves and our identities more challenging. it’s a source of great inner turmoil and conflict. our often conventionally feminine presentation, our desire for gender non-conforming women, and the roles we tend to take in sexual exchange, are seen by outsiders - both straight and LGBT - as undeniable evidence of attraction to men. the result is that stone femmes make compromises that hurt us and conflict directly with our true needs and desires. in my case, I had a couple of relationships with men - one cis and one trans - both of which had problems for several reasons but one big one being my own discomfort and lack of desire, the fact that ultimately I saw myself with a woman. 

navigating a world in which compulsory heterosexuality rules is fraught for any lesbian. for stone femmes, our exclusive desire for butches appears to outsiders as additional ammo to assault our sense of identity with. “why don’t you just date a man?” is a common remark every stone femme has heard when showing others photos of our partners, or women we are interested in. this hurts stone femmes in a direct sense, as it questions our lesbianism (which is already under fire in a homophobic world anyway), and it additionally provokes guilt and shame as we feel we have exposed butches to insensitive and callous appraisal that is incapable of recognising the beauty we see. the insidiousness of gendered expectations is such that the incessant repetition of these attitudes chips away steadily at our own perception of our desires, to the detriment of our mental health.

furthermore, this attitude is revoltingly homophobic and misogynistic towards butches as well, as it positions butches as substitutes for men, or women attempting to imitate men, rather than the gender non-conforming women they actually are, and wholly realised (and perfect!) as. such is the nature of sexism, it is often confounding to people of all sexualities that a conventionally feminine woman could look at a woman who does not attempt to be “beautiful” in a way deemed acceptable for women, and find her the most desirable person in the room. I have even had people say to me “but don’t you want to experience all the things that make women so wonderful?”, like I haven’t already experienced exactly that with my butch partners (and am so fulfilled by it I don’t want anything else).

in my case, this aspect of myself has also been used by people who were abusing me to claim that I was straight and falsely presenting myself as queer. their public attacks were directly centered on the fact that I’m “only interested in women who look like men”. it’s violently homophobic, against butches and femmes both, and was extremely distressing to experience.

as for the ways that stone butches and stone femmes are intimate together, there are again a great deal of assumptions and conclusions drawn by outsiders who cannot relate to the experience or significance of being together in a way that feels extremely natural and fulfilling. at its most stripped-back core, stone simply means “is not penetrated/does not penetrate”. there are often a couple of other accompanying boundaries, but in the context of very trusting and intimate relationships, those boundaries may sometimes be expanded.  it is, of course, personal and specific to each couple. more importantly than anything else is that other people - including other LGBT people - not project their own perceptions onto the stone lesbian experience. the idea that in order for sex to be truly complete and fulfilling for both partners each must experience certain acts is just placing limitations on the definition of sex. which is also extremely heterosexist. LGBT people have long struggled to have our ways of having sex recognised as very real despite the absence of penis-in-vagina. to impose a rigid definition of lesbian sex on lesbians is to ignore and dismiss the extremely complicated and diverse ways in which sexual desire is formed and experienced, as well as the very complicated and diverse ways women exist in general. 

one of the most important ways that stone femme as a sexual identity exists is in respect to stone butch. stone butches experience a great deal of resistance to their physical boundaries, in ways that is often intensely violating and hurtful and leads them to question whether they are broken, or repressed, or even if they themselves are “real” lesbians. the stone femme’s ability and willingness to accept and respect the stone butch’s needs validates the stone butch identity as authentic and natural and provides much needed comfort and appreciation. in this context, a stone butch may feel comfortable to explore their boundaries further in ways they could not do with a partner who repeatedly pushed for access they did not feel safe to give.  or they may not. it doesn’t actually matter, so long as two people within the context of their private relationship explore physical intimacy in the way that is satisfying, fulfilling and pleasurable for them both. the perception that stone butches and stone femmes are not doing this rely entirely both on heterosexist and cissexist ideas about what bodies configured in certain ways should enjoy, rather than what individuals with unique histories coming together in mutual desire actually do enjoy. enjoyment is central to satisfaction. and no one can know what is going on in another person’s bedroom unless they are there. so to draw conclusions about what sex means for other people is to say that individuals cannot be expressing themselves through genuine connection with their needs and desires.  when stone butches and stone femmes already experience so much hostility towards our identities, this assumption we are not having sex “properly” only amplifies insecurity and isolation and feeds back into damaging ideas that sex is only real when it occurs in certain ways.

I reblogged a quote the other day by lesbian butch photographer Jill Posener in which she says that being butch is about loving to be with other women. I feel the same way about being femme. If I wanted to be with a man, I would be. It wouldn’t be hard and everyone would welcome it unquestioningly. In fact, it would make a lot more people a lot more comfortable with my existence. I desire butch because I love other women and love being with other women. and I’m tired of being made to question that. we all are. if you wonder why it is you don’t see stone femmes talk more openly about our existence and experiences, it’s that: we’re all just tired. we’re all so used to be questioned and interrogated that mostly we stay quiet now and keep to ourselves. it’s not worth the unending assault on our very way of being to keep having to challenge the status quo. we trust only each other. and this is another reason why stone communities are so private and fiercely defended.

me and other stone femmes have dealt with other people’s homophobia and misogyny making us question ourselves to the detriment of our own peace of mind and sense of security in our own identity. an identity we can struggle to even find in a homophobic world. it’s violent, and it’s twisted, and it’s one more way that lesbian desire is policed and dismissed as somehow incomplete or insincere.

#LOAThursday

14 Ways The Law Of Attraction Can Improve Your Life

1. Physical health - taking care of the body is a form of self-love which attracts love into other areas of our lives.

2. Relationships - we understand that we attract what we are, so we change ourselves to attract the relationship we want to experience.

3. Work - we find what we love to do by following our heart’s desires & create our reality based on what excites us the most.

4. Mental health - peace of mind & mental clarity come as a result of adjusting our vibrations & prioritising the reality we want to create rather than what others expect of us.

5. Love - focusing on what we love attracts more of it into our lives, so we fill our lives with what we love to do & who we love to be around.

6. Self-esteem - knowing that we are responsible for the reality we create gives us more confidence & the power to create better.

7. Thought patterns - we learn to create positive thought patterns that reinforce gratitude which results in peace of mind.

8. Friendships - we acknowledge that all friendships can be improved if we change ourselves to reflect what we’d like to experience.

9. Life decisions - following any path will present us with resistance or peace, it is then up to us what we’d like to attract more of.

10. Overthinking - we understand that following each train of negative thought will attract more of the same mental state & instead we choose to focus on what we’re grateful for rather than our problems.

11. Negativity - distancing ourselves from negativity attracts positive thoughts, which result in positive actions & feelings.

12. Success - the process of manifesting our desires can help us to create success in anything we choose.

13. Planning - we are able to create the future we desire using our actions and thoughts to align with it vibrationally.

14. Perspective - we learn to focus on gratitude rather than any problems we may be facing.

We have the power to create the life we want to live.

Peace & positive vibes.

Your weaknesses are the portal to your strengths. NO ONE WHO’S EVER BEEN STRONG, WAS BORN THAT WAY. you become strong by fighting that person you HATE that resides within you. The one that holds you back. The one responsible for your self sabotage. In order to rebuild yourself into the warrior that YOU are meant to be, you must DESTROY yourself over, and over, and fuckin over until there is NOTHING LEFT TO DESTROY ANYMORE. Only then can you upcycle the remains and recreate yourself into your higher self. The version of you that doesn’t need a fuckin sky daddy or a fuckin professional crowd panderer…. I mean president, to tell you wtf is wrong or right because you have INTEGRITY. The you that DOESN’T need a fuckin girlfriend or fuckin boyfriend to validate your fuckin worth because everyone’s opinion of you is WORTHLESS. The artistic version of you that is passionately perfecting your abilities regardless of how “good” anyone thinks you are at them. The version of yourself that you keep locked away from your vocal cords, tied up and kept in “shut the fuck up” mode that isn’t scared to tell people what the fuck you’re actually thinking instead of what you think that they want to hear and does exactly what the fuck you want to do instead of what you think your parents, your friends, your fuckin lover or any mothafuckin one else wants you to do. THE REAL YOU. That fucker right there, im tryin to rip that fucker out of you with my words right now cuz I’ll roll hard with that fucker. We need more people like the person that is locked up inside of you. Destroy, examine, remember, reconnect, rebuild. This is the essence of living a life in devotion to a life of CONTROLLED CHAOS. To live in the predatory pursuit of coalescence with your ultimate self by harnessing the VICIOUS cycle of SELF IMPROVEMENT AND SELF DESTRUCTION. This is not the only way to unlock yourself tho, there are many. This is what works for me because I developed it through a life of chaos that I have to control. Try my method, or don’t and find your own. Either fuckin way, I am personally setting you up with this as your mission and providing you with a means to AT LEAST get you started. FINALLY. don’t you think its time to stop letting your unjustified self doubt fueled anxiety keep fuckin crippling your mood, actions, and words yet? I ALREADY KNOW THAT THE REAL YOU, YOUR HIGHER SELF, WANTS NOTHING MORE THAN EVER. So hurry the fuck up. You have to BECOME the CHANGE you want to see in the world in order to enact the changes that ALL our hearts and minds desire. It will take a LOT of time, energy and suffering to accomplish this, but once you let yourself out it’s like unleashing the ultimate predator amongst SHEEP.

Loss of innocence

So this arc sure took its sweet time to get going, but boy is it moving now. And the best thing about this is that Our!Ciel isn’t the only one who’s having the ground breaking under him—the two biggest rays of sunshine in the manga are, too. 

Lizzy and Soma are in a dark place right now—emotionally, at least—, and while Yana used them to give us (and Ciel) breaks when things in the manga got too rough, this time Lizzy and Soma are in the eye of the storm. 

That’s why the tone of this chapter is so wonderful. People are mourning, shocked, scared–and with good reason, because it sets the stage for what’s to come. Whatever innocence was left in these characters is gone, now. And it’ll only get worse from here. Especially since Real Ciel is tied to the horrors of the past and is now bringing them full-force into the present, so they won’t only be our!Ciel’s burden to bear.

Yana won’t only put our!Ciel and his identity, his wants, his needs and his desires to the test; Lizzy and Soma will be going through the same process, and it’ll be so interesting to see where this all leads them. 

This is where we’ll see just how strong they - and their bonds with each other - truly are, and it’s going to be awesome. 

It’s not all about getting heaven in the future, but having God now.
It’s not about following your heart, but pursuing His.
It’s not about chasing your own purposes and desires, but going after His.
It’s not just about telling God what breaks our heart, but asking what breaks His.
It’s not about finding your own way, but acknowledging Him in all your ways so He can direct your path.

It’s all about Him. It has to be less about me and more about Him.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” -John 3:30

3

We’re extremely thrilled to announce the full list of participating writers and artists for Dark Horse: An Otabek Altin Zine!

While we have seen many wonderful submissions among the 213 we received in total (57 writer applications and 156 artist applications!), this list shows the ones who stood out the most among the rest. 

Of course, we cannot emphasise enough how grateful we are to everyone who signed up, and we hope you can continue to support us by helping spread the word about the zine, cheering on the participating artists and writers, and showing your love for Otabek by making more art and writing more fic and living your life as your heart desires. 

To our selected participants, we are so excited to be working on this project with you! 

And to everyone else, we hope you are as pumped as we are about all of this. Please keep checking back here and on twitter for more updates!

All the best,

👍 The Dark Horse Zine Team 

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Four: Enriching the World Through Dialogue

We often think that world-building must be done through narration, that we only showcase our world and our world’s potential through the use of long paragraphs detailing the style of the carts and the architecture of the city, the clothing and hairstyles, and on and on with all the details our hearts desire. What we often forget is how tiring long paragraphs of these kinds of observations can be. Dialogue can be an extremely useful tool for introducing information about your world without feeling constrained to the narrative voice of the piece.

What’s normal and what’s not.

Have you ever been talking to someone and you mention a store you frequent or the flock of turkeys that forced you to stop on your way across town, and the other person gives you the blankest stare. Experiences across the world–even across town–are not the same (just to state the obvious for a minute). The variations found in everyone’s lives can become fantastic opportunities when you put two people from different places together because they will automatically be more likely to point out differences and ignore similarities.

Acknowledging things that are common vs. uncommon in a setting may not seem particularly important, but think of it this way: You’re writing a world entirely different than ours, which means that we can’t imagine all the things that are possible within this new world. How are we to know when something out of the ordinary presents itself to the characters unless the characters let us know? The way your characters talk about certain aspects of the world will help give the audience a better understanding of what normal life is like. To set up something scary and unnatural for the world, we need to know what the opposite looks like.

Remember that with movies, we can tell what the focus is and what the movie considers important by how much time is spent on/with it. Utilize the same concept to create the contrast of ordinary and extraordinary to help your audience easily make those distinctions. Of course, it’s not that you shouldn’t mention normal things at all, but that neither a full page conversation nor a full paragraph of description needs to be given to them. Draw attention to the extraordinary, coax it to the forefront.

Use dialogue to illustrate these little nuances. Have characters remark on things to each other and tell each other short stories that give the audience context. This is especially useful when you have a collection of character who aren’t from the same place. Regional variants on food, architecture, creatures, and customs give you great opportunities to build your world through quick moments between characters. “It’s strange to see all these grey horses. Most of ours are brown.” Even something as simple as this shows your audience that there’s more out there than what’s on-screen at the moment.

There are plenty of times when working these kinds of details into narration feel awkward. Remember that you have this other tool–dialogue–to utilize, too. Working it into conversation can work in a dynamic way not only building your world, but also your character. More on that another day.

Mechanics of the world.

When writing in worlds with some really complex systems like magic, or a very deeply developed set of cultures, religions, and all the rest that come with a whole new world, it can be very tempting to use our characters’ mouths to try to explain it to our readers. It’s a fantastic opportunity, especially when we’re able to put characters into a situation where they can ask, “Why? Why isn’t it working? Why did that happen? Why can’t we use that idea?” These platforms for information are so convenient, but without keeping a couple of things in mind when crafting these conversations, diary entries, letters, and other forms of communication, they can become info-dumps just as easily as narration can.

Keep voice in mind. Whether you’re trying to convey how something works through a written dialogue or a spoken one, your words are not actually yours. They belong to the character speaking them. Make sure you keep them in mind. You need to be using their vocabulary, their opinions, and most of all, their understanding of the world and how it functions. Just because we–as writers–know the very specific inner workings of why one magic works with another but doesn’t work with this other one doesn’t mean that your character does. Yes, it’s that very thing that enables us to set up these “why” scenarios, but it’s the same reason why answering those questions cannot and should not be a regurgitation of your planning notebook.

In a video game, we know the mechanics programmed into the server that allows for this or doesn’t allow for that, and we can explain it to each other, but our characters only know what they can see and observe through the technology available to them according to the time period of their story. Remember that. Remember that you can’t just have a character say, “I can’t cast that anymore today because I’m out of fifth level spells.” It needs to use words and an understanding of the world that are true to them, not true to us.

Lastly, with world mechanics and dialogue, keep it short, light, and in character. The more time you dwell on whatever it is you’re trying to explain, the more likely it will become uncharacteristic both for the speaking character and for the story’s tone. It’ll bog down a scene faster than a sinkhole in the road. Giving these kinds of world-building details are best done by showing the system in action rather than trying to explain it. Dialogue is the easy way out in this case. Challenge yourself to create scenarios that force your characters to use and showcase the abilities of the various systems in your world.

Next up: Character-building through dialogue!

The Fortress

Our house is known as the Fortress.

It’s not a name used by people outside the house. Rather, it is a name we use ourselves to refer to our residence—affectionately, of course. When I say we, I mean my mother, my sister, and I. My father has no idea that this reference even exists.

It was my sister who first used the name, but it stuck in our minds and since then it has actually become quite popular with the three of us. The reason for its popularity will become evident as I say more about my family, but keep in mind that it is more of a fortress for the women in the house than for me.

First of all, there is a king in this fortress. He is the supreme ruler. His rules and commands are to be obeyed without even a frown on our foreheads. My sister and I do get away with occasional protest but most of the time we dare not say anything. My mother is no better off than the two of us, even though she is the queen. In a way, she is even worst than us because she doesn’t even get a break while retiring for the evening.

My father is very loving and very generous, mind you. He showers us with affection and loads us with all the material things our hearts may desire. There is no way we can complain about our lifestyle or about lacking anything we need. As a matter of fact we are rather spoiled as a family and he makes sure that we are well-provided for. In return all he asks of us is that we follow a few strict guidelines of his.

He is very fond of his first born, who thank the Almighty, was a boy, as he had hoped and prayed for. That would be me. I am the apple of my father’s eye and the fact that I do so well in my studies and play his favourite sport on a semi-professional level, makes him even more proud than my just being a boy. I started my college only recently and my father finds that to be an additional reason for his pride. He never made it to college because of the way things were in his family those many years ago. The fact that he made sure his boy went to college, in a vicarious sort of way, makes him feel very accomplished.

He is very protective of my sister, who is the delicate little flower in his life. She is well-kept, to say the least, but more appropriately she is well-preserved. She is thoroughly looked after and her needs are seen to immediately. My mother treats her like a little doll, mostly because my father wants her to be treated that way, and my sister is a little doll when it comes to her looks and behaviour.

There is only one problem, and this problem is the main reason for our house being labelled a fortress. The women represent a man’s honour and that honour is guarded with one’s life. My father guards his honours (two of them) very jealously. It is understandable that he would be so shielding of my mother—typical male behaviour when it comes to his mate—but he is even worst when it comes to my sister.

Our culture dictates that a woman cannot go in front of strangers without her head and body being fully covered. That usually means that our women normally wear anabaya over their normal clothing and a scarf over their hair. An abaya is basically a garment, most often worn by the Middle Eastern women, that hangs from head to toes like a gown and hides whatever is underneath or inside of it from prying eyes. These eyes don’t have to be real, so the paranoia requires the household to be a fortified sanctuary where no intruding eyes can see a woman in her actual form.

This actual form can be an interesting thing, if you see it from the other side. Behind that rather conservative and concealing garment lies a world of wonders. Since the outer garment hides what is underneath, many women—my mother and sister included—tend to dress rather provocatively underneath, just to be subversive, in a quiet and passive sort of way.

The women are not supposed to consort with strangers; usually that means strange men. As the explanation goes, the idea is not that we don’t trust our women, but we don’t trust those men. Their eyes fall upon our women and they immediately start thinking sexual thoughts about them. It is those thoughts that we fear the most and find them insulting, so we try to stop them from ever coming into existence by making our women less desirable, by hiding them behind a lot of clothing, and by keeping them from wearing makeup that would tantalize the perverted imagination.

The rules are not as strict for married and elderly women, so my mother is at least free to talk to strange men when shopping or when there is an occasion where she is forced to come across a stranger who happens to be a male. She is also free to talk to certain uncles, cousins, or other relatives of the family.

The rules are extremely strict for a young girl, who is of the marrying age. My sister, being such a girl, cannot show herself in the presence of a man, stranger or related, and she is not allowed to be alone with our male cousins or even some young uncles, no matter what the occasion is. She cannot talk to them or look at them in a way where some remote possibility of a sexual thought exists.

Where am I from, you ask?

Believe it or not, I am from Africa. Where exactly in Africa, that’ll be my secret, but I am not black African or even a white African. I am an Indian African. Our roots are somewhere in India; our religion is one of the religions in Indo/Pak territory; and we follow the customs that our ancestors brought with them almost a century ago. Only problem is that our customs are much more rigid than what our cousins back there practice nowadays. While they have moved on with times, we have stuck to lessons that are almost a century old. It is now a matter of pride to be old fashioned like our great-grandparents, than to be one of the “modern” families where the words like honour and respect have no meanings.

Some of you would have rightly noted that abaya and scarf are not part of any Indian/Pakistani dress. We have borrowed a few traditions from other cultures in order to become more orthodox and we have clung to them as if they were always part of our own traditions. The burqa that Indian/Pakistani women use is worn only by the wives of religious leaders and the rest of us make fun of them, as an act of self-justification and personal consolation. We can say that at least we are not that bad.

Of course, there is a double standard that we practice religiously on a daily basis. I am allowed to venture out and experience the life outside. I am allowed to attend a college and skip on religious studies. I am allowed to play sports and go to places by myself. My sister can’t even think about any of it. She has to study religion and matters of religious importance and she must learn to be a good cook. She can’t go out without an escort and she cannot go out during the evening hours unless she is with the family. Thus her use of the word fortress for our house.

Our house is a fortress in its physical makeup as well. There is a high wall with an electric fence on top of it running all around the house. There is a heavy-duty electric gate with a video-com to see the visitors before opening it or to talk to them and turn them away when we don’t want them to come in. There are four maids that work in and around the house and they all have strict instructions to not let anyone come near the residence without prior approval.

Of course, things are not as bad as they sound. My sister has female friends who come to visit her and she does go places, usually accompanied by my mother. She does spend time going to stores, going to a beautician, going to learn cooking from a female teacher, learning to bake from a neighbour, and all that. Almost all of the time she is accompanied by my mother, or by a female who is then answerable to my mother.

My mother is not as strict with her, though, as my father. Being a woman herself, she understands the frustration my sister feels while growing under strict rules and she does let her have quite a bit of freedom. But she will never, ever, ever, allow my sister to associate with a boy where something can develop between the two of them. My sister is being raised to be a good wife to a man that my father will choose for her, and one of the requirements of a good wife is to be chaste, innocent, and virtuous.

Those qualities basically mean the same thing, with slight variation in connotations. What those qualities really mean is that she should be a virgin when she gets married and she should never have had any kind of feelings for any man other than her husband. That way, her first love will be her husband, to whom she’ll then devote her life and be a good wife, who is a good cook and a good housekeeper.

Of course, a wife should also be a good lover. While she is given full training for being a good cook and a good housekeeper, there is absolutely no training for being a good lover, or even a good mother. She is even forbidden from discussing sex or learning anything about it. I guess the assumption is that the husband will teach her everything she needs to know. That way he’ll mould her to his liking and they’ll have a happy marriage.

But there is more to keeping her pure. Her purity personifies the father’s honour. The purer she is, the more honoured her father becomes. A really proud father has a daughter who never spoke of sex, never heard of sex, and never, ever thought of sex.

I don’t blame you if you find this background a little difficult to believe but those who have grown in a culture similar to mine, will recognize this to be true, and while we may be a bit extreme, they can easily recognize my family in their circles.

One thing that parents like my father and mother do not understand is that such restrictive environment makes a person more curious about the things that are forbidden. As a blatant example of contradictory practices, while we try to shield her from things that would be considered immoral, we have a large screen TV with Digital Satellite Television dish, DVD, and VCR attached to it. The images one sees on TV, or even in the magazines, then take on an added dimension and become disproportionately exciting; whereas a little bit of freedom would dilute their effect to almost negligible proportions. The contacts with males during weddings or other family gatherings become much greater events than they otherwise would, or even should for that matter. Men become more significant than they deserve to be.

Of course, being curious is one thing but having the means to satisfy one’s curiosity is another. In my sister’s case, I was probably the only male of her age—and mindset—that she associated with. The rest were older men who were either our father’s age or our grandfather’s age. Even I was only around her when she was younger. I went to an all male boarding school, so I was away during my high school years. From there I moved to a university, where I lived in a hostel with another male roommate. My presence around her only came during summer vacations when I came back home, or during holidays when I came for a visit.

I was free from the fortress during my boarding school days, but that freedom was only physical. My mind was still under my father’s control. My true freedom only came when I started college. Being in the presence of mixed company, I bloomed and flourished. Of course, this story is not about that time in my life, so I’ll skip it. Suffice it to say, I became a lot wiser in my one year in college than I ever did during my life before that.

The affect our household had on my sister was to render her immature, both in body and behaviour. She grew in years but her body stayed very slender, making her look a few years younger. Her mind also stayed younger. Even though she was over eighteen when this story takes place, she looked and acted like she was only fifteen years old. She was the doll of our house; she looked like a doll and she behaved like one.

This story begins with my first summer vacation in college. I came home a different man with a different outlook on things. I was more mature and saw the world differently than I did at the start of my college. You can say that I had grown—but I found the household stuck in a time warp. Of course, the minute I stepped inside the fortress, I fell under its spell and the restriction and binds once again became a reality for me, even though I could analyse them from a different perspective or frame of reference.

My sister had resigned to her fate and I found her to be more subdued than I remembered her from our past. Well, subdued may not be the right word for it. She was rather passive and she had lost her heady zest of adolescence. She became lively with my arrival but only like a robot that had acquired new batteries. I didn’t feel sorry for her because that was the way she was supposed to be and it seemed like she had accepted her lot in life. Technically, therefore, there was nothing to feel sorry about.

I did pick on her, though, for old times sake, when I asked my mother, “Mom, do you even feed this girl. She is all skin and bones.”

My mother just laughed and my sister protested, “I am not that skinny, and I do eat a lot. You don’t want me to be chunky, do you?”

“No, but you should have some meat on your bones. Otherwise you won’t fetch the right price when you are sold in marriage.”

My mom told me off. “Leave her alone,” she said. “She is a lovely girl.”

I laughed, “That she is, mom. But only because she is tall and she can get away with being slender. Otherwise, she’ll have problems getting someone to even like her.”

My sister then pinched me on my arm and we all laughed. My sister was getting to the age where marriage was becoming a serious possibility for her and I used the African custom of labola, or bride money, as the basis of my teasing.

My sister is only a year younger than me. She and I were more than siblings when we were growing up in the sense that we only had each other to play with. There were always fights, there were always the kinds of teasing two juvenile playmates throw at each other, and there was always the bond two young people who are close in age feel for each other.

Of course, this bond changed to a brother-sister relationship when we hit puberty and became very formal when we became adults. My teasing became one sided as she took on the passive look and it decreased to negligible amounts by the time I went to college.

As I settled into my room on the first evening back home, my sister came by with a few things I might have needed, like soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and toilet paper. My room is usually reserved for me and no one uses it in my absence so things only get replenished at the beginning of my visit.

I normally shower before going to sleep and that evening, as I was busy taking my shower, I heard the door open and someone came in. This was not unusual because my mother used to bring me a towel or my clean clothes when I was younger; but I was no longer a young boy and I didn’t like such intrusion into my private time. Luckily the texture of the shower door was such that it distorted the image completely. The steam rising from my hot shower clouded things a lot further, so she couldn’t have seen anything through the door.

I hadn’t expected anyone to come in while my shower was running; otherwise, I would have locked the door. I thought of saying something but decided not to; it was no use; she was already there, doing something to the long handle attached to the shower door. I just waited for her to leave before resuming my activity.

As the vague outline moved to leave the bathroom, I heard my sister say, “I am leaving a fresh towel for you.”

I was surprised to discover that it was my sister and not my mother who had brought me the towel. I found my sister’s presence in the bathroom to be very upsetting. I had to say something to her about barging in on me like that, so I opened the door and stuck my head out, making sure that the rest of my body was hidden from her view. When she heard the door open, she turned back to see what I wanted. I said to her, “Shamila, you shouldn’t come into the bathroom while I am showering. I may not be decent.”

She replied, almost nonchalantly, “It was mom who made me do it. Besides, I heard the shower running so I knew it was okay for me to come in. I can’t see anything while you are inside the shower.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. She didn’t wait for me to say anything else and left as casually as she had spoken of her not being able to see anything. When I came out of the shower, I was puzzled to find two towels. Apparently I already had one, so there was no need for her to bring a new one.

It was close to ten and I was already in bed getting ready to sleep when she came to my room with a bottle of water, a glass, a plate, and some fruit. I asked her, “What happened to the maids?”

“Oh, maids are not allowed in this part of the house any longer.”

“Why is that?” I was surprised to hear that. My mother usually runs the maids ragged.

“A few incidents happened. We don’t trust them like we used to.” With those words she put the stuff on the side table and then sat on the bed towards the feet area and started to peel and cut the fruit for me.

“Then you must be the new maid,” I laughed. “I like this maid better anyways. She works for free.”

She threw one of the peels at me, “You can laugh all you want, but I am not free. Actually, I am very expensive.”

“I guess you are right. Look at the jewellery and expensive clothing you are wearing. Only a favoured maid would get such treatment.”

“Just remember,” she waived the knife at me, “Eat your food with care. You may find something in it that will disturb your system drastically.”

I laughed with her as I took the fruit and started eating it. She joined in and then after a brief pause, she asked, “Do you really think I am too skinny?”

She wasn’t looking at me when she asked the question, for some reason. I guess she knew what my answer was going to be and was hoping for it to be different.

I looked at her carefully. She seemed very serious while waiting for the answer. I knew my answer had to be political. I mean, she was skinny, but not so much that it would be considered unattractive. Her long, black hair pretty much made up for anything that being skinny—sorry, slender—took away from her looks. They were long enough to come all the way down to the back of her thighs and were full and shiny. Whenever she stood tall with her hair flowing behind her, she looked beautiful.

“You are not skinny. You are slender. Your height makes you very graceful and attractive.”

She beamed with my answer as she looked at me, smiled awkwardly, and said, “Really, you think so?”

“Yes, I know so.” I liked the fact that my statement had made her so happy. It showed in her body language as she left my room.

The following morning, I was in the middle of getting dressed when she came back again. I had my pants and my undershirt on but I still had my shirt to put on.

“Don’t you knock before you come in?” I protested.

“You should lock the door when you don’t want anyone to come in. That’s what I do.” She snapped at me. “I came to find out if you needed anything ironed.”

I felt bad for my irritation. She was, after all, looking after my needs.

“Sorry, Shamila. I am not used to this kind of attention.”

She left the room quietly.

Thus, our routine was set. She would bring me a fresh towel every time I showered and iron my clothes whenever I needed. She would bring me fruit and water at night and then sit with me and peel and cut it while we both ate together and chatted for a while.

The subject of her being skinny came up a couple of days later. She wanted to hear more from me about the way she looked. I knew she was fishing for compliments, so I obliged, “You know, Shamila, you have a model’s body. Some people would call it skinny but a lot of them would find it very attractive. Many women would kill to look like you.”

Okay, so I was laying it a little thick, but she seemed to be eating it all up. I figured I was probably the only one who ever told her about her physical features being attractive.

“Besides you have the hair to die for. Once people see you with your hair down, it’s no contest.”

She seemed very excited with my comments. She giggled with each remark and I could see her face getting more colour into it with each sentence. I was enjoying her excitement. I decided to go even further at the spur of the moment, “Come to think of it, a belly like yours is probably best suited for a pierced bellybutton.”

She became agitated with that last comment. She jumped off of the bed, lifted her shirt up, and said, “You mean, like this.”

She was giggling as she bared her stomach to show me a stud in her bellybutton.

The kind of clothing my sister usually wears around the house makes it impossible to see anything other than her hands and face. I do see her hair because she usually doesn’t cover them around the house; but I have never seen her cleavage or belly or legs. When I feasted my eyes on her milky white stomach that day, I had a reaction that can only be described as arousal.

She usually wears a long shirt that is formfitting on top and hangs all the way down to her knees. Underneath she wears a loose fitting shalwar that is tied around her waist with a cord. The cord runs through the material and wraps around her hips to be tied like a shoelace in the front. Usually the extra length of the cord is tucked inside the shalwar and hangs down between or in front of her thighs. She then drapes a dupatta (a long scarf) around her neck with the ends hanging behind her and the middle part covering her breasts so they are not visible to the men in the house, like my father and I.

The view that I found myself looking at when she showed me her pierced bellybutton was a very rare occurrence. There she was, holding the front part of her shirt up to her chest, the shalwar around her waist hanging considerably below the bellybutton, the curve of her stomach disappearing down into her shalwar, and the yellow nala(cord) appearing and disappearing behind the folds. Her shalwar fit snugly around her hips and thighs, despite being a loose garment. I could make out a trace of her pubic hair visible around the top of her shalwar. That surprised me because we are required to shave them regularly. It also excited me.

She must have seen that gleam in my eyes as I ogled that little bit of skin shining at me like the moon. She was nervous and giggled embarrassedly. I got hold of myself quickly and whispered, “My God, Shamila! Does mom know about this?”

She laughed, “Yes, she does. It took almost a year of begging before she consented. I am not supposed to show it to anybody, but I’ve been dying to show it to someone ever since I got it pierced.”

“Well, it looks very sexy, and I was right, you do have the best stomach for it.”

She dropped her shirt down and sat back on the bed. Her giggles continued to erupt now and then. She finally got up to leave and said, “I am shaking. I better go and calm myself down.”

This is what happens when a person is unduly repressed from expressing herself.

That was a significant development between the two of us. She was so excited that she had to leave and calm herself down. I didn’t know why she was so excited, but she was excited nevertheless. I guess I was excited myself by that small peek at her body, and I shouldn’t have been. Even though it was my sister’s belly; the fact that it was a rare thing for me to see had elicited my response.

As subtle as that interaction had been, it did have one lasting effect on us. We became a lot freer with each other.

A dupatta is used to cover one’s chest to keep it hidden from males in the house, but it is a very clumsy item of clothing, especially the way my sister normally wears it. It tends to slip and slide and usually gets in the way of any serious work. One result of our being freer around each other was the disappearance of her dupatta when she came with fruit and water in the evenings. That in turn made her long and beautiful hair even more prominent every time I saw her, and yes, it also brought her breasts in the open.

She was a bit “slender” in her chest area as well. She didn’t have big breasts, or even medium sized ones. She had small breasts, which went well with her body. The fact that they were small meant that she didn’t have to wear a bra most of the time. The top that goes with a shalwar, known as a kameese, usually hides them adequately, so I couldn’t really see her nipples pushing through the material, but I knew there was no bra underneath it from the way her chest shaped the kameese.

The other result of our being freer was that I didn’t rush to put my shirt on as quickly as I used to when she came into my room. Being a male, it wasn’t required that I cover myself completely in the presence of a woman, although modesty dictates that I should. She had come into the bathroom while I showered and had seen me a few times with only my undershirt, so it became a routine for me to have only my undershirt on in the evenings during our chats.

As a natural consequence of that, I wasn’t too concerned when one morning she came in and found me standing in front of the mirror, brushing my teeth, with my upper body exposed. I was still in my pants but I had no shirt or undershirt on. The water was running as I was trying to get the hot water to start flowing. She came in thinking that I must be in the shower. I noticed a slight hesitation when she found me standing in front of the mirror, but she casually walked in as was her routine, placed the towel on the bar, and went out.

She was rather nonchalant at seeing me half naked, but she did hesitate at the door. Of course that is a natural reaction to seeing someone where they are not expected to be. There was, however, that one look she gave me as she walked by on her way out. What made it significant was the fact that it was an averted look. It was a quick look in the mirror to see my reflection but when she realized that I was looking at her as she was leaving, she quickly looked away. I was looking at her because I was waiting for her to leave before continuing with my brushing. I didn’t want her to see me foaming and spitting so I had to know when she was gone and I could safely resume my activity.

It was okay for her to look in the mirror because everyone does that when passing in front of a mirror. But when she saw me looking at her while she was looking at me, she seemed unprepared for it. It was as if she was doing something she shouldn’t have been doing and the fear of getting caught made her look away quickly.

Of course I may have been mistaken. Maybe she didn’t look away too quickly; she just looked away as she was supposed to do anyways. There was no way for me to really be sure—unless—I were to re-enact the event. I don’t know why but I wanted to be sure.

She looked at me again the next time, but she did not avert her eyes. As she was about to leave the bathroom, I called her back. She stood in the door looking at me to find out what I wanted. I couldn’t think of anything to say, other than, “You don’t have to bring me a towel every morning. I can get it from you the night before.”

She didn’t look me in the eyes; instead she was looking at my chest. She replied, “It’s okay. I don’t mind.”

I paused as I tried to think of something else to add, but I couldn’t come up with anything. She continued looking at my chest while waiting for me to dismiss her. My pause was long enough to give her the time to drop her gaze down from my chest to my belly and further down. Then it happened. She looked away very quickly.

I was one hundred percent sure that she looked away because she was afraid of getting caught looking at me. I didn’t know why she was afraid of getting caught looking at me. There was nothing wrong if she looked at me but there must be something wrong with why she looked at me.

I found that to be very exciting.

I started to talk to her every morning after that. It wasn’t too difficult, once I thought carefully about things, to come up with a topic or two each day. She became more comfortable in my presence and our interactions opened us to each other in ways that we had never done before. For one, we had never actually talked to each other as much as we started to do then. She also started to spend more time around me.

One Sunday as we were eating our breakfast, she tried to hand me something. I was busy with the comics, so I lifted my hand to grab it without looking at where it was. My hand was off the mark, so she held it with her other hand, directed it towards the item she was handing me and placed the item on my palm before releasing my hand.

I don’t know how to tell you about the heat that I felt emanating from her hand. Her hand was very soft and very warm. We had never had that kind of contact before. As a matter of fact, it was the first physical contact between my sister and I since we became adults and there was definitely some electricity running between the two hands. I do think that she held on to my hand longer than it was necessary, probably to verify the affect.

I had to look up because the effect was very strong and when I looked into her face, I realized that she was also feeling the same effect. Our eyes met and there was an undeniable understanding of the nature of that contact. We looked away quickly and busied ourselves with other things, but the contact did register very strongly in our minds.

I was amazed at the sexual charge in our contact, even though a sexual encounter with my sister would be impossible. Just the thought of such an encounter was impossible. There was no way for us to even dream of such a thing without worrying about the terrible repercussions. On the other hand, there was no denying that the contact was stimulating, to say the least.

The effect of our touch was not so much an effect of my sister touching me or I touching my sister; it was an expression of just being touched by a person of the opposite sex. In this case, we were brother and sister, but the touch itself was between a male skin and a female skin. Because there was no one else for my sister with whom to experience the kind of feelings we were experiencing, those feeling kind of spilled over with the first outlet that came along. I guess the feelings were so bottled up that they were waiting to be expressed through any channel that became available.

It was the awareness of the nature of the contact that was more important than who the contact was between.

I was sitting in the back garden that afternoon, taking my tea while skimming through the magazines I had brought with me. My mother and my sister joined me. My sister is not a tea drinker so while my mother and I drank tea and ate cake, she took one of the magazines and moved some distant away from us to read it. My mom couldn’t see her because her back was to my sister but I had a clear view of her as I chatted with my mom.

Once in a while my eyes would turn towards her and come right back because she seemed so immersed in her reading. It was during one of those fleeting looks when my heart skipped a beat as I saw her looking back at me. It wasn’t as much her looking at me as it was the way she looked away when our eyes met.

She acted like she had been caught. Her breathing had become a little uneven as her chest heaved a couple of times before she took a deep breath to even it out. I tried to figure out the reason for her reaction and failed to concentrate because my mother was talking a lot. I did keep an eye on her to see if she would repeat the look.

She didn’t and finally she got up, brought the magazine back to me, and went inside without looking at me.

Her not looking at me seemed even more significant than the look she had given me earlier. There was definitely something in her mind that was unsettling her.

I asked her that evening, “Shamila, you seem a little jittery lately. Is something the matter?”

“No, there is nothing the matter,” was her reply. I felt a little disappointed because I was hoping for her to say something different. I couldn’t pursue the issue any further so I let it drop, but I decided to keep an eye out for that look again.

It came the next evening as we were eating our supper. My father and mother were busy with their food as were the two of us. It was during one of those quiet moments when the silence felt rather thick that I looked towards my sister. I found her staring at me. Our eyes met and I gave her a faint smile. She quickly looked down to her plate, where her food seemed hardly touched.

Her looking away reminded me that I had seen that look before. I couldn’t recall exactly when and where, but in the back of my mind, I remembered another person looking at me the same way as my sister was looking at me from across the table or room. Even her response to my smile seemed familiar.

I did something that evening that I would have never done in the past. I asked her to show me her bellybutton again. She was a little shy at first and showed a lot of reluctance but when I urged her on by saying, “Well, I have seen it once before. It won’t be a big deal if you show it to me again,” she relented.

She stood away from the bed with her shirt pulled up and her bellybutton in full view. It was as arousing as the first time, if not more. I took a good and deep look. She couldn’t hold her shirt up for too long and dropped it. When she came back to the bed, her face and neck were red.

“You look very good.” My lips were quivering under the stress of my emotions as I said that.

She looked at me and our eyes held together for a brief moment before she lowered them and whispered, “Thanks.”

I tried very hard to stop myself but I couldn’t help saying, “You should never wear those clothes that show your midriff. You’ll drive people crazy.”

“Yeah, like I’ll ever have the opportunity to dress like that in front of anyone,” she retorted.

It was clear that I was flirting with her. Whether she realized it or not, I couldn’t say, but I was flirting with mild sexual undertones in my remarks and gestures. It actually felt good and she seemed affected by it; but it wasn’t clear if she felt the way I did or whether she felt embarrassed by the fact that it was her brother and not someone she could actually flirt back with.

Our eyes started to meet on more occasions after that. I would see her looking at me or she would see me looking at her; we would exchange a quick, shy smile and look away. It was clear that we had accepted the nature of our contacts and had given approval to each other that it was okay to be that way with each other. There was no clear definition of “that way” and there was no way forward either; but it was enjoyable just the way it was.

Our acceptance was comfortable enough that one evening I asked her without worrying about a possible negative response if I could see her with her hair down, and she obliged without any hesitation. She went to her room and came back with her long hair flowing behind her in a film star style. Her pose reminded me of Ashwaria Roy—that Indian vixen from the movie Devdas, who has become sweetheart of the Western world. I noticed that her shirt was also a bit tight as she twirled to give me a full view. She must have seen my eyes blazing, because she seemed to be pleased with the affect her hair were having on me. She looked really beautiful and I told her so.

There was definitely something happening between the two of us. We just couldn’t bring it out in the open because of our relationship, but there was some expression of it in our demeanour in each other’s presence as opposed to in front of others. Her hair started to stay loose in the evenings when she spent time with me as my compliments continued with more and more frankness.

One evening, as we sat across from each other, I noticed that she seemed lost in her thoughts, with an occasional half-smile thrown in. I let her continue for a short while before asking, “What are those smiles about?”

“I am thinking something—something rather naughty.”

“Well, then let’s hear it.”

“I don’t know if I should say it.” She smiled more openly at her own thoughts.

“Well, with a smile like that, you have to say it.”

She paused for effect, then said, “I noticed you don’t shave your armpits.”

“I do,” I protested. “Occasionally. Usually I am either lazy or forget to do it.”

“It’s okay if you don’t. I don’t mind. Actually I think it is kind of exciting to see a man with hair under his arms.”

“Well, that’s not what our elders would agree with.”

She laughed again, but it wasn’t at my statement. I just looked at her inquisitively. She was sitting cross-legged in front of me. She did something that I found to be a little too much. She placed her hands a little distance away behind her, extended her chest slightly outward, shook her head to let her hair fall off of the bed, and looked at me rather mischievously.

She said, rather seductively, “I don’t shave my armpits either.”

“Really!” I exclaimed as I took in the view. “Does mom know about it?”

“No, that’s something mom doesn’t know.”

“God, Shamila. You are becoming a rebel in more ways than one.”

She looked at me; actually she looked right into my eyes and held her gaze. I wanted to look away, but didn’t, thinking that she was about to say something I probably wanted to hear. She asked, “Wanna see?”

She wanted to know if I wanted to see her armpit hair. I am not one of those people who like the European look, but there she was, almost proud of her unconventionality. Of course, I had to say yes. I couldn’t lose the opportunity to see more of my sister.

She giggled and jumped, very excited, and ran out of my room. I was more intrigued by the idea of how she would show me her armpits than actually seeing them. I mean, as far as I knew, she didn’t possess any sleeveless clothing, so she would have to somehow lift her shirt up or something. Otherwise she wouldn’t be able to show me anything. I was curious to see if she would go that far.

She came back wearing her nightgown. Her face was red as she gave me an embarrassed look. I waited like a spectator to see what was about to unfold. I didn’t expect her to be naked under that gown, but for a brief moment, I pictured her dropping the gown to bare her shoulders and holding it on her chest as she lifted her one arm and then the other.

She did drop the gown, all the way down to her feet. I found out that she did have sleeveless clothing. Underneath she was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt that fit snugly around her bosom and jeans that hugged her long legs, slim ass, and small hips rather deliciously. She held her arms up and crossed above her head as she posed for me; slightly bent at the knees, hips pushing one way while arms leaning the other. For the first time in my adult life, I actually saw my sister’s arms and shoulders.

The view was exciting, merely because it was a view I had never actually expected to see. But the fact that she made the jeans look good was a big bonus. I could see the snug fit around her crotch, along with the slope of her thighs and the length of her legs. My sister was looking real good as a woman. I couldn’t remember anyone else in my past that had looked that good.

“So, what do you think?” She asked while trying to keep her eyes looking down. She couldn’t look at me because she looked very embarrassed.

I looked at the hair in her armpits and almost laughed. There were hardly any to see. There were enough to show that she wasn’t shaving, but the colour was so light and her arms were so white that they almost didn’t even register in my mind.

“Very sexy!” I whistled at her. “Very, very sexy!”

She bent down to lift the gown to cover herself up when I stopped her. “Wait! Why don’t you complete the picture and lift your shirt up to show that bellybutton, again.”

She did. She looked very good as her hair spread behind her as a nice backdrop to her pose. I was getting an erection just by looking at her. She didn’t wait for me to say anything. She picked up her gown and left the room quickly.

I guess it must have taken her a while to compose herself because she came back only after an hour or so. I was in bed already. She came and sat on the edge, close to my feet.

“You really think I looked sexy,” she asked. Her face was still pink. She was anxious to hear my words, as if she hadn’t heard them before.

“Yes,” I answered; then almost without thinking, I added, “You are packaged very nicely. You will always look sexy.”

“Really, you think so?” I guess not having any compliments paid to oneself; one does tend to crave them.

“Yes, I do think so. Now, go away and let me sleep.”

It hit me then that my sister was looking for validation—male validation—to boost her self-esteem. Since I was the only male around to give her any feedback of that sort, well, she went for it, despite the consequences.

Thus I learned another shortcoming of our culture and how it negatively affects a girl’s self-esteem. Lacking any validation, she can never quite be sure if she should feel good about herself or not. I actually felt sorry for my sister.

She beamed with pleasure as she whimpered, “Thanks,” and went out almost skipping.

She thanked me properly the next morning. “I don’t know how to tell you this, Shafiq, but you have made me feel good about myself and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Well, it’s my pleasure.” I was gracious.

I expected some calm to return to our encounters. She had received the kind of validation she needed, and we had reached the line that couldn’t be crossed. It was true that we weren’t the same pair as we were at the beginning of my vacation, but we were still brother and sister and we could only flirt so much before reining ourselves in.

She proved me wrong that evening. She was sitting cross-legged in front of me and her eyes were focused on her feet, when she said softly, “I don’t shave down there either.”

That statement took me by surprise. “You know, Shamila, we may be sharing more than we should be sharing.”

“I just wanted you to know.” She was looking at her fingernails. She wasn’t looking at me like she had done during previous revelations. It gave me a perfect opportunity to observe her profile.

I noticed her thin lips with just a hint of perspiration on the tip of her upper lip, probably because she was nervous. She had lips that naturally looked wet and very inviting, very kissable. Her thin nose complimented her features very well. Her chest was moving up and down due to rather rough breathing. She seemed visibly tense as if she had betrayed some hidden emotions and wasn’t sure if she should have done it because it left her vulnerable.

I couldn’t help feeling aroused. I was in the presence of a girl that was feeling excited in my presence and was sharing some intimate details about her that she normally wouldn’t share with just anyone. I wanted her to vocalize her feeling a little more to see if she would betray something else. I asked, “Why do you want me to know that?”

“I don’t know. I feel we have created a special bond and I wanted this secret to be added to that bond.”

I looked at her sitting there so silently, contemplating her own words. She was waiting for my response to her comment and I didn’t know what response was appropriate under the circumstances. Yes, we had created a special bond, but what did that bond mean? What did it imply in terms of our personal contact? Were we now more friends with each other than siblings?

I understood her need for a friend quite well; after all, she didn’t have any male friends and if she could share even silly things with me, which she normally wouldn’t with her brother, well, I was all for it. Only that I didn’t know what my new role constituted. Was I to still treat her like a sister, or could I do or expect more than a brother could?

One thing that I wanted to do then and there was to see how many times my arms would wrap around her thin waist if I were to hold her in my arms. It was just a thought that came to my mind as I watched her squirming in her place.

My heart jumped into my throat and my stomach felt a little queasy when the thought came to my mind that I had the perfect opportunity to push the envelope a little further.

Very quietly and very nonchalantly, I asked, “Can I see it?”

The shock registered just the way I wanted it to. She snapped her head up as she asked, “What?”

“Every time we shared a secret, you showed it to me. First your bellybutton stud and then your armpit hair. I figured this should also follow the same pattern.” I looked right into her eyes as I said that.

“I…I couldn’t do that,” she seemed confused. “That won’t be appropriate.”

“Technically the others weren’t appropriate either. But you were quite anxious to show them to me. Let’s just say that this time I’m anxious to see this.”

“But why? You know we can’t cross that line.”

“Yes, I know. But we have nudged that line a little. Let’s nudge it a little further.”

“But…but…I can’t let you see that part of my body. It was okay to show you my belly or underarms, but…you can’t look at my…” She left the sentence incomplete. She was really confused. I guess she didn’t expect me to go that far. Although she should have known that we were inching towards just such a thing.

“I am sorry, Shamila. You misunderstand me.” I decided to take the easy way out. “I don’t want to see you down there. I only want to see the hair. You just have to lower your shalwar a little without exposing any forbidden body parts.” I laughed nervously.

My heart was thumping at the thought of her lowering her shalwar. It didn’t matter how much I would end up seeing; the fact that I was asking my sister to show me her pubic hair was very erotic for me as my penis was getting harder and harder with each passing moment.

“No, I can’t,” she said decidedly. “I will die of embarrassment.”

“But you weren’t embarrassed to tell me about it.”

“That’s different. Telling you was easy; showing it to you is impossible. Besides, why do you want to see my hair?” She almost seemed to be pleading.

I leaned forward and said in a whisper, “I have never seen a woman’s hair before. This seemed like the right opportunity.”

“But I am not just any woman. I am your sister.”

“I know, but that doesn’t matter, does it? You are still a woman.”

There, I had done it. I had created the distinction that we needed to make our flirting acceptable. She was still a woman and I was still a man. It was okay for us to feel the way a man and woman feel towards each other even though this man and that woman were related by blood. We were still a man and a woman, with man-woman feelings. Considering that I was the only man around that woman and she was the only woman around this man, the sibling relationship became secondary. The male-female bond became primary.

She was lost in thought. I knew she was weighing my words.

I presented further argument, “It won’t take too long. You just have to flash a little bit and we’ll be done. I’ll see something I have always wanted to see and you’ll deepen our newfound bond. It is just hair, like your armpit hair.”

“I don’t know…”

“Sure, you do. You must be dying to reveal the secret to someone. Here I am, your confidant. This will open up a whole new dimension to our relationship. It will be just between the two of us. No one will know and no one will care, as long as we don’t care. Besides, once you do it, we’ll move on and forget about it. There will be nothing left to feel embarrassed about.”

My own words were echoing in my ears. My blood was rushing so fast I could hear it, along with my own heartbeat. I could even hear the throb in my pants.

“No, I can’t do it.”

“Sure you can. Just lean back like you did the other day when you told me about your armpit hair. Lift your shirt up like you are showing me your pierced bellybutton and push your shalwar down an inch or so until I see just the top of your hair.”

She closed her eyes and said, “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”

I sighed in reply. “Okay, Sis. Don’t worry. You don’t have to.”

She opened her eyes and looked at me. I smiled at her to show that it was okay with me.

She sat there contemplating my words while I waited for her to say something. After a while, she leaned back like she had done the other night, dangled her hair off of the bed, and slowly reached with her right hand and started to lift her shirt up.

“Thump, thump, thump,” went my heart, as I waited eagerly for the view.

She revealed the top of her shalwar.

“Boom, boom, boom,” went the blood running through my brain. I felt like I was going to faint as my heart raced to 90, 100, 110, 120 beats per minute. My breathing was completely out of sync with my heartbeats.

Her belly came into view next.

“Throb, throb, throb,” went my eyes as my penis was putting pressure on every muscle in my body.

She lifted her shirt above her bellybutton. Then she showed the beginning of her ribcage.

I heard the sounds of a hurricane in my ears.

She realized then that her shirt at the back was pressed under her ass, thus keeping her front from going any higher. She lifted her body up and came forward a little onto her knees as she pulled it out and freed it with her other hand. She lifted both the front and the back of her shirt all the way up to just below her breasts and held it there with her left hand. The fingers of her right hand disappeared inside her shalwaras they searched for the ends of her cord.

I opened my mouth to control my breathing as my hands trembled with anticipation.

She pulled out the ends of her cord from inside the top of her shalwar. In an effort to muffle my gasp, I ended up drawing my breath in loudly. She smiled as she realized my condition.

I was starting to sweat as she tugged on one end and pulled the cord to undo the knot. Once the knot was gone, she tucked her thumb on the inside of her shalwar and moved it around to loosen the garment.

She lowered her eyes and slowly slid the top of her shalwar down until I began to see her hair. She kept going and more of her hair came into view. She kept lowering it until it brought most of her pubic hair in the open. She stopped short of the lower edge where part of her pussy was starting to show.

It was incredible. I was looking at my sister’s pubic hair—her pussy hair—her bush. She was willingly showing me an intimate part of her body and I found that to be everything: erotic, arousing, exciting, you name it.

She must have seen me drooling as a wide smile of satisfaction was imprinted on her lips.

I swallowed hard and stuttered, “They look amazing!”

After waiting for a few second while I took a good look at her hair, she reached for the top of her shalwar to pull it back up.

I almost yelled, as the words stuck in my throat, “Not yet! I am not done yet.”

She didn’t stop as she said, “I think you are done. If I keep myself exposed any longer, I think you are going to have a stroke.”

I guess she could see for herself how flustered I was. She pulled her shalwar up and quickly tied the cord into a knot again. I was mesmerized as her hands worked around the front of her pussy and her fingers tucked the nala back into position. She was flushed all over with either embarrassment or excitement, I couldn’t tell.

“Sorry, Shamila,” I apologized, “I can’t help feeling excited.” I wanted to use the word aroused, but I thought better of it. “I have never seen anything so amazing. And the effect of seeing your hair on me is incredible.”

She seemed flustered herself and had trouble staying in front of me, so she quickly dashed out, while pulling her shirt back down over her hips and ass as she exited the room.

The following morning she said to me, “You know, brother, we went a little too far last night.”

“I know, Sis. I know. But you were very brave and I want to thank you for it.”

“I feel very bad. I feel like I betrayed something sacred. I don’t know what you think of me now, but I feel a little less in my own eyes.”

“There is no need to feel that way. You didn’t do anything wrong and you definitely didn’t betray anything. In fact, I actually owe you one for sharing so much of yourself with me. I feel honoured.”

“Well, I am still troubled though and I think it is best for us to step back a little.”

“Maybe you are right. Maybe that is wise for us. That means you’ll have to stay out of my room if we are to step back.”

“Why? We don’t need to go that far.”

“Yes, we do. You’ve seen my reaction last night. I can’t sit and talk to you like that never happened. It will take some time to get back to normal.”

“But you said that we’ll move on and forget about it once I showed my hair to you. Now you are saying something different.”

“I am sorry, Shamila. I didn’t know at that time how strong a reaction I was going to have to seeing your hair. It was much worst than I anticipated so it is now difficult to forget and move on. I need time to adjust back to things.”

It was my mother who noticed that something was wrong between the two of us. One afternoon, during my usual tea session, she asked me, “So, what’s with you and your sister? You seem to be upset with each other.”

I didn’t think anyone would notice the change, but apparently someone did. I replied, “I don’t know what you mean, mom. There is nothing the matter. We are not upset with each other. We are okay.”

“But, she has become quiet again, like she was before you came. I had started to worry about her silence and I thought your coming was a blessing because it cheered her up. Now it seems she is reverting back to that other self. You don’t even spend time together in the evenings.”

“I guess the novelty of my return has worn off. She was attentive to my comfort at the beginning, but that may have been a hardship for her, so she is not doing it anymore.”

“I know your sister, son. She can never consider that a hardship. I think she feels quite strongly towards you and she would be happy to do things for you.”

“Then I don’t know what could be the matter. I don’t have any problem.”

“She is a bit immature and she is quite curious about life as anyone in her position would be. I hope she didn’t say or do anything inappropriate that made you tell her off. It seems she has backed away from you because of something you have said to her.”

My mom was very perceptive; although I doubted if she was perceptive enough to guess the real reason.

“I don’t recall anything like that, but if you want, I can talk to her and find out the problem.”

“You do that, son. I want you to pull her out of this mode, whatever you have to do. Next stage is depression and that’ll ruin her life if she succumbs to that.”

That night, I went to my sister’s room to have a chat with her. That was the first time I had seen her room in a long while and I found it to be quite pleasant. She had her doll collection nicely displayed in a cupboard. Disney characters were decorating her bed covers and pillowcases. Pink curtains with dolphin lamps and a dresser full of makeup stuff, even though I had never really seen her wearing any.

She was surprised at my visit. I sat on the edge of her bed as she sat cross-legged towards the head.

I said to her, “Mom is concerned that there is a problem between the two of us and she wants us to resolve it so she can see her daughter smiling again.”

I was trying to make light of the situation but she was very sombre. She didn’t even look at me when she spoke, “But there is no problem between us. Is there?”

She looked at me with that question. It seemed obvious that she was fishing for something.

I looked back at her with seriousness and said, “I guess there is; but what, I don’t know. May be you can help me figure it out.”

“Well, what do you think the problem is?”

I thought about my answer for a while before responding in all earnest. “I think the problem is you.”

She was taken aback. She protested, “Me! How do you figure that?”

“You are confused.”

“Confused about what?”

“Shamila, it seems to me you want something from me that even you are not sure what it is. I think I have played my part as appropriately as possible, but you don’t seem to think so. The result is that you have a conflict in your mind that first needs to be resolved before anything can happen.”

“But where I sit, the conflict seems to be in your mind, not mine. I was quite clear what I was after. I was strengthening a bond that seemed to have developed between us and that is unique in that brothers and sisters don’t have that kind of bond. Then you go and react to it like I am not your sister, but someone else.”

“My reaction was normal and I am not ashamed of it. You are a beautiful girl and we shared an intimate moment, which was exciting for me. I was excited because of what I saw and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I didn’t want to get excited, but I did. I didn’t even expect to get excited, but I did. How do I explain to you how strong an effect it had on me to see something so wonderful on you?”

She listened to me very attentively but silently. I could see the turmoil in her chest as a result of confused emotions. I knew she was about to burst and she had to say what was on her mind before that happened.

“You know, Shafiq, you are right. I am confused.” Her confession startled me. I didn’t think she would see things the way I was seeing them, although I expected her reasons to be different than mine.

She continued, “I was bonding with you more on a male-female level than on a brother-sister level. Not that anyone can blame me for it, considering the fate that I am doomed to. I had never expected your reaction to be as strong and as favourable as it turned out. I expected you to reprimand me or to tell me to stop going that far. Instead, you reciprocated my sentiments exactly as I had hoped for, and I wasn’t quite prepared for it.”

“So, what is the confusion then?”

“The confusion is that I don’t know which way I want to go. I know we have a line that we can’t cross, but I was enjoying this newfound bond of ours at a level that I have never experienced before and I thought I was getting carried away beyond reason.”

“Listen, Sis. I know exactly what you are going through. It is not easy to live a strict life like the one you are living and I don’t mind giving you an outlet to express and even experience some things that you wish to experience. As long as we know the limits, and as long as you know that certain reactions are bound to come, brother or no brother.”

She was quietly thinking about what I had said. I waited a while for her to say something, but she didn’t.

“Listen, Shamila. If we are synchronized about the situation, then what say we start over.”

She only nodded her head. I got up and left.

My mom asked me the following day about my conversation with Shamila and what the problem was. I simply told her, “It is the fortress, mom.”

She was saddened by that revelation. “Yes, I know, son. This place can kill one’s spirit, especially one so young and not able to understand the reasons behind these restrictions.”

“Then what should we do to change her mood.”

She sat there thinking about the situation and after a long while, she said, “I guess we have to let her out of her cage for a while, so she can take a break from her confinement.”

I was confused. “What do you mean by that, mom?”

“Listen, son.” My mom leaned forward in a conspiratorial sort of way and whispered, “Your dad will be out on Thursday. Why don’t you take her shopping or something? Maybe the two of you can even catch a movie. This will take her mind off of things and she’ll feel better.”

That was not something unusual because after my father and mother, I am the most appropriate chaperone for my sister. But it seemed ironic for her to trust me with my sister after what my sister and I had been up to. Of course, she knew, and I knew, as well as my sister did, there was no way for anything to happen between us because of the sacred relationship she and I have. My mother knew from many past occasions when they had left me in charge of my sister that I was the best caretaker of my sister and I had performed my duties satisfactorily.

I couldn’t wait to break the news to Shamila. I told her that evening that mom wanted me to take her out on a date.

She looked baffled at my comment. I explained the situation to her and told her why mom wanted me to take her out. Of course, she was happy and said that she would look forward to our outing.

She wanted to go to a mall that was slightly out of the way. When we got out of the car in the parking lot, she surprised me by shedding her abaya and scarf off. Underneath she was wearing those jeans and T-shirt from the other day and boots to compliment her jeans. She had her hair in a ponytail and hanging all the way down to her buttocks.

“What are you doing?” I asked in disbelief.

“I am so sick and tired of this.” She exclaimed as she threw her outer garments into the car.

She looked good, as I had seen her that day, but she looked alluring when she walked and her hair caressed her ass from side to side with each step. She was very graceful in her walk and she seemed very sure of herself, despite that probably being her first time out without the outer coverings.

Of course she drew looks from both men and women that must have flattered her. Even I felt flattered being with her because some guys gave me the look of envy. Only if they knew that she was my sister.

We shopped for most of the morning. She bought clothes and other stuff. I then took her for lunch and we caught a 2:00 pm show in the cinema. We were home by 5:00. My mom was very happy to see the happiness on Shamila’s face.

That evening I asked her, “So, how was your date?”

She laughed. “It was fun. I enjoyed myself.”

“I am glad you did. It was nice to see you out of your element.” I did the play on words.

“So, when are we going out again?”

“I would like to say that it’s up to you, but I think it would be more appropriate to say that it is up to mom.” I laughed.

“Well, I still need more shopping to do, so how about tomorrow?” She laughed as well.

“Why don’t you go and talk to mom? I am game if she is.”

She gave me the shock of my life when she took off her abaya and scarf the next morning in the parking lot of another mall. She was dressed to kill; wearing a sleeveless half-T-shirt, showing her midriff in full glory and her cleavage rather prominent, and a hipster which clung to her curves around her butt and thigh areas and came just below her knees with a provocative slit on the side of her legs.

“I am glad you like it,” she said when she saw me staring at her with an open mouth.

“No, I don’t like it. It is too much for me.”

“Well, you are the one who took me shopping for it,” she didn’t much care about my protest. She smiled rather mischievously, “Besides, I am on a date and this is how I wanted to dress.”

It was a nice day—very stimulating. I was horny most of the day and she probably knew it. I was ogling her throughout the trip and I even commented about her being too sexy for a mere mortal like me. She brushed my comments aside.

We came home tired and exhausted. She was on high spirits though. She came for our evening visit and this time instead of sitting on the bed cross-legged, she spread herself facedown across the width of it with her legs bent above her body. She was feeling good and she was looking good as each swaying of her legs caused her body and her hips to move slightly.

“Tell me, Sis. You have bared most of you to me today. Why don’t you go all the way and let me see all of you?”

She laughed, “You don’t stop trying your luck, do you?”

“Well, it is like playing the lottery. I know the odds are tremendously against my winning, but the thrill of playing is worth something in itself. If I happen to get lucky and win, well, that would be once in a lifetime experience.”

“So, I am a lottery ticket to you.”

“No, you are the lottery prize.”

“Well, you are not a qualified candidate.”

“Yeah,” I said, resignedly, “I know. What a pity?”

She turned over to her back and extended her legs straight. “I can do something for you, though. Sort of saying thanks for a wonderful date of freedom.”

“What would that be?”

She reached for the button on the front of her hipster that was holding it together and undid it. Then she unzipped halfway down and opened the two flaps to reveal hear dark, silky bush. She crooned, “Enjoy, while it lasts.”

I gasped loudly as I wasn’t prepared for her move.

I leaned forward and down to get a closer look and exclaimed, “It looks beautiful, Sis. Just like the rest of you.”

“You have been paying me compliments all day, brother. I hope you don’t have any wrong intentions behind them.”

“Oh, no, no, no. My intentions are very honourable.” We both laughed at my plea of innocence.

She saw my hand moving across to her hair but didn’t say or do anything. She only looked at it as my fingers reached down and held the top of a bunch of her pubic hair. “They feel lovely.”

She just smiled but didn’t try to stop me. I ran my fingers through them and caressed the base of those hair as I traced lines across her skin.

She slapped my hand gently and zipped up. “Okay, that’s enough. Give a guy an inch and he wants a yard.”

“Can’t help it, Sis. We had some good time today and I don’t think you were with your brother on our trip.”

“Actually, I wasn’t. I was out with a man. I wanted to know what it feels like to be out on a real date, that’s why I went all out.”

She sat up and positioned herself in that usual cross-legged pose. She asked, “Have you been with a woman, I mean, that way?”

I looked in her face trying to figure out what she was getting at. I didn’t know what answer she wanted to hear, so I gave the logical answer for people like us, from a culture like ours. “No, I haven’t been with a woman, Sis.” I lowered my head in remorse.

“Then we are in the same boat,” she sympathized. “I sometime wonder what it would be like to be with someone that way.”

I didn’t say anything. I waited for her to continue. She didn’t. Instead she got up and went to her room. I fell asleep thinking about things.

I was feeling rather down the next day for some reason and she picked up on it.

“What is it, Shafiq? What’s the matter? You seem somewhere else.”

“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking about things.”

“What kind of things?”

“About what we discussed last night. Things like what it would be like to be with someone that way.”

“Oh, I see.” She paused for a while then added, “I hear it is supposed to be good, but I don’t know.”

“I don’t know, either. But I sure would like to find out, wouldn’t you.”

She ignored my comment. My whole body was feverish and she could tell that I was aching. She asked, “What’s the matter with you?”

I sat on the edge of my bed and looked at her—I mean really looked at her. She was wearing eastern clothing again and to me she looked more beautiful than she did in the western outfit. She waited for my answer.

I reached out and held her left hand in my right hand. That was the first physical contact we had made since our accidental touch that Sunday morning, and it was as electrifying as the first time.

I looked into her eyes and said, “Sis, I want to see you.”

“I am in front of you. You can see me right now.”

“No, Sis. I want to see you, see you.”

“Oh…” She exclaimed as my intentions dawned on her.

“I have to, Sis. I must.”

“I don’t…”

“No, Sis. You don’t understand. It is a matter of life and death.”

She gazed into my eyes for a while and then whispered, “Really, that bad!”

“You have no idea. You have been driving me crazy since day one and I have reached a bursting point. I know we can’t do anything but I want to see you; just want to have a picture for my fantasies.”

She pulled her hand away from me and walked out of my room. I sat there, numb.

She came back a few minutes later. She was in her gown. She stood enough distance away from me where I could see all of her profile and slowly opened the front of her gown and dropped it down to her ankles. She stood in front of me stark naked.

Her slender body swaying in front of me like the smoke from a genie’s bottle; her long, black hair flowing behind her caressing her naked butt; and her pubic hair so sexily framing her sweet, sexy pussy. Her thighs were very inviting and her small, round, and firm breasts with hard nipples pointing at me were magical.

I gestured for her to turn around and give me the complete view from all sides. Her hair were covering her ass partly as part of it peeked through the black strands. I found that to be very sexy and highly erotic. When she turned back to face me, I motioned for her to come closer. She did.

I placed my hands on her hips and held her close to me. My face was at eye level with her pussy. It was the most glorious pussy I could have ever imagined.

“Sis, is it possible for you to let me enter you.”

She gasped and bit her lower lip, which only enhanced her appeal in my eyes. She replied, “You know, I have always wanted to feel a man inside of me but never did I imagine it to be my brother.”

“Was that a yes or no, then?”

“It has to be a no, you know that. We are not supposed to come into that kind of contact.”

“Who’s gonna know?” I pleaded. I was getting desperate.

“We’ll know; you and I. We can’t be with each other that way.”

I had to find another approach. I let her go and she put her gown back on. As she turned to leave, I asked her, “Do you want to see me, then?”

She stopped in her tracks. She didn’t turn back, only stood there looking up towards the ceiling. After thinking about my comment a few moments, she replied, “Maybe some other time.”

I have never felt so frustrated in my life as I did that day.

The following evening, as I came out of the shower, I found her sitting on my bed. She looked at me as I walked over to her, and grabbed my hand once I was near her. She said, “I thought about it all night and all day. I think I do want to see you.”

I kept holding on to her hand and said, “Go ahead.”

She hesitated at first and then slowly got enough courage to reach out and grab the flap on the front. I released her hand so she could use both of them to open my towel. She had trouble looking at my penis directly but after a few averted looks, she managed to concentrate and take the view in. My cock was hanging flaccidly over my testicles and was shrunk in size due to my bath. It wasn’t a very impressive sight.

She looked at it and I could see her hand twitching as if she was suppressing the urge to touch it. I told her, “You can go ahead and touch it if you want.”

The thought of her hands in contact with my dick caused some movement in my penis. It started to enlarge. She smiled and said, “It’s alive!”

“Yes, it is coming alive.” My God, she had the most beautiful smile I have ever seen on such luscious lips.

She hesitantly reached out and poked it with her index finger. I laughed at her reaction. She withdrew her hand as if she had touched something hot.

“It’s okay. He won’t bite.”

She became a little bold and grabbed the tip with her thumb and index finger. I was rapidly hardening with her touches, as unexciting as they were.

I reached down and held her hand in mine. Then I opened her palm, angled it crosswise, placed my shaft right in the middle, and wrapped her hand around it. The feel of her soft hand on my cock expedited the growing erection. I could see it pushing her hand loose. She held on and looked amazed at the increase in size in just matter of seconds. As she held it and squeezed it, it became really rigid.

“It’s so…” she looked for the right word to complete her sentence.

I thought she was going to say that it was so hard or that it was so big. She completed her sentence, “…so warm.”

Well, that too. Different colours came and went on her features. She asked, “Does this mean, you are ready to have sex?”

I looked at my sister holding my hard cock in her hand and just smiled at her rather innocent question.

She lifted it up and looked at the underside. Her other hand went for my scrotum and cupped it. “Let me show you something,” I said to her and first removed her hand off of my rod and then placed it back over it, palm down. She made a first and I moved her hand forward and backward in a small stroking movement. She saw the skin of my circumcised head come over the ridge and cover it and then move back as her hand moved back.

“What would this do?” She asked.

“Just wait a short while. You’ll see.”

The pre-come started after a few strokes and a drop formed at the tip right below the hole. She seemed quite amazed, “Is that the sperm?”

“No, the sperm will require a lot more strokes before it comes out. That is just the pre-come. I am now primed to be inside a woman.”

“But you do know that you can’t be inside me.”

“Yes, I do know as you constantly keep reminding me. That’s why I said, ’…inside a woman,’ instead of, ’…inside you.’ ”

Then she surprised me by saying, “I can let you enter me, but you cannot have sex with me.”

I was confused. “Isn’t it the same thing?”

“No, it’s not, if you think about it.”

“Can you clarify a little?”

“I want to feel a man inside of me and you want to feel yourself inside a woman. I can let you go inside of me so we both feel what it is like, but it is not sex. We are not having sex.”

“But, isn’t sex where a man puts his penis inside a woman.”

“No, sex is the whole act. Here I am simply talking about a penis inside a pussy.”

“I can put my penis inside of you, but we are not having sex.”

“That’s right. Sex would involve kissing, hugging, caressing, and fucking. We are not fucking. You are simply inserting your penis inside of me and then pulling it out. If that’s okay with you then I can agree to it.”

She was very complicated for me, but I didn’t care. However she justified it, the magical part was that my penis would be inside her pussy. The rest I could care less.

I dropped my towel and reached for her shirt to remove it. I moved her back and she spread herself on the bed. I then took her pants off and jumped where her feet were, spread her legs a little and positioned myself in between them.

She stared at my erect cock. I aimed for her pussy as I lifted her legs up and moved my cock closer to her pussy lips.

I was sitting on my haunches. As her legs moved up to her chest, her butt came up and her pussy became open for my entry. I lowered myself down enough until the tip of my cock touched the bottom of her pussy lips. She shuddered at the feel as I slowly pushed it between her lips and ran the tip across the length of her cunt. My penis parted her lips in a ploughing motion as the sides rubbed on the sides of her lips, the bottom caressed her hole and the area above it and the little hole at the end of my cock pushed into her clit. She gasped at the feel of my liquid coming in contact with her clit.

I traced the length of her pussy with my penis a couple more times and then pulled it back, away from her genitals. I let the back of her thighs rest against the top of my thighs as I held her pussy lips between the fingers of each hand and spread them apart to take a better look at her hole. The funnel like entrance to her insides had this pinkish glow on it. I held my penis between the fingers of my right hand as I held her lips open with my left and positioned the head of my cock right in that opening. I pushed a little with my hips to anchor it properly. Then I grabbed her knees with my arms and tried to insert myself inside her.

My penis went in a little but didn’t go in too far. There was resistance to its entry. I moved a little forward and up so that my cock was rigidly stuck in her cunt. I grabbed her shoulders with my hands and pushed down to get inside of her. I couldn’t get her opening to widen to let my penis in. I turned slightly to make a semicircular motion hoping to drill my way in, but nothing doing.

“What’s the matter?” She asked as she tried to look between her legs. My cock was still outside her pussy and she wanted to know why I wasn’t in.

“Your body is not cooperating,” I answered.

“Is there anything you want me to do?”

“Just sit back and relax.”

“I don’t want to sit back. I want to see it going in.” She was leaning on her elbows by then, thus changing the angle. In this pose, the backs of her knees were resting on top of my thighs, but her backside was dangling little lower than I wanted it to.

I placed my hands around her hips and below her ass. I grabbed her buttocks firmly as I shifted my weight toward the back to correct the angle of entry. She looked at my penis as I pulled her up with my hands and pushed down with my hips, trying to concentrate my force onto the tip of my cock.

I pushed inward as her pussy resisted. The front of my cock wouldn’t go any further as the back of it was pushing forward with force. I could see my dick enlarging outward in the middle.

I sensed it happening, as did she. She yelled, “It’s going in.”

I yelled a lot louder, “Ohh!”

I screamed in a sound which almost resembled a scream of pain, as my head pushed her opening outward and made it through. I was in as her pussy closed around my penis after the ridge had gone through the opening.

“Ohh!” She screamed almost a similar scream of pain as I felt my penis breaking her hymen.

“Are you okay?” She asked with concern as she looked into my face.

“Yes, I am okay,” I said, while trying to catch my breath. I had exerted myself so much that my heart was beating out of control. “How about you?”

“It looks like you are in pain or something.”

“No, I am okay. It’s just that you are very tight!”

“Is that a good thing?”

“That’s a very good thing. Men love tight pussies.”

She looked at my cock so embedded inside her cunt and then at my face. She seemed ecstatic. I asked her, “So, how does it feel?”

She looked at me while thinking carefully about her feelings. “It feels kind of weird.”

I didn’t expect that kind of a reply. “Weird? How so?”

“I don’t know. I have never had a cock inside of me, so it feels weird. I feel weird. I don’t know what kind of signals my body is supposed to produce, so whatever it is producing, it feels weird.”

“But is it good weird, or bad?”

“I don’t know. It is just weird.”

“Was there some kind of pain as you lost your virginity?”

“Just a little burning sensation, but nothing I can’t handle.”

I pushed my cock in until the skin bunched around the top also went inside. I pulled it back and then pushed it in. I repeated this in and out motion a few times and then asked her, “How about now?”

“Well, it feels kind of nice.” She thought a little more and then said, “Actually, it feels nice. I am having this rush of sweet sensations, but the weirdness is still there. I guess I have a foreign object inside of me and the weirdness will stay until I become familiar with it.”

To make her familiar with my cock, I slowly pulled it out with the intentions to put it back in. As the ridge of my head tried to come out, that tightness came back into play. I had trouble sliding it out gently. I had to pull it out with force.

Once I pulled it out, she sat up and pulled herself away from me.

I panicked, “What are you doing?”

“We are done. I now know what a penis feels like inside of me, thanks to you. And you now know what it feels like to be inside a woman, thanks to me.”

I have to admit that at that moment I truly understood the meanings of the word “flabbergasted.” I almost yelled, “But I am not done, yet.”

“Yes, you are.”

“No, please, Sis. I didn’t quite feel the whole thing. I was too busy worrying about you to concentrate on my own feelings. Please, let me do it just one more time. Then I promise we’ll be done. Please, I am begging you.” I was pathetic.

She looked at me for a short while then said, “Okay, just one more time.”

“Okay, okay. This time I will really concentrate on everything.”

She lay back on the bed. I positioned myself as before and with a heave and a ho, I inserted my head through her opening. She was watching it go in. I pushed a little further and then pulled it back, making sure my head won’t come out. I kept going back and forth like that a few times until she interrupted me, “What are you doing?”

“This feels too good, Sis. You have the most wonderful pussy in the entire universe.”

“How would you know that mister? You have never been with any other woman.”

“Well, I can’t imagine for it to be any better than this. I am in heaven.”

“Well, you better hurry up. If you continue like this any longer, I’ll start to think that you are trying to have sex with me.”

I pushed my cock in all the way. There was a pained look on her face as I pressed my pubes into hers. “I have news for you, Sis. I am having sex with you.”

“You are?” She fell back on to the bed.

“Yes, I am. Why don’t you just relax and enjoy yourself?”

“How can I, when my own brother is busy fucking me?”

I just laughed and started to pump slowly, trying to last each thrust as long as possible. She did relax shortly. I started to go in deep and pull all the way to the head then deep again. I guess she couldn’t hold against the onslaught of sexual emotions as a strong, thick, hard dick caressed the inside of her vagina tenderly and repeatedly. She became more animated.

My thrusts became more intense as my own body started to feel the slow build up of an orgasm. I went in and out of my sister’s slender body at a moderate pace, trying to hold the urge to pump as hard and as fast as I could. At times I heard her make some sounds that resembled moans and I tried to echo them in an effort to encourage her to display her emotions to their fullest.

My tempo increased as the sensations around my cock became even sweeter. She held my shoulders for support as I started to thrust with vigour. She learned to copy my moans whenever she felt a spasm as I started to moan even loudly.

“I am coming, Sis. I am coming.” I said as my moans became one never-ending sound. “I am going to shoot my sperm inside of you, Sis.” I pumped even harder.

She didn’t know what to expect when I finally came. I pumped hard into her and held myself against her, as one long “Ohhhh!” escaped my throat with each tremor. Then my body shuddered and writhed uncontrollably as I felt my sperm push its way through my tubes and landed inside her pussy. I was looking right into her face as the first load hit her vaginal walls.

She reacted to it in a very unique way. There was surprise on her face as she felt my sperm on her insides and there was a look of disbelief as her body experienced spasms of its own. She arched her back as she tried to stop me from shooting more inside of her. I held myself deep within her. She jerked a couple of times before her own body started to writhe uncontrollably.

Our orgasms were mind-blowing, especially hers because she didn’t know what to expect. I expected her to faint in response to such extreme feelings and such intense pleasure. I remembered my first orgasm was actually devastating for me. It was more pain than pleasure.

She was disoriented in response to her orgasm and I held her tight as I held myself inside of her. My cock slowly softened and her pussy tightened around it as it became smaller and smaller. She was tight enough that I didn’t slip out even after I was completely flaccid. She held my soft penis as I started to kiss her.

At first she was a little awkward but then she started to respond with enthusiasm and my slow kisses started to bring her out of her shock. I placed my hands on her breasts and started to invigorate her that way as well. My gentle caressing and my even gentler kisses brought her back to life. For the first time, in my opinion, she realized what had happened and how it could be a good thing for the both of us.

She started to run her hands on my back as she started to participate willingly in the act. I felt a little movement in my cock that was still inside her pussy, even though barely. It started to harden and I regained my erection after a while, still inside of her. That was another surprise feeling for her as her animated state started to emerge again.

I continued kissing her as I started the rhythmic pumping again. We had another slow fuck which must have lasted a good couple of hours. She experienced another orgasm or two and I came inside of her as I had done before. This time, however, I pulled myself out once my penis softened inside of her and spent the rest of the evening kissing her breasts and belly and sucking on her nipples. She was astonished when the sperm that I had deposited inside of her, started to ooze back out. She said that the feelings of that liquid coming out of her pussy was even weirder than feeling my cock in her the first time.

My mother asked me the next day what was the noise coming out of my room. I knew she didn’t hear that much otherwise she would have figured out easily what the noise was about. I said, “Oh, we were just horsing around, mom.”

“Well, not too much horsing around, you hear. I don’t want anything to get out of control.” I guess she was aware of the possibility of something happening, although she was a little too late.

That evening, my father announced that they wanted to take advantage of my being in the house and go visit some of the relatives that they had been meaning to visit for almost a year. The reason they hadn’t visited them before was my sister. They couldn’t leave her alone in the house but now that I was there, I could keep an eye on things and they could leave with peace of mind.

That was also not something unusual because they had taken similar trips almost every summer vacation when I came back home. They needed someone to restrict my sister in their absence and there was no one better than her older brother to do just that. Of course, things were slightly different than before—just slightly.

They wanted to attend two weddings, visit some relatives to present their condolences on the passing of some loved ones, and may be squeeze in a vacation along the way. My mom was happy to be going away from the fortress. Needless to say, my sister was also happy at their departure.

I asked my sister that evening, “So, how are you feeling, today?”

“A little sore,” she replied. “I think there was some bleeding when you entered me.”

I liked the sound of that phrase: ’…you entered me.’ I knew that her blood had dried on my penis and it took a bit of scrubbing to get rid of it. “That means you are no longer a virgin.”

“God, I had wanted to lose my virginity since I was sixteen, but I didn’t know to who.”

“Well, I am honoured to be the one. Now, about your sore pussy, you want me to kiss it better?”

She slapped me hard. “I think you had enough.”

After my parent’s car left the house the next morning, she came running to me. “Freedom, Shafiq, freedom! Finally we can breathe easy.”

“But, not total freedom. I still have my duty to do.” I laughed at her enthusiasm.

“But, at least we can walk around the house without worrying about mom objecting to something or other. Maybe even do a few things they never allowed us to do, or at least allowed me to do.”

“We should do nothing of the sort,” I laughed. “You just behave yourself.”

“Oh, I know what I should do first,” she ran away as soon as she finished her sentence. Then she came back after about ten minutes or so. I had heard the gate open and close, so I assumed she had sent the maid to get something.

“How about we go out and celebrate our freedom tonight? We can go to the movies. We can eat out. We can even go for a drive.”

I just watched as she rushed to her room to get ready. I had no choice but to oblige.

We spent the morning shopping, spent the lunchtime eating in a Chinese restaurant, watched a movie in the afternoon, and ate dinner at an Italian restaurant. We were on a real date as she hung on to me at every opportunity.

On her way to her room, she poked her head in my door and asked, “Can I bring you some tea?”

“Okay.”

She brought the tea and prepared a cup for me. As I sat there drinking it, she decided to lie next to me. I quickly finished the cup and lay next to her. She turned to face me as she curled her legs with her knees pushing into my belly. My sister looked real beautiful in white slacks and short blouse. I started to caress her shoulders at first and then started to rub my hand over her back, her ass, and her thighs. After a while of gentle caresses, I turned her over and started to caress her breasts and her belly. Finally, I rested my hand between her legs and asked, “So, is it still sore?”

“Yeah, a little.”

“Can I kiss it better?” I offered again.

“I guess,” she replied without any enthusiasm in her voice.

I jumped to the occasion. I took her clothes off as she just lay there lazily. Then I spread her legs and knelt in between them. I proceeded to remove my own clothing before lowering my head onto her pussy. To get into better position, I lifted her legs and placed them around my head and over my shoulders. Her heels were resting comfortably on my back as I brought my face closer to her pussy.

I held her hair between my lips and tugged on them gently. “You know, Shamila, you probably have the best looking pussy I can imagine,” I complimented her private parts once more. She just smiled.

I put my lips onto her pussy lips and just caressed them all over softly and slowly. She moaned, “That feels nice.”

I then proceeded to place small nibbles on her skin and made my way to her clit. I took it slightly between my lips and then brushed it with the tip of my tongue. She squirmed in response.

I extended my tongue out and gently ran it between her lips, kind of nudging them open. Then on the reverse turn, I pushed it through them and licked the surface. She moaned with pleasure. “God, Shafiq, where did you learn to do that?”

I brought my tongue back to her clit and pressed it hard. “Ohh!” She moaned. “Now that feels weird.”

I traced the inside of her lips with my tongue again and inserted it in her hole. She moaned again. I continued with my oral stimulation, kissing, caressing, sucking, and licking all over and around her pussy and she kept moaning with pleasure. I was feeling very good at the response I was getting from her.

I made my way to the bottom of her cunt and licked on the ridge between her hole and her anus. I then pushed her legs up against her chest and told her to hold them there. I pushed my hands under her buttocks and lifted her up until her anus came directly in front of my tongue. I then gently rubbed the brown puckered hole with it. Her moans were very loud as she squirmed uncontrollably with each contact my tongue made with her anus. She yelled, “What are you doing to me?”

I continued giving her head until her moans became one steady grunting sound coming out of her throat and she started to buck and thrust into my face. I kept my tongue pressed on her clit using my lower teeth as I moved my face in semi-circles to urge her orgasm on. When she came, she came with so much force that I almost hurt the back of my tongue.

Once her orgasm subsided, I moved up and started kissing her belly, around her bellybutton and her breasts. I spent quite a long time on her nipples, underside of her breasts, and finally her neck. She grabbed my face and pulled it to hers. She started kissing me while her hands reached between us and guided my cock to her hole. She positioned herself at the angle that we needed for me to push in. Once again, I applied pressure to her hole, while she pushed back onto my cock. She started to open and then with another “Ohh!” my head was in. She was tight. I kept pushing myself deeper until I was all the way in. I lifted my face up and looked at her. She seemed very happy as she said, “You know, you deserved that one.”

We kissed as I held myself inside of her. There was no hurry to finish or to get to a conclusion. I was enjoying myself and my sister as much as possible and I wanted each moment to last. We kissed gently as I pulled myself out from time to time and asked her to guide me back in. Each time it required me to push in and her to thrust out and we both screamed simultaneously, “Ohh!”

It was wonderful. She was very receptive. During one of those moments when we needed to take a breather, she asked me, “What are you doing to me, brother? Are you fucking me, having sex with me, or …”

I cut her short, “I am making love to you, Shamila, and don’t you forget it.”

When we were done that time, we went to the kitchen and spent time making and eating snacks. She wanted us to go to her room after that. She made me sit with my back leaning against her pillows as she sat in my lap and we stated to kiss again. Sometime during the night I became hard again and she then took me in with her legs wrapped around my waist. We kissed and made love until the wee hours.

We woke up in each other’s arms the next morning. Our lovemaking started again after breakfast and continued until lunchtime. We went out for lunch and a movie and came back ready for another night of passion.

Thus another routine was set. Every day we would start by making love and go for lunch, followed by a movie, a long drive, time in the park, shopping, or anything else. Then we would come home after dinner and begin another session of lovemaking.

We spent twenty glorious days with each other, doing things to and with each other that we wanted. It took a while for her to give me oral stimulation, but once she managed, she became very good very quickly. She said she enjoyed the taste. We took each other in as many positions and as many ways as we could, and spent the last few days in, doing nothing but making love. I was able to persuade her to let me enter her anus by the end of our time together. Needless to say, we enjoyed each other thoroughly and we had hundreds of orgasms as we built fond memories of our time together.

My sister’s slender body had made her the best fuck I could ever imagine to have. I am sure my athletic abilities came in handy for her. We couldn’t get enough of each other, but we made sure that we gave enough of ourselves to the other.

Our parents came back and put an end to our activities. We couldn’t really be with each other the way we had been in their absence and we didn’t want to risk getting caught by even doing what I did the first time we had sex. My mom would have caught us after she had become aware of our horsing around before she left for her trip.

It was difficult to be away from each other, but we managed to get through the separation. We just had to find a way to go out and do it in a hotel or something. In the meantime we had to just pretend like nothing had happened for our parents’ sake.

It was the third evening after my parents’ return, when my mom came to my room one night unexpectedly. She closed the door behind her and then locked it from inside. I was surprised at her actions and sat up to see what she wanted. She came to the bed and sat on it with one leg bent in front of her and the other dangling on the side of it. She looked at me hard and whispered, “What have you done to Shamila?”

My heart jumped at the thought that she knew, but how could she know? I showed puzzlement on my face as I asked, “What do you mean? I haven’t done anything to her.”

“Well, something has happened to her. She is not the same girl as the one I left with you.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about, mom.”

“Shamila was a reserved, immature girl only about three weeks ago. Now she is open, outspoken, and seems like knows things that she is not supposed to know.”

“Mom, you are talking in riddles. You need to make some sense.”

She was thinking hard, as she looked at me hard. She asked me, “Did you let her go anywhere by herself?”

“No, I was with her all the time.”

“Did someone come to the house and spend time with her?”

I was having these dreadful feelings of doom when she asked me that. “No, no one came to visit her?”

“Then it was just you and her, together, all the time.”

“Yes.”

“Whose idea was it to send the maids home in our absence so the two of you could be alone?”

My heart stopped beating with that question. I whimpered, “It was Shamila’s idea.”

She got up off of the bed and stood looking at me intently. She placed her hands on her hips and addressed me in a voice that was very stern, “Did you use any protection?”

I almost fainted with that question. I stuttered, “Protection for what, mom?”

She reached for the pillow and hit me hard on the shoulder with it. “When you had sex with her?”

I raised my arm to protect myself as I protested, “What? What are you talking about?”

“I am talking about you having sex with Shamila. I am talking about you screwing your sister. I am talking about the two of you fucking each other in our absence.” She hit me with the pillow repeatedly as she said all that.

“We didn’t have…”

She hit me in the face. “Don’t lie to me, Shafiq? My girl is a woman and I can tell that she has had sex. There was no one else to do it to her, so you must have done it. How could you? She is your sister.”

“I didn’t…”

She hit me again, “I said, don’t lie to me. You continue lying to me.”

I waited for her to finish hitting me. She got tired and stopped. I was looking down into my lap as she stared at me. I could not stand her burning gaze on my face. I just sat there quietly.

“Did you use protection?”

I built up my courage until I could utter, “No.”

“What if she gets pregnant?”

I was shocked with that revelation. The thought hadn’t even crossed our minds that she could get pregnant, although, why it hadn’t, seemed beyond me at that time.

“What if your father finds out? What if other people find out? This could stigmatise us for the rest of our lives.”

I couldn’t say anything. I sat there frozen with fear. She was right; what if my father found out?

She was sobbing as she collapsed on the bed next to me. I didn’t know what to say or do, I could only hang my head in shame as she composed herself.

She asked, “Tell me, how many times did you come inside of her?”

Somehow, my mother asking me how many times I had come inside of my sister, seemed exotic and exciting. I was supposed to be remorseful but the statement seemed rather erotic.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “Many times I guess.”

“Don’t guess. Count. Count the number of times you had copulated and the number of times your sperm entered her vagina.”

I started to think. We had made love non-stop for over twenty days and on average I had at least three to four orgasms inside of her. That meant that I came inside of my sister from sixty to eighty times.

“Oh my God,” my mother exclaimed. “Then I am sure she is pregnant. Sixty to eighty times? How did you manage to come inside of her so many times?”

“Well, we made love probably three to four times a day for every day of your absence.”

“Three to four times a day? Didn’t you guys eat or drink or shower or go to bathroom?”

“We did all that. We even went to the movies and ate out. Plus we had sex three to four times a day.” I don’t know why, but I felt like repeating the count.

“I can imagine you wanting to do it that often, but how come she wanted it so much? She is new to the whole experience, and probably a little traumatized.”

“Well, she wasn’t into it as much until she had her first orgasm. Then she couldn’t get enough of it.” Okay, so I was bragging. My mother had stopped hitting me and I found her line of questioning a little intriguing, to say the least, so I went the route I thought she wanted me to go.

She gasped, “She had her orgasm the very first time she had sex.”

“Yes.” I felt a little triumphant. Apparently I had accomplished something unexpected.

“Do you know when she had her period the last time?”

“No, I don’t. But she didn’t have any while you were gone, or at least she didn’t tell me about it.”

“Well, you better hope that her next one is coming soon, or you’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

She hit me one more time with the pillow and then stormed out.

I didn’t see my sister until the next afternoon so I knew that my mother had also approached her. When I did see her, the first thing I asked her was about her period.

She replied, “Why is everyone so concerned about my period?”

“I was just curious.” Apparently she didn’t get the treatment that my mother had given me. That was surprising.

I was on pins and needles for a whole week, contemplating where I could run and hide when the news was to come out. About a month and a few days after my sister and I had consummated, my mother stuck her head through my door one evening and said very sombrely, “You are off the hook.”

I should have been overjoyed, but I wasn’t. She had told my sister that she knew about our intercourses and she forbade her from coming anywhere near me. My sister and I could no longer have what was so wonderful.

Things around the house were kind of chilly after that. My sister and I hardly spoke because my mother was keeping an eye on both of us. My mom and I hardly said anything to each other because there was a lot of tension between us because of what I had done and her reaction to it. She was right and I was guilty. I couldn’t really face her and she didn’t have anything to say to me, especially because I didn’t make any effort to show remorse or ask her forgiveness.

My vacation was also coming to an end, so I decided to let my family know that I was planning to leave earlier than I was supposed to. My mom knew I was running away from the house and I could tell from her face that she wasn’t happy about the whole situation.

Two days after my announcement and five days before my departure, my sister came to my room with water and fruit like she used to before mom found out about the two of us. I was surprised to see her and I asked her, “Does mom know you are here?”

“She is the one who told me to bring you this stuff.”

“What does that mean then? Has she forgiven us?”

“I think it is more than that.”

“What do you mean by that?”

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a box. She said, “Mom gave me this and told me to tell you that you should make sure you have it on when we are together.”

I looked with surprise at a package of condoms in her hand. My sister had a naughty smile on her lips and I no longer had to resist my urge to bulldoze her.

today I noticed that we can be our own enemies. we can talk ourselves out of doing what our heart truly desires. we can repeat mistakes. memories from the past without even realizing that the past has left and the present is where we should focus on. we can look at ourselves and scrutinize and critique ourselves as if it is healthy. we can look down on ourselves thinking that we don’t deserve the best because we’ve done things we should have never done. but we should start being our own best friend. talk to yourself as if your talking to a friend. speak positivity into your life and watch it manifest. compliment yourself as you would compliment the beauty you see within your friends or family. accept yourself just as you accept strangers into your life. forgive yourself like you forgive others. be yourself as you’d like others to be themselves around you. be kind to yourself, always in all ways.
—  S.Bashir
07.06.2017
2

The infamous birth announcement of the then Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. In the second closeup picture, if you look at the third line of text you can see where the extra S was squeezed in to make “Princess” instead of “Prince” after she was born a  girl and not the expected son.

By the Queen

Right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. And whereas it hath pleased the goodness of Almighty God of His infinite mercy and grace to send unto us at this time good speed in the deliverance and bringing forth of a princess to the great joy and inward comfort of my Lord, us, and of all his good and loving subjects of this his realm, for which inestimable benevolence so shown unto us we have no little cause to give high thanks, laud and praise unto our said Maker, like as we do most lowly, humbly, and with all the inward desire of our heart. And inasmuch as we undoubtedly trust that this our good speed is to your great pleasure, comfort and consolation, we therefore by this our letters advertise you thereof, desiring and heartily praying you to give with us unto Almighty God high thanks, glory, laud and praise, and to pray for the good health, prosperity, and continual preservation of the said Princess accordingly. Given under our signet at my lords’ Manor of Greenwich. The 7th day of September, in the 25th year of my said lord’s Reign.

Horoscope and Tarot Overview for                                       August 27- September 2, 2017

Sunday- The Moon is in intense Scorpio all day with a beneficial trine to Rx Neptune and a sextile to Rx Pluto along with Jupiter sextiling Saturn bringing a new way to look at the world in front of us, which helps us accomplish anything our hearts desire in a practical, yet exciting way. Anything started today (despite Mercury Rx) will be sure to succeed.   

Monday-While the Moon remains in Scorpio she squares Mars and trines Rx Chiron which may cause a bit of angst and sensitivity this morning. Rx Mercury irritates Rx Pluto continuing the trend but also adding a bit of questioning to the day, we look closely at our motives and anything else that needs to be done. Avoid self-doubt, it will get in the way.  The Moon moves into freedom loving Sagittarius then squares Rx Mercury and semi-squares Rx Pluto to bring that miscommunicated energy along for the evening hours ride. There is a softer lunar trine to Venus in Cancer later tonight that helps us sooth our wounds and regroup our energy.    

Tuesday- The Moon stays in Sagittarius with a square to the Sun and a semi-square to Jupiter this morning then they semi square each other to ramp up the need to wander, explore and find a new way to proceed with our plans. We may feel unbalanced, or pulled in two different directions, giving us a bit of a setback back, but if we stay mindfully connected to a solid plan, there will be good results will follow.   

Wednesday- The Moon stays in Sagittarius with an alignment to Saturn, a sextile to Jupiter and a trine to Mars refueling our brilliant ideas, especially those that include freedom and pushing boundaries. Stay connected to reality yet stay on the path to helpful strength.   

Thursday-The Moon moves into strong Capricorn early this morning giving us some much-needed grounding. There are lunar trines to Rx Mercury and the Sun, these aspects try to help us stay connected to our attempts at communication. Venus bumps into Saturn keeping us on a path to repairing relationship issues because we can see them so much more clearly. Rx Mercury moves back into proud Leo which may block any further attempts and fixing what’s wrong.   

Friday-The Moon is in Capricorn, and Mars quincunx Rx Chiron which my infiltrate our dreams with some self-doubt, however the morning gets clearer as it proceeds with a sextile to Rx Neptune and an alignment with Rx Pluto helping us remember past dreams so we can create what we truly need. Staying in touch with fantasy moves us forward.   

Saturday- During the Moon in Capricorn Jupiter and the Sun reconnect trying to help us settle our energy with pragmatic thoughts. However, Mars trines Uranus turning any semblance of propriety upside down. Our brains are reset to move mountains and explore the original possibilities from the beginning of the week. We are ready to progress to a new level of experimentation no matter the consequences.  

Tarot Cards of the Week- The Tower, 3 of Swords and King of Pentacles-ah yes change, lots of shifting and scary first-time events are ahead of us this week, but we can suffer the growing pains, learn and move forward if we are strong, focused and open minded.   

Chakras: third eye, throat, solar plexus, sacral 

Crystals: amethyst, blue agate, citrine and carnelian 

Aromatherapy: rose geranium, chamomile, lemon and orange 

Yoga- stay ahead of distraction with strong vinyasa and restorative poses.