I leaned against the wall, thinking about Shannon and Aaron. They had been a couple ever since they met at the U ten years ago. He had been a philosophy major; she, a fine arts major. They were one of those couples who simply belonged together. You could tell it when you looked at them and you envied them for it, but you didn’t get in their way. I met them a year ago at a cabaret. I had been performing—it was an Asian event, and I did a piece on the role of Asian women in American cinema. I was in my element, mimicking all the stereotypes foisted upon Asian women by aging white males with geisha-girl fetishes.
Aaron and Shannon approached me after the performance. While Shannon gushed about the intricacies of my work and the implications on the dialogue between the East and the West, not to mention the Diaspora of Asians born in America who have no place to call home, Aaron stood slightly to the side and just smiled. He caught my eye immediately as he was an intriguing mixture of African American, Cherokee Indian and Mexican. He was over six feet tall with a tight body and even tighter mind. His dark brown eyes, slanted cheekbones and full lips made him look like a model—which he was. As much as I tried to ignore him, I was instantly attracted to him. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he felt the same.
Shannon blathered on, oblivious to the growing tension between Aaron and me. Far from stepping back, Aaron subtly egged me on. He would smile slowly, revealing even, white teeth, then dip his head in a nod. He was leaning against a railing, his arms casually crossed in front of him. He was wearing a leather jacket, despite the heat. He would interject a trenchant comment now and then whenever Shannon took a second to breathe, which was once every five minutes or so. She paid no attention to the side dialogue that Aaron and I were carrying out, continuing to dissect my performance. I was surprised that she didn’t throw in her thoughts on oppression and slavery while she was at it, not to mention the Chinese prostitution trade when Chinese men were first allowed in the country. I pegged her as one of those liberal white women who were fraught with guilt. Not my kind of person, but she was nice enough.
We became friends of sort. I saw them once a month or so for the next half year. Every time, Shannon would shoulder the bulk of the conversational burden while Aaron and I communicated without words. We never openly flirted with each other as that would be disrespectful, not to mention breaking my moral code. Instead, we relied on heavy eye contact to do our talking for us. Any time my hand accidentally brushed against his, a tremor ran its way up my arm and jolted my brain. I found myself invented ways of brushing against him whenever I could.
How did this sordid little story end? With Aaron and me in bed, fucking each other’s brains out, of course. I wish I could say it was just once, that we were both drunk, and that we both felt horribly guilty after, but nothing would be further from the truth. A month after I met Rafe, I panicked because things were going too well. Deep down, I believed that if my life was going smoothly, something catastrophic was bound to happen. With Rafe, we were so simpatico; I went bonkers and fucked Aaron. I put the moves on him; I initiated the whole thing—not to say he wasn’t willing—and it snowballed from there. Aaron was fantastic in the sack, and I kept coming back for more. We had a torrid affair for two weeks before Shannon caught us, at my place of all things. I didn’t know—and still don’t to this day—how she found out about us, but it was an ugly scene.