The sound of feet tapping on the marble floor woke Raihana from her slumber.
Without turning to look, she reached out to feel for her partner on the bed but touched the soft, rumpled sheets instead.
She groaned and swept the thick mass of brown hair, off her face. Then she heard the bathroom door open and close and soft singing.
‘Chto ya vsegda budu lyubit’ tebya navsegda.’
Raihana didn’t understand a word, but she didn’t have to. The delicacy of each note was all that mattered to her and the luscious lips the words came out from.
She moaned satisfactorily as images of their sexual escapade in the last few hours flooded her vision.
Being with someone of the same gender had never crossed Raihana’s mind before. Truth be told, it disgusted her, coupled with the fact that it was considered an abominable act in Yemen, and punishment was by death.
But things had changed quickly in the last three months. It was during the Al-Baldah tourist festival.
Raihana had stayed behind as a way to rebel against her father for choosing a suitor for her.
She was entirely alone in the mansion, save for a few house workers, when a hoodlum strayed into the house and tried to take advantage of her.
She had stabbed him with his own jambiyya; a curved dagger, fled the scene immediately before anyone knew what she had done, and word got to her father.
She got on the first plane going to Dubai. In her drunken state, Raihana saw Vladlena for the first time, inside the over-packed nightclub.
Her blonde cropped hair, oversized t-shirt, and vintage boots screamed masculinity, and Raihana craved for such companionship.
It wasn’t until the next morning she realized, that she had had sex for the first time, with a female.
And it was good.
Raihana listened as Vladlena flushed the toilet. She sunk back into bed and closed her eyes. The bathroom opened and closed, and the familiar tap of walking feet resumed.
Raihana anticipated for the bed to cave in and feel warm body against hers. But Vladlena stopped few feet away from the bed and sat by the fireplace. She was a little disappointed, but she let the lady have her moment.
When Raihana opened her eyes, Vladlena had moved to sit on the window frame, and she admired the way the moonlight shone on her lover; remarkable.
But no matter what kind of love they shared, it had to be within the confinement of their room, and nothing was going to change that; not even bravery.
They say the best moments are those ones you can tell no one about. So why not live entirely in the moment?
‘Come back to bed.’ Raihana whispered in the dark.
She watched as Vladlena dropped the sheets wrapped around her body to the floor. Her being was so perfect, and Raihana couldn’t wait to explore more exotic places with her.
‘You’re going to be the death of me.’ Vladlena whispered.
And no words were truer.