Warning : All my stories are pure FANTASY. None of them are real, nor do I wish them to be - the purpose of a fantasy is to be what the reality isn't, what the reality shouldn't be. Any resemblance to persons living, dead or otherwise is purely incidental, and in most cases is the result of an overactive imagination. I don't know, nor do I think I wish to know, anybody engaging in incest.
As I stepped down from the plane, I took in a deep breath. Home, at last. Suddenly, two people were rushing towards me - my parents. The three of us raced across the tarmac and hugged each other, for it had been three years since we last saw each other. Dad and Mom had made sure that I didn't have any break in my studies, and hence, the three-year separation - but at the end, I had obtained my degree in management from the Berkeley, and now was back in my little Arab nation where I was born twenty-one years ago.
Let me introduce myself - I am Harzana, and Mom says I am the female image of Dad. Don't get me wrong, though, for what Mom means is that I am as beautiful as Dad is handsome. It's a compliment that I always receive with a blush, for without any doubt, I consider my Dad the most handsome guy on this planet (after Brad Pitt, of course) My Mom Rehana is not too bad either - she had me when she was just fifteen, so until I went away, she had been my closest friend and philosopher. Dad is one year younger than her - so if you know your math, my Dad is just thirty-five. We are one close family, especially by Arab standards.
As I hugged Dad, I felt somewhat different. For three years, I had had a tough time maintaining my virgin status - in Arab societies, sex before marriage is still taboo with some people, and I didn't want to bring my parents any dishonor - and in the process, earned the unenviable title of the campus 'Ice-Queen.' When I saw some of my friends get dumped after their first quickie itself, I decided that the boys just weren't worth it. As a further defence against their advances, I started to build up a 'boyfriend' back home. Whether by design or by default, I don't know, but by the time I was finished with my character sketch, he was the splitting image of my father. This happened during the first year, and I managed to recruit the assistance of my parents in keeping up the deception - I wanted them to write as Haneef, my alleged boyfriend, love-letters to me. My father told me to go ahead and enjoy - you are young only once, that is what he said - but Mom convinced me to be the prude.
I still had those letters. Dad had written every one of them, and they were so convincing that after reading one, even I had to remind myself that it was Dad writing them. As the months had gone by, I started to wait for those letters. I started to read them at least five times a day, and I guess now I really did fall for Haneef - my father.
"So how was the US, honey?" Dad asked as we walked into the terminal. My luggages would reach home later that day, courtesy the airport staff. My Dad had pull everywhere.
"Splendid," I said. I squeezed my parents' arms. "College was okay, but the guys were real jerks - I mean, all the decent ones were already steady."
"So what, dear?" Mom grinned at me. "You have your very own boyfriend waiting here for you." I started to blush, something that my father did not miss.
"Look at the blush on her, Rehana," Dad kidded as we got into our car. "She looks so cute with that blush. I suppose she wants me to grab her in my arms and ravish her..." They started laughing. Now that he mentioned it, I did want him to...
I shook my head. He is my father, for God's sakes. I managed to smile, and soon, the three of us were laughing loudly at our own private joke. Mom started to tickle me, and within moments, Dad joined her. Soon, I was squirming and giggling like a little girl. My skirts began to ride up and before I knew it, it had ridden over my thighs. During the melee, I had swung my legs over my Dad's, and now, Dad was being treated to a good view of my panties.
Mom giggled. "Like what you see, Haneef?"
Now it was Dad's turn to blush.
After another round of ribbing, Mom asked me about the letters. "I still have them," I said. "The entire stack."
"Good, that means you liked what you read."
"What's not to like?" I asked smilingly. "Both you and Dad did a good job. Guess you picked a lot of the lines from your own days, uh? Naughty, naughty..."
"Of course not," Mom replied with mock-indignation. "Good housewives don't go around writing love letters to their daughters - that's the father's job. I just got to read them, that's all. You know, if I weren't so innocent, I would say your father is in love with you."
I guess both of us blushed now, but I ran into defense. "Don't be silly!"
"I am not. Ask him - the longest letter he had ever written for me contained just a sntence. 'Elope with me at ten tonight. Signed, Rahman.' No love or kisses or dear or anything. And in your letter,..."
I guess Dad must've had enough of the character assassination. "In case you don't remember correctly, darling wife of mine, I had to pass the message to you on a banana peel. The slightest hint and your father would have beheaded both of us."
Mom smiled at the memory. For argument's sakes though, she pressed on. "What about our honeymoon? You didn't say a single thing, you know!"
Dad pretented to explode, although we were all laughing on the insides. "WHAT honeymoon? We were barely fifteen, we couldn't even get a room, let alone a honeymoon."
"Alright," Mom seemed to concede that point. I recognized her tactic - she would appear to draw back, then go straight for the jugular. The kill would be plain, painless. Came the clincher, "But you never called me your tootsie-wootsie, your lamb-chops, your - " she paused to search for the word - "bundle of joy. So there." With a theatrical huff, she turned away from us and pretended to study the streets outside. For a couple of seconds, Dad and I stared at each other. I rolled my eyes at him, indicating that he had lost.
"I concede defeat," Dad said, as if proclaiming the royal heir. All of us had a good guffaw after that.
A week passed. I was getting back to my own routine - breakfast in bed, getting up at nine, playing tennis with Mom or Dad, taking a long swim and finish up with some sight-seeing. Often, the day would come to an end with dinner at one of the may exotic restaurants in the city.
On Monday morning, Mom brought me my breakfast. After I had finished, she asked me to go freshen up - said she had important things to discuss with me. Sensing her urgency, I had a washed my face and sat down with her.
"What do you think of your father?" she asked, and I knew this wasn't going to be a subject that tolerated beating around the bush.
"I love him," I said simply.
Mom paused, and I think there was a small softening in her voice as she asked, "Okay, HOW do you think of your father?"
Different question. Warranting a totally different answer. I hesitated. The past week had only made me more aware of my less-than daughterly feelings towards my father. Should I tell Mom that I saw him only as that, or that I was infatuated, or even worse, in love, with him? Maybe she would understand, maybe she won't.
My hesitation must have confirmed her suspicions, and she stared right into my eyes and asked me, point-blank, "Are you in love with him?"
I was shocked, to say the least, but a truly innocent girl would have shouted at her mother immediately for even thinking such 'nonsense.' I didn't, and the pause was enough for my mother to draw her own conclusions. "You do," she said, matter-of-factly.
Mother then ran her fingers over my hair. Then she spoke, slowly, but clearly, "You are a lovely girl, Har. Very lovely. It would be a shame if you have to leave us after marriage. I mean, there is a man here in this very house who deserves the exquisiteness that you possess. Yes, I know," she said, looking at my blanched face. "He is your father, but I can't deny that you make a very lovely couple."
"Mom!" I croaked.
"Hush, darling, I know. You don't think those letters were written on the strength of pure imagination alone, do you? Listen, my dear Har, your father loves you as he loves me - as a man loves a woman. You love him the same way. I can see that in your eyes - when you look at him, when you speak to him, when you speak of him... I have been there honey, been in love, and I know it when I see it. Shall I continue?"
I nodded. Slowly, I was starting to assimilate what she was saying. Was she heading where I now hoped she was heading - was she asking me to be Dad's...
"Concubine," Mom broke into my thoughts. I had missed the sentence, so I asked her, "Pardon?"