#MeetShaina (Part One)

“People fail to see beyond the physical self. Life may be felt in blood and flesh, it is lived through heart and mind. Imagine a life where you cannot feel and think, it will be merely fulfilling your bodily needs, walking with time. Life then wouldn’t be weighed in moments but lived through movement. I always wished I could tell you, grandpa and mom- that I may look like a girl but the characteristics science defined for this gender, don’t define me completely. I am fighting science and religion; who thought they both will ever be on the same side. I am not a rebel but a conformist. I am conforming to what I truly feel. The world might not understand it because it has been taught how a girl or a boy should be, still I will be advised to meet a therapist. How can he/she help me being part of the same world? You know G, why birds can fly, animals can wander, flowers can bloom and trees can grow endlessly, because no-one tells them their limitations. No rules are devised to govern their life or restricting their existence, yet they exist peacefully around us. Everyone lets them be, but want to control each other. Who said that reason is man’s greatest gift, because more than it can give, it takes away.” Shaina’s words dissolved in water that ran down her eyes, nose and probably soul. For the first time she said it out loud how she truly felt about love, her love for Kate.

Shaina was the love child of Shane and Nia. When Shane left Nia to embrace a new life with another woman, Nia’s belief in love died a horrible death. The words, actions and emotions  that made her believe love conquers all, appeared to be so meaningless. She looked away from Shaina, who was raised by her grandmother Emily (G as Shaina called her). Eight months later, when Nia could finally accept that Shane was not worth her tears and life, she picked up her three year old daughter and apologized for lost time. Nia was born in a blessed family living in a small town of Middlebury, Vermont. Love for her found a new meaning and Shaina became the center of her universe.

Problem with past is, if you never leave it, it will never leave you. Nia had decided to look forward but she never moved. Protective like any mother, she wanted her child to grow away from any grief. Growing up, whenever Shaina saw romantic movies or talked about love, Nia was reminded of her frail love life. She constantly distracted Shaina with toys, shopping and birthday parties. But Shaina was growing old, and she didn’t need her mother’s guidance as answers came from her friends who became more important. “ I was only twelve when we were all in the pool and everybody was talking about their bodies like never before. In between giggles and touches, I came to realize a weird feeling. I was so conscious of how my girlfriends touched my hand and looked at me. They were being the same, it was me who felt different.” Shaina recollects.

“As I came home, I didn’t know who to talk to. In school I couldn’t say a word to my friends as they would have never understood my feelings. Then I just saw you sitting on your favorite chair by the window, and I ran to sit by you, my favorite comfort place, and decided to be my own friend”, Shaina told Emily. It was Shaina’s prom night that was soon approaching. Five years long struggle needed an end and a name.

Shaina met Kate eight months back. Kate was repeating her final year in school. Shaina had grown to enjoy her own company as she found it difficult to fake it. It had been four years of her coming to terms with her feelings, the truth about her sexuality, but she never found a friend who could be her confidante till Kate walked into her life (actually Shaina walked into Kate’s). One day while in the school library, Shaina went to look for books on homosexuality, her search ended in a conversation with Kate. Apparently she was looking for something similar. And they found each other.






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