Idzwan shares his short story of a young gay Malaysian crossing all lines and boundaries Malaysians as a society usually abide by. Half-fact half-fiction, this coming-of-age-tale-cum-erotica won the first runner-up in The UK International Students Short Story Competition in 2010. All puns are intended.
Two friends were walking up a narrow path in the middle of a green field. It was such a lovely day; the sun was out. In Newcastle such a day was a rarity even in the summer. There were many cows dotted here and there among the grass grazing or just sitting on the ground looking at passers-by. Among the usual brown, black, white, black-and-white cows, there were around three that were grey in colour. That was a shocking thing to see. Grey cows were rare, abnormal even. The grey cows were grazing far from the herd and the two friends joked that the three cows were being discriminated against because of their weird coat. These friends should be able to detect a display of discrimination; they made up the small proportion of international students in Newcastle University.
‘Abang, I’m so jealous! Are you really going to see your boys in London?’ Claire said in a voice that suggested disbelief. There was a note of surprised admiration in her tone for this guy she called ‘Abang’. It literally meant ‘Brother’ in Malay, and girls normally used the word as a term of endearment for their boyfriends. In Claire’s case, the use was purely platonic; Adzim was gay.
‘Yeah,’ Adzim responded. ‘Imagine, lots and lots of hot boys.’ Adzim ended his sentence with a laugh.
‘Are you gonna get jiggy-jiggy with them all?’ Claire shot another question.
‘Maybe,’ Adzim replied, flashing a somewhat naughty and gleeful smile.
‘Abang, you’re so cheap –’
‘What cheap? I’m an adult,’ Adzim justified. ‘I want to go to London and I’m trying to save some money so they offer me to sleep in their places and if we’re having fun while I’m there,’ Adzim gestured the inverted coma sign with his fingers at the word ‘fun’, ‘that’s because we have consented to it. It’s not like I’m offering them sex in exchange for a place to stay. I’m not cheap like some other gays in Malaysia.’
‘There are gays in Malaysia?’
‘Yeah,’ Adzim said. ‘I’m one.’
‘Yeah lah, but you only come out here. How do the gay people meet each other? I thought it was not allowed? I thought gay people would be stoned or something.’
‘Of course it’s not allowed lah but you can’t really stop people doing what they want.’
‘So have you ever been with any gay guys back in KL? How did you find them?’
‘Yeah, KL is like the capital of gay. You just go online on any gay websites. There are lots. That’s why tourists like to go to KL. There are many students who would have sex just to get money and their customers are normally old guys.’
‘No way! Really?’
‘Yeah, that’s how they can afford all the nice clothes and shoes. And they change their handphones like every three months. Seriously, their student allowance can’t pay for all of that. They can get around RM 300 for just a one night stand and that is just around 50 pound. Those old guys probably don’t mind paying that much as long as they get to fuck some tight smooth ass. I’d never do that.’
‘Have any old guys ever offered you?’
‘Yeah, they were super disgusting. Fat and old and bald. And they had lots of hair on their chest. Eurrghh! If I’m going to have sex with anyone, it would be because I’m attracted to them. I know it’s shallow and all but at least I’m not getting paid for it.’
‘But you don’t even know them,’ said Claire. ‘How do you know that they’re not some crazy murderers? Later I’ll be reading the news on the front page: Malaysian student found chopped into pieces in the heart of London.’
‘Fuck you! I know how to look after myself lah. That’s why I chat with them first.’
‘But did you see their faces? Did you see them on cam?’
‘Oh my god, are they cute? Are they hot?’ Claire cut in. She was clearly excited. ‘Abang, did you guys have jiggy-jiggy on cam? Did you guys wank? Can I see?’ Her curiosity was at its peak.
‘See what? Us wanking?’
‘No lah. Their faces lah.’
‘I’m not gonna show you. They’re my boys.’
‘Abang, I wanna see…’
The remainder of the conversation was of Claire begging Adzim to let her see the people he had been chatting with as the two friends continued walking up the path with the sun still shining gloriously way up in the sky.
There was a knock on the door.
‘Come in,’ Adzim said while his eyes were still on the screen of his laptop. He and Claire were on the bed in his bedroom. They were both looking at something on his laptop.
‘Oh my god,’ Kathryn pretended to squeal in a girly voice. ‘Are you guys making babies again? Can I join?’
‘Go away lah, we’re busy –‘
‘Oh my god, Kathryn,’ started Claire, ‘have you seen Abang’s boys? They are all so cute and hot!’
‘Boys? How many do you have?’ Kathryn asked Adzim.
‘He has like five of them,’ Claire answered, ‘and they all have nice, hot bodies. I’m so heartbroken.’
‘Really? Have you seen them? Dude, why didn’t you ever show me?’ Kathryn rounded on Adzim. She tried to take a peek at the laptop but Adzim managed to shut the screen.
‘Why should I show you? Stop being jealous lah.’
‘He was on cam with two of them and they were both, like, really really buff!’ Claire said. ‘God is so unfair. Abang is not even good looking. I don’t know how he could get those guys.’
‘Oh please, you’re just jealous,’ said Adzim. He put the laptop aside and walked out of the room to sit on the couch in the living area. Claire and Kathryn followed Adzim like two paparazzi.
The living room was messy with open boxes and luggage strewn all over the place. It was summer break and the inhabitants of 9 Belle Grove West were busy packing to go home to enjoy it.
‘So when are you going to London?’ Kathryn asked as she resumed her place in front one of the boxes wrapping plates and bowls and putting them into the box.
‘Early July,’ Adzim responded while wrapping the couch runner around his skinny body. Although it was pretty warm outside, the inside of the house was still chilly for Adzim. For someone who had spent the first twenty years of his life in the tropical country of Malaysia, Newcastle’s cold weather was something he was still not used to, even after two years. The heating in the house was not switched on. They were just students and the UK was the island of rip-offs, especially for international ones.
‘How long are you going to be there?’
‘Probably like two to three weeks. I’m gonna explore London. I’ve seen the touristy part of London so this time I’m gonna check out the city itself, taking the underground and stopping at some random stations with weird names. And then I’m gonna go shopping. I can’t wait for the summer sale. And yeah, I’ll probably go watch a play or two.’
‘I want to watch Phantom again,’ Kathryn said. ‘And I want to watch Love Never Dies. Who are you staying with?’
‘I’m staying at a friend’s place. An actual friend,’ Adzim added defensively in response to Kathryn’s ‘yeah-right’ stare. ‘I do have friends in London. And even if I do sleep at some other guys’ houses, it’s well within my right. You two are just jealous because I have all the hot guys.’
‘It’s so unfair,’ Claire said. ‘Why is it all the cute and hot guys are gay?’
‘That is so true,’ Kathryn agreed. ‘If a guy is hot and cute, he’s probably gay. If a guy is nice and sweet, he’s probably gay too.’
‘Yeah, and they are always the ones who are most successful,’ Claire added. ‘And rich. All the straight ones are jerks. And chavs!’
‘But seriously, people were born gay right?’ Kathryn asked.
‘How should I know?’ Adzim responded.
‘What about you, Abang?’ asked Claire. ‘When did you realise that you like guys?’
‘I was watching porn and then I realised I got turned on by looking at the guy more than the girl,’ said Adzim while sniggering.
‘Did you ever like girls?’
‘Yeah, when I was like twelve.’
‘But that doesn’t really count,’ said Kathryn. ‘Do you ever look at a pretty girl and start thinking: “Damn, she’s hot!”‘
‘Nah. When I see a pretty girl I will go like “Oooh, she’s pretty” but I never feel like asking them out. I think in my case it was more like a choice. I do like girls but I don’t think it’s fair for them that I have feelings for guys. So I just choose to be completely gay lah.’
‘But then that proves the point that being gay is innate,’ Kathryn said, ‘because you somehow don’t feel that you’re being unfair enough to the guys for liking girls to cause you to choose being straight completely.’
‘I guess. Whatever. I know I like cocks.’
‘Yeah,’ Kathryn said gleefully. ‘We know you like it big, and hard.’
A rush of footsteps was heard from the landing of the staircase before Ali came down from upstairs dragging with him a heavy suitcase.
‘Can you girls please stop talking about cocks?’
‘Oh, I’m sorry if the topic is sensitive for you,’ said Kathryn.
‘Yeah, I forgot you don’t have one,’ Claire added to a smattering of laughter.
‘Oh please, you two lesbians,’ said Ali taking a seat on one of the steps of the stairs.
‘Ali, who’s coming to pick you up?’ asked Claire.
‘My parents are on their way. What were you guys chatting about?’
‘Abang and his gay-ness. Abang, how was your childhood?’ Claire asked. ‘Did you get bullied a lot?’
‘No. I was the one doing the bullying.’
‘Seriously, what is wrong with everyone in this house?’ said Kathryn. ‘Ali was such a bully as well.’
‘What? It’s not my fault that boy was fat,’ Ali said in defence of pranks he had played on a boy when he was in school. ‘And it’s not like you never bitch about your friends.’
‘Yeah, don’t complain lah,’ Adzim said. ‘That’s how we all got here. It’s either because we’re bullies or bitches. It’s all about survival of the fittest. The fact that we bully or bitch about people suggest a degree of competitiveness that gives us the edge for success. That’s why we are here. Cool Asians studying in a world class university.’
‘But that is just horrible,’ said Kathryn.
‘Nah. It’s part and parcel of growing up,’ said Claire. ‘If you can’t fight back or come up with a good comeback, then you’ll lose lah. And yeah, if you can’t beat them you join them.’
‘Yeah, I was lucky at school,’ Adzim said. ‘It helped to be clever lah because the teacher favoured me and they made me a prefect. So in a way, I was in a position of power and I got to be in the in-crowd. I was not exactly abusing my power.’
After more discussions on how each four of them survived the competitive nature of their high school years, someone knocked on the door. Ali got up and walked towards the door to open it. The other three became quiet like young people normally do when they know their friend’s parents are about to invade their comfort zone.
Mr Tanvir walked into the living area smiling genially to everyone in the room. Adzim got up from the couch to shake hands with Mr Tanvir. As Claire got up to shake hands with the man, he retracted his hands.
‘Oh, I’m sorry. We cannot shake hands. In Islam, we’re not allowed to shake hands with people from different gender.’
As Clair uttered a barely audible ‘Owh’, Adzim managed to exchange a glance with Kathryn that screamed ‘Awkward!’.
Of Chinese and Filipino parentage, Claire had been exposed to a variety of cultures while growing up in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. While she had encountered many Muslim friends in Singapore, the idea of a practising Muslim family living in the UK was something she did not think possible.
‘So,’ Mr Tanvir said to break the uncomfortable silence, ‘when will you all be flying home?
Adzim was last to reply. ‘I’m not going home. I’ll be staying here. My parents are going to Mecca in July so there’s no one at home. Plus, we’ll be starting clinical year end of August so I thought it’s better just to stay here to sort things out.’
After some polite exchanges of goodbye, the Tanvirs left 9 Belle Grove West.
‘Abang,’ Claire started ‘I didn’t know guys and girls can’t touch hands in Islam. I seriously didn’t.’
‘Yeah, you can’t.’
‘But I’ve touched all my Muslim guy friends in Singapore. I’ve touched you before.’
‘Well, I choose to be gay,’ Adzim retorted. ‘Supposedly you can’t but people make their own choices.’
The sturdy island table in the middle of the white-themed kitchen rocked as three guys brought to life one of the wild sexual fantasies one of them had always wanted to experience. As a slim twenty-one-year-old Malay boy laid on the table with his legs spread wide to allow a hunky thirty-nine-year-old Caucasian, who was standing at the edge of the table, to fuck him fast and hard, a thirty-three-year-old Chinese, just as hung, gave the boy a blowjob while he him in the ’69’ position. All three men had had their naked bodies covered in all kinds of liquid people would normally savour with their meals. After much sucking and blowing and licking, the young boy said:
‘I’m gonna cum.
‘Yeah, baby. Cum in Lee’s mouth.’
As the boy squirmed on the table and moaned with pleasure, he ejaculated while his cock was still in the mouth of the Chinese guy.
‘Yeah, that’s my good boy,’ the Caucasian said again while slapping the boy’s right butt-cheek.
With the boy’s cum still full in his mouth, Lee began to kiss the Caucasian letting the cum in his mouth to trickle and dribble. The act was such a turn-on the Caucasian started to moan louder and slide his fat cock faster before he took it out to remove the condom and sprayed his cum all over Lee’s face and the boy’s tummy. As Lee kissed his Caucasian partner, he began to moan louder. As he squirmed and rocked, he ejaculated with his cock in the boy’s mouth. After the boy sucked the entire sinful juice out of Lee’s cock, he got up to kiss both men.
‘Thanks baby,’ said Lee flashing his cute smile that got the boy attracted in the first place.
‘You’re very good,’ the Caucasian guy said while hugging the boy and slapping his butt-cheeks.
Somewhere on the floor, a can of whipped-cream lay empty along with two jars that had previously contained honey and chocolate spread.
Adzim was in the bed leaning against Lee’s broad chest with Lee’s huge arms hugging Adzim’s slim body. Naked, both had the kind of freshness one would normally have after showering. They had in fact just showered after a raunchy threesome in the kitchen. Lee’s hair was still damp.
‘So how do you like threesome?’ said Lee. ‘Did Ant and I live up to your fantasy?’
‘Yeah,’ answered Adzim. He caressed Lee’s arm as he said, ‘It was the best.’ He reached up to kiss Lee’s lips most passionately before resting his head back on Lee’s chest. There was a look of satiety, fleeting and momentary, on his face. The silence was broken a second later when Ant came out of the bathroom, drying his naked muscular torso, saying:
‘Aww, you guys are making me really jealous getting all lovey-dovey in my bed while I was showering.’
‘We’re waiting for you,’ Adzim said apologetically. ‘Get in the bed quick. What took you so long?’
‘Well, sweetheart,’ Ant said as he crawled onto the bed on all four limbs, ‘It took a while to rub off all the honey and chocolate. Damn, the thing we do to fulfill your fantasy! I think I deserve a good kiss.’
Adzim released himself from Lee’s hug to make out with Ant. The passion he had had when kissing Lee was not present.
‘I’m sure it was worth all the trouble.’
‘Definitely,’ Ant said before planting another kiss on Adzim’s forehead. ‘So which part of Malaysia are you from? Is it the same as Lee?’
‘Nah, I’m from KL.’
‘It’s like five to six hours driving from Penang,’ Lee added.
‘So, you’ve had fun tonight?’ Ant asked Adzim. ‘I bet you now regret not trying threesome sooner.’
‘He said it was the best sex he’s ever had,’ said Lee.
‘Yeah, it was good, said Adzim, ‘but I’m not regretting anything. I’m glad that my first threesome was with you two.’
‘You’ve had lots of sex in Malaysia?’ Ant asked.
‘Not really. Not everyone is open about it. Plus, I only accepted my sexuality like a year before I came here so there wasn’t much time to explore.’
‘So you’ve had lots of sex in the UK then?’ Ant pressed further. ‘I bet there are many hot jocks in your University who’d love to have you ride their cocks.’
‘Not really. I’m always busy with assignments and revision. Medicine fucks my life! But at least life has been easier lah. I can at least come out to my friends here.’
‘Yeah, I know what you mean,’ Lee said. ‘It’s harder in Malaysia. You have to keep it secret because you can never tell who’d be willing to accept the fact that you’re gay. There’s always a chance that the person you trust might blab about it to some other people you don’t want to know. It’s riskier if you and your siblings have the same circle of friends.’
‘So no one in your family know?’ Ant asked.
‘Nope,’ Adzim answered, ‘except maybe my brother. I think he once saw me looking at the gay website I used to look for other gays. He didn’t talk to me at all for like a week. But he just kept it quiet. We’re okay now.’
‘Lucky you,’ Lee said. ‘My brother told my mother straight away. And here I am. I haven’t gone back to the country for a few years now.’
‘Aww, I’m so sorry,’ Adzim said. He then took the chance to kiss Lee’s forehead. He thought it was best not to ask too many personal questions on the first night of his stay.
‘So you’ll start your clinical year soon?’ Lee changed the subject.
‘Yeah, end of August. It’s going to be one hell of a long year. But it’s ok lah. We’ll be in hospitals all year round doing some actual medicine. I’m tired of going to lectures nine to five every single day. It’d be a good change. And who knows, there might be some hot gay doctors in the hospitals.’
‘Well, you are always welcome here, in this bed, whenever you’re in London,’ Ant said.
‘That’s good to know. It’s going to be a very stressful year so I might come down here to relax.’
‘Do come,’ Lee said. ‘We know how to help you relax.’
‘The tuition fee for the year is expensive though,’ Adzim changed the topic. ‘The fee for international students is like eight times more than home students. I know some guys from my college who did not get the minimum qualifications but still got accepted after appeal. I’m pretty sure the University just wanted more international students for the money to come in.’
‘That might actually be true,’ Ant responded. ‘This country is really going down the drain. The money is being spent all over the places.’
‘I know,’ Adzim agreed quickly. ‘I really don’t know why the chavs are even allowed to live. They spend their whole day hanging out at the park. Don’t they go to school? Don’t they have homework to do? They’re such racist bastards. And they live on benefits and their parents don’t even go to work. My neighbour spends her whole day sitting at the front door smoking in the same ugly bathrobe every single day.’
Ant laughed heartily. ‘That might be a stretch but it’s true.’
‘Yeah, but who cares?’ Lee said. ‘Why are we wasting our times discussing chavs? Three horny guys in a big bed and we’re talking about chavs?’
‘Oooh,’ Ant cooed, ‘I think Lee has something else in mind.’
‘Really?’ Adzim said. ‘What do you have in mind, hottie?’
‘Just you,’ Lee said before he rolled on top of Adzim to kiss him sensually.
‘I’ll switch the light off,’ Ant said as he reached for the switch on the wall.
‘Abang, how was it?’ asked Claire. It was September and the new term started with the usual recollections of sunbathing at exotic beaches and backpacking through tropical countries and interning for magazine and many other thrilling escapades.
‘How was what?’ Adzim responded. ‘The sex? They were good!’
‘They? How many did you have?’
‘I was in London for more than two weeks. And I stayed at different places.’
‘Abang, what do you get from all that?’ Claire asked. ‘Just sex? Or have you chosen one of those guys to be your boyfriend?’
‘But I thought you wanted more.’
‘Yeah, but you can’t start a relationship just by chatting online for a few times. They’re in London. Too far for anything serious. So we all agree that we’re just friends. I still chat with them’
‘But you can have sex just by chatting online for a few times?’ Claire argued cynically.
‘The thing is it’s hard to find love, many gays have given up looking for relationships. What’s the point of having a relationship when we can’t go out together holding hands? Or kiss each other in public without being judged and condemned as freaks? We have to do it in secret and in the end, it feels like having a secret affair just the way many straight people do. It might have been easier in this country but people still look at us like we’re some weirdos. Sex is easy. We just stay in bed to show how much we love each other.’
‘But, it’s not really love. Is it?’
‘Maybe not. At least we like each other well enough we’re willing to share the same bed. That’s why I don’t mind doing it because at least I can be honest about my own feelings and desires. If I were to walk into a coffee shop with another guy we would have to deal with everyone staring at us as if we are disgusting or smell really bad. And that’s not the worst that can happen. In public, I’ll have to behave in certain ways and act in certain manners and talk about certain topics.’
‘So you would rather just be in bed with gay guys you don’t know,’ Claire asked, ‘than to be in public because people might recognise you?’
‘You see, I don’t like those guys because I can have sex with them. They make me feel comfortable in my own skin. I don’t have to pretend I’m somebody else with those guys. That is really funny because they’re strangers but at least they don’t judge. What’s ironic is that I have to pretend among my friends and family when they should love me and accept me unconditionally.’
Idzwan studies Medicine at Newcastle University. He has lived in a house with ‘9 Belle Grove West’ as its address and he did spend some time in London last summer. Kitchen sex is one of the many fantasies he loves to revisit whenever the consultant drones on and on about blood counts and levels. If you guys are wondering if he is the main character personified, that’s a secret he’ll never tell XOXO.