At A Loss

What do you do when you’re so overwhelmed by all the current failures in your life- lack of steady income, an unfamiliar city, a dent in your beautiful new car, a lack of any life purpose, steady career path, or goals, that every afternoon when your partner leaves for work, you cry? You just cry and cry and find new ways to quiet your sobs from your neighbors, and then spend time before she gets home making it seem like you’re fine.

Because you’re not fine. You’re forgetting things, you’re fighting with your partner, you miss sex, you don’t feel like having sex because you feel worthless and not sexy, and you feel extraordinarily inadequate at the extremely part time, low paying job you do have.

You feel like you can’t talk to your partner because it seems like there all these little digs lately, because you’re stressing your partner out, because the last thing you want is to be your partner’s emotional and financial burden. Because your partner doesn’t have enough money, because your partner is going through a rough time with her family and you don’t want to add onto any of that.

So you just keep it to yourself and you cry. But it’s not working because lately you just cry more and more and more.

So what do you do?

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Breaking Up

When Jared drove up I got in the car and took his keys in my hand. I looked at him and could see my trepidation mirrored in his face. “This isn’t going to be a good talk, is it?” he asked me. I shook my head. I looked out the window and blinked back the tears. I felt like I was losing the balm to a wound still too deep and fresh.

“You know I’m gay, right?” I asked him, looking out the window. He reached for my hand, his fingers soft and gentle, so feminine.

“I know you were with Gwen. I also know that it’s okay for someone to like men and women. That happens more often than people think, and there’s nothing to feel guilty about.”

“I don’t like men and women. I like women. Just women,” but I squeezed his hand. It was hard for me to say, hard for me to come to terms with. Whole futures were crashing and burning in front of my eyes. Who am I, if I don’t even know this about myself?

“You do like men, though. You like me, you kiss me,” Jared tried to comfort me.

“I do like you,” my voice cracked. “I think you’re sweet and kind and gentle, but I don’t like you the way I like women. I love women. I’m not in love with you.”

He wiped a tear from my cheek, “But I’m in love with you.”

I shook my head, crying, still crying, always crying, it felt like, but I kept my resolve. “You haven’t known me long. You can’t love me. You’re so young, you’ll find someone else you really love and this will pale in comparison. It will set your world on fire like a thousand stars bursting and fill you with warmth and light, and I don’t do that, I can’t do that, because I don’t love you back.” Immediately my words seemed false because Gwen hadn’t loved me back and I’d felt all of those things, my whole world shifting alignment so that I’d never be the same again.

“I do love you, you can’t tell me who I can and can’t love,” Jared argued, and I nodded my agreement.

“And you can’t tell me either. I’m sorry, Jared. We can’t do this anymore. I’m gay, really gay, and I need you to accept that.”

“But you aren’t-” he insisted, and I handed him his keys.

“I am. I’m really sorry I hurt you, Jared.” I clambered out of the car and saw tears running down his face. I walked inside and leaned against the front door to face my roommate.

“You okay?” She asked, slightly concerned and eating a bowl of cereal.

“I think I just broke up with someone I wasn’t even dating,” I confessed.

“Want a bowl of cereal?” She asked. I thought about my half eaten hot breakfast at Gwen and Kelly’s house.

“No thanks, I’m just going to shower. I have work in a few hours.” Work, where I’d have to deal with Jared, I remembered, and groaned.

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Jared quickly became a good friend. In trying to distance myself from Gwen, and therefore losing time with Kelly in the process, I was realizing just how wrapped up in myself I’d been. My roommate and I were completely out of touch, my friends were distant and caught up in their own lives and problems, and they felt hurt that I didn’t talk to them at all during the past several months. I couldn’t blame them.

Jared was a fresh start – someone who hadn’t really known me before. He had no resentful feelings, wasn’t too concerned about labels or giving me a hard time about Gwen. In fact, he never brought her up. I loved that part best.

We worked together easily and when work ran late into the night we would grab donuts and sit on the hood of his car and talk for hours about this and that. We both loved astronomy and the old stories of the constellations, and would trade stories about one culture’s interpretation or another.

He kissed me occasionally, a kiss goodnight, and each one made me feel all at once less lonely and also the most lonely I’d ever been.

Kelly invited me to brunch one Saturday, and as Kelly tended to live off of cereal, I came over to the house to make her favorite dish. Kelly and I laughed around the stove as she poured orange juice into champagne flutes and set the table prettily. Her relationship with Trey was going well and she was light and bright and fun. I soaked her in, hoping to absorb some of her effervescent happiness, and let myself feel how much I’d missed her.

We talked and ate and giggled, and halfway through our meal, Gwen ambled down the stairs, still in her pajamas.

“Oh! Sorry! I didn’t know you were here,” I apologized. “We’ve been so loud. There’s plenty, would you like me to set you a place?”

Kelly snorted and I looked over at her. There was fire in her eyes. She hadn’t told me or Gwen on purpose. Kelly was very, very angry, and I wasn’t sure why.

“I can get it myself. Thank you, though, for offering,” Gwen said, though she looked at Kelly. Suddenly I felt tense and uncomfortable. It was clear Gwen didn’t want me here, or at least that she and Kelly were fighting and I was now some sort of pawn in their chess game.

Gwen sat down and began to serve herself. “So, you’ve been having a good morning?”

“Um, yes,” I mumbled, feeling like a small child. What the hell had I just gotten myself into?

“We were just talking about relationships. How’s yours going?” Kelly threw out boldly. I shot her a look.

“We weren’t and you don’t need to answer that,” I tried to assure Gwen, but she glared at me.

“No, I think we should. I heard you have a new boyfriend. Couldn’t even make it till graduation?” There was venom in her voice but I didn’t understand her question.

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” I tried to stay calm.

“I saw you kissing him the other night!” she shot back.

“What? Where?”

“Actually I hadn’t, but you just proved it,” she gloated.

“You don’t have any room to talk, Gwen. Why don’t you tell Tabby what’s been going on with you and Mandy?” Kelly interjected.

“Stay out of it, Kelly, that’s none of your business,” Gwen tried to shut her down but Kelly was filled with a ferocity I hadn’t seen in her before.

“I can hear you from my room! I can hear you guys fighting all the time! Three in the morning and I can’t sleep!”

I didn’t know they’d been fighting. I knew how much Mandy meant to Gwen. I could see the effects now, the sagging shoulders, the bags under her eyes – Gwen hadn’t been sleeping.

“Gwen, are you okay?” I reached out toward her but was careful not to touch her. She shoved me and I stumbled into the counter.

“Go play straight with your boyfriend,” Gwen shot at me. I felt wounded, I felt betrayed, I felt like I disappointed myself and her and a whole culture of lesbians.

“I don’t even like boys!” I cried out, “At least I know he doesn’t have a second girlfriend!”

With tears building behind my eyes, I slammed the door behind me. I pulled out my phone. Jared, can you come to my house? I need to talk to you.

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Part 16 Kiss Confusion

I tried to put it all from my mind and be a happy, bubbly girl again, but the relationship between first:girl and I remained strained. I started to backtrack, to party without her. Maybe the kiss wasn’t as good as I remembered. Maybe she wasn’t everything I was imagining her to be. I tried to put some distance between us.

A new project popped up at work and I was placed on it. I glowed with satisfaction at being chosen, and it kept me busy and away from Gwen. I felt sick not seeing her for a day or two at a time, but firmly resolved it was for the best, and tried to keep my check-ins casual.

There was a younger guy working on the project with me, someone I’d not spent any time with before. Jared was sweet, funny – a nice kid. I warmed to him immediately and we began spending time together after work. A few weeks into the project, he walked me to my car and held the door open.

“Tabby,” he inquired softly, and I looked up, confused. He kissed me, sweetly, thoroughly, and I wasn’t sure what to do. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t right. His lips were full and soft and if I closed my eyes I could imagine it was anyone.

Quickly I snapped myself out of it. That wasn’t right, either.  I pulled away, prepared to let him down gently. “Wow,” he breathed, his voice full of wonder. His eyes were shining and I felt a tug. Maybe my kiss with Gwen hadn’t meant anything. Maybe I could still do this. I mean, I’d dated guys before.

I leaned in for another kiss, determined to give him the benefit of the doubt. He hovered over me, so tall and overpowering, and the difference felt awkward, but I ignored it. I closed my eyes and just tried to feel something, anything, and in the back of my mind, dimly lit, was a small, flickering candle of warmth. It would have to do.

“Jared,” I tried to push him away as he leaned in for another kiss and the skin of his neck was so soft under my fingers. I was entranced enough that I didn’t pull away. My fingers crept along the back of his neck and up his nape but he stop me.

“Uh- uh,” his tone was playful as he smirked at me, “You don’t ever touch a black person’s hair.” I laughed and was brought back to the fact that this was still the funny boy I enjoyed spending time with, who made me feel warm and comfortable. I eased my fingers back down to his neck but when he leaned in for a kiss, I turned my head so his lips touched my cheek. He laughed, “Right, right, you’re a lady, and we’re kissing at your car. You deserve a date.”

“No, no, it’s fine,” I backtracked hastily. “I just didn’t even know you felt like this until thirty seconds ago.”

“Girl, you’re blind,” the way he called me girl, like Gwen did, was comforting, even in his deep, rumbling voice. “Every single person knows I’ve been after you for weeks except you.”

I winced. Subtleties were never my forte. “Sorry,” I mumbled, and he just laughed again.

“I think it’s cute,” he declared, but I was still grimacing. I wanted to get in my car and go. I wanted to kiss Gwen. I wanted to lay on her carpeted floor and watch B list movies.

“Thanks,” I smiled politely instead. “I have to go,” my tone was sweetly apologetic, because with men that usually gets me what I want.

“Sure thing, baby girl,” he tucked my hair behind my ear and kissed me softly before he allowed me to duck into the car, feeling sick, trying to smile for him. I waved out the window and drove down the block and around the corner, stomach sinking with every turn of the wheels, and I pulled off just out of sight to turn off the car and try to breathe.

I sucked in air, confused, torn – hot tears welling up. I was determined not to cry. All I ever did was cry anymore. I scratched frantically at my lips, still tasting some essence of his salt and skin and I wanted it off. I pulled a water bottle from my purse and pulled at it, reveling in the cool, clear taste.

I wiped a tear from my cheek and capped my water bottle. I took a deep breath, flicked on my blinker and pulled back out onto the dark road.

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Part 15 Roommates

We sat on the floor and laughed and ate Thai, and when her roommate came home I quickly urged her to join us. I was trying anything and everything to avoid the awkwardness from seeping between us again. It helped that Kelly and I got along so well and she was so sweet and funny. She grabbed a plate of food and sat between us on the floor as we popped in a movie.

Kelly and I giggled the whole movie as we made up jokes and Gwen chimed in with her additions. It was a happy, wonderful feeling and I was content to bask in it. However, as the movie ended and the night fell deeper and colder outside the window, I thought it best not to overstay my welcome.

“I’m gonna go,” I smiled, “thanks for the movie.”

“I love your hair,” Kelly praised for the umpteenth time. I wished Gwen could’ve been so forthcoming. “I – uh, have to pee. Okay, bye!” Kelly grinned and ran upstairs and I wanted to smack my forehead at the idiot girl who just put me in the most awkward situation. I saw Gwen wince out of the corner of my eye.

“Yep, so,” I quickly slipped on my shoes and grabbed for my keys and jacket. “Thanks for everything and have a good night!” The words were rushed and I couldn’t make eye contact, but I managed a grin.

“Tabs,” she started, and it was so soft but I could hear it half way down the driveway. I turned, slowly, hopefully. “Goodnight,” she sighed, and I tried to keep my face from falling.

“Goodnight,” I murmured and unlocked my car, heart sinking in my chest.

The next few weeks were full of Kelly, and I was so very glad she made herself available. I used her as a buffer between Gwen and myself constantly, but found out that we actually made pretty good friends.

“I just don’t get it,” she groaned over the breakfast table. Gwen was still asleep as we munched on cereal. I looked at her paper curiously and grinned. A Shakespeare sonnet! I could analyze those in my sleep!

“I can help,” I offered. “You love songs, so you just have to break it down, like lyrics.” I gently took her through each line, breaking down the text.

“What are you two up to?” Gwen asked as she rubbed sleep from her eyes. We looked up, heads bent together low over the table and chairs touching.

“Tabby is helping me with my English,” Kelly smiled up at her. I glanced up and waved a quick hello before tucking back in and taking Kelly through the last two lines.

I could see Gwen smiling at us from the kitchen island, but was resolved not to look directly at her. “Wow, that makes so much more sense!” Kelly exclaimed as she finished writing down her translation. “I wish he could have just written it in normal terms.”

I snorted with laughter and shook my head at her. “Sorry, Kelly, I’ll let him know.”

“I thought he was dead,” she looked me, puzzled.

“He is,” I shook my head at her and stood up to wash my bowl in the sink. “Maybe you should have me help you with your history homework,” I winked at her and she kindly took it with laughter.

“Probably,” she agreed. “I’d at least know what’s going on. Gotta get to class. Thanks for the help, Tabs!” she hugged me from behind as I stood at the sink, and Gwen raised an eyebrow at the scene.

“You were going to tell me all about Trey,” I reminded Kelly as she opened the front door – both to tease her and to answer Gwen’s silent question.

“Oh yeah!” she flushed. “Later. Okay, bye!” she slammed the door and ran out to her car, leaving me to smile and shake my head at her childish loveliness.

“You and Kelly seem to be getting along well,” Gwen commented between bites of cereal. I set my bowl to dry on the rack.

“She’s a sweet girl,” I turned to lean against the counter. “Strangely, we have a lot in common. I like her,” I crossed my arms defensively, but hoped it seemed nonchalant.

“Me too. She’s a cute kid,” Gwen’s tone was not outright condescending but somehow still degrading, and I felt a sting. Kelly was only a year younger than me, while Gwen was several years older than the two of us. If Kelly was a kid, what was I?

“Yeah, she is,” I murmured weakly, hurt.

“Not really too brainy, though,” she continued, not noticing my hurt feelings.

“Well she doesn’t really need it with that body, does she?” I couldn’t help but snap at her, and Gwen looked shocked. “It’s not a sin to say it,” I shrugged. “She’s gorgeous. Body, face, eyes like woah.”

“Yeah, right.” Gwen grumbled into her cereal bowl. “What are you doing here, anyway?” I clenched my jaw and and walked toward the front door.

“I don’t really know,” I glared at her. “See you later,” I forced out, and the front door slammed behind me. The walk home was quick and fierce – I was steaming from our conversation and all I wanted was a really good fight to get it all out, or a really good kiss to do the same. I had already unlocked my front door and flopped on the couch when my phone beeped.

Shit, I’m sorry. I forgot we were going to go to the movies today. Please don’t be pissed off.

I threw my phone back down onto the couch without a response, and for the first time I sat in my apartment and fervently wished we had cable to provide a distraction.

Tabs, I was really grumpy. Woke up on the wrong side of the bed or something she pleaded with me.

I sighed and picked up the shards of my broken heart once more, opened the front door and made the trek back to Gwen’s place.

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Part 14 Hair Cuts

I took the first appointment available, only an hour away. Quickly, I tried to sober up with a lukewarm shower, washing the smells of smoke and alcohol from my hair and pores. The cleanliness lifted my broken heart and I allowed myself a moments respite from my grief.

I wasn’t lesbian enough, I had thought over and over again throughout the course of my relationship with first:girl. I could change that. I could do something to compete. I could put myself in her shoes. I could be everything she was and wanted me to be. Hope budded in my chest as I threw my phone in my purse and headed out to the car.

I turned the music up loud on the drive over, not wanting to hear myself think. I’d had long hair my whole life. Had donated to Locks of Love on several occasions, but had never gone shorter than just below my shoulders. I felt frightened, exhilarated.

“Hi, I have a three thirty with Maili,” I greeted the receptionist.

“Oh, sure, she’s waiting for you. Maili!” she called back to a young woman with long dark hair and huge brown eyes. She was gorgeous.

“Hi, Tabby? Come on back,” Maili smiled at me. “So we’re doing a cut today, is that right?”

“Yes,” I nodded and let out a breath. “All of it. I want to cut all of it.” I could see her frown at me in the mirror and she ran her hands through my hip length hair.

“That seems a little drastic. Rough breakup with your boyfriend?” I flinched.

“I’m a lesbian.” It was the first time I’d ever said the words out loud. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, they sort of just tumbled out, like I couldn’t stop them.

“Sorry, you just don’t look like a -” her eyes widened. “Oh.”

I was surprised she could come to the realization so quickly when it had taken me months. “Yeah, exactly.”

“But, still. All of it? You’ve got gorgeous hair,” she pouted. I snorted.

“It’s all wild and I can’t do anything with it anyway. It’s not beautiful and flowy like yours.”

“You know how many treatments I get done on my hair? Protein and keratein and gloss dyes? I don’t wake up like this, trust me. I could do something like that for you.”

“No,” I was adamant. “I want it cut.”

“Okay,” she sighed like she was about to commit a crime. “Do you really want it all cut off? I could do something really nice, chin length? Still short and edgy but not so drastic?”

I paused, hesitated. Would it be chickening out? Would it be turning my back on this new road? Would it be “lesbian enough?” She saw my hesitation and put a comforting hand on my shoulder.

“Let’s decide after we wash,” she soothed me. I stood up and she escorted me over to the rows of sinks. I sat down and she started to tilt me back before I remembered my damp hair and protested.

“I just showered,” I told her sheepishly. “You don’t have to do that.”

“It’s okay,” she smiled down at me and lifted all of my hair into the sink with her gentle hands. “It’s part of what you pay for, and it’s relaxing. Just let go and try not to think about anything.”

I closed my eyes and let her hands lull me to a quiet place. Her fingers were strong, knowing, but soft, and she massaged my scalp and ran her fingers through my hair. “How long have you been out?” she asked me quietly as she pumped shampoo into her palm.

“I’m not, exactly. Or I always have been. I don’t know. I feel like there wasn’t really a closet involved with me. I liked a girl one day and the next everyone knew. I’m not really that good at hiding things,” I confessed.

“Honesty is a good thing,” she assured me and I closed my eyes as she passed over a knot near the base of my neck. “You’re very stressed, though. You could really use a massage.”

“If I could afford one, I would,” I joked. Or get laid, I added mentally. That would do wonders. She rinsed out my hair and combed through some conditioner while we chit-chatted. Eventually, she turned off the water and I sat up so she could towel-dry my hair. It felt heavenly. We walked back to her station and she combed out my hair.

“Okay, decision time,” she told me, her chin on top of my head. “What do you want to do?”

Crap, I’d been so relaxed I hadn’t even thought about it. What if I looked really awful with short hair? I had no idea how to style it or take care of it. Was I ready for such a drastic change? Maili noticed my panic.

“What if we start slow and if you want to go shorter, we can?” she generously offered.

I nodded, grateful at the out she’d given me. “I definitely want to go shorter than my shoulders, though, and my hair grows so fast that I’d like to go at least an inch or two above.”

She smiled at me and I closed my eyes and tried to keep my head even as she made the first snip. She went around once and layered it. Just above chin length – it wasn’t so bad. Actually, it felt light, refreshing.

“It’s so different,” I told her, shocked. She stepped back and pursed her lips in the mirror.

“Have you ever thought about bangs?”

Some time later I walked out with a bounce in my step. I felt like lesbian was branded all over my forehead with my short, edgy style and my new fringe of side bangs. I got in my car and checked my phone out of habit. There was a text message from Gwen: Sorry, I was sleeping. Glad you’re safe. There was a second, soon after: You get used to it. I could just imagine her accompanying shrug.

I bit my lip anxiously. I wanted her to see me. I wanted her approval. I dialed her number quickly. “Gwen?” she answered on the second ring, “did I wake you?”

“No, I was up,” she said warily.

“How do you feel about late lunch/early dinner? Want me to get something?” She didn’t respond right away, perhaps remembering last night when I said I didn’t want to see her today.

“Sure,” she finally responded. “Whatever you like, just grab two.”

I snagged some Thai on the way home. She must have heard the car door slam because she came out to greet me.

“Hey, girl-” she started as I clambered out of the car and grabbed for the Thai. “Oh my God. You cut your hair!” She sounded shocked, bewildered, accusing, awed. She reached out and I let her run her fingers through the soft strands, beaming.

“It was time for a change,” I tried to shrug it off nonchalantly. “I brought Thai.”

“It’s – wow, it’s really short.” Well, Jesus, where was my compliment?

“Not that short. I didn’t want to go extreme or anything.” Liar, I called myself out.

“It’s beautiful, it’s just – it’s really different on you.” Satisfied with my compliment, I smiled.

“Thank you, I grabbed sweet and sour pork and I want to know Bette and Tina get back together so you better damn well put in L Word,” I ordered, walking in the house like I owned it. I toed off my flats and pulled the plates out of the cupboard to begin spooning out our dinner.

From the kitchen island I noticed Gwen standing in the arch of the front door, staring at me. I grinned and stared pointedly at the TV and then back at her. Gwen shook herself out of whatever she’d been thinking and grinned back. “Yes, ma’am,” she saluted my new bossy attitude and headed to the entertainment center. I ducked my head and fixed her plate, grateful for my new fringe which helped hide my blush.

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Part 13 Mimosas

The concrete was freezing underneath me and my tears were frozen trails on my cheeks. Eventually, I just couldn’t cry anymore, and shakily pulled my legs underneath me. The moonlight was bright on the sidewalk and the cold air stung my irritated eyes. I walked slowly, blinking back the emotion that was still hovering on the brink.

I pulled the keys from my pocket and fumbled with the lock, trying to be quiet and avoid waking my housemate. I didn’t bother getting undressed, though my hair smelled like smoke and my skin felt gritty. I crawled into bed and the urge to sob washed over me again, burying my face in the pillows as sleep took me somewhere in my despair.

The next morning was better, sunny and bright, and everything seemed better in the golden warmth. I didn’t have to work, so I nipped to the kitchen for a bottle of champagne and drank mimosas all morning. Two or three glasses in, I remembered to plug in my phone, and when I looked at the screen I saw three text messages from Gwen.

Did you make it home? she had asked, maybe fifteen minutes after I left her. Are you alright? was the second text, half an hour later. Please, talk to me. I’m sorry, Tabs. She’d texted me at five am.

The guilt ate at me and the mimosas weren’t helping. I’m home. I sent her. I forgot to check my phone last night. I’m sorry I made you worry. Hope you got some sleep. It was presumptuous, thinking that she had been worried about me, but I typed it anyway, hoping.

I waited, drank another mimosa. Nothing. The tears built up again. I felt like a yo-yo, jerked around one way and then the other. How could she be so loving, so caring, and then so completely heartless? How could she see me aching to offer my soul on a platter to her and wave it away like an undercooked meal?

My housemate knocked on my door after one in the afternoon. “I heard something about you last night,” she started, but I shook my head.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” my voice was hoarse from crying.

“So it ended badly. We all knew it would, Tabby. God, can’t you see she was playing you? You can’t trust girls like that. They’re just as bad as guys, pitting girls against each other-” I shook myself out of my stupor.

“Girls like what?” I searched around for the term clumsily given to me in the heat of an argument.

Butch girls? You’re judging her because of how she looks?” I was in full defense mode. Maybe Gwen had just broken my heart, but she was still everything to me and that meant fighting for her to the ends of the earth.

“No. Well, yes. Maybe. C’mon, Tabby. You know her, you’ve seen her. She’s playing you.”

“Are you saying that all this crap I’ve gone through with you and Charlie and all the others is because Gwen isn’t a nice, normal, Stepford-wife girl? That if she had long hair and a polite smile and drank cosmos instead of beer and whiskey, and didn’t curse, and wore high heels instead of converse, and dresses instead of mismatched plaids-” I choked, those were all things I loved about her. I loved her masculinity. I loved her rough edges, the way she held her beer. I loved the quirky smile and the crooked teeth and the no makeup and the tattoos and all those gorgeous freckles.

“That everyone would have been fine?” I finished harshly.

“Not fine,” she hedged. “I mean, you’re like, a slut, and then-” I reeled. A slut? Sure, I’d been known to kiss someone when I was drunk and lonely at a party, but I was hardly sleeping around. I hadn’t even slept with a guy! “-out of the blue you’re rubbing all over this girl who like- is she even a girl?”

“Her boobs are like-!” huge, I wanted to say, but was too embarrassed. “You can tell she’s a fucking girl!”

“Whatever. She’s not like anybody around here. She’s abrasive. If you picked somebody that fit in better, maybe it would have gone over easier,” she shrugged. I don’t want anyone else, I wanted to cry, but it was pointless. I may have picked her, but she didn’t pick me.

“I don’t want to talk about it. Did you want something?”

“Utilities are due. It’s on the cork board,” she closed the door behind her and I sank into my thoughts.

I brooded, cellphone in hand, waiting for the right words to come. I didn’t realize how hard this was for you. I finally sent her a message. This whole time I’ve been oblivious because people look at me and see a normal looking straight girl. You don’t get that courtesy. It sucks. I waited and waited, phone in hand, but she never sent me anything back.

A thought came to me, spur of the moment, and I dialed a number. “Hi, do you have anything available today? I’d like to chop off all my hair.”

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