Title: Anywhere But Here
Warnings: Homosexuality. Angst. Use of chemicals. Swearing worse than a Sunday school teacher with a few of said chemicals in her.
Summary: Two women try and figure out what they feel for each other. One, Anje, is sure of the love she has. The other not so sure. A story of what two people can put each other through, and the effect it has on everyone around them. Chockfull of angst and crazywriter goodness.
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Chapter One: Your Jacket
Point of view: Anje
Date: November 12, 2001
Time: 11:35 Pm
Place: Bluff Scenic Overlook
"The lights are beautiful," she says, glancing down over the bluff to the sleeping city below. "Just perfect. So beautiful."
Like you, I want to say, but I don't. It's not something I get to say not with these… these fucken lines we drew for our own happiness, I guess, for sanity, normalcy, whatever you want to say… We drew them so we could be… no, so you could be safe. We did it for you. It wasn't about me. "Yeah," I agree, "Beautiful, like a Christmas tree or something…"
"Christmas is coming," she sings and I join in.
"The geese are getting fat."
"Please put a penny in the old man's hat," she sings the next line. She cocks her head at me when I don't sing. "Your line."
"I- I don't know the rest of the words," I admit, though I do… I just want to hear her sing. She grins at me and starts singing.
"If you haven't got a penny, a haypenny will do, if you haven't got a haypenny then may God-"
"Bless you," I finish for her. She smiles at me and leans her head on my shoulder, wrapping an arm around my waist. Damn it, no, I curse, anything but that… anywhere but here.
I fell in love with her here. Right here, this very spot. A mirror image of how we are now. But it was so many nights, so many months ago. So many months ago when I looked at her, staring down at the city lights, mystified by them. So long ago that I decided she was perfect, down to every bone in her tight, cute, little body. When I thought… no, when I knew, I loved her.
"No," I hear myself say out loud, "No, we can't do… this." I step away from her. She looks at me in shock.
"Do what?" she demands, "We weren't doing anything, it's not like you're cheating on her, or me on him. We're not doing anything."
"Still not right," I mutter, "Not with the way you know I feel for you and the way you used to feel for me. It's just not right."
"We're friends, that's all. Friends do this stuff," she shoots back, "Hold hands, shit like that. It's not about wanting you."
"What do you want?" I demand and stop speaking to light a cigarette. She glares and snatches it away from my mouth, throwing it over the edge of the look out point. She grabs my pack and throws them too.
"Don't think just because we're fighting, I'd let you smoke," she says in that god-damned maternal way she seems to have mastered.
"Whatever," I mutter and turn away.
"Don't," she says softly, as though begging me. I turn around. She's leaning against the stone wall of the lookout pointing. She sighs in surrender and looks at me, "Don't leave me…"
"You didn't answer," I say. "What do you want?"
She sighs again, "It takes time, you know? Time to figure out… what it is… I want…"
What you want, I think sadly, and what about when you decide what you want still isn't me?
"Of course," is what I say, "Time. We all need time. Time…"
"Time to think," she says, "About this. About me. You. Him. Her. But about me and you… about us."
I think… I think all this pain will be worth it to hear her refer to her and I as an us. "About us?" I ask, "What about us?"
"That's what I need to think about," she explains. "It's not… this isn't easy for me… I never… I never expected you to be in love with me. And I never expected for me to be confused about how I feel for you."
"How you feel for me?" I whisper so softly I don't think she hears, "How do you feel about me?" I ask louder.
"I don't know," she admits, "I'm so confused… I… it… it's all about contexts, ya know? All about where to put what feelings…"
"No," I argue, "It's not like that… Love isn't something you can just file under columns A, B, or C… it's not that cut and dry, it's not that simple… it's not about what you want to feel, or think you feel, it's about how you feel." I sigh, "How you feel about me. How you feel about him. Him…" I finish quietly.
"Him," you repeat, "It's always about him to you."
"Only because it's always about him to you. Him and the way he feels for you. And you don't even know if you still love him," I sigh, "How can you justify making him play warm body to you? It's not right, it's not right that you do it to him, and it's not right when you do it to me. This… you see it as a game almost. A game for you, love, feelings, wanting, needing."
"Don't judge me," she manages. "It's not your place to judge what I do with my own life…"
"It is," I say, "Because it's you're doing to me." I walk over to her, "Don't you see what you do to me?" I brush a stray lock of hair out of her eyes, "I could never judge you as anything less than perfect… it's how you made me feel for you."
She's crying, she's really crying. I reach over to brush a tear away but she beats me to it. "Don't mind me it's just… just… catharsis, I guess." She looks steps back and leans over the lookout wall again, gazing out into the night. "I'm so confused," she admits.
"So am I…" I say, "But I don't even know what about." She nods. I know how that goes. I step closer to her. She shivers so I put my leather jacket on her shoulders. She pulls it tighter. Neither she nor I have missed the symbolism of her wearing my jacket.
"Your jacket," she murmurs softly, just an observation.
And I just stand there, like the idiot I am. Just stand there watching her move. Move with her beauty and grace. "I love him, you know," she says. "I really do."
"Good for you," I say. I keep watching her, tears on her face. And I realize she just made her choice…
"I'd have given you time," I hear my voice say before my heart realizes what my brain's about to do, "But you know what you want… you always have. And it's not me."
"Don't think that…" she says weakly. I step closer to her and see how her face shines with the tears. She looks even more beautiful, like she's glowing. She grabs my hand. "I don't want you to remember me like this…"
I feel myself smile nostalgically. "I'll always remember you as the first woman who stole my heart," I tell her, brushing my fingers on her cheek, "But you'll always also be the first woman to break it."
She just looks down at the ground. I take it as my cue to leave.
I start walking home, feeling my heart shatter under the dim light of the street lamps. It's snowing a bit, the cold hitting.
"If haven't got a penny, a haypenny will do, if you haven't got a haypenny," I sing, sadly lamenting for what I've lost. "Then may God bless you." A car slows to as stop next to the sidewalk. Her jeep.
She gets out. "You… you forgot your jacket…"