My mother didn't speak when I climbed into the passenger seat of her car. She didn't even look at me. As awkward as it was I was just thrilled to be rescued from Blake's den of promiscuity. What a freaking weirdo she was. I was horrified I couldn't see it before. How could I be so blind?
"I hope you're proud of yourself." My mother finally said. We were halfway home before she broke the silence that hung in the air.
"Mom." I began.
"Don't. Don't try and mom me right now. You snuck out of the house. You've been lying to me, to your father."
"Mom I want to be honest with you. I'm tired of lying to you."
She laughed. "I can't tell by the way you've been acting. You are so grounded."
"Mom." I started again.
"Don't. If I hadn't put that GPS on your phone I wouldn't have been able to find you."
What? "You planted a bug on me?"
She didn't bother trying to justify it. "You left me no choice. You've proven yourself to be dishonest. Sneaking out to hang out with your new gay best friend, really Casey?"
"Mom Delia was in trouble."
Her judgmental glare disappeared almost immediately. "What? What's wrong with Delia?"
I briefly considered not telling my mother the truth. How could I betray Delia like this? Then again how could I not. This was out of control. Totally out of hand. None of us were prepared to deal with any of this. I dug my phone out of my pocket and typed out a quick text for Dee and Delia.
Tell your mom everything, I'm confessing right now.
"Mom there is so much crazy stuff going on I don't know where to start."
Mom didn't flinch. "At the beginning. Start at the beginning."
It was the most honest advice I'd been given yet. "Well it started with a party. Well actually it started a month before that. At homecoming. I got drunk, I used to get drunk a lot." I laughed. "And when I say a lot I mean a lot. And when I say drunk I mean pass out drunk. I got so drunk that night I gave the girl's basketball team lap dances."
She looked at me and I could tell she was doing her best to try and hide her embarrassment. Hearing this had to be horrible for her. Her beautiful little air head, wasn't such an airhead after all. I thought back to all those times she treated me like an idiot. Hell I acted like an idiot.
"So you're telling me you're an alcoholic?"
I didn't know how to answer that. "I don't think so. I mean I used to get drunk because I was repressed. I was repressing my feelings for girls. So I'd get wasted at these parties and do this crazy stuff. I don't really feel the need to drink though so I don't think I'm an alcoholic."
"Are you still drinking?"
"No. Dee made me stop. She said she was going to tell on me if I got drunk again."
Mom nodded. "Good."
"Here's where things get weird." I looked over at her. "Are you sure you want to hear this?"
She nodded but didn't speak.
"Alright. Well after a month of not drinking. At Dee's request. We went to another party with Glen, and Glen brought Blake. I was attracted to her. She's pretty, I mean you've seen her. She was fun and charming and she liked me, she practically chased me. I kissed her that night."
I looked over at her, waiting for her to pull the car off the road and start telling me I was going to Hell. She looked at me instead with a blank face and for the first time in my life I didn't know what to expect from her.
"So it was a real kiss?" She asked me.
I nodded. "Yes. It was a kiss like how you kiss daddy, and even though it wasn't about us hooking up, it felt right. Mom it felt right. It wasn't until that very moment that I realized it never felt right with Rich. He was a nice boy but it was empty, mechanical. I didn't like it."
"Casey," she started to say before catching herself. "I'm sorry, go on."
"Dee and Delia told me repeatedly to stay away from her. They told me Blake was crazy and I didn't listen. Turns out she is. She's really crazy. Now nobody knows this next part but a handful of people so when you hear it you can't freak out."
She began to shake her head. "What could possibly be worse than hearing my daughter is an alcoholic lesbian."
"Delia knew Blake. Blake chased her around for months seducing her. Delia finally gave in."
"Delia's a lesbian too?" She asked shocked.
"No, she's not. But she realized it AFTER she had sex with Blake. Which Blake talked her into letting her videotape. Then she started teasing her with the video, sending it to her in emails. She's totally harassing her mom. It's super creepy and sick. Delia was afraid to tell her mom about it. She doesn't date, she afraid to get close to anybody. Dee and I think she needs to get into some kind of counseling but she refused until she can get the video back."
"Is that what you were doing there? Looking for the video?"
I nodded. "I found it. I've got it in my purse.";
The car was suddenly quiet again and the drive lingered on for a few more minutes. When the streets became familiar and our house was in sight she finally looked over at me and asked another question.
"So are you ready to be honest with me about everything?"
The question was surprising. She wanted to know something, she had a question. The kind of question I knew she already had the answer to but was simply testing me. I could only guess what she was talking about, but now was not the time to start lying again. Telling her the truth may have been social suicide but it felt so good to finally be done with the lies.
"Go ahead, ask me anything."
"Morgan." She finally asked.
Damn. Honesty was a bitch and a half.
"What about her?"
She snickered. "What do you think Casey? I want to hear you say it. Out loud."
I sighed heavily, still there was no need in lying. Clearly she knew. "Fine. I love her mom. I love her and she loves me."
She began to shake her head letting the car drift into silence once again. It was another few minutes before we pulled into our driveway and I was left to wonder what exactly her reaction to all this would be. She'd known most of it already it seemed, somewhere along the line she'd been filled in on almost everything. I assumed it was from one of the other girls moms, the mom hotline.
"Do you even know what love is? Real love? Lasting love?"
"I know I'm only seventeen but this is who I am mom. I didn't do this on purpose. It wasn't some decision I made to let you down. I tried. I tried really hard to be what you want me to be but I haven't been happy, really happy, until now. Morgan makes me happy. The way she makes me feel makes me happy. How can that be wrong?"
"Mom don't talk to me about the bible. I've gone to church every Sunday for as far back as I can remember. I didn't do this. The bible isn't going to change me into what you want me to be. I'm the same girl I've always been. Everything you dreamt for me, for us, we can still have. We just have to alter things a bit."
"But.." She began before I cut her off again.
"But nothing mom. I want a family, and babies, and a house with a white picket fence. I want a job I can be proud of and a life with Christ but it will be with another woman. Whether that's with Morgan or some other woman it's what I see for myself."
She sighed again then looked over at me. "Why did you lie about it if you're so proud of it?"
It was a tough question. An honest question. I'd lied for weeks about all of this. To her, to my dad, to Pastor Flint. I'd created a whole web of deceit.
"Because I was afraid. I'm still afraid that you and daddy won't accept me for who I am. That it will change things between us. Do you know how many stories I've read about people getting thrown out of their house when they admit this?"
She scoffed. "Casey really. I'm not going to throw you out on the street. You're my daughter and I love you, I'll always love you."
As crazy as it sounds I was happy to hear it. I'd never doubted it, her love for me, not really but somehow it had become this question in my mind. After all her crazy borderline offensive comments about homosexuality I was beginning to wonder if it would change the way she felt about me.
"That's not the way you've been making it sound Mom. You've called it trash, filth and just about every other mean thing that made me doubt you'd accept this."
She began to shake her head. "Just because I'm not going to disown you doesn't mean I'm going to accept this. I will never accept this. It will never be acceptable to me. It'll never be normal or welcome in my home."
"Mom." I began to plead. It was like we'd taken a huge step backwards. She wasn't going to throw me away but she was telling me it would never be welcome in her home.
"You heard me Casey. Morgan is no longer welcome in my home."
"Mom she's my girlfriend. I love her. This doesn't change anything, she's still the same girl."
"She's not the same girl. She's been lying to me."
My stomach was beginning to churn. "I've been lying to you."
She shrugged. "You're my daughter. I love you. She's not, and I don't have to accept her."
This was total bullshit. "Can I ask you a question?"
My phone began to ring in my purse. I ignored it. "Who told you? How did you find all of this out? Morgan and my being gay I mean."
"Ms. Turk your school counselor. She called me to discuss it."
"A few weeks ago. After some cheerleader meeting you held at school to talk about it."
That damn tattle tale. As soon as I told her I didn't need her help she got on the phone and called my mother. How dare her spill the beans.
"I knew it. I knew I shouldn't have trusted her."
Mom pushed open her car door and began to climb out. "She was being responsible. If she hadn't told me I'd have done everything in my power to get her fired."
"Mom. Morgan is in my life. And like I said before, if it's not Morgan it'll be somebody else. This is who I am. I like girls. That's not going to change. Ever."
She didn't flinch. "That's fine, just keep it out of my house. See her someplace else. She's not welcome here."
"So am I grounded?"
"For helping Delia? No."
I climbed out of the car after her. "I need to take her this video."
She didn't speak, just nodded.
"I'll be home in a minute."
I checked my phone on the way across the street. It was Morgan. Finally. I was lucky my mom busted me. If not I'd be knee deep in kinky crazy if not.
"What happened. Did you get it?" She asked, her voice excited.
"What happened to you? Why didn't you call me?" I asked. I was still angry from my conversation with my mother. Morgan was an easy target.
"I didn't have my phone and by the time I checked it twenty minutes had already passed. I'm sorry baby."
Her 'baby' was enough to mellow me out. "I talked to my mom a minute ago."
She let out a heavy breath on her end of the phone. "What?"
"I told her. Everything. About being gay. About us, all of it."
"And." She said excitement building in her voice.
"She doesn't want you to come over anymore."
As hurtful as it was Morgan took it in stride. "I understand. Is she mad at you?"
"Disappointed. She said she'll never accept it."
"So now what do we do?" It was a fair question. I had no idea what the answer was. I hadn't thought this far ahead.
"I don't know. I guess we move forward."
She laughed. "Of course. I guess that means I should talk to my mom?"
Morgan's mom wouldn't be as accepting as mine. "Are you sure that's smart?"
"No but your mom's going to tell her anyway."
That was true. They were probably already talking, if they hadn't already.
"Well good luck," I said doing my best to be supportive.
"I'll need it."
"So." I asked as Dee cranked up her Jeep the next morning. She looked exhausted, I'd never seen her this tired before. Dee never went to school with a hair out of place. Today she looked like she had just rolled out of bed.
"We told our parents everything," Dee said. The words sounded heavy coming out of her mouth. Weighted.
"And." I asked, she was being so cavalier about the whole thing I didn't know how she wasn't freaking out.
"And they're getting her help. She has an appointment with a shrink today at ten."
"So she's not coming to school?"
Dee shook her head. "Nope. Neither am I. I'm just dropping you off then coming back home. I needed a few minutes away."
"Did the video help?"
She nodded eagerly. "Absolutely. My dad was glad you got it back for us, he said as long as she had it Delia would never get piece of mind. Still he's taking her to the courthouse later and a friend of his is going to get a restraining order."
"Wow." This was getting serious.
"Before you freak out and are caught off guard. He convinced your dad to get one too. Once he told your dad what Blake was doing to Delia they decided she was bad news. Your dad is going to fill out the paper work and have you sign later."
"So she's going to get served with papers and everything?"
Dee nodded. "Yeah. I have to talk to Glen when I drop you off."
"She's going to be mad."
Blake had left me a half a dozen text messages last night hinting at all sorts of crazy fun we were SUPPOSED to have when we were together again.
"So what. Forget about her Casey. She's out of our lives. Forever. My dad says if I even see her again I should call the cops right away. Getting Delia help is what's important now. I just wanted to tell you how happy I am that you did this for us. You've been a real friend through all of this."
"You guys are like sister's to me. What else was I going to do?"
"Well if you ever need anything just name it. Like if your mom finds out you're a big fat lezzy and kicks you out of the house, my parents will take you in. That's how much they love you right now."
I laughed. Ironic. "I came out to my mom last night. I told her everything. I'm pretty sure she told my dad. He wouldn't talk to me this morning."
"You told her the truth?" Dee asked. She seemed surprised.
"Everything. The drinking, Blake, Morgan, all of it."
"Feel better?," she asked.
I shook my head. "Not in the least."
She laughed. "Well at least you're done lying. From here on out it's just getting your mom and dad to come around."
That would be easier said than done.
I found Morgan waiting at her locker looking like a million bucks. It was strange to see her in a good mood, her mother had been more resistant to her being gay as my mom was but she didn't look like she was upset at all after their talk. I had dragged ass all morning getting ready for school, it was like I'd been dipped in molasses, everything seemed to take twice as long. I'd even gotten to Dee's car late.
"Hey bad influence." Morgan said to me giving me a kiss on the cheek as walked up to her.
"Bad influence, that's new."
She laughed. "My mom says you turned me gay."
I laughed. That was totally ridiculous, why didn't people realize it doesn't work that way. "If anything YOU turned ME gay. You hooking up with Gina Carano totally pushed me out of the closet." I suddenly found myself thinking over the implications of what she'd just said. Her mother thought I was a bad influence, so did that mean I was banned from her house too? "Am I not allowed at your place now?"
Morgan shook her head. "You can't even come on the lawn."
For having received bad news I noticed Morgan was still taking it all in stride. "You're taking things very well. That's bad news Morgan, our parents won't let us see one another."
She shook her head. "That's not what they said sweetheart." She leaned in and gave me another kiss on the cheek. "They said we're not allowed at each other's houses, they didn't say we can't be together. My mother pointed that out to me this morning."
"I thought that was just a given." It seemed like the kind of thing that was just understood. When your parents told you not to drive home drunk they didn't have to say don't drive high on cocaine. It was just understood that it was included.
"No it wasn't, it was a deliberate loop hole. My mother said your mother was being weird about it so she played along but she said your mother doesn't want to make you miserable either. She thinks we'd just sneak around anyway so she left you something."
Since when was Morgan's mom Mrs. Understanding. Mrs. Fields had just recently freaked out over Dallas. "So your mom is suddenly okay with you being gay?"
Morgan laughed. "She's not okay with it, but we talked for hours last night about so many different things. I mean mostly we fought but we weren't even doing that anymore before last night. It was like I was finally getting my mom back. She said she'd try to be understanding but she doesn't want to meet my girlfriend. And she's mad that you turned me into a lesbian."
"So you just blamed everything on me?" That sucked.
She laughed. "Don't worry Casey, we're totally good."
"This doesn't sound good. My mom is totally freaked out."
She shrugged. "So is my mom but none of that matters anymore. We don't have to lie anymore, and I'm taking you out on the most romantic date we can have together for under sixty bucks."
My eyes lit up. "How much was our room and River Ridge Lodge?"
She simply laughed. "You read my mind."