Title: Just Like In The Cinemas
Warnings: f/f homosexuality. Implications of sex.
Author's notes: please review.
The kettle screeches and she removes it from the hot burner. I watch her fumbling with cups and saucers and tea bags and finally, she sets a cup and saucer in front of me, pouring the boiling water into it over the tea bag, drowning in it in scalding hot water, the same way I feel drowned. But I'm sure she's quite oblivious to this metaphor, I don't think she ever felt like that.
I take a sip, not speaking and watching her like a cat. She notices, it makes her uncomfortable I think. The tea- Earl Grey. All she ever drank. She sits across from me at the table in her kitchen, where I've been sitting for ten minutes now, as she made the tea I requested. The white ceramic tile on the table chills me, even with the tea.
"Heather…" she says softly, not bothering to touch her tea. I don't respond, I swirl the bag of Earl Grey around in the cup and avoid her gaze. I'm so cold right now, inside and out. Frozen… frozen solid. "Heather?" she tries again.
The tea burns my mouth like her words burn me, slowing thawing the ice-cold exterior I've worked so hard to keep up around her. But it's all melted away when she says, "What is it, Heather?"
"Erin…" I say softly back. A prayer. A prayer to God, God who people don't think wants us to be together. Two girls. Not right. All wrong.
"Are you okay?" she asks, obviously deep in thought, toying absent-mindedly with her lower lip, the same lip that was able to kiss me as hard as I needed, but with a softness none of the boys I ever dated where able to. "I mean, eh, why are you here?"
At first I wonder why she's asking that… but then I remember the way I stormed out of her house last time, when I woke up to see her laying beside me and unbidden images from the night before had played like a bad porno flick in my mind. And even if that entire night hadn't happened, I still would have no claim to be here. Erin never seemed to like me, well, maybe she liked me but we weren't friends, there wasn't there between us except my admiration for her and her brilliance, they way she mentally man-handled everyone she came across. Call me submissive, but I like being subtly dominated like that. But it shouldn't be her… I shouldn't be here. The reasons for why I should flee run through my mind like a laundry list and I gaze up to finally meet her eyes.
Blue. That's the first thing you think when you look at her eyes. Blue. Not baby blue, not gray blue, but blue. Pure blue. A dark, honest blue that you want to get lost in and you can and they tell you that you can run away with them, like a gypsy train. Erin's a lot like a gypsy I think, the same arrogant confidence, the way she throws her shoulders back and barks out a strong sure laugh.
But she's not laughing now. And she doesn't look like a gypsy either now.
I think… I think that I want her to be angry, or sad, or hurt, or happy that I'm here not… not this. Not this detached worry. Not feeling anything but worried about why I'm here. Erin… cold as ice.
But there's that fire burning in her eyes.
"I… I…" Why am I here? She's obviously got nothing to say to me. But the voice in the back of my mind softly whispers at me, because you love her. Because you've always been in love with her, even as small children. "I want you to know that what you did was wrong?"
Erin blinks, raises an eyebrow and finally takes another sip of Earl Grey. "If that's how you feel," she says dismissively, not bothering to look at me. "There's nothing I can do to change your mind."
Yes there is! I want to shout, but I can't. I want to run either to her or away from her, but I remember my legs are frozen. Erin looks over my shoulder out the window. "It's raining," she comments softly, "Like in the cinemas, eh?"
"In the cinemas?" I repeat, "What does that have to do with anything?"
"Nothing," she says with a placid smile firmly in place, "And everything. All at the same time." Damn the serpent tongues and their riddles, I seethe in my mind, speak plainly. But I don't say anything again.
"It's always raining in the cinemas," she continues calmly, "For some reason or another. Contrast in happy scenes, mood in sad scenes, storm beating at the windows and lightning cracking and thunder rolling for anger or power."
Cinemas, I realize, cinemas and storms. That's how this all started. The blizzard on the night we did our movie review for Media Arts class…
"I still don't see what this has to do with cinemas," I say stubbornly. She shrugs and sips her tea.
"There are more things on Heaven and Earth, Horatio," she quotes, "Then are dreamt of in your philosophy."
"What does that mean?" I demand. She shrugs again.
"Just a thought."
"You think I'm in denial!" I accuse vehemently. She raises her eyebrows and shakes her head.
"No, I don't. You know what you feel better than I do." Damn that cool, calm Erin logic. I hate it. I finish my tea and without asking for more, I see her reach for it in the dim kitchen. She gets up, in that plodding, methodical way she always does everything. I liked the way Erin walked, like she was so aware of where her body was at every moment, but not uncomfortable in it, just aware. She reaches in the box for a new tea bag and rips it open. The bag tears open like razor, reminding me of the condom packet ripping open when I tried to have a boy fix me. Fix me… fix what she broke inside of me.
It was easy to blame Erin you know. Because I could just blame whatever I felt for her on some form of hero worship I felt. On the admiration for her mind and talent in the theater. Because I wasn't… I couldn't be that way. I wasn't gay, it was just an infatuation with a hero figure.
And then that night.
The guy didn't fix that night… he wasn't physically able to. He couldn't make me feel the way she did, fuck, she made me feel things I never knew existed. Things I didn't know could exist, not in my wildest dreams, the way she made me come over and over again.
No man could fix that.
She sets the Earl Grey in front of me and I swirl the tea bag around in it by the string attached. A cat-and-mouse string game really, give a little, get… nothing.
"But it is like the cinemas, eh?" she asks, "Romance, angst, betrayal, a cold rain storm and lovers sitting, sipping tea at a kitchen table," she takes a sip as though to emphasize her point, "A fucken blockbuster," she mutters softly to herself.
"You took advantage of me," I accuse and she shrugs.
"If that's how you feel."
But it isn't how I feel. It will never be how I feel. All I feel is how much I want her to hold me close and wrap her arms around me. But that would be wrong. All wrong.
Though nothing ever felt that right.
"I do," I confirm fiercely. But I don't. I know how it was, how we came back from the Movie Theater. How the snow grew harder as we typed out review.
"I can't let you go home in this weather," she said. "It's dangerous to drive." I nodded and she smiled. "Well, now we can finish the article."
"Yeah," I agreed enthusiastically. She led me over to a couch to proofread what we'd written. Cups and saucers of Earl Grey tea set on the coffee table. Hunching over a red-marked piece of paper. Shoulders bumping. Fingers brushing. Heads knocking.
Each touch… electric… vibrant… shocking.
And then I see her turn her head to look at me and smile apologetically after our heads knocked again and before I knew it… I had launched myself across the couch and was kissing her. And she was kissing back.
Lips bruising. Tongues reaching. Hands tangled in hair. Bodies pressed tight.
"Is that why you came by?" she asks, "To tell me I'm bad, bad person?" An amused smile plays on her lips, but I can see the hurt in her eyes, hiding between the fire and brimstone.
"Well then make yourself clear, damn it," she snaps, letting frustration and emotions slip through for the first time this evening.
"What we did was wrong," I state calmly. She shakes her head fiercely.
"No it wasn't."
"Even if it wasn't… homosexual," I choke on the word, "It was still sex without love," I argue.
"Okay," she agrees, going back to her shell. "So why are you here, anyway?"
"Because I'm the fool in love with you," I snap, it slips out and before I can bite the words back she raises her eyebrows in shock. I don't meet her gaze and take a sip of Earl Grey. Bad idea. It reminds me off how her mouth tasted when we first kissed.
"Oh," she manages. "And that makes you a fool?"
"You'll never love me," I say, sighing and hating myself for it, "You don't even like me. You never have."
She laughs, actually laughs, the gypsy laugh again, loud and sure. "Of course I do, that's why I slept with you. I always wanted to be with you."
It takes me a second to stomach this revelation, "Do you love me?"
Erin shakes her head, "I don't even know what love is…"
I never thought of that. Of her not being sure. It strikes a blow to my hero worship anyway. "You should go," she says softly and I know I should. And in my mind I can just see myself launching myself at her from across the couch. And I remember how good it felt. And then her lips are on mine, her kissing me.
She's. Kissing. Me.
And it's enough to make me forget for a moment… forget how disappointed my father would be, that this would make my mother cry, make my friends ostracize me, make me hate myself in the morning. That every carefully laid plan I ever laid out would be destroyed. She makes me forget for a moment.
But I pull away.
Because I remember.
And I pull away because the memory of the people who will hate for this is enough to make me. I see emotions run through her face in a brief moment, contorting and then just ice.
Her burning gypsy blue eyes go to ice, her face freezes in place and she looks away as I try to catch my breath.
"Heather," she tries but I shake my head.
There's just too much against it, I realize and launch myself towards the door instead of at her. And I watch from the sidewalk for a second, allowing myself the briefest indulgence. I see Erin putting away the Earl Grey and setting the cups and saucers in the sink and then I see her crying.
Erin is crying and the rain beats down on me.
Just like in the cinemas.