And now (finally) part two of… I should have known I was Gay! If you have forgotten what happened last time check it out here.
The days passed slowly. It was excruciating being around Laura every day.
Since that night at my house I felt nervous every time I saw her; like I was always about to be the butt of one of her jokes. To make matters worse, the harder I tried to be cool and collected around her, the more I said and did stupid things when she was around. I attributed the butterflies in my stomach whenever she showed up to this.
Denial, thy name is Heather…
Finally the day came when we finished our coliseum, and from then on I was content to avoid her. At all costs if need be.
I remember that September had been unseasonably warm. As October drew closer it showed no signs of cooling down. One of my friends, Lauren, decided to capitalize on this and throw a pool party for her birthday.
I arrived at her house that day in October, gift in hand, and groaned as Laura got out of the car in front of me.
She turned, saw me standing uncertainly in the driveway and waved me over.
“Heather!” she smiled at my approach. “I’m so glad to see a friendly face,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to know anyone here.”
I smiled. “Hey… yeah… It’s nice that you’re here,” I lied.
Great I was going to be stuck with her all day long.
She linked arms with me and began pulling me up the driveway oblivious to my discomfort. We met Lauren part way to the house.
“Hey guys, glad you made it.”
“Hey Lauren, happy birthday.”
She smiled and gave me a hug.
“Thanks! Look, we’re all in the back. Why don’t you drop your gifts in the living room, grab a drink and head on back.”
“Where do I change?” Laura asked. “I can’t wait to get in the pool.
And with that Lauren was gone, on to greeting her next guest.
“Out back.” I mimicked.
“I’ll hold a towel for you, if you hold one for me.”
Her smile widened.
“Alright,” she said. “But no peeking!”
I laughed and for the first time in her presence felt myself relax. She wasn’t so bad. Why was I so nervous around her? I decided to try a little harder to be nice to her.
We dropped our gifts off on a table with everyone else’s and headed out into the sunshine.
Her backyard was an oasis. The pool was enormous. There was a hot tub, already filled with kids from school. They had a caddy shack for drinks. There was a small building at the corner of the yard which housed a changing area, complete with bathrooms and a sauna so one did not have to go in the house dripping wet.
It was like having a beach vacation in your back yard.
Laura and I exchanged glances.
“Well, I’m dying of the heat,” she said. “Let’s go get changed and get in the pool.”
We headed toward the changing rooms, Laura’s arm still locked around mine.
There were a few separate rooms inside, split like the changing rooms in a clothing store. As we walked in my jaw hit the floor. There were girls changing everywhere. Naked girls. Topless girls. Just hanging out like it was no big deal. Like there weren’t guys outside the door who could walk in at any moment wanting to use these unisex change rooms.
Laura and I shared a look.
“I think I’ll wait for a stall,” I said.
She smiled. “I didn’t think I’d ACTUALLY need you to hold a towel for me,” she laughed.
It wasn’t long before two stalls opened up and we were changed and back at the pool side.
We stuck together for the most part of the day, since neither of us really knew anyone else. It was nice to spend some time with her outside of school. I got to know her and realized we actually had a lot in common. We had the same sort of dry sense of humour. We liked a lot of the same things. And as the afternoon wore on I found myself forgetting my reasons for avoiding her and genuinely beginning to like her.
I began to notice that Laura was getting louder as we sat in the corner and talked. She was growing bubbly. More excitable. And that’s when I realized… someone had spiked the punch. She was getting drunk.
Some days I loathed teenagers.
I knew Laura had never been drunk before and I didn’t want her to do something she was going to regret.
Unfortunately for me, as I was trying to tell her my suspicions, someone else grabbed her attention from across the room. A boy that she had a crush on had just walked out of the change room.
“Uh huh,” she said not paying any attention to me.
“Laura, earth to Laura!” I said. “Look, I’m going to go get you some coffee. Don’t do anything stupid until I get back.”
I was in and out of the house in less than five minutes. But it was five minutes too long. As I stepped out onto the deck, steaming cup of coffee in one hand, water bottle in the other, I was greeted by the sound of cat calls and “ooing” coming from the pool.
As my eyes adjusted to the sunlight I finally saw what had everyone’s attention. Laura and another girl were sitting on Brandon’s (the boy she liked) lap. My heart fell into my stomach. Laura and the other girl were making out; creating a hot show for his enjoyment.
What had transpired in five minutes, I’ll never know.
My fingers lost their grip on the coffee cup.
It smashed onto the concrete.
For some reason I couldn’t fathom I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.
People looked up and saw me bent over the coffee cup, bright red, trying desperately to clean up the shards. All I wanted to do was run out of there.
I looked up to the sound of laughter. “Looks like Heather was enjoying the show,” said a boy nearest to me.
My face turned another 50 shades of red. I felt tears stinging my eyes.
I couldn’t take it any longer. I broke for the door.
I was so angry with Laura. I told myself it was because I was embarrassed. But in retrospect, I know that isn’t true. I was jealous. I had spent all day long talking to her, felt as if we were actually forming a friendship and the moment I step out of the room she goes and kisses some other girl to get a dude’s attention???
I was jealous and angry. It took years to actually admit that to myself, though.
After a few weeks I got over the embarrassment and anger (and to some extent the jealousy) and Laura and I became friends. Then best friends. We were the kind of friends that dropped everything for each other. That held hands and hearts and didn’t care what anyone said of our friendship. We joked that at 30 if we hadn’t married someone else, we’d marry each other. But it was all jokes. And while from time to time little things flared, little signs that should have told me I was into her, nothing like that ever happened again.
We weren’t lesbians masquerading as straight girl friends. (Well, she wasn’t anyway.) There were no make out sessions in the backyard. We were just friends.
But it’s funny to me to look back on that friendship and see the blossoming lesbian Heather. If only I had opened my eyes once and awhile.
… Sometimes I wonder where I would have ended up.