"I think we need to make things right with Beth," I said to her.
Lora looked at me for a moment then, "She's not joining us," she said softly. The pain of Emily's loss still foremost on her mind.
"Never," I said, "but things aren't right anymore with the world and I think that's the first step to making it better."
She paused, "Okay. Do what you need to do, but don't ever think..."
I grabbed her hand, cutting her off, "I promise you that I won't do anything you wouldn't want me to do. Okay?"
After that I left the community center and headed out into the night. I didn't have any great plans, no deceptive plot to try and get Beth to talk to me. It wasn't about that anymore. I just wanted to talk to her. To know the person that she is. David made her sound so mysterious and withdrawn and for some reason I was fascinated with the thought of her.
I went to The Raye House and David told me she wasn't home yet but he expected her at any time. I decided not to wait inside. It felt too much like I would be trying to corner her, giving her no place to run. So I stood out in front of The Raye House and waited under the streetlight. I waited for twenty minutes before she rounded the corner.
She seemed very lost in her thoughts. Her long blonde hair came down to her waist and swayed in the wind like a girl in a painting. She saw me and stopped in her tracks before getting a look of resolve on her face and continuing forward.
I stepped away from the streetlight and into the middle of her path so she would know that I was there to talk to her. She stopped a few feet away from me and just stared at my face.
"Hi," I said, to no response from her. I looked down, took a breath and, "I don't know how to make things right with you. I don't know how to apologize and I haven't a clue as how to make the world a better place for us... But I know I have to do something. I know I hurt you..."
She rolled her eyes when I said that. "I can't believe that you really know what you're talking about, Sara," came her reply. Then she turned toward her house and started to walk away.
"Please, please listen to me. I can't lose someone else in my life right now and I know if I don't get you to listen to me that's whats going to happen, so just please...please listen to me," I begged.
She stopped, but didn't turn back towards me.
"I'm not in your life," she said.
"Yes! Yes, you are!," I said. "I can't explain it, but you're definitely a part of my life now. You're in my thoughts a lot, and they're not thoughts of any stupid sexual conquest, or of me just trying to feel better by getting you to forgive me. It's not about that. It's about you! About you and how much I think of you, and I need to make things right with you. I think I need that more than anything else in my life right now."
She turned back towards me then, the resolve look gone from her face and replaced with a strange look of loneliness that I had seen many times when I was young looking in the mirror.
"I don't think I'm the only one that needs this," I continued. "I think everyone needs it. I think you need it, too."
Her eyes were fixed on the old dirty sneakers I had on, then they moved up past my jeans and white t-shirt with the British Union Jack on it and finally into my eyes. She wore a light green sun dress and held a strapless bag with both hands at her waist and stared into my eyes for what seemed like a very long time. I got tired of waiting for her to speak and took a step toward her...
"Can I walk with you tomorrow?," I asked.
"No," she said and I felt a little crushed until, "You know this area better than me so I'll walk with you if you really want that."
"I do," I said and smiled. "It's Sunday so I don't have to be at the community store. Why don't we meet here around four, okay?"
"You're not gonna bring any strap-on's are you," she said sarcastically and the smile went away from my face.
"I'll bring a picnic basket," I said.
She was looking at my sneakers again, "Okay," she said quietly, then turned around and walked towards her house.
"She's so beautiful," I thought. "Why haven't I ever noticed this before?"
Use to be, I didn't give a fuck what people thought about me. Now...
Friday nights at the community center are picking back up and we're not getting the "looks" much any more, but neither of us do any interacting with the people here. We don't do much interacting with each other for that matter. Our world seems very lonely now.
I usually walk home, and I use the word "home" very lightly because it doesn't feel that way anymore, by myself when I'm finished at the store. Lora stays at the center till after helping prep for the dinner crowd than joins me for dinner at Brier Rose Court. We talk, but it's very detached and meaningless. The love is still there but all the passion walked out the door and left us broken at the top of the stairs.
Two days ago on my way home I passed The Raye House, as it's unavoidable to do so on my walk home, and David was standing on the porch. I haven't spoken to him since the incident and when he saw me and motioned for me to join him, I was a little scared.
"I was waiting for you," he said, surprising me, as I walked onto his porch.
"I guess I owe you an apology," I said.
He smiled, "C'mon in," then walked inside holding the door open for me. I was a little reluctant, thinking that I would walk in and Beth would be there and I wouldn't know what to say to her, but she wasn't.
He led me into the kitchen and asked if I wanted some tea, pulling two cups out of the cabinet. As the Japanese will tell you, it's very bad manners to refuse a cup of tea in someone's home, so I said yes.
The tea smelled good as he poured it into my cup. Tea arouma should be inhailed before sipping it so you get the full flavor. The smell adds to the taste.
"I've never seen her open up the way she did with you," David said out of nowhere.
"Who?," I replied, then immediately thought, "Beth."
"Do you know why Beth came to the community?," he asked.
"Bad break-up, I heard," came my answer.
"Yeah, that was part of it, but she was thinking about it before the break-up." I didn't reply and he continued. "She hated Sacramento. It was the `big city atmosphere' I think she hated. She use to ask me a lot of questions about this place. She smiled a lot when I would talk about it. Actually, talking about it to her made me miss it so much that when I came back I decided to stay. Then when I heard she had broken up with Mark I invited her here for a week vacation, and she hasn't left. She hasn't even mentioned leaving."
He took a sip of his tea.
"I'm sorry," I said looking into my cup.
"You don't have to say that. Not to me, at least," he said.
"I guess I owe her a big apology," still looking into my cup. "Where is she?"
"Out walking. She wakes up around noon, eats, then goes out walking until late. Mostly in the woods, but she walks to town and explores Quincy, too." He paused, then stood up. "C'mon, I want to show you something."
I followed him up the stairs to the second floor, and when we got to the top, "She's not really welcome here anymore, you know," he said looking at me.
I smirked, "She isn't the bad guy in this."
"She's not," he said, "but you, Lora and Emily are loved here, and after what happened, especially with Emily leaving, everyone looks at her as the cause."
I felt really sad then. Not just for Beth, but just at the mention of Emily's name. David walked down the hallway then reached up for a cord hanging from the ceiling and pulled. A panel came down with a set of stairs.
"This is her room," he said.
"The attic," I thought. "It would have to be the attic."
He started up the stairs.
"Is this okay?," I asked.
"Probably not, but it's something you need to see."
So I followed him. He waited at the top with his hand on a light switch. When I got there he clicked it on and two small lamps lit up the room. It wasn't like my attic back in The McCullough House. This attic was clean and finished and smelled of lilac. Right away I noticed them. They were everywhere. On the walls, the ceiling, small compact ones on every table and dresser. Mirrors. Mirrors were everywhere.
"Wow.," was my first word.
"I thought you would appreciate this," he said.
"Is she a narcissist?," I asked.
"No. It's so 'she always knows that she's here. So she always knows that she exists.' Those are her words," he answered.
I stepped further into the room. Reflections of reflections of reflections of myself. Then, "Tell me about her," I finally said.
"I can do that," he said. "I can tell you all of her little secrets...and she would never know I told you. She wouldn't know that you knew all about her. If that's what you really want."
I looked at him knowing he had more to say about the matter.
"IF...you want to hear it from ME. Just ask me again and I'll tell you all about her."
I looked back at the reflections and felt sad again.
"No," I said, then turned and started back down the stairs, suddenly feeling very out of place there.
I thanked David for the tea then walked back out into the night. But, to me, it seemed like a different night somehow than the one I had walked away from. It seemed cleaner somehow, as if there were something new and unheard of that now existed in my world. Something I had to know about.
"So, you okay?" Jacob asked, standing next to me and taking out a glass from his kitchen cabinet.
"I'm good," I looked at him, confused, while pouring the coke over the rum already in my glass. "Why," I asked.
"I don't know. Lora doesn't seem to be," he said dropping the ice then pouring rum into his glass.
"That's not your business," I said stirring my drink.
He was quiet for a minute as he poured the coke into his glass, then...
"She's just not herself, and I was worried," he said.
"We're going to be good again. It just takes time," I told him.
"You sure?" He asked, looking at me.
"Why?" I said smirkly, "You ready to pounce?"
He was quiet again for a few moments, serious expression on his face.
"She's my friend," he said sternly.
"Pfft!" I flipped my hand at him, blowing him off, as I took my drink and walked into the living room where Gabe and Danny were watching tv.
"Are you old enough to drink, young man?" I said in a loud, deep, drunken voice pointing towards Danny, who was stretched out on the sofa, to which he replied by holding his glass up then downing a big swig.
"I guess so," I said and sat on the love-seat next to Gabe.
Then Jacob came in and sat in the big chair in the middle of the room. His chair. 'The King's Chair,' he calls it. No one sits in his chair. (It's a 'man' thing.)
"What're we watchin'," he asked.
"Is ECW on tonight?" asked Gabe.
"Nope," Danny answered. "That was last night."
"Wrestling sucks," I said. To which Danny sat up and threw the little cusion he was laying on at me. I blocked it then said, "Oh, gawd! Please don't tell me you're a Cena fan."
"Cena's the SHIT!" Was his answer.
"Wrestling sucks," I said again, sipping my drink.
"I thought you loved wrestling," Jacob asked.
"I haven't really watched since the whole murder/suicide thing," I told them.
"Yeah, that sucked," Gabe answered.
"Yeah, they've had some creepy angles before but I think they went too far with that," I jokingly said, which was met with laughter from all.
"Owen," said Danny laughing.
""Hey, that's ten years ago this Saturday, May 23rd," I remembered.
"Damn, has it been ten years already?" Gabe asked, kinda shocked.
"Yeah," Jacob said loudly, interruption the discussion, "wrestling does suck."
Then he picked up the remote and started flipping channels. When suddenly, to what did our wandering eyes did appear, but a "Girls Gone Wild" infomercial, that stopped us as if headlights were hitting reindeer.
We all sat there drunk and transfixed for a little while. Then came the dancing, and the guys starting hooting and whooping at the tv. Danny even stood up and did a little mock-sexy dance himself.
Then, drunk as I was, I stood and said, "That's not how you do it!"
I got up on the coffee table and started grinding to the music on tv. I was drunkenly getting into it. Then I pulled my top off, (Yes, I had a bra on.) and started swinging it over my head. I looked down at the boys...and there wasn't a smile in the group.
Jacob stood up, "C'mon...," he started...
"Oh, you gonna go first?" I said with a Spock eyebrow and a smile.
He took my arm and replied, "It's time for you to go home."
That's when it hit me. What the fuck was I doing! These weren't some random guys. These were my friends. And no matter what smart-ass comment they may make, they weren't really like that. I could feel the tears start to flow at the stupidity of what I had just done, but couldn't do anything except cry.
"Danny, walk her home," Jacob said as he helped me down off the table.
I wiped my eyes with my top then put it back on and walked towards the front door, Danny right behind me. I didn't say anything as I left.
I had stopped crying but my eyes were still blurry and red. Danny and I walked together in silence towards Brier Rose Court. About halfway there I noticed that Danny wasn't walking on the sidewalk with me, but rather in the grass on the side of the road. Then when we passed a streetlight I could see that he was barefoot.
"Where are your shoes?" I asked.
"Uh-a," he said and shrugged his shoulders. "I like walking without shoes."
I was looking at him and he turned and started looking back at me. After a minute he said, "I don't know what to say in situations like this, so...I won't"
"Good," I said, and looked ahead again.
After a few minutes...
"That was about Emily, right? Back at Jacob's? That has something to do with her, huh?" He said showing a kind of perception I thought he lacked.
I didn't respond.
"I'm not... I know it's not my business, but I just wanted to understand, y'know. You guys are all so complicated, and I don't have a girlfriend, so I thought understanding you might help me with that somehow."
"You're right," I said.
"I am?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's not your business," I told him without looking his way.
But after a few more minutes of walking...
"Yeah," I said. "It was about Emily. It was about stupid me and the stupid thing I did and trying my best to forget about stupid Emily for leaving me."
He didn't reply until we were past The Raye House and in sight of home. Then he asked a question I didn't have an answer for.
"Why're you trying to forget?"
I just looked at him for a minute without responding.
"That's stupid," he finally said.
We stopped in front of Brier Rose Court and I hugged him then said, "Thanks for keeping me safe on my journey home."
As I walked up the driveway he yelled out, "You should be a writer."
The events of the last seven months have left us very empty. Lora and I don't speak of it much. We don't speak of Emily much either though she is always on our minds. We've both more or less kept the other at a distance. Fearing, I think, that we'll get enveloped in each other too much and forget about her, or worse, that the pain will go away. Neither of us want the pain to go away because that would mean that we're getting over her.
We will never get over her.
I've kept quiet in the community, too. Observing more than adding an opion or socializing. Lora is strictly business when we're not at home. She's almost Spock-like in hiding her emotions. Not wanting anyone to see what's going on inside her. Not even me.
My sister, Laura, is still in shock over the whole thing. She doesn't socialize with us much and spends most of her time at Jesca's house. I spend a lot of evenings sitting in Emily's P.I. office thinking about her.
We've tried to call many times over the last two months but her mother or father always answers and tells us that she doesn't want to talk. When she left all she took was the things she had when she moved in with us. Most of her clothes, books, CDs and other things sit right where she left them. Lora and I will never put them away.
Elder Malcolm spoke to Lora about things at the community center but he nor anyone else has brought up the subject of Beth and what happened between us.
I actually saw Beth yesterday sitting on the back porch of the Raye House. I think she was watching me as I watched her. She scares me just a little. I thought I knew her but I now know that the only part of her I knew was the part I created in my mind. The girl who would be seduced. I don't know her at all.
My step-dad came to the house a few nights ago and visited. He rarely visits anyone and mostly spends his life raising my little brother by himself. He came and stayed for a few hours talking about your average everyday things while out of nowhere adding things at the end of his words like, "Yeah, the world gets hard sometimes but we endure right?" He would have made a great politician. He talked but never interfered. That's why he's the man I love most in life.
He just wanted to let us know that we were alright.
We are, but not happily. I swear, it would be so much easier to deal with the community if Emily were here with us. She was always so happy and never let anything get her down and I've just started crying again thinking about her.
I miss her so much and it's been so long.
The following Friday there were less than fifty people at the community center. Elder Malcolm hadn't been there since that night. He hadn't even spoken to us. There were whispers from every part of the community about us. These were good and caring people that stayed together for all their lives and knew they could trust and depend on one another, but we showed them something different.
See, the place I live isn't like the place you live. There is no crime, or prejudice. No one hurts another and most are willing to go out of their way to help if you need it.
I've never really fit into that mold. (Razor says, "Bad guy!") I've always been accepted and welcomed, but I did the things that the others would never have done. But over the last two years, due to a change in my ways, I've had earned a lot of respect.
Lora, however, fit like a glove here and had earned a whole lot of respect. Until that night, of course. They weren't looking at me as the bad guy that drug poor Lora into this whole mess and she as the innocent dupe. They knew Lora much too well to believe I could trick or con her into such a thing.
They knew she had just as much to do with the whole thing as I.
But the whispers, the looks, the snide comments, none of that could equal to how Emily reacted.
At first there was silence. "I need to think about this," she said. Then she stopped having morning coffee with us and came to the store late every day. When she did come she would sit upstairs in her P.I. office unless she was needed for something. I never again saw her wearing her trench coat and fedora.
She wasn't happy anymore.
We knew she was hurting. Not the entire depths of her pain, but we knew we had fucked up and it was going to take a LOT to get Emily to forgive us. But again, we were fools.
That night we both decided to come home early. We were going to talk to Emily and see just what it would take to make things right. Walking home we discussed IOU cards for any thing or favor she asked. A party for her in L-Extreme. We talked about a lot of things. But when we opened the front door to Brier Rose Court and saw her old suitcase and gym bag we both froze for an instant in panic.
Lora ran up the stairs while I stood frozen and couldn't move. She got halfway up and I found that I was following her as fast as I could. It all seemed so unreal in those few moments. Lora froze up again at the top of the stairs and when I reached her and saw Emily sitting on the sofa, looking at her feet, an emotionless look on her face, I could feel my heart tighten up and almost fell to the floor.
"I have to leave," she said, not looking up at us.
For some reason I started counting in my head. One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand... Then I pulled myself together and walked slowly towards her. I got down on the floor at her feet, both my hands on her knees, and started to try to convince her to think about what she was doing.
"You have to at least give us the chance to talk to you, baby." And, "We need you.," and of course, "We love you." I still think about how condescending I must have sounded to her.
Finally she spoke. It was soft and she didn't look at me when she said it, but it brought tears to my eyes as soon as it left her lips.
"I don't wanna be here... I don't want to be with you any more."
I started crying, "Emily..." I managed to stammer out through my tears. Then I turned to Lora and yelled, "Why aren't you saying anything!"
Lora just stood there with tears in her eyes not saying a word. She looked lost. Her mouth was open and she was gripping her purse strap so tight her fingers were turning white, but she didn't say a word.
I looked back at Emily and she hadn't moved.
I wanted to scream, "Don't you love us???," but was afraid. I was so very afraid to ask her that question. Because if she had looked at me and said, "No.," I would probably have went insane again right then.
She stood up and just said, "I have to go," then walked toward the stairs. As Emily passed her, Lora managed to get out a whispered, "Please..." but nothing more.
I jumped up and caught her at the top of the stairs and put my arms around her and held her as tight as I could, crying, "Please, don't leave me. Please, please, please!" but all she said was, "Just let me go."
And I did. And she walked down the stairs and out of our lives.
I love that word. It completely describes the idiocy of mankind more perfect than any other. The Japanese word, "Baka," comes close but...
I had Beth right where I wanted her. Lora and I were going to add another trophy to our collection. Hot Lesbian Sex was about to happen. A sure thing and it was gonna be GREAT!
More like the total humiliation of four people, a forever lost love, respect and status brought down to zero, and a girl crushed by the actions of two predators. Plus a community brought to silence.
So, it was Friday. The last day of February. It was still cold out but not bone-chilling, stay home in the heat kind of cold. The community center was full of people as is usual. Elder Malcolm and his wife Vivian. Annalara and Jacob and brothers Gabe and Danny. (Gabriel Alan and Daniel Albert Poe, of course.) My friend Kate and Erika and Victor and Mr. and Mrs. Adams and Jesca's mom and dad and Emily and many others.
I was there. Lora was there. Beth was there.
The volital triangle that was about to explode.
I don't know why we decided that Lora would be the one to make "first Contact." I had been doing most of the work and had gotten the closest. But Lora was excited and that Friday night we were all drinking so we said "fuck it," what did WE have to lose!
It was just before eleven o'clock.
It's embarrassing now to remember how we were fawning over her. Not so as everyone could see, but we were making sure that SHE knew. Very flirty, very touchy, and she was pretty receptive to everything. Then Lora invited Beth into her office.
I sat at the table nearest to the office, about ten feet away, alone and staring at the door. Minutes passed. More minutes. Still more...
I remember it happening almost in slow motion. The office door opened. Beth came out with a pained look on her face. Lora was standing at the door with a look of terror on her face. I stood up as Beth passed me and she looked at me for an instant then turned away. I turned and started to walk towards Lora. I then heard Beth scream from behind me.
"Is that what you fucking do to people!"
I turned around to face her. Then things started going very quickly again.
"Is that what you fucking do to people, Sara!?!" She screamed! A few people started to notice.
Beth screamed a whole lot of things those next few minutes. "All you were doing was trying to fuck me!"
I tried to get in a, "Let's go outside," but was cut off.
"Bitch," was used more than once.
By then the place had gotten very quiet. Then the clincher came.
"I thought we were friends." She said, then everyone saw the tears start to roll down her cheeks. And she said a final, "Fuck you!," then walked out. And everyone was looking at us.
Elder Malcolm and his wife Vivian. Jacob and Gabe and Danny. (Gabriel Alan and Daniel Albert Poe.) My friend Kate and Erika and Victor and Mr and Mrs Adams and Jesca's mom and dad...
To be continued...
"I am a writer. When interesting events happen in my life I write them down as best as I can remember. I read them over and over and add my thoughts and feelings and sometimes humor to them. The stories you are about to read are mostly true. I am a writer." ~Sara Poe
I tapped her on the shoulder...
That's where I left off, right? Yeah, but unfortunately too much has happened since then to pick up where I left off so I'll summarize then move on to the story of lust, betrayal, anger, loss and shame that followed.
For the longest time I've debated on whether to tell this story. After all, it doesn't paint the heroines of this blog in a very good light. Lora and I, without Emily's knowledge or consent, tried to seduce Beth Raye. It began the very night I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if she wanted to dance with me. She replied with a laugh and a, "Um...Sure?"
I truly felt like the suave and dashing seductress then, getting into the roll I had chosen to play with all my heart. Beth was as receptive as a straight girl still suffering from a broken heart could be, I suppose. By night's end I had invited her horseback riding the next day, (She's afraid to ride.) and we spent the next evening on her front porch talking till dark.
Nearly every day for the next several months she came to the community center or the store. I was almost always there to greet her. We talked about the community, her break-up back in Cali, Lora and Emily, other things and daily going-ons. She was very open with me and seemed to want to be around me a lot. Lora, too, got in on the game eventually and started talking, and flirting, she was the first to flirt surprisingly, and our evil plot seemed to be moving right along. Emily, who is mostly in her own little world, began to take notice, but kept silent and watched without acknowledging that she was suspect of any wrong-doings.
But I won't kid you about this matter. We, both Lora and I, were looking at Beth as only a conquest. Something to take home one day and experiment on as if we had the right to do such a thing. She was nothing more than a piece of flesh to us that we whispered and exchanged sly smiles about when something seemed to be going in the direction we were aiming for.
In October she asked me why I preferred girls and I explained in detail. In December she spent Yule at our place and slept in the guest bedroom for two nights. She was with me so often that I could smell her after-scent when she wasn't there.
In February, Saint Valentine's Day, we bought her chocolates. We drank wine and as we stood on the bluffs I stepped close to her and kissed her on the cheek right next to her lips. A Valentine's gift. Two days later I gave her a small peck on the lips and she smiled.
We took things very slow but only because, 1) we didn't want to take the chance of scaring her away after we'd worked so hard to get her to certain points, and 2) we weren't ready to let Emily know about it yet. We talked about presenting Beth to Emily as a birthday surprise in March.
The rest of February was the eventful times. I became very touchy-feely with her and would touch her cheek and put my hand on her shoulder or hip and once even came up behind her and gave her a reverse hug with my arms around her waist and chin on her shoulder. Her never acted like she was totally into it though. She was receptive to me but then it would reach a certain point and she would always pull away.
The last day in February was a Friday. Lora and I decided that night was the night when we going to try to take it to the limit. We were such fools. We didn't know nor care about the eventual and terrible loss we would suffer due to our arrogance.
To be continued...