Sunday, July 01, 2018

West Union Road #2

Cassie arrived in Alexander over the summer. Aside from getting out and going to the pool a couple of times, her first three months were spent inside her house. She made her first appearance on the first day of school. At first, Cassie was considered a marvel--a mystery, unique, she arrived in the fog in the middle of the night. Most everybody had known each other or known of each other their whole lives so when someone new arrived, an enamored crowd always gathered.

When the new car smell wore off, the only ones still around Cassie were Melissa, Kyle, and Laura. Kyle and Melissa had been broken up for about a month after her coming out. There was a week and a half until the Fall Dance in early October. Kyle decided to be bold. “Hey, I don’t want to ruin our friendship or anything,” he said as he walked with Cassie to their next class, “but would you want to go to the dance next weekend? We can make a whole date out of it--dinner, dancing, maybe another late-night activity like bowling or something.”

Cassie laughed briefly. “No. I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Why not? It doesn’t have to be a date. We could just go as friends.”

“I still don’t think that would be good. I don’t want to lead you on or make you think that something is going to happen between us. I’m gay.”

“What? Really? Why have you never said anything?”

“Why does it matter? I’m still Cassie.”

“You’ve never shown any interest in girls.”

“I’ve never shown any interest in anybody,” Cassie said. They went into the classroom and took their seats near the teacher’s desk next to Melissa. “Hey, Mel.”

“Hi, Cassie,” Melissa smiled at her.

“Did you know Cassie is a lesbian?” Kyle told Melissa in a soto voice.

“Kyle,” Cassie sighed, exasperatingly as she rolled her eyes.

“I said it quietly,” he argued.

“You dated him?” Cassie thumbed.

“Sorry. He’s actually a decent person,” Melissa said.

They went through class and Cassie and Melissa walked out together, Kyle going in the other direction. “Since the cat is out of the bag, would you like to go to the dance with me?” Cassie asked Melissa.

“With you? Is that allowed?” Melissa laughed.

“I’ll dress like a boy. They probably won’t even notice,” Cassie said.

Melissa wore a simple peach lace dress while Cassie wore a gray vest over a white shirt and black slacks. To match with Melissa, Cassie also had on a peach tie. The administration was clearly rattled but did nothing to stop them from going in. They mostly hung out with Kyle and Laura and her boyfriend, Nathan. Kyle went solo and then left after only being there an hour. They danced twice. Once to an upbeat song where they could go wild and to a slow song where they could be close to each other and hold each other.

After that night, Melissa developed a huge crush on Cassie but tried not to act on it since Cassie was not showing any romantic interest in her. Then Melissa got an idea early in November.

“My parents are having a date night this weekend. They will be home late,” Melissa told her. “Do you want to come over? I have to watch Tamara but we’ll order pizza and watch movies and Tamara can be cool sometimes.”

“Your parents won’t mind?” Cassie asked. “I know they get all in a tizzy when your friends are over.”

“Really it’s only boys and then it was only boyfriends and I haven’t had one of those since August,” Melissa explained.

“But I’m gay. Won’t they be worried we might fool around?”

“They don’t know about your orientation.”

“But you’re bi. Isn’t that still something to worry about?”

“I don’t know if they think I’m making it up or that I won’t follow through on it but they seem to be acting as if I never told them. Whatever the reason, we’re good. So you coming over?”

“Yeah, I’ll come over. What does Tamara like to do? I can bring over some games or something.”

“She likes board games. We have some but you can bring over a couple,” Melissa smiled. “It’s great you’re coming over. It’ll be nice having some one-on-one time with you.”

“Same. I have to go. I’ll see you later.”

Melissa waved as Cassie turned to leave and smiled bigger.

When the weekend arrived, Melissa cleaned the house, even vacuuming and even made her bed. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen tonight but she wanted everything perfect for whatever did.

“Why is someone coming over?” Tamara asked as she helped Melissa mix up a batch of cookies. “She’s a friend and I really like her. I just want to be able to spend time with her without Laura or Kyle around.”

“Is she your girlfriend?” Tamara asked in a cutesy voice.

“No, and please don’t say that. I don’t want Mom or Dad thinking Cassie is a girlfriend. They’ll then treat her like they’ve treated all my boyfriends.”

“She better be fun.”

“I’m sure she’ll be fun,” Melissa smiled at Tamara.

Tamara was ten years old and looked like a miniature version of Melissa only with light brown hair as opposed to Melissa’s dark brown. Melissa liked spending time with her sister and usually tried to keep her away from her parents constant blow-ups that seemed to happen on a regular basis. Melissa knew when they were coming which meant leading Tamara downstairs to their basement where they could watch TV and barely hear the fighting.

Cassie got to the house at five thirty and Melissa’s parents left about six and said they’d be back around ten. The girls ordered pizza, watched movies, and played a couple of board games. At ten, Melissa sent Tamara to bed and it was just Melissa and Cassie in the living room now. They were still watching a movie, Melissa resting her head on Cassie’s lap. Cassie ran her fingers through Melissa’s hair. At ten-thirty, Melissa lifted her head.

“My parents will probably be home soon,” she said. “I better get my head out from between your legs.”

“Probably a good idea,” Cassie giggled.

Melissa then leaned in and kissed Cassie. Cassie was surprised and moved to pull away but then let Melissa kiss her. Melissa put her hand on the back of Cassie’s neck. Cassie instinctively put her hand on the back of Melissa’s head, entwining her fingers into her hair. When Melissa heard the key slide into the lock of the front door, she threw herself onto the other end of the couch. Cassie laughed and blushed.

Melissa’s parents walked in. “Tamara in bed?” her dad asked.

“Yep. We got her in at ten,” Melissa answered.

“We’re going to bed. Your friend needs to go home,” her dad growled. Her parents went down the hallway and into their bedroom.

“Just a minute. I’ll be right back,” Melissa said and got off the couch and followed her parents. “Mom, Dad? Can I borrow the van to take Cassie home? It’s kind of late and she walked here.”

There was silence. Then her father spoke “No. It’s not that late. She can walk.”

“Okay, but that seems really rude,” Melissa tried to guilt but knew it wouldn’t work. She went back to the living room where Cassie was getting ready to leave. “Wait. Don’t go. Go down to the basement and wait for me. I’ll clean up, act like I’m heading to bed, and I’ll come down and we can spend a bit more time together.”

“Melissa, stop. Why do you want to spend more time together?” Cassie asked.

“We kissed. I thought maybe we keep doing that or maybe a little more.”

“I like you as a friend,” Cassie said, looking down at the floor away from Melissa. “I’m sorry I kissed you back, I shouldn’t have done that. I’m also sorry that you think there is more between us than just being friends. I didn’t mean to lead you on. I should go.”

“Are you sure? We don’t have to start dating or be girlfriends. It could be a friends with benefits type thing,” Melissa said.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea either. I’m gonna go. I’ll see you later. Are you going to be okay?”

“Yeah,” Melissa sighed. “I’ll live.”

She walked with Cassie to the door and watched her leave. When Cassie was out of sight, Melissa turned off the TV, the lights, and went to bed. She sat in bed for a few minutes, thinking about the evening. She felt embarrassed at what had happened. She laughed at herself and felt better.

She laid in bed and closed her eyes. She then heard the panting and moans coming from her parents’ room and then the faint squeak of the bed. She sat up and listened to make sure then threw her head down on one pillow and covered her head with another. “Man…” she whined.