Coming Home and Coming Out Chapter 12

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That night, when Julie tucked herself into bed, she discovered that Logan had left her a note on her bedside table. She smiled, picked it up and ran her fingers across the thick, black lettering on the front.

 

To my Jewel, it read. She felt the warmth spread within her as she held his note. It was the same warmth that filled her when she was a child and her mother was tucking her into bed. She held the note close to her chest, closed her eyes, and cherished the moment.

 

When she did this, she felt the long, slender bump inside the paper. She curiously unfolded the paper and the joint that had been tucked inside fell onto her lap. She chuckled, picked up the joint and read the note.

 

Don’t let yourself feel lonely. Mary Jane will keep you company. Love always, Logan.

 

She laughed a deep, warm laugh, lit the joint and lay on her back in her bed. She had smoked half of it when exhaustion crashed against her. She put the joint out in an ashtray on her bedside table, turned off the lamp and tucked herself into bed but she did not sleep.

 

She lay on her left side, staring at the unoccupied pillow beside her. She aimlessly caressed the sheets with her fingers, tracing a line where Tawny’s body should be. She hated that empty space because it was an aching reminder that she was alone. Mary Jane wasn’t the company she needed tonight. Tonight, she needed a warm body to cuddle up to.

 

She thought of the nights she had spent in this very bed, with Tawny.

 

Some nights, they had laughed and talked all night. Some nights, they had yelled and fought all night. Sometimes, they would do both these things in a singular night. This was the shape of things with her and Tawny.

 

Her mind cycled through the nights she had spent with Tawny, until it settled on one specific memory. She and Tawny had spent the night at George’s with Logan and some other friends. Logan and Tawny were shooting Tequilla so Julie stuck to beer.

 

Logan and Tawny got wasted and so Julie made them leave the bar and head for home. After Julie dropped Logan off at Michael’s house, the fight with Tawny began. She was angry that Julie had made her leave early. She was angry that Julie had supposedly been flirting with the bartender. She was angry for a million things that had happened, or that she had thought happened in the past.

 

So, they fought. They fought on the drive between Logan’s house and theirs. They fought up the stairs and as Julie struggled to open the lock on the front door, they fought. They fought as they walked through the door, through the living room and into the bedroom. They fought as they undressed and climbed into bed.

 

Julie couldn’t tell where the fighting ended and the kissing began but before she knew it, Tawny was on top of her. Tawny kissed the spaces between her neck and her breasts and then stopped, looked up at Julie and smiled. Julie smiled back, flipped Tawny on her back and crawled on top of her. They kissed passionately and then Julie made a trail of kisses from Tawny’s lips to her right breast.

 

Julie kissed the space around the nipple softly before flicking it with her tongue and, finally, covering it with her mouth. She sucked and teased Tawny’s nipples until she moaned in pleasure and when Julie was sure that Tawny was wet, she slipped her hand in Tawny’s panties.

 

This memory played in Julie’s mind as she lay in their bed, looking at the empty space. As she remembered the encounter, she felt her own undies getting wet beneath the covers. She slipped her own fingers beneath the covers, into her he undies and began to caress herself.

 

She thought of that night with Tawny and many other nights when they had pressed their bodies together until they had both found paradise. She moaned under the caress of her own finger. With her free hand, she opened the bedside drawer and rummaged around for her vibrator.

 

Her body ached for the feel of it inside her but she couldn’t find it. She pulled her hand out of her underwear, sat up in her bed and turned on the bedside lamp. Irritated, she rummaged through the drawer, searching for it. She knew it wasn’t there but she searched anyway.

 

“Fucking Tawny!” She yelled. Then, she went into the living room and picked up her cell phone. She searched her message list for Tawny’s name and composed the message.

 

You took the vibrator? That’s a new low, Tawny…Even for you…

 

She knew it was way too harsh but she sent it anyway. She was irritated. No, she was pushed to the limit and masturbating was the only way she could think to unwind; to release the pressure that had built within her for the past couple days. Now Tawny had taken that away from her, as well.

 

She carried the phone to her bedroom and put it on charge. Then, she re-lit the joint and smoked the other half of it, before drifting off to a long, dreamless sleep.

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Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 8

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Back at her apartment, she stripped Logan down into nothing but his boxer briefs, laid him on the couch and placed an empty wastebasket next to his head. In all this, he said nothing. Julie wiped his auburn brown hair out of his eyes, tucking it behind his ear with one finger. Then, she kissed him on the forehead and walked to her desk.

 

Mama Rosa’s pizza was still smiling at her from the screen. Behind her, she could hear Logan vomit in the wastebasket and then groan. Julie sighed, closed the lid on the laptop, fixed him a cup of water and then collapsed in her own bed. Within a moment, she was fast asleep and the weight that had collected on her melted away.

Coming Home Chapter 2

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Julie walked around the condo for a while, picking things up and putting them back in their tidy little places. She felt no sense of remorse for the thing that she had lost…the thing she had spent the past three years of her life building. Where Tawny was concerned, there was no room for loss. Julie knew she would be back. She always came back after a few nights on the town, or a week at her mom’s.

 

Once, she was gone for an entire month. That time Julie had actually felt a hole in her life where Tawny had been. That time, it almost felt real. But then Tawny showed up at 3am, banging on the front door of the condo. Julie opened the door, let her in without saying a word and things just resumed, as they were before she left.

 

It was strange but familiar and as Julie finished cleaning up the destruction from their argument, she realized that Tawny was the most constant thing in her life. She was a beautiful storm, for sure, but Julie knew that she would always blow back to her. The problem was that Julie wasn’t sure that she wanted it, anymore. She had grown so tired of it all. She was so numb to the explosion that was Tawny that she really wasn’t sure if she would let her back in this time.

 

This time, she would leave her standing outside that door at 3 o’clock in the morning. Even if it was raining when she came back, she wouldn’t open the door. She wouldn’t even look through the peep hole in the front door. She would just leave her standing there, with her little pink suitcase in her hand. Then, Tawny would know that it was really over.

 

She could do this, couldn’t she?

 

Of course not. She would let Tawny in. She will always let Tawny in.

 

Once the condo was tidy, with all the little things in their proper place (except of course the things that Tawny had taken), Julie found herself in their bedroom…her bedroom. She was standing in the door of the room, looking at herself in the adjoining bathroom mirror.

 

Her eyes were the same stark blue they had always been. They were the eyes of a child, with shallow fine lines growing around them. Her eyeliner was smeared, giving her a smoky, almost too sexy look. Her cheeks were taught and smeared with reds and blues from her painted hands. Her dark hair was a tangle of long dreadlocks, except for one side, which Tawny had convinced her to shave. It was a look that Julie, secretly, kind of hated. Her body was lean but strong and she noticed, for the millionth time that her shoulders were too wide for a woman.

 

Her full lips were pursed, her eyebrows were creased and she realized that she wasn’t smiling anymore. Like the books from the bookshelf, Tawny had taken that with her when she left. She couldn’t be sure if it was one of the things that Tawny had taken a long time ago but never remembered to bring back, like the Fear and Loathing DVD or the fucking toaster.

 

Finally, Julie surveyed her body, again. “You’re too thin” She could hear her momma saying. “And why do you insist on always dressing like a 12 year old boy?” She sighed a heavy sigh and shook her mother’s voice from her head but the truth was that she despised herself for looking like a walking lesbian stereotype.

 

Then, she remembered the invitation and the phone call. She would see her mother again, soon because Susie Beechum was getting married and she was going to attend the wedding….alone. Her expression turned into an even harder grimace. It stared at her from her bathroom mirror with hard, accusing eyes. Tawny was gone, and she was going home.