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.