Submitted: August 25, 2017
Winter Ain't The Only Cold Bitch In This Here House
“Wait … WHAT?” I bellowed into the phone, making them all jump in shock at my outburst.
Okay, I guess I better back up and get you in the groove so you know what the fuck is going on, ‘cause it’s sort of epic.
If you’ll recall, some major shit went down over the past twenty-four hours of my life. I ended a very amazing relationship with a girl I could’ve married. In the end we both acknowledged that while I loved her, I wasn’t in love with her. A very distinct point that would only lead to bitterness and ruin for both of us. Neither of us wanted that. We cared for each other far too much.
So here we were, having quite the pleasant brunch the next morning. JD and Rain caught up with us again and Rain spent a good five minutes apologizing over and over again to where I thought I’d punch the bitch for the way she wouldn’t give it a fucking rest. Saying it repeatedly – that messed up apology – only served to bring that embarrassing moment last night at the restaurant before the concert back up again when all everyone wanted was to forget the damned thing ever happened.
I felt my fist clench and unclench – not good. And I wasn’t a violent guy, by nature. You really had to dig deep to get that sort of reaction out of me. Rain seemed to hit the mother lode of all mother lodes with her saccharine-laden apology. Thankfully, JD knew how to curb her sycophantic verbal vomit before I was pushed to something I’d regret. Holly seemed livid enough that she’d back any play I wanted to go with.
Holly and I broke the news to everyone the night before that we were no longer dating – that we remained just friends. That we had a long talk and it was for the best. JD looked rather suspicious and I was sure he’d be grilling her endlessly about it when they got back home. At least she could lord it over him that she had truly bedded me first. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when that little secret got out. But I knew that wouldn’t happen. Whatever went on from here wouldn’t ever be a part in my future.
So yeah, Rain and her fucked up way of apologizing.
I think my stare and the cold way I stood there, while we waited for our seats, listening to her drivel finally gave JD a fucking clue and he hauled her back a bit from the rest of us saying she got her point across just fine the first eight hundred times she said it before.
We were finally seated and everyone ordered their breakfast. We all had some tea or coffee on the patio deck of this swanky eatery and things finally seemed to be going well. The group accepted that Holly and I were officially over, though we were friendly about it. We made that abundantly clear. Though a level of suspicion held, JD seemed to light up a bit at that, even if he was sensitive of his sister to at least do his best to hide it when others observed the way he reacted to me now that I’d become a free man again.
We progressed about half-way through the meal when Sally stole across my mind and I realized I could call her now. I pulled out my phone and rang her up, only to have it go to voice mail yet again. Only this time it said I couldn’t leave a message because the recipient’s voice mail box was full.
So I stared at the phone, unsure of why I suddenly felt so uneasy all of a sudden.
I pulled up Eiko’s number and stared at it. I’d never called her before, not for anything. You just didn’t. I mean, I got to see a side of her that very few did. I knew I was in with her.
This was an emergency of sorts. I mean, I really hadn’t had any contact with her before the championship game the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday break. So maybe Eiko’d understand.
I rang her up, praying that I wouldn’t get an earful when she answered. I didn’t expect to hear what I did when she did pick up.
“Hey Marco.” It’d been clear Eiko had been crying or was in the middle of another round.
“Hey, whassup? Are you okay? Where’s Sal? I can’t get ahold of her.”
“What do you mean, she’s gone? Gone where? On vacation? Visiting relatives?”
“No, Marco. They found us together and there was an epic fight between the two of us and her parents that moved on to include my parents. The end result is that I’m forbidden to see Sally and the next thing I knew she was whisked away to some Bible camp in Texas. She’s fucked, Marco! We both are.”
“Wait … WHAT?”
Okay, now you’re all caught up.
“You heard me, Marco. You’re not deaf.”
“Bible camp, like in conversion therapy, sort of camp? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Pretty much. That’s why I came up to you that day in school and said you were taking me to the dance. I need to keep up appearances – my parents made it clear that I can be whoever I want to be, but not until I graduate from high school. After that, I can strike out on my own and do my own thing. But I needed to act more like an average high school student and date boys and all that shit. So yeah, I am turning to you right now. We don’t have to do anything like you and Sally did. Mostly because I scare the fuck out of everyone there that I think it would be too weird if I did that all of a sudden. No one would buy it, anyway. It’s not the me they think is me, if that makes any sense. Ah, fuck, Marco, things are just so fucked up right now, and I miss her so much. That’s the fucking crap thing about this whole fucking mess. We got big headed about it all and never thought for a moment her dad would have us tailed. But he did, and well, shit really hit the fan.”
I just didn’t know where to go with that. And no one at the table who’d have a vested interest in my beard of a girlfriend being found out she was a dyke and then hauled off to be prayed over until the spawn of Satan or the ghost of Linda Blair or whatever the fuck religious fucktards go on about our kind, until they eradicated everything that makes us who we are.
Of course, none of this was lost on me that Eiko was in a completely different mindset than I’d ever heard her. I had a feeling that this was the real Eiko, the one with the bravada she carefully cultivated and layered to protect the same hurt teenage girl who watched her older brother slip away from her. Now I began to see just how much Sally meant to her. I know that should’ve been obvious but you’d have to see Eiko in action to get the full breadth of just how imposing she could be. When you were confronted with someone like her, you tended to not see beneath that carefully constructed veneer that she held in place – obliterating any chance of seeing the hurt girl buried beneath the visage of a strong woman.
“Do, uh, we need to do something? To help her? I got resources I can call in, you know.”
She pondered that for a bit. I turned to the rest of them at the table, their eyes all on me with a pointed curiosity of my sudden shift in mood.
“Guys, uh, excuse me while I take this outside for second.”
I got up before they could ask any questions and quickly made my way outside the restaurant.
“I don’t think there is anything. I mean, I heard from her just before the Thanksgiving Day holiday. She got leave from the prayer camp to go to her grandparents’ house and there was about fifteen minutes where they weren’t around so she called me via Skype on their home computer. It was lucky that I’d been online for the call at the time. She’s hanging in there, she’s crafty, thank the stars above. She’s gonna need every ounce of that to get through this.”
“But you think she’ll be alright?”
She sighed, heavily, too, I might add, which I totally got because if it had been me and Elliot, I’d be going out of my fucking mind if someone tried to take him away from me. I couldn’t even call him mine yet – yeah, not just yet – I had to keep that squarely in my sight because I had a remedy for that. I wasn’t about to let that one slip away from me no matter what would come my way now. I’d fucking wait a lifetime for him because I knew now, more than ever, that he was the one.
In a very weird way, that sexcapade with Holly last night only confirmed that for me. I knew it was convoluted but knowing that Holly would be there for me in a way that we could support each other, the sex only seemed to allow me to let that finally go. That became a good thing to know, but having walked that side of the fence now I found that, while it was immensely enjoyable, and I felt something for Holly that allowed me to connect with her in that way, it still couldn’t hold a candle to what I felt at just the thought of making love with Elliot would be like. I only hoped I could be an adequate lover for him. I’d dedicate my life to pleasing him.
Eiko’s voice brought me out of my darker contemplative thoughts.
“I think she’ll get by. She knows the game really well. I guess you can’t survive in that conservative world without knowing how the enemy operates and all. Remember she went after you easy enough to convince everyone else that she was a bona fide straight girl. Only you, Kevin and I knew the difference.”
“Yeah, speaking of that, you think ol’ Kevin has figured it out about me?”
“He may have wondered about it, seeing how he definitely knows about Sally’s truer nature. And believe me, he tried to get past her lesbo tendencies.”
“Tendencies? I thought …”
“Like me, Sally is a bit gender non-specific. That’s why we’re such a good fit. We’re definitely good together but we are open to a man, woman or anything in-between in the mix, too. Gender fluid, ya know? It just works for us. She just gets me and I get her. It’s easy when I’m with her, you know?”
“Yeah, I guess. So ol’ Sal will play their game and …”
“She hopes to be outta there by end of Winter break. We’ll see. I guess that it’s not too far off a possibility given how she’s convinced them all that her little tryst with me had been a fluke. Little do they know …” She sighed again.
“Okay. So how are you holding up?”
“I’ve been better, that’s for sure. I do love Sally, Marco. And I know she feels the same way. We’re good for each other. Being separated with little to no communication has been very hard.” She snorted in that way that said something should be funny but held no humor to it at all.
“You’d think my homework would’ve suffered for it. Damned Asian genetics, I think my homework is better now. That term paper in American Government is gonna be an A no problem. I’ve nailed that to the wall.”
“Yeah, I still need to finish mine. Just got caught up with the girlfriend and her brother too much this week.”
“Really? Both of them, together? How the hell did you pull that one off?”
“Huh? Oh, no …” I laughed. “No, I mean, well, uh, yeah actually I did do both of them but not together. Fuck, even I am not that kinky, Eiko.”
She laughed slightly at that. I’d probably given her the first real sort of laugh she’d had in a good long week.
“Anyhow, not like it matters, JD – the brother – heads back to Amherst tomorrow and Holly and I are officially over.”
“Yup. I nailed her twice to the fucking wall, but yeah, it’s over. Probably the best breakup sex I’ll ever have but yeah, it’s done. We’re both good with it. Now I can focus solely on Elliot. I know that I’ll never stray if I can have him. He’s all that matters now. I’ll wait forever for him. And I realize how fucked up it all sounds but, I know what I have to do now. Playtime is over. Time to focus on what matters. And now that football is nearly out of the way, I can devote myself fully to bringing him to me. Which brings me to your little surprise before the holiday break.”
“Oh yeah, about that. Sorry, but I was in a very bad place that day. What went down with Sally only happened the night before. I was still sort of raw about it.”
“No, it’s cool. I just wish you’d’ve found me sooner and told me what was going on. The part about you asking wasn’t a bad thing, just the surprise in how you did it.”
“Yeah, it was a shitty thing to spring on you. I hope you can forgive me.”
“No worries. And there’s nothing to forgive, Eiko. I mean that. I’d be honored to take you to the Winter Dance.”
“So we better talk about it at school on Monday so we know how to do the whole Elliot reveal that night. That’s still a go, right?”
“Totally. By the end of that night I will have him in my arms and he will know exactly how I feel.”