Taking a Chance For Love

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Donna, an attractive petite blonde, spent as much time picking out the flowers, chocolates, and the champagne, as she did the card for Valerie, her roommate. The funny cards made her laugh and the romantic cards gave her images of making love to her roommate, that is, before the reality of her planned confession made her sad. Chances are Valerie will reject her, as did the others. Chances are she’ll have her heart broken, again.

Yet, she couldn’t stop herself from going forward, from stepping out of the heterosexual woman she created for her protection, self-preservation, and to keep her safe from the ridicule. Even in this enlightened age, people still pointed fingers, whenever they saw two women holding hands and kissing in public. In her small town and most of the small towns in America, lesbianism was still not accepted and better kept hidden in the closet.

Nonetheless, the risk she was about to embark upon was one worth taking. Notwithstanding, this was it, this was the special day in more than one way. The appropriate day for her to come out of the closet, the day of love, this Valentine’s Day was a make or break evening for her. She decided to show more than her hand to her roommate. Playing for all the marbles, she was going to give her heart and hoped that she’d take it and not break it.

She decided to take the gamble and either she’d win big or lose big. She was going for it. Having had enough of the speculation, growing weary of the sexual innuendoes, the teasing, and the verbal foreplay, she couldn’t stand the sexual tension that existed between them and that hung over her head so much like another conscience.

Is she or isn’t she? She wondered if her roommate was lesbian, bi-sexual or if she ever experienced a woman. Would she or wouldn’t she? Would she embrace her sexual advances or spurn them? There was only one way to know and one way or another, she’d learn her fate tonight.

This isn’t high school or college anymore. This is real life. The wondering about sexual orientation needed to stop for once and for all. She needed to know if her roommate felt the same way about her as she felt about her roommate.

Tired of being alone, Donna needed more than a roommate. She needed and so desperately wanted a life partner, someone to share more than the cooking and the cleaning. She wanted someone to share her bed and to understand the sadness and secretiveness that she has had to live with and secretly carried around with her all of her life. She hoped today was the awakening of a new dawn and a bright future with the two of them going hand in hand from roommate to couple.

Even though she wanted to go with a romantic one, she decided to buy a funny card instead, one that was more innocuous instead of telling and one that would allow her to save face should her advances be rejected. Purely as a lark, she bought the biggest heart shaped box of chocolates she could find, a five pounder. She figured if she was a bit over-the-top, she could backtrack and mask her true feeling by telling her roommate that it was all just a joke. The champagne was her celebratory surprise should her roommate accept her as her lover.

All just a joke? It isn’t a joke to her. This is real. Never has she been as serious about someone as she is about Valerie. There is nothing funny about offering her love to someone, only to be rejected and then made to feel that she is less than she is.

This is enemy territory here and she was about to cross the lines of demarcation from the heterosexual world to the lesbian world without her protective heterosexual persona. Would her roommate accept her as her lesbian lover? She didn’t know, but she was determined to find out tonight.

Armed with a Valentine’s Day card, flowers, and candy, she climbed the flight of stairs to her apartment. With every step she took, she wanted to change her mind and put the card, the flowers, the candy, and the champagne in her car and forget about this Valentine confrontation. Only, if she did that, the Valentine gifts would loom as big as her dark lesbian secret.

She couldn’t do that. She had to continue forward. One way or another, she needed to know. She needed to put this speculation to rest.

Her palms were sweating and her knees were shaking. Afraid of being rejected, yet again, she was so nervous. What seemed like a good idea before could have disastrous consequences now. Suddenly, she was having second, third, and fourth thoughts.

What if her roommate was so embarrassed and put off that they split? She’d lose not only her roommate but also her best friend. She loved her apartment and she couldn’t afford it without a roommate.

Even if this relationship had not escalated into any more than just being roommates, they were compatible. They never fought, didn’t even argue. They shared many common interests, even so much as enjoying the same television shows. The best time of her day was coming home to Valerie and sitting with her in the living ataşehir escort room watching television, while having a cup of tea.

If this was the closest she could get to Valerie, sharing an apartment and living arrangements with her, this wasn’t so bad. She could do this, playing house with her, for the rest of her life. Yet, she wanted so much more than that. She wanted the love, the romance, and the sex. She wanted it all and she wanted it all with Valerie.

After already striking out twice, rolling the dice again, she was taking, yet, another gamble on love, but what did she have to lose other than her heart? Besides, it was worth the risk. Wasn’t it? She was tired of going through life alone and lonely. She was tired of pretending to be something she was not, interested in men.

The thought of a man touching her sickened her. The thought of his hands on her naked body made her feel dirty. She couldn’t imagine a man kissing her, French kissing her, forcing his tongue in her mouth, as he forced her hand to touch his exposed penis. She’d cut his penis off, if a man should ever force himself upon her. Only, someone did once, and she didn’t cut off his penis but she wanted to dismember every part of him, after what he did to her.

He parents made her go out on a date with the boy next door. They said he was a nice boy. They were friends with his parents and they were worried that she was turning odd, they called it. She’s been called a lot of names because of her sexual orientation, but having her parents call her odd hurt her the most.

She wasn’t odd. She was normal. She was still there loving daughter. If anything, she was perfect.

Only, he raped her in the backseat of his car. Had she not gotten physically ill and vomited all over him and the interior of his car, he would have forced her to blow him, no doubt. He was such a dirty bastard and she was too ashamed and too overwrought to report him. The next day, she got up early and flatten all his tires and keyed the length of his car. She saw him looking out the window at her and had he come out to confront her, she would have flattened him, too.

She spent the next month worried she was pregnant. She couldn’t have an abortion. She’d keep the baby, if she was with child. She’d kill herself and him, if her parents forced her to marry him. She couldn’t go there, not after what he did to her. Besides, she was odd and wasn’t attracted to men. Oddly enough, she was attracted to women.

At only 18-years-old, a lifetime ago, she’s been down this road before with her childhood friend, Mary Beth. She had asked her to the Prom before confessing to her that she had feelings for her and that she was lesbian. Mary Beth laughed in her face. She actually thought she was joking. Donna was mortified, crushed not only by her rejection but also by how she rejected her.

Only, it was no joke. It was for real. Yet, as soon as she saw Mary Beth’s reaction, she knew it was a horrible mistake. She should have stayed in the closet. In hindsight, she wished she had never told Mary Beth she was lesbian.

She thought she was her friend. She thought she’d understand. She thought she could trust her with her heart and with such intimately personal information. Live and learn, she never thought she’d turn on her in the way she did, but she did.

“You’re inviting me to the Prom? Are you serious? That’s so funny. What, so you’re a lesbian? You’re a dyke? You like women?” She looked at her, as if she had AIDS. “Eww. Donna, I don’t swing that way,” said Mary Beth, suddenly copping an attitude and laughing, laughing in her face and with a laugh that echoed in her mind for the next ten years.

Don’t swing like that? Suddenly, now, that she has a boyfriend, she’s miss innocent. What about the times we kissed, French kissed? What about the times we made out like teenagers at a drive-in movie? What about the times we touched one another’s bodies in bed and in the dark? You felt my breasts and ass, while I explored your pussy. What was that about?

Donna wanted to say all of those things to her, but didn’t. She wanted to confront her friend. She hated people like her, women who led her on to think that they had feelings for her, only to reject her, only to make her feel bad. What’s the use? What’s done is done and she’s glad that’s behind her and Mary Beth is in her past.

“Sorry. Forget I even mentioned it,” said Donna suddenly masking her feelings with a stone veneer. “Okay?”

“Besides, I’m going to the Prom with Tommy,” said Mary Beth. “He rented a limo with Jim and Peter and their dates.”

She felt so stupid. Hurt from Mary Beth’s rejection and in the way that she rejected her, she didn’t even go to her own Prom. Telling her Mom she was sick, pretending to be ill, she stayed home and cried in her room alone.

She wasn’t friends with Mary Beth after she discovered that her so called best friend told the whole school that she had asked avcılar escort her to the Prom and that she was lesbian. It took her a long time to get over her and that embarrassment. Yet, even now, ten years later, wondering where she is and who she’s with, she still thinks of Mary Beth, her first love.

Then, there was Audrey, her college roommate. In a habit of falling in love hard, she misread Audrey’s signals. Who wouldn’t? Comfortable in her skin, Audrey was always parading around the room naked and/or hanging around just wearing her bra and panty, sometimes walking around in just her panties. After they split a bottle of wine and finished off what little marijuana they had between them, Donna kissed her while feeling her naked breast.

As soon as she saw the look on Audrey’s face, she knew. She felt her stomach fall to her feet in the same way it did when Mary Beth rejected her invitation to go to the Prom together. In hindsight, it was a move that was ill conceived and rushed and Audrey made it bigger than it needed to be.

“What are you doing?” She wiped Donna’s kiss from her mouth. “Are you nuts? What are you gay or something? How dare you? I’m not lesbian,” she said looking at her, as if she was dirt. She covered her naked breasts with her hands, as if suddenly she was embarrassed, as if suddenly, Donna was a man who had just seen her tits for the first time. “Do I look lesbian to you?” She gave Donna a hard look that made her want to hide. “Are you a dyke?”

Audrey got up from the bed and put on jeans and a tee shirt and never walked around the dorm room with anything less than that, after that. Donna felt like a criminal, like she had done something really wrong. All she did was to show her affection and her feelings for someone. If she was guilty of anything, she was guilty of being in love.

Why is that so different than a man showing his feelings for Audrey? Surely, he would have not been so chastised. Certainly, he would have been let down easier and not made to feel odd.

Dyke? Lesbian? Donna hated those terms. She hated being labeled. She hated herself and she hated her life. She felt bad about herself, when someone called her a dyke or a lesbian and called her other than what she was, a loving woman. She suddenly felt different, but not in a good way. Maybe the reason why she took such exception to the words was the way they all said the words lesbian and dyke with hatred and fear.

Audrey found other accommodations by the end of the week and moved out leaving Donna to live alone the rest of the semester. She felt like a leper. All the women she was attracted to were straight. Seemingly, she had a knack for falling for straight women and for falling for the wrong women.

She could have joined the Gay and Lesbian Alliance in school, but she didn’t want to call attention to herself in that way. She didn’t want to wrap her sexuality up in a label, why should she? Her sexuality was preciously private to her and for her to wave the gay and lesbian alliance flag in the face of all those who did not understand who she was, a woman who happened to like women more than men, is something she’d never do.

Not one to broadcast her sexual orientation, never would she march in the gay and lesbian parade. She didn’t want to be known just as a lesbian. No one thinks of straight people as heterosexuals. They just think of them as people and she was a person, too, who happened to be lesbian.

Why must everyone label those who are different? Oh, he’s the tall one or the short one, the dumb one or the smart one, and the black one or the yellow one. She’s the lesbian.

If anything, she was a human first and a woman second. She was someone who didn’t want or need to be identified by just her sexual orientation. As if posting a bumper sticker, those who are heterosexual, those who are not gay or lesbian take a broad brush stroke and erase all that a gay or lesbian person is and replace it with a label to fit them all in one category and in one box.

The Nazis did that with the Jews. It’s not right. It’s wrong. It’s unkind. It’s hurtful and it’s hateful.

She’d have an easier time making a connection if she went for a woman who was more like her, more masculine than feminine. Only, she wasn’t attracted to those types. Opposites attract. She preferred the girly type of women, those who enjoyed being a woman and didn’t want to be a man. Much in the same way of a man being attracted to a feminine woman, she was attracted to beautiful women, sexy women, and sensual women.

She thought of her roommate. She was in love with her. Excited and sad at the same time, she was taking a chance on love again. Setting herself up again to fall and to fall hard, she’d feel ridiculous having bought all of this, the card, the candy, the flowers, and the champagne, if Valerie didn’t share her feelings.

Only, Valerie was difficult to read. Donna couldn’t tell if Valerie was lesbian, straight avrupa yakası escort or bi-sexual. Wondering if she was still in the closet, would explain her hesitation and Donna’s speculation. With such a big box of candy, if rejected, she could always drown her sorrows in chocolate and wash it down with champagne. It sounded like a good plan to her.

Unable to reach for her key with so much stuff in hand, Donna lifted an unsteady index finger and rang the doorbell. Valerie opened the door and looked at Donna with a surprised smile and a nervous laugh.

“What’s all this?”

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” said Donna leaning forward and giving her roommate at peck on the lips.

“Oh, I’m so embarrassed,” said Valerie. “I didn’t think to buy you anything.”

“It’s okay,” said Donna hoping for something more tangible and lasting than a Valentine’s Day card, flowers, chocolates, and champagne.

Valerie was wide-eyed when Donna kissed her and Donna had her eyes open, too, watching for any reaction that would give her a sign and a signal of acceptance and of wanting more or of rebuffing her advances. It was just a peck really, but it took all the control that Donna had not to drop everything on the carpet, the card, the candy, the flowers, and the champagne and throw her arms around Valerie’s neck and kiss her, really kiss her, once her lips touched and tasted hers.

After living together for two frustrating years, she still couldn’t read her. Is she or isn’t she? One would think they would have bridged this gap long ago, but they didn’t, that is, until now.

She imagined pushing Valerie back on the bed and kissing her and kissing her, French kissing her. She imagined touching her everywhere. The thought of stripping Valerie naked filled her with a lust she never felt for anyone before.

With her long, mahogany hair and chocolate brown eyes, she was so stunningly beautiful. Her eyes were alive with intelligence and with a passion for everything art, movies, books, and even yard sales, especially yard sales. Valerie loved an antique bargain and Donna loved tagging along with her just to see the glee on her face, whenever she found a real find and a real bargain. She was always so much fun and so funny when wading through piles of what appeared as junk to her but was a treasure trove to Valerie.

“Donna, this is so funny. You shouldn’t have,” she said with a laugh. She was always so much more beautiful when she smiled. “But thank you,” she said throwing her arms around Donna’s neck and giving Donna an unexpected and unsolicited kiss that was certainly more than a peck.

“You’re welcome, Val. Happy Valentine’s Day,” said Donna clearing her throat to hopefully muffle the sound of her beating heart.

Well, that’s a relief thought Donna. She thinks it’s funny instead of romantic. I can do funny. Funny is a start. I’ll work on the romantic part later.

Only, now, Donna was even more confused. Valerie kissed her. She really kissed her. It wasn’t a long, probing kiss with tongues, but it was more of a kiss than she gave her.

“I rented a movie, the new Sandra Bullock flick,” said Valerie. “The Proposal. I figured we’d watch it after dinner, while having a chocolate dessert and champagne,” she said holding up the champagne and lugging the chocolate. “I love champagne, but you’ll have to promise you won’t take advantage of me, if I get a little tipsy.”

“I won’t promise you any such thing,” said Donna with a laugh, while imagining Valerie naked.

She imagined herself naked with her and with her mouth poised between Valerie’s legs. She imagined finally showing Valerie how much lust she had for her and how better a lover she could be to her than any man.

“Really,” said Valerie, suddenly giving her a sexy look. “Wouldn’t you feel dirty having your way with my drunken body?”

“You’re way too good looking Val to make me feel dirty,” said Donna with a laugh. “I’d feel sexy.”

“Stop it, you’re making me horny,” said Valerie making eye contact with her roommate.

Donna finally broke the eye contact to stare absent mindedly off in the distance. She was thinking of faraway places, Bali or Pago Pago, and strolling along the white sandy beach topless, while walking hand in hand with Valerie, her friend, her roommate, and her lover. Then, she looked up at her and studied her before speaking.

“Val, what are you doing? Why are you acting like this?”

“Acting like what? What do you mean? I’m not doing anything. I’m just playing. I love teasing you,” she said giving her a look of affection. “Oh, don’t be so sensitive, Donna. You take things way too seriously.”

“You’re driving me crazy with your mixed signals and I don’t know if I should go forward or back off.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” she said pausing to look at her friend. “I know you’re lesbian, Donna, if that’s what you mean.”

“You do?”

“Yeah,” she said with a laugh. “Duh, I do.”

“Is it that obvious?” Donna looked at her not knowing if she should be embarrassed, ashamed, or proud.

“Yes, it is,” she said with another laugh and a shrug. “I don’t mind. It’s okay with me that you are.”

“Well, thank you for giving me permission to be myself,” said Donna suddenly copping an attitude that was unbecoming.

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