Title: Things Left Unsaid
Author: Green Quarter
Archiving: http://www.realmoftheshadow.com/greenquarter.htm Enormous effulgent exaltation to Kim at the Realm for her excellent and estimable hosting.
Disclaimer: Characters of Popular are not mine. They belong to whomever.
Feedback: Always appreciated, at above address.
Note: This fic is inspired by the scene in “Fire in the Hole,” where Brooke gives Sam advice about George, and then they watch a pornographic movie together. That is about all you need to know. Oh, and in this story, Brooke is still dating Josh, which deviates from canon. Sorry about that.
Thirty-seven thousand thanks to JuneBug, for her amazing Beta-ing skills.
It was a Friday afternoon, and Sam was doing the absolute last thing that she wanted to be doing now that she was free for the weekend, but she couldn’t put it off any longer. She pulled the still-warm load of laundry out of the dryer, trying to get her arms around the gargantuan assortment of clothing, and walked into the living room. She dumped the mountain of laundry onto the middle cushion of the couch and sat down next to it, then looked around for the TV remote. After a quick perusal of the wasteland that was after school TV programming, she settled on Judge Judy, and began to fold.
“You dropped these,” Brooke entered the living room, holding up a white crew sock in one hand and a slinky leopard print bra in the other. She threw the sock at Sam but held onto the bra.
Sam pulled the sock from her shoulder, the crackle of static cling audible as she tossed it onto the pile of unfolded laundry. “Gimme that,” she demanded, holding out her hand for the lingerie.
Brooke gingerly held the bra by the strap between her thumb and forefinger and examined it. “Ooh, mama, hot stuff! I never knew you wore this kind of racy thing, Sam,” Brooke teased, coming around the sofa and sitting down on the other end, Sam’s laundry between them.
“Shut up, Brooke! It was a gag birthday gift from Lily and Carmen,” Sam reached over and snatched it away from Brooke, the elastic snapping as it left Brooke’s hand. “Get your mitts off my foundation garment,” she huffed.
“Jeez. Touchy, much?” Brooke commented. “What the heck is a foundation garment, anyway? Sounds like a girdle or something that the Queen of England would wear. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see the old gal in something so sexay,” she continued to needle.
Sam heaved a long-suffering sigh. “I only wear it when my underwear drawer gets empty, okay? I’m a little behind with my laundry,” she added, defensively.
“Whatever,” Brooke replied, losing interest in Sam’s underwear. She grabbed the remote and started to rapidly click through the stations, not noticing Sam’s glare in her direction.
“I was watching that, you know,” Sam said testily, as she tried to smooth out the wrinkles in a pair of jeans.
“Oh, come on, no one really watches Judge Judy,” Brooke answered, unconcerned, still clicking away.
Silence descended on the room, except for the three-second sample of each TV show as Brooke tried to decide on something to watch.
“Hey, ADD-girl,” Sam finally said, “will you just pick something, already? You’re giving me a headache.”
Brooke eventually settled on Oprah, but was actually disinterestedly watching Sam as she continued to haphazardly fold her laundry.
Sam could feel Brooke judging her. When doing laundry, Brooke used five different kinds of soap, and separated everything into whites, off-whites, beiges, earth tones, colors, bright colors, darks, medium darks, and dark-darks, and did a million tiny little loads of each. Sam threw all her clothes in together, no matter what color, spun the dial to cold, added detergent and got it over with as quickly as possible. The clothes came out clean, and that was all she cared about.
“What?” she asked preemptively, as Brooke gazed at the slowly dwindling pile of unfolded clothing.
“Nothing,” Brooke replied, all innocence.
They turned their attention to the TV as Oprah gushed unconvincingly at some celebrities who were promoting a movie coming out this week.
“What are you doing tonight?” Brooke asked, not taking her eyes from the screen.
“Movies with George,” was Sam’s terse reply. “You?”
“Josh and I are going out to dinner.”
Sam nodded. All she had left were a mound of socks, which she set to pairing up. When she was done, she piled them on top of the stacks of folded clothes on the coffee table, and leaned back, directing her attention back to Oprah.
The two of them sat on opposite ends of the couch, ostensibly ignoring each other as they quietly watched TV, but they were actually excruciatingly aware of the other’s presence.
“So,” Brooke said with extreme nonchalance, after Oprah ended and she had clicked off the TV, “you wanna make out?”
“Okay,” Sam casually, but immediately, replied, moving over on the couch as Brooke did the same.
They met in the middle and Sam awkwardly placed one hand on Brooke’s hip and the other along the back of the sofa. Brooke regarded her with an almost clinical detachment as she moved in and met Sam’s lips with her own. Sam felt anything but detached. She felt her skin grow hot as as she concentrated on Brooke’s lower lip, which felt like it permanently belonged pressed up against where her own lips met. She felt Brooke exhale into her mouth, her hands moving down from Sam’s shoulders, caressing her through the thinness of her cotton t-shirt, pausing at the middle of her back for a moment.
Brooke drew away from Sam and raised an eyebrow at her, realizing something. Then she dropped her hands even lower and plunged them beneath the waistband of Sam’s satiny tracksuit bottoms. Sam flushed a deep shade of red, both from embarrassment and from the feel of Brooke’s hands on her bare ass.
“It is laundry day,” Sam said, explaining her foundation garment-less status.
“It is a modern convenience that can be used more than once a month.” Brooke retorted, smirking.
“I’ll bear that in mind,” Sam closed the distance between them and drew their lips together once again. Brooke’s hands felt like they were branding her. Brooke touching her there was something new for them, but then every day for the past two weeks had brought something new to their interactions. Sam tried to put her hands on the same place on Brooke’s body, but she couldn’t get past the tight leather belt that cinched the pants Brooke was wearing. Instead she loosely wrapped her arms around Brooke’s waist.
Brooke began doing something with her tongue, and her fingers became splayed as she clutched Sam’s bottom, pulling her closer. Sam felt like a flare had gone off inside her and she couldn’t help but part her lips to allow Brooke access to her mouth. Tightening her hold on Brooke, she arched her back and pressed her breasts against Brooke’s, like she was trying to become a part of her. Sam felt Brooke shudder as her fingers unwittingly tickled the skin over her ribs through the silky fabric of the blouse that she wore. And as Brooke’s tongue retreated, she let her own tongue peek out, making a leisurely exploration of Brooke’s lips, reveling in their softness, before pushing into her mouth.
In the near silence that now permeated the living room, any noise would have been magnified, and so it was when both girls clearly heard the kitchen door open, and the familiar staccato sound of Sam’s mother’s heels making their way over the slate floor. Sam and Brooke instantly disentangled themselves, each avoiding the other’s eyes. Sam scooped up her piles of laundry and unhurriedly made her escape to her room, not looking back when she heard the TV go on, and the rapid parade of channels sounding off once again.
Okay. I’ve decided to write some things down so I can try to make sense of what’s been happening lately. This document will be saved several directories deep in a folder called Zapruder, which George will most likely ignore if he borrows my laptop. Not that he ever has, but you never know. I should also encrypt it, just in case.
So anyway… What the fuck? I have no idea what is going on right now. Everyday I wake up feeling off-kilter and strange. Since this thing started between Brooke and me, I have been unable to get a handle on it. Wait. Maybe if I start from the beginning I can understand what the hell is going on, and then I can figure out what I’m supposed to do about it.
It all started when I asked Brooke for some relationship advice about George. She and I had been getting along really well for once, and since she had experience where I had none, she was an obvious choice. The gist of the thing is that I wanted to take my relationship with George to the next level, and after making sure I knew what I was getting into Brooke agreed to help me. She even engineered a night out at the movies with my mom and Mike, and made it look like it had all been my mom’s idea, so I could have the place to myself. That plan backfired in the most spectacular of ways, because George, unlike any other male teen of the species who would be willing to hump a wildebeest if it were cute enough (not that I’m comparing myself to a wildebeest, or maybe I am, I don’t know, whatever), wanted to wait until the time was right. I returned to Brooke for advice again, hoping she would have some answers for me.
Brooke was kind of confused that he didn’t jump at the chance too, but I’m sure no guy has ever said no to her, so it might have just been outside her sphere of experience. Then she ended up taking George’s side, rationally explaining that he probably just wanted to wait and have it be special. But I didn’t want to wait! This is so not a badge of honor anymore. I was sick of being the prim one; I wanted to get this over with, already. Brooke couldn’t understand that, but then, she’d already done it. I guess she sort of regrets it now. I was going on and on about why weren’t there classes to teach people how to have sex when Brooke produced a porno that belonged to Mike from somewhere. Let me just say that I will never think of Mike the same way again.
The video was called Rumpelstiltskin XXX, and it was ridiculous. And I know I’m a big loser because I’d never seen porn before, but even I could see that this movie was absurd. Brooke and I sat on the coffee table, really close to the TV, and watched it for a while before we were giggling too hard to look at it. Well, giggling and utterly appalled at what the miller’s daughter began to do to that midget. Brooke seemed really at ease and I envied how she could take something like that in her stride, because although I found it funny and a bit shocking, I felt oddly titillated as well.
So the combination of being all horned up yet still uptight about my lack of experience forced me to absolute honesty and I made a confession to Brooke. I told her that I thought George didn’t want to do it with me because I’m terrible at it, well the stuff we’d already done, anyway.
Brooke tried to be nice about it. She insisted that it was all probably my imagination and that I didn’t have anything to worry about.
Then, even though I was sober as a judge and psychotropic substance-free, I asked Brooke if I could kiss her, so she could give me an honest evaluation of my kissing ability. Yeah. I know. I’m an idiot. I don’t know where I ever got the sack to ask her that. I felt like the biggest moron right after the words came out of my mouth. She would think I’m a lesbian or something.
Sometimes she can be so nice, almost like a sister. Instead of laughing in my face, she took me seriously and gently told me that she didn’t think it would be a good idea. And she was right. But I was dying to know what she thought of the way I kissed and I practically begged her to let me. I just had to debase myself in the most embarrassing way possible, I guess. How else was I going to find out if I was lousy kisser or not? George wasn’t telling; she was my only hope.
I suppose I wore her down with my pleading, because she eventually reluctantly agreed, but I could tell she was ambivalent. If I were a more intelligent person, or a saner one, I would have put a stop to it right then but something was driving me and I had to know. Before she had a chance to change her mind I put my hands on her shoulders and
After knocking for what seemed like ten minutes, Brooke poked her head around Sam’s door and called loudly, trying to be heard over Sam’s fingers steadily drumming on the keyboard, plus the music coming from her headphones, clearly audible to Brooke across the room. She saw Sam freeze at her desk, her back tense as she slammed her laptop closed. Only after this was accomplished did she remove her headphones and turn around to face Brooke.
“Yes?” Sam asked, her calm reply belied by her flushed cheeks.
Brooke came into the room and sat down on Sam’s bed. She hoped that Sam would come sit next to her and they could continue what they had been doing in the living room, but Sam looked quite comfortable where she was. Brooke had been the one to initiate it earlier, so she would not let herself ask again. She cast about for a reason to be in Sam’s company.
“What are you doing?” she asked, rather lamely.
“Homework,” Sam replied, too quickly.
“Really? On a Friday night?”
“I just wanted to get a jump on… things,” Sam gestured vaguely with her hand.
“Oh.” Brooke sat there, at a loss. After a few moments she asked, “What movie are you seeing?”
“I don’t know, it’s George’s turn to pick.”
“You guys take turns?”
“Yeah, don’t you and Josh?”
Brooke shrugged. “There’s usually something specific that Josh wants to see when we go to the movies.”
“Oh.” Sam frowned a little at that. There was a pause. “Where are you going tonight?” she then asked politely.
God. Is this not the lamest conversation in the universe, Brooke asked herself. But she gamely continued the stilted dialogue. “That new sushi place on Montana. Apparently they serve Fugu. Josh is dying to try it.”
“Blowfish,” Brooke explained.
“Living life on the edge, aren’t you?” Sam smiled.
“I guess,” Brooke said without much enthusiasm. This is pointless, she thought. “Well, have a good time tonight,” she got up to go.
“You too,” Sam watched her leave. “Come find me when you get home and tell me about it, that is, if you live to tell the tale,” she said ominously.
Brooke perked up at that. “I will,” she said, grinning, happier now than when she had come in.
She went back to her room, and opened her closet, trying to decide what to wear. Through the wall she heard Sam go back to her typing. Brooke winced when she ran her mind over the conversation they had just had. This new component they had added to their relationship had definitely changed things. They had been getting along: bickering, arguing, laughing, and having fun with each other until that day a couple of weeks ago. She and Sam had reached a stage where Brooke could glimpse the tantalizing level of closeness that sisters shared, and she had been pleased about it. Now Brooke could never tell what was going to happen. Sam could be cranky one minute, like she had been about the bra thing earlier, and distant the next, like just now in her room.
It was all Sam’s fault for pestering her about that kiss. But then maybe it was her own fault for digging up that porno from the garage and starting the whole ball rolling. She couldn’t help wanting to be helpful. Sam had come to her for advice like Brooke was her big sister or something. It made her feel all warm and mushy inside; she had always wanted to be a big sister. Was it only two weeks ago that she had been aiding and abetting Sam in her quest to lose her virginity with George? Because she thought that was what sisters did. They were there for each other. But now whenever she was around Sam, her feelings were something less than sisterly. A whole lot less.
She laid her clothes out on the bed and thought back to that moment when things began to change. The two of them had been sitting side by side on the coffee table with their hormones all in a tizzy from that crazy movie of her father’s. And Sam had started blathering on about George and how much she liked him and how upset she was that he didn’t want to mess around with her. Then she had the cockamamie idea that Brooke could judge whether she was a good kisser or not, which Brooke so did not want to do. With good reason, it now turned out.
“C’mon, please, Brooke,” Sam had wheedled. “You’re the only one who can help me.”
This was not true. Brooke was just the only one handy at that moment. Lily would have been the best choice, and probably the most receptive. No, Harrison would have been the perfect choice, because he was a guy, and would have totally been into it.
But Brooke had been convenient, and she was not as immune to the effects of Rumpelstiltskin as she pretended. All the while Sam had been pleading her case, Brooke had been unable to remove her gaze from Sam’s full red lips, and as Sam continued talking, Brooke realized that there was nothing she would like better than to feel her own lips against them. She had let Sam natter on for a few more minutes before acquiescing; it wouldn’t do to seem too eager.
And they had kissed. It was nice. It was more than nice. It had been a revelation. Sam had a lot less saliva going on than Josh had, and her lips were fuller, just like Brooke knew they would be, and more lush. But more than that, Sam’s kiss seemed to be of the moment, for the moment. For once, Brooke didn’t feel like the kiss was a necessary first step to having her breasts manhandled, or that five minutes later she would be expected to unzip Sam’s pants and give her a handjob. Comparing Sam to Josh was not fair, she knew that, but she couldn’t help it.
A kiss with Sam was an event. It was the goal, the object; it was something complete in and of itself. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it was like the greatest of literature. It contained the romance of Wuthering Heights, the adventure of On the Road, the heartbreak of Anna Karenina, and it was epic, like Doctor Zhivago. And she sometimes wished it would go on for as long as War and Peace, she thought wryly, noting that her newfound metaphoric excess had begun around the same time they had shared their first kiss. And she should really lay off the Russian novelists for a while.
She flopped down on her bed, careful not to wrinkle the outfit she had chosen for her date. The typing had stopped in the next room, and Brooke heard the weird Microsoft shutdown melody, and subsequently Sam’s door closing behind her. The doorbell hadn’t rung yet, but she knew that George’s inevitable appearance was next in the sequence of actions that comprised Sam’s evening.
Brooke sighed. She and Sam had found a way to snatch these brief interludes with each other every day since that first kiss, and she would forever be grateful to her father and his bizarre taste in movies, sick as it sounded, because she was not sorry that this had happened. She was glad.
Fifteen days. Brooke glanced at her calendar. She had instigated their hook-ups nine times to Sam’s six, she recalled, adding a mark to her side of her mental scoreboard for today’s session in front of the TV. For a few minutes, or a few hours in one memorable case, every day for the past fifteen days, she and Sam had sought each other out and had let their lips and their hands and their tongues communicate for them, because they certainly had not been using words. Brooke had no idea what Sam thought of all of this, because they had never spoken of it.
For all she knew, Sam was still using her as a practice dummy, trying out new techniques on her to see what would appeal for George. Sam knew that Brooke had passed her with flying colors after that first kiss. She had to know. The evidence was plain enough. Brooke became a steaming, shuddering puddle of raw nerve endings, barely retaining the power of speech, during and after their make-out sessions.
Brooke got up from the bed and took a seat at her vanity. Josh would be coming soon to pick her up, so she began to fix her face, all the while avoiding her cowardly reflection. Sam held all the cards. Brooke would do nothing to upset the status quo, because she couldn’t bear it if Sam put a stop to their liaisons. If Sam didn’t want to talk about what was happening between them, then they wouldn’t. If she was ashamed of it, or freaked out, or just using Brooke for a fashionable lesbian experience, Brooke would never know. Because she wasn’t going to ask.
So I don’t know what I was saying before. Brooke just left. Oh yeah, I was talking about when I debased myself and begged her to let me kiss her. Debasement isn’t so bad. It was worth it. It is worth it. Like I said, I’m an idiot.
I don’t get it. Why does she do that? Come into my room, I mean, right before we’re both leaving for the night. She must be bored or something. Maybe she enjoys seeing the effect she has on me. Like I’m not ready to leap on her the moment she walks through the door. It was about all I could do to just sit in my chair and have a conversation, mundane and meaningless as it was.
I know, I know. I have to go in a few minutes. But if I don’t get this off my chest now, I’ll be thinking about it all night.
Is it really debasement? It’s not like Brooke forced me to ask her for a kiss. It’s not her fault at all. And I love it when it’s actually happening. I want it never to end. I guess the humiliating part comes when I find that I am absolutely powerless against it, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say no to her.
Where did that nice, sisterly girl go? The one I asked for help? She’s the one with the experience. I asked her because she’d done it before. But I’m not talking about George anymore. And this is different. I don’t know if she’s done what she’s doing with me with any other girl, I hope to god that she hasn’t. Wait. Why? Does it even matter? I’m so confused.
Usually the stuff we do is quick and furtive, and so far we haven’t progressed beyond heated heavy petting, but man is it hot. Then there was that one time a few days ago when I went to her room with some flimsy excuse of a question about a homework assignment and I ended up staying for hours. One minute I was asking about the reading in Western Civ. and the next we were on her bed, all over each other.
I was lost. I couldn’t get enough of her. It was like I was drawing sustenance from her, she was some kind of new power source that would keep me running forever. The time passed like it had only been a few minutes, and if it hadn’t been for me not remembering to close her door, and us hearing her father come up the stairs, I would be there still.
She knows she can do this to me. She knows that one glance, one word, is enough. I’m sucked in, instantly. She could come and grab me from a Zapruder meeting, a pop quiz, the shower, anything. She wouldn’t have to explain or say anything (and actually she never does say anything, she never says a thing); I would follow her without question or pause.
But somehow I was able to withstand her gravitational pull tonight. Maybe that means that I don’t need her anymore. Please. Who am I trying to fool?
I said to come find me when she got home. Oh, brother. We both know what that really means. I’m so freaking transparent. Even now I’m practically salivating in anticipation of coming home again. I’m pissed that I’ll have to sit through some asstarded gross-out comedy, waste hours of my life when I could be here.
But she’s not going to be here. She’ll be out with Josh. And I’ll be out with George. The way things are meant to be. The way I wanted them to be two short weeks ago. And now? Christ, I don’t know.
So. It’s not debasement. It’s not. It’s not humiliating if I’m a willing, no, an enthusiastic participant. And she is just as keen, I can tell, even though she never says anything. Once we get going, talking is superfluous, unnecessary. We already know exactly what to do. We both know the words to the song, the steps to the dance. But this particular song has never been played before; at least, I’ve never heard anything like it. And it is heading straight to the top of the charts. With a bullet.
Then why do I feel humiliated?
Because she is silent. Because I’m a secret. We are a secret. And it hurts.
The basement was the one place Brooke could go and expect to remain reasonably undisturbed. Even in her bedroom, there were distractions like the phone and the Internet that could keep her from whatever task she had before her, and here there were none, plus she had all the space she could need down here. That this was the place where every Glamazon routine was born, this dank and dusty basement, was something that not many people needed to know.
She had cleared a space away from the boiler and the circuit breaker, and had moved to the side her father’s old recliner that he couldn’t bear to throw away, even though he hadn’t sat in it since he had liberated it from the common room of his fraternity in college. Boxes of Christmas decorations and books and all the other cartons of junk that weren’t needed on a daily basis were also pushed to a gloomy corner. Propping a mirror from a disused dresser against the wall hadn’t made the basement look any more like a dance studio, but it achieved the same effect.
It was a disappointment to Brooke that after all the dance classes she had taken as a child into adolescence, the only outlet she had for creative expression through movement was the choreography of the halftime number for a football team that was mediocre at best. She had once seriously considered ballet; at thirteen she could envision no other life for herself. But then she had gotten too tall and her instructors, while not overtly discouraging her, made it clear that she could never make it her profession.
So she eventually ended all her lessons and poured her energy into other things: grades, boys, fashion, makeup, and then, when she got to Kennedy, cheerleading. Silly as she knew it to be, it was something she had learned to enjoy, and she threw all her efforts into making the squad as good as it could be.
Sometimes she felt an utter fool when she imagined what she must look like, cheering by herself in front of a mirror in the basement, but after a while she was able to forget about it and lose herself in the attempt of creating something new and good. Like today, she had recently watched the movie Chicago, which had led her to Sweet Charity and All That Jazz. Now she was trying to incorporate some of the precise movements that Bob Fosse was known for into a new routine for the last game of the season. It was probable that no one would notice her influences in the final product, but at least she would know they were there.
She had just worked out a great combination and was repeating it over and over to some cheerleader-ready, generic, high energy pop. As she worked up a sweat, repeating her movements in time to the music, she tried to evaluate how the less experienced dancers on the squad would take to it.
For some reason, Brooke had the sudden suspicion that she was being watched, and quickly turned to see if anyone was there.
Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw Sam sitting halfway up the steps that led to the kitchen, her chin resting on her palm, quietly watching. Brooke put her hand over her heart and exclaimed, “God, Sam, you scared me! How long have you been there?” She nudged the CD player with her foot, aiming to turn off the music, but only succeeded in switching the radio on. The soft strains of a muzak station replaced the driving bass of “Pump Up the Jam.”
Sam left her perch on the steps and came closer. “Long enough to witness creative genius in action,” she said, grinning.
She captivated Brooke. Sam still wore the faded jeans she had worn to school that day, but they looked different. They were resting lower on her hips or something, and they had somehow become too long, Sam’s bare feet only half visible, and her heels treading on the hems. She had taken off her sweater and now only wore a thin white v-neck t-shirt. Only Sam could manage to make her simple clothes look so sexy, Brooke thought, comparing her own sweaty workout gear to Sam’s unaffected casual elegance.
Thrown off-balance by Sam’s sudden appearance, Brooke was at a loss as to how to respond. She couldn’t tell if Sam’s comment was supposed to be sarcastic or genuine. So she fell back on the mutual derision that defined the verbal engagements of their previous relationship, not knowing what would be appropriate for their current one. “Well someone has to put these routines together, and it really is genius, not that you would know anything about cheering, or even dancing for that matter,” Brooke said haughtily.
“What makes you think I know nothing about dancing?” Sam retorted. “Just because I choose not to cavort around the football field in a skimpy uniform doesn’t mean I’m entirely graceless.”
“Really? Well why are you just standing there?” Brooke challenged. “Show me what you got.”
It looked like Sam hadn’t thought that her words would have consequences, but then Brooke saw a determined glint in her eyes. Sam looked down at the radio, where a muzak version of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Fallin’ In Love With You” was emanating from the speakers, and nodded. She stepped up to Brooke and placed Brooke’s left hand on her own right shoulder and put her hand on Brooke’s hip. She held Brooke’s other hand away from their bodies in a loose, chaste embrace. Sam began to lead Brooke around the basement, her steps sure and graceful. She never once looked down, and Brooke found it uncommonly easy to follow her lead, which hadn’t been the case with Josh at the homecoming dance.
“This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind,” Brooke said, looking down through the foot or so of space between their bodies at their feet. “Not that I was expecting Janet Jackson’s routine from the Rhythm Nation tour but…”
“I know,” Sam acknowledged, not looking at her or their feet. “But I know how to do this, so that’s what we’re doing.”
“What is this? A cha-cha?”
“Oh.” Brooke looked at their feet again. “I’m afraid I’m going to step on your bare feet, Sam.”
“You won’t. If there were any foot crushing going on, I would be doing it, since I’m leading. But I know what I’m doing, don’t worry,” she looked into Brooke’s eyes and smiled.
Brooke couldn’t help but smile back when Sam looked at her like that, and thought she had probably turned a nice shade of tomato as well. Honestly, the girl didn’t have to do much to turn her to mush. “Which begs the question,” she continued, recovering, “how did you become so proficient in something that only happens at weddings and the odd bar mitzvah anymore?”
“You are probably not aware of this, but I was a bit of a wild kid,” Sam said, looking away with a slightly embarrassed grin. She twisted her hand in Brooke’s to get a better hold on her, and her smile turned fond, as she remembered her recent past. “I ran around with Harrison and a bunch of other boys, playing sports and riding bikes, and generally being an all-around tomboy. The summer I was thirteen I begged my parents to let me go to soccer camp, but they thought that would only make me wilder and more tomboyish. They came up with the brilliant idea to even up my sports activities with something ladylike, and gave me the option of taking either ballroom dancing lessons or a needlepoint class. Needlepoint sounded like torture so I chose ballroom dancing,” Sam concluded.
“I guess they taught you too well, since I don’t think girls are supposed to lead.”
“The problem with ballroom dancing is that there are always too many girls. The prissier girls always fought over the few boys, and those who ended up without a Y chromosome endowed partner were forced to dance with another girl,” Sam explained, then shrugged. “It didn’t matter to me, moving forward always seemed more natural than going backward. I didn’t care as long as I got to go to soccer camp. In fact, I kind of like it, now,” she added softly.
“I never took you for a sports nut,” Brooke said, ignoring the last part of what Sam had said. She wasn’t ready to go there.
“I guess I grew out of it. But I don’t think dance lessons or soccer camp made me any more or less a lady, whatever that might be. The only problem is that now any guy will find it impossible to dance this way with me, because I can’t not lead,” she grinned. “Can you believe that was only four years ago?” Sam said wonderingly.
The song ended and a new one began. A saxophone started tootling out the melody to “The Way You Look Tonight” and the tempo slowed down. As they had been dancing, the space between them had been imperceptibly decreasing, and now they were only about an inch apart. Sam slowed their steps and began moving them in a lazy circle, tentatively sliding her hand toward the middle of Brooke’s back, eyeing her partner hesitantly.
Brooke had no compunction towards hesitation and wrapped her arm around Sam’s neck, kissing her passionately as all pretense of dancing and polite chatter stopped, and they stood there drinking each other in, pressed against each other, barely swaying to the music. Since first laying eyes on Sam sitting there on the stairs, Brooke knew that the inevitable conclusion was this. She couldn’t control her desire for Sam anymore than she could control the sun rising in the morning, but she felt the heat of it every time, just like the sun hitting her face.
Sam’s touches became feverish, as if Brooke’s kiss had unleashed something within her. She was simultaneously pulling Brooke closer as she worked the zipper on Brooke’s hooded sweatshirt, all the while remaining attached to Brooke’s lips. She tore her mouth away to glance around the room, then continued the kiss as she began to push her backwards, having found a destination to get to. Sam stumbled and stepped on Brooke repeatedly on her way to the ratty old reclining chair. She roughly pushed Brooke down onto it before climbing on top of her, straddling her lap so that her knees and calves lay alongside Brooke’s thighs, all of their lower limbs pressed tightly together in a chair meant for one person.
Brooke sighed with contentment as Sam settled her full weight on her lap, her only option being to enjoy being pinned by the girl on top of her. She grasped Sam by the waist and leaned towards her, intent on reclaiming Sam’s lips, but the rearrangement of their weight caused the chair to pitch violently forward, nearly throwing them both to the floor. Sam grabbed the top of the chair with both hands and righted them, and they started to giggle at the picture they must have made.
Seeing Sam looming over her like that caused Brooke to suddenly stop laughing and catch her breath. Sam was beautiful. It was something she had noticed before with some detachment, but right now it hit her with the force of that first downward plummet of a roller coaster, and she felt her stomach lurch with the realization. Careful to keep their weight distributed properly, Brooke pulled Sam to her and kissed her, winding her fingers into her thick hair and keeping her close.
It didn’t appear that Sam wanted to go anywhere, and they stayed in their precarious position, exploring each other, inexorably ratcheting up the tension until Sam pulled away from Brooke and stared at her, an almost angry expression on her face. It seemed that Sam was at a loss, bumping up against the edge of her inexperience once again. They had arrived at this place a few times before, where both of them wanted to go further but equally afraid of what it might mean. In each case it had meant the end of their little session, with one or both of them escaping, neither willing to be the one to advance their physical relationship. Brooke waited to see what Sam would do.
Sam came to a decision quickly. She grasped the hem of her t-shirt and drew it over her head, then quickly removed her bra, before she could lose her nerve. She sat on Brooke and looked into her eyes, trying to gauge her reaction. But Brooke was distracted by the view before her and did not meet Sam’s gaze.
She reached out tentatively and touched Sam’s right nipple, feeling it crinkle and pucker beneath her finger. It was an amazing thing, this instantaneous reaction, she thought, and her other hand reached for Sam’s left nipple. Now she covered them with her palms, feeling the tips nudging her skin, and relishing their weight in her hands. She felt a moment of sympathy and kinship with Josh, because it was all she could do not to start kneading roughly, fingers grasping and pulling at Sam’s tantalizing flesh.
Brooke knew that Sam put great store by her supposed sexual experience. But as she gazed at Sam’s naked torso, the expanse of smooth pale skin broken only by the peaks of her breasts, three or four shades a darker, rosier color, she knew that she was a novice to the geography of another girl’s body, to Sam’s body. In the similarities between them there was a world of difference.
If anything, Sam was the one who took the lead, just like her dancing. She had a natural instinct for knowing just what to do, repeatedly making Brooke shiver when she put a hand exactly where Brooke wanted it, or did that thing with her tongue just at the moment Brooke was thinking of it, like her thoughts were written across her body for Sam to read. To Brooke’s mind, Sam’s intuition meant more than any experience gained by her fumblings with Josh.
It was plain to see that Sam was enjoying herself on Brooke’s lap, and she wiggled closer, pushing herself more firmly into Brooke’s hands. When Brooke raised her eyes to Sam’s face, Sam was staring at her, lips parted, her breathing shallow.
Brooke let her own instincts take over when she brought her mouth to Sam’s breast and kissed it, right on the tip. Sam gripped her shoulders hard, but the pain barely registered. Brooke made her hot tongue flat, and wide, and licked upward as she would an ice cream cone, and then made it pointed and sharp and circled the tip with it, over and over. Her tongue loved the contrasting sensation of Sam’s warm skin; it was supple and pliable but firm and rigid at the same time. Now that they had crossed over into this new territory, Brooke wondered why she had waited so long to have Sam’s breast in her mouth.
Sam was nearly gasping now, and she reached for Brooke’s hand and pressed it to the breast that did not have Brooke’s attention. She began to rock her pelvis on Brooke’s lap, the chair tilting back and forth perilously. Brooke paused to look at her, seeing that Sam’s cheeks were flushed, and her eyes were half open, as if her eyelids were burdened by the weight of a thousand silky lashes. Her lips formed a perfect O, and then she looked down and their eyes locked.
“Brooke… I need…” Sam began, placing her hands on the top of the chair again, bracing herself. She moved her legs, or tried to, and Brooke realized what she was doing. She coordinated their movements so that Sam’s left leg now rested between her own. Sam’s knee was now intimately pressed against her crotch, and Brooke lifted her own knee a little higher to give Sam the pressure she needed. “Yes, thank you,” Sam gasped, smashing Brooke’s face against her chest, pulling Brooke in with both arms wrapped around her head as she continued to rock against her. Brooke could barely hear her when she whimpered, “Oh, Brooke, help,” and shuddered, finally coming to rest.
They stayed like that for a little while, Brooke sandwiched between the chair and Sam, who was slumped against her like she had just completed a triathlon. Crushed as she still was against Sam’s chest, she could hear the wild pounding of Sam’s heart slowly recover to a normal rate. Brooke kept her arms wrapped around Sam, feeling protective of the girl who felt so small and fragile now in her embrace. Not wanting the silence to become uncomfortable, she felt she had to say something.
“Did you…” Brooke asked tentatively, then could have kicked herself, the answer was obvious.
“Yeah,” Sam shifted so that she could look Brooke in the face. “Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize. It was beautiful.”
“Yes.” Brooke ran her fingers lightly up and down Sam’s bare back, feeling her shiver again.
“That was the first time I had an orgasm with someone else in the room,” Sam blurted, then her face, neck, and chest all flushed pink, as she realized what she had just admitted. “Oh my god, I can’t believe I just said that. I am a dork,” she said, shaking her head.
“You’re not. You’re adorkable.” Brooke grinned, her heart suddenly feeling as if it would burst.
Sam smiled bashfully. “I guess I can live with that.” She gazed at Brooke for a moment. “There is something wrong with this picture. How come I’m half naked and you are still fully clothed?”
“I don’t know. Things happened awfully fast, maybe we should go to the videotape,” Brooke kidded.
“God forbid! Seriously, can we make things a bit more equitable?” Sam started pulling at Brooke’s sweatshirt.
“I’m all sweaty, I was dancing for an hour,” Brooke protested. “I must stink.”
“I know, I was watching. You only stink a little. And I like you all sweaty,” Sam joked, pulling away from Brooke and shimmying down the chair so that she was kneeling on the floor in front of Brooke. Brooke felt the loss of Sam’s proximity keenly, but Sam made up for it when she grabbed Brooke around the ass and pulled her to the edge of the chair so Sam was positioned between her legs. “Come on,” she coaxed, “you didn’t mind being sweaty before.”
Brooke wanted more than anything to have Sam do to her what she had just done to Sam. She stripped off her sweatshirt and pulled her sports bra over her head, trying to ignore the clammy coolness of the fetid basement air hitting her sweat dampened skin. Sam immediately covered her breasts with her hands, and Brooke swayed into Sam as she felt her nipples harden into stiff points against her smooth palms.
“Brooke, are you down there?” Jane’s disembodied voice called down from the kitchen.
Sam froze and her eyes bulged. “Don’t tell her I’m here,” she whispered.
“Why not?” Brooke whispered in return, puzzled, but figured she had to answer Jane either way. “Yeah,” she called out.
“Sam, is that you? Are you down there too?”
“Yes,” Sam answered reluctantly, reaching for her shirt. Brooke watched wistfully as she covered herself, and thrust her bra into her back pocket.
“Can one of you please bring up two steaks from the freezer? I need to defrost them for tomorrow,” Jane waited for a reply.
“Yeah, I’ll bring them up,” Brooke said after a minute, still trying to figure out why Sam would act so weird when her mother obviously couldn’t see what they were up to.
“Thanks,” Jane said, then, “What are you two doing down there?”
“Brooke’s just showing me something,” Sam called, looking lasciviously at Brooke’s chest. “Her cheerleading routine.”
“Oh. Okay,” Jane finally closed the door, leaving them alone again.
“Now where were we?” Brooke asked, pulling Sam towards her by the shoulders, grasping at the material of the shirt Sam had so recently put on.
“Brooke! I can’t do this now when my mom is right upstairs.” Sam protested.
“Sam!” Brooke parroted Sam’s outraged tone. “She was right upstairs the whole time.”
“Yeah, but,” Sam stopped, perplexed. Then she hit on a reason. “But now she’s going to have half her mind on us down here, wondering what we’re doing. Next time she’ll come down here. And she won’t knock. I know her.”
“Okay, I get it,” Brooke thought Sam was being slightly paranoid. “This is so not fair,” she grumbled, donning her damp sports bra.
Sam grinned. “Don’t worry, I’ll make it up to you.”
“Come find me after dinner. I’ll show you,” Sam smirked, getting up from her spot between Brooke’s legs. “Don’t forget the steaks.”
“I’ll remember,” Brooke said to Sam’s retreating form, “and right after that I’m going to take a long, hot, naked shower.” Turnabout was fair play, after all.
“Low blow, Brooke,” Sam winced, sorry she couldn’t finish what she started.
“Don’t worry,” Brooke repeated Sam’s earlier words, “I’ll make it up to you.” She grinned at Sam. Score one for me, she thought.
So here we are, a week later. I think things are changing for the better. I just spent some “quality time” with Brooke down in the basement, and it was so great! Except for the part when I couldn’t control myself and had the most embarrassing orgasm known to man while I was sitting on her lap. What an idiot!
But she was so sweet. She was really cool about it; she even pretty much facilitated it, for chrissakes. She called me adorable! Well, really she said adorkable, but it’s almost the same thing, only without the d. D for duh, Sam. Oops, I mean K. Whatever, I don’t care! God, I wish she was here right now. I would jump on top of her, and she would welcome it! I just cannot get enough of that girl.
I guess you could say that I’ve become more confident about my abilities in the bedroom, or the basement, or the living room, or wherever else I happen to find myself with Brooke, and I have her to thank for it. Not that George is seeing the benefit of our “practice” sessions. I don’t want to do this with anyone but her.
I am so happy! She really is the most beautiful, most kind and wonderful person I’ve ever met. Man, I have it sooo bad for her. It’s embarrassing. But I can’t help it. I love her. Whoa. Look what I just typed. I love her. I haven’t even said that to George. He said it to me, and to tell the truth, things are not going well there. I would drop him like a hot potato if I could, but I get the feeling that Brooke wouldn’t like it. It’s been really hard, though. I like him a lot, but he’s not Brooke.
Brooke. She looked so good in those sweat shorts that say UPenn on them, which she must have appropriated from Josh or somebody. And I stared at her doing her cheering stuff for, like, a half hour, and she was so focused and concentratey that she didn’t even notice. That was so cute!
AND! I got to touch Brooke’s boobs! Her bare boobs! Not like through the fabric of her shirt or anything. We were making out and I just couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to go further, do something more, even if it meant Brooke would put the brakes on, or even, god forbid, end it. I had to try. And I’m so glad I did! She made me feel things I never dreamed of. It was so intense. Then she took off her bra and I saw them, they were perfect. I only got to touch them for, like, a minute and a half because my stupid mother decided it was high time she interrupted us.
That freaked me the hell out. What would my mother say if she knew what was going on? I do not want to even go there. Not thinking about it. La la la. You can’t make me.
You know what? I don’t think it matters too much that Brooke and I don’t talk about this. Maybe we just don’t need to. It’s been going on for, like, a month now, and she must like me, or why else would we keep doing it? And god knows I like her, that’s an understatement. I don’t feel humiliated by not talking about it anymore; I’ve just accepted that it is not to be discussed. I think she’s just a really private person. I can live with that. I don’t want to think about what the alternative would be.
Anyway, she’s still with Josh, and I’m with George, even though my feelings have totally changed about him. What in blazes am I going to do about that?
I wonder what it is that she likes about Josh? Yeah he’s attractive and the star football player and all, and I admit to once crushing on him myself, but he’s dumb as a box of hair and I bet he can’t make her laugh like I can. But when do I ever do that anymore? We used to laugh a lot, before this started. Now there’s not much talking or laughing going on.
I know there is this unspoken non-compete agreement, but maybe I should do something. Make some kind of bid for Brooke’s legitimate affections, something like that. Just let her know that I think we could be something more if she wanted us to be. Much as I love the time I spend with her, it could be so much better. Maybe I should talk to her about it. Maybe not. That’s a bit scary to think about.
Oh, there’s Mom, she’s calling us for dinner. Yay. That means it won’t be long until dinner is over and Brooke will come in here and we can pick up where we left off this afternoon. I think she just got out of the shower. Eeep! Trying not to picture it. Mind is going to dirty naked Brooke places. Okay. Enough. Dinnertime.
Brooke sat in the cafeteria, listlessly turning the pages of her Chemistry text, trying to catch up on her reading. It felt like weeks since she had been able to concentrate properly on schoolwork, and she was falling behind in practically all of her classes. None of her usual tablemates had shown up yet, they were either on line to get food, or in the Novak, or wherever. She didn’t care much one way or the other, nor could she bring herself to scrounge up something to eat. It all just seemed like a bit too much effort right now.
Her heart started thumping when she heard the voice behind her, and she turned to see Sam walking towards her, balancing a tray of food and a few of her books for her next class. Before Sam reached her, someone called out to her and Sam paused on her way to Brooke.
“I’ll be there in a minute, Lily,” Sam called back, finally arriving at the table. “Hi,” she said, gazing down at Brooke, “Got a second?”
“Hey,” Brooke replied, as carelessly as she could manage. “Sure. What’s up?”
Sam set her stuff down and knelt in the chair facing Brooke. Annoyance flared through Brooke at the way Sam was sitting. Couldn’t she just sit like a normal person? Sam was practically towering over her now. For a moment Brooke flashed back to yesterday in the basement, when Sam had been towering over her in a more intimate way, but then she forced the searing image from her mind. She gazed inquiringly up at Sam.
“Well, I wanted to ask you,” Sam began, then noticed Brooke’s lunch-less state. “Aren’t you eating?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Brooke replied vaguely. “The line is so long now, I was just going to skip it.” She looked to where Vera Krups was ladling out sloppy joes to the teeming masses.
Without a word Sam set a napkin in front of Brooke and laid half of her turkey sandwich on it. She picked up an apple in one hand and an orange in the other and held them out. “Here. Pick one. I couldn’t decide before.”
Brooke chose the orange, and wasn’t prepared for the crackle of electricity as her fingers touched Sam’s. She looked into Sam’s face, and saw from her perplexed stare at their fingers, still wrapped around the piece of fruit, that she was distracted by it as well. “Thanks,” she said, “Is that what you wanted to ask? Am I eating?”
By this time Sam had let go of the orange and was regarding her seriously. “No, but I don’t have to tell you that it’s important for you to eat. It doesn’t have to be a sloppy joe but,”
“Thanks, Sam, I get it.” Brooke cut her off before she could get the full lecture, then felt badly when Sam looked injured by her short reply. “I mean it. Thanks. You didn’t have to do this,” she added softly, before continuing in a business-like tone. “So what was it you wanted to ask me?” Brooke took a big bite of the sandwich, hoping to appease Sam.
“Oh yeah,” Sam slid her legs around so that she was sitting normally. She opened up her notebook and pulled out a page from the newspaper, the entertainment section, it looked like. “You know that movie theater near the Promenade that plays all the indie films and all those restored old movies?” She watched Brooke nod, then pointed to an ad in the paper. “They’re showing a restored print of Doctor Zhivago this weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only. Presented in ‘glorious 70 Millimeter Cinemascope,’” she read aloud, “whatever that means.”
Sam shifted her gaze from the newspaper to Brooke. “I know you just read the book, and I thought maybe you and I could go see it,” she said shyly, “tonight if you want.”
Brooke paused mid-chew and studied Sam, a slight smile on her face. Friday night was date night, there was no doubt about it. Was Sam asking her on a date? Her smile got a little bigger when she saw Sam develop an intense interest in her apple, turning it over in her hands, gazing at it like Brooke’s answer was written on it, like a granny smith Magic Eightball. Brooke began to vigorously chew again, wanting to give Sam her affirmative response. She suddenly couldn’t swallow fast enough. She took the page from the table where Sam had laid it and made a pretense of looking at the ad, holding it in front of her face so Sam wouldn’t see her wide grin. How cool was it that Sam had found a movie that she knew Brooke would have an interest in seeing?
“Hey, babe. Whatcha got there?”
Josh suddenly appeared with George, each of them carrying trays loaded with loose meat on spongy white bread. Brooke eyed the meal with distaste, to her it looked like fresh roadkill. Josh sat down next to Brooke and gave her a smooch on the cheek before tucking into his lunch. George sat next to Sam and put his arm around her. Josh grabbed the paper out of Brooke’s hands and gave it a quick perusal, turning it over to where the movie timetable was printed.
“Awesome! You remembered that the new Adam Sandler opens today! I thought for sure you were going to conveniently ‘forget.’” Josh used air quotes and rolled his eyes at George. Then he turned back to Brooke and said, “That was two weeks ago when I told you about that. You have a memory like an elephant. So which show are we going to go to?”
Brooke looked blankly at Josh, then turned and gazed sadly at Sam, who was staring with studied disinterest at the floor. She had completely forgotten about this tentative date she had made with Josh, and didn’t think Josh would have remembered if not for the newspaper listings in front of him. She should just say that she made plans with Sam.
“I totally want to see that movie too,” George put in, “we should all go together.” He looked at Sam for confirmation. She regarded him coolly.
“That’s a great idea. A double date,” Josh said excitedly to George and Sam.
“What do you think, Sam?” George asked.
Brooke could feel Sam’s eyes on her, waiting for her to say something, but for some reason the words didn’t come. She wished for that mouthful of food again. Who was she to come between George and Sam, even if Sam had approached her about the movie? But going to one movie with her didn’t equal the end of Sam’s relationship with George, did it? She was so confused. Why was Sam choosing to change things now? It was like she was trying to force her into something. She didn’t even know if she wanted to go on a date with Sam. Wouldn’t that mean that she and Sam were lesbo together? Hypocrite, she thought. What do you think you were doing with her in her bedroom last night until 1AM? She was just not ready to jump into anything public with Sam, and she needed time to think about the ramifications of her proposal. She cleared her throat.
“Yeah, Sam. It’ll be fun,” she said, hoping Sam would understand. Brooke saw a flash of something in Sam’s eyes for moment, maybe it was anger, or hurt. She couldn’t tell what it was; it flared so briefly.
Sam gave her a long appraising look before replying, “Fine. Whatever. A double date. Whoopee.” She gathered up her books and her tray, pausing to give George an obnoxiously long kiss on the lips. She didn’t look Brooke’s way as she left the table, saying, “Lily needs me for something. Later.”
Humiliated again. I took a chance, tried something that I knew had a pretty small chance of success, and I can’t believe how disappointed I am. I feel like I want to cry. Asking Brooke to the movies was clearly not a good idea.
She’s such a BITCH! And I’m an asshole. But really, why wouldn’t she want to sit silently next to me in a darkened theater for two hours? It’s not so different from what we do when we are alone. Well, okay, it is, but what’s so wrong with me that she didn’t want to go? Stop your whining, Sam. Nobody’s listening.
I can’t believe her. Well, actually I can. I can’t believe me. Whatever possessed me to even ask her? Fine. I don’t even care. It’s just as well. I was neglecting George anyway, and this just proves that this is nothing but a way to pass the time for Brooke. Whatever.
I guess I can’t lie to myself anymore. She doesn’t like me that way. And I’m sad about it, dammit. I wish I didn’t let her have this effect on me. I wonder if she’ll still want to fool around? I wonder if my pride will let me fool around with her if she still wants to? No way, I have some dignity. Not a chance. All right, maybe I would. Probably, yes. Oh god. I feel like shit.
This must be a sign. Brooke doesn’t want to do something with me that doesn’t involve the removal of our clothes, so I should be with the person who does. The one who likes the person I am at all times of the day, not just when we’re swapping spit or whatever. It’s not all about sex. George is the one who should have my heart, right? He’s the guy who wants to hear what I have to say, and values my opinion, and treats me with respect. Brooke doesn’t ever want to hear what I have to say.
Let me just spell it out. She’s a girl. Yeah, obvious, Sam. I like a girl. Another female. Someone who has the same equipment that I have. And whether Brooke likes me back or not, the stuff we do together is probably freaking her out on some level. But I’m freaked out too! Why am I even trying to rationalize her behavior, to analyze her response to my innocent request to go see some lame movie that looks boring as hell? She said no, that is the bottom line. She just doesn’t care. So I won’t care either.
But I do. I really want to be with her. I want to spend every minute in her stupid presence. Still.
You are such a fool, Sam.
It wasn’t such an innocent request. I did it on purpose. It was kind of a test, and she failed spectacularly. I wanted to see where I stood, and boy did she show me.
After last night I honestly thought that she could have feelings for me. She helped me with the dishes, even though it was my turn, and we went up to my room together. I asked her if she wanted to do homework or anything, but she just closed the door behind us and shook her head. I wanted to make her feel as good as she had made me feel. My palms were sweaty and I was so nervous but somehow I knew what to do and I think she really liked it, from the sounds she was making.
Her body is amazing, at least the top half, the half I got to know pretty well last night. We didn’t go all the way, but there was a minute there when I thought we might have. At the time I thought I was ready for her to be my first, but I’m kind of relieved that it didn’t happen now that I know where I stand.
I did manage to give Brooke some, um, closure, without really doing much, just like she did for me in the afternoon. She ended up sitting on top of me as I lay on the bed and I was able to reach up and touch her breasts. It felt really natural. I loved the way she responded to me. Afterward, she kind of collapsed on top of me and just rested there for a while. Her head was on my chest, and I held her in my arms, letting her take as much time as she wanted. I certainly wasn’t going to tell her to move. She said she liked hearing my heart beat. After a few minutes I realized that she had dozed off, and I didn’t know if I should wake her or not. But then she woke up on her own and I could swear that she was really happy to see that it was me she had woken to. God, it was nice. And then I had to ruin it with my stupid ploy for forcing her to give me a sign of her affection. But even if I hadn’t pushed it today, it would have happened eventually, and it’s better that I know now.
So now what?
Here’s what I need to do. I have to think about me, because Brooke certainly isn’t. I have to protect myself before I become even more of a mess than I already am. I need to cut her off. Just not be around her. And definitely not let her have her way with me. But how do I do that when we live in the same damn house? And we have that stupid movie tonight. I’ll just bail. But maybe that would be sending the message that I give a shit. You do give a shit, nimrod! But she doesn’t have to know that.
Right. So I’ll just pretend that I am unaffected by it. Sounds good. And George will be there. I can start making it up to him. He’s been such a good guy lately, giving me space, letting me have my little crisis. He knows something is up; he’s not stupid.
The crisis is over. George is my guy. He deserves better than what I’ve given him lately. I’m going to be a better girlfriend to him.
And what will I do if she wants to get busy again sometime?
Not going to happen.
Brooke was not happy. She knew the double date was going to be a trial, but she hadn’t been prepared for just how shitty this night had the potential of being. She was at the dodecaplex with Josh, and Sam and George, or maybe they should be called SamandGeorge, for the way they stood so close it seemed they might be sharing vital organs. It was like they had one kidney between them. The four of them were making their way through the maze-like velvet rope course set up in front of the ticket counter, along with half of the population of Santa Monica. Brooke had not been aware that so many people were fans of Adam Sandler. Sam had surprised her by displaying a heretofore unknown zeal for Adam Sandler’s brand of sophomoric humor, and had been trading lines with George and Josh since getting in the backseat of Josh’s car and planting a wet smooch on George’s lips, much to Brooke’s annoyance.
Brooke had not seen Sam since lunch that day, and imagined that Sam was less than pleased with her. She hadn’t meant to make Sam feel bad, but she had been put on the spot and hadn’t known what to say. Attempts to find and talk to Sam after school had been unsuccessful, and she was mildly relieved for that, as she wouldn’t have known what to say given the opportunity to talk to her anyway. Lately, it wasn’t words that she wanted to employ when she was in Sam’s presence. Tongue-tied was one way to describe the way she felt around her these days.
Coming to some kind of understanding about what they were doing had become necessary. Until now, Brooke thought that keeping mum was the best way of preserving the status quo, because for one thing, the silence made their clandestine meetings exciting and spontaneous and hot. For another, not talking about it kept their relationship in a kind of unreal no-man’s land, where Brooke didn’t have to deal with what was happening between herself and Sam. The only thing Brooke knew for certain was that she didn’t want to give this up. Her time with Sam had become one of the most important things in her world right now, right up there with eating and sleeping. Brooke found herself thinking of her constantly; when Sam wasn’t around, Brooke found herself craving her presence like the Hilton sisters crave the paparazzi.
But Sam asking her to the movies had made reality crash in on her carefully constructed denial. The thing about denial was that both parties had to do the denying in order for it to work. Sam evidently was not in denial anymore. Brooke didn’t know what to think about Sam doing this. If Sam wanted to escalate their intimacy, Brooke had absolutely no problem with that. But this seemed to signal a desire to change the relationship on Sam’s part, of planting it more firmly in reality, which was a scary proposition. Brooke remembered that her initial reaction to Sam’s proposal was elation, quickly followed by apprehension as the implications of what Sam was asking set in. What was Sam asking? Did she just want to hang out at the movies, or was this a DATE, in all caps? It was difficult to tell whether this was a mountain or a molehill. They could talk about it, they should talk about it, because Brooke had no idea what was even going on in Sam’s head. She had assumed that Sam still wanted to be with George, a fact clearly evidenced by her amorous behavior tonight. And there was Josh to think about as well.
Sam was upset with her, of that much Brooke was sure. If her reaction in the cafeteria wasn’t proof enough, the fact that she hadn’t given Brooke a chance to explain spelled it out pretty clearly. But how did she reconcile that with Sam’s behavior with George tonight? Sam had shown up at home an hour before Josh and George were to pick them up, had barricaded herself in her room, a frenzy of energetic typing for forty minutes (if fingers could stomp, than that’s what Sam’s were doing), and had breezed downstairs, dressed and ready for the movies, about three minutes before Josh’s car had pulled up
It seemed that Brooke was always listening to Sam type through the walls as she picked out clothes for another boring date. What was she writing anyway? Brooke guessed that Sam would always choose to write over being with her, and that was something that filled her with an inexplicable bleakness. At least things would be made bearable by Sam’s presence tonight, Brooke had thought, only Sam was virtually ignoring her.
As she dressed herself earlier this evening, she told herself that it wasn’t for Sam that she wore her shortest, tightest skirt, and a blouse that plunged at the neckline, but she knew better. Seeing Sam’s reaction to her outfit was supposed to be the highlight of this tedious waste of an evening. She had wanted to see how Sam’s deep brown eyes would turn obsidian when she gazed at her, and how her mouth would become a little bit slack, the way it had the night before when she had removed her shirt in Sam’s bedroom.
But Sam hadn’t even looked at her carefully chosen outfit. She hadn’t looked at Brooke at all. She had rebuffed every attempt at civil conversation Brooke had tried, and Brooke was sick of it. If Sam wanted to be an immature brat about this and not acknowledge her, then fine. She would do the same. Right now she couldn’t stand the sight of Sam attaching herself to George like she was a lamprey. The only way she could see getting through this evening was to make sure that she and Sam were sitting as far away from each other as possible; then Brooke could just actively ignore her.
She stepped out of line, walking away from the threesome as they laughed uproariously at Sam’s imitation of Opera Guy.
“Hey, Brooke, where are you going?” Josh called out to her.
Brooke turned and was somewhat satisfied to see three pairs of eyes appraising her legs. She watched Sam tear her eyes from her body with effort to study a giant poster for the next Tom Cruise vehicle. “I’ll wait in line at the concession stand, that way we can save time.”
“Good idea,” Josh said. “I’ll have a large popcorn and a gargantu-coke.”
“Do you need help, Brooke?” George asked.
Brooke smiled at him. It was one way to relieve her eyes from the sight of Sam acting like a lovesick baboon with George. She thought that the next thing Sam would do would be to squeeze George’s bicep and exclaim how strong he was, or something equally insipid. If she was trying to annoy Brooke, Sam was doing a great job. “Thanks, George, that would be great.”
Brooke and George took longer than expected with the snacks, and met Josh and Sam in the crowded theater just as the lights dimmed. Their dates were chatting amiably, sitting a seat apart, and had saved seats for Brooke and George. Brooke quickly realized that she couldn’t avoid sitting next to Sam without creating a huge fuss. Reluctantly, she passed by Sam and sat down, handing Josh a bucket that held enough popcorn to feed ten people. When George took his seat, Sam immediately turned to him and began an intimate conversation that did not include Brooke or Josh. Josh didn’t notice, chortling away at the stupid commercials that were a prelude to the trailers, which were Brooke’s favorite part of the whole movie-going experience.
Brooke sat with her eyes forward, trying not to notice how Sam and George were giggling at some private joke. Then their laughter got louder, and Brooke started to seethe. She sat silently for as long as she could, attempting to enjoy a trailer for a period drama that starred Reese Witherspoon. Honestly, did Reese think she was the new Gwynnie? She wasn’t fit to carry Gwyneth’s cellphone, and her British accent stank up the joint.
Just then Sam let out a loud snort of laughter that finally pushed Brooke over the edge. “Sam, will you please shut up? I’m trying to watch this,” Brooke exploded.
Sam turned to look at her, nonchalant and irredeemably smug. “God, Brooke, it’s just a preview, relax.” She looked at Brooke evenly, blinking a few times, and Brooke was infuriated even further by the bovine expression Sam wore. Was she even alive in there? Brooke sighed in disgust and faced forward again, and Sam went back to her conversation.
“We are never going out with them again,” Brooke hissed, turning to Josh. “They’re so annoying.”
Josh glanced at her in surprise. “But you said we had to have more couple friends. What’s wrong with them? George is great, and I thought you and Sam were getting along,” Josh’s attention was back on the screen before he finished speaking.
Brooke thought about that for a second. It was true. A while ago she had complained that she and Josh socialized almost exclusively with his friends and her fellow Glamazons. On paper, Sam and George would more than have fit the bill, but with extenuating circumstances being what they were, she vowed never to repeat this nightmare of an evening.
“Never mind,” she said miserably, but Josh wasn’t paying attention.
Sam was hogging the armrest on her right, and Josh’s popcorn was almost like a small child sitting between them on the left, so Brooke sat with her arms crossed over her chest, fuming at her predicament. She was so caught up in her own thoughts that she didn’t notice when the opening credits had ended and Adam Sandler began to act like an ass on the screen in front of her. But she did notice when Sam and George stopped talking.
She was afraid to look so she kept her eyes forward, but then she could hear it. The unmistakable sound of two pairs of lips engaged in kissing. To her it was like a rake across a chalkboard. She couldn’t believe that Sam would do this to her. Did she have no sense of propriety at all? She glanced at Josh, but he was engrossed in the movie, then she turned to look and got visual confirmation. Sam’s face was turned away from her, one hand in her lap, the other on George’s chest, and George was copping a feel of Sam’s breast right there in front of all of these people. Brooke was disgusted. And pissed off. And incredibly jealous. And despondent that Sam thought so little of her and what they had shared that she would do this with George in front of her.
Should she respond in kind? Should she make Josh put down the popcorn and start making out with him? The thought was distasteful to her. Even though Sam was obviously preoccupied, and had made her choice infinitely clear, Brooke still desired her in the worst way. Seeing proof that George was still Sam’s number one even after what they had done together hurt, and she had to do something to remove the pain of it from her mind. Brooke didn’t know what it was about Sam that made her stop thinking clearly, and now, once again, she turned her brain off and set it on autopilot.
First, she just turned her head slightly so she could see Sam and George in her peripheral vision and tried to use the power of her mind to get them to stop. She sent all kinds of bad hoodoo their way, silent messages like: George, you have a cramp in your tongue; and Sam, you are just now realizing that George had liver and onions for dinner; and, gingivitis is rare in teens, but it has been known to happen. But nothing worked; they hadn’t so much as glanced in her direction.
She lifted the armrest between her and Sam and quickly looked at Josh to see if he had noticed. Satisfied that he was oblivious, she noted that the huge tub of popcorn would shield whatever happened next from his view.
After turning her head and blatantly watching them for several more minutes, Brooke was nearly beside herself. She had to do something immediately to get Sam to notice her, but she didn’t want to draw attention either. She moved her knee so that it touched Sam’s, but Sam moved away from her. She crossed her legs and rubbed Sam’s shin with her foot, but that didn’t seem to do anything either. Finally, she took hold of Sam’s hand, drawing it onto her lap and gripping hard when Sam tried to pull away. And all the while Sam was still attached by the lips to George.
So now she had Sam’s hand. Now what? It lay in hers like a dead salmon, limp and lifeless. Brooke had gotten the only part of Sam’s body that wasn’t vibrating like a guitar string from the attentions of George. But she knew Sam a little better than she did a month ago, and if there was one thing that got Sam excited, it was the appeal of doing something she had never done before. So Brooke placed Sam’s hand on the bare skin of her thigh, and immediately felt an odd combination of serenity and lust when Sam’s hand gripped her flesh and slowly slid up her leg and under her skirt.
Brooke quickly looked towards Josh and saw that he was still absorbed in the movie, and then she cast a sidelong glance towards Sam and was slightly perturbed to see that Sam was still kissing George. But an intense heat was emanating from Sam’s hand, and Brooke was sure that Sam couldn’t keep up her attentions to both her and George. And her stimuli-addled brain was confident that Sam would desist with George and concentrate solely on her.
Oh, yeah, Brooke thought, as she slid a bit lower in her seat and parted her legs to give Sam easier access. Sam was slowly inching her hand towards Brooke’s center, her fingers insinuating themselves between her inner thighs, the palm searing her skin on one side, her knuckles teasing on the other. Closing her eyes, Brooke let everything else fall away. There was nothing but Sam’s hand. Brooke’s whole being became sharply focused on the questing fingertips that were lightly brushing and stroking her now ultra-sensitive skin.
They may have problems communicating in the traditional way, but she and Sam undoubtedly had this electric connection that was stronger than the both of them. And Sam always knew exactly what to do. But it was taking a bit too long in this case. She covered Sam’s hand with her own and moved her closer. The side of Sam’s hand was now resting snugly against Brooke’s crotch, the thin layer of her silk La Perla underwear was all that separated flesh from flesh.
Sam experimentally moved her hand up and down slightly, creating an intense friction that sent Brooke deeper into a haze of arousal. She tried to control her breathing, tried to resist moving her hips impossibly nearer to Sam’s hand. Sam’s hand. Oh god, she makes me feel so good, Brooke thought, as Sam pivoted her amazing, wondrous hand so that she was cupping her, fingers curled to match the exact curve of her. Sam rested there for a moment before moving just a single digit. Brooke nearly sobbed as Sam slowly rubbed her middle finger over her silk-covered furrow, her minute movements bringing Brooke close to the edge of release. Sam was by no means sure of herself, and she was tentative in her explorations, but Brooke didn’t know anything about technique anyway. All that mattered was that Sam was trying to please her in this public place where their secret could easily be exposed. Brooke was thrilled, appalled and totally turned on all at once. Now Sam’s thumb had joined this mission of discovery, and it had found the spot that was the apex of sensation. Squeezing her legs together, Brooke trapped Sam’s hand as she leaned forward and gripped the seat in front of her with both hands. It was enough to send her toppling over the edge, and she stayed hunched over her chair until the force of her orgasm and its aftershocks had subsided. Sam’s hand had somehow removed itself, and Brooke felt as if she had lost a limb when she realized its absence. She didn’t know how it was possible that Sam could make her feel so intensely just by the touch of her fingers.
“Are you okay?”
Brooke looked to her left to see Josh gazing at her with concern. She knew she must look like a total weirdo, doubled over in her seat like that, but she didn’t answer him, turning instead towards Sam. She had a powerful and immediate need to look at Sam’s face, to have her understand how much she had just made Brooke feel.
But as she looked to her right she was doused with the frigid waters of rejection when she saw that Sam was still involved in a heated embrace with George, and the hand that had so recently brought her to the heights of ecstasy was now curled around George’s neck. Brooke felt a sharp pain in her chest, and before she knew what she was doing she grabbed Sam by the shoulder, forcing her to turn and meet her gaze. There, by the flickering light of the image projected over their heads, Brooke clearly saw the expression of shame that bathed Sam’s features. The bile began to rise in her throat as she felt a matching shame, a nearly incomprehensible feeling after what she had just experienced.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” she muttered, standing up and stumbling past Sam and George and out into the aisle, where she practically ran from the theater and away from bitter disappointment.
Sam sat back and expelled a shuddering breath, staring unseeingly at the screen before her. Brooke toying with her once again, she had thought when Brooke began making her advances. Calling Brooke’s bluff was all she had intended when her hand was placed on Brooke’s thigh, but Sam should have known that stopping once she had begun was impossible. Once the smooth skin of Brooke’s thigh was under her fingers, Sam was committed. Fumbling around under Brooke’s skirt was fun, of course, but clueless was an apt description of her method. She hadn’t known she would have such an effect on Brooke, and was shocked when she felt Brooke coming under her fingers. Having never done that before, she was surprised at how quickly Brooke responded to her touch. Sam remembered the resolutions she had made just a few hours ago and felt guilty and ashamed. Writing things down was one thing, but she was finding that the reality of Brooke would always overpower any intentions to the contrary.
The fact of the matter was that she had been putting on a show for Brooke’s benefit, with George her unwitting accomplice. She really wanted George to be the one that got her excited, and had kissed him for what had seemed like hours, trying to work up any hint of feeling for him. It wasn’t until Brooke had taken her hand that she felt anything at all, and she had experienced a wanton burst of heat flowing through her when she found herself both kissing George and intimately touching Brooke at the same time. Then she felt guilty that she couldn’t work up any emotion for George while she didn’t even have to try with Brooke, who could care less. It was all there, just beneath the surface, waiting to be tapped. She must be a glutton for punishment.
“Don’t you think you should go see what the matter is?” George whispered, taking her hand to get her attention.
Sam regarded George for a moment, somewhat astounded that he hadn’t seen any of what had just transpired between herself and Brooke. No way, she mentally answered him, Brooke was Josh’s problem, not hers, even if she was directly responsible. So now she had made Brooke physically ill. Wonderful. Sam glanced at Josh, who was following Brooke’s progress out of the theater with a look of concern on his face. Brooke would head straight to the women’s restroom, she realized, where Josh would be unable to help. She reluctantly got up and followed Brooke out of the theater.
Pushing the door to the restroom open, Sam saw that the bay of sinks was deserted, except for a mother urging her toddler daughter to hurry so they could get back to the latest Disney cartoon. She wandered over to the rows of stalls and called out, “Brooke?” She bent down and scanned the stalls for a sign of the incredible tanned legs that had nearly caused her eyes to pop out of their sockets when she had beheld Brooke’s outfit earlier that evening. She hadn’t known that a skirt could be so short. It had made her wince to know that Brooke had dressed herself with Josh in mind.
She finally found Brooke in the third row of stalls, and stood in front of the door, waiting to be acknowledged. “Are you okay?” she tried, when none came.
There was some kind of movement, and then she heard the bolt unlatch and Brooke opened the door. She didn’t look like she had been sick, but she did look grim. They stood there assessing each other, Brooke still in the stall, and Sam just outside of it.
“What do you want, Sam?” Brooke asked, her expression unreadable.
“Um, I wanted to see if you were okay?” Sam ventured uncertainly.
“That’s not what I mean,” Brooke sighed in weariness. “What,” she stressed the word, “do you,” and pointed at Sam for emphasis, “want?”
Sam immediately grasped the gravity of the question but was totally unprepared for it. “What do you mean, what do I want? What do you want?” She tried throwing the ball back into Brooke’s court.
Brooke shook her head. “You have to answer.”
I want you, Sam said in her mind, sure that it was the right answer, but not brave enough to say it out loud. She couldn’t believe that after all this time, Brooke finally wanted to talk about it. She frantically weighed her options, feeling the pressure of responding correctly. If she told the truth, and it wasn’t what Brooke wanted to hear, then they were finished. If she lied, she may be able to continue having some sort of sexual connection with Brooke, but would it be enough to satisfy the longing she had in her heart for a real, honest, romantic, loving relationship with her? If she had just the tiniest idea of how Brooke felt, she could answer. “I don’t know what I want. Please. Please tell me what you want,” she begged.
Brooke solemnly shook her head again. “There are four of us involved in this, Sam, even though two are not aware. We’re like a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.”
“So why do I have to be the one to spill first?” Sam cried, frustrated.
“I guess you don’t,” Brooke replied. “You can plead the fifth, if you want. But let me just ask you, why did you ask me to go to the movies with you?”
Sam was completely thrown by the question. What did it mean? Was it some kind of test? How should she answer? Gazing at Brooke and trying to divine how she should answer the question, she was at an utter loss. Instead of taking her time and answering carefully, Sam felt her frustration bubble over and she spoke venomously without thinking.
“What does it even matter why I asked you? You said no, remember?” She looked up to see hazel eyes regarding her seriously, and was immediately contrite. Even after all of Brooke’s shenanigans, she didn’t want to do anything to upset their precarious arrangement. “Anyway, I didn’t think that George would appreciate Dr. Zhivago,” she added lamely, grasping at any excuse not to reveal her true intentions, now sure that they would send Brooke screaming in the other direction.
Brooke’s face folded up like a fan, and she nodded, seemingly satisfied with Sam’s response. “I don’t think we should do this anymore, Sam.”
Sam heard the words as if they came from a great distance. She had been damned whatever she did. Swallowing painfully, she tried to pay attention to what Brooke was saying.
“I don’t think it’s very healthy for us to continue on this path. We are going to be related soon, and we live in the same house, and it really isn’t going to lead anywhere anyway,” Brooke said calmly, rationally. Each word was like a knife thrown at Sam, mortally wounding her as she stood pinned to the proverbial wall. “Besides, we both have boyfriends, and they would be very hurt if they knew what was going on. We’re pretty lucky they didn’t notice that last stunt.”
Sam couldn’t speak. Brooke was ending it. Could she have answered the question any differently to prevent this? She couldn’t even remember what the question was. “So that’s it? That’s all there is to say?” Sam managed to choke out.
Brooke looked at her steadily. “Can you think of anything else?”
Sam’s brain had nearly ceased to function. She couldn’t contemplate existing without being able to touch Brooke every once in a while, and being touched by her. But it looked like that was no longer even a possibility. Brooke had closed off all the exits, and Sam was trapped in the burning theater, while Brooke laughed at her from outside. “I guess not,” she said faintly. “Are you sure?” she then asked, unable to mask the plaintive note that had crept into her voice.
“Sam,” Brooke casually leaned against the metal partition and gently said,” I’m being kinder to you than I am to myself.”
“I have no idea what that means, Brooke.” But Sam could hear the finality in the statement, and she surrendered. Then she tried to get a hold of herself before she began bleeding her despair all over the place. “Okay. So, I guess you’re okay. I’ll just let you go back to whatever you were doing,” Sam tried to act like she wasn’t totally falling apart. “You don’t need me here checking up on you, you’re obviously fine.” She turned on her heel and left the restroom without another word.
Brooke sank down onto the toilet, pressing her palms to her eyes and willing herself not to cry. The nauseous feeling had subsided, but the look on Sam’s face had spoken volumes, and it was that image that had chased her out of the theater and into the restroom. Well that and the fact that Sam could so casually continue macking with George while she was servicing Brooke. And that’s how Brooke now thought of it, because Sam couldn’t possibly have any real feelings for her.
A few hours ago she hadn’t wanted to change things concerning her relationship with Sam, she had been fine fooling around with her in secret. So what had changed? Seeing Sam’s obvious preference of another. What had it changed for her? Leaning her shoulder against the industrial sized toilet paper dispenser, Brooke searched herself for an answer.
What were the facts? She liked being with Sam more than just about anybody else, including Josh. Furthermore, the time she spent with Sam had illuminated just how little a connection she actually had with her boyfriend. Combine that with the increasing antagonism and aversion she was feeling toward Josh and it was clear that there was something very wrong with their outwardly perfect relationship.
The truth was that when Sam was around, she filled up something in Brooke. They had a bond, and Brooke didn’t think it was only sexual. Without unpacking all of her adjectives, Brooke had come to know Sam as witty and funny, extremely perceptive, creative, clever and kind. If Sam were a guy, she would have been perfect. And there was the rub.
All the qualities that Brooke was looking for in a mate Sam had in abundance. Plus Brooke was already in serious lust with her body. The girl was hot. So what was the problem?
She herself was the problem. Brooke could not admit to herself that she had fallen in love with a girl. But, she realized, just by thinking that she couldn’t admit that to herself, wasn’t she really admitting it? Semantics, she told herself. She really had no choice in the matter. Love was action. It came to you. She loved Sam. Out of the depths of her frontal lobe came the blazing truth and it made her smile, quite inanely, she would have seen if there had been a mirror anywhere around.
And just as quickly as it appeared, her grin disappeared when she thought of Sam and George together. As evident as their connection was, Brooke was not Sam’s priority. Unfortunately, Sam’s heart belonged to someone else. But Sam had asked her on a date, right? Well maybe, Brooke still wasn’t sure what Sam’s intentions were about that. She would find out. An idea came to her suddenly. She’d ask Sam what her intentions had been and if her answer contained any mention of George than Brooke would know that Sam merely thought of her as a friend, with benefits.
She looked down to see Sam’s worn tennis shoes just beyond the bathroom stall door and wondered how long she had been there. Engrossed in her thoughts as she was, if Sam had said anything she doubted she would have heard her.
“Are you okay?” she heard a subdued Sam ask.
Brooke wanted to do this now. She felt as if her fate was held in Sam’s hands, and she wanted it decided immediately. Standing up determinedly, she unlatched the door and gazed at the girl before her. Even in the unflattering fluorescent light she was gorgeous, Brooke thought. Then she noticed how Sam’s lip-gloss looked like it had been chewed off, and her lips looked too red and bruised from their recent overuse, and Brooke felt a pang of jealousy. Turning her face into a neutral mask, she asked, “What do you want Sam?”
“Um, I wanted to see if you were okay?”
I may love her, but she certainly is dense, Brooke thought ruefully. “That’s not what I mean. What do you want?”
Brooke saw that Sam had caught her meaning, but was insisting on drawing this out. “What do you mean what do I want? What do you want?”
After some more back and forth, Brooke could see that Sam could dance around the subject all night, so she decided to ask a different way, the blunt way. She came right out and asked why Sam had asked her to the movies, and waited breathlessly for her reply.
“What does it even matter why I asked you? You said no, remember?” Sam said flippantly, noticeably agitated, then she mumbled something Brooke had to strain to hear. “Anyway, I didn’t think that George would appreciate Dr. Zhivago.”
It was enough. It was out of concern for George that Sam had asked only Brooke to the movies. She ceded any spurious claim she might have had on Sam’s affections to George and their hetero relationship, her career as a lesbian over before it had begun. Brooke didn’t think she would’ve even contemplated it for anyone but Sam.
This was better. Both for Sam and for her. She launched into a boilerplate paragraph designed to put an end to this pseudo-relationship between herself and Sam, barely aware of what she was saying. She was being noble, she told herself. Allowing Sam to have a normal acceptable relationship with George was very noble. The babble spewed forth until she thought to shut her mouth, and she tried to be calm in the face of Sam’s wide eyes.
“So that’s it? That’s all there is to say?” Sam asked her.
“Can you think of anything else?” Brooke desperately wanted Sam to say something that would let her take back all the things she said, even though she knew that Sam and George were probably meant to be. She suddenly wondered if maybe she should fight for Sam, why should George get her so easily? But the thought of battling it out over Sam like she was Boardwalk or Park Place, a prime piece of property ripe for the taking, filled her with antipathy. Anyway, Sam was clearly capable of choosing for herself and had made her decision quite plain. She didn’t want Brooke. Sam probably looked at what they were doing as a bit of fun, some racy interludes that filled in the time between dates with George, or during, in this case. But it had become so much more than that for Brooke.
“I guess not,” Sam replied. “Are you sure?”
What did she mean by that, Brooke wondered. Was she doing the right thing? Yes. This way, things were a lot less complicated and Sam was free to pursue her relationship with George. She loved Sam enough to let her have that, even at the expense of her own happiness. Realizing what she was giving up, the weight of doing the right thing hit her like a ton of bricks and she sagged against the stall partition. Love released runs wild when it’s too late, she thought desolately. “Sam, I’m being kinder to you than I am to myself.”
“I have no idea what that means, Brooke.”
Her noble behavior was obviously lost on Sam. Brooke watched as Sam cast about for something else to say. Awkwardness had already descended over them, their relationship mutating once again. God only knew what the repercussions would be from their brief detour into intimacy. It looked like all Sam wanted to do was get the hell out of the bathroom and away from Brooke. Sam made her excuses and was out of the restroom in a flash, without a doubt going straight back into the arms of George.
Brooke closed the stall door and leaned her forehead against the enameled metal, cooling her fevered skin. She had been in the restroom, what, about five minutes? And she felt as if her life was irrevocably changed. In the short time that had elapsed she had known and lost love. What was that godawful saying about if you love something set it free? She was about to test the theory. Who knows, maybe Sam would come back to her, although she wasn’t betting the farm. It was probable that Sam would think of their little liaison as an experimental phase of some sort; maybe remember it fondly in the future, if she remembered it at all. But Brooke knew she would never forget it.
The evening had left her feeling empty. There was a Sam-shaped void in her heart, and she had to begin to learn to live with it.
|Section 2||Green Quarter||Popular||Main Index|