It’s my fourth date with Blue Eyes and I’m heading to hers on a Friday night, overnight bag tucked smugly under my arm. She opens the door and she’s so bloody beautiful it takes all my willpower not to ravish her in the communal hallway.
She cooks crab pasta and we while away the evening in a happy wine-soaked haze, ending up scooped into each other’s arms on the sofa. But as the evening grows later and the drinks grow stronger, exes rear their unwelcome heads.
“I just don’t understand how you could have gone out with a guy for so long when you’re gay?” she says with a sharp look.
“I don’t know, he was…just… a wonderful man. Kind and funny and smart. There are lots of different ways to love people.”
“Thanks. I really love hearing about how great your ex-boyfriend was” she growls.
“Listen, I can’t believe that I wasted 5 years of mine and somebody else’s life. I just can’t do it. I owe him enough respect not to just piss away everything we had together.”
“Do you think you’re showing me respect now? I’m sorry you couldn’t come out sooner but that’s no reason to parade your ex around in front of me.”
There’s a long, tight silence and then she says:
“Yeah, this isn’t going to work.”
“Fine” I spit “I’m going home.”
I grab my bag, forgetting my watch and coat in my fury, and slam the door. I take out a cigarette, sit on her garden wall and promptly begin to cry.
She comes out a few minutes later, plops down next to me on the wall and rests her head on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry” she whispers, “please don’t go.”
I take her to bed and under the sheets; we drown the memory in kisses.
We cancel all our plans for the next two days – “I’m sorry!” “I’m a shit friend!” – and spend the whole day and night hibernating in her flat with takeaways and romcoms.
Cocooned in her arms, I tell her things I’ve never told anyone whilst she kisses the palms of my hands. She tells me about her parents, the ugly divorce and the drinking problems. It’s a closeness I haven’t felt in a long time.
I’m not sure whether Blue Eyes is going to be able to accept that I’ve had relationships with men. I understand her fears. I also know that they’re unfounded. I didn’t go through a long and painful break up just to change my sexuality again like the flick of a switch. I spent years building up to this, like a woman in a cell scrabbling away at the dirt wall with a knife.
The simple truth is that I am a woman who loves women and always will. If she can look passed my past, maybe she’ll see that.