Tuesday, October 30, 2012

P. J.

I dropped Jamie off in front of the English building where Kayla and Brandi were waiting for her on the steps. I always feel a pang of jealousy when I see her with her girlfriends, specially Kayla. I know I shouldn't worry about the two of them being friends, but they are both smart and femmes, and I'm a butch dyke. I guess I'm not really that butchlike, but I'm definitely not femme. In fact, the one and only time I've worn a dress since I was a little girl, was at our senior prom. That was a great night. I let out a sigh, anyway, sometimes, I still feel like I'm not in Jamie's league. 

When I first caught Jamie staring at me during our senior year in high school, I had been surprised and very wary. I was a trouble making loser, trying to get her life turned around so I didn't end up in jail or rehab. I couldn't imagine why a popular cheerleader like Jamie would want to have anything to do with me.

It seemed to have started the first time she saw me working at McDonald's. It was like something went off in her head and she really saw me for the first time.

I had had a crush on her since ninth grade. I had suspected before then that I liked girls, but I was already having issues about my dad walking out on me and my mom. I didn't want to believe I was gay. I didn't need anything else to worry about.

My dad left on my twelveth birthday. He said he was going out for a pack of cigarettes or beer or something and then never came back. Mom thought something bad had happened to him until her brother saw him in a bar in Louisville with another chick. I was so sad when I thought he was dead. I had always thought that we were close. He always took me to do stuff with him. We camped and fished together all the time. When I found out he had left us for another women, that was it. I hated him, hated women, hated men, hated life. That was when I started hanging around with Derek Kruger and his croonies.

Thinking about Derek made my eye twitch. He had caused me a lot of problems before Jamie and I hooked up. Then,Jamie's ex-boyfriend, Todd paid him to video of me and Jamie making out for the first time,and he posted it on YouTube and Facebook. When he did that, he went beyond being a punk, to being a criminal. He'd gotten six months in jail and a year probabtion for his involvement in all that. Todd had gotten a year suspended because he had a better lawyer than Derek did.

A guy on a bike cut across in front of me as I was driving through campus, forcing me to slam on my brakes. I decided I needed to stop thinking about the past and my worries, and focus on driving. Besides, Jamie loves me and I know she does. I don't need to worry about any other chicks hitting on her.

I arrived at work fifteen minutes early, like I always do.  This job at Kinkos had been the best thing that ever happened to me, well, other than Jaimie. It was a lot easier than working at McDonald's or Markhum's. Plus, I was getting to do stuff with graphic arts, which I loved. Granted, it didn't pay as much as Markhum's would have, but you can't put a price on doing something you love.

My manager, Greg Duggar was already there getting set up to do a large run of brochures for one of the churches in town.  I started getting the cash register drawers ready so we could count the money before we put the cash registers.

"Hey, P. J.," Greg said. "I've got a project for you."

"Okay," I said, setting the drawers on his desk in the back. "Whatcha need?"

"A new client came in and asked if we could create a logo for his new company," Greg said. "I'm going to put you in charge of creating it."

"Really?" I said, surprised that he would give me a big project like this. I'd only been working there for six months, and mostly just as a copy printer and cashier. Although, I had helped him create some logos before.
"Yep, I've seen your artwork and I think you can do this," he said. "After we count the money and get the registers ready, Mary should be here and I can go over the project with you."

"Awesome!" I said, "I'm so honored that you are giving me this chance."

Greg put his hand on my shoulder. "You are a very talented artist, P. J. and I think you will do a great job with this project."

Later that morning, when I was on break, I texted Jamie about my project. It was going to be challenging because the client was a cattle farmer and he wanted a cattle head some how included in the logo.
Jamie texted me back, "That's awesome, Babe. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Kayla and Brandi want to come by to study tonight, you care?"

"That's cool. What we doing for dinner? Do you need me to stop and get anything." I wrote back. I was crazing hamburgers, maybe I would just swing into McDonald's and pick something up.

She wrote back that she didn't care and that it was up to me. I decided it was hamburgers from McD's and she was cool with that. It still surprised me the ease with which our life had become so domesticated. We had an easy partnership and I hoped it stayed like that.

Later that night, when I got home from work, Kayla, Brandi, and Jamie were sitting on the floor in front of the couch. They had their homework spread out on the coffee table and each one had their nose buried in the English Lit textbook. Jamie looked up at me and smiled when I closed the door.

"Thank God! I'm starving," she said. She got up from the floor and came over to me. She took one of the bags of food and kissed me lightly lips. "You want to eat or get a shower first?"

"Eat," I said.

Kayla and Brandi jumped to help us put the food on plates so we could all sit down in the living room and eat. We had no more than gotten started when there was a knock at the door. I got up and looked through the peep hole. It was Lori and she didn't look happy.

I opened the door. "Hey, what's up?"

"My parents are threatening to throw me out," Lori said, and wiped a tear that had escaped her eye.

"What?" I gasped. "Why?"

"Because I'm gay." Lori stated. She dropped her head, "I don't know what I'm going to do."

I took her hand and pulled her into the apartment. "Come on," I said. "Let's sit down and talk about this."

I led her into the living room, where everyone was sitting. "Have you eaten?" I asked.

"I can't eat," Lori said. "I've been sick to my stomach all day."

"What's going on?" Jamie asked.

Lori run her fingers through her hair. "I guess one of my mom's friends say me kiss some girl. It was at the game against Murray State Saturday night. This chick, Mandy invited me to go to a tailgate party with her and her friends. We were listening to the game on the radio, playing Monopoly and eating hotdogs behind some guy's truck. He was parked in the parking lot on the other side of the baseball field. We were all just having a good time." Lori looked up at us as we all listened. "Mandy sit in my lap and started kissing me, lauching a bunch of hooping and hollering from her friends. She's straight and was just playing around." Lori sighed, "Apparently, one of mom's church friends was driving by the parking lot and saw her kissing me. She called mom freaking out about it. When I got home last night, Mom went off on me."

"Bummer," Brandi said.

"For real," Kayla agreed.

Jamie got up and sat on the couch net to Lori. "So what did she actually say?"

"She said that if I continued living my sinful lifestyle, I was going to have to find a new home. She said that she had hoped it was just a phase I was going through but she could see that I was very troubled and needed help," Lori said bitterly.

"Was your dad agreeing with her?" I asked.

"Dad never disagrees with Mom, but he wasn't home. He's at a conference in Atlanta."

"So bascially she's saying that you have to stop being gay, or she's going to put you on the street?" Jamie asked.

"Yes," Lori answered.

I looked at Jamie, who looked at me sadly. She come real close to goign through something similar.

Fortunately, Jamie's dad got her mother calmed down. I hoped Jamie felt the same way as I did about this situation and I said, "You can stay will us for awhile if you need to."

"Absolutely," Jamie exclaimed, completely agreeing with me.

"I can't impose on you guys," Lori said.

"What are you going to do then?" Jamie asked.

Lori looked up at her, tears brimming her eyes. "I don't know."

Jamie put her arm around Lori and pulled her into an embrace. I sat on the arm of the couch and gently rubbed her back. "Stay here tonight," I said. "Do you have any clothes with you?"

"I've got some in the car," she said, wiping a tear and sniffing.

Kayla got up, went to the bathroom, and come back with some toilet paper. She handed it to Lori. "P. J. is right. You should stay here tonight. When does your dad get back in town?"

"He won't be back until the weekend, but him being home won't change anything. What Mom says is law." Lori wiped her. "I can't believe she would actually throw me out of the house, but she really might. She has become more and more involved in this evangelitical church thing. Her opinions have gotten stronger about a lot of things. She is absolutlely convinced I'm pretending to be gay to piss her off."

"That is ridiculous," Brandi snorted. "I mean I've heard about chicks playing around with other girls just for the hell of it, like the chick that kissed you and started all this shit. But, you are one of the gayest girls I know and I know you aren't doing it just for fun. You love women and there's nothing wrong with that. What's wrong, is your mother throwing her daughter out on the street for being who she is."

"That's right," Kayla said.

"Thanks guys," Lori said, reaching out her hand so both of them could grab it. "I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you guys. My sister is trying to be there for me but Mom has got her thumb on her." She sighed and pulled her hand back after Brandi and Kayla had both squeezed it. "I just need to figure out what I'm going to do. School is paid for because of my scholarship, thank God. But, I'll have to figure out something about a place to live if she really throws me out."

"Well, you can stay here as long as you need to," Jamie said, looking up at me.

"That's right," I confirmed. "You can crash here as long as you like."

She looked up at us, relief showly slightly behind the sadness. "Thanks. I really appreciate it."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Beginning of the First Day of Second Semester from Jamie


The alarm went off, rousing me from a deep sleep. I reached over and hit the snooze button, and then snuggled closer to P. J. Burying my head into P. J.’s neck, I let myself fall back to sleep.
When the alarm went off the second time, P. J. reached over me and hit the snooze button.  She kissed me on top of my head. “You need to get up sleepy head.”
“I know,” I said but didn’t move out of her arms.
We lay there snuggling until the alarm went off again. P. J. gave me a nudge, “Turn the alarm off and I’ll go make coffee.” She rolled away from me and swung her long legs off the bed.
I lay there for a few more minutes, watching her get up and pad toward the kitchen in her blue, plaid boxers and black tank top. I rolled toward the alarm clock and hit the off button. Six-thirty, I hadn’t gotten up this early since last semester’s finals week. It’s amazing how lazy you can become in three and a half months.
I had classes during both summer sessions but they hadn’t started until after twelve in the afternoon. I’d gotten used to sleeping until eight or nine. Some mornings I’d get up at seven when P. J. was getting ready to leave for work, but usually I’d sleep in then call her when she was on her break.
P. J. had started working full-time at the print shop right after finals last May. She loved her job there working with designs and print jobs.  I was a little concerned that she wouldn’t sign up for classes this fall since she had found her dream job, but she signed up for three classes. It’s going to be hard to go to school and work full-time, but I’m confident she can handle it. The thing that sucks though is that she had to pick all late afternoon or evening classes to go with her work schedule. We had gotten into a route of having dinner around six after P. J. got home from work, and then we would watch movies or play games with the girls. The girls are Kayla, Lori, and Brandi, with whom I had started a study group with the during summer classes.
I was feeling quite the little housewife. P. J. would just laugh when I’d say that but it was true. I cleaned house, studied, fixed dinner, and then waited for my girlfriend to come home from work. But now, our routine was going to get completely changed.
Sitting up, I stretched out my arms over my head, and then pushed the covers off my legs. P. J. had a thing about wearing some kind of shorts or pants when she slept, but I wore only a short night gown. My night gowns had been much longer when I lived at home and on campus, but I had been wearing skimpy shorts ones, like the light blue one I had on now, ever since P. J. and I moved in together. I like looking sexy for her.
Smiling to myself, I got up and made my way to the kitchen where P. J. was leaning against the counter waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. I slipped my arms around her waist and lay my head against her back. She put her arms over mine, giving them a squeeze, and then turned in my arms and kissed me on the lips.
“I knew playing that last round of Wii tennis was going to make it hard for you to get up this morning,” she said, giving me a lingering kiss, and then pulling away to get coffee cups out of the cabinet. Both of us had developed an addition to coffee since we started college.
“I know, but it was a lot of fun. I swear I think Kayla and Brandi practice before they come over.”
“You might be right about that,” P. J. said, handing me the cup of coffee she had made for me. She knew that I took exactly one teaspoon of sugar and creamer each. For some reason, it always tasted better when she made it for me.
“And Lori is a softball player, so she’s got the swing down.” I looked at P. J. as she turned around with her cup of coffee. “I think we are at a serious disadvantage playing against any of them.”
“True, maybe next time we can talk them into playing Scrabble. You would probably win at that.” P. J. suggested.
“I don’t know. Kayla and Brandi are both good spellers but at least I wouldn’t get stomped as severely as I do in tennis.”
P. J. laughed. “True.” She kissed me again, and then headed back to the bedroom. “Let’s get a shower and then I’ll take you to the hill before I go to work.”
Taking a shower together would normally end in a making love session, but they didn’t have time for that this morning. Jamie’s first class started at eight-oh-five and it was already after seven. 
This morning’s class was English 200, one of the classes that Jamie, P. J., Lori, Brandi, and Kayla had decided to take together this semester so they could work on homework together.
Unfortunately, P. J. and Lori’s schedules couldn’t be matched up with Jamie, Brandi and Kayla’s. P. J. had to work during the day and Lori had softball practice in the mornings so neither could take early morning classes. Jamie, Brandi and Kayla were taking the English 200 class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. P. J. and Lori were taking it on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
They were all taking college algebra this semester, except for P. J., who was taking two art classes in the evenings that she had to have for her degree. Lori had to take the algebra class as an evening class. Jamie, Brandi and Kayla were taking it in a day class, three days a week. It was going to be a rough semester but the five of them had promised to help each other get through it.
Jamie picked out a pair of pleated beige shorts, a white tank top and her beige flip flops to where today.
P. J. was putting on a pair of dark blue slacks and a black Polo shirt. I watched her for a moment as she put on her socks and black boots. “What?”
“Nothing,” I said, blushing. “I was just thinking how sexy you look in your semi-professional work attire.”
She chuckled, “You are so silly.” She looked me up and down, and then said, “You look hot in that outfit, my little college girl.” She came over and kissed me lightly on the lips and gave my butt a light pat. “You need to finish up or you’re going to be late for your first day of class.”
“Well, we can’t have that, can we?” I said, pulling out of her arms and going into the living room.
I gathered my books and backpack.  My phone buzzed and I picked it up off the coffee table. It was a text from Brandi. “Tell your girlfriend to get her hands off you so you can get your ass up here.”
Laughing out loud, I text her back. “Her hands are not on me, right now anyway. I’ll be up there in a few minutes.”
“What are you laughing about?” P. J. asked when she came out of the bedroom buckling her belt.
“Brandi. She said to tell you to get your hands off me so I could get up to the class.”
P. J. took her lunch box out of the refrigerator. She always fixes her lunch the night before, just in case we are distracted in the mornings.  “You read?” she asked coming out of the kitchen.
“Yeah,” I said, going to her and kissing her deeply. “I’m going to miss you tonight.”
“I know,” she said. “We’ve gotten quite spoilt to getting to spend so much time together.”
Nodding, I headed towards the door but stopped to kiss her again. Neither of us was into public affection. We really didn’t feel like there were people on campus who going to freak if they saw us kissing. It just wasn’t our thing to be real affectionate outside the privacy of our home.