October 25th

Submitted into Contest #16 in response to: Write a story that involves love at first sight.... view prompt

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Romance

Autumn leaves came falling down from the trees. Few green remained on the trees on the twenty-fifth morning of October. The world was turning orange, reflecting off of the windows on the homes resting on Madding Lane. Victorian homes, most likely hiding a neglectful father and spoiled children.

Deborah Jones strolled down this very road, heading to a cul de sac with few homes, near the greaser trailer park. It was 1952, and Deborah, or Debby, was 15.

It was typical of girls her age to have a romantic partner sweeping them off their feet, or a job that could send them in that direction. Debby had neither. She knew from an early age that she wasn't about to go down that road, Ever since Cynthia Brown lifted her skirt while changing in the locker room before swimming lessons. The tint of red that her cheeks displayed should have been followed by smoke coming out of her ears like a house burning down.

15 was no easy age, around the time daddys friends and coworkers start paying extra attention to you, and the boys from school start hollering out of their truck window, making crude gestures that do not need description. It was also the age where girls were going nuts for the newest local ‘dreamboat’, saying all sorts of gobbledygook about an average Tom or Charles or  Bill. Debby had her eyes on a certain gal. She knew about the homophiles in the streets, waiting to get picked up by whoever and ending up beaten to a pulp by some greasers in a back alley. Mom and Daddy had never taken Debby to church or any religious practice, so insulting God wasn’t an issue for her to consider. There was a silent war between the normal people and the homos, one that no officer was willing to step on to serve justice where it was due. Nobody spoke of it, nobody acknowledged that it was happening. It was quiet, unconcerning for those not involved. 

I wish I could say that young Debby would get over her phase of looking at the wrong gender, but I can’t. You see, in her time it wasn’t safe to be out as a lesbian, but she had a taste for danger, even if she kept herself stowed away in the closet. Caroline Peter passed Debby in the halls, a queenie who strutted the halls of the school like she owned the place. Her blonde hair and wicked green eyes asserted her dominance over the other fillies proficiently. She had any guy she wanted wrapped around her pretty little finger, but Debby wanted her

It was a daydream that haunted Debby every waking hour that wasn’t spent in school. She continued her walk down the path, making sure she didn’t step on a crack in the pavement. There were no realistic consequences to this silly game, yet she was compelled to do it. She was so busy staring at her feet, she didn’t notice the person in front of her. 

Debby and the figure collided, spilling Debby’s books and notepads to the cement. She started to fall, but the stranger caught her before she hit the ground, spinning her into a dip. The face Debby stared into was femenine, but with hair so short, she assumed it would have belonged to a boy. This was a girl, wearing trousers and a studded leather jacket, eyeliner surrounding her brown eyes with darkness. Debby felt a pang in her heart, seeing this gal who was dressed so tough. They stayed there for a minute, maybe two. Debby was trying to memorize the details of her face. Suddenly, Debby felt a whoosh of air and her pink skirt twirling around as she was tugged back up and spun around, this gal's hand on Debby’s waist, holding her close. 

“Very nice to meet ya, m’lady. I’m Jane,” said the girl, now known as Jane.

“Debby,” she breathed. 

Debby was released from the firm grasp of Jane. Jane made a beckoning gesture with her head, down in the direction from which she came. Debby was infatuated with her. She followed Jane past the cul de sac, and towards the trailer park. Her life took a turn for the better that night. Debby and Jane talked for hours, seeing the Saturday sunrise through tired eyes, waking up in her clothes from yesterday. She and Jane had heard every aspect of the others’ life, the good, the bad and the odd. 

Jane stirred, revealing her position in the tattered covers on the warm bed. She breathed deeply, waking up to Debby. 

“Hey there.” Jane rolled over, looking at the other. Debby blushed, having woken up next to the girl she felt that she loved. Jane uncovered herself from the blankets, also in her day clothes. Jane grabbed Debby’s face and kissed her. They stayed there until Debby started to lean back, testing the waters, and Jane followed. Jane sat next to Debby, leaning down to kiss her deeper. Their teeth bumped, and they chuckled. Jane laid down and Debby curled into her side. This felt like love.

. . .

Jane and Debby had been sharing a home for thirty years, getting accustomed to the accusations of lesbianism, when all they were was friends. The small house on Beverly Drive was home to two women, madly in love with each other, but separated by the wedge driven between them. They bought groceries together, they both attended PTA meetings for Jane’s adopted daughter Christie, they even shared a straw at the diner on Guadalupe way, the one that glowed red in the sun, but was blue in the winter. They felt truly happy with one another.

Many years passed. Jane, her hair grey and short, walked across the melancholy field to a bench. Her knees were wobbly on the soft ground, wet from rain. Deborah sat there. Jane sat down on the bench next to her. Debby was quiet.

They stayed in each others’ presence for hours, the sun rising, hidden behind pale clouds. The darkest clouds had already passed, leaving the two in low light. 

“Hello there, Deborah,” Jane said. Debby was quiet. 

It was tough getting a granite slab to respond when you talk to it, a surrogate to the woman you lost a month ago. The wilted roses on in the vase drooped, sad and cold in late October’s twenty-fifth morning.


November 19, 2019 21:28

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