LGBTQ+ Romance Happy

Leaves covered the ground like a patchwork blanket of… leaves. I gave up on finding a metaphor for the myriad of fall colors and just kept on raking. The leaf blower would have been more helpful, but after last nights storm, the power was still out and I hadn’t charged it so, I had a rake. Rake rake rake the daaay awayyy. None of mental jingles were landing either. I’d finished most of the front yard, but when I went to grab a big handful to toss into the pile I would drag over to the compost bin something shiny fell to the ground. I reached down to pick it up; it was probably just trash. It turned out to be a tube of lipstick, a dark magenta. A new dark magenta I thought when I opened it. Nice color. I wondered if it had blown in last night, I set it down on the square top of our half fence and hoped it would find its owner. 

After I finished the leaves, the power was still out and I needed something else to do. I couldn’t wash the sheets just yet, but I could change them. I changed myself into cozy indoor wear (the house was getting a bit cold) and then went up to our bedroom and pulled off the blankets and the sheets, and then I saw the pillows and something froze in my heart. 

There was a small streak of magenta on Mark’s pillow. A streak that perfectly matched the color of the lipstick I’d left outside, which certainly wasn’t mine. We’d both been home so late recently. But he couldn’t, he wouldn’t. We’d been together since high school. He couldn’t. Who we even be without each other? The thought of him with another person made me nauseous enough that I had to sit down. I checked the time. He wouldn’t be home for another two hours, and I wouldn’t snoop through his computer. Whatever else was wrong with us, I wouldn’t do that. I was over reacting, I had to be over reacting. I checked the pillow again. Definitely magenta. I ran downstairs, and saw that the silver lipstick was still sitting on the fence, like a beacon to my obliviousness. I never thought I’d be one of those people with a cheating husband. I took it upstairs and compared the colors. A definite match. The lipstick was new, but not unused. 

I sat, curled up in a blanket with tea and waited for him to come home. I waited for ten minutes before going back to our room. Surely, there would be other evidence? I checked the laundry basket and the bathroom. I checked the closet. I didn’t see much at first, but on the ground I saw a small, barely visible, line of glitter. I did not own glitter, and neither did he. I searched more. I found a pair of sparkling high heels, and a folded dress. Both were hidden away behind his line of business suits. I took them out and set them on the coffee table with the lipstick, then I went back to my blanket and now cold tea and wept.

By the time I heard his footsteps on the porch I had no tears left. I hadn’t taken out candles so the house was cold and dark, and he called out when he came in. “Honey?” I heard his work bag land on the floor, as he stooped to untie his shoes. 

God, how would I exist without that voice in my life? “I’m here,” I called. 

He walked in and in the dim light of his phone’s camera I could make out his stubble and his perfectly chiseled face. He was still wearing his red scarf and long wool coat. “Are you ok? You didn’t get the candles.” 

“No,” I replied. Then I forced myself to keep talking. “I got the dress though. She has good taste, whoever she is.” 

Mark frowned but he followed my gaze to the coffee table and he didn’t say anything for a long time. 

Finally, I broke the silence. “She left the lipstick on our lawn.” 

“Oh,” he said. “Oh. It’s not what it looks like.” 

I laughed. I could hear the edge of hysteria in my voice and I hated it. 

“No! Seriously! Check the shoe size.” 

I watched him warily, and then I checked. They were pretty big. About his size. “I don’t care if you like tall girls Mark.” 

“No,” he said,  getting frustrated. 

“How long has this been going on?”

“Three months, but I was just waiting to tell you! I was scared!”

“You were scared? You were scared? God. I can’t believe this.” I slumped down heavily into the couch. “Wasn’t I enough?”

“It’s not like that, would you just look!”

I looked. I saw a dress, glittery shoes, and lipstick. 

“They don’t belong to some girl, they belong to me.” He was kneeling next to me, with his hands on my knees and pleading in his dark brown eyes. 

My mind was reeling. “What?” I asked stupidly. “You’re trans?” 

“No. No, I’ve been wanting to try drag.”

I stared at him. I tried to picture him in glitter and heels, crooning at a crowd or reading to kids or just walking around. Mark? In drag? “You’ve never mentioned it before.”

“No,” he said. He looked suddenly embarrassed. “I dressed up a few times in high school, but never around people, and then we were together and I hadn’t really thought about it until…”

My memories finished the sentence for me. “Until that Holigay drag show?” 

He nodded. 

“And you’ve been going out?”

He nodded again. “Just once or twice.” 

“Last night?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t find my lipstick when I got home.”

“I can’t believe you went out without me. Are you doing shows?”

“I’d like to!”

I had been over reacting and I was relieved and I couldn’t turn away from his excitement. “Ok. Look, I need to know more, but now that I know you’re not.” I took a deep breath. I still didn’t like the thought of him with anyone else. I put my hand on his chest, more to reassure myself than him. “Now that I know you’re still mine, I’m going to order some takeout, and find the candles. You should get changed. I want to see you in that dress when I get back.” I added a flirty purr to my voice. 

I ordered from our favorite Thai place, it was across town and they still had power. The candles were tucked away in a cabinet and I took them and a lighter with me back to the living room. Mark was there, he looked a little cold. But she was beautiful. With every candle I lit I could see more of her. The magenta was a great color. With heels on, she towered over me. 

“Have you come up with a name yet?”

“No, do you have any ideas?”

I gave her a slow once over. “I have a few ideas.”

December 09, 2022 18:47

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Megan Michelle
20:35 Dec 16, 2022

Thanks for reading my story, I like your take on what is unfortunately too common of an experience for couples. I went on an emotional journey reading this. Keep writing!


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Daniel Allen
13:35 Dec 14, 2022

A nice, creative idea! I really liked the twist ending.


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