Third Encounters Of The Close Kind - A Happy Ending
(Please make sure you read the previous Hub to this before continuing this third final part of this "coming out" romantic love story trilogy. And yes, this really happened. Thanks for reading. Now read the last part ...)
I am lying in my bath, with suds up to my neck and I am slowly wrinkling in warm Radox bath lotion. I am alone. (My bath is big enough for two adults to share.) I am thinking back on what happened earlier in my eventful day. Where do I start? With meeting her parents? No, I’ll begin with the cafe where the trouble started...
It was lunch in one of my local hang-outs, a quiet Italian cafe, where the coffee is great. Cathy said she lived and worked nearby. The cafe was small and homely. The staff were very pleasant, and the food was always good.We were in a little world of our own. Cathy was not letting me out of her sight. It was quite funny. I said nothing. I had planned to try and let Cathy put some distance between us, because I wanted her to spend some time away from me. I felt she might be surer of her feelings for me. I had this feeling that it was important somehow. I desperately needed to know that this was real.
I didn’t want to annoy her. I wondered aloud – what were the chances of someone she knew seeing us together here like this? Cathy looked mortified and said maybe we should go somewhere else. I pretended to ignore her. She put the same question to me, and I replied smoothly that everyone knew about me and my situation.
I was unsure of how things were progressing. Cathy had texted her mother, and had still said little about what was happening at home with her parents. I wasn’t worried, but wondered what was going on inside her head, and how to broach the subject. It’s funny how things turn out in the end.
The meal was over, and we were sipping our coffees. We were sitting in a booth, which was concealed from the front of the cafe, but we could see where most people sat. The cafe was nearly full. Cathy suddenly noticed three people that she knew, all sitting at a table at the window. They waved to her. She hesitated, and then waved back. One of the girls apparently sometimes worked with her. One of them came over, and Cathy muttered “oh shit”, and smiled and they greeted each other. I was introduced. I watched Cathy very carefully. I invited her friends to all join us. Cathy seemed mortified, then said yeah – why not. They came over. I got a gentle kick from Cathy under the table, and smiled inwardly.
We chatted together for a while. They all seemed like nice people. One of them knew Cathy’s mother. Another girl asked where was Cathy last night? Cathy seemed stuck for words. I said she stayed over with me. There was a brief moment when Cathy looked at me and I thought I saw a flash of something, anger perhaps. Cathy’s friends seemed not to notice. “Actually, Cathy has something she wants to tell you all...” I said suddenly. Cathy was now turning red. They all looked at her, knowing something was up.
“Cathy...” I said slowly, ignoring the kicks I was getting under the table from her. “...is happy to tell you that she will pay the bill.”
There was a silence. Then laughter and the conversation returned to normal. But Cathy shot me looks that could kill. I ignored them, and smiled at her and winked. When her friends left, Cathy turned to me and she was not impressed. She was angry that I almost “outed” her in front of her friends. I told her that she was going to have to deal with the issue sooner or later. She said she wasn’t ready. And not in here...
We stood up, putting on our coats. I asked her did she know anyone else in the cafe? She said no, then asked why I wanted to know. I told her I wasn’t going to always tip toe around in her wake, trying not to “scare the daisies”. She was gobsmacked. “I thought you liked me” she said in a forlorn voice. “I do”, I replied, my throat suddenly feeling very dry. I was totally crazy abut this girl.
“But Cathy, I don’t think you are mature enough to handle someone like me yet.” She looked at me in surprise. The look in her eyes was haunting me so much, and I had to turn away. I felt like shooting myself with a damn gun. I told Cathy maybe we should spend some time apart and should think about things a bit. Then see how we felt about each other. She looked ready to cry. “Are you saying...” she didn’t want to finish her sentence.
“Cathy, if I were to kiss you now,” I asked, “right here – right in this cafe...what would you think? What would you do?” She looked back angrily at me and said she would hate me and would never speak to me ever again.
I walked out of the cafe back to my car. She caught up with me, and asked what was wrong. I told her to ring me later. Much later. Then I left her and went home.
I noticed my iPhone going mad as texts arrived and I simply ignored the ones sent by Cathy. I tried to analyze my feelings. I have been down this road before so many times. Thinking it was real, and getting my heart broken because it wasn’t real. I hated myself. I hated what I had done. I hated that I seemed to be pushing a very sweet girl away from me. I thought of her warm eyes as they would catch me unawares, and how they melted me inside. I lay on my bed, and finally cried. I could smell her perfume on my pillow. I held it to my chest and squeezed it tight. I knew the first few texts would be angry, maybe even furious. I then imagined the latter texts, the softer more imploring ones, the begging-to-meet-me and talk-to-me ones. I needed the emotional tirade to give way to reason and logic.
After twenty three texts, she rang me, and it was a weird call. She called me all the horrible bitch pig whatever names under the sun. She said she hated me, and then she seemed to break down and run out of steam. I had only one name to call her. I called her a lesbian and told her to wake up, and then I hung up. Now what was I to do? I went and looked in my fridge for something my grandmother had recently brought over, a Swiss recipe cake.
Seven pm. I was just leaving the local gym, having worked off some of my angst. I had a shower and treated myself to a pedicure. Simply divine! In my car, Cathy rang. Her voice was soft, and strained. She asked to meet me. Where? Her house. Her parent’s house? Wow, now this was more like it. I put her address in my GPS, and about twenty minutes later, was parking outside a neat red-brick terraced house with a small garden somewhere in suburbia.
I had a package under my arm. Cathy opened the door before I even rang the bell, and she hugged me like crazy. I fought back the tears and hugged her back. She told me she was sorry for being an evil Troll. She told me to burn those texts. I said that isn’t possible on an iPhone, and anyway I never read the damn texts. She took me inside, took me down a long hall, and into a kitchen-come-mini-dining-room. Two people were sitting watching “Who wants to be a Millionaire” on TV. They were her parents. Her father was Indian, over-weight, and balding, and was impeccably dressed. Cathy's mother was from Thailand, and she smiled at me with warm friendly brown eyes, and motioned us both to the table to sit, and looking at her, I thought she looked frail and tired, and she gave me a watery smile as I smiled back at her. We went and sat at the kitchen table away from the TV. Cathy did most of the talking.
She said I was her girlfriend and she told her Mum and Dad that she had stayed the night with me.
I looked with new respect at Cathy. Cathy had told her parents about me. And apparently hadn’t left much out. Her mother offered me a cuppa, I said I’d love one. I told her the gift was for her and Cathy’s Dad, and I produced the cake my Grandmother had made. Cathy’s Mother smiled at me. Inside, I was mentally hugging Cathy for her stentorian efforts here. She seemed to be on my wavelength because she was smiling at me. She liked the cake idea too. Her father never once looked at me. My brain was working like a Cray computer as I pondered what might he be thinking.
I was asked what I did for a living, and where I lived, was questioned about my parents, my life, even my education. Any other time or moment in my life, I would laugh at these queries here. But this wasn’t the place or time. I just answered as honestly as possible, and kept my answers short. Somewhere in the middle of all this, Cathy slid her hand in mine as we sat beside each other. Oh, those fingers wrapped so tight around mine. Her mother pretended not to notice, but it was obvious. I felt sorry for her, I don't know why, but I was guessing now, and I wanted to give her a hug. Cathy squeezed my hand. Her hair was brushed back and combed in a neat ponytail, and she wore a black polo-neck shirt that rumpled nicely over a lovely red short skirt. I did my very best not to gaze at those olive skinned legs of hers. I was amazed at how relaxed Cathy seemed. There had obviously much soul searching going on in this house this day. Her mother looked at me. She guessed loudly that this was the way it was going to be from now on.
“And we are to live in shame and disgrace for ever”, boomed a voice and it was Cathy’s father, who now suddenly joined us. And just as I was putting the cup of tea to my mouth. I nearly burnt my gob off!
“Oh dear,” I said softly and slowly. I was sizing him up carefully. “In spite of what I have told Cathy and her Mom, you must think I am a terrible person.” There was a dreadful silence. He said I was right on the money.
I continued in an even soothing voice and told him that I was aware that I might be making things bad for everybody. Right again. He was short, blunt and to the point, bless him. And, I continued, (ignoring some signals from Cathy beside me) – he was afraid of what was happening and was very worried and very angry. He was about to agree again, but stopped in mid flow. He just nodded now.
I have watched and studied my Boss stand toe to toe, nose to nose with some pretty tough characters on million dollar Mega buck Deals, where one twitch would make or break a deal, and he would never be the one to bitch out or back down or blink. He had a quiet demeanor and raised the art of soft speaking to an art form. He was also a man who worked hard at always trying to read people and figure what they were thinking. I learned more from him than most. I tried to emulate some of that as I sat here in this little room, sandwiched between these three people.
I told this proud man before me that he was right to be afraid about things and to be angry. When something changes with someone, and the change threatens peace and tranquility in the home, the first urge is to not want the thing to happen. I told him I was glad he felt that way; I was relieved he felt that way. Why – he asked. Because – I replied - a bad father would not have reacted the way you have, or might not have been sensitive to that and might not be as concerned or as caring as you. You are a good Father. You care about Cathy, and I feel that about you - you don’t want bad things to happen to her, and you are afraid of the shame which might visit you, since you don’t deserve it. And in the end, I finished – we are all afraid of a change or a thing we do not understand. Even if it is a woman like me, who has taken a fondness for your daughter. And you know nothing about me whatsoever. This is your house, your family, your rules.
There was a long silence. They looked at me.
I stood up, looked around at everyone, and said - and perhaps I have overstayed my welcome. Cathy held my hand tightly. Tears rolled down the Mother’s face. No one spoke. Cathy’s Father looked at me very intently. In a house like this, the Father’s word is LAW. He was looking through me. He looked at Cathy. She looked at him beseechingly. Then he told me to sit down. It was then that he noticed the cake...
That had been several hours ago. I was aware that the bath water had cooled quite a bit, so I slowly climbed out and slipped into my bathrobe and unplugged the stopper. I watched the water as it gurgled away, like a bad memory. I dried off and put on some jeans and a T-shirt. Damn, I smelled great! I applied a small bit of make-up and admired myself in the mirror, plumping my hair with my hands, then I snuck on some gentle romantic Cuban Guitar music in the living room, and lit some scented candles. It was near that time. I felt excited.
A text message let me know Cathy was at the door, I opened it, and in she came. She looked as real and as radiant as ever. She threw her arms around me. We hugged and held each other for an eternity. She managed to squeeze a tear or two from my eyes. We flung ourselves on the big sofa. I noticed some new jewellery – a small neat necklace, and wrist bands that she hadn’t worn before. She was wearing that same sexy red dress. Mmmh! Nice! She babbled on about her father and how he seemed to be finally getting used to the idea of having a gay daughter and that it wasn’t the end of the world after all, and that we were all taking baby steps, and about how her mother seemed to latch on to me even more, and that I was a welcome person in their house. And how smart I was to not even blink when her father said he was a bus driver. And that I better get more of that damn cake ‘cos her father seemed to like it a lot!
Holy Triple Mother of Everything, I yelled! Slow down, woman! We laughed. I held Cathy close to me. What a crazy few days it had been. But it came right, Cass. I asked her did she hate me. She laughed and said no, and kissed me. Her touch was instinctive, natural, so soft and beautiful. She said she knew what I had been trying to do. She said I had escalated things somehow. She understood why. She said I had made her face her fears. I started to say something but she put her finger to my lips and pressed them closed. We were okay. And we were here now. And I knew now what I had all along needed to know. She was not a mirage, or an optical illusion. Cathy Nerujen was a miracle sent by God into my life. For reasons I didn’t yet understand. I just simply accepted it.
Cathy had brought wine and some French bread since she knew I liked it. As we sat in the kitchen eating and drinking, and all the time holding hands, I felt a bond with this amazing girl that was stronger than it had ever been. The butterflies were dancing in my stomach. I was truly prepared to do anything for my Cathy. I was besotted. I knew I was in love with her.
“You know, Cassy” – she said slowly – “it’s funny how you seemed to know what to say to my Dad earlier. Funnier still that you said you never read those texts I sent this afternoon, since I explained some stuff about my Dad being old fashioned and a proud man and all, in those messages, near the end...” She smiled at me. “I was hoping you might read them if you were going to understand things eventually.”
“Ahem...well, Cathy,” I said, sipping my wine. “All that stuff about me not reading your damn texts. It’s a good job I lied!” She stared at me and yelled – “why, you cheeky...!”
We fell around and laughed like crazy. And as the evening went on, and with the warmth of the wine melting the last of the coldness away, we slipped out of our inhibitions and clothes and dove together under the big Duvet and our two bodies melted into one. She felt like heaven in my arms.
Outside in the London night, a light drizzle of rain pattered on the window. Here inside the bedroom, a Cuban guitar expertly serenaded the two of us as we lay on the pillows, cheek to cheek, arm in arm, listening to the music, and feeling each others' heart beat. We were two women so very in love. Somewhere in the London night air, a distant window was open and a song from Coldplay drifted in the stillness of this amazing moment, and I felt that paradise touch me deeply.
As long as we were together, nothing else mattered.
Copyright (c) 2009 - 2016 Cassy Mantis / Cheeky Girl. All Rights Reserved.
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