Alexis hurried to the kitchen to grab the phone and stop the annoying, continual ringing.
“Hello?” Alexis mumbled into the phone.
“I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for almost a hour now!” Sandi, a good friend of Alexis’s said in her usual cheery voice.
“So I’ve heard.”
“I see you’re still in a bad mood?” Sandi asked.
“I am not in a bad mood,” Alexis snapped.
She took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “I’m sorry Sandi.”
“Don’t worry about it, I’m used to it,” she said in a quiet voice.
“I know, I know,” Alexis mumbled miserably.
“I wish you would tell me what has you all upset,” Sandi said. “Maybe I could help?”
Despite her mood, Alexis smiled. She knew Sandi meant well. Sandi would stand by Alexis and provide support for her on almost anything. Almost. Once again, Alexis took a deep breath and exhaled.
“Sandi, you know I lost a good friend.”
“No, she lost a good friend. You told me she said she wanted out and then left.”
“Actually I’m the one who wanted out, or at least I thought I did.” Alexis thought to herself.
Alexis was jolted from her thoughts when she realized Sandi was still talking.
“All I’m saying is she didn’t realize how fortunate she was to have a friend like you. “
Alexis was on the verge of crying deeply, continually. Sandi sensed this and said, “I didn’t mean to make you cry, I was just stating the facts.”
“Yeah, some friend I turned out to be,” Alexis thought miserably.
“Sweetie are you still there?” Sandi asked.
Alexis gathered some courage and said in a surprisingly firm voice, “Do you have to keep referring to her as she?”
“What do you suggest; backstabber?”
“Angel. Her name is Angel.”
“Some angel she turned out to be,” Sandi said with a laugh.
Sandi heard a heavy sigh from the other end.
“Listen Alexis, I called to tell you about Saturday night.”
“What about Saturday night?”
“You, Heidi, and I are going out.”
“I don’t want to.”
“Yes you do. We’re going to Lawrence and we are going to have some fun, live a little.”
“I appreciate everything you are doing for me, I really do, but I’m not ready to move on.”
Sandi was growing more frustrated with every passing minute.
“Christ Alexis, it’s been a month! I know you and Angel were friends for over a year, but it’s time to move on. What is so special about you and her anyway?”
There was a long silence between the two that seemed to last forever. Sandi desperately wanted to help her friend, but she didn’t want to fight.
“I have to go Alexis, Heidi and I will pick you up Saturday night at 8:00. See you then.”
Sandi hung up. After a couple of seconds, Alexis finally hung up and went to bed. Saturday night, right at 8:00, Heidi’s car pulled into the driveway. It had been two days since Sandi had talked to Alexis. Alexis slid into the backseat.
“Hey girl! How are you?” Heidi asked Alexis.
“I’m better now,” Alexis answered with a smile. Surprisingly, the smile was not forced. Alexis had spent the past two days at home remembering, crying, trying to forget, and failing. Tonight, Alexis was going to have some fun. She deserved some fun after being miserable for a month. As they were driving to Lawrence, Sandi passed Alexis a beer. Alexis looked at Sandi and her eyes narrowed.
“Shut up and live a little,” Sandi said.
Alexis sat back and took a long swallow. She didn’t care for beer, but tonight she appreciated it. When the girls arrived in Lawrence, they parked and went shopping. They tried on all different kinds of clothes, some were absolutely ridiculous. Around 11:30, Heidi announced she was hungry. They drove around for a little while until they found a small restaurant, a little dive is more appropriate.
“I bet the food is good because the food is always better at these little dives,” Sandi said.
“I just want food, I’m starving,” Heidi announced.
Alexis just laughed and got out of the car, stumbling slightly. Alexis had a nice buzz going for drinking only four beers. Once they were inside and seated, Alexis excused herself and went to the bathroom. Her hand was on the door leading to the bathroom when the strange feeling swept over her. Alexis stood still for a minute and then proceeded into the ladies’ room dismissing the feeling. When she returned to the table Heidi said, “We ordered you a chicken sandwich.”
As soon as Alexis sat down, the strange feeling swept through her again.
“No more drinking tonight,” Alexis thought.
Heidi pulled her cigarettes from her purse. She offered Sandi and Alexis one and Alexis gladly accepted it. The strange feeling was still present, in fact, it was growing stronger.
“So Alexis,” Heidi started, “Sandi tells me you’re still upset about the whole Angel mess?”
Alexis lit her cigarette and took a deep, long drag. Alexis realized this was her first cigarette in over a year. Alexis turned and looked at Heidi.
“Yes, I’m still upset about that whole friendship mess. Thanks for saying her name instead of referring to her as she.”
Alexis glanced at Sandi.
Sandi cleared her throat and started telling Heidi and Alexis about her new boyfriend. Alexis was only half listening because she could not shake the feeling. She took another satisfying drag from the cigarette.
“I never did like it when you smoked.”
Alexis turned and her heart stopped. Standing at the end of the table was Angel. Dressed in dark blue jean hipsters with a red sleeveless top, Angel looked beautiful. The jean jacket completed the look. Alexis grabbed the ashtray and put the cigarette out.
“You’ll thank me when you live to be ninety,” Angel said as she brushed some of her dark hair behind her ear.
“Angel,” Alexis softly whispered.
“Hi Alexis,” Angel said. “Hey Sandi and Heidi.”
Heidi greeted Angel, but Sandi got to the point.
“What are you doing here?”
Alexis couldn’t take her eyes off Angel. It had been a month since she had seen Angel, a month since that terrible morning. Angel’s eyes drifted from Alexis to Sandi.
“I stopped here for a bite to eat.”
Sandi laughed. She was skeptical. She didn’t trust Angel, not after all the pain she put Alexis through.
“So what? Did you drive all the way to Lawrence to eat in this dive?”
Angel opened her mouth to spit her own venom at Sandi, but stopped herself when she remembered that Sandi was one of Alexis’s friends. Instead she said, “I know the place doesn’t look like much, but they have good food.”
Alexis found the courage to speak to Angel. “Angel…”
Sandi interrupted Alexis with her annoying, taunting voice.
“You drove here just because they have good food? Christ, are you pathetic!”
Alexis glared at Sandi. When Sandi’s eyes met Alexis’s, Sandi looked away.
“I live in Lawrence now,” Angel cut in.
Alexis’s eyes returned to Angel. Just then the waiter brought them their food. When he left, all was quiet.
“I just wanted to say hi Alexis, I saw you going into the bathroom.”
That explained the strange feeling! She had first felt it when Angel noticed her going to the bathroom and it grew stronger until Angel had arrived to say hi.
“I believe you bitched about her smoking,” Sandi said. “Not hello.”
Heidi kicked Sandi under the table. “That’s enough,” she hissed to Sandi.
“Angel,” Alexis said voice shaking. “Can we talk?”
“Is it a good time for you? That morning didn’t appear to be,” Angel responded.
Angel knew that was a hurtful jab at Alexis. She didn’t want or mean to be hostile, but Alexis had been the reason for all her pain and suffering as of late. Alexis’s voice caught in her throat. That remark from Angel had hurt.
“Please?” she croaked.
Angel was about to reach out for Alexis’s hand to help her up, but quickly dismissed the idea when she realized where they were and more importantly, who was sitting right there.
“Let’s step outside for some fresh air,” Angel said.
As Alexis and Angel were walking to the exit, Sandi opened her mouth to protest.
“Give them a minute,” Heidi snapped. “Just shut up and eat your burger.”
Outside, Alexis and Angel walked to the end of the parking lot and Alexis sat down on the curb. Angel continued standing. Alexis was softly shaking. The temperature had dropped a few degrees. Angel noticed, took off her jean jacket, and handed it to Alexis. Alexis wrapped the jacket around herself.
“Thank you,” she said.
“So you live in Lawrence now?” Alexis asked.
Angel nodded her head.
“I left exactly one week after that morning. I gave you a week to stop by, call, or even write me a nasty letter, anything.”
Alexis could feel the tears descending down her face.
“I am so sorry.”
Alexis and Angel’s friendship was only a little over a year old. The first eight months, they were best friends, they thought nothing could come between them. It all started nine months into the friendship. They were growing closer, even flirting a little bit with each other. By the end of the year, they were constantly together, holding hands, and sometimes even kissing. Not just quick pecks, but passionate, deeply satisfying kisses. The night finally arrived, the night they stopped being friends and became lovers. The next morning, Angel awoke to find Alexis gone. She hadn’t even left a note for Angel, she just vanished.
“Yeah well I’m sorry about that night, I’m sorry we ever got together,” Angel said quietly.
The tears poured from Alexis’s eyes. Angel started to walk to Alexis to hug her, but couldn’t in the end.
“She doesn’t want this or me,” Angel thought. “She has made that wish very clear.”
“Do you mean that?” Alexis asked.
“Yes, no, I don’t know,” Angel replied stupidly.
It was the truth though, she was terribly confused.
“That night everything was perfect, everything felt right.”
Angel paused before continuing.
“We became lovers as well as friends. I trusted you, I never imagined you hurting me. I didn’t think you possessed the capability to hurt me. When I remember that night, I smile. It is a good memory. For this reason, I am not sorry it happened.”
“Good,” Alexis thought to herself.
“But,” Angel began, “I awake the next morning to find I am all alone. That hurt!”
Angel began quietly sobbing. “I lost my lover and my best friend. For this reason, I am sorry that night happened.”
Alexis stood up from the curb. She put her arms around Angel and pulled her to her. Angel and Alexis stood together crying for a couple of minutes. Angel finally pulled back. Alexis’s heart sunk. She had dreamed every night of being able to hold Angel close again.
“Thank you, I needed a minute to pull myself together.”
“Sure. That’s what a friend is for,” Alexis replied and immediately wished she hadn’t.
“Friend? You are not my friend,” Angel said. It wasn’t that Angel didn’t want Alexis as a friend, but after what had happened, they could never go back to being friends. It was either lovers or strangers; all or nothing.
Alexis realized Angel was right. She wasn’t a friend. She had left Angel, hurt her, that wasn’t being a friend.
“I’m sorry, so sorry,” Alexis said not knowing what else to say.
“Tell me,” Angel began. “Why did you leave me that morning? What happened between telling me that you love me and leaving me as soon as the sun rose?”
Alexis didn’t know what to say. What could she say? She remained quiet.
“It is because we are both women?” Angel pressed.
Alexis remained silent. Heidi and Sandi appeared at Alexis’s side.
“We got your sandwich to go,” Heidi told Alexis.
“Well I better go back inside, Mike is probably wandering where I am,” Angel said.
“Mike?” Alexis asked immediately.
“Yes. He works here practically every night. He is my roommate’s younger brother and I’m tutoring him.”
“I hope you are not tutoring him in the friendship department,” Sandi said as a final jab to Angel.
Angel turned and walked back inside the restaurant.
Alexis glared at Sandi. “Don’t you ever know when to quit.”
Alexis went to Heidi’s car and got in. Shortly after, Heidi and Sandi got in. They were all silent most of the way home. When they were a few blocks from Sandi’s house, Sandi apologized to Alexis.
“I’m sorry. I know I got a little carried away with insulting that woman.”
“A little?” Heidi said raising her eyebrow.
“I just don’t like seeing you all upset and Angel seems to make you all sad.”
“I did this to myself,” Alexis thought. “I flirted with her, so I led her to believe I wanted this. It was I who walked out the next morning. Why did I do that? Do I want this?”
“Thank you,” Alexis said to Sandi.
Heidi drove Alexis home. Before Alexis got out, Heidi grabbed her arm.
“I want to talk to you.”
Alexis settled back into the seat.
“Listen Alexis, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I know Angel is special to you.”
“What are you talking about Heidi?”
“The two of you aren’t just good friends.”
Alexis could feel herself getting ready to cry again. Heidi turned the car off and turned to hug Alexis.
“Technically Angel and I aren’t even friends anymore.”
Alexis and Heidi hugged each other.
“I agree with Angel,” Alexis sobbed, “There is no way we could return to being friends.”
“You still love her,” Heidi softly said. Alexis picked up on the fact that Heidi was stating a fact, not asking her a question.
Alexis drew back and looked questioningly at Heidi.
“How did you know?”
“I pick up on these things,” Heidi answered smiling. “You and her were always so happy. I grew even more suspicious when you guys ended your friendship. You can’t have a falling out that quickly. I knew I was right when we were in Lawrence. When she mentioned Mike, I could clearly see the jealousy present in your eyes.”
“You’re okay with everything?”
“Of course I am. You are my friend, I’ll love you no matter what.”
Once again they shared a hug.
“I’m afraid Sandi won’t be quite as understanding,” Heidi pointed out.
“If she is my friend, a true friend, she will accept it. Otherwise, she and I are through.”
The next night, Sunday night, Alexis arrived at the restaurant in Lawrence. It was 6:30. She walked into the place and right up to the cash register. The guy working there asked her if she wanted a booth or table.
“I need to speak with Mike.”
When Alexis arrived at the apartment it was almost 9:00. She knew Angel was alone tonight because Mike had said his sister was staying with a friend and wouldn’t be back until Monday afternoon.
“Do not give up,” Alexis thought to herself. “Get what you came for, forgiveness and Angel back.”
Alexis cleared her throat and took a deep breath. She exhaled as she knocked on the door. She heard Angel walk up to the door.
“Who is it?” She hollered in a lazy voice.
“It’s me, just me.”
Angel threw the door open in a hurry.
“I don’t believe it! It really is you.”
Alexis smiled and did a once over on Angel. Angel was wearing a white robe. Her nipples were clearly visible. A flood of desire swept through Alexis’s whole body.
“How did you find me?” Angel asked.
“Mike,” Alexis answered.
“Why are you here?” Angel asked.
Alexis wanted to reach for Angel’s hand, but she didn’t dare.
“I know I hurt you and I am truly sorry. I hate knowing I broke the trust between us. I also know we can’t ever go back to being friends and that’s fine with me.”
That last remark threw Angel off, but she knew Alexis was asking for forgiveness.
“Darling if you are asking for forgiveness then you have it. I could never hate you, no matter how much you hurt me.”
Alexis was happy to know she was forgiven.
Angel continued, “I however wish we could go back to being friends, but know this could never be.”
“I realized why I left you that morning,” Alexis said quietly.
Angel looked at Alexis intently waiting for the answer to her biggest question. Alexis began, hoping her voice wouldn’t crack.
“You were right, it was because we are both women. I was scared and confused because I was brought up to date guys. I know now what I did was stupid and selfish. I don’t want you as a friend Angel, I want you as a lover, my lover. I don’t care what people say or think.”
Angel needed a minute to absorb all this as well as needed time to think. She didn’t know what to do. She wanted Alexis back, she knew she loved her, but she couldn’t stand another disappointment.
“Is this really what you want?” Angel asked Alexis.
“Yes, yes it is,” Alexis said confidently. “Will you be my lover?”
Angel stood, unsure of what to do. Alexis’s eyes began tearing up. She was afraid of losing Angel. Angel stepped forward, wrapped her arms around Alexis, and whispered, “Oh baby!”
Alexis returned the hug and said, “Really, you and I are back together?”
“Yes really,” Angel replied.
Angel kissed Alexis. It had been so long since they had last kissed. Angel pulled back and invited Alexis inside. Once Alexis was inside, she undid Angel’s robe and let it fall silently to the floor. Angel’s body was beautiful! Angel helped Alexis undress. Their lips came together as did their bodies. Alexis’s breasts pressing against Angel’s smaller breasts.
“Would you like to stay the night?” Angel asked quietly.
Alexis began caressing Angel’s right breast.
“I’d love to. In the morning, I’ll bring you breakfast in bed.”
Angel stared deeply into Alexis’s eyes. She knew Alexis wouldn’t leave her again. This time was for real. Angel took Alexis’s hand and led her to the bedroom to begin their new sound relationship.