Two Other GirlsbyABSTRUSE©
"I can't believe you made me come here. I'm not comfortable in the place." Sandi looked nervously around the room being careful not make eye contact with anyone.
"Christ Sand, it's just a bar.,” remarked Jess.
"No, it's a gay bar." Sandi whispered back. "What if someone talks to me?"
Jess turned in her chair to face her friend. "First, you don't have to whisper in here, everyone knows it's a gay bar and second, if someone talks to you, talk back to them, they are only people. Not everyone here is out to hit on you."
"Yes, but what if someone does hit on me? You have to pretend we are together." Sandi edged her chair closer to Jess's.
"Will you knock it off Sand, everyone here knows I'm with Luce and no one is going to hit on you because you’re too ugly."
Sandi's mouth fell open as she stared straight into Jess's eyes. "What?!"
"It's true." Jess started to reach for her beer, picking up the glass she casually glanced at her friend, being as serious as she could, "Look at you with those long legs, that slim waist and perky tits. Ugh! Not to mention your shiny, blond hair, blue-gray eyes and full, kissable lips. Really who would want that?" Jess broke into a smile. "Sand, I'm joking with you, for Christ's sake lighten up. You should be flattered, men and women check you out all the time."
"Shut up, you're so full of it! No one at work notices me so how can you say other people check me out?" Sandi slid down in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest. Jess could never figure out how someone so beautiful could be so self-deprecating.
"Maybe because you dress like the stereotypical librarian at work. When you go out your hair is down, you dress different and you wear makeup. Frankly Sand, you’re hot!"
"You’re saying that because you’re my best friend" said Sandi, toying with her drink stirrer, "Besides the office I work at is very conservative. I can't dress like I'm going to a club."
Jess lit up a cigarette, took a drag and quickly exhaled. "I'm not saying dress like a whore, just be less of a tight ass." She took another drag, her crimson lips pursed around the filter of her cigarette sucking the tip expertly and as she pulled the tip away a small halo of smoke momentarily floated around her mouth until she slowly exhaled. Sandi watched her intently. She was mesmerized by her friend's ability to make smoking look like a sex act. It was smoking that first attracted Jess to Luce and now Sandi wondered if she should start smoking again. Jess's voice broke her trance. "I'm sorry Honey, I'm not downing you, I just wish you could see yourself through my eyes sometimes." Jess reached over a stroked Sandi's cheek, "You never judged me when I told you I was a lesbian, you accepted me for who I was regardless. It's just that I love you and I want to see you find someone to make you as happy as Luce makes me happy."
Sandi took her hand and put it over Jess's, pressing it to her face, "I love you too, friend. Maybe it is time to change my style. Let's go shopping tomorrow and you can help me with my new wardrobe."
"I'd love to go shopping. We can make a day of it since I have nothing to do until Luce gets back from Europe." Jess let out a small sigh.
"How is her father doing? Didn't he have a bad heart?"
"Yes, but he just had a small stroke. He is expected to make a full recovery with therapy. Luce is very close to her parents so this is hard on her being so far from them." Jess took another drag of her cigarette before crushing it out in the ashtray. Sandi looked at the filter with its red lipstick seal. She thought about Jess and Luce kissing one another and how when they were together how they would hug or touch one another. She envied their happiness. She never felt Luce to be a threat to her relationship with her lifelong friend. Luce would often hug Sandi to let her know that she was an important part of their life. She loved when Luce would greet her with a kiss on each cheek or give her a wink when a cute man would walk by them.
She took a long sip of her drink; they were starting to hit her giving her a delicious buzz. She finally worked up the nerve to ask her friend a question she was thinking more of every day.
"Jess, what's it like? I mean what's it like being, you know, with another woman?" There it was out. She glanced furtively at her friend.
Jess gave a small smile and took a sip from her drink. "It's like being with a man I suppose, only softer, warmer, I mean it's hard to explain if you've never tried it before. There's more caressing, gliding your hands across silky skin or running your hands through long hair, smelling her perfume, tasting her lipstick melding with yours. There's no coarse facial hair, or hairy legs rubbing against yours or rough hands. It's not just about the sex; it's a bonding of sorts. I mean we fight like regular couples, we have different interests, different tastes, she has some annoying habits, but I'm sure I have things about me that annoy her also. For me, being with her is more spiritual, she's my soul mate." Her eyes began to mist and Sandi realized that she needed to take Jess's mind off of Luce.
"I'm sorry J., I didn't mean to upset you, and I know you miss her. Sandi reached over and took Jess's hand.
"It's okay. She'll be home soon and I'll just have to attack her as soon as she walks in the door." Jess gave a broad grin to her friend and asked, "Are you thinking about switching sides now?"
Sandi sat up a little,” No, I mean, I was just curious. You never really went into detail about your sexuality." She looked at Jess who sat there with a huge grin. She knew Jess saw right through her, busted! "Your right, I've been thinking about women lately. Oh God, I'm hypocritical homophobe aren't I?
Jess laughed. "No your not, your coming to terms with a social taboo and trying to rectify it just like I did many years ago. It's natural to be curious about things, it just depends on whether you want to act on your feelings."
"I knew you would make me feel better. I've wanted to talk to you about this for so long but I never knew how to approach the subject. I need another drink and give me one of those cigarettes please."
Jess ordered two more drinks from the bartender and then lit two cigarettes handing one off to Sandi. Sandi took a drag and felt a quick burning in her throat. "God, I forgot how good that was. Look I'm not ready to pick anyone up tonight or tomorrow for that matter. This is all new to me; I never had these feelings before. Does this make me gay or bi?"
Jess smiled. "It makes you my best friend who is willing to try something more of what life has to offer. Don't label yourself. That's the problem; people have to create categories for everything. You’re a human that wants to be with and love another human. Period. " Suddenly the lights went low and the stage lit up. Jess sat up in her chair.
"Never mind worrying about things now, we came here for the music, let's just enjoy the show. You're really going to love this singer, she's awesome and very hot."
The emcee started his intro, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Siren of Soul, Ms. Jackie Gates!”
The crowd shouted and whistled as the announcer led a raven-haired beauty on stage and guided her to a lone stool in the spotlight. She sat down and placed her guitar around her neck.
“Thank You, Mr. Johnny. Hello everyone. Thanks for coming here tonight to listen to me fulfill my own “American Idol” fantasy.” The crowd laughed and clapped wildly. “Mr. Johnny, it’s seems like we have a great group here tonight. I’m going to start out with one of my favorites, so feel free to sing along or just sit back and enjoy. Be nice to the staff tonight, I’d hate to see them have to spit in your drinks!” she laughed.
Her fingers began to strum out a folksy melody and she began to sing. Her voice was beautiful, soft at first then rising with a powerful edge.
Dressed in black jeans, a sleeveless, mock turtle neck and dark glasses; she had a classic rock look to her instead of a gothic look. Silver rings on her fingers caught glimpses of light as she plucked and strummed her way through several songs. After one last ballad, she took a break. Mr. Johnny came out and took her by the hand and led her off stage over to Jess and Sandi’s table.
“Hey Jess, how are you sweetie? Where’s Luce? Still in Europe?” She’s even more beautiful close up, thought Sandi. She started to feel excited down between her legs.
“Hey Jackie, “ Jess leaned over and kissed the woman on the cheek. “Yes, she’s still away. She should be home soon, maybe another day or two. I miss her terribly.”
“Well you can’t miss her that much if you’re here with another woman.” Chided Jackie. “Don’t forget, Luce and I go back a long way and I’d hate to have to report to her that her lover is fooling around.”
“Not to worry, Jacks.” Jess laughed. “I’d like you to meet my oldest and dearest friend, Sandi. Sandi this is Jackie.”
“Hi Jackie, It’s great to meet you. Jess has been singing your praises all week. I can certainly see why, your great.” Sandi felt herself blush a little as the other woman shook her hand. She felt a surge of energy rise from the singer’s touch that went to her nipples, making them tingle before it rejoined and went straight down between her legs. She was definitely feeling something and she was not going to deny it this time. “Can I ask what’s with the Roy Orbison look?”
“Sorry Jacks, I didn’t mention anything to her about that.” Interrupted Jess.
“What? Did I say something wrong?” asked Sandi. Jackie broke into a smile, “It’s okay Jess, I wear the glasses because I’m blind.”
Sandi sat back in her chair suddenly feeling embarrassed. “ I…I am so sorry. I just thought it was a musical fashion statement. I didn’t mean to offend you Jackie. I apologize.”
“It’s alright, really. I was in an accident years ago and this was the result. I’m overly sensitive to light and being on stage with a spotlight can be painful. You didn’t know so don’t feel that you’ve offended me. I would be more upset if you told me my singing sucked.”
Mr. Johnny came back with a drink for Jackie and set it in front of her. “John, make sure my girls here a taken care of tonight, on the house.”
“You got it Babe. Just don’t get too comfortable, you’ve got another set coming up.” John walked away and Jackie turned to Sandi’s direction. “John’s my brother, he and I own the bar. This is your first time here isn’t it Sandi?”
“Yes, Jess has been trying to get me to came here for some time.” her eyes trailed along the singers face, “I think I might have to become a regular also.”
“Great, it’s like a dysfunctional family here. Right Jess?” Jackie took a sip of her drink. “Well, my public awaits. I hope you girls stick around after the set, I’d love to sit and chat. “ She started to get up and turned to Sandi, “Would you mind taking me to my seat?”
Sandi was more than happy to help Jackie, she walked her to her chair and handed her the guitar. Her heart was pounding all the while, “It’s amazing that you can’t see but you can play guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn but I don’t have the coordination.”
“It’s just like making love, you just know by feel, the rest falls into place. I can teach if you like?”
Sandi didn’t know what to say, she didn’t want to sound anxious, but she felt a definite connection with this woman. “If you think you have the patience, I’m willing to learn.”
“Oh, I have a great amount of patience.”
“I better let you play before people start throwing things at me to move. “ Sandi went back to her seat near Jess. She looked over at her, bumming a cigarette, she lit it and couldn’t help but notice Jess sitting there with a sly smirk on her face. “You like her, don’t you Sand?”
“It’s not what you think Jess. I think she’s a very talented musician.” She took a drag of her smoke, exhaling she noticed Jess still grinning.
“You are so full of shit. You think she’s hot. I know you too well so don’t try to bullshit me, girlfriend. You want her.”
“Fuck you. Yes, she is hot. I’m sure everyone knows that, she even knows that, she probably flirts with everyone. She does own a business, it’s just good customer relations.”
Jess leaned closer to Sandi; “I bet if I was to put my hands down your pants right now, you would be so wet with desire.”
“Jess your such a pig. If you even touch me I’ll call Luce and tell her your hitting on me, she wouldn’t be happy.”
Jess sat back in her chair and started to laugh. “If Luce was here she would be buying drinks to celebrate your new found lust. I know Jackie and she’s interested. This is your chance, don’t blow it! You had better not wimp out, if I was you, I would definitely go for it; it’s a sure thing. Jacks doesn’t play head games.”
Sandi took a long drag on her cigarette, she let the smoke slowly leave her lungs, all the while looking at Jackie as she fingered her guitar, her fingers slid across the bridge effortlessly, and she thought about what she had said about it being akin to making love. “She is hot isn’t she? This is so confusing; it’s all going too fast. It has to be the liquor talking, not me, I don’t do girls.”
“You don’t have to sleep with her tonight, just talk to her, get to know her a little, maybe meet for lunch or something. What have you got to lose? If you don’t feel the same way maybe you can just be friends. She’s really a great person. All I can say is play it by ear.”
Sandi stubbed out her cigarette, and swallowed down the rest of her drink. “Your right, Lord knows I’m not getting anywhere with the men these days, I might as well try the women.”
They sat there and listened to Jackie until she finished her set. Sandi’s mind was racing when she finally came and sat down with them. What would she say to her? She suddenly felt awkward. A few people came over and commented to Jackie on her music. After a while the conversation became comfortable, there were no sexual overtones and Sandi found that she and Jackie had a lot in common. They liked the same music and books. Jackie would order books on tape or has someone read them to her while she worked on her music.
Before long time had passed and the group grew tired. “Time to hit the road girls. Jackie it was fun as usual. When Luce gets back we’ll have to get together for dinner.” Jess leaned over and kissed Jackie on the cheek. “That would be great. Luce and I haven’t talked in while, I need to catch up with her. “ She put her hand out to Sandi, “It was great meeting you Sandi, and the offer to teach you guitar is still good. No strings attached. Ha Ha. “
“I might just take you up on that Jackie. “ Jess gave her a nudge. “Um, I was wondering,,,would you like to have lunch sometime?”’
“I would love to have lunch. Jess has my number, call me tomorrow and we’ll set it up, okay? I’m pretty much free this weekend, maybe we can do a little shopping while we are at it, scope out the book stores or something.”
“Sounds great, I will call you tomorrow then. “ They bid each other good night and all went home.
The next day she called Jess to get Jackie’s number, taking a deep breath she dialed the number with shaking hands. “What the hell is wrong with me? Its just lunch.”
She heard the phone pick up and her heart raced. “Hello?”
“Hello Jackie? It’s Sandi.”
“Hi, I was hoping you would call, I thought you might have second thoughts.”
“No, not at all, I thought the same about you. How is Saturday? I can pick you up or meet you, what ever is better for you. “
“Saturday is good for me also. Why don’t you pick me up, I live above the bar, just come around back to the parking lot, follow the stairs to second floor and your right there. What time?”
“Eleven good for you?”
“Perfect. See you Saturday.”
“See you Saturday.” Sandi hung up the phone. She felt like a schoolgirl again. Saturday couldn’t come fast enough.
Sandi followed Jackie’s directions and buzzed at her door. “Who is it?” Jackie’s voice came over the intercom. “It’s Sandi.” The door buzzed and Sandi walked inside. Jackie was standing nearby putting on a pair of earrings. “Hey. Just give me a minute.” Sandi looked around the apartment, “Sure take your time. I’m a little early. This is a great place.” Jackie smoothed the front of her skirt and reached to a nearby hook for her jacket. “Thanks. I bet you thought I only had a chair and a table, maybe a radio, a cot in the corner, or bare walls. “
Sandi turned to her surprised, “No, really I didn’t. I …”
“It’s okay, I’m kidding. Most people think that’s what a blind person’s place is like. I’m one of the fortunate people who have many gay male friends that love to decorate. They even help with my wardrobe.”
Sandi looked at Jackie’s outfit. Black leather blazer, simple white t-shirt, long skirt that covered knee length black boots. “Well they certainly have great taste. You look, for sake of a better word, Wow.”
“Thank you. So where are we going?” She looped her arm through Sandi’s and they went out the door. They decided on a little bistro in the artsy section of town. They spent most of their lunch laughing at Jackie’s stories about her and Luce. She met Luce at private school and they became partners in crime. They would sneak cigarettes behind the convent or get wine for weekend parties from behind the altar. “Nothing was too sacrilegious for us back then. “
Later they went shopping through some of the little shops that dotted the avenue. Sandi wasn’t sure how to shop with a blind person, but Jackie explained everything to her. She would find something of interest, describe it to her or let her feel the object. They both had a penchant for earrings and bought several pairs. Sandi felt so comfortable around Jackie, as if she had known her for years.
After a visit to the bookstore they decided to go back to Jackie’s apartment. She suggested they order out and look over what they had purchased.
Jackie brought out a bottle of wine and two glasses to have with the Chinese food they ordered. She poured the wine into a glass and handed it to Sandi, “Why don’t you try on those earrings you bought, the hoops with the dangly things. I want to see how they look, I may want to borrow them someday.”
“Sure, those are my favorites. You can borrow them anytime.” She put the earrings on, “I love them!” Jackie reached out with both hands,” Come here let me see.” She moved closer for Jackie to feel them. Her long fingers ran along Sandi’s ears, playing with the moon and stars that hung off of the silver hoops. “They are great and I know what would go perfect with them, wait here.”
Jackie walked off into the bedroom and came back with a silver bracelet that had stars hanging down. She reached for Sandi’s arm and put it on her. “You can keep this, I never wear it anymore.”
“Oh, I couldn’t. I’ll just borrow it sometime.”
“No, I want you to have it, it’s a gift for being so patient with me this afternoon. Not many people would take the time to show me things or describe them to me like you did, I really appreciate your kindness.”
Sandi took Jackie’s hands in hers. “I had a wonderful time with you today. I realized you don’t really know what I look like, do you?” She placed Jackie’s hands on either side of her face to let her feel.
Jackie’s long fingers moved along her cheeks, her eyes, and nose before resting on her lips. Then she ran her hands through Sandi’s long hair.
“Wow, I knew you sounded beautiful, but feeling is believing.” She laughed. “Let me guess, you’re a blonde, right?”
Sandi was dumbfounded, “Yes, but how can you tell?”
“By the texture and I can smell your conditioner. Most color treated hair needs conditioning. I was almost thrown off because your hair is so silky soft.” She continued to run her hands through Sandi’s hair bringing back the feelings of longing the first time she met Jackie. Suddenly she pulled her hands away leaving Sandi wishing she would have let her hands travel down the rest of her body.