Hey, Wassup? My name is Tracy. You might have already been thinking it because of my loose fitting masculine attire, but just to set the record straight yes, I'm a lesbian. To me its liberating to just say yea I know what you're thinking and yes I am! I've been out like that since as far back as I can remember, but I also know that the luxury of having that kind of openness isn't an option for everybody. Actually, I know firsthand because I was kind of drug back into the closet when I dated a Marine.
I met Alisha when I was finishing up my second year at UNC working part time as an auto mechanic when she came into the shop to have her brake pads replaced. The moment she walked through the door was the closest I'd ever been to love at first sight. Her beauty took my breath away. I was so busy trying to keep my cool that I was almost oblivious to what she was saying as she approached the counter. At first, from the way she was expectantly giving me the once-over I thought I had missed something she said, but then I just figured she was staring at my eyebrow piercing and the small diamond stud I had in my nose. It wouldn't have been the first time.
Things started to get interesting when she handed over her keys so I could get started on her car. Quickly glancing at the set of keys I noticed her HRC key chain. I played it off, but my heart skipped a beat from this indication that she was in the life. Still, I wanted to be a little more certain and make sure she wasn't already taken before I turned on the charm, so I told myself that I needed to investigate her further.
Mark my words ladies, if you're attractive and your mechanic sees that, he or she will search your car to try to find out more about you. She kept her car pretty clean. Actually she kept it really clean, and I understood why after noticing the DOD sticker for Camp Lejune on her windshield. My older brother was a Marine so I knew they were all trained to be almost fanatical about cleanliness. But doing a thorough search paid off because there were no indications of a wifey and stuffed way down between the driver's seat and the parking brake I found an old flier from a gay club about an hour away.
I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass me by so I completed the brake work, cleaned off my hands and went inside to ring her up myself. I went through the usual spiel explaining the charges for parts, labor (you know I had to hook her up with a discount there) and the guarantee. I also wrote my phone number and a note on the flier I found saying, 'You wont find Miss Right here but she might be fixing your car. Call me.' and stapled it to the back of her paperwork and receipt. The next evening I got a call, we set up a date, hit it off and before long we were a couple. It wasn't easy. Between her work and my school it seemed like one of us was always preoccupied, but somehow we still managed to arrange quality time together whenever one or both of us needed it most.
We were still going strong when I finished school getting my Bachelor's in Business. After that, she got sent overseas to Iraq for the good part of a year. That type of long-term separation caused some communication, trust and horniness related dramas that made our problems when I was in school and she was working look like a cakewalk. But somehow our relationship managed to survive all of that as well.
I wasn't feelin the corporate world too much, so she talked me into going back and doing what it was that I truly enjoyed, fixing cars. I did pretty well for myself using my knowledge of cars and my B school savvy to make a few solid investments in repair shops and auto part companies. It was a financial bonus on top of what I made as just a plain old mechanic. But truth is, I would have done the labor part of the job for nothing as long as I could be myself, keep all my piercings and such that weren't "appropriate" in the business world. Another bonus was that there was work anywhere I went, so I was free to follow Alisha wherever she got stationed. After my school, her deployment and 2 changes of station we had really seen all sides of each other.
We were different in many ways, which led to a lot of bickering and a handful of heated disagreements, but we found the saying to be true that opposites attract. Our differences complimented each other and allowed us to create common ground because of the simple fact that we enjoyed anything we could do together. Over our seven years together the experiences we shared usually broadened us making us both better and more diverse individuals. Shoot, we even got each other going to church regularly again. Plus, we both had good credit and stable incomes, so it wasn't hard for us to make spur of the moment decisions to hit a playoffs game or catch a symphony or Jay Z concert when it came to town.
And between you and me, another thing we had in common was that we were both undercover freaks and very much into foreplay. We weren't exhibitionistic about our business, but we cut up with inside jokes among each other when we visited the Erotic Museums while on vacations in LA and New York and it wasn't uncommon for us to steal intimate moments in private corners during our more routine activities either. And when we were behind closed doors...Oh my Gawd! It wouldn't be right to give all the details, but lets just say that we put it on each other more than on the regular and the shyt was always the bomb!
But sorry, my bad. I wasn't trying to guide you down this path of memory lane to talk about how we met or give you a complete history of our relationship. I really wanted to talk about this whole coming out business. I knew how important her career was to her so I wouldn't have dreamed of pressuring her to jeopardize it by publicizing our relationship. Furthermore, I certainly didn't want to be responsible for ruining it for her. The don't ask, don't tell policy aint no joke. Our problems developed because neither one of us realized until after the fact (falling in love) that its damn near impossible for someone as open as I am about my sexuality to be partnered with someone who has to hide it. If one of you is in the closet, you're both pretty much in the closet or the situation becomes dangerously sensitive.
At first, I didn't really mind. I just attributed it to the nature of her profession, something that couldn't be helped. Later on, I suppose you could say I was starting to feel a little bit claustrophobic in that closet of ours. The conflict between us boiled down to an Aries inflexibly passionate about her position against a Scorpio insistent on the fact that she knew what was best. I was forced to do the hardest thing I hope I ever have to do--I walked out on the love of my life.
After Alisha had given me one of her back massages I rolled over and was lying down chillin with my head propped up by a couple of pillows feeling loose like Jell-O and relaxed like I had just smoked a blunt. Yes, her skillz are that good! Alisha was then straddling me on all fours with her gorgeous almond ass hovering in front of my face just above my chest and abs. I knew what was coming next as she started to peel my Under Armor boxer briefs down and off of me, and I wasted no time sliding her thong to the side and dipping two fingers into her pussy from behind and thumbing her ass hole to see to it that she would be cumming with me on this sexual journey. She gave my nether lips a few long, sensual licks that made my toes curl and sent chills shooting from my feet up through my spine.
"Mmmmmm...yea gurl! Do ya thang," I moaned in a seductive and commanding voice as she wrapped her lips around my throbbing clit. I continued to massage her pussy and ass hole, teasing her by pulling back whenever she tried to bear back down onto my hand. She let out a few groans protesting my teasing but was careful not to remove her lips or tongue from my clit. I was all grins sticking my tongue out and raking my tongue ring against my teeth enjoying her expressions of eagerness to have me enter her deeper and with more force. I could feel her walls contracting tightly around my fingers and she began creaming all over my hand. I had teased her long enough and began stroking to meet the gyrations of her hips and alternating thrusts between my fingers and thumb.
This time she acknowledged my actions with a moan of approval. When she penetrated me with her tongue my hips started doing some gyrating of their own and I was concentrating hard not to buck too far off the bed or stop pleasuring her as I felt my climax approaching. The shyt was feelin good! So I have no idea how I managed to notice at that precise moment the TV being on and the story that was being reported on the news.
"Baby, hold on! Stop, stop, stop!" I said as I abruptly withdrew my hand from between her legs resting it on the side of her butt cheek as I gently tapped her other thigh with my other hand.
"Dag Tracy! Your lil ideas of thug lovin and always havin to be in control have to stop! You can't be stopping in the middle just because I have your shyt feelin so good you're worried I'm bout to make you scream like a lil bitc..."
"Shhhhhh! Listen!" I interrupted, snapping my fingers and pointing at the TV:
A bill was passed by a small margin in congress today repealing the military don't ask, don't tell policy established during the Clinton administration. This decision comes after years of lobbying on both sides of the issue and reviews of several cases brought before the Supreme Court. The repeal will allow homosexuals to serve openly in all branches of the US Armed Forces. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff comments that this decision is expected to improve retention and increase recruitment numbers for both active duty and reserve forces.
"Uh-oh!! I have a sexy devil dog that needs to be let outta the closet! Hoo-rah!" I said, exclimating it with one of those patented Marine Corps barks that over time I had learned to do even better than she could.
To date, Department of Defense officials estimate some 11,000 men and women have been discharged for their sexual orientation. 30% of those discharged held jobs requiring what was said to be critical skills necessary to support the Global War on Terrorism, resulting in a cost to the government of over 300 million dollars in training. The issue of same sex marriages is still under heavy review and discussion, so although this will permit homosexuals to serve openly in the Armed Forces same-sex couples will not be eligible for military dependent benefits.
Still in her reverse straddle position, Alisha looked back smiling at me and replied, "You know, you're right! And we aint busy so let me just throw something on real quick and I'll go out and let everybody know right this second."
"Oh naw girl!" I said grabbing her by the waist and playfully tickling her before she could move away. "It can wait cuz we're definitely getting busy right this second." And with that, I cut the TV off with the remote sitting on the nightstand, slid my hand back into its previous position between her legs, and guided her rear end backwards towards my chest to give her easy access to my center as I laid my head back down on the pillows.
The next thing I remember was waking up in bed early the next morning with a numb and tingling hand behind my head. My other arm was around Alisha who slept on top of me with one of her hands entangled in my shoulder length dreds and her head nestled between my B sized breasts. My sports bra was awkwardly hanging around my neck and Alisha's mouth was slightly open so I could feel her breath traveling lightly over one of my nipples making it hard. Even after seven years, I lived for waking up in positions like those.
I don't know exactly what it was I expected to happen after that night. Did I expect Alisha to run out the next day and announce before her entire unit that I was her lover? No, not likely. But I did hope that it was a sign our days of secrecy and leading double lives were close to over. Both our families and many of our mutual civilian friends were aware and supportive of our relationship, but we still kept up the appearance of separate rooms and went through a "straightening up" ritual whenever we expected people from her job over. The ritual entailed packing away the various portraits we had of the two of us together, hiding anything with rainbows on it, and removing and hiding the lesbian literature and erotica we had from the small library we had accumulated over the years.
She would also hand over the ring I had given to her for safe keeping whenever she knew wearing it would invite too many unanswerable questions. It seems silly, but to me that was just more acceptable than watching her hide it away with the rest of her jewelry like some random accessory. Even though its not legally recognized, to us it was every bit an engagement/wedding ring. And just like such, I was also very attached because it definitely set a sistah back a G or three!
But anyway, we did eventually discuss how to approach coming out to her co-workers. She was just as tired of keeping up the double life as I was, but she was also very cautious and convinced me that it was best to wait and see how or even if our new freedom was actually going to be enforced. I remember her saying, "desegregation didn't happen in a day," or something along those lines.
"Hey, did you see this story in the base paper? They're letting fags back in the military," said Corporal Josh Adams waiving the paper he had picked up as the group was field daying the office.
"Damn, are we really that desperate for people? I think it's a mistake. Its already been proven that it just doesn't work. The last thing I need is some dude eyeballing me in the barracks," responded Sergeant Derick Thomas pushing some papers through the paper shredder.
"Man, you can't even get women to eyeball you. What makes you think some dude is gonna be studying your ass? Besides, its not like they weren't here before. They just couldn't talk about it, but you pretty much can tell who's a fairy anyway."
"Whatever, all I'm sayin is I don't want that trash in my Marine Corps. You all remember that movie A Few Good Men, right? If we're gonna bring back the faggots I say we just bring back the Code Reds too. You better believe that I wont hold back a beat down for any so called marine who decides to go homo on me. If it doesn't effectively knock the sense back into him we can only hope it'll drive him and his kind out of our Corps. You're right about already knowing though. Even with the chicks. If they're both hot its semi acceptable, but it seems like you can only find that kinda shyt in movies. Usually one of the two is one of those women trying to be a dude to get with other women...that shyt's just wrong!"
"What are you talking about, Derick!? You prolly wouldn't be able to pick out a lesbian if she came and kneed you in the nuts!" piped in Alisha when she'd had enough of their ignorance.
"Naw. You know, their mannerisms and shyt. It just gives you this vibe so you can just tell sometimes. You're girl Tracy for example. I mean, don't get me wrong I dig the girl. She's kinda every man's dream, a female who can go drink for drink with you, loves to watch sports and can fix a car. But you gotta admit she is a little rough around the edges so it also makes you wonder...You aint ever catch her tryna get a peek at you while you were showering or anything like that have you?"
"Listen! You need to keep my friend's name outta your mouth when you're talkin about Code Reds and fags and chicks that wanna be dudes and shyt like that. She's a proud, self-secure, black woman who I assure you has no interest in being a man. And don't you ever...Ever, expect me to sit here and let you disrespect her like that. I can't believe you would even say some stupid shyt like that about my friend when I'm standin right here!"
"Damn, alright! Retract them claws, Alisha. You know I didn't mean any disrespect towards Tracy. "
At that point Alisha was furious. "Maybe you didn't mean any disrespect, but I suggest you think before you run off at the mouth about what kind of 'trash' you don't want in 'your' Marine Corps," Alisha lectured throwing up finger quotes. "Besides, if Tracy were a homosexual it wouldn't be any of your fukkin business anyway." After that Alisha scooped up one of the trash bags and stormed out of the office. As she left she could still overhear Derick trying to justify himself. "I guess she's right. Its not like Tracy is a Marine anyway though. And she still blew that way out of proportion. Women...she must be on the rag or something."
Time marched on and Alisha and I continued to discuss the possibility of an opportunity for her to come out. These discussions gradually increased in frequency and eventually transformed from discussions to confrontational debates and finally arguments. It got to a point where every little thing seemed to somehow connect to the massive inconvenience of having to hide our lifestyle from so many people, resulting in us fighting almost every single day. There wasn't anything particularly extreme that happened on the day I'd decided I'd had enough. It was just pretty much more of the same becoming the final straw.
We had once again "straightened up" for the weekend because Alisha wanted to invite some of the guys over to watch a fight that I ordered on PPV. During one of the middleweight fights before the main event I followed Alisha into the kitchen when she got up to refill the snack platters we had put out. I was feeling kinda bold so when I saw her standing at the counter with her back to me pouring chips into a serving bowl I came up behind her and put my hands on either side of her trapping her. Leaning forward and inhaling I whispered into her ear, "have I told you how good you smell today?" After a short snicker she dipped two of her fingers into the ranch dressing and held them up over her shoulder inviting me to taste. I obliged but sucked on her fingertips briefly forcing her to struggle slightly in removing them from my mouth.
"Lets not forget we have company over, boo." she said in a hushed tone as she went back to arranging the hors d'oeuvre.
Ignoring her, I leaned down slightly and slid my tongue ring in a short line against her shoulder before planting a small kiss on an area exposed by the tank top she was wearing, all as I palmed and squeezed on her ass.
"Tracy! What's gotten into you?" she again protested shrugging me from her shoulder and turning slightly so she could look at me.
I sighed and leaned up against the counter and in a low tone answered, "You've gotten into me. It's my house, and I should be able to show my woman a little physical affection if I get the urge to do so."
"Sweetie, you know I love you, but now is not the time. Can we play later, please? After everyone leaves?"
"I'm not playing. I'm tired of this!" I said, momentarily getting loud before catching myself and pausing to lower my voice again. "We've straightened up, and as far as I'm concerned you can leave it. I'm out, and I'll be back to get my things later." I said this looking directly into her eyes and holding back any other emotional facial expression, so she knew I was serious.
Before she could say anything else I went back into the living room, made an excuse to the guys about some business coming up that I had to attend to, and gave them all daps before leaving. Even Sergeant Derick Thomas's stupid ass, who I never quite trusted ever since he pulled me aside a while back with some stupid shyt about putting a good word in for him with Alisha so he could try to hook up with her.
I went back early the next morning after arranging to stay with a friend of mine from the shop and borrowing his pickup truck to move my things. Alisha was asleep on the couch. The tissue-cluttered floor led me to believe she had cried herself to sleep. My instinct was to scoop her up and carry her upstairs to put her in bed, but I knew the easiest way to follow through with this would be to do what I had to quickly, and be in and out before she woke up. I almost pulled it off, but she caught me just as I was zipping up suitcases of clothes upstairs. I turned around and there she stood in the doorway.
"Tracy, sweetheart, please! Just because its legal doesn't mean they're going to support it or even accept it. I want to make our relationship known just as much as you do. But it might not even be safe. You just don't understand that!" And she was right. I didn't because she never came home and talked about the homophobic ignorance she had to face at work from Derick Thomas and countless other personalities like his. The affect on her job was only a small part of the issue. I had no idea that she was more concerned for our physical and psychological safety. She had been genuinely frightened by hate filled threats she heard so many people spout off like it was no big deal. She also knew that in extreme cases I could get preemptively violent, especially if I thought I was protecting her. In hindsight, I see that her decision to not discuss some of the conversations she heard at work was her way of deescalating the situation. But of course, at the time I had no clue.
"It's been eight months!" I argued back raising my voice slightly. "What's keeping you from telling? Are you ashamed of me? Are you ashamed of our relationship? I was understanding when the law was no shyt, you would lose your job if they found out. I was understanding when they sent you to war and I had to jump through hoops just to find out if you were alright. Hell, I was even understanding through all those social functions you went to on the arm of that faggie friend of yours acting like y'all were a couple while I had to sit at home with his man wondering when my turn would ever come. You want me to understand why I have to hide who I am? Who we are? Even in our own house, because some of your peoples might be uncomfortable with it!? I understand alright! I understand that you love the Corps more than me. I'm tired of your loyalty to them being above your loyalty to me or even yourself. I really think you've lost sight of who's faithful to who you really are."
With that, I collected the things I had packed up and headed down the stairs to leave. I saw Alisha make a move to come after me, but stop herself. She knew me too well. There was no changing my mind in situations like these, so all she could do was watch me walk out the door.
Things were different to say the least after I left and moved in with my friend from work. I was free to blast my stereo as loud as I wanted, I could peruse my Maxim and Stuff magazines in peace without 1000 questions about what I need to look at that for. I could enjoy a Black every now and then without having her complain about my smoky clothes and ashtray mouth. I could play my PS2 and Xbox for hours, uninterrupted. Yes indeed, I was adjusting, and absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, unarguably.... miserable without her! I had to leave her because I knew I wasn't ever going to be satisfied if nothing changed and there was no way we were going to be able to just talk it out. I started to fault her less and less for wanting to wait, but I knew I personally couldn't wait any longer and didn't want to be responsible for outing her before she was ready. And still, no amount of justification for leaving changed the fact that I loved her. So it was still a constant struggle to fight the temptation to call her and say I made a terrible mistake and that I missed her and wanted to come home.
Going through all the stages of break-up took a serious toll on me emotionally. By then, Alisha knew about giving me my space whenever we had disagreements, but when she realized this time was different I had to be creative in avoiding her. It was painful for me to ignore all of her phone calls and text messages and ask coworkers to say I was busy or say I wasn't there when she came by the garage. Other than the occasional text message saying I hoped she was doing ok and how sorry I was that I couldn't stick around it was just too painful for me to even think about responding to her attempts to communicate.
After several weeks of standing by my decision, in a moment of extreme weakness, I called to actually speak with her for the first time since I left. I called her at work of course, knowing she wouldn't be able to make a fuss about trying to work things out. I simply wanted to hear her voice and see how she was holding up. Unfortunately, or fortunately however you want to look at it, they told me she had taken a couple weeks of leave to handle some personal matters. It was always like her to take some time to herself whenever she was going through emotional stuff, whereas I tried to hide my feelings and work through the heartache. In this particular case, it might have been smarter for me to take some time off like she had because my lack of concentration was having a serious negative impact on my work. Lets just say I'm lucky nobody was hurt or sued when I misaligned someone's transmission and then when the customer returned rightfully dissatisfied I lost my temper and threw a socket wrench through his windshield. Luckily, since I have no secrets, everybody I worked with knew exactly why I hadn't been acting like myself. Rather than fire me like they would have any other employee, they just restricted me to working behind the counter until I could come back to my senses.