“Look, Karen, I don’t want to argue about this no more. Hell, we've been together for four years and you still don’t get it!”
“Oh I get it, Colleen. You aint have no problem fuckin no man, but, when I want to strap up, all I get is grief. All this time we been together, I’ve even taken you shopping with me and let you pick out the strap. I still can’t get it like I want it with you--what’s up with that?”
“For your information, I wasn’t just fuckin any man. I was married to the man for fourteen years. Fourteen years, Karen. I wasn’t with a man before him or after him. You know how I felt about the physical part of him and I being together.”
“That didn’t stop your ass from having four damn kids. You must of enjoyed it girl. Most women that can’t be with no man don’t produce no four damn kids. I can see one, hell maybe even two, but four? Girl please.”
“You know what is disturbing to me is that you really don’t get it. After four years of our relationship, you don’t get the fact that I was a lesbian with him, before him and I will continue to be a lesbian. Why? Because I was pretending while I was with him.”
“Well honey, let me tell ya that was a whole lot of pretending! And pretty fucked up too I might add--laying up with some man for fourteen years and not feeling him. I’m sorry, Colleen. I just don’t buy it anymore.”
“You can believe or not believe me, Karen. It don’t matter anymore cause I never thought this is what it would be like to be with a woman. It took me all these years to be who I am and to stop pretending. You know what my family is like. They still don’t approve of you and me. I left every one and everything I know to be with you cause I love you and this is where I want to be. This is what you don’t get. Now, in the four years that we have been together, you still want me to justify my relationship with a man that I was married to and I won’t. Not anymore. That part of my life is over with. Can’t we just--”
“Over? Over my ass--not when you got four boys to remind me of you fuckin a man.”
“That’s it, Karen. I can’t do this anymore. The last thing I have ever wanted was to battle in my own house and not to mention the fact that I fell in love with you, a woman. I’ve given you a part of myself that I have given no man, and you know that you are the only woman I have ever been with. I want you to leave. I can’t do this anymore this isn’t just about the strap that I won’t allow you to use with me; this is about so much more. You have never been able to deal with the fact that I have been with a man period. I think that it bothers you so badly; maybe you feel that there is some comparison between you and him. So you have to what? Prove yourself by wearing a fake dick!"
“Oh my bad, Colleen. You would prefer the real one now wouldn’t you?”
“See, that’s what I mean. What I would prefer, Karen, is a woman I can be with and not have to justify my past to, especially where sex comes into play. I’d prefer a woman who understands that we are women first, that we’ve been through a lot and that we can get through it together without accusations and insecurities of the past! I thought that woman was you.”

Colleen lay over her bed crying, it had been nine months since Karen left, and although she still cared about her she could not allow herself the abuse any longer. Oh God, this is so difficult, I pray that all women aren’t like that cause if they are then I am destined to be alone cause I can’t be with any man ever. She cried herself to sleep.
She woke up at 4:00 in the morning, two hours before she was to get the boys up and off to school, along with getting herself ready for work. She got up early took her shower, ironed her clothes and made herself some coffee. She logged onto the Internet. She sipped her coffee, while waiting for the AOL home page to pop up. Hmmm, she thought, nothing like a good cup of coffee to get your day started.
Colleen clicked on her e-mail, and deleted the unfamiliar ones. As she read the e-mails that she was familiar with, she noticed an email from Keira, a woman she had known for several years. The last time she saw her was a year ago at the Black arts festival, she seemed to be very interested in her tapestry work. She opened the email:
Hi Colleen, It’s been a while since we’ve last spoken. I enjoyed our time together at the black arts festival. If you aren’t too busy would you please call me, here are my numbers!
Colleen ran and got a pen and jotted down the numbers to Keira’s cell, home and job. She must be interested in the tapestry that was on display. Maybe she’s single now like me. Hell, I wish. Anyway, I’ll call her sometime this afternoon. Maybe she knows a buyer. If I can sell some of my tapestry work, I can send the money to Devin and Dorian for college.
Colleen was interrupted by Calvin her eleven year old, who asked her the time. She shut the computer down and got Carl up as well to go to school.
Colleen’s day at work was so hectic, she had scheduled only two appointments to show apartments for lease. By the time she had gotten in, she had been requested by three additional clients for a showing as well. Her day proved to be a good one all five appointments were approved for lease. Finally, her end of the week was looking up.
She decided to work from home on Friday to finalize the paper work. After getting the boys off to school and going over the paper work she realized that it was 2:00 in the afternoon. Boy had she been busy. Oh my goodness let me call Keira, she thought.
She dialed Keira’s cell phone. “Hello?”
“Hi, this is Colleen.”
“Hi, Colleen. How are you, honey? I am so glad you called and you couldn’t have picked a better time. I just finished up closing a major deal and I found several buyers for your tapestry willing to pay top dollar.”
“Oh wow, that’s great. Listen, the kids are going to be gone for the weekend. If you aren’t busy can we get together?”
“That would be perfect. I happen to be free this weekend, talk about timing. Honey, listen why don’t you come down here. You can stay at my place. I’ll even cook for you. How’s that sound?”
“That is so sweet of you, Keira. .I just don’t want to impose or anything.”
“Then it’s settled, I will e-mail you the directions to my home. I can’t wait to see you.”
“Okay, alrighty then I’ll see you sometime this evening around 7:00 then?”
“Drive safe, I want you here all in one piece. We’ve got some catching up to do. If you’ve finished any new tapestries bring with you; I’d love to see them.”
“I do have several finished and three more that I’m working on. Sure, I’ll bring them."
"I’ll see you later.”
Colleen was shaking by the time she hung up the phone. This was so unexpected. She exhaled and told herself that this was just a business meeting that was all and that she would not expect anything except a good time with a beautiful woman.
She arrived safely to Keira’s home at 7:20. “Wow, Keira. What you done to this place it is beautiful. Did you do all the decorations yourself?”
“Listen, baby, I can cook my behind off, but I leave the interior decorating up to the experts,” she said while they both laughed. “Anyway, thank you, Colleen. I’m so glad that you came, can I give you a hug?”
“Why yes, yes of course.” They embraced; Colleen felt butterflies in her stomach. Just a simple get together, she told herself, a little business, along with good food, drink and conversation.
“Are you hungry cause honey I whipped us up some fried pork chops smothered in gravy, some biscuits, rice, and a three bean salad. And for your desert pleasure, since I didn’t have time to make it, I purchased a homemade pecan pie from Hough’s bakery. I know that’s your favorite; I remembered from the festival.”
“It sounds so good, and yes I can’t believe you remembered, about the pecan pie that is.”
“Not only did I remember the pie, but I also remembered that you don’t drink alcohol. So I got us some homemade apple-cider.”
“Wow thank you, I love apple-cider.”
“Come on girl let’s eat.”
After dinner they sat and caught up the last year of one another’s lives. Keira’s lover Dianne had been killed in an automobile accident several days after the festival. Since then she had been emerging herself at the Gallery, to stay busy. Keira also worked closely with the Summit County’s school district arranging cultural tours for 7th and 8th graders.
Colleen felt a little uncomfortable talking to Keira about what led to the break up of her relationship with Karen. She just told her that they both mutually decided that the relationship was over.
Keira got up put some music on and said, “Colleen let’s dance, sort of like a toast to new beginnings.”
“Alright Keira! To new beginnings.”
Jill Scott's Golden started to belt out of the music system and these two ladies were dancing all over the floor singing, mostly off tune but enjoying one another’s company, and laughing. Colleen laughed so hard, that by the time the music ended she was in tears.
Keira decided to slow it down, she put some jazz instrumental on and, went over towards Colleen and sat closely to her. “Colleen what’s bothering you? Are you uncomfortable with me?” She asked as she placed her hands over Colleens.
“No, its not that Keira,” she sighed. “I really liked you from day one I felt that you were not only beautiful, but smart and witty. I’d watch you with Dianne and thought to myself that you guys are so fortunate to have one another. Honestly, Keira, I thought Dianne was extremely lucky to have you. The way you doted on her, I’m just so sorry that you lost her.”
“Thank you, Colleen. You’re right, I adored her. I imagined us growing old together. We used to sit and talk for hours about what would happen if one of us became incontinent, or broke a hip or fell down a flight of stairs. I would tell her that I would take care of her until her dying days.” Tears welled up in Keira’s eyes. “She honestly was a huge part of me. I miss her, but Dianne would roll over in her grave twice if she thought I wasted any of my time grieving her and not moving on with life. We both agreed that if one of us went before the other, we’d go on and hopefully find someone to share the rest of our lives with.”
“Have you found someone, Keira? I don’t mean to pry . . .” Colleen looked down when she said this. She felt uneasy asking the question but she had to know. “I was just wondering, cause you know a sistah don’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and your new love run up on us and think the wrong thing.” Damn now how stupid did that sound?
“Oh, that’s not going to happen. To answer your question, no. I have not found anyone serious to settle down with. I guess I have just been too busy.”
“I’m sure you get propositioned all the time.”
“Not all the time, but yeah sometimes. To tell you the truth in my younger days that was a serious ego booster. Now, I recognize something that far out-weighs our ego.”
“What’s that?”
“Commitment. I know it sounds corn, but our existence on this earthly plane is so limited that if I had the choice between true love with one woman, or rendezvous with a thousand, I’d take the first one. I had no idea that my time with Dianne would be so short Granted we were together for six years; it seemed like six days that’s how fast it went. I am just thankful we did not spend one moment arguing and disagreeing over nonsense. I came into full-womanhood when I was with Dianne. We knew what it took to stay in a relationship long-term, we worked at it everyday. I knew what was important to her, and vice-a-versa; we respected each other. Dianne taught me a lot, I was the lucky one.”
“That’s wonderful Keira.” They spent the rest of the night, talking about Colleen’s new tapestry and her future works.
The next day Colleen and Keira went to the Gallery, met with the buyers, and picked up the check for her tapestries. They decided to spend the rest of the day at a spa where Colleen treated them to a facial, pedicure, body massage--the works. Afterwards they had a nice quiet meal at Mercko’s Italian restaurant. They were leaving the restaurant when Karen literally bumped into Colleen and Keira.
“What’s up, Ma? You mine introducing me to your girl?”
Colleen knew that this whole weekend was to good to be true. “Keira this is Karen. Karen this is Keira.” Everything was going so well, she was relaxed, hadn’t felt this good, hell great in a long time them bam, who does she run into of all people? Karen!
“Nice to meet you Keira, I’m sure Colleen told you all about us. I mean how she wouldn’t let me break it down on her like a real woman would.”
“Stop it Karen. Let’s go Keira.” Colleen grabbed Keira’s hand and headed to the car. Karen came up close behind them shouting derogatory stuff about how she wasn’t no true lesbian, etc.
Keira gave Colleen the keys told her to get in the car while she handled this. Colleen glared at Karen, she wanted to kick the shit out of her but she also did not want Keira to see her like this. She went to the car got in and locked the doors.
“Look Karen I just met you, and I recognize that you and I don’t know one another. Let me give you some advice. If you ever roll up on my girl Colleen again, I am going to have to dust that ass. You got me?”
“Oh what? Colleen got you fighting her battles now? Fuck her and you, all yall bitches are alike.”
“I’m not going to be too many of your bitches, Karen. Best thing for you to do is raise up out, and that is your last and final warning.”
“My last and what?” At this time Keira took off her shoes, pulled her hair up. Karen backed off.“Whatever you can have her, hell it’s been over for nine months. I hope you don’t like the strap cause she aint gonna let you wear one.”
Karen walked away. Keira grabbed her shoes and headed to the car. Colleen unlocked the doors and Keira got in. “I am so embarrassed, Keira. I’m so sorry. We were having a wonderful time; I had no idea that we would run into that fool.”
“I see why you all are not together. Don’t apologize. Besides, you are right she is a fool. Let’s go home.”
Keira lit a fire in the fireplace and asked Colleen to sit down while she massaged her feet. “I know that we went and got pampered today, but hey no one gives foot massages better than me.” She working her way up to Collen's calves.
“Mmm this feels so good, Keira. I can’t believe of all people we ran into Karen. Again, I am so sorry.”
“If Karen would have pushed me you would have been sorrier for her. I was raised with seven boys and they taught me to take care of myself. I can roll with the best of them. Even though I present myself as a girly girl, I can definitely take care of myself.”
“I’m glad it didn’t get to that. I feel like I need to tell you the real deal about Karen’s and my break-up.”
“You don’t owe me any explanation.”
“I know that but I really want to talk about it.” Colleen took a deep breath. “Karen and I had been dating for fours years, she was verbally and emotionally abusive. She also was the only woman that I have ever been with. I loved her, but I hated her too. Does that make sense?”
“Yes, it does.”
“Anyway, Karen had issues about my having been married to a man for fourteen years, and having children. Our biggest arguments happened before sex. There was hardly any foreplay and she wanted to wear this strap-on dildo. I was against it. To be perfectly honest it always felt uncomfortable to me. I explained to Karen that I was uncomfortable even having sex with my husband. We rarely had sex. He cheated, I understood and that’s how we maintained for fourteen years.”
“So, you were uncomfortable with the strap, and Karen didn’t respect that? Instead she gave you much grief?”
“Exactly. Don’t get me wrong Keira; I am not some sort of freak. I enjoyed every aspect of making love with a woman. The strap however, I could do without. I just wanted to tell you that up front.”
“Colleen you don’t owe me any explanations as to how you feel about some apparatus. I’m sorry that Karen did not respect you enough to understand that. Honestly Dianne and I have tried just about everything in regards to making love with one another. We both decided that whatever we tried that was new; it would apply to each of us at least once. If the other did not like it, it never became an issue. There has to be mutual respect for one another’s bodies.”
“I agree. It just did not work out that way between Karen and I. To tell you the truth I was worried that all women would judge me, the way she did.”
“Don’t believe that mess for one minute Colleen. There are some good decent, mature lesbians out here who are not into ego-tripping.”
“I hope you’re right, for a moment I felt like I would just be by myself before allowing myself to deal with that type of drama ever again.”
“Keep yourself open, Colleen. Don’t allow one sour relationship to determine future relationships. You'd be surprised how many women feel like you about the strap.”
“What about you, Keira? I mean if you don’t mind my asking is it something that you could do without?”
“Let’s see how can I sum this up for you. Okay, as far as the strap is concerned, I simply don’t need it. There was a time when I thought that it defined my performance with other women. I don’t feel that way now. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with women who prefer it, just like there is nothing wrong with women who don’t. For example, Dianne and I spent more time cuddling, kissing, talking, and massaging one another way more than having actual sex. We also experimented with different devices, but what we found that worked best for us was plain old intimacy. There is a difference between making love, sex and intimacy. It honestly takes two mature women in a relationship to figure out which works best for them.”
“Okay, I understand what you are saying. Thank you Keira. This time with you has beenwonderful.”
“I hope we can get together again soon.”
“You got it, say where and when.”
Keira and Colleen got together often over the next couple of months. There relationship was platonic, bordering, or shall we say blooming, into something more serious.
After a showing at the gallery one night, they went back to Keira’s home. Colleen pulled Keira to her and kissed her. They were practically out of breath. “These past few months have been wonderful with you, Keira. I mean that.”
“For me as well. You are the only female that I have thought about outside of grieving Dianne. I want you. Not just sexually or to have a good time and send you home. I want more than that. I need you to know that I will do everything in my power to be good to you, to love you the way that you deserve to be loved, cause the truth of the matter is, I have been wanting to be with you for some time now.”
“I want you too.”
Keira kissed Colleen. Their lips locked, their arms feeling for the other around ones shoulder, waist. They embraced each other like long lost lovers who had been separated far too long. Slowly and gently Keira began to undress Colleen, she kissed every spot on her body as she peeled off her clothing. Colleen started to feel her nakedness not just the physical part, but she felt as though Keira could see right through her.
“It’s okay, baby. I’m right here and yes I see you, and I love everything about you.” Keira cupped Colleen’s face and looked her deeply in her eyes. “I want you to undress me and don’t hold back, whatever you want tonight, whatever it is, I will do it, I will.” With that Colleen started to cry, she held Keira close to her, she could not believe that this woman was different then Karen. She was relieved. She undressed Keira.
They both stood in front of one another naked no longer hiding who they were on the inside. They kissed, long and passionately, one another’s face, neck, and forehead. The kisses were wet, sweet and they were unable to get enough of one another. Their lips and tongues were intermingling as though they were doing a dance they both knew from long ago. They made beautiful, delicious love that night, over and over again.
As the sun started to rise, Colleen sat up with Keira reclining between her legs. “Don’t tell me we were at it all night?” Colleen giggled.
“Indeed we were, and there is plenty more where that came from,” smiled Keira.
They watched the sun make its ascension. It was as warm, beautiful, and magnificent as the night these two shared.
That was three years ago. Colleen and Keira have been together ever since and although they have ups and downs like many couples; they continue to commit daily to one another along with respect, and love.

The End

Copyright © 2004. Used by permission of author. All Rights Reserved.

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