Sometime towards the end of November in her twentieth year, she woke up, rolled over, and gasped. This was worse than the time she woke up next to the overweight guy with a lazy eye. Even worse than that time she woke up next to one of her friend’s ex-boyfriends. When she looked next to her, she saw a girl she had never seen before. “What the fuck?” she thought. She had playfully made out with girls at parties before, but that was just another carefully crafted seduction technique. Never had she actually slept with a woman. “Does this make me a lesbian?” she wondered. A moment later, her counterpart rolled over, stretched for a second, opened her eyes, and smiled—a sleepy, genuinely happy smile. She laughed to herself, “Well, that’s a first” she thought.
She discovered the girl’s name was Victoria. She was not the typical kind of beautiful, but rather was striking, exotic—attractive in a foreign kind of way. Also, she was relieved to hear that she had not actually hooked up with her. On the contrary, Victoria had rescued her after seeing a guy slip something into her drink. That cast a better light on why she remembered nothing from the previous night, at least. Victoria explained that she saw him do it, right before she took a shot, and it was too late to stop. After that, she and Victoria left the party and Victoria took her under her wing for the night to make sure nothing tragic became of her. Victoria confessed she wanted her to sleep over so she could explain what happened the night before and also describe the perpetrator, in case she wanted to take action. She was not going to do anything to try to get back at him—she knew who it was, and knew no one would believe that a nice guy like that would do something so despicable. Victoria apologized for seeming odd or stepping out of line. She was unsure what to say. Obviously, she was grateful, but no one had ever gone so far out of their way to protect her, and something felt uncomfortable about the whole situation. She thanked Victoria, and left.
That night, she did not go out. She did not even consider it. Instead, she lay in her bed all day and all night, thinking about Victoria. She constantly replayed the events of that morning and the potential motives Victoria might have had for rescuing a girl she did not even know. “Where were my friends? Why was I in her bed? Maybe we did hook up and she just didn’t say anything. What did we talk about? What does she know?” It was obvious that she was going to have to find this girl. She went back to Victoria’s apartment and rang the buzzer.
“Who is it?” Victoria asked.
“Uh...it’s me...from last night.” she answered
As she started up the stairs, she suddenly wished she had never come. Her millions of questions now seemed miniscule and irrelevant. “This is too weird—I don’t even know her. What reason do I even have to be here?” She felt stifled by her mind— it was moving so rapidly, she could not form a coherent thought. She approached Victoria’s door and knocked. The ten-second wait felt endless. Finally, Victoria opened the door and smiled that smile again. “I guess she doesn’t think this is so weird.” she thought.
After they discussed the questions she had come in hopes of answering, there was a moment of awkwardness—she had only been there only ten minutes, and she did not particularly want to leave yet. Victoria must have sensed her uneasiness and offered her a drink. She found out as they casually talked and drank that Victoria already knew a lot about her—she always had been a reminiscent drunk—so she tried to put herself on equal footing. As the hours grew late, and then early, it was clear that it was past time she left. Still, she was no more motivated to do so than when she first arrived. As she prepared to excuse herself out of sheer formality, Victoria suddenly stood in front of her and bent down to kiss her hard on the mouth, hungrily--the kind of first kiss that can only happen between two drunken girls, momentarily liberated by the realization of their sexuality. She did not end up having to say goodbye to Victoria that night.
After that night, they spent the majority of their time together. It was like when they were together things were fine and easy—they made sense—but when they were apart each girl struggled with the reality of the societal implications of such a romance. Though they were both happier than they had ever been, there was also a certain shame associated with their love. So, neither girl told anyone they knew, not their friends, and definitely not their families. Maybe others could figure it out by reading the girls’ body language or noticing the way they looked at each other, but surely everyone was too scared to ask. She had finally found someone, and subsequently confirmed there were indeed things to love about her. Something about forbidden love makes it that much more passionate, the success is more crucial—if only to prove that it is real. For the next three months, they were absolutely blissful. Sure, they had an occasional argument, but she was happier fighting with Victoria than she ever was fucking one of the countless, nameless, men from her past.
She became worried when Victoria never showed up at her house one cold winter evening. As time progressed, and there was still no answer on Victoria’s cell phone, she grew almost deranged with worry. She was not sure if she should be worried or angry--although Victoria had never stood her up before, so why would she now? Finally, after forty minutes of torture, she put on her jacket and went out to find Victoria. After walking only two blocks in the direction of Victoria’s apartment, she saw the flashing lights in the distance. “No, don’t get yourself started,” she thought. She called Victoria one more time, anyway, just in case she answered. Still nothing. Her pace gradually quickened as she approached the flashing lights. She could now see police cars, ambulances, a road block, and a car which was severely damaged. When she was only half a block away, she saw the body bag and thought, “This stuff doesn’t happen in real life—only in movies and politically charged short stories. This isn’t happening.” Even as she thought this, she simultaneously knew the opposite was true. This does happen in real life. She could not hear the police as they ordered her to get back, could not resist the urge to jump into the back of the ambulance and open the body bag which could contain anyone. Could contain anyone, but didn’t. It contained her love. That bag held all that once gave her joy and made her feel as though she were a part of something. And now, it was just a broken body.
They say time heals all wounds. Well, there are some wounds that you don’t want to heal. Some pains are so great, so stifling, but you want to feel the pain forever, if only to feel something. This pain ties you to something you once knew. Without the pain, there only remains the memories. Even the memories are fallible—was it all a dream? She conceded that she was just not one of those people who were destined for a happy, fulfilled life. So she went back to the life she knew, before she was liberated and in love, before she lost and before she won—She became a whore, just like before.