Working Title: Revelation
“Goddamnit, Jenna, children should be seen and not heard. Just shut up! Shut up!”
Arguments always ended up like this.Children should be seen and not heard.Basically what Anna was screaming at her was to stop telling her things that didn’t fit into her nice neat, practical little box she lived in.Everyone in the world should get married, have a little white house with a white picket fence and have two point five kids and a minivan in the driveway.Thinking outside the box was never really Jenna’s mother’s strong suit.Maybe that was part of the problem.This thought brought a small, smug smile; one Jenna caught too late.
“Oh, so I suppose you think this is funny?All fun and games, right?”Jenna’s father had a gift for stating the obvious.He was obviously delusional.Yes, getting caught in the act with someone was fun and games.Sure it was.Sometimes Jenna really wished she could have shut her mouth.
“Yea, and all this shit I am going through having to listen to you guys bitch when I have company…”She knew she had said the wrong thing this time.Tom rounded the couch where Jenna was sitting and pressed his face in on hers, dangerously close, within a few centimeters from her nose.
“Watch your goddamned mouth.”
“Yea, that’s a good example, dad.Just use language to correct mine.That’s going to get through to me.” Jenna thought slyly.She laughed out loud at this thought.Sometimes she really wished she could just keep her goddamned mouth shut.
Her father grabbed her arm and shoved her back toward the basement stairs.“Go down there and tell whoever that is to go home.Right now.”
Now it was Jenna’s mother’s turn to chime in.“Don’t you care about what we will have to deal with at work if this ever got out?Our daughter…”Anna’s voice broke.Jenna would have felt bad for her if she could only just see what the problem was.Her parents had never been upset at letting friends sleep over before this, so why was now any different?Jenna yanked her arm away from Tom and walked down the steps.
“I’ll get right on that, dad. I’ll tell…”
“Just cut the bullshit, Jenna.Right now.”Mother had spoken.Her eyes were even making those little crosses they made when she was really furious.Anna pissed off was NOT Jenna’s idea of a good time.Jenna bit her lip and walked half down the stairs.
“You might want to call your folks and tell them they need to come pick you up.Mom and dad say we can’t play anymore.”Neither Tom nor Anna found that remark funny.Tom rounded on her again menacingly.
“We never said anything about your clothing choices or your hairstyle choices or anything else so far, Jenna.But this is most definitely overstepping your bounds.I don’t care if you ARE eighteen, you are in my house, you will follow my rules.Now let’s go.”
How the hell is my sex life part of their decisions now? I could do whatever I wanted with the body except something natural.
Her friend gathered everything up, stuffed it in a duffel bag and marched up the stairs, Tom close behind and dragging Jenna behind him, her arm a leash.He acted like if his eyes moved from his target for just a split second, poof!, gone, in a puff of smoke.Then he couldn’t have the pleasure of telling someone’s parents how bad Jenna was, what a bad child she was.Always getting into trouble and never showing respect for parents who didn’t realize that someone with dyed hair and who liked way too much jewelry for her own good was not automatically a bad person.Jenna would never dream of ruining his fun.“Get your coats.”His eyes never left the auburn head in front of him.Both grabbed their coats and stuffed their arms through them like they were old laundry.Tom hauled them both out the door but not before Anna could chime in.
“Tell that little bitch she had better never come back here again.”
The car rolled down the driveway and into the street, braking rather roughly at stops.Jenna turned and watched Miranda’s eyes in the passenger side mirror.They were staring out the window, watching the pavement shimmer by.Jenna had never wanted this to happen.Why tonight?Why did this have to happen to her when she had finally…Her thoughts trailed off as the car slammed to a stop at the stoplight.Jenna kept her eyes locked on the mirror on the side of the car, hoping to catch at least a glimpse of Miranda’s eyes.She had to know what she was thinking, how she was feeling.Mostly she didn’t want to lose a friend over all of this.She never wanted anyone to know.Their secret, damnit.It was supposed to be their secret.No one was supposed to know.God, what a mess.Why the hell couldn’t she have fallen for some girl she didn’t care about?Why did it have to be her best friend?
Miranda’s eyes glanced back to where Jenna was watching.She jumped slightly and moved her eyes to look out the windshield.
Great.This is what she had feared all along.Jenna slid down into the seat and closed her eyes, trying to tune out the dull ache in her chest.
The car pulled up in front of the house.Jenna unfastened her seatbelt and reached for the door handle.
“Oh, no. You just sit right there, missy. I will be back to deal with you later. Sit right here in this car and don’t you go anywhere.” He turned to Miranda. “I’ll walk you to your door. I need to talk to your parents, anyway.”
“Miranda, don’t you understand how this can affect us?”
Miranda sat against the arm of the couch, her chin rested on her hand.“No, mom, I can’t see why my sex life is any of your concern.I’m eighteen years old.I am graduating this spring.I’m not a child anymore!”
Her father stepped up to bat. “As long as you live under this roof, everything you do is my business.”
“Jerry, please.” Miriam soothed.Jerry sank back into his arm chair with a grunt.“Miranda.I know you are curious about sex.But honestly…” she trailed off.There was a long silence.Miranda played rather absently with her hair.
“Your mother and I could tell you what you need to know about sex, Miranda.”
“So just how comfortable are you talking about sex with women, dad? Would you be comfortable talking to your teen daughter and telling her what it feels like to have sex with a woman. And, honestly, dad,” she paused, looking for a polite way to answer, “what would you know about lesbian sex anyway?”
“Miranda, do not use that word in my house.”
“What word, dad?”Miranda leaned forward, hissing, “Lesbian?”
“Miranda, please!” Miriam jumped.Her hand flew to her throat and rested there. Miranda could see her heart start again.“We don’t seem to be getting anywhere.Miranda, why don’t you head to bed, honey.We can talk about all this again after school tomorrow.”Miranda stood and headed to the kitchen.Backpack slung over her shoulder, she climbed halfway up the stairs.
“Jerry, I’m sure this is just a phase she’s going through. She’ll get it out of her system, I’m sure.”
“Yea, mom.” Miranda thought.“Keep telling yourself that.You don’t know what it feels like to be with her.It’s my body.My life.My preference.”The thought stuck oddly in her head.It really was a preference.
“No more friends over. Ever. You can’t tell which ones she is… well… and which she’s not.”
Miranda was glad she wasn’t downstairs.Otherwise she might have an off-color remark about guy friends staying over.There would be no threat of her doing anything with them since she was a lesbian.
“I just wish we had found out sooner. Or another way instead of from Tom and Anna. I wonder what they must be thinking about Miranda. And us.”
“Tom seemed to think it was Jenna.”
“Jerry, they always think everything is Jenna’s fault. That girl has always been an angel when she’s been here.”
“She is a good kid.”Jerry agreed.
Miranda sighed in relief.At least someone was taking Jenna’s side in all this.God knows Jenna’s parents had nearly killed her when they had found them.Judging by what her father had said when he walked Miranda to the door, Jenna wouldn’t be at school tomorrow.Jenna would be pleased that someone had her back in all this.
“Besides, Jerry. Can you think of a better girlfriend for Miranda? There are worse girls I can think of.”
Miranda almost choked.Was her mother actually going along with all this?If she hadn’t already been sitting at the top of the stairs, she would have fallen down them.“And think about it, Jerry.Think of where I was when I was in college.Until I met you…” her voice dropped off in a knowing manner.
Miranda held her breath.
“And I have yet to hear you complain. So why should it be any different for our daughter?”
It took a moment for the statement to sink in. Miranda slipped up the stairs and closed the door silently. Too shocked to think, she climbed into bed still dressed, pulled the covers to her chin and lulled off to sleep as her mother’s words chanted in her head, “Can you think of a better girlfriend for Miranda? There are worse girls I can think of.”
“Have you ever wished that you could just lay someone down, cover them in chocolate and lick them until they passed out?”
“Oh, hell yea…” Sarah smiled, glancing across the street as they crossed. “That hot ass football player on the team this year. The freshmen. Oh, God, yes.”
Miranda blinked. “Oh. I wasn’t talking about men.”
Sarah stopped dead in the street.“What?”
“I wasn’t talking about men.” Miranda stated matter-of-factly. She turned back to Sarah who was still standing, dumbfounded in the middle of the street. “You’d better cross the street before you get hit.”
“You swing that way?” Sarah asked incredulously. “You have to be kidding me.” She darted across the street and eyed Miranda from a comfortable distance. “So, are you, like, a lesbian, or what?”
“Or what.” Miranda sighed.“Does it bother you?”She was more making a statement than asking a question.Sarah stepped up her pace and skipped up beside Miranda.
“It doesn’t bother me. I just had no idea that you would do that sort of thing.”
“You make it sound like I eat slugs for breakfast or something.” Miranda stopped and turned on Sarah. “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like?” Her voice had an edge to it, almost like she was daring Sarah to disagree with her.
“Well, yea.But it is a passing thought.”Sarah stammered.
Miranda’s brow furrowed as she stared at Sarah. She turned again and marched off. “Are we getting coffee or not?”
“What’s your problem, anyway?” Sarah egged, following Miranda down the street. “You’ve had a burr up your butt all day long. What’s eating you anyway?”
“Maybe it’s what hasn’t eaten me.”Miranda mumbled.
“What did you say?”
“Nothing.”They entered the coffee shop and headed through the shelves and shelves of books to the back counter.Miranda fingered a package of chocolate covered java beans, pondered them for a moment and then tossed them lightly on the counter.“One regular mocha and a chai to go, please.”
“So when did you know, anyway?” Sarah asked, looking with feigned interest at the chocolate beans on the counter.
“Well, I wasn’t too sure until last night.” Miranda answered absent-mindedly.
“So, what, you just suddenly happened upon this grand realization last night when you were…” Sarah stopped in mid-sarcasm and her eyes bulged slightly. “Where the hell is Jenna, anyway?”
“I don’t know that I will be seeing her. Ever.”
“What are you talking about? What the hell went on last night?”
“Nothing.”Miranda answered truthfully, although she wished she really were lying.She looked up over the counter and out the back window behind the girl making her coffee.Her eyes suddenly brightened.“Hey, can we add another chai to this order, please?”Miranda shelled another two fifty over the counter as Jenna strolled into the coffeehouse and pulled her usual chocolate covered java beans from the rack beside the cash register.She stopped as she saw a duplicate package sitting on the counter with the cash thrown haphazardly on the counter.
Jenna looked up into Miranda’s smiling eyes and noticed how pretty she was when she blushed in that baby pink that now stained her cheeks. The same blush that had given them away the night before. Jenna’s smile faded and she stared down at her shoes, red streak of hair falling down over her cheek. Miranda tucked it safely back behind Jenna’s ear and trailed a finger to her chin. Jenna turned to meet those beautiful brown eyes staring back into her own blue, holding her in an embrace just as real as anything physical ever could have been. It was a look that held the same bittersweet desire as she was sure was showing from behind the short blonde spikes pulled low across her forehead. Miranda still wanted her: still cared for her. The good news was Jenna didn’t have to hide what she felt; pretend that nothing had ever happened between them. Miranda felt the same way. The thought hit her hard like someone had planted their fist against the center of her chest.
She felt the same way.
(c) DeAubreyDigest July 2006