Erica sat in a jail cell.
Without a doubt…this was the nastiest day in her adult life.
Her hangover only made it worse. Pain drummed through her temples with each heartbeat. Bent over, her ‘Passion Plum’ colored hair veiled her from everyone except herself.
Burying her face in both hands she tried to forget what happened. God, if this gets out we’ll be fired.
And yet, even with the pain and humiliation of it all, this would change her. Oh yeah – it would.
“Erica. Are you okay?” Brooke asked. They put her in a cell across from hers. Erica met the blonde woman’s eyes. She remembered the day Brooke had joined the cheerleading squad; a bouncing beautiful woman not yet 21. She’d been assigned as her buddy.
“NO. I’m not okay…okay?” she retorted. But instantly she regretted her tone. Standing, she faced the cell bars. “Sorry Brooke. My head hurts and I want to be home.”
The two women exchanged looks. Brooke gripped her bars tightly. “My Father is coming. He’s going to bail us both out of here. It won’t be much longer.”
Erica nodded and sat down again.
Brooke was easy to like. Vivacious. Friendly. Perhaps too friendly. She kissed and hugged everyone in greeting, as soon as she knew them. They had grown close over the last three months. Sharing the obligatory ‘He was such a Jerk’ stories.
One week ago, Erica mourned her birthday. Twenty-seven, no boyfriend, and no meaning to her life. Cocooned at home, Brooke had surprised her with a bottle of champagne. “This is a celebration Erica. Hello? I am happy you were born!” Brooke said – handing her a glass of small rising bubbles. They talked for hours until Erica couldn’t keep her eyes open.
Brooke’s hand touched her face. “Walk me to the door birthday girl. It’s time for you to sleep.” As they hugged good night, Brooke also kissed her. This time it was different.
The kiss lingered. Brooke gently pressed in and drew her close. Her kiss became theirs, as Erica was compelled to return it.
Suddenly terrified, Erica pulled away. “Brooke I …I can’t.” Understanding eyes met hers. “Okay. It’s okay. I’ll see you at practice my friend.” She left, leaving Erica in emotional turmoil.
They didn’t talk about it. Brooke was no different when they met, so Erica acted the same. But she dreamed of that kiss. It made her feel alive – passionate. She’d wished more than once Brooke had stayed, but chased her thoughts away just as quickly.
She shivered involuntarily. She was cold…scared to death.
This night had started with a needed victory. Their football team won with a field goal in the last two minutes. Joyous, the entire squad took over a local bar.
Tequila poppers, beer, and cosmos flowed without end. It was Women’s Night to boot. The bar was already packed with women who resented their intrusion.
Not everyone loves Cheerleaders.
They drank and danced. Many had boyfriends who joined in. Those without danced with each other. Erica has just bought her last cosmo. She should have stopped sooner…left sooner.
Brooke was on the dance floor. She was dirty dancing with ‘Wild Kate’, a name well earned within their squad. Erica froze, unprepared for the pain and jealousy that gripped her. Oh God, she sickened when Brooke met her eyes – and pushed Kate away.
Erica escaped …seeking refuge in the bathroom. But Brooke followed. She pushed Erica into the only working stall and closed the door.
Brooke kissed her. A burning kiss that Erica clung to. Hands went everywhere as Brooke kept kissing her, touching her, telling her what she wanted to hear.
Yes – they were noisy. And it was the only working stall in the bathroom. A woman they didn’t know was pounding on the stall. “Hey. Take that somewhere else. I need to use the bathroom.” At least three others added their voices.
Erica had laughed, but Brooke was angry. She threw open the door. “It’s taken. Deal with it.”
What happened next played over like a horrible B movie in slow motion. The other woman called Brooke a “Sicko Lesbian”, and Brooke’s round house right hook broke her nose.
Erica remembered the blood…others restraining Brooke, and grabbing her when she tried to help her. The police arrived and arrested them both.
And now – Jail. They’d been strip-searched, fingerprinted, photographed. They’d had no chance to talk. Brooke called her father, but Erica had no one to call.
A female deputy entered. “Okay ladies. You’ve made bail. And you’re famous…at least three Reporters are waiting to talk with you.” She opened Brooke’s cell first and she moved to Erica’s door... waiting for her.
What did the future hold for her now? She knew the team would fire them both. They had signed a morals clause, and making out in a bathroom…well lets just say that was a clear violation.
For a moment Erica just stared at the open door. Now she was afraid to leave.
Brooke held out her hand. “Erica. Let’s get out of here.”
Erica smiled slightly and took her hand. Who was it that said “When all is lost the future remains?”
They left to face the future.
Return to the Academy