Synopsis: Marley Craig goes to see a former television star turned motivational speaker give a lecture. She gets a little more than what she expects. This would be rated PG-13 for some situations. Nothing graphic. Original story. They are all my own characters, not based on anyone, real or fictional. I do mention the Disney show, “Hannah Montana”, only as a point of reference. Feel free to send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completed May 17, 2011.
It was only a twenty-five mile ride to the church. Marley Craig was excited to see the one and only, Lacey Williams. To Marley, Lacey was the girl she could not wait to see on television. From ages fourteen to eighteen, Lacey was the most popular young actress. She could sing and dance, too. The modern day “Hannah Montana” was nothing compared to Lacey Williams.
Every Tuesday night, Marley would watch the show, “Teen Dreams” that followed Lacey's character, Lexi, a honey blonde, brown eyed, sweetheart, and her best friend, Mattie, a dark haired, green eyed, smart alec, along with others, through their adolescent adventures of high school. As she was in high school, too, Marley could relate to the craziness.
After the show ended, Lacey did a few cable movies, recorded an album that cracked the Billboard Top 20, then nothing. She married, had two kids by the time she was twenty-four, and never sought the limelight. Ten years later, Lacey was a widow with two preteen kids. As a way to cope with loss, she kept a journal which eventually became a bestselling book. Her life then became that of a Mom to teenagers, author and a motivational speaker.
Marley thought her life was pretty normal in comparison. After college, she bounced around from job to job, finally landing a position as a buyer for a large grocery chain. She was in a solid job, made decent money. Unfortunately, her love life was less than stellar. Her last relationship, one of five years, ended two years ago. It fizzled, they grew apart and her girlfriend ran off with the mailman, or rather, letter carrier, a woman ten years younger than Marley.
As she pulled her car into the church parking lot, Marley noticed her hands were sweating.
“Oh my God, you'd think I was sixteen and meeting the girl of my dreams”, laughed Marley. As a teen, she knew she had a crush on the television star, at least her character but, that was many, many years ago.
“Who am I kidding, I'm still that sixteen year old who is about to see, in person, the girl of her dreams!”
People began entering the church, so Marley made her way to the entrance.
“Hello and welcome to the Church by the Hillside,” a man with a nametag proclaiming his name was ‘Rick', greeted her at the door.
Marley smiled and nodded to Rick as she walked past him and into the church. It was already half filled but she spotted an empty seat in the front row.
“No way! Please let it be empty”, whispered an excited Marley. She proceeded to the front, asked those already seated if the seat was taken, then she sat down as quickly as she could.
‘Front row, front row, happy dance, wheeeee!', Marley thought to herself. Yes, it was juvenile, yes it was unbecoming. She did not care. She was in the front row!
As the church filled, Marley looked around, wondering if she knew anyone in attendance. She then noticed a woman moving the jacket off the seat next to her. When Marley looked up, she saw it was ‘Lexi's' best friend, ‘Mattie'.
‘No way,' thought Marley. ‘I get to hear Lacey Williams speak AND sit next to Justine Andrews in the front row!'
Marley smiled at Justine who was gracing her with the biggest smile she had received in what seemed like forever. Shortly after, the program began and Lacey Williams was introduced to the crowd.
“Were you one of the girls who had a crush on Lacey?”
A surprised Marley looked at Justine as a blush spread up her neck and face. “Uh, wh-, what?
Justine grinned. “Come on, I've seen that look before.” She leaned in closer to Marley saying, “When the show was on, Lacey was pretty clueless. Afterwards, we got together and I told her about it. She thought it was pretty cool. By the way, I'm Justine, you are?”
Marley was, well, in shock. “I'm Marley, it's a pleasure to meet you.”
Justine continued to smile. “And for me to meet you, too”
The two women then sat back to listen to Lacey Williams.
The speech was wonderful. Anecdotes from “Teen Dream”, stories about her family, her feelings concerning loss and working her way through grief were heartfelt and telling. If there was one thing that Marley took away from Lacey's speech, it was that everyday affords us opportunities. We should be prepared to embrace these opportunities, not run from them.
Afterwards, Marley and nearly everyone in attendance found themselves at tables where you could buy any or all of Lacey's books. It was then a few short steps to join others in a long line to meet Lacey where she would autograph your new book. If you wanted to take a picture with her, Lacey was all smiles.
Marley decided to seize the opportunity. She bought a book, got the autograph and asked the man behind her to take a picture with her phone. Lacey was gracious and for a moment, Marley wished she could get to know her better. She was so warm and caring. She spoke to everyone as if they were the most important person in the world.
‘What a sweetie', thought Marley as she read what Lacey had written in her book.
“Excuse me. I see you made it through the line.”
Marley looked up to see Justine Andrews.
“Hi, yes, it was pretty long. But worth it!”
Justine moved closer and showed Marley the picture that she had taken with her camera. “Just in case you need another, I'll send it to you.”
“Thanks. Let me give you my phone number.”
“Not here, let's go get a coffee.”
“Sure, sounds good. There is a place just a few blocks away. Follow me?” Marley was excited that her evening was not going to end early and she could spend more time with Justine, too.
After retrieving their orders, the two women sat a rear corner table. Marley looked up at Justine and asked, “Why didn't you stay and chat with Lacey?”
“Lacey and I had lunch earlier. It had been about three or four months since we had last seen one another. I know she is pretty tired after these engagements so it makes more sense to catch up before she speaks.
“But tell me, Marley,” said Justine as she leaned toward Marley, “What do you do? Tell me what you like.”
Was Marley hearing right? Was Justine Andrews flirting with her?
“Well”, started Marley, I'm a buyer for a grocery chain and I like puppies and long walks on the beach.”
Justine burst out laughing. “I guess I deserved that. What I should have said was do you like going to hear speakers? Do you like the coffee you ordered? Something other than that cheesy line that fell out of my mouth.”
Marley liked the woman. She certainly found her attractive so spending time with her was not a hardship.
“What about you? I don't recall you in anything after ‘Teen Dream'. I hope I haven't insulted you.”
“No, not at all. After the show ended, I went to college, got my degree, worked in the business from the production end, and I still do.”
The two women chatted about things until nearly closing time.
Justine looked seriously at Marley and asked, “What did you take from Lacey's speech?”
Marley licked her suddenly dry lips. “To seize opportunities every day.”
With that, Justine leaned forward and kissed Marley on the mouth. When it ended, she said, “Here's an opportunity, yes or no?”
Marley nodded her ahead and the women left the shop. They drove their cars to a well known hotel nearby. Justine handled everything.
With her head nearly spinning, Marley followed Justine to their room. ‘Is this happening? Justine is gorgeous, funny and she wants me. Well, Marley, seize the opportunity.'
When the door closed behind them, Justine and Marley were on one another quickly. Lips and hands found places to touch. Clothing was coming off. Marley was lacking for air and pulled away.
“Wow, ok, that was amazing,” Marley stated in between gasps for breath.
“You are such a great kisser, so much better than…” Justine stopped short.
Marley looked at her. “So much better than whom?”
With her eyes cast down, Justine whispered, “My husband.”
“Your husband?” Marley repeated.
“We're getting a divorce. We shouldn't have gotten married five years ago, but I was pregnant…”
“You have a child?” Marley's voice was getting loud.
“Yes, but that's not the point.”
“NOT THE POINT?” Marley was yelling now.
“Mike and I, well, we're going to file papers.”
“What?” Marley was down to one word sentences.
“We haven't been getting along, not the way we should. I care about him, but we don't communicate and, it's been affecting our little girl.
Marley was in shock. This was not what she expected when she was going to seize opportunities.
Justine was in tears. She held a picture of her little girl. “I have always liked both sexes, Marley. Even during the show, all these baby dykes would be around and sometimes I'd sneak off with one. We'd kiss on another part of the soundstage. The adults were real good about keeping the boys away from us but not so good about the girls. Of course, they didn't know about the kissing and occasional groping. Afterwards, as an adult, I'd see whomever I wanted. Men, women and it wasn't just sex but, companionship, too”
Marley looked at Justine and smiled. “I can't do this, Justine. If you get divorced, come look me up. I think you're a good person but, you've got to get this settled.”
After getting herself presentable, she found her business card, scribbled her personal e-mail and cell phone number then handed it to the woman with tearful green eyes.
“Good luck.” Marley left, closing the door behind her.
**Four Months Later**
Marley was kicking back, eating dinner while watching some entertainment news show. She sat up when she saw Justine Andrews picture. The talking head stated that Justine had put together some blockbuster movie deal for the production company she worked for AND, that she and her husband were expecting their second child in seven months.
Marley smiled. “Guess they worked that out.”
A week later she received an e-mail. Marley was more than a little surprised. It read:
You're probably wondering if this e-mail is real. Let me say that I got your address from Justine Andrews. I had lunch with her about a month ago. She told me what you did for her. After she showed me a picture of you and me at a recent speaking engagement, I remembered you.
I remember you walking out with her and the thought I had was, “I wish that were me, not Justine.”
By the way, I am not having a mid-life crisis and I'm not trying to be hip dating women. I kissed a few girls and boys before marrying my husband. No one, male or female ever affected me the way he did. So yes, I am bisexual. I've never been with or even kissed Justine. In fact, she did not know about me until this last time we talked.
Marley, I would like to ask you to lunch and then to my next speaking engagement, as my guest. It will be less than an hour's drive from your home so I hope it isn't too far.
Attached you'll find two picture files. I hope you like them.
Marley opened the first file and it was the one Justine had taken of Lacey and her.
The second was of Justine and Lacey. Justine was holding a napkin with the words, ‘It's Real', written on it.
The grin that formed turned into a huge smile.
**Two Years Later**
While Marley was flipping burgers, a good looking, blond, young man ran up to her.
“Mom says to hurry, they are starving.” He then proceeded to try and pick up a burger.
“Hey, you just watch it buddy. Tell your Mom to just hold on. I'll bring them when they are done.”
Marley reached over to grab a plate and began placing the burgers on it. She looked over at the young man still standing near her and placed a burger on his hamburger bun.
“You're the best Marley.” He then grinned, leaned over and kissed the top of her head.
Marley shook her head, walked over to the picnic table, put the burgers down, and then sat next to her wife.
“Happy first anniversary, Lacey.”
“Happy first anniversary, Marley.”
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