Part 9: A Change of Heart
Little note: Hey mich: I've shown you mine now you show me yours! LOL =)
See disclaimers in part 1
Any and all comments are very welcome at Kawai300@aol.com.
"I have to go talk to her." Michelle had been crying for at least five minutes with Susan comforting her the entire time.
"Maybe you should let her cool off for a while. She looked...really mad." Remembering that look she got made shivers run down her spine.
"No. Who knows what she could be thinking. I.. I at least have to give her an explanation." She started to get off the bed she was sitting on.
"If you go, then I'm going too." Susan barely made a move to get up, "NO!" She looked up into stormy green eyes that made her stay where she was. "Please. Shes my friend."
"Not anymore. You didnt see that look in her eyes a few minutes ago." Again Susan tried to get up but a hand on her shoulder stopped her.
"She wont hurt me." Michelle said it with such conviction she was tempted to believe it herself.
"And you know this how?"
"I just do. Please..."
"Just please be careful okay? If anything happens to you..."
"I will. Thank you." She kissed her friend on the cheek and made her way out of the room. She never walked slower in her life as she did walking toward their room. She had no idea how Alex was taking it or even what she was going to say. Finally when she reached the door she knocked first. There was no answer. <Maybe shes not here. She could have gone anywhere.> She thought. The thought that she might never see her friend again spurred her into action. She was going to go in and get a jacket so she could scour the campus until she found Alex. She used her key to open the door but it barely opened an inch. She tried pushing on the door but it wouldnt budge. Looking through the inch she saw their large desk barricading the door closed. "Alex?"
"Go away." The voice sounded so dead to Michelles ears. So defeated that it broke her heart. "Please Alex, let me in." She tried pushing harder on the door but it barely moved a centimeter. "At least let me explain."
Not getting any answer or a rebuff she went on, "I know I should have told you but... well the topic never came up. But then yesterday I find out that you..."
A loud scraping noise interrupted her. The door flung open scaring her half to death with the bang! it generated. There in front of her stood Alex staring coldly at her. "You found out yesterday that I HATE people like YOU!" Michelle cringed at the voice booming at her. "Yes." she said quietly.
"I cant stand to look at you. Leave me alone." Slamming the door in her face Alex flopped back on her bed. Michelle tried to keep the hurt from tearing her apart but the tears couldnt be stopped. Wiping them away she quietly opened the door and slipped in. "Alex,"
"I said get outta here!" she screamed.
"Its my room too!" Michelle screamed right back. She knew she would only make things worst by losing control but it hurt too much to keep it inside.
"Not for long."
"What!?! Youre kicking me out?" No answer came. "You arent even going to let me explain?"
Alex jumped off the bed and went face to face with the shorter woman. "Explain what? How you lied to me? Deceived me from the very beginning? Go right ahead. Explain it to me."
Mustering up all the courage she had she lifted her head to stare into the stormy eyes she knew so well. "I never lied to you."
"The hell you didnt!" Alex couldnt believe it. Did Michelle think she was stupid?
"I didnt. Did you ever ask me if I was gay? Or did the topic come up at any time with us?" Michelle saw Alex try to think of a time. "Dont even bother because it hasnt. I would have never lied about it. Unlike you I LIKE who I am."
Alex started grasping at straws trying to prove her point. "But you had a boyfriend. Explain that to me. If that isnt lying..."
Michelle held up her hand to stop that line of thought. "I like people Alex. I fall for the person you are, not what package it comes in. Everything else doesnt matter."
A snort followed her impassioned statement along with a "Yeah. Right!"
Shaking her head in frustration, "You can be such an ass."
"Well at least I'm not a lying, selfish, backstabbing, arrogant bitch!"
"And when did I become all these things? The minute you found out I was gay?" You could see those green depths fill with anger at the taller womans words.
"You are all like that anyway." She crossed her arms in a protective gesture but couldnt hold the gaze.
Michelle tried to follow her line of thinking, "Okay if we are all like that then why would you even associate with Susan? Youve known about her since the very beginning. You should have been running for the hills when you met her."
"I dont associate with her. But the way she treats Cappie and you... well that deserves some respect." She was staring at the ground when she said this. But just when Michelle held a little hope to salvage this argument Alex just had to add, "But I can tell you if you werent best friends with her I wouldnt have been caught dead in the same room."
Taking a deep breath she tried to bring this argument under control. "I know you have your reasons for hating Kat. But dont you think its a little harsh to judge everyone by what she did to you?"
"Well I call them like I see em."
"What's that suppose to mean."
"It means you lied. Pretended to be my friend for what? So you wouldnt have to move out? I bet you and Susan were having a big laugh at my expense when you told her all about my stupidity. What an idiot I was to trust you with that...well arent you going to answer?"
"Youre right. I did want something." You could see the triumphant look in Alexs eyes as she said this. "All I wanted was your friendship. That's it." <At least she had the decency to look guilty about that.> "You know, everything I've ever told you has been the truth. Everything Ive shown you has been the real me. Cant you look past who I choose to love and tell me if the person you know, the one you called your best friend, is any of those things youre accusing me of?"
Alex let out a huge defeated breath, "I thought I knew you. Turns out I didn't know you at all."
Taking a step closer, "You do know me. Im still the same person." Michelle hoped that Alex would see her for the person she is. Hoped that she had gotten over her initial anger to hear what she was saying.
But the raven haired woman refused to see anything. The betrayal she felt was too great. "Do you think I'm so gullible I'm going to fall for whatever trick youre trying to pull? Im not that weak kid anymore."
"Think about what youre saying Alex. Im not Kat so dont compare me to her." When Alexs chin came up as a sign of stubbornness Michelle gave up. "So youre telling me that youre gonna base your opinion of all the lesbians of the world on one ass who you had the misfortune of meeting?
"Ive known 3 of them. And so far they all have perfect scores."
"3! Oh well now that makes ALL the difference doesnt it." Sarcasm practically dripped from her voice causing Alex to narrow her eyes. "But you know what Alex? Now you know 4. You tell me if Im any of those things when you get your head out of your ass!" Michelle stormed out of the room slamming the door as she left.
Alex didnt know why but seeing Michelle slam out of the room had made her heart hurt. Was it guilt? She didnt know. She didnt know much of anything anymore. She felt so exhausted after the fight that she tried to fall asleep but too many thoughts were whirling around in her brain for her to relax. <She was just trying to trick me. All that stuff she said were all excuses for lying to me. None of the stuff she said was true... Was it?> Doubt started to plague her now that she was calming down but when she remembered her past she knew she couldn't be wrong. <No. She did lie. Otherwise I would have known. I can usually spot them a mile away. So she must of been trying to act straight. Right?> Clutching snuggles tightly in her arms she finally fell asleep a couple hours later from pure exhaustion even though her mind was still running a mile a minute.
Michelle on the other hand had to get out of there. Everywhere she looked all she could see was the hate in her friends eyes. She couldnt believe how everything just turned on her. Her new friendship gave her so much joy and now... well she was totally lost without it. The tears just wouldnt stop. When night fell she finally returned to the dorms to bunk in with Susan for a night till she figured out what to do.
The next morning Alex woke to a pounding on her door that wouldnt stop. Believe me she tried to ignore it as long as possible. Finally when she couldn't take it anymore she stormed to the door only to find a fist heading straight for her face. It was too late to do anything but go with it causing her to slam into the door which hurt more than the actual punch.
"You are a fucking bitch Alex!" Susan was standing above her with murder written all over her face. "I never should have let her move in with you. What the hell did you do to her? I should turn your ass in for emotional distress. Did you know she was screaming in her sleep last night? Screaming Alex!!! I should kick your ass just for that."
Finally getting her bearings back the taller woman slowly stood up rubbing her shoulder that got slammed. "Good morning to you too."
Infuriating the shorter woman even more, "Answer the question dammit!"
"Oh sorry. What did you ask me? My head is still ringing from that weak assed sucker punch."
Susan raised her hand again to deliver a second blow but Alex grabbed her hand before she could cock it back. "Ah ah ah. That first one was free but Ill be charging for the next one 10 fold." You could actually see her eyes darken with an inkling of rage which made the other woman think twice about it and lowered her hand. "Good girl." Susan's jaw clenched. Alex just loved rubbing it in. "Now as for your question you need to ask your roommate about that since it seems she hasn't told you. I guess she's in to the habit of lying to her so called friends. Good bye." She was about to close the door in her face but the other womans foot stopped that.
"Why dont you just tell me."
"Forget it. Its none of my business if she didnt want you to know. Plus I don't go around telling other peoples secrets...unlike some people."
"What's that mean. Just come out and say whatever it is you're trying to say."
"It means you and Michelle probably had a good laugh the other day right? To know that I was like you?"
"What!?! Like me? I am nothing like you, thank god!!!"
"You dont know?"< Wait shes trying to trick me.> "Get off it. As soon as I told her she rushed right over to spread the news."
"That was after you nearly choked Tracy to death right? Well let me tell you that when she came to my room the other night she was so pissed at something you told her but being the loyal friend that she is she wouldnt tell me what."
Alex laughed bitterly. "You know what Susan? Youd be a really good poker player. Your face didnt twitch or anything."
"Look. Believe whatever you want but I don't know your dastardly evil secret. Just tell me what's wrong with Michelle. I need to help her."
"Like I said, its none of my bus..."
"It IS your business. She was your best friend." She could see she hit a soft spot so even though it grated on every nerve in her body she found herself begging. "Please."
Alex struggled with this. She didnt want anything more to do with anyone but she still cared about Michelles safety. She WAS her best friend after all even though she was duped. "She has bad dreams at night from that time..."
"No. I knew about those. She told me those stopped. And I'd know if she was lying because she wasn't getting any sleep when she had them." You could hear the accusation in her voice insinuating that Alex was the one lying.
Alex went on the defensive crossing her arms. "They only stopped cuz she was sleeping in MY bed at night."
Okay now Susan was floored. "In...IN...in YOUR bed? With you in it? next to her???"
"Yes...what's wrong with that?"
<The things they did for each other. No wonder shes in love with her. Theres a lot I don't know here.> "Um well I.. I never knew that. That's all. You... um that was nice of you to let her sleep with you...um in your bed, I mean, oh shit. never mind."
Seeing how uncomfortable they both were Susan got back to the matter at hand. "So she sleeps next to you and the dreams go away?"
"As far as I can tell. It seemed to work."
"Okay. hmm. Okay I got it. Thanks." She was already walking away trying to come up with something to help her friend when...
"Wait! Uh, you really dont know?" Seeing a puzzled look cross the other woman's face, "About me?"
"No she didnt tell me anything. Unlike you she really cherished the friendship you guys had." Susan turned to leave again.
"She should have told me." Alex shouted.
Walking back over to the pouting woman, "I know. And so does she. But its in the past now. Nothing can be done about it. All thats left is the future."
"Still she could have..."
"Alex! So what she didn't tell you. Get over it. Its not a big deal to her and it never did occur to her that it could be a big deal to you. Besides its her business and hers alone. She shouldnt have to announce it to everyone she meets." Finally the curly haired woman walked on down the hall.
Alex slowly shut the door. So many thoughts whirling all at once. <She didnt tell her. She didnt lie. Now what do I do? Could I be wrong?>
Michelle hadnt seen Alex the entire week that she was staying in Susans room. Alex must have started taking a different route in school just to avoid her. Plus she thought that Alex must be avoiding the dorms since every time she went to pack up her stuff to move out, her I guess now ex- roommate was never there. She couldnt even find her to tell her that she was leaving. She decided it was best for them if she left the room since it was Alexs first. Saturday finally came for the big moving day. She stood surrounded by her friends all hugging, crying, and saying goodbyes.
"Hey dont worry guys. Ill only be a few buildings away. Ill be over here so much you wont even be able to tell that I moved."
Susan stepped up to give her one final hug picking her up off the ground. "Doesnt matter. Well still miss you like crazy."
She really didnt want to cry but they were making it so hard for her. "Thanks. Ill miss you too."
Alex stood lurking in the hallway still fighting with herself on what she should do. She could leave things the way they were which would have been safer or she could go over there and talk things out like how she should have done last week. She had been thinking long and hard on every syllable that came out of Michelles mouth that day. Analyzing every word, looking for the lie she was so sure was there. But after a week of looking for all the bad things that she wanted to see, all she came up with was all the fun times they had together and how much Michelle meant to her in the short time they knew each other. Now all that was left was the hurt that was being caused from losing her best friend. Even that gay thing wasnt killing her anymore once the shock wore off. After all she herself swayed in that direction at one point in her life. All it took was a little getting used to. She knew what she had to do. Everyone that passed by her in the hall glared at her. They all knew the two had a fight and it was most definitely Alexs fault. She didnt care because she thought she deserved it. <I bet they all want it to be me to leave.>
Finally making up her mind she squared her shoulders and pushed herself through the crowd. Everyone stopped talking at once. But if any one of them had a knife she was sure itd be sticking out of her back from the murderous looks she was getting. Every face in the room was hostile except for two. Cappie looked a little hopeful even giving her an encouraging smile. Michelles face bordered on sad but she was trying to look neutral.
Taking a deep breath she took the first step. "Michelle? Can I ah...talk to you for a minute?"
Alex looked so nervous and out of place that Michelle had no idea what this could be about thought that it couldnt be good. "Um...sure."
The blonde woman made no move to go find some privacy but one glance at all the unfriendly stares Alex prompted, "In the hall?" "Oh! sure. Go ahead."
To Michelle she looked even more nervous standing in the deserted hall fidgeting with the hem of her shirt not even looking at her.<Shes going to say good bye, have a nice life kind of thing and be rid of me. Might as well get it over with.> So she took the lead. "Im really sorry Alex. I never meant for any of this to happen. I only wanted to be your friend."
"I know." she said with a confirming nod.
"You do?" She was clearly stunned.
"Yeah. Ive thought about it...A LOT and I...well... you're not any of those things I said. Im sorry I said that you were."
<Damn there goes those tears I was trying to hold back.> "Thank you. It means a lot to me."
Awkwardly standing there they thought about the same question which Alex voiced first. "So where do we go from here?"
"I don't know. Can we still be friends?"
Finally looking up into teary green eyes she smiled for the first time in over a week. "Id like that."
Michelle smiled in pure reflex at seeing that smile she missed directed at her. "Me too."
The taller woman shifted from foot to foot. "Um so...uh, are you sure you want to do this?" Seeing only confusion in the face below hers, "Move out I mean."
Michelle was so dazed by the offer she couldnt get her mouth to work. A first for her. "Oh! oh um..."
"Cuz everyone would miss you and all your friends are here and its so close to classes and youve already lived..." Alex was feeling so flustered she was babbling.
"Wait. wait slow down." She took a deep breath to bring her thoughts together. "What about you? I know you still have a problem with me being gay."
"Like you said, Ill work on it. Ive already gotten over the initial shock of everything. I figure the rest will be a piece of cake." Michelle narrowed her eyes at her friend. "Really. Im trying. The only thing that still bothers me is when people think that I'm... you know." Alex could still tell her friend wasn't convinced so she went on. "I dont care anymore that youre gay Michelle." That was the first time she ever heard that word leave Alexs lips and she was clearly surprised. "Eh. Well maybe about this much." Spreading her fingers not more then a millimeter. "But its part of who you are and... well I like that person too." You could see the blush rise in her cheeks.
She never expected Alex to resolve things so fast so she was still skeptical. "If you dont care that I'm gay then why have you been avoiding me this whole week? If you just came to this conclusion now dont you think you ought to think it over some?"
"Oh I've been thinking about it alright. So much my butts been chewed to pieces by my coach."
"Okay you lost me again. What?"
"Well I've been practicing non stop this week trying to get my game back, but Ive been a little distracted. Thats where I was most of my free time. I wasnt avoiding you...well not totally. Coach could tell something was wrong and has been on my ass the whole week."
"Wait a minute. I thought you werent suppose to be practicing until your cast comes off." She said it in such a disapproving tone that it made Alex feel contrite even though she had no reason to be. <At least she still cares.>
"Well if you didnt notice...Ta daaaaa!" She pulled her arm from behind her back waving it around like a magician ready to pull a rabbit from a hat.
"Ha ha. hey you got your cast off! When did that happen?"
"Um...well remember that appointment I had last Saturday? This was it."
Giving the taller woman a little shove, "Oh. You stinker. Why didnt you tell me?"
"I wanted it to be a surprise. So...surprise!" Alex went into a little kung fu moves chopping imaginary boards. "See? Good as new."
"Youre a goof you know that?" Michelle was still chuckling at her friends antics.
Alex turned serious for a moment. "Please stay. I would really miss you too."
"Are you sure? I dont want you flying off the deep end if someone does or says the wrong thing to you."
"Ill really try. Itll get better everyday. You watch and see." She knew she had Michelle on the ropes. Nudging her shoulder, "You know you want to. Come on."
"Okay okay. Ill stay." Alex smiled full out mirrored by Michelle a second later.
The crowd that was waiting by the door could hear the laughter coming from down the hall which told of the outcome and some of them started breathing easier except Susan. She still had a pout on her face. "Stop being a grouch. This is what Michelle wants. She knows what shes doing." Capri still supported Alex through and through. She knew that Alex would never hurt Michelle intentionally.
"I dont think so. And I really dont trust that woman." Susan grouched.
"Well its her choice to make. All we can do is support her. Come on, shows over." Capri had to pull her roommate back to their room. "I hate to tell you this but I bet your little pep talk helped in pushing Alex into the light." The pout turned into a frown. "You should at least be happy Michelles going to stay."
"Yeah yeah yeah."
Back in the hall...
"Now that your casts off you have no excuse but to help me move my stuff back in."
She had such an adorable little pout on her face. "Aww. Do I have to? The doctor did say to take it easy you know."
"Oh well in that case youll just have to carry them one at a time like us mere mortals."
They each reached down to pick up a box and made their way to their room.
"So no more secrets right Michelle? Youre not really a guy are you?"
<Hmm. Interesting question. Maybe I should play with her a little and see if she really is okay with all this.> "Ha! You wish. If I was youd be ALL over me."
Michelle almost ran into Alexs back because she stopped moving up the hallway. <Ooh. Shes sneaky. You wanna play huh?> Slowly Alex turned around, "hmm..." and gave her friend the once over from top to bottom. A little smile graced her lips causing Michelles breath to leave her momentarily. "Nah, too short for my tastes." She turned back around and quickly entered their room. Michelle followed once the comment registered.
"Im too short for you? I resent that remark. I'm normal size Alex. Youre the one thats too tall. So the way I see it its your problem to fix, not mine." She said with a little shrug.
"Okay fine. Ill work on that too." She set down her box and walked out the door. But turning back at the last second she added, "But while I'm doing that youd better get busy on growing that extra appendage." Alex threw in a wink at the wide eyed look on Michelles face and sauntered out the door still chuckling. <Ahh. Everything's right with the world.>