by LA Tucker
Part XXVIII: Some Day, My Prince(ss) Will Come
For disclaimers see
Ah, Spring. When robins, fat and rounded, bounce across front lawns and sidewalks in search of waterlogged earthworms. Lawnmowers are dug out, cleaned and oiled, and then, after too many a wrenched back false start, discarded in hopes of the newer, shinier, instant start models at the local WalMart. Posies and petunias are blooming in garish abundance, last year's lawn chairs are dragged out and hosed down for spiders. Many a die hard Cubs fan watch televised spring season games on cable, stoking their hopes for another year. Windows, filthy from the winter's pounding of snow, are washed to a gleaming sparkle, and Burger King soda cups are retrieved from under front seats of cars. Mother's Day comes and goes, along with the frustrated and irritated hearts of children, now grown, who haven't the slightest idea what to get mom, so they break down and call 1-800-Flowers.
Spring has sprung, the sun has riz, I wonder where the flowers is?
In Stonecreek, the advent of Spring, and the short journey from that season to Summer, brought many a smiling, anticipatory giggle from Fort Lafayette students. Many a young lass was busy scouring the local mall in Erie for just the right prom dress, some even traveling out of state in their search, which wasn't saying much considering Stonecreek was 15 miles from the New York state line. Appointments were made, for glamorous 'do's' and nylon sculpted false nails. The mothers of these young fillies spent their time nervously trying to come up with explanations to irate husbands as to why their darling Heather or Ashley needed to spend so much money for a dress they would never wear again. Not all mothers were afflicted with having to deal with these events, they spent their time worrying why their little Taylor or Brittany was showing no interest whatsoever in the senior year dance, and seemed to prefer to spend time in their rooms watching tapes of the U.S. Women's World Soccer team with their other like-thinking female friends. Those mothers were probably due for a rude wake up call, oh, around the time of their progeny's sophomore year at college.
The strapping lads of Stonecreek's senior high school were planning, and perhaps plotting, along the same lines. The sharpest of tuxes were rented and fitted, dinner reservations were being made, unflattering, extremely trendy haircuts were being bought and paid for. Corsages were ordered, after checking with their dates, to find out what color scheme their dates' dress, nails and shoes followed. A few daring fellows even dreamed big, and dared to rent a room at the local Ramada Inn. Few of these rooms, every year, were ever actually used, much to the delight of both motel staff and cheering maids. Some young men, dateless for most of the year, gathered up their courage, and asked a female buddy on the girl's softball team to accompany them to the spring's promenade, no thoughts of renting a room ever crossing either of their minds.
And in a small, artfully decorated old farmhouse west of town, a cross and crabby art teacher was yet again arguing with her best friend.
Chloe, propped up comfortably on Marcy's headboard, was watching her pregnant friend root through her closet.
"Well, it's good to know one of those dresses will be worn for something ... if not their original purpose." Chloe clucked her tongue in Marcy's direction.
Marcy was tossing dresses onto the bed, covering most of Chloe like a silk and satin comforter. "Well, yeah, so ... I still want to know how I got 'volunteered' for this thing. Lately, with all of the forced 'volunteering' I've been suckered into, I should win some kind of award, don'tcha think?" She pulled another dress from the closet, examined it before shaking her curls in refusal, and pitched it onto the pile covering Chloe. "How did you get out of this 'chaperone' gig? Who'd you pay off?"
Chloe reached and adjusted a hanger that was poking her in her ... 'fleshy pillows' region, and just shrugged, and grinned. "Ah, but you see, my dear friend, I am not a full time teacher at the high school. I am but a poor part-timer, not expected to fulfill such duties. Just be glad you have a real date this year, and not Paul. And just think of all the high school studs who will think it's their duty to come help you fill your dance card. Ah, the Prom. Ah, Spring. Ah ..."
"...Shut up." said a none too happy Marcy. "You know I can't dance, I suck at it, and I can't get smashed before this thing to improve on my skills. Dave's going to find out what a dufus I am, and we're going to end up having a music-less wedding reception. Maybe we could get married, and then, oh ... sit around and play cards afterwards?"
Chloe's mind was occupied with visions of Marcy's dancing style, which could be described as ... Marcy spinning around in place, as though her foot was nailed to the floor, and she had to swivel around that pivot point. It was not a pretty thought. Chloe snickered. "Hey, as long as there's booze at your reception, I don't think people would give a rat's ass." Chloe idly ruffled through the clothing on top of her. "And, hey, by the by, you never told me if the wedding is going to be pre-baby or after-baby in November."
Marcy stopped her hunt through her nearly empty closet, and turned to face Chloe. "I was going to ask ... your opinion about that ..."
Chloe sat up, acting apparently stunned at her friends request. A box of shoes promptly sailed her way, and she stuck out a hand and deflected them. "Alright, let's see. Hmm. Would I rather see a 9 month along, ready to burst at the seams Marcy waddling down the aisle, or would I rather wait, and watch you saunter down the aisle with a wailing papoose in your arms instead of flowers?" She watched Marcy's face grimace at both ideas, and it made Chloe giggle. "Gives a whole new meaning to 'throwing the bouquet' doesn't it?"
Marcy's mind imagined her bridesmaid going out for a 'long one', and dismissed that thought. "I thought I told you, this kid is going to boarding school. One, maybe two days after it's born. I don't plan on seeing him or her until ... their prom." Marcy brightened at that thought.
A dark-haired head appeared in the doorway to Marcy's bedroom. Chloe threw her a delighted grin, and Marcy stuck her tongue out at her. Sara grinned and took a running leap onto the bed, scattering clothes everywhere, and almost knocking Chloe onto the floor before she reached out and grabbed her. Marcy scowled, and watched as Sara propped herself up next to her lover, extending her arm so Chloe could lay her head on her shoulder. Sara returned Marcy's favor of the stuck out tongue.
"Hey you two," Sara said as Marcy picked clothes off the floor, tossing them onto both Chloe and Sara this time, "Playing dress up? Is Chloe going to be Evita Peron again? Can I watch?" Sara raised a suggestive, leering eyebrow, reached under the piled masses of clothing, and tickled Chloe in a particularly sensitive spot.
Marcy paused in her clothes chucking. She lowered her eyelids and stared at Sara. "No, this time, we were thinking you might like to be Cleopatra, Queen of Denial. We were hoping you'd make a lifelong dream come true for us ..." she commented drily.
Sara laughed, and poked a giggling Chloe again. "Wow. Prom. What a nightmare, huh? I just got back from the tuxedo rental place with Nelson ... he got a great black tux ... with a loud, bumblebee yellow waistee thingee."
"Cummerbund." supplied Chloe.
"God bless you." teased Sara.
All three women winced, and then smiled.
Chloe rubbed a hand across Sara's stomach. "So, we were just discussing the possibilities of a pre or post baby wedding for Marcy and Dave. My vote's for a last minute, shotgun affair. Doris could supply the shotgun, I'm sure."
Sara did her eyebrow thing, with theatrical flair. "Oooh, baby. My thinking is that ... Marcy should come down the aisle with Curly, Moe or Larry strapped to her back."
Marcy began picking through the stack of clothing on Chloe and Sara. "Or ... we could elope right now, saving me from buying yet another dress, and while I still am possessing my somewhat girlish figure ...", she mused.
Sara grinned, and her arm shot out, and pulled a protesting, but laughing Marcy down on top of them and all of that unused wedding finery. Chloe and Sara held her down, and Sara declared, "Oh no, no way Miss Future Unpronounceable Name -D'Amico. You're not depriving US of witnessing the spectacle of the elusive town's art teacher finally getting hitched. I want to be there when you make your last minute dash from the altar to the delivery room."
All three friends laughed again, and then all looked at each other. Marcy spoke, a devious grin lifting the corner of her mouth. "Well, now THAT would be something for the town to talk about, now wouldn't it?"
As was the way of their world, the three of them settled matters, just like that.
"Got it. Hurry up, we're losing the light out there." Sara and Chloe were rummaging around in Sara's little bungalow, searching for disposable cameras, Polaroid's, the video camera and Sara's old 35 mm. Chloe had them all piled in her arms, and Sara, typically, was under burdened, holding onto a small box of film. Chloe fumbled with her load, and Sara helped out by merely readjusting a few things in her lover's arms. "There. Now don't drop anything. Even the smallest amount of moisture can ruin film ..." Sara preached, tucking a camera strap under Chloe's arm. "Let's haul ass."
Chloe took a few halting steps for the front door, frowning. "What's wrong with this picture? Why am I the pack mule?"
Sara opened the front door, and held it open for the laden redhead. "Because I am the director, and you, my love, are my assistant. Lackey. Can you spell it with me? L, A, ..." Sara pointed Chloe out the door, and gave her rear end a loving smack as Chloe grumbled by. They trudged across the path leading from the bungalow up to the main house, Sara carefully watching the pile in Chloe's arms, and giving a smiling appreciation to Chloe's butt, too.
The Comet, in glorious red buffed glory, was parked directly in front of the house. Chloe headed towards it, in hopes of setting down her burden on the hood. Sara took a couple of quick strides past her, and held out her arms. "Nuh uh, don't even think about it. You'll scratch her."
Chloe was thinking that both her nose and her butt were getting very itchy, something that always happens to a person when they're least likely to be able to relieve that irritating feeling. That wasn't the only irritating feeling Chloe was experiencing. "This lackey poop is ... well, I'd rather be a sidekick. I bet they get paid better. Listen you, do me a favor. Scratch my nose, will ya?" Chloe turned up her pert nose, and sighed as Sara grinningly complied.
Sara looked up at the available sunlight, and made a few mental calculations. "Hmm, we'll start with my old 35, and then move onto the Polaroids from there, and then the camcorder, and then we can use some of those ... throw away cameras you brought." She finished disdainfully. "Although, artistically ..."
She stopped her little speech, because a golf course mogul and a noted local artist were making their appearance on the front porch. Sara grinned, and quickly grabbed her camera from Chloe's load, almost dislodging the whole mess in the struggling librarian's arms.
"Ooooh." trilled Chloe, making sure she could be heard by the engaged couple, elegantly posing on the porch. "Movie stars. Look, Sara ...MOVIE STARS!! Quick, get a pitcher an' maybe we can stalk them for their autographs ... "
Sara already had the voguing couple in her viewfinder, making a few quick adjustments for the light, and began snapping away. "I know, I know! But who the hell are they ... they remind me of someone, no, don't tell me..." Snap. Forward. Snap. Forward.
"Yes, yes, I do believe it is, yes, that famous couple ..." Chloe provided, hoping Sara would be able to come up with a ... snappy finish.
"Yup, hon." Snap. Forward. Snap. "Yer right! It's ... Lenny and Squiggy!"
If Chloe could have clapped her hands without dropping everything, she would have. She saw Marcy stop her suggestive posing, and place her hands on her hips, giving Sara her best dour look. Sara caught it for posterity.
Sara, having shot half of her film, finally dropped the camera from her face. She and Chloe grinned at the handsome couple, and then Dave, in a very sharp suit and tie, crossed his eyes and contorted his voice into a high and nasal greeting. "Hull---LO."
Chloe laughed. "I was wondering which one was Squiggy. Guess that answers THAT question."
Dave and Marcy made their way down the porch stairs, and stood next to the director and her lackey. Dave checked his watch. "Hmm. What's holding up Nelson and Jeanette? They should be here by now, they said they would ..."
Marcy nodded her head up the long driveway. "Here they come now." Nelson's pickup truck was just making the turn into the driveway, and the foursome smiled and waved at the truck as it approached them. Well, Chloe didn't have a free arm and she couldn't wave, so she nodded her head like a dashboard Chihuahua.
The truck pulled up a little distance from them, and a handsome and quite debonair Nelson, even with his rather radical new haircut, climbed out and made his way around to the other side to help Jeanette get out.
The four adults, as different as they all were, were thinking the same thoughts.
Chloe, in a hushed voice said, "What's with that haircut?"
Marcy murmured, "I was wondering that myself. What is that? He looks like ..."
Sara supplied, " A funky Pee Wee Herman. It's bad, isn't it?"
Dave cleared his throat. "It just won't lie flat. He tried for hours, I think he even got the iron out. It looks sort of ..."
"Bumpy." stated Chloe.
"Haphazard." Sara whispered.
"Scary." Marcy shook her head. All of them then pasted on their smiles, because the blonde bombshell and her studly escort, his hair looking vaguely like a bad Moe Howard toupee, were shyly walking towards them. Sara began snapping pictures again, her fingers adjusting the lens, and waving them into position.
A half hour went by, and then 40 minutes. The unforced smiles on both couple's faces faded into desperate looks that Sara had to cajole them into losing.
"Aw, c'mon, you all look like I just told you that there's a Republican in the White House." Snap. Flash. Wind. Snap. Flash. Wind.
Marcy, standing uncomfortably posed next to her fiancé, and her soon to be stepson and his ... who knows? grimaced another smile. "Sara, does the car HAVE to be in the background of every goddamned picture? Although I loved the automotive narration you provided when you were filming us with the camcorder. I really think it's important to know that this car can get us to the prom in less than four minutes, I really do, but ... is this a little vanity project for you? It's really all about the car, isn't it?"
Sara was dutifully, if not a little reluctantly, snapping flash pictures with Chloe's throw away camera. "Well, maybe ..."
Chloe sighed. Her arms were tired, her nose itched again, and it looked to her like Jeanette was actually on the verge of frowning, which Chloe feared might scar the young woman for life. Her arms were still busy holding her expensive cargo, so sticking her fingers in her mouth and whistling loudly to gain Sara's attention was not an option. So she did the next best thing, she stood up close next to her, and gave her the best hip shove she could manage without dropping all the cameras. "Hey, Ansel Adams. Jeanette's corsage is wilting. Give it up."
Sara scowled, and sighed. "I got carried away again, didn't I?"
Five voices cried out in unison, with Jeanette's trained cheerleader lungs topping it all off. "YES!"
Sara rolled her eyes, and shrugged her shoulders. She looked sheepishly down at the impatient redhead next to her. "Hey, look at all that stuff you've got, let me help you with that ..."
Chloe just barely kept her foot from flying out and making contact with Sara's shin. "Thanks heaps, Kemosabe." Neither noticed Marcy dragging Dave over to them. Marcy stuck her hand out to Sara, grabbing for the camera. "Uh, uh, not until we get some of you and Chloe. Hand it over."
Chloe felt a little embarrassed handing over her stuff to a fiercely grinning Dave. "We don't really need ..."
Dave just kept taking articles from her, and shook his head. "You might not, but WE do ..."
Sara had given the camera to Marcy, who checked the shot count and smiled. "Now you two, over by Nelson and Jeanette there, and then I want some of just the two of you ..."
Nelson and Jeanette were now standing by the front porch. Sara smiled, and blushed a little towards her red-haired lover. Then she glanced at her red buffed 1963 classic. "All right, but can we go stand by my ..."
It couldn't have been rehearsed better. Again, 5 voices rang out, but this time, in the negative.
There are kisses, and then there are kisses. Every time that Chloe softly put her hands onto Sara's cheeks, her thumbs lightly stroking from the sides of Sara's nose, back to meet the rest of her fingers near the dark-haired woman's jawline, Sara knew that such a kiss was coming, and it gave her heart a small jolt, like traveling over a small speed bump in a parking lot. Sara would gaze down into those green eyes that never failed to disarm her with their sincerity, their clarity of feeling, their possessiveness and desire. The dark-haired woman's breath would catch during these moments, her resolve would flee, and she happily dissolved into a feeling of helplessness, all commanded by a touch and a look. And then the kiss would start, the lips grazing hers in faint greeting, a pause, and then the full on meeting of Chloe's mouth on hers, making Sara's eyes languidly close in the sheer sensuousness of feeling being transferred one to the other and back again. Not each kiss she shared with Chloe was such a kiss, but those kisses came frequently enough for Sara to become addicted to the want of them. This kiss was that kiss, and Sara's heart was skipping like a stone thrown across a small, intimate pond.
Chloe broke the kiss, but not before purposely sucking on Sara's upper lip, nipping it gently before she let it go. Her hands remained on Sara's face, tracing a random pattern, feeling the heat of the skin below her fingers, the lines of the bones beneath. She watched Sara's eyes flutter open, and meet with hers, their faces breaking into smiles at the shared acknowledgment of the wondrousness they felt when they kissed. Chloe's eyes fell to those lips she had just traversed, and she couldn't help herself, she just knew that Sara's lower lip was suffering, in a jealous quiver, over the attention she had just paid the upper. So she licked, sucked and nipped it, too, feeling charitable and heroic for giving it the satisfaction it craved.
"Sara?" murmured Chloe, as she felt small kisses traverse a narrow line up the bridge of her nose, travel east and west to both eyes, then return center to rest on her forehead.
"Hmm?" Sara replied, her throat supplying the conversation, her lips being otherwise occupied.
"You're an asshole."
Sara's lips twisted into a grin, but remained firmly parked on the soft skin above Chloe's eyebrows. "Why, yes, yes I am."
Chloe's head tilted down, just a little, so she could enjoy the view of just how little space there was between them. She sighed. "But you're my asshole ... and I love you."
Sara chuckled, and her arms tightened around her smaller lover, knowing exactly how they fit best, and achieving that position. She moved her chin up to rest on the silky red tresses on the top of Chloe's head. "Nice to know somebody finally appreciates the real me."
Chloe could feel Sara's grin in the light touches of the taller woman's hands on her arms. "This was such a nice surprise. I mean ... well, it just is."
Sara shifted her head to one side, so her cheek could enjoy what her chin had just experienced. "All we did was move some furniture in here ... not so much."
"Enough so you could dance me around ... just like that night ..." Chloe's smile segued into a small frown, remembering how that night had ended.
Sara closed her eyes, and pulled Chloe even tighter, knowing where the redheaded woman's thoughts were going. "I think this night end much better than that one, don't you?"
Chloe's smile returned, she wasn't about to argue with that notion. "I know so. No arguing Dave and Marcys, no disappointed Nelsons to interrupt us."
"Oh, don't say that, you'll jinx us ..." Sara laughed, and felt the smaller form in her arms trembling with merriment, too.
Chloe ran her hands up Sara's arms, just to the point where she could lightly tug on the ends of Sara's hair, which was tumbled forward, coccooning Chloe's face in lush darkness. "Oh no, not tonight. Nelson can pick a fight with Jeanette, Dave can get his period, and Marcy can come here confused and without a clue ... I'm not letting you go tonight."
Sara grinned, and let those sentiments wash over her. "Ditto." She sucked in a small breath, the smell of Chloe infusing her with a courage that she thought she didn't possess, would never possess. But for some reason, she wasn't scared, she wasn't second guessing herself when she said, "And what about tomorrow night?"
Chloe snuggled deeper into Sara's arms. "Tomorrow night, too, if you want."
"I want." Sara was filled with the assuredness of a seasoned fortune teller, she suddenly and surely knew how Chloe would answer her next questions, and it filled her with a joy she'd never experienced before. "And the night after?" She rubbed her hands down Chloe's back and spoke again before Chloe could answer. She wanted the librarian to realize the intent of these queries. "And the one after that, and after that ... and the week after? The month? The year?"
Chloe stopped tugging on Sara's hair, and loosened her grip around the dark woman just enough so she could lean back out of her arms, and to look questioningly into her sparkling blue eyes. Any questions Chloe had about the real meaning behind Sara's words were answered then, and Chloe took a moment before she replied to Sara's question with not an answer, but with another question.
One more search of the sincerity in those blue orbs, and she asked, with just a hint of a smile, "You want?"
"I want." Sara replied, a burden she never knew she was shouldering was lifted from her, and she felt lighter, higher, taller than she'd ever felt before.
"Ditto." Chloe smiled, and then those hands of hers cradled Sara's face again, and Sara leaned into them, knowing that this next kiss would be the kiss of their kisses, the one assuring them both that they planned on sharing those kisses for a long time to come.
"Um, Ms. Woj ...er, Marcy, the band says it doesn't know the 'Hokey Pokey', I asked." Jason couldn't believe he had shouted that idiotic question into the band leader's ear, nor had actually suffered through the scornful, amused look that he had been on the receiving end of, much to his ego's chagrin.
Marcy gave Jason a disbelieving stare, not because she was confounded at the band's ignorance of her song request, but that the young man before her had actually gone up and asked about it on her behalf. She almost wanted to lean in, and smell Jason's breath, thinking that would completely explain his behavior. But for some reason, the uncomfortable look on his face made it plain to her that Jason had not been nipping from some contraband flask hidden somewhere on his skinny body. She eyed him, and said, "Uh, thanks, Jase?" She looked around. "Where's your date gone to, anyway?"
Jason flushed, and pretended to be relaxed, bobbing his head to the caterwauling swing beat the band was providing. "Uh, she's in the, you know, ladies room. She met up with some other girls from her ... team. I guess they're, uh, fixing their make-up or something?"
Marcy nodded a few times, unintentionally keeping beat with a song for the first time in her life. She had gotten that funny feeling about Jason, and his latest info about his date clinched it for her. "Well, I appreciate you keeping me company. I'm afraid I'm not much of a dancer." Sober, at least.
Jason smiled, and both their gazes turned out to the dance floor, where David D'Amico and Doris Raeburn were burning a hole into the gymnasium floor. Marcy rolled her eyes and shook her head. "God, that man. Who'da thunk?"
Jason just smiled some more, and watched as his principal kept up with the younger man with ease. "I knew she was energetic, I mean I saw her chase Ms. D'Amico that one day with her umbrella, but god, I mean, she's practically doing ... splits out there!" Jason wasn't the brightest of young minds, but he knew enough to recognize a force of nature when he saw it.
Marcy somehow knew that Dave was going to be grumping and groaning about his sore muscles tomorrow, and that Doris Raeburn would be rolling merrily along, with nary a complaint or worry. Wait till ol' Dave is chasing a two year old around with a golf ball in her mouth. We'll see how sore he gets. "Jason, that's just plain ... weird, don'tcha think?"
Jason couldn't disagree with
that, especially now that Dave D'Amico was twirling, and twirling a delighted
Mrs. Raeburn in quick concentric circles.
Marcy's eyes widened. "She'd better quit smiling like that while she's spinning, her upper plates are going to go flying ..."
Jason couldn't help himself, he leaned over grabbed his knees, and began laughing his fool head off.
Marcy laughed too, and smacked the red-faced young man on the back. "Hey, Jase, I think you're one hell of a date ... we should do this more often ..."
Twirling was also happening in the D'Amico's living room, by two smiling and deeply in love women, both as different as milk and whiskey, as feathers and steel, as midnight and midday. But somehow those differences had disappeared, faded away, when some months ago, their worlds had collided, and after many a near hit and miss, they had joined, body, spirit, heart and mind and changed into the women they were now.
One last twirl by Sara, and a giggling Chloe brought their bodies to a halt into the middle of the living room floor. "Whoa, I need to catch my breath."
Sara's sappier side finally emerged, just for a moment, before it buried itself again. "I haven't been able to catch my breath ... since I met you, Chloe."
Chloe was so overwhelmed by this unexpected sentiment from her lover, she did the unexpected, because she felt so undone by Sara's words. She reached out and smacked Sara on the shoulder. "Cut that out." she smiled, exasperated.
Sara was not exacting expecting that kind of reaction to her patently romantic words. "Ow. Wife abuse. No wonder I never say mushy stuff, I get punished for it ...", she grinned, glad to see that her sweet words had the desired effect on the flustered librarian.
Chloe immediately regretted the thwap, and quickly pulled her to her, and made up for it by bestowing an apologetic kiss on her lips. Chloe melted into Sara's arms again, the room softly lit by only a dimmed lamp off in a corner, and they started slowly swaying together again, beginning another dance.
Sara dropped her mouth down to Chloe's ear level, and softly said as they moved about the living room floor together, "Hey, Chloe?"
Chloe just hummed her answer, and then found the energy to make her lips form a reply. "Yes, Sara?"
"Do you think, well, maybe ...
we could have at least one dance tonight ... with some music playing?"
Continued in Part XXIX
Email me with feedback: LA Tucker