So Here I Am- Part 1My story began when I was in 5th grade. We lived ( and still do live) in a very small close knit town where everybody knows everybody else . There are two main employers, a grain mill, bank, and the park. And,of course,The Pizza Place. Farms around us. A culture of " Family Values".
It began for me when my best friend , whom I had a secret crush on,Bridgette stayed overnight. We stayed up half the night gossiping,watching TV, eating junk food, all pretty normal girl stuff. It got late so we decided to go to bed. My room had bunk beds so I took the top and let Bridgette sleep on the bottom. We got in bed and continued talking and giggling until we both fell asleep.
Then a loud violent storm woke us up...lightning all around, loud crashing thunder,hard rain. We both woke up and were really scared. " Rhea !! I'm scared!!Climb down here and hold me!!! " Bridgette cried. My pulse began to race as soon as she said that..I was aware of it but did not really think why, I just jumped into bed with her as fast as I could and climbed under the covers. We held each other and hugged each other vowing to protect each other from the storm ! Very Scary !
We were both wearing only our undies and T shirt. It was warm under the covers. We were hugging each other. Protecting each other. I suddenly began to have sensations that were new , exciting and frightening at the same time. Holding Bridgette close to me aroused feelings I had never felt before. In that instant I had changed forever.
The next day everything was "normal" except the way I felt inside. Bridgette had changed from someone I had a crush on to someone who was almost a part of me. I was confused, excited, giddy, happy, and scared all at once. All that mattered to me was being near Bridgette. She kept being the same way she always was and basically nothing changed between us. We were still best friends and life went on.
I ' KNEW" I was no longer like the other girls but I tried to keep on doing the things we all did. As I got older I had " Crushes" on other girls but kept it all inside. Later , Boys became the central part of our lives and I did what my girlfriends did. We giggled, gossiped, " Loved" boys in an endless frantic quest. When we all entered high school it changed and the stakes were higher. I followed the lead of the other girls, acted the way I was " supposed to", dated, but always felt alone. There but not there. I did have affection for a few of the boys I dated and , yes, did lose my virginity. It was not unpleasant but I was overwhelmed with sadness realizing it would never be different for me. Just " not unpleasant".
Finally I dated this boy who was good looking, on the football team, and came from a "nice" family. My parents " loved " him and kept subtly hinting that we were a cute couple together. After graduation we were married in a beautiful wedding. All my friends were in the wedding and my mother did what all mothers do, go crazy planning everything . Jim had a good job at one of the plants in town and we were on our way. Then I got pregnant with my son ,who is now 12. Our lives were normal and predictable. I love my son and I was happy but there was always that empty, urgent feeling deep within me.
Then a little over a year ago a new family moved into town. The father worked with my husband. They had a daughter the same age as my son . My husband and I were at a school swim meet when he saw him " Hey Phil ! You guys come on over here and meet my wife !" They climbed up the rows of seats and were introduced to each other, " Rhea this is my new friend Phil .....he works with me in accounting" , I said hi and shook his hand. Then Phil introduced his wife. "This is my wife Laura" Laura was beautiful ! I held out my hand and started to say something when she leaned forward slightly and held my hand in hers. Our eyes met and I felt a warmth permeate me to my very core . I know my face was flushed. My heart was pounding. SHE KNOWS!. I managed to keep from fainting and got through the swim meet o.k. Then Jim invited them over for pizza after the meet.
Later in the evening as they were leaving I gathered enough courage to ask Laura if she would like to come over for coffee the next morning. " Of course ! I would love to Rhea ! I really need to meet people here" . This sounded innocent but there was a lilting to her voice that conveyed a more powerful message to me...only I heard it.
The next morning after I had gotten my husband off to work and my son on the bus , I frantically did everything I could to prepare for Laura. Shower, hair, eyes, toes, nails....lips...everything.Then fixed the coffee, set out the pastries....one more look in the mirror....deep breath....o.k. Everything was ready on the outside but my emotions were churning on the inside. Is this for real? Am I going crazy? What if Laura is really just dropping over for coffee and chat? What if she decides she doesn't like me? Am I imagining this ? On and on. Then the doorbell !
I opened the door. Laura stood there smiling, her eyes locking on mine as they did yesterday. Our hands clasped and we walked into the kitchen . Her hands felt so warm. I led her into the kitchen , we sat down, and didn't say a word . We just stared.Awkwardly. I finally poured our coffee and put out the pastry. Then we began to act normal for a while. " You have a lovely home, Your daughter is beautiful, So how long have lived here in ___, Where did you move from?. This went on for what seemed like an eternity. Finally we finished and I got up to put the dishes in the sink. Laura stood up too and carried her's . Laura stood close to me at the sink as I was fumbling with the cups and saucers. She just lightly leaned against me...longer than she needed to to put the dishes on the rack. Then took a towel and dried my hands....eyes still locked on mine...Then she held my face..leaned into me and slowly, softly, kissed me. I . I felt.