Saturday morning, I would have slept through my alarm if it hadn’t been for Maisie jumping on the bed and licking my face at nine a.m. I dashed into the shower at breakneck speed and then hurried out, wrapped in only a towel into my bedroom to try to find something to wear. I rifled through my closet and groaned in frustration. Everything looked wrong! Why hadn’t I thought to lay something out last night, or better yet to go shopping and buy something new? I looked at the clock: 9:50.
I sat on the bed despondent. She would be here in ten minutes or less and I looked like a fright. I hadn’t even had time to put on my makeup or do my hair! I felt like I was going to cry. My first date with Cara and I was going to look like this? Suddenly a loud Ding Dong sounded and set Maisie barking. “Shit!” I exclaimed. “She’s here early!”
Maisie was already at the door, every inch of her tiny body quivering with fury.
I rushed to the door and pulled her away.
I’m sorry, I called through the door. Maisie, just always barks when someone comes to the door. She’ll calm down once she recognizes you.”
I fiddled with the lock and finally swung it open.
Cara was standing on the doorstep looking smoldering. She was wearing a breezy, striped button-down with green and white pinstripes, a pair of white chinos, and her trademark sunglasses perched on her head. She smiled widely.
“Good morning, I’m sorry I’m here early. I didn’t mean to disturb you.” Her eyes dropped a little lower bashfully.
I blushed scarlet once I realized why. In my haste to pull Maisie away from the door I’d forgotten I was only wearing a towel, and it had slipped down revealing a lot of my modest chest!
Hastily I pulled up the towel and gave Maisie a gentle shove with my foot behind the door, pulling it closed so she couldn’t make another daring escape.
“No, I’m the one who should be sorry. I overslept, and now I’m running late.”
“It’s totally okay,” Cara said, her eyes meeting mine, “I don’t mind waiting. Take your time.”
I thought quickly.
“Won’t you at least come inside? I’ll only be a few more minutes, I promise. But you should least come in and sit down since I’m the one who has made such a mess of things.”
“Don’t worry about it, really.” Cara said, following me inside as I closed the door behind us.
“Please make yourself comfortable,” I said in what I hoped was a good imitation of a perfect hostess’s voice. “Do you mind if I leave Masie out here?
“No, of course not, Cara said with a smile, as Maisie trotted to her, and patted her rump as she nosed around at her shoes. “We’ll keep each other company.”
I disappeared into the bathroom stifling a spasm of humiliation. I couldn’t believe I’d let her see me like that in only a towel! It was enough to make me melt into the floor! And of course she looked stunning as always and just talking to her already made it a challenge to breathe.
You can’t fall apart Sadie, she counselled herself, you just can’t.
I took a shaky breath and made my way to the closet. I pulled out the red and white striped sundress my sister had bought for me on the last vacation we’d taken together and put it on, slipping on a pair of coffee-colored sandals to match. I stepped into the bathroom and dried my hair trying to make something resembling a style out of it. I ended up finger-combing it into soft waves and letting it brush against my shoulders. I swiped on a quick dash of red lipstick and was done.
I emerged from the room and Cara was sitting on the floor with Maisie in her lap, one of her fat paws in her hand, talking to her.
She looked up when I entered and smiled.
“Wow,” she said, and I visibly saw her gasp. “You look amazing.”
“Thank you,” I said, delighted she seemed so happy with my appearance.
She clambered up from the floor.
“I just need to get my purse,” I said.
“I’ll get it,” she volunteered. “Where is it?”
“Over there,” I gestured over to the round, straw, bag on the hook by the door.
She went and retrieved it and slipped it over my shoulder and as she did so, the tips of her fingers brushing bare part of my shoulder. Goosebumps crept over me and I swear she felt it too.
“Ready,” I said a little breathlessly, as I smoothed my hair one final time.
I grabbed Maisie’s leash and attached it to her collar as we headed out the door.
We left my flat and it was only after we climbed down the concrete steps two at a time that I caught a first glimpse of her car. It was an adorable VW Bug, navy blue with a white stripe running down the front of it and on either side. I couldn’t help but exclaim in pleasure.
“It’s adorable,” I said.
She smiled, “Do you like it? I just recently traded my old one in when I left home. Swapped it for an old Ford for my dad and used the excess to pay for this little lady.” She tapped the hood of the car fondly before opening the door on my side.
I smiled, charmed by her chivalrous behavior.
“Well, aren’t you quite the gentlewoman? I said with a grin, surprising myself with my bold casino şirketleri flirtatiousness.
She didn’t seem to mind though, only smiled broader.
“Ladies first,” she said, closing it gently after me.
The leather interior was smooth against my bare legs and smelled lovely. I took a shaky breath as Cara got in next to me. I’d never been this close to her before.
She turned the key in the ignition and the little car hummed to life.
“Do you mind if I put my hand here?” she said.
I felt like I’d suddenly drank an entire shot of expresso on an empty stomach. This couldn’t be happening? We’d only been in the car less than five minutes and she wanted to have sex! A surge of excitement went through me and when my thighs brushed up against each other I could feel that I was already getting very wet. The mere idea of her hand on my thigh, sliding up my dress, rubbing it gently before sliding it up higher, teasing me with those gorgeous hands. Oh God. It was all I could do not to let a small moan escape.
“Sorry this street is awfully tight.”
Immediately I was jerked back to reality and realized I was grinning like a Cheshire cat stupidly. She motioned to my headrest and I turned red with embarasment, realization dawning at last. She needed to put her hand there to back us out. How could I be such an idiot! I wanted to slap myself for my stupidity. I could only hope she wouldn’t notice how red my cheeks were and realize that I had been imagining her hand in quite a different place.
But Cara seemed unbothered. “Thanks!” She placed her hand on the back of the headrest and darted a quick glance out the back window and expertly maneuvered us out of the parking spot.
I couldn’t withhold my admiration,
“Wow, you’re really good at this. Did you live in a city back in the States?”
“Actually, no she said with a laugh. I grew up in rural Vermont. I learned how to drive my grandfather’s tractor before inheriting my dad’s old standard truck.”
“Wow, that sounds difficult. I exclaimed. I don’t even know how to drive a standard!”
“Well, when you grow up on a farm almost everyone owns at least one car with a clutch.” She chuckled.
“That’s so cool you grew up on a farm! Did you like it. I’ve lived my whole life in the city so I haven’t ever known anything else.”
“It was pretty great actually,” she agreed. It was really beautiful and quiet. Sometimes when the ambulance sirens are particularly loud in Soho I really miss it.”
I detected a note of wistfulness in her voice. For a moment there was a lapse of silence.
“Anyway!” she said abruptly. Enough about me. What about you?”
And so the conversation shifted, and I launched into relating and anecdotes from my childhood and answering a long series of questions about my parents and where I went to school, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help turning over her previous remarks in my mind. I hadn’t thought it was possible but she’d somehow become even more fascinating to me than before. She seemed to think of her home fondly but seemed reluctant to talk about it. I wonder what she’s hiding I thought, and then immediately chastised myself. She probably just didn’t feel comfortable telling an almost stranger about her life. Some people preferred to keep their family life private. And who knows, she maybe had good reason to not want to discuss it. Maybe something tragic had happened and it was too painful to want to dwell on, and it was none of my business anyway. We should focus on today and try to have as good a time as possible I decided.
We pulled into the busy street of Soho and I was shocked by the great packed concourse of cars cluttering the roadway. Everywhere I looked it seemed there were vehicles in front of us, behind us and parked alongside the sidewalks! I shaded my eyes from the sun reflecting off of headlights and windows and could just glimpse the brightly colored booths and stalls beyond, paintings splashed with color and statues twisted into fantastic shapes as couples strolled hand in hand admiring the creations.
“Wow, I had no idea, this was so popular!”
“Yeah, it’s kind of a big thing here this time of year. Big tourist attraction too.” Cara said. “The trouble is it’ll be a nightmare trying to find a parking spot. Do you want me to drop you off?”
I insisted I didn’t really mind staying to help her look but she said that there was no reason I couldn’t go ahead and start enjoying myself and that it would only be a minute.
“Don’t worry, I’m pretty good at this kind of parking thing.” She winked. “I’ll join you in a bit.”
She let me off at the curb and I joined the crowd of moving people and made my way to the stands. I stepped onto the sidewalk ducking under one of the shady canopies, and a thin breeze ruffled my hair, cooling my neck. I took a deep breath, taking in the sights and sounds. I could smell the scent of hot dogs and fresh squeezed lemonade drifting on the air.
I opened my eyes again and made my way to the first booth. It was a woman who made necklaces and bracelets out of beads made of glass in all kinds of rainbow casino firmaları colors so that when the light caught them they sparkled and shone. After admiring them I went onto the next one. There must have been dozens of tents I realized as I passed first one, then the next selling everything from hand-blown glass vases to beautiful embroidered pillows. It was a tent near the end though that caught my attention. The front was strewn with paintings of all types, ranging from fields of beautiful sunflowers to misty mountain ranges. But there were several abstract paintings of women, painted in blues and red and earth tones. They cavorted across the canvases, running, bending in a variety of positions, as graceful as dancers. But I saw one that I saw that I couldn’t look away. It was a woman reclined on a sofa in imitation perhaps of one of the classical nudes. She was sprawled out, one of her legs stretched out in front of her, the other bent and pulled in close to her body, leading the eye up to the crease between her legs. She looked stunningly relaxed and at ease, one her hand lingering on her breast, the other resting on her lower abdomen. But it was her eyes! They seemed as if they were staring right into the viewer’s soul her full lips curled up as if daring them to touch her. The painting was tasteful but highly erotic and I could feel myself getting incredibly aroused.
Do you like the painting? A voice asked.
I spun around and beheld a small woman, with ample curves and a pixie cut smiling back at me.
Feeling guilty as a sinner in church I blushed.
It’s very beautiful. It’s so sensual. I said.
I’m glad you like it the woman said, obviously pleased. I actually painted that one myself.
“Well, it’s really good.” I said sincerely, my eyes flicking once more over the swoops and lines.
How much for it? I found myself saying.
The woman smiled. Well, I am awfully fond of this one. Almost reconsidered selling it, but I could probably let her go for about fifty quid.
I sighed inwardly. I had expected it to be expensive but that was more than I was comfortable spending.
Well, it’s lovely. I said. I hope you find her a beautiful home.”
“Thank you.” The woman beamed but as she turned away I couldn’t help but notice a flash of color.
That’s a very interesting tattoo. I said, gesturing to just below her left bicep. What is it?
It’s two interlocking female symbols she said, obliging me by coming closer. After she said it I could immediately see it was right. There were two of them, ornamented by cascading flowers and knotted together by a trailing vine.
“It’s gorgeous.” I said. She smiled at me knowingly and I wondered if she knew that I understood.
“Yeah, my wife and I got them together for our wedding anniversary last year.”
I felt a flicker of surprise and questioned why, concluding it was more that I was surprised to run into another lesbian so quickly rather than surprise that she was one.
It was at that moment that Cara ducked into the tent. My body instantly seemed to respond to her presence.
“Hey there, I’m sorry,” she said apologetically. “It took me longer than I expected to find a spot. And you left your purse on the seat.”
She handed it to me and as my fingers brushed against hers I felt a jolt of electricity.
I nodded to the woman as by way of introduction. “I was just admiring this beautiful painting and this woman is the artist,” I said.
“The name is Nina,” she offered, shaking Cara’s hand, “and actually we’ve met before.”
“Yes, of course! You were at the gallery show on Bond street? I really enjoyed your work.” Cara said in sudden recognition.
Nina laughed and thanked her for the compliments, and soon they were conversing easily about the show, who had attended, and when her next exhibition was being planned. For a moment I felt a brief twinge of jealousy, if only because I felt as if I were standing outside of a conversation I knew nothing about. But I soon realized how ridiculous that was. Cara looked happy, really happy actually, and seeing her so engaged, watching the way her eyes lit up and the way her hands moved animatedly as she spoke, was worth any pang I felt.
“Did you guys hear about the little get-together at Margot’s next week?” Nina said.
“I didn’t actually,” Cara said, her eyes darting towards me as if asking.
“Well, think about it. It’ll be fun. Just some good music, some free booze. She nodded towards me, bring your date too, loads of couples are going. And you two make a cute couple.
I had never seen Cara flustered before until this morning but her confident demeanor seemed to have completely dissolved at Nina’s comment. I’m sure I was no less red.
“Well, I’ll definitely think about it,” Cara said.
“Awesome! Nina replied, oblivious to any awkwardness.
Sorry, she mouthed apologetically when Nina’s attention was distracted by another customer coming in.
“Well, Sadie and I are going to go grab something to eat. See you around!” she called over her shoulder, and I followed, grateful for her quick thinking. güvenilir casino
“Have fun guys, nice to meet you Sadie!” Nina called cheerfully.
I cast my eyes down discreetly as we left the tent.
“Hey, listen I’m really sorry about that,” Cara said. “I didn’t think you’d run into Nina. She’s nice but clearly as you can see she’s a bit of a match-maker. I hope you weren’t too uncomfortable?”
“Oh no! I winced at how exuberant I sounded. “It’s fine! Really!”
I tried to read her expression. Was she embarrassed. Was that why she had gone along with it? Had she simply not wanted to cause a scene?
“Well, I’m glad she didn’t. And we don’t have to go to that party you know if you don’t want to. I don’t mind.”
I tried to read her tone. Was she looking for an easy out, was she hoping I’d say no? My heart sunk a bit.
“I actually thought it didn’t sound so bad,” I ventured.
“Well, we can totally go if you want to. I just didn’t want to make you feel any pressure.” She said.
“I’d actually like to. It honestly sounds like a great way to destress. I’ve been so preoccupied lately with work and this big release party reception I have to help plan. I got volunteered for the planning committee.” I rolled my eyes.
We approached a stand that sold hot dogs and I couldn’t help from salivating a bit.
“Do you like hot dogs?” Cara asked.
“Actually, I do.” I said.
“Two please then. And two lemonades too.” Cara said.
She pulled out her wallet.
“Oh, you don’t have to. I can pay for mine.” I said.
“It’s no problem,” She insisted.
After Cara paid we found a rare abandoned picnic table and sat down.
“I have to admit, Cara said, squeezing mustard on her hot dog. “I didn’t expect you Brits to like hot dogs so much. It doesn’t really get more American than that.”
I laughed. “Well, if you want to be really shocked, us Brits think those things you have in America, what do you call them? Corndogs? Are one of the strangest things ever.”
“Corndogs? Strange? Blasphemy!” Cara replied.
I wiggled my eyebrows mischievously. “Facts are facts. Eating a hot dog covered in corn bread is pretty strange.”
“Maybe,” Cara allowed, as she took a bite.
“So, she continued. Tell me more about your job. It sounds really interesting.”
“Well, I actually work for a publishing company. I’m a junior editor.”
“Wow! That sounds important.” Cara said.
I shrugged my shoulders. “It’s not bad. I like it well enough. It pays the bills. I mostly got into doing it until I can do what I really want to do.”
“Writing. I want to be a writer.” I said. I waited for her response. Id’ had all kinds over the years, laughter, scorn, pity. Which one would it be I wondered?
“Sadie, I think that’s wonderful. I’m sure you can do it.”
That hadn’t been the response I’d expected.
“Really?” I let out a nervous laugh.
“Yeah of course, why not? Cara said reasonably.
“I have to admit that’s not quite the kind of reaction I’ve gotten from most people, well the few people I’ve told anyway. My parents are supportive, but I honestly think the majority of my relatives are waiting for me to “grow up” enough to let go of this pipe dream and get a real job.”
“Well, then I would disagree with them.” Cara said. “Because I think you can do anything you set your mind to.”
Her baby blue eyes met mine and held my gaze for a trifle longer than was necessary. I felt a tremor run through me and had to look away.
She finished her hot dog and it was then that I realized I’d only had a few bites of mine.
I took a sip of my lemonade and watched her as she blotted the corner of her mouth with a napkin. I found myself transfixed by the action and had to scold myself silently for staring. Her When she had completed it I noticed she still had a tiny spot left. I smiled.
“What?” She said teasingly in that way that made me want to grab her face and kiss her like crazy.
I gestured to my mouth. “You have a little something, right, here…”
Before I could chicken out, I picked up my napkin and reached across the table to dab at her mouth gently. My face was inches from hers. Her eyes darted down towards my lips, curving up expectantly, and I thought I saw them tremble. I looked at her and considered leaning in, but suddenly the idea was terrifying. What if I had misread all the signals? After all this wasn’t even technically a “date.” She hadn’t called it one. And there were so many people around…
I pulled back. “Got it!” I said a little too triumphantly, shaking at bit.
“Thanks,” she said gratefully.
“No problem,” I replied.
Suddenly I didn’t know what to say. It had been so easy before, I’d almost forgotten how attractive she was and I’d been able to relax. But now I was again out of my depth. I knew what I wanted to move the conversation towards, namely whether she was in fact gay as I had so long suspected. I’d been assuming it so long it was easy to forget she’d never actually told me she was, and I was the last person who wanted to make assumptions about people. Everything pointed to it, the gay friends, the way she acted towards me, the kind of crowd she hung around. Short of mentioning having an ex-girlfriend Cara had basically outed herself already, hadn’t she?