Authors: Robin Watergrove
Tags: #lesbian romance, #lesbian erotica, #fingering, #lesbian sex, #lesbian oral sex, #lesbian love story, #lesbian dating, #butch lesbian, #lesbian couple, #lesbian happy ending
An Erotic Story about Microwave Omelets
Copyright 2015 Robin Watergrove
The mall food court is dead by nine. Everyone still
at the mall is in a store shopping, or trying to look like they’re
shopping. The teenagers are biding their time until the security
guard asks them to leave.
I’m in the food court because I don’t have
anywhere to be, and I definitely don’t have anything to buy. I’m
sitting in a booth with my phone out. The screen is off and I’m
watching girls from under the brim of my hat. There’s a beautiful
black girl with natural hair that works at Subway, and a cute girl
with crooked teeth at Orange Julius.
The only girls worth checking out at the mall
are the ones working here. I want a 20-something like me. Someone
who’s out of college and used to the idea of being into girls. I’m
done with the giggly, squeamish ones. I want a girl who wants to
Truthfully, I can get a quarter of what I
want just by staring at a girl. Because sex isn’t about orgasms. I
don’t know why everyone thinks that. I don’t really care about
orgasms. If you want to come hard, do it at home, alone, with your
People talk about “wanting to get off” but if
someone’s looking for a hook up, it’s not because they want to
come. People go looking for sex because they want sex.
And what the fuck is sex? This fragile,
violent thing. So obvious in our heads, so ambiguous in reality.
Full of vulnerable highs and anxious lows. Why would anyone ever
want that? What is the point of sex outside relationships? If it’s
not to strengthen some bond, to trust, to share, to love. If it’s
just to get off, then it’s just a few defenseless hours wrapped up
in another person’s arms. A dangerous surrender, with little
It’s all the hope and fear, the ‘how is this
possible’ head shaking, of connecting with another person, that
goes out like a match as soon as you stop. Sex alone doesn’t lead
to anything. Except maybe more sex, if it’s good. Because sex
doesn’t require presence. At its best, it’s an out of body
experience where pleasure is driving and you’re just along for the
So why would anyone ever, ever, ever want a
I don’t know. But I want one. It’s like I
think it’ll be shiny and new this time, not awkward and difficult
to steer, like it always is.
I feel the want behind my ribs as I stare at
this girl from across the food court. A pretty brunette with skinny
legs that knock together at the knee. She’s sweeping the floor.
When she turns my way, our eyes meet. She flinches away. No one
ever stares back like I stare at them.
I’ll be thinking about one of these food
court girls next time I come. With my fingers. Alone. At home.
I put Tinder on my phone as a concession. I
acknowledged that I wanted sex, and that’s it. I haven’t opened the
app. I see it on my home screen and it feels like the urge to drive
off the side of the bridge. Just some passing, weird thought. Don’t
look too closely.
I leave the food court before they have to
kick me out, and walk to work. It’s three lit blocks, two dark
ones, a quick cut through a drug store, then a half-block-long
jaywalk to get to my Mini Mart. I shove my hat and jacket in my bag
and drop it in the back. Now I look like every other badly
uniformed Mini Mart employee. Red shirt, black pants, black shoes,
and a name tag. Personality-free and ready to serve.
This is only my third night shift, so I’m
still on probation. My boss, Parteek, makes me show him how I
unlock and lock the register, how to read the delivery schedule,
and the how to check IDs. Then he leaves me on my own until six in
My body is already getting used to the hours.
I feel more awake when the sun sets, and tired when I watch it
rise. It’s hard to be nocturnal. You have to make the leap all at
once and not look back. I did it by staying up for forty-eight
hours, then crashing as the sun came up. Most people who come into
the store look like they’re caught in between. They’re not tired
enough to sleep, not awake enough to work. They’re just up at one
in the morning for whatever reason, staring at the single-serve
I’m all instinct when a sleepy girl walks in.
Seeing girls sleepy is half a step from seeing them in bed. Loose
hair, loose clothes. Tired eyes and quiet faces. I’m always
fantasizing about wrapping them up in my sweatshirt. We’d lay right
down on the tile. It’s clean; I just mopped it. We’ll just rest,
all body heat and slow breathing. Take a nap like stacked spoons.
I’ll tell them, ‘You need to rest. I’ll keep you safe while your
eyes are closed.’
In between the customers, the window
shoppers, the shoplifters, and the sleepy girls who need a nap, I’m
alone. I sit behind the counter, which faces the front doors, and
look out at the sidewalk. Watching people through the glass feels
like watching fish in an aquarium. They’re in front of me, but
separate. They’re the busy ones and I’m the one who’s just sitting
here, watching. They couldn’t possibly be watching me back.
In the quiet hours, between two and five in
the morning, I’m truly alone. The sidewalk is empty and when
there’s a pause between songs on the radio, I can’t hear anything
but the whoosh of the air conditioning. I walk around the store
like I’m in an indie film. I pretend the world is black and white
and full of jokes. I pretend this is poetic simplicity, not a waste
of time for shit money. But it’s hard to pretend when the radio
just plays top 40 and there’s no one around to laugh with me.
Parteek calls me during the quiet hours. He’s
paranoid because the last guy working graveyard kept falling
asleep. I pick up on the first ring and try to sound wide awake.
But voices are difficult things to control. I can cover up the
boredom but I can still hear that lonely note under my words. The
sound a body makes when it hasn’t seen another body in hours.
On the fifth day, I pass the quiet hours
decorating a soda cup. I write, “Tips are like hugs without all the
touching,” on the side and set it by the register. It’s like I’m
working at an artsy coffee shop, without the irony.
By the seventh day, I’m recognizing the
clockwork regulars. The ones who come every night. The slightly
less tired ones. The people buying coffee. They’re working late
like me. I’m just another step in their routine.
Then there are the irregular regulars. The
ones who keep coming around but always seem surprised to find
themselves back in this overly bright Mini Mart way past midnight
again. The college kids who never take out their headphones, like
they can’t get mugged. The guy with the leather jacket who always
asks me to break a five or ten into quarters, and never buys
anything. The girls with black-rimmed eyes hanging out with tall
guys who think I’ll sell them beer without an ID.
A chubby girl comes in with one of these
guys. I’m sure I’ve seen this guy before. I might have even
rejected his fake ID before. They walk straight to the liquor and
he pulls out a bottle of wine. Weird choice.
As they walk up to the counter, I see the
white-and-pink print on the front of her shirt that reads, “Bi
Bitch!” My eyes snap to her face. She’s staring at the floor. He
puts the wine on the counter; I ask for ID. He produces the same
bullshit ID he gave me last time. Parteek wants me to confiscate
all the fake ones and give them to the cops. I was willing to let
this kid slide the first time but this is ridiculous.
I take the wine off the counter because I
hate having to clean up broken glass. He starts talking all the
sudden, “Hey, what’s the problem? What are you doing? Come on…” The
girl’s watching me silently. I use a pair of steel scissors that
must have been around since the 70s to snip the license in half. He
grabs for the ID and I step back, out of arm’s reach. I hold the
two halves of thin plastic between my fingers and say, “Don’t ever
come back in here.”
He stares at me, trapped between anger and
fear, and I stare back. I’ll win, because I don’t pick fights I
can’t win. This isn’t the kind of kid who carries a weapon. He’s
all talk. Confidence is making a judgement and acting on it. I
throw the pieces of his ID past him, onto the floor by the
He turns, cursing at me as he leaves. He’s
too proud to pick up the pieces on his way out. She’s right on his
heels but I hope she hears me say, “The fuck are you doing with
that guy, huh?”
The doors swing shut behind them and I see my
reflection in the glass. My hair is short and messy, shadowing my
face and shining in the fluorescent light. My friends say it looks
more gay at night. I agree. I think my facial expression gets
harder at night too.
There’s something else there—I can barely
make it out in my blurry reflection—that’s almost apologetic. It
says, ‘Yeah. I’m thinking about fucking you. Sorry.’
I’m undressing you in my head. Sorry about
that. If it’s any consolation, I think you’re beautiful. I love all
your stretch marks and I’ll kiss them from one end to the other. I
love your dry elbows and the way your inner labia flare outside the
outer like a flower. I’ll make them bloom with my tongue.
There’s an endless parade of older guys,
coming and going. They rarely speak to me. They look tired in that
long-game kind of way. Not like they haven’t slept in a while, but
like they’ve maybe never slept, like they’re never going to. I say,
“Have a good night,” and sometimes, “Be safe out there.”
A woman in worn out pajama pants comes in.
She looks hungover and sad. I sell her a pack of cigarettes and two
gallons worth of milk in pint-sized containers. I say, “Be safe out
there,” and she walks out without a word.
They say working a service job makes you hate
people. You’d think the night shift would be ten times worse—and
maybe I’m just lucky—but it’s making me softer, not harder. I feel
like everyone’s mom. Even the loud, drunk people who shoplift don’t
give me any shit. They stumble in and stumble out, the way drunk
people usually keep to themselves on the last train of the
You’d think Parteek would stress about the
shoplifting, but something must have happened once, because he says
over and over, “Just let them go. Do you understand? You don’t ever
call out to them, or ask them what they’re doing, or fight with
them, or approach them. Just let them go. If they threaten you, hit
the panic button. Otherwise, just let them go, then call the
police, then call me.” Right before he left me alone on my first
night he stopped me again, “Do you understand what I said? Don’t
ever go after the shoplifters.” I said, “Yes. I understand.”
An old black butch comes in. Her hair is
buzzed, just starting to go grey, with a pair of sunglasses resting
on top. She’s built short and stocky and her sweatshirt hides the
curve between her breasts and her stomach. She walks with her
weight heavy in each foot, like her knees are bothering her. She
nods at me and I nod back.
I think of the first woman I knew who left
the hair on her chin alone. She called me a baby butch and said,
“We take care of our own.” I felt out of place, like I’d never be
recognized as a part of that club by any other member. But time is
slowly proving me wrong. I feel like gay women are the only people
who don’t care about where I work or what I do or where my degree
is from. They see something in me that they see in themselves and
we reach for each other like a reflex. That’s family.
My mom won’t ask me about anything in my life
except, “How’s school going?” I say, “It’s going.” I take one class
a week in the summer just so I have something to say to her.
The butch pours herself a cup of coffee and
adds two little cups of Hazelnut Vanilla cream. She pays the $1.50
with a twenty dollar bill. I hand her back $18.50 and she drops it
in my tip cup. She says, “Make sure you get enough sleep,
I smile broadly, unafraid of being misread. I
say, “Thank you. I’ll spend it on college.”
She laughs with a smoker’s cough and says,
“Buy yourself a dozen coffees.”
I take the money out of the tip cup when she
leaves, and put it in my back pocket. I put it in the left pocket,
where I keep my phone, not the right, where I keep my wallet. I
don’t want to spend her money on something stupid.
On the day I stop counting the number of days
I’ve been working the night shift, I decide to rearrange the
cigarettes behind the counter. The case is a mess because no one
who works during the day wants to take out all the packs to stock a
new carton in the back.
I open the glass door and start pulling out
the plastic-wrapped cartons. I reach for an awkwardly shaped one
that’s supposed to double as a display and feel a sharp cardboard
edge slide across my palm. It doesn’t hurt, but when I pull the
carton out, I see my hand is bleeding.