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
I leave the case open and wash my hand in the
bathroom. There’s a clean slice down the side of my palm. I walk
back into the store and head to the first-aid section, next to the
roadmaps and magazines. My head is bowed, surveying the band aid
options, when she walks in.
I see her pale hair first. It glows under the
lights, like it’s brighter than the white floor and the white walls
and the white ceiling. She reflects the light back up at
Her head drifts on an even level; it doesn’t
bob with each step. She moves with a dancer’s skill for illusion,
the way they skate across the stage. I’m staring. Her hair looks
whiter than bleach, but her tan complexion makes me think her hair
is naturally black. She’s so beautiful.
She looks at me and I flinch. I blindly grab
a box from the shelf and stride back to my post at the register. I
bandage my hand and watch her walk the aisles. She’s wearing a knee
length skirt and Converse. Her white-gold hair falls over the
shoulders of a big black sweatshirt that’s unzipped in the front.
She looks small under all that cloth but I can’t be sure. The way
her hips swing when she walks makes think she’s got nice
I watch her pick up a container of Tic-tacs
and put them in the pocket of her sweatshirt. I am completely
unfazed. This turn of events does not surprise me. Go ahead,
beautiful shoplifter, I won’t stop you. I watch her drift around
the store, picking things up and setting them down. She never looks
up at me. I watch her put a box of tampons in her pocket, then a
packaged danish, then a keychain decoration shaped like a
Maneki-neko, those waving cats in Asian restaurants.
Only then does she look up at me. I stare
back. She has dark eyebrows and dark eyes. She looks so awake I
can’t imagine her next to me on the floor. I smile at her, feeling
flustered. She’s too lovely; her gaze is too steady.
She walks up to me and slowly takes
everything out of her pockets. She dumps it on the counter in
fistfuls. The Tic-tacs are there, along with the tampons, the
danish, the keychain, and about half a dozen crumpled receipts, a
tiny hairbrush, a dollar bill, and some change. She swipes the
receipts and such off, and back in her pockets.
I’m grinning at her, stupidly, like this is
some kind of crazy performance, but she doesn’t smile back. I ring
up her purchases slowly while my eyes crawl over her body, looking
for some sign, some kind of flashing signal or tiny rainbow.
She pays with cash. I touch her hand when I
give her the change. I say, “Be safe out there.”
She says, “Thanks,” over her shoulder as she
I feel like my ribs are stretched beyond the
door. I think I just missed my chance. My panicky heart tells me to
run after her, to at least get her name, but I stay put.
The store is still and stifling. The radio
has turned itself off again and the silence berates me. I walk my
heavy stomach to the back room and restart the radio. I think the
lights are drying out my skin. They’re too bright.
I stand behind the counter in a fog. Now that
she’s gone, I call up her memory and join her in a daydream. I
undress her. The hoodie falls right off her shoulders and onto the
floor. She’s curvy alright. Thin tank top, two bras, full breasts.
Her skin is a pale brown; I think she’s Latina. It’s darker around
her wrists and elbows. I take off her tank top with both hands. No
tattoos that I can see. No piercings. Not on a girl like this.
She’s perfect, not the kind of girl you can puncture.
I daydream and my hand bleeds. I put another
band aid on top of the first one. By the end of my shift I’ve
Scotch-taped gauze over the whole mess and still, there’s red
leaching through. I put a five dollar bill from my wallet in the
register for the band aids and gauze.
Parteek sends me home as soon as he arrives,
about half an hour before my shift ends. My hand looks a lot worse
than it is, covered with three layers of red and brown
When I get home, I shower with my hand
resting on the glass door, up and out of the water’s spray. I clean
it in my sink, careful not to break open the skin. Paper cuts are
the worst because they have to scab all the way up inside the
slice. It takes forever for that deeper stuff to heal.
I dream of her in my sheets. I keep calling
up her face, so I’ll remember it. But it’s an uneven landscape. Her
eyebrows are crystal clear, but I didn’t see her ears. I try to
focus in on that blurry part and know I’m just seeing whatever my
mind wants to put there. There’s no memory to draw on. It doesn’t
really matter though, what her ears look like, when what I want to
know is how they feel against my lips.
But just for a hook up—something sour in my
throat reminds me—just for the night. Just sex. Just once.
The next day I’m tired like the first day I
worked the night shift. My body doesn’t believe me; we should still
be asleep. I get dressed and eat breakfast in the dark, so I won’t
bother my roommates. With every step, I feel like I’m stumbling
off-balance, like my brain is stubbornly refusing to wake up my
inner ear for this shit.
The old butch comes around again. I think her
schedule is four days on, three days off. She buys a medium coffee,
I charge her for a small, and she tips me too much. I tell her it’s
all going into savings and she laughs. I fold her bills up and
slide them into my phone pocket. I really am saving it all, nearly
The beautiful girl came in around 2 am last
time. I’m biding my time, counting the minutes I need to pass
before I can start watching the door. My eyes are on the clock when
she comes in.
I see her, forget the time with my relief,
and look up at the clock again. 11:23 pm.
Whatever the opposite of a ‘my heart stopped’
is, that’s what it feels like. The inside of me pops larger than my
skin for a second. I don't know if I truly wasn’t expecting her to
show up again, or if I’m flimsy and so easily tied to beautiful,
I can’t look at her while I’m losing my cool.
By the time I get my eyes off the counter, she’s looking at the
packaged hardboiled eggs in the refrigerators. She stays longer
this time and I spend every second trying to think of something to
say to her.
I slip between tongue-tied with attraction
and distracted by the sight of her. She has on a tight jacket
today. Her arms are thinner than I thought, but her hips are just
as round as my lust-swamped mind imagined. The zipper is pulled
down to her navel, so the edges of the jacket flare around her
breasts. When she walks up the chip aisle, I can see her nipples
through her shirt.
She’s not wearing a bra. I feel the first
real lick of arousal race through me. It’s dangerously strong. Oh
my god, her breasts look that good with no bra? How can that be? I
stare at her chest. They’re so full, stretching delicious tension
lines into her shirt at their fullest.
Her nipples are big and pointed slightly away
from each other. My body tears from interested to ravenously horny.
She’s walking toward me and I still haven’t thought of anything to
say. I’m thinking about jumping the counter and meeting her
halfway, my hands scooping inside her jacket, under the curve of
her breasts, so I can run my thumbs over both nipples when I kiss
My mind rolls over in its haze. I have to say
something. But even with my mouth closed, I imagine the way my eyes
follow her around the store is probably making the point for
She sets a pack of Juicyfruit on the
I say, “How’s your night going?”
She looks up at me, “Pretty good. You?”
I shrug, like now I’m cool to the touch,
“Dunno. It’s just getting started.”
My mind is reeling itself back together. I
come up with something better, “You working the night shift
She says, “No. How much for the gum?”
She puts a dollar bill on the counter and
walks away. The door swings shut behind her and I see my face in
the glass, apologizing.
Is that a hard no? Or a soft no? Is that
‘don’t talk to me’ or ‘I hate small talk’? I brood myself into a
bad mood and scowl at people through the doors.
I promise myself to leave her alone. She
no-shows the next day and I think, one more try. Last time. If she
comes around again, I’ll just try one more time and then I’ll let
She comes in just before 2 am. I catch her
eye and nod. She smiles back. It’s small and polite but if I’m only
giving myself one more chance, it’s enough. I walk out from behind
the counter and scoop up a half-full box of chip bags from the
floor. Time to stock the shelves.
I kneel in front of the chips and start
tucking loud, crinkly bags into the back of each row. I feel her
wandering around. I’m positive she’s watching me, but that could
just be my own hyper-awareness clouding my senses.
She turns down my aisle and sidesteps along,
facing the candy bars. I can sense her behind me like static
electricity. Lust says, turn around and find out how good she
smells, but my mind, where I take myself and my limits seriously,
says, you have one chance. Don’t fuck it up. I let her pass, then
glance at her back as she walks away.
My eyes return to the chip bags just as she
says, “I love your hair,” without turning around.
I look up and she looks back. I hold her eyes
because the only time you can really hold someone’s gaze is the
pause before you speak. I say, “Thanks.” She smiles and disappears
around the end cap.
I say, “I like yours too.”
She leans back into view, “Thanks!”
I stand up, trying to look casual, hoping I
don’t spook her, “How do you keep it so bright but still so soft?”
Most girls with bleached hair have brittle tips. Hers looks like
She laughs, “Honey and egg yolks.”
I smile and bite my lip, bolder now, “I’ll
give you a discount.”
She takes a step closer. Her head tips just
enough to let me know she knows. We’re flirting. More accurately,
I’m flirting and she’s letting me. She crosses her arms, which
lifts her breasts. I hold her eyes, unblinking.
“On what? Little squeeze jars of honey? I’d
go through one a day.”
“I’ll sell you a case.”
She just nods at me with her eyebrows raised.
I drop the cloak of flirting and ask an honest question. One chance
to show her I’m serious, to find out her name. I say, “So if you’re
not working, what are you doing up so late?”
Her eyes are so dark I can’t tell if she’s
offended or interested. She looks back at me like she isn’t going
to respond, then says, “I am working. I’m a Minor Decoy.”
I blink. I know the phrase, but it’s so far
from what I was expecting her to say that I can’t remember what it
means. Minor decoy, minor decoy… My mind snaps into focus. They
work for the cops. Kids under 21 who try to buy alcohol with fake
IDs to bust lazy cashiers and shady bars.
She shrugs without a word.
I say, “Really?”
She says, “No.”
We stare at each other. I don’t understand
this person. Lack of comprehension floods me. Not confusion,
because I’m not trying to make sense of it, just blank whiteness
with no meaning. I don’t understand her at all. I say, “So are you
actually under 21?”
She says, “No,” and smiles. A real smile. An
amused one, like she’s happy here, with me. Like I made her smile
with my fumbling, my blank white questions.
I smile back. A real smile. I show too much.
I let her see I’m happy here too. With her. Happy to be the
gullible bird who swallows every plastic fish. Tell me another one;
I’ll believe anything you say.
She backs toward the door and says, “Have a
I say, “You too. See you to… later.” I nearly
say ‘tomorrow,’ remember that’s my day off, can’t remember what day
of the week it is, decide it would be weird to say ‘see you
Friday,’ like we have some kind of date, or ‘see you two days from
now,’ and finish lamely, way too late.
At the end of my shift I think about asking
Parteek if I can work tomorrow anyway. I feel like I’m right at the
tipping point of befriending her and don’t want to miss my chance.
What if she thinks I quit, or stopped working graveyard?
People have days off, I tell myself. I try to
turn down the volume on my worrying as I head across town to meet
Georgia for breakfast. My friends’ schedules overlap mine around
the edges. We eat at a diner in her neighborhood with light green
linoleum floor tiles that match the light green booth upholstery. I
chew on a bagel with cream cheese and listen to her talk about the
It’s a summer job, like mine, but lately
she’s been talking like the record shop is her top priority. I ask
her if she has her fall classes picked out and she puts her spoon
in her coffee. She starts stirring before she’s added any milk or
She stirs and says, “I think I’m going to
take a semester off.”
I say, “We only have two left.”
“I know,” she gives me a hard look,
I shake my head, “What are you going to do?
Work at the record shop?”
She sighs and I can’t shake the night-shift
mother in me. I flip my hands over on the table, palms up.
She says, “Yes. That’s what I want.” She
nods, “That’s what I want to do right now.”
“And what about tomorrow?” I push her
“Look,” she holds up her hand to stop me,
“What does a degree get you? Go ahead and finish. I bet you still
won’t have any idea what you want.”
“I want a degree,” I counter.
“And then what?”
“Then I’ll take it from there.”
“That’s what I’m doing. I’m ‘taking it’ from
right here. Why wait?”
“Because you’re like, this far off the
ground,” I hold my hand flat, a few inches over the table, “The
only options you have are the ones right under you.”