Andi and Allie - 17

Andi and Allie – Chapter 17

1 wax on wax off Laser-1024x711.jpgWax on... Wax off...

If I knew what a Brazilian waxing was going to entail, or feel like, I would have opted for the water boarding experience instead! I really don’t remember how long that torture went on for but I was ready to reveal whatever ‘they’ wanted me to reveal after the first ripping sound of my beloved hair, little that may exist, leaving my soft and fragile body.

The day after the dinner Susan actually called me. I was, to put it mildly, pleasantly shocked and surprised. She simply wanted to chat a bit and give me a ‘heads up’ on what she and her father were looking for. I felt comfortable enough to ask her what I was letting myself in for. She laughed for more than a moment or two.

“Oh honey really…” As if I should know this kind of thing. “They remove the hair from your, how shall I put this, private parts?”

“My what…?” My private parts…!

Susan laughed again.

“Yes… I’ve had it done many times…when it mattered. They remove that hair as well as the hair that you can’t get to with a razor.” Susan paused for a moment to search for a proper way to continue. “Like between your cheeks…?”

My silence gave away my trepidation.

“Oh honey… It’s really no big deal. The first day or two you’ll be a bit uncomfortable but from then on you will be glad you had it done. And the hair grows back at a much slower rate. It’s very convenient. You’ll see.” She laughed. “Just have a good moisturizer with aloe handy.”

Oh… My… God… Now I’ve shaved my hair, what little of it existed, off my chest, armpits, and legs, for years. My facial hair was basically non-existent. My body hair growth was so light that it really wasn’t a big deal. Once over with a razor usually sufficed. I would shave up to the tops of my thighs so that no hair was displayed when I wore a panty. But that was it. There really was no reason to…to go further? And I thought the little triangle looked kind of…cute?

Now I assumed that Allie had this procedure done before because of her response upon seeing the waxing as one of the services we were gifted. Although she wouldn’t tell me what it was, and being way too involved with other things, such as work, to look waxing up on the internet, only the impending closeness of the fateful date prompted me to ask Susan.

Shortly after learning the bitter truth from Susan, Peter called me into his office. He was sitting at his desk in his ‘worried’ position. His elbows were on the desk top and his hands folded. His eyes never left me once I entered his office.

“Please sit down Andi.” He waved his hand toward the chair in front of his desk. “We need to have a talk.”

This was not good. He didn’t even comment on how I was dressed; a normal morning ritual. I sat down and folded my hands in my lap as I smiled pleasantly. I could see he was really bothered by something and that bothered me.

“The people uptown want to meet with you. Now I know you met some of them briefly at the Christmas party but everyone had at least a couple of drinks and you were simply just another face in the crowd, albeit a lovely face.” He smiled at me. “This is a bit more serious. Evidently Mr. Scoville called them this morning and gave them the good news. When they asked what the deciding factor was, he said it was you.”

“Well that should be great news.” I grinned and giggled.

“Yes Andi, it certainly should be. The problem is that they are expecting someone named Andrew to visit uptown and you don’t look anything like an Andrew. Do you see the problem?”

“Uhhh… Sort of…”

In truth I didn’t see what the ‘problem’ was. Maybe I was that naïve but…I mean…who cares how I dress? Nobody really ever sees me except the people in this office and they don’t really seem to care. Anyway, nobody ever called me ‘Andrew’ and I only thought of myself as being ‘Andy’…or now ‘Andi’.

“Look…” Peter leaned forward coming a bit closer to me. “…these are the sales people and so far we’ve gotten…” He cleared his throat and smiled. “You’ve gotten two enormous accounts. That’s going to make them look pretty bad and I’m sure that some of them are very likely going to try and get you fired…or at least stifled. I simply don’t want to give them any excuse. Now you must admit that dressing the way you do, at the very least, seem…eccentric?”

Well… Okay… I guess it is a bit eccentric. Anyway, that does sound a little better than crazy? I know Peter was only thinking of my welfare otherwise I would have argued a bit. I mean… What about all the women out there with short hair, men’s styled shoes, jean and flannel shirts and… Well… You get the picture. But for sure there aren’t a whole ton of guys dressing DKNY or Ferragamo flats.

“What should I do? I mean I don’t think I can change my manner of dress. This…” I waved my hands along the length of my body. “This is…me. This is how I see myself. You know?”

I felt myself beginning to become emotional. Peter got up from his chair and came around his desk to lean against the front of it. He bent and took both my hands in his. His eyes locked on mine and his expression was quite serious.

“I think I have an idea. But it’s a bit radical.” I was a bit overcome and all I could do was nod my head. “Suppose…now just suppose you changed your name to something like…Andrea? And maybe we could find a shrink who can attest to the fact that you are in transition.”

I began to react but Peter shushed me and continued.

“It’s only in form…not in substance. The company has a strict policy against sexual and gender discrimination. You don’t need to do anything differently then you’re currently doing. You may need to see the shrink once in a while but that would be it.”

I thought about it. I’m already on the ‘mones. I certainly looked the part. And if it means I can keep my job without creating problems for dear Peter…?

“But…” Ah ha…!!! I knew there was something. “It does mean that if somebody asks you if you’re transitioning…you’ll need to bite your tongue and nod your head ‘yes’. Do you think you can do that?”

I opened my mouth, bit my tongue, and nodded my head. Peter laughed.

“Good... You know I’d hate to lose you over something stupid and preventable. Now I’ve managed to put them off until after the New Year. I told them we have too much work to get done for next week but we’ll have to get everything in motion by the end of next week for sure.”

‘In motion by the end of next week...’ Oh my God…! I had no idea what that meant.

“I have a friend who’s an attorney. She’s very competent and does work for me. You’ll meet her at the party this Saturday. She’s ‘family’ and will help us pro bono.”

I guess the quizzical look on my face said it all. Peter chuckled and smiled reassuringly.

“She’s gay and she’ll do the work for nothing. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to maybe gift her with something token. Maybe a piece of painted pottery…?”

“Oh… Of course...” Lawyers…?

“Don’t worry sweet heart. Her name is Joan Watson and I know you’ll just love her.”

So… You might ask what a bikini waxing and lawyers have in common? Well…? The truth is that my persona was suddenly taking on a whole new life of its own. I was becoming more than neck deep in femininity to the point that legally I was going to become a woman. And all this was happening regardless of how I felt about my masculine self…or what very little remained of it.

How deep was this rabbit hole becoming? Well…you might ask how much deeper could I get without going radical; surgery and even greater amounts of hormones. I was suddenly more interested in the women’s section of my on-line provider than the news. I couldn’t walk past a mirror without looking into it to make sure I looked…well…perfect? And I couldn’t resist picking up the latest Vogue, any edition, Elle, or InStyle when I saw an issue.

That evening at home I sat down with Allie after dinner and had a serious talk with her. I needed to get a grip on what was happening to me and I was hoping she could provide a reality check; something I badly needed by the end of the day.

“You’re what!” Allie was quite shocked upon learning that I would be officially transitioning. “Surely you can’t be serious…!”

“I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.”

“But what about your…your thingy…?” Allie made a gesture toward her crotch.

“No… Oh no… It’s only for appearances.”

“You mean it’s not going to work? You’re getting rid of it?!” Allie’s face reflected her distress.

I had to giggle at that. I mean my dick wasn’t the most fave part of my body, but I didn’t dislike it. In fact it does provide me with a few moments of fun and exquisite pleasure whilst I shower. And it does feel kind of good to pass a bit of water through it now and then. I thought it odd that she should ask though.

“No baby doll… You don’t get it. We’re doing this for appearances so that there’s nothing anyone can do to fire me because I dress…eccentrically? The account executives uptown are getting a bit jealous of our success I guess. Don’t forget they’re going to be losing out on a sizable amount of billing commissions not to mention the bragging rights. And if they find out I’m…well…different in any way, they’ll be after my head…and other parts I’m not quite willing to relinquish.”

“Who’s going to get this done for you? I mean it’s not so easy.”

“I know. There’s stuff needed from doctors. And then there’s a name change.”

“A name change…? Are you going to become Andrea or something?”

Allie looked rather concerned. All of this was kind of sudden although I should have expected something weird to happen. I mean everything…life in general…was better than I could ever have imagined. There had to be a least one or two bumps in the road?

This was almost story book stuff. I mean who becomes an artistic success right out of school? Who gets a dynamite first job and does dynamite work right from the start? Who gets to live in a great place with a great roommate and work for a great boss? My poopie simply didn’t stink…at all! At least not yet anyway…

“No sweet heart…not Andrea…just plain and simple Andi.” I smiled and took her hands in mine. “I just need to know that I’m doing the right thing.”

“Well…” Allie took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “This means that you’ll have to check the ‘ef’ box instead of the ‘em’ box from now on. There won’t be a box for ‘other’ or ‘TBD’ for that matter you know.”

“Listen… I’m not going to be any different now simply because of some papers and some legal thingy.”

“Oh yeah…? Just think of how different you are now than when you first moved in.”

Allie certainly did have a point. My ‘look’ was certainly more of a thing than ever before. It was no longer the simple throw on some pants and a blouse. Now everything was decided and planned…coordinated…styled? I rarely left the apartment without at least getting Allie’s approval that I looked okay. In fact I not only had a real wardrobe, I also had a color palette for my face. I noticed tears welling up in her eyes.

“Why are you crying?” I couldn’t understand her getting emotional over this.

“I’m not crying.” She sniffled.

‘Of course not…! Those wet things about to roll down your cheek are dripping from the melting ice on the ceiling…right?’ I gave Allie a look to match my sarcasm.

“It’s like you’re going somewhere and…and…” I took a tissue and wiped the tears from her eyes. “It’s like I feel you’re going somewhere and I can’t follow…you know?”

I was stunned. I couldn’t envision going anywhere without her; if for no other reason than she is my muse…and, dare I say it…my love? This didn’t make sense to me. I mean…a name change and a gender switch on paper…and she and I can’t still be a ‘we’?

Something must have happened between last night and this night; something very dramatic. I got off my seat, walked around to Allie, bent down, and put my arms around her and held her.

“I am not going anywhere without you…not ever.” I whispered softly into her ear.

Allie pushed me away and jumped out of her seat.

“Oh you’re so full of shit Andi!”

She shouted as tears really began to flow. She was so very angry. I haven’t seen Allie this angry since that incident with John Simms!

“Like… You’re going to fuck Peter and then come here to sleep? Or is he going to fuck you and then you come here afterward? Is that how it’s going to work?” Poor Allie was verging on being hysterical. “And what about your mystery woman…? Are you going to fuck her and then just up and leave her to come back here?”

Allie backed away from me as she continued to rant. Suddenly I understood. I couldn’t have been more stupid not to see this coming. She was afraid of me moving out. She was afraid of us growing apart for a whole lot of reasons. And I’m sure that her falling asleep in my bed had to have something to do with all of this. I must admit that feeling her body next to mine was so wonderfully luscious that it defied description.

Was this merely a case of jealousy? I mean… When she stayed out overnight with a ’friend’ I remember how I felt. But I wasn’t staying out with anyone overnight. I was home every single night. And the only times I went out in the evening were either with Allie, or with Peter. And with Peter those were almost always for business…even if he did flirt and come on to me.

The more I thought about what was happening, the more confused I became. Then I fortunately remembered something I learned whilst in therapy during my college years; don’t listen to only the words…listen to everything else as well. I didn’t feel that a logical argument would be affective so I cautiously withdrew to my bedroom and laid myself down upon my bed to review what I had just been subjected to.

I wasn’t there for more than maybe ten minutes when Allie appeared in the doorway and very timidly rapped on the door post to get my attention. I was on my bed working in my sketch pad. I often do my best thinking when I’m sketching. I looked up and smiled at her as I motioned with my head to come in.

“I’m sorry I went off on you.” She said as she came in and sat down on the edge of my bed. “I had no right…or reason to do that.” Allie dabbed the tissue in her hand at the corner of her eyes. “I’ve been feeling kind of weird lately. Maybe it’s a hormonal thing? I don’t know?”

Now I’d become somewhat inure to ‘those times of the month’. All Allie ever required was an extra piece of chocolate anything, Motrin, wine, and water. She rarely got into a mood either before or during her flow. So her belief that this was a ‘hormonal thing’ needed close watching.

She looked down at the tissue in her hands.

“Maybe you should see a doctor?” I sat up and moved over to her with my legs crossed beneath me.

“I have an appointment in two weeks. I am really so sorry.” She began to cry again.

I reached out and put my arms around her and simply held her. Allie kind of curled her head into my chest and let me very slowly rock her. I’m not sure who was more comforted by that. I felt so very good that we were…well…we were we again…if only platonically.

“You’re my ‘BGFF’. I’ll always forgive you. You silly girl you…” I giggled as I held her.

Allie calmed down after a few minutes and we spent a bit of time simply talking about her outburst and her emotions. Now, you might ask, what does a Brazilian waxing and an emotional outburst have to do with each other. Good question. They basically deal with the same thing; the time we spend together…which was always extensive.

The next day Allie made an appointment with a shop recommended by the salon people and we both went and got navel piercings. Though this was basically my idea, Allie, with a bit of trepidation, wanted to do the same. I must admit that I was quite excited when I thought of a drop or stiletto piece of jewelry dangling from her absolutely adorable…as in worthy of total adoration…navel.

I had no idea of the amount of care the piercing would entail. Being covered most of the time, unlike an ear piercing, keeping the ‘wound’ clean and sanitary posed a serious challenge for me. Whilst hygiene always was a major concern of mine, thanks mom, the new routine was not easy to grasp. Thankfully Allie was more than up to the task for the both of us. She would even text me midday to make sure I’d done the alcohol thingy.

We were also in countdown mode for Peter’s New Year’s Eve party. Allie retrieved our altered clothing which we tried on and were more than satisfied with the fit. We both took Friday off to accommodate our spa visit. This would give us both a much needed one day healing time from the trauma of the waxing. And, thinking even one step further, Allie made appointments for us at the salon.

This would be my second visit in less than a week; a first for me to be sure. I simply had to get my nails done…again. They still boasted the wonderful deep ox blood colored polish which would simply not do with me wearing a tuxedo; even one with a decidedly femme styling. I would be going back to my traditional (okay…so it’s a new tradition) pale pink tinted clear nail polish and my toes needed to be done anyway.

The spa was literally a fantasy land for a woman. I felt more than a bit of anxiety Friday morning as we prepared to leave the apartment. After all, I was going to venture into a very private reserve to have, amongst other things, my very private parts tended to. It took a phone call to Jill as well as more than a bit of wine Thursday evening to finally put my mind to the task.

Jill assured me that she would never give a gift that would cause embarrassment. She also assured me that other people, and she was sure to emphasize ‘people’, such as me, were on the spa’s very private customer list.

Jill also revealed that a number of very high profile celebrities used the spa on a regular basis. After a second glass of wine, a true rarity for me, I was duly convinced that I would not be embarrassed or humiliated in any way, shape, or form.

The spa was located on the Upper East Side of town. The building was actually a double townhouse and totally unassuming; if you didn’t have the address, you wouldn’t even realize it was there. But upon entering the front doors, it was as if one stepped into a whole new reality.

The interior appointments were ultra-modern with subdued but colorful lighting and plenty of chrome, glass and leather. The staff all wore uniforms as colorful as the interior and the receptionist was…well…gorgeous and fastidiously styled from her face down to her toes.

We were greeted quite heartily as if it was all about us…sincerely and truly about us. When Allie gave our names to Sybil, that was her name, she perked up with an even bigger smile upon her blood red lips and announced that they were expecting us and gave us a six page form to fill out.

Once we handed this back to Sybil, with the very English accent, we were given our agenda for the day…the entire day! Fortunately the waxing was set for the morning just after the hot tub and the exfoliation. This was to be followed by a facial and full body nutrient treatment that, thankfully, included aloe. Lunch would also be served; soup, salad with fruit and vegetables, and flavored water.

The afternoon held the real delights. A full body massage and treatment followed by time in the steam room and a final facial cleansing and treatment. By the time we were finished we needed to lean against one another to remain upright. I actually fell asleep in the Uber on the way back home. Once we got upstairs, we dropped our coats and bags and it was into the kitchen to fetch two bottles of water. We got as far as the loveseat in the cave. We collapsed into our usual places and fell asleep.

Upon awakening, I remember feeling so unbelievably refreshed and my body felt…feather light? I had real spring in my step and everything seemed so colorfully vibrant as I glanced around. My skin felt slightly oily from the treatments and the massage and I could smell ginger from something that was used on me. I also felt a slight irritation in my crotch and between my butt cheeks from the waxing but certainly nothing nearly as unbearable as the treatment itself.

Okay… So maybe I would do the waxing again if the rest of the agenda could follow. I had no idea what Jill paid for that day but it must have been astronomical. Allie and I were both on the phone relating our adventures to her and, of course, our thanks. We were equally thanked by Jill for our gifts to her. She had received compliments on the painting from all who saw it.

Jill also mentioned that she had received a call from Bob Preston. He wanted to know when I would have enough work completed to perhaps have another showing or at least a few pieces to have on display. She also mentioned that she received calls from three other gallery owners who were interested in my work.

I was excited. I needed the money. I somehow managed to go through all of the money I had received from my show…and in a very short period of time! But I suppose that is to be expected when one goes about buying excessively expensive clothing and accessories. Oh my God…! The gown alone…! Jill was most gratified to learn that both Allie and I were working on new pieces and that I did have nine completed oils already.

I was beginning to think of larger works as well. This was somewhat problematic because the larger the piece, the larger the studio required. That night was as good a night as any to discuss this with Allie. I needed a larger studio and I told Allie as much. We were munching on left overs in the cave.

“Well…” Allie grinned sheepishly and spoke as she turned a quite interesting shade of vermillion. “I kind of have a confession to make.”

A confession…? What would my needing more studio space have to do with some sort of confession?

“Is this something lurid and depraved…I hope?” I giggled and arched both my brows as I smiled as wickedly as I could.

“Oh yeah… Sure… I should be that lucky.” She laughed. “We could open up the floor below us and move whatever we need to down there. My space is getting a bit cramped as well.”

“What do you mean ‘open up downstairs’? That would mean a second rent or something.”

“Well…? Not exactly...” She modestly peered over the chicken leg in her hands.

“What do you mean ‘not exactly’?”

Okay… I can play this game as well. I giggled at the thought of pulling this out of her one piece at a time.

“Well…” Her voice rose in pitch and her eyes glanced everywhere except at me. “I own the building?”

I began to cough and choke on the piece of fried chicken I had been swallowing when she disclosed this new and very startling revelation. I tried to speak but couldn’t get enough air to make any words form. Allie jumped into action and began to slap me on my back with a bit of force. Whatever was caught came loose and I was able to at least mouth the words.

“What…?!” I spoke in tacit. I took a large sip of water to try and restore my voice.

I knew that Allie came from a moneyed family. I knew that from the start…or at least shortly after we met. But she never gave that impression. Allie was never anything but humble about what she may, or not may, have had. Whilst everything she did was first class to be sure, she never made an issue out of it or fussed about it in the manner that I’ve since heard others fuss.

But there was something about her announcement concerning the building that suddenly gave me a new perspective on my dear friend. She was propertied. She owned something. To someone like me…someone who came from nothing…this was impressive. Perhaps that’s why she never mentioned this fact before. We were equals socially before and now she was, in my mind, much the superior. After all, I owned nothing but what I could fit into a few boxes.

“Are you okay?”

Her concern was, as usual, real. She grasped my hands and her worried look said it all.

“Yes.” I squeaked and nodded.

Allie giggled at the noise I made.

“It’s really no big deal you know. I purchased this place at a really great price and fixed it up over several years. I rent the store out and leave the rest empty. We can really make a nice studio space downstairs.”

Her eyes brightened with excitement and her voice modulated in a musical fashion as her ideas spilled out. She must have had this in mind for some time.

“We can put in a circular stairway so that we won’t even need to leave the apartment to go downstairs.”

‘We’ seemed to fill the gap in almost every statement she made. I felt good about that small two lettered detail; especially after her…her melt down the other evening? I smiled at Allie and suddenly realized that we were holding each other’s greasy hands.

Allie continued to go on and on about the possibilities of the added space between bites of food. I smiled and listened and nodded but my mind was elsewhere. I was thinking about much larger canvasses; bigger projects. I thought about different planes and shapes and perhaps splotches of color for accent.

And then there were some textural ideas I had that simply didn’t translate onto smaller surfaces well; white on whites or maybe cream on white. Plus all that space would be ideal for multi paneled works and even large constructions.

The evening past quickly and, after having a bit of dessert and cleaning up, we walked slowly to our own bedrooms. I continued across the front of the apartment leaving Allie at her bedroom door.

“Andi…?” I turned to look at Allie. “The other night…when I fell asleep in your bed…?”

I could see Allie blushing rosso corsa even with the dimmed lighting. But she was smiling as she clutched herself, her arms beneath her breasts.

“Yeah…?” I smiled back at her.

“It was really nice.” She giggled.

“No… It wasn’t nice…” I think I shocked her as her smile began to disappear. “It was simply amazing and wonderful.” I laughed as her smile returned bigger than before. “It was heavenly.”

I quickly turned back and walked into my bedroom. I didn’t want to see the look on Allie’s face or to even make eye contact with her. In truth…? I was frightened. I was afraid to let myself go. I was afraid of the flood of emotions that might escape in words without thought. As I flopped onto my bed, images flashed across my very tired mind; images of the day’s activities, of different works I wanted to do, of new studio space, and of Allie.

I turned over and reached for the pillow she slept on the other night. I brought it to my face and inhaled as deeply as I could. Her scent was still very much on it. I smiled and clutched it to my body for a moment and then I laid it across my face lightly again. I finally fell asleep thinking of her…in bed…next to me.

Saturday was sheer madness. We slept in longer than either one of us planned. I awoke first and, after donning my robe, wandered into the kitchen to find that Allie was still asleep. How could I tell? The coffee was not yet made; a sure give-away. It’s not that I relegated that particular responsibility to her. I simply made really barfo coffee.

I waited in the kitchen whilst it brewed and thought back to Allie’s melt down. She was bothered not only by the fact that I would be changing my name, but also my gender, at least legally. The gender thingy bothered me. It was a lie. My entire life had been framed by ugly and blatant truths. I never sought to hide them. So why bother now? Or was I hiding it behind my…’performance art’?

It was the job of course…and Peter. I know he was looking after my best interests but the fact was that I would need to tell all who asked that I was indeed a woman, which I was not; and that indeed I was transitioning, which I was not. Peter’s job would not be affected by my having to leave. He wouldn’t like it on several different levels, but he would not lose his position.

The idea of a name change however was really cool! I was never really thrilled with the name of Andrew, or Andy for that matter. But plain and simple Andi, as Allie first spelled it, was truly a great inspiration. It was unique enough to work for me.

I was lost in thought when Allie came walking in with the brightest smile ever. I told her how I felt about Peter’s plan and she whole heartedly agreed. She even seemed somewhat relieved that I was sort of deferring to her about the gender thingy. I poured her a cup of coffee. She took a sip, promptly spit it into the sink, complemented me on my attempt, and began a new pot as she planned out our day for us.

I rushed to shower and get ready for our appointment at the salon. The thirty first of December is not a favorite for anyone in the styling business because everyone had somewhere to be that evening and the schedules were tight. We picked up something to eat on the way and we fortunately arrived a few minutes early. None of the stylists wanted to be working late and we both constituted the very last appointments of the afternoon.

We were to be at Peter’s place at nine that evening. We would have enough time to rest a bit which was fine with me. I wanted my nails to be fully dry. Nothing was worse than having a newly done manicure be ruined because of chucking a nail against something and having the finish marred.

Dressing is always a ritual. But dressing up for New Year’s eve out is like the greatest ritual ever; the Sanct Grael of the year! It’s a religious experience in that every little thing must be done to perfection or nothing works…at all. It’s like an obsessive-compulsive thingy. If one’s stockings aren’t on just right…they come off and one does it again. If, for some reason, the bra you’re planning to wear doesn’t look right, another must be found along with, of course, the matching panty.

And one’s makeup must be totally perfect. Lord only knows it’s going to wear anyway? But for that first look, the one that’ll remain in someone’s mind, and hopefully the mind of someone really hot, it must be totally perfect; not even one eye lash out of place. I mean, once they’ve had a drink or two, who cares? But until then…until that first glimpse is had…until that first hello to someone new…nothing less than perfect will do.

I can recall redoing my eye liner several times to get it just right. And my eye shadow…oh my God… I’ve redone that numerous times to get the color just right or the blending perfect. I mean why bother unless you do it properly and it looks…perfect.

But tonight was to be something different. In a sense I was making a statement by wearing the tuxedo and my makeup had to be…well…more subtle than usual. I needed to look butch but with a femme flare. I was using a new lip color called ‘Satin’. I wanted more than merely a hint of color and one light application would do it.

It was the color of a port wine. I know that red wine often stains the lips and that was the color I was looking for. But too often that color is applied way too heavily. I wanted that stained look; just enough to be noticed…but not noticed?

My eyes would be done simply; only liner and two coats of mascara. The liner was dark grey; a color that would emphasize my eyes. A lighter smoke grey for shadow would suffice. The only other color would be a touch of blush in a dark rose to accent the ‘stained’ look on my lips.

Allie began dressing well before I did. But she first made sure my breast forms were reattached. I had worn them since the dinner a few days earlier and, because they were so very comfortable for me at that point, I had neglected to remove them until Friday: the spa day.

She came into my bedroom wearing her robe but she was nearly dressed beneath it. Allie already had her shoes on which told me that she only needed to put on her gown. I let her do my eyes. I felt immense joy in looking into her eyes and face as she carefully applied my makeup. Her face was a mask of intense concentration though she would occasionally smile when she noticed me gazing at her.

“See anything you fancy?” Allie asked with a giggle as she finished.

“Uhhh… Yeah… Everything...” I giggled and smiled coyly.

“Okay… Stand up and let’s see how you look.”

She backed away from where I sat. She was still holding the liner and mascara in her hands. I stood up and, after adjusting the cuffs on my shirt and putting on my jacket, I walked to the mirror on my door to have a look.

“Well…? What do you think?” I turned and asked with a note of worry in my voice.

I was somewhat nervous about this entire thing and actually had considered wearing the gown I had purchased that day at Allie’s insistence. Allie smiled broadly and made a circular motion with her finger. I turned slowly letting her take everything in. She breathed in deeply and exhaled, clutching herself as she looked at me…lovingly?

“You really look so amazing. Like… Sweet hot…? I really love the look of everything. And your shoes are simply perfect.” Allie’s eyes were aglow and as wide as her smile as she spoke.

2 andi Image-1.jpg“You don’t think this is too…butch?”

“Oh my God no…! We’ll be so perfect together. You’re femme enough to create mystery. I really love it. It’s so…decadent.” Her eyes were aglow as she chuckled.

I smiled and turned back to the mirror as Allie got up and left the room to finish dressing. I heard her call and her footsteps approaching my room after a short time. I knew what she needed and before she could even get the words out, I motioned for her to turn. I zipped up her up and fastened the tiny hooks on the back of her dress. In her hand she had her lipstick case with the color pots we needed.

“This is going to be so cool!” Allie was so excited that I could actually see her trembling.

She was so intent on looking really great and having a great time. We had gone out before and always enjoyed ourselves but this was the first time I had invited her to a private party; and a New Year’s Eve party as well! This was also a first for me; a party with a date! And it was a dress up New Year’s Eve party; something I had never been to and she hadn’t been to in quite some time. And she seemed to be even more excited that she was going with me!

It was so totally cool. Allie sat perfectly still as I began to do her lips. I derived such immense pleasure from doing it as well; working on a human canvass was such a trip. And her lips were ever so inviting; slightly parted and moistened from the plumper I used first.

As I applied the lip line with a fine brush, I could understand Allie’s enjoyment of doing my makeup albeit infrequently these days. In a way this reminded me of those fill in the color books I would occasionally come across at someone else’s house. I believe that my not having them at my home contributed with my early drawing skills developing.

While my eyes were on her lips, Allie’s eyes were on mine. She had a hard time trying to keep from smiling and laughing because the movements of the brush tickled. Doing her lips turned into such an incredibly sensual experience for the both of us. Between bushing on the fill in for the liner to blotting after two coats and then repeating the entire ritual with the tinted gloss to get the closest color match, I became so focused in on Allie’s lips that I neglected to hear her giggle.

“What…” I asked with a curious smile.

“You have that totally captivated look on your face.” Allie giggled again.

“What?” I was so clueless; a captivated ‘look’? I wasn’t aware that I had one.

“Yeah… You know… It’s that look you sometimes get when you’re concentrating on a particular aspect of something you’re working on? Like a portrait or something?”

“Oh… I’m just concentrating on what I’m doing.”

I tried to make light of it but Allie simply wouldn’t have any of that. She wanted to…torture me a little?

“Yeah…” Allie smiled and nodded. “Sure… I would love to know what you were thinking when you just had that look.”

Allie had such an irritatingly smug expression on her face. It was like she already knew the answer but simply wanted to hear it. Actually…I had to giggle. She probably did know exactly what I was thinking.

I stood up and took the brushes into the bathroom to be washed later. I replaced the lipstick pots into the box and held my hand out to Allie. She took it and stood up. I ushered her over to the full length mirror and stood beside her as she inspected herself carefully, and then me, and then us together.

3 allie Image-1.jpg“WOW!!!”

Allie exclaimed with a giggle. “We do look so…” She turned to look at me with a huge grin. “…perfect? I mean we do look kind of like a real couple. We look…” Allie turned to gaze at me. “…hot!”

I put my arm around her waist and stepped closer to her.

“Yeah…” I laughed. “…like a pair of really chic…lesbians?”

“Well… What the hell…” Allie giggled with a hint of resignation in her voice. “My folks already think I’ve become a lesbian. And…” She looked at me again, but this time with some seriousness in her face. “…and Jill thinks I’m becoming a ‘fag hag’”.

“A what…?”

“You know…a ‘homo honey’, a ‘queen bee’, a ‘fairy princess’…” With each questionable phrase, several of which were totally new to me, Allie was becoming more depressed and cynical.

“Why…?” Clue…! Less…!

“Why…?” Allie turned to face me, her face expressing amazement. “Why…? I haven’t the slightest idea why. Just because my best friend…other than Jill…dresses acts and even thinks like a woman. BUT…” She pointed her index finger upward for emphasis. “…on some world in another reality this person is actually a man doesn’t mean I’m any such thing…does it? And simply because this friend isn’t sure whether he’d rather fuck men or women…” Now she sounded exasperated. “Well…that doesn’t mean anything either I suppose.”

“Huh…? Do you mean me?” I was shocked by her outburst that seemed to come out of the blue.

“Duh…!” Allie lilted as she held her arms out as if in an opera; and maybe this was an opera of a sort.

The notion suddenly struck me that maybe Allie was not happy with these appellations. I certainly never thought of myself as being gay although the more vulgar variations of that word were often hurled my way in the past. My attraction to good-looking guys was… Well… It seemed quite normal and natural; totally unworthy of a particular category?

I was somewhat confused by Allie’s outburst. This has never been an issue before and certainly Allie never treated me with any special deference as a result. Nor have I ever kept my sexual ambiguity from her or allowed it to interfere with our very close relationship. But what was more troubling was the fact that this was the second spontaneous outburst from her within twenty four hours.

I didn’t want to start the evening, especially the New Year, off badly with her. I also knew that I couldn’t do too much thinking about this now. I needed to divert her attention from whatever her mind had captured and latched onto. I grasped her arms gently to totally capture her attention.

“Okay… Would you really like to know what I was thinking as I did your lips?”

Allie looked at me with surprise…and a grin.

“Yeah… I really do.” Allie placed her hands on her hips and set her jaw.

She smiled but she had that determined look that sometimes came to her face when she wasn’t going to let go of something. Now my policy has always been to tell the truth as honestly as possible but with a degree of…temperance? I didn’t want to tell Allie exactly how I felt least I make a complete fool out of myself. I was accustomed in the past to settle for a partial fool. So I looked her squarely in the eyes.

“I was thinking about how I wanted to wear my gown also? But seeing how amazing you look, how totally beautiful you are…especially in your gown…I’m glad I didn’t.”

Well…that was true and certainly sincere. But Allie wasn’t buying it. She crossed her arms and began to tap her toe quite noisily on the floor.

“Okay… Okay… It’s just that they looked so perfect…so…inviting…that I wanted to touch them with my own.”

“You mean you wanted to kiss me?” Allie giggled.

“Yes…” I was so suddenly flustered. “I mean…” Oh well, I might as well resign and concede defeat. “Yes…”

“Oh…” Allie smiled and blushed Spanish red.

I think that perhaps now she was a bit flustered as she looked back at me.

“So…why didn’t you?” She asked quite coyly.

“And ruin a gorgeous work of art?” I giggled nervously.

I hoped that would be enough and I wouldn’t have to admit my…fears…my…love for her? Fortunately the apartment bell rang from downstairs to interrupt Allie’s interrogation.

“Who could that be?” I asked Allie in surprise.

“Oh…” She said rather matter of fact manner. “I ordered a car for this evening. I figured that it would be impossible to get a cab tonight and especially after midnight.”

4 door d598c16b231bf840359c383958714408.jpgThe Party of the Year…End…

That was the thing about Allie; she could plan ahead like nobody I’d ever met; especially for a ‘very big’ evening. We quickly put on our coats and grabbed our clutch purses. Okay… So a clutch with a tuxedo was not standard equipage but who ever had enough pockets? And who wanted to ruin the lines of a perfectly good designer suit?

Waiting patiently curb side was a tall black suited man with a large four door black sedan. He opened the rear door for us and assisted Allie in first. I entered and sat down in the leather seat and, as he closed the door and went around to the driver’s door, I let out a deep breath.

I was nervous. I think Allie sensed it and she took hold of my hand and smiled at me. I smiled back but I quickly looked away and out the window as we began our journey uptown. I think that my nervousness was due to the fact that in all the time I had been dressing androgynously, albeit somewhat more femme, I had done so with the intent of being on my own…by myself?

Tonight was very different though; this was kind of a date. Even when I accompanied Allie to her parents’ home, it was more of a favor. I was there to lend moral support in a situation that often got the better of her. But tonight we would be together as an attending couple. I could have gone alone or with any other person but I purposely wanted Allie with me to enjoy a party.

I was quiet the entire trip and Allie had the good grace to leave me to my thoughts. A thousand things ran through my mind and I was so distracted that before I knew it, we had arrived in front of a large townhouse across the street from Grammercy Park. There were two or three couples formally dressed heading toward us as we exited the car.

As I stepped onto the sidewalk with the driver’s assistance and looked up at Peter’s home. A wreath hung from each of the large double wooden doors and warm lighting shone through the transom windows. I grasped Allie’s hand and we ascended the few steps to the door. We were followed by both finely dressed couples. When I looked around for a doorbell or knocker, the woman behind us spoke.

“Oh the door is open…just go in.” She smiled and laughed. “Peter doesn’t stand on formalities like ringing bells and such.”

“Happy New Year…” I said as I turned and smiled.

She and her escort returned the greeting as I reached for the large handle and opened the door. I held it opened for the ladies and the unknown women’s guests and then I followed closing the door behind me. We were greeted by a tall Christmas tree in the atrium that was decorated in a most spectacular fashion.

5 1995_Blue_Room_Christmas_tree.jpgI was instantly attracted to that tree.

I walked up to it, Allie’s hand in mine, to look at the ornaments. There were over a hundred different ones hanging. Some were hand carved or hand fashioned out of different materials. There were several antique Venetian glass angels, wood carved stars and figures, a ceramic manger and figures as well as candle powered chimes of tin.

But what really impressed me was the time line…sort of a lineage…of Christmas decorations that might have been passed down from generation to generation within Peter’s family. This represented the one thing missing from my life; a family’s story; a family’s history.

6 linda Image-1.jpg“Welcome and happy holiday to you both!”

I turned my head in mid examination of a particular ornament to see a truly beautiful and elegant woman approach with both arms out. “You must be Andi.” She said as she embraced me and kissed my cheek. “And Allie…?” She then did the same to Allie. “I’m Linda Griffin…Peter’s ex-wife?”

Linda had the appearance of a fashion model. Her figure was absolutely perfect as were her features. Her styling was perfectly and professionally done from her hair down to her shoes; a silk cover high heeled black sandal to match her designer gown. She had the palest blue gray eyes that complimented her chestnut colored hair.

Linda’s gown was black with a tulip shaped skirt. She wore a white silk blazer atop it. A simple diamond encrusted gold medallion hung from her neck and a diamond ring encircled the middle finger of her right hand. Her makeup was sparse but quite becoming and her skin was perfect. Linda was the model of simple elegance.

But I must say that none of this seemed to be affected. She style was simply a reflection of who she was. Linda was nothing but warm and complimentary and everything a good hostess should be. She fawned over everyone that evening and made sure that everything occurred as it should without having things appear to be planned. She was simply amazing.

“Yes… Hi… And the same to you…”

I was a bit startled…to say the least. Peter had mentioned that he and his ‘ex’ were the best of friends but I hadn’t realized that he really meant ‘the best of friends’. I mean to invite one’s ex to a party and have them attend; really!

“Peter has told me so much about you. I have never seen him so excited about a young artist before; and to have them come in pairs!” Linda chuckled.

Linda turned and smiled so…so…glowingly at Allie who blushed amaranth quite profusely. Flattery does so become her. Linda turned to me and took my hand in hers.

“Our daughter Lilly is here tonight and we both are dying to speak with you. She’s a budding artist and adores what she’s seen of your work.”

Okay…so flattery becomes me as well. I blushed preppy red and told her that my time was theirs whenever it was convenient for them. This was something new to me; being the center of attention for what others perceive as being my…expertise? I mean… My display at Allie’s parents’ party was more an act of self-defense for the both of us than an exposition of my knowledge of art history.

Linda took us by our elbows and escorted us away from the tree and into the large living room. She took us directly to Peter. There were only a few people thus far and he saw us enter the room. He excused himself from the two guests he was speaking with and met us half way across the room.

“Andi… Allie…” Peter came up and hugged and kissed us both. “Thank you so much for coming. Andi…” Peter said as he took both my hands in his. “…you look just wonderful tonight. And you Allie…” He repeated his hand holding with Allie. “…you are absolutely breath taking!”

I looked at Allie. She was breath taking…especially with that wonderfully colorful poppy red blush.

“We have a wine bar set up in the corner and we have several really wonderful bottles uncorked; really good vintages so please…do try them all.”

Peter began to escort us toward the far corner of the room. I noticed a stringed sextet getting ready to begin playing. They appeared to be students but, knowing Peter; they were probably one step away from debut performance.

“We also have something a bit stronger if you prefer.” He chuckled.

On either side of the wine bar was a table; one with an assortment of cheeses and fresh cut fruit and the other featured caviar and other delicacies. Peter informed us that dinner was at eleven and to leave some room for the foods to be served.

“Jerry…!” Peter turned his head to call to another guest. He waved the man over and another man accompanied him. “Jerry…this is Andi and his guest Allie.” Peter turned to me. “Jerry wrote that glowing review of your showing for the Times.”

“His guest…?” Jerry spoke in quite an effected manner as he addressed Peter and then glanced at me. “I thought you were…oh…never mind. Are you in transition?”

“Uhhh…” Thankfully, before I could answer, Jerry gazed at Allie.

“And you’re the potter.” Jerry spoke even before I could even fully answer his query. “I adore classical forms and you’re very good at making them. They’re not heavy either. That shows some good skills. You both work well together.” He turned to me. “At the risk of alienating Peter…and I do love him so…you really should give up your day job and concentrate on what you do so very well. Oh…!!! You really must go to Europe.”

Jerry’s face lighted up with excitement. His somewhat rotund form moved as did his arms as he expounded on the virtues of living ‘abroad’ and viewing the works of the great masters up close and…personal? And to see the architecture and absorb some of the culture that helped shape these great artists... He made it all seem so appealing that I didn’t mind his endless, and quite flamboyant, litany.

Jerry went on and on and on relating one tale after another when I suddenly noticed a diminutive figure in his great shadow. I happened to catch a slight oriental face and I smiled and said hello; briefly interrupting Jerry’s…sermon?

“I’m Andi.” I held out my hand in the least imposing way possible. The man seemed so meek and I didn’t want to intimidate him; which would have been a first on my part.

“Hi…my name is…” He quickly jutted out from behind Jerry and gently grasped my hand.

“Oh…this is Ben.” Jerry said as he rolled his eyes. “He’s a bit shy.”

I seriously had to control myself; Ben and Jerry? O…M…G…!!! Allie wasn’t as fortunate and she giggled.

“Yeah… I know… I know… Another one of life’s little face slaps.” Jerry spoke in an even more affected manner. “How was I to know that this little…” He looked down at Ben in a most affectionate manner. “…sexual tyrannosaurus rex would be named Ben? But by then it was too late. We are, however, known as Jerry and Ben…just for future reference?” He chuckled heartily.

We were saved from further explanation by Paul Reeves, the fiction writer. Peter brought him over to us and made the introductions. I had read several of his works in college and found them to be very profound observations of the human spirit. And I also thought of him as a great painter with words. I could get completely lost in his novels and had actually reread several of them.

An older gentleman of perhaps fifty…I really knew very little about him other than what was on the cover leaf of his books…he seemed to be as impressed with me as I was with him. Allie was also duly impressed and, quite unlike herself, at a loss for words.

We spoke about how much alike our art forms were. Paul did admit his envy of my ability to portray emotion so effectively and subtly and I admitted my envy of his use of the English language in quite the same manner. He also told me to leave the country and to make Europe one of my stops. Everybody seems to want me to leave!!! Hmmm…

Peter came and took my arm.

“Come Andi… I want you to meet Joan Watson.”

He brought me to a couple, two women, who were attired similarly to Allie and me!

“Joan…? This is Andi. I mentioned his situation to you the other day.”

Joan smiled and took my hand.

“I do like your tux.” She said with a grin. “Bloomies…?”

“Why yes…” I turned when Allie answered.

“This is my partner Ellie.”

Joan turned to the lovely young woman in a gorgeous curve hugging white on white gown. Ellie smiled coyly and greeted us both.

“I won’t get into detail at this time but let me assure you that your…situation should present no problem.” Joan spoke with a reassuring smile. “I’ve handled this kind of thing before for people such as yourself. You are not the only one.”

I couldn’t imagine why she said what she said but it did make me feel better about this entire legal thingy. We spoke for several minutes about…stuff other than my ‘situation’ and I did enjoy the fact that Peter was taking care of things for me. I could see that another ‘gifted’ piece was in his future; a small price for…my future?

Linda came up to us and began to ask all about my work, Allie’s work, and our work. It was hard for me to even get a question in regarding her work, which was so inspirational to me as a graphic artist. She was an absolute delight. As more guests appeared she quickly detached herself to attend them. One might have thought this to be her party.

The evening continued in a similar fashion. There were twelve couples and each was as thrilled to meet me as I was to meet them. They were all involved with the arts in one way or another and most of them lived in the area and knew Peter, and his family, on an intimate basis. Three couples even admitted…albeit with slight reluctance…to knowing Allie’s family.

The sextet began to play softly. This only added to the very warm and pleasant ambience of the evening. Although there was this formal façade that existed, there was still the quite gentle informality of good friends meeting to enjoy a common moment in time. I thought immediately of Renoir and the capture of action in the stillness of the moment; the way he captured each of the figures of a group in their personally unique motion…and emotion.

I became quite excited as my eye acted like a camera capturing small groups of people conversing easily and even with a bit of animated body language. The sudden outburst of laughter upon hearing a story or a joke was imprinted deeply into my mind. I would need to do something with these images. I knew it less than midway through the evening. I thought of light browns, beiges, and other warm colors and the picturing of an elite class, an artistic class, at play.

And the explosions of colorful gowns amidst the uniform black of the tuxedoes delighted my eye beyond words. The women stood out gloriously in the vibrancy of their cloaking’s. I was near ecstasy when Allie grasped my hand with a bit more pressure than usual. I looked at her in all of her glory. I bent slightly and touched her lips with mine. I was near tears of joy.

“What was that?” She giggled in surprise.

“You are so…beautiful…so…perfect.”

I couldn’t contain myself. A tear rolled down my cheek as I smiled.

“Where are you Andi?” Allie said as she dabbed at the tear with a napkin. Her smile was magical and her face a vision through my clouded eyes.

“The late nineteenth century…?” I giggled.

“Well that figures!” She laughed and it was music to my ears.

I took a moment to gaze around and it was then that I noticed the walls. No two were the same color and all, save where there were windows, were covered with artwork; paintings, drawings, photographs and such.

I recognized a Chagall next to a Klee; across the room on the other wall hung a Duchamp. In one corner was a Kandinsky on an easel. A Dali hung near a Warhol piece and that was next to a Picasso pencil drawing. This place was a small museum of magnificent modern art. I went to Peter and took him by his arm.

“Oh my God Peter…! I had no idea you had this kind of work.” I was wide eyed and stunned.

“Oh… These things…?” He laughed. “I was simply born into the right inheritance. Come with me.”

We walked through the room. Somewhere along the route I lost Allie. Being towed by Peter didn’t give me the opportunity to try and find her. We walked into the atrium and Peter took me behind the Christmas tree. There, prominently hanging on the wall, the first sight to catch the eye when anybody entered the house, was the nude of Allie that had sold for so much.

“I certainly hope Allie doesn’t mind her charms being on display in this fashion but…” Peter gazed at the portrait with a wistful expression. “…she is breathtaking and the work is…” He looked at me almost apologetically. “…genius? Come…”

We were off again to a room facing the front of the townhouse. Peter let go of my arm to open the sliding double oak doors and he bade me entrance with a wave of his arm. This was his library and study. On the wall facing his huge walnut banker’s desk hung another Picasso and next to it hung my ink portrait of Peter! I was flattered and stunned beyond words…again.

“I so badly wanted to be an artist when I was young.” Peter turned from my work to look at me. “I had the eye and the sensitivity but…” Peter exhaled slowly as he looked back at my work. “I didn’t have the talent; the ability to translate what was in my mind onto canvass. Now Linda is an accomplished artist. Her work is quite renown.”

“Oh my God…! I love her work. I studied her drawings thoroughly when I began studying graphics. She’s like…the best!” I became quite excited indeed. I had to speak with her again having forgotten to tell her what an inspiration her work was to me.

“Well…actually…I have somebody else for you to meet. She’s a bit shy but she loves to draw. And…” Peter put his arm around my shoulder. “…she’s really dying to meet you. Come with me.”

Peter hooked my arm and led me from his study to another set of double sliding doors next to his room. He slid open the doors to reveal and elaborately set dining room lighted by an ornate crystal chandelier holding at least a dozen tapers. That, along with crystal wall scones holding two long tapers each, provided an large but intimately lit dining room. The table was set with, no doubt, his finest service and crystal glasses.

Just off the center of the table sat a young girl who seemed not to notice our entrance. She was bent over and seemingly involved with something. As we approached I could see she had a pencil in hand and was drawing on a sheet of paper. I stopped and put one hand on Peter’s chest and my finger to my lips indicating silence. We stood and watched for a moment and then I looked up at Peter and, with a slight turn of my head, motioned him away.

Peter instinctively knew what was on my mind. He smiled, gently kissed my forehead, and very quietly made his way out of the dining room. I walked toward her, never taking my eyes from her bend over form, until I stood directly behind her. She was the most beautiful young child I’d ever seen.

She had the best features of both her parents. Her amazing blonde hair hung in large curls nearly half way down her back. She had her mother’s blue gray eyes and the delicate features of both parents. The young girl wore a crown of pale pink tea roses that accented her lovely gown and contrasted against her magnificent curly main.

I glanced around the room and noticed a Pollack hanging alongside a Warhol piece. I saw an amazing Hockney as well as two photomontages. But on the piece of paper, the young lady…for surely her intense concentration and her physical appearance was that of a woman to be…was a drawing of an arm of the elaborate chandelier.

I pulled out the chair next to her and, as I began to sit, I smiled at her suddenly upturned face. Her eye sparkled and burned with an intensity I understood.

“Hi… I’m Andi.”

Her face exploded into a huge, wide eyed, grin.

7 lilly Image-1.jpg“Hi… I’m Lilly.

I am so happy to finally meet you. Daddy talks about you like all the time.”

I blushed barn red at her compliment and her enthusiasm. Lilly’s face seemed to light up with joy. I envied her because I couldn’t recall any such joy when I was her age.

“I like what you’re doing.”

I looked a bit closer at her sketch. It was good…very good. This young one had real skills.

“Yeah…” Lilly’s face suddenly took on a soured expression. “…but I’m having trouble trying to get the sparkles of the light hitting the crystals.”

“Oh… You have that problem too?” I giggled.

She looked at me with a shocked expression.

“You mean you have that problem?” I had to chuckle at her wide eyed disbelief.

“That is always our challenge.” I said as I picked up one of the pencils from her box. “Putting on paper…or canvass…or whatever…what we see with our eyes, and what our minds make of what our eyes see.” I drew a candle and made a few extra lines to give the eye the impression of shining. “Or…” I drew a hanging crystal above the flame and one alongside the candle and one in between the other two. “…what we would have someone else’s eyes see.”

I began to draw more lines on the crystal atop the flame till it seemed to glimmer right off the paper. I worked slowly and silently making sure that Lilly would see exactly what I was doing, and how I was doing it.

“It’s all about light sweet heart.” I told her as I stopped and looked at her. Lilly’s gaze was glued to the paper and what I had just done. “Want to give it a try?”

Lilly slowly began to mimic what I had done on the crystal alongside the candle. At first I gently held her hand so that she might feel the pressure and direction of the pencil. When I felt Lilly understood, I removed my hand. As she drew, I picked up the other pencil and began to fill in the crystal arm that held the candle and shaded and area farthest from the flame.

“Do you have a sketch book?” I asked as I watched her skillfully add sparkle to the crystal. Lilly, if nothing else, was a very quick learner.

“No…” She said wistfully. “I just kind of draw something on whatever is around. But I do keep everything together in a folder.”

“The man who painted that…” I pointed to the Hockney. “…said; ‘Everything starts with a sketch book’. I’ll get you a few different ones; different paper textures. That’s where you keep your ideas; your drawings for later…embellishment? That is where I keep my life.” I chuckled. “I also make notes on what I would like to do. I have many of them going back to middle school but it’s good to start now.”

She smiled at me. I loved her smile. It still had the innocence of a child’s smile even if her world might have been a bit…adult? Lilly thanked me and proceeded to start on the crystal in between the other two.

“Also work carefully and deliberately. You know who Dali was…right?”

“Yeah… Daddy has a few of his things.”

“Well…?” Neither of us took our eyes off of what we were doing. “He said; ‘Genius is never lazy’. That means that you never settle for anything that isn’t one hundred percent to your liking; even if you have to redo it a hundred times.”

I noticed Lilly nodding out of the corner of my eye. I stopped my sketching to observe her creating sparkle and shine on the third crystal. The placement was correct in relation to the source of light. And the result was most acceptable…perhaps even quite good.

The two of us continued to work together drawing various parts of the chandelier. Before we even realized it we had drawn a small group of people who watched us working together. I looked up in surprise to find Allie smiling down at me. There was such warmth in her face that I couldn’t help but feel a bit emotional.

“Lilly is going to be attending some courses at the Art Students League.”

Peter spoke with pride as he looked at his lovely daughter.

“Wow… That’ll be very cool.” I began to get up but he stopped me.

“Please… Sit next to her Andi. And Allie…” Peter pulled out a chair next to me. “Why don’t you sit here?” Looking at his daughter, Peter added; “Andi and Allie do really wonderful work together. You know that ceramic piece…the bowl up in my bedroom? That’s their work.”

“Oh… That is so totally cool!” Lilly’s face lighted up with excitement. “I always wanted to try working in clay. But I mean seriously working in you.” She smiled up at Allie.

“Well…” Allie’s smile was as wide as I’d ever seen it. “Maybe you can come and visit with us and I’ll show you some things. We’ll both show you things.”

Allie and Lilly began to chatter as I leaned back just a bit to give them a good line of sight. I then excused myself. I needed to wash my hands. I had some graphite powder from the pencils on them and I encouraged Lilly to do the same. In truth, I needed her to assist me in finding the washroom.

Lilly ushered me to the washroom behind the staircase. We entered together and, though I offered her first use of the sink, she let me go first. In the midst of wetting my hands Lilly suddenly hiked up the hem of her gown, lowered her panty, and sat on the toilet. She began to pee.

I was shocked! I mean…a ten year old shouldn’t be doing this in front of a guy. But then again I wasn’t really dressed as a guy in spite of my tuxedo?

“I’ll wait outside till you’re done.” I began to turn and slip out the door.

“Why…” Lilly exclaimed.

“Well…” I began to explain when she obviously remembered.

“Oh yeah… You’re a guy…sort of…right?” She began to giggle. “Well… I won’t tell if you don’t.” She giggled. “Just don’t look.”

I continued to wash my hands keeping my head down whilst Lilly did her…’business’. She continued to chatter about art and how much she loved expressing herself in such a fashion. I finally heard the toilet tissue being ripped and Lilly rising and fixing her dress.

“Do you think I have talent?”

Lilly asked quite sincerely as she began the ritual of hand washing. I hate that question with an ever burning passion. Firstly… I never knew what the word ‘talent’ really meant. Does that mean one can draw after years of practice and learning? Or is she really asking ‘Am I gifted?’ I know I am gifted not from the opinion of others but rather from my thankfulness that I have some means…some outlet…of expression through which I might be understood.

If I say ‘yes…you are very talented’ I may be leading Lilly down a road that dead ends with any number of people who can draw or paint but who can never achieve that little extra something that elevates their work beyond a wall paper pattern or a greeting card design (though this certainly requires a talent unto its own form). And if I say ‘no’ I kill the dream.

“Sweet heart…” I took her face in my hands delicately and kissed her fore head. “The real question should be; ‘do I have the burning desire?’ When I was your age, all I could think of was drawing something…anything. And I did. I drew all the time and on whatever was available with whatever was available.”

“That’s kind of what I do? I even drew on the wall which really pissed off mommy.” Lilly giggled. “Can I ask you something?”


I had to giggle with that image of Linda coming upon some crayon creation where it belonged the least.

“It’s kind of personal but…I’m curious?”

“Okay…” ‘How personal could a fourteen year old get’ I thought as I giggled.

“Are you transitioning?”

I almost began to choke! I guess some ten year olds can get quite personal. Chalk that up…pardon the pun…to big city living?

“No sweet heart… This is simply the image I have of myself in my mind.” I smiled gently. “How do you know about transitioning?”

I really didn’t know much about it until I came to New York City and my fellow students would ask on occasion.

“Mommy gets Voice.” Lilly stated this with a hint of pride as she smiled quite smugly. “My nanny reads explains what looks interesting…the pictures…you know?”

I laughed as we re-entered the dining room and took our seats as a server was pouring wine whilst another was setting condiments down at each of the place settings. At that moment I was convinced that I would like to become a mentor in Lilly’s quest to become an artist. After we took our places, Peter stood and raised his glass.

“I am so pleased that we could all be together again this year and…” Peter looked directed at Allie and me. “I would like to thank our new guests for gracing our home with their presence. May we all enjoy a happy, a healthy, and…” His eyes widened to match his grin. “…a very productive New Year.”

Who couldn’t drink to that? There were several quite vocal collateral comments and we all clinked glasses and had a sip of wine. Two servers entered the dining room and began to place out platters of hor d’oeuvres and so the meal began. The conversations began in earnest as we began to savor the expertly prepared foods. The discussions were quite lively and centered on the arts.

Allie and I felt quite humbled, and honored, as most of the talk involved us in one manner or another. Suddenly the music began to play again. The sextet had moved to the near end of the other room and the lovely sound of a waltz came through the opened doorway. My body began to sway gently to the rhythm of the one ‘formal’ dance I was able to do.

I learned to waltz whilst in college because…well…I could envision myself being swept around the dance floor being led gracefully by...oh…you can fill in the blank. Suddenly Allie got up out of her seat and, taking me by the hand, pulled me up as well.

8 BallRoomDanceSilhouette_png.jpg“Come on.” Allie said with some…finality?

“I know how to waltz and I can’t let the year pass without having just one dance with someone I at least like.”

She laughed with a hint of bitter sarcasm in her voice. The year had not been kind to Allie or her…love life? We walked into the atrium. Fortunately I remembered which hand went where and we slowly and tentatively began to move. ‘One-two-three, one-two three’ I kept repeating in my head until our movements were smooth and easy.

Suddenly Allie took the initiative and began to put more movement into our dance. I smiled, looked down at her…into her lovely eyes and smile…and went with her flow. We were whirling and twirling just like I’d seen dancers do in some of the old movies I’d watched in a film class. I was actually enjoying myself. And what was not to enjoy with Allie in my arms. I closed my eyes and even though I was ‘leading’ in the ‘male role’, I simply followed her and grinned almost idiotically.

When the music had ceased, and we applauded the musicians, there were three other couples who had joined us. I was so into our dancing that I hadn’t really noticed. I almost didn’t let go of Allie when the music did stop. It felt so…so wonderful feeling our bodies together; moving together in time to the music. It felt dream-like.

We walked hand in hand back to the table and the next food course. I could barely keep myself from staring at Allie and was grateful for the interruptions of the conversations. She was so aglow, truly alive and happy. She held my hand beneath the table and out of sight. Every once in a while she would play with my fingers as she spoke.

I was so very enthralled by her, and the evening, that I barely noticed what was being served. I barely remember eating anything although everything that did enter my mouth provided a burst of stimulus that did bring me back to the reality of the moment. I do remember not being able to finish anything and that Allie finished everything.

As we finished that course, the sextet began to play another dance; another waltz! Again Allie was up before me and she took my hand and pulled me to the atrium. This time we reversed hand placement indicating that she wanted to lead. I had no objection at all as she suddenly swept me into her arms and across the floor in a swirling circling motion that was far more brisk than the pace I set.

She laughed as we danced. It was a laugh of pure joy. Allie was far more accomplished at this dance than I was and she wanted to really…work out all of her moves? I closed my eyes and let her do her thing. I almost felt like I was floating in space, gliding along without any sense of touch other than Allie’s Body against mine. I felt oneness between us.

I was always so comfortable with Allie…in her arms. I felt…safe. I felt…perhaps…the kind mothering I never really had? Now don’t think that I regarded Allie as a mother figure because that definitely is not the case. Well…not completely the case anyway. I simply feel that there is the protective and nurturing quality within her and I was fortunate enough to be the object of her affections and attentions.

On the way back to the table, I held Allie’s hand. I stopped walking and held her back with me as the other people walked past us. I turned to face her and, almost without thought or plan, I bent slightly, cocked my head a bit, and kissed her softly and gently on the lips.

Allie looked up at me with an expression of pleasant surprise. I smiled down at her.

“Thank you.” I said as I felt my emotion rise. She looked at me questioningly. “Thank you for being here with me tonight.”

She reached up and gently stroked my cheek with her hand. I could see her eyes begin to tear up. Words didn’t have to be exchanged because the look she gave me said everything; she felt the same. In truth, there was nobody I would have rather been with, even in a fantasy, than Allie.

As I sat through the next course of the meal, the speaking, and the food; everything seemed to fade into the background. All I could think of was Allie. I wanted so badly to hold her; to hug her and have her do the same to me.

My eyes gazed down at our hands entwined and I coyly smiled and blushed paprika red. We were touching…truly touching one another. It was kind of foreplay of sorts. The entire evening thus far seemed to be just that. The dancing, the sharing of food and tasting one another’s wine were all foreplay for something far greater.

I suddenly began to tremble with fear…make that fears! She is my closest friend…ever! The evening changed for me. It was no longer a celebration of the passing of a year. It was no longer about going out with my best friend ever for a night of fun. It was no longer about looking and feeling great about who and what I am. It was now about ‘us’. For some reason I felt that the time had come to put my feelings and emotions about and toward Allie to rest; one way or the other.

We had only just settled in our seats when Allie turned to me and looked me squarely in the eyes.

“Are you alright?”

Oh my God…! She could sense the change in me even if it didn’t register on anybody else…yet. I couldn’t tell her the truth. This def was not the time or the place. And I couldn’t lie to her. She was too important in my life to do that. As if I could lie anyway.

“Can we talk about it later?” I begged, whined, and otherwise pled.

“You should see the expression on your face.” Allie giggled. “How could I ever refuse a look like that?”

“Like what…?” Now I was curious.

“Like so…so…I don’t know…child like?” She giggled again. “We should go out dancing once in a while. Not to a club. Somewhere we could do this kind of dancing. You move very well and you learn quickly and I think we dance well together. It’s fun.” Allie took my hand and kissed it. “I’m really having fun. I’m really glad I’m here with you.” She smiled.

I was so very taken by what she said that I was near tears in spite of the grin on my face. She was, of course, right. This was fun. I was having fun dancing with her; perhaps too much fun. This evening was bringing up emotions I hadn’t really experienced before. Or perhaps my emotions were simply being intensified. I really didn’t know how to respond to her. Fortunately the next course was set down before us and I could simply smile as she held my hand and pick at the delicious food.

Again after we had finished, the musicians began to play as the plates were cleared. This time everybody switched partners. Peter, of course, took my hand and we started to dance to another waltz. The feeling of being held by a man was totally different than that of a woman, or at least Allie. He took command immediately and began to whirl me around the atrium floor in an almost effortless gliding motion.

“I hope you’re enjoying yourself tonight.” Peter looked at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and that wonderfully warm smile.

“Yes!” I laughed. “I’m having a wonderful time.”

“Allie is as well.” He added. “She looks gorgeous; almost as beautiful as you.” He laughed. “You look smashing in your tux. It’s perfect.”

“Do you really think so?” I blushed cardinal red. “I did have more than a moment of trepidation in wearing it. I had this wonderful gown I wanted to wear but Allie kind of insisted that this tux would be far more…suitable?”

“No… The choice is perfect. Trust me…” He smiled warmly.

“You know… She’s been holding my hand under the table all during dinner. I’m not sure what that is all about. I mean…we do hold hands but…well… It’s been more of a friendship thing?”

“You really don’t understand much about women, do you?” Peter laughed and smiled sympathetically.

I kind of looked down and then away, avoiding his eyes.

“Women hold hands for a few reasons. They hold hands as a way of sharing some positive experience. It’s as if they can communicate what they are feeling through touch.” His chuckled and continued. “They also hold hands when they are sharing a negative experience. It’s the old ‘comfort in numbers’ thing. They hold hands when they are feeling threatened or insecure. But that’s not the case tonight. My God… She’s absolutely blossoming!”

Peter glanced toward Allie who was showing Lilly how to do the waltz. I must admit Peter was right. Allie never looked more…more…alive and glowing? In fact Allie had been animated the entire evening. I must admit that she was more than a bit over whelmed when we first arrived. She realized that almost all the guests were people of great accomplishment. But she warmed quickly once she began to speak with them and realized they were as interested in her art as she was in theirs.

“And…” Peter held my hand a bit more firmly to draw my attention back to him. This time I looked into his eyes. “…they hold hands when they’re…how shall I put this…” He glanced of for a moment searching for the right word. “…when they’re ‘interested’?”

“Interested…?” Interested…? Interested…!

“Yes… Interested…” Peter chuckled as he gazed back at me. “You should see how she looks at you when you speak; or how her eyes light up when she speaks about you. And you should hear how she speaks about you. Evidentially she’s waiting for you to walk on water!” He laughed.

“Do you think…? Really…? Oh my God…!” I began to tremble. I dared not finish my thought. I was already a bit nervous about her attentiveness; the hand holding. And certainly everything Peter said made sense…sort of.

“You should really go for it Andi. After all…” Peter gazed at me with a not quite, but almost, lurid smile. “…I am waiting you know.” He emphasized ‘I am’ and I nervously giggled. “Seriously sweet heart…” He said as he leaned in closer to my ear. “You’re driving yourself a bit crazy with this duality in your head and you might as well find out where you’re really at. You certainly can’t fail either way. If she’s for you then go for it. If she’s not…well…then you’ve learned something and can put at least one confusion to rest. And who’s to say that you’re not bisexual altogether and can enjoy the best of both worlds.”

What Peter said certainly made sense. It was my own fears that held me back. There are times when I wish I was more firmly planted in reality. The things that are so very apparent to others seem to slip past me totally unnoticed. I need to be hit in the head sometimes just to take notice. Hmmm… Bisexual...? Or maybe even non-sexual and I simply was addicted to the drama of it all?

After the dance ended and Peter grabbed a nearby glass and spoon. He struck the crystal several times eliciting a ringing that garnered the attention of everyone.

“The magic moment will be upon us very shortly. Everyone… Please do find your partner and we’ll have some wonderful champagne to anoint the New Year. Desserts will then follow in the parlor as well as dancing till the last of us drops from exhaustion.”

Peter laughed as the servers wheeled in carts of various confections and other after dinner treats. I wanted to make a quick trip to the wash room before the festivities of the event began. So I quickly ducked out of the small crowd and went to check my face. I wanted to look perfect as a token homage to the New Year. I didn’t notice that Allie was right behind me.

“We can both use it.” Allie spoke as I opened the door and she rushed in behind me.

“Sure…” I giggled. “I just wanted to check my face. Enjoying yourself?”

“Yeah.” Allie’s smile was answer enough. “I had such a good talk with Linda. Did you know that she’s ‘the Linda Griffen’ who does those wonderful illustrations in children’s books?”

I stared at Allie in wondrous amazement that she hadn’t realized this earlier.

“Yes… Peter mentioned that to me. I love her work.”

I looked back at the mirror. Hmmm… The stain seemed to still be holding up but I did need just a touch of gloss. I reached into clutch and pulled out the tube. “I really would love to speak with her about her work.” I quickly swiped the gloss across my lips and rubbed them together. I turned to Allie, who was basically doing the same. “She was kind of an inspiration for me…her work?”

Allie carefully inspected herself one more time in the mirror and then looked at me. She gave me the same sort of close inspection, taking her finger and wiping the lower edge of my lip. She smiled up at me, taking my hands in hers.

“I really am grateful you brought me with you tonight.”

Allie smiled gently, her eyes wide as if in anticipation.

“We’d best get out of here before they begin to wonder what we’re doing.”

I laughed but in truth I was trembling again and didn’t want to create one of those horrid, very still pregnant moments where I’d be forced to do something that might unmask what I was feeling. I could see the disappointed look flash quickly across Allie’s face but her smile quickly returned; albeit maybe a little less wide. I opened the door letting her precede me.

“Allie…” I called to her and took her hand. “I wouldn’t have come without you.” Her smile returned to its full brightness.

We entered the festivities and immediately were spotted without a flute of champagne. We took our glasses and, still hand in hand, moved closer to the center of the room where Peter had taken position.

“Less than one minute…” He announced as his gaze returned to the clock.

We could hear the sound of exploding fireworks as people were gearing up for their moment of madness. No doubt every small animal within the city was running for the safest, darkest, and quietest place available. Peter began the count down and we all followed his lead. Allie’s eyes fixed upon mine, we shouted ‘Happy New Year’ in unison with everybody else.

10 IMG_1686_0.PNGI bent my head down toward Allie.

She met me in a very pleasant collision of our lips. But our kiss lingered perhaps for a moment or two longer then it normally would have…should have. As I began to lift my head back up, Allie touched my cheek with her hand. I covered it with my own, our eyes never breaking our gaze. She looked at me invitingly; her mouth was so very inviting…her lips moist. I lowered my head and again we kissed again, this time perhaps with more intensity?

Just for a moment, a kiss’ length, I closed my eyes. I heard nothing of the commotion and joyous celebrating going on. There was only Allie and me, our lips touching in a most public display of affection, and I relished the intensity of emotions I was feeling. I tried to put them all into this one kiss.

Now we were being accosted by our ‘new’ friends and I hoped there would be a moment later? Our gaze met as we parted the kiss and for an instant I knew, I could feel, or at least I thought I could feel, what was truly in her heart. The others in the room couldn’t wait for us and I felt my shoulder being turned, along with the rest of me, to press lips with Peter and then Linda, and then little Lilly and then this one and that one.

Allie was also accosted in a similar manner as someone began to sing that stupid song that I never really understood anyway. Robert Burns, and poetry in general, was not really my forte. Allie slipped her arm around my waist as she sang with the others. I smiled and simply sipped my champagne.

The musicians began to play again and Allie, glass still in hand, turned into me and began to move with the music. I quickly downed the remainder of the wine and, after taking her glass and mine and placing them upon a table, put my hands around her waist and moved with her. Rather than hold my hand in a more traditional manner, Allie placed her hands on my shoulders.

The tempo was kind of medium? I was really getting the idea of this dancing thing and why not? I’d danced more this evening then I’d ever danced before…ever. I mean I’d gone to school things on very rare occasions but those were kind of ‘do your own thing’ dances to very syncopated beats where the beat…the pounding of the bass and drums…was more a force than the flow of the music. But this kind of dancing was more sensual…or organic and fluid. You actually got to feel the other person’s body touching your own and that was really nice.

After that dance Allie decided that something chocolate would be really perfect so we went to find something we could share. That was our habit anyway. It helped her cut down a bit on her sweets intake and it also provided an intimate few moments. I mean… What’s more intimate than sharing food; eating off of the same plate and sometimes sharing the same implement as we did for that Black Forest cake.

So we shared and I got to speak with Linda a little as she sat and joined us for a taste of the cake. I also had another glass of champagne, a real rarity for me. I must say that the foods and the wines never ceased and yet nobody seemed to really overdo it.

The sextet began to play something slow and Allie gave me her big grinned look; the one that said ‘let’s do it’. I could never refuse her anything anyway and the thought of our bodies touching was…well…exciting in a way that I had longed for…but hadn’t recognized with such…such a forceful intensity before?

She arms went immediately around my neck and shoulders so I naturally took her around the waist. As she gazed at me with a somewhat dreamy expression on her face, Allie pushed her body against mine, our thighs alternating position. She then laid her head against my shoulder and closed her eyes as we slowly swayed. I rested my head atop hers and I also closed my eyes.

A totally amazing thing occurred! I kind of drifted off to a point where I could barely hear the music. All I was aware of was Allie’s body moving with mine and her thighs rubbing against mine ever so gently; almost like the breeze gently but continually blowing. We settled into one another and I felt her relax even more as she draped her arms around my neck. We rocked and swayed slowly from side to side in a weak and mindless attempt to emulate a dance.

I snuggled into her body as I found myself suddenly becoming excited; a stiffy of rare, and interesting proportion…for me that is. There was no way that Allie couldn’t notice, especially with her thigh rubbing against me, touching me in a most pleasantly discomforting and unsettling manner. She simply danced closer and held me slightly tighter. I don’t know what in the world processed me but I tugged gently at her ear lobe with my lips, causing her to tremble and softly giggle.

The music stopped all too soon. I was so comfortable nestled into Allie’s lushness that we continued to move together for several moments. When we did finally realize that the dance was over, and we did detach ourselves, Allie looked at me with a most curious expression on her face. She appeared to be stunned and slightly shocked. Allie put her hands to her face and rapidly shook her head as if she was trying to clear dizziness or something.

I understood how she might have felt because reality was slow in coming to me. I reached for Allie’s hand but she looked at me, with tears seeming to well up in her eyes, shook her head, and quickly left the room. I was stunned. I stood there suddenly sensing that something was wrong but I had no idea what it might be.

As my senses began to return to normal, I suddenly looked down at my trousers wondering if my sudden excitement was showing itself through my trousers. Thankfully it wasn’t. I pursued Allie into the dining room which was now empty.

“I want to leave.”

Allie could barely speak as she choked up with tears. Her back was to me and I couldn’t see or read her expression. I couldn’t understand what had happened in that moment between our dancing and the moment afterward. I looked at Allie’s very distressed condition and I decided, wisely, not to argue or try to coerce anything from her. She wouldn’t accept a drink from me or assistance of any kind.

After Allie composed herself a bit we said our good nights to everyone. I gave Lilly my phone number and told her to call anytime, if she wanted to see our studio or if she needed help with her work. I told Peter that Allie was feeling a bit ‘off’ but we both lavishly thanked him for a wonderful evening. He did kiss us both; me on the lips…of course.

The ride home was very quiet and…lonely. Allie hadn’t said more than two words to me since she told me she wanted to leave and there was nothing I could seemingly do to change that. She stared forlornly out the window resting her chin in her palm and watching the people on the street celebrate. I had tried sliding my hand across the seat and moved it most of the distance between us but she ignored my effort.

Things were no better when we got upstairs. I unlocked the door and stood aside as Allie walked in. Before I could even turn after entering and locking the door, Allie had hung her coat and went directly toward her bedroom without so much as even a passing glance toward me.

No sooner did I get to my bedroom and begin to disrobe than I heard Allie’s footsteps creek the wooden floor on her way back to what I assumed was the kitchen. Her sudden change of mood disturbed me greatly to say the least. I felt as though I had committed some great indiscretion or crime against her and I was nearing my wit’s end as how to remedy the situation. Up to this point of our living together, our relationship was nearly perfect. We had never argued or even disagreed to any great extent on anything.

I couldn’t let this situation continue any further without one last attempt to make things ‘right’ between us. After all, this was a new year and I wanted it to begin as the old one ended with us being more than simply good friends. I wanted our closeness back. I decided to don my tee and go to the kitchen and try to make my peace.

As I walked toward the kitchen, a thousand thoughts ran through my head. I trembled with what suddenly had occurred to me. I had to somehow let Allie know exactly how I felt about her. This frightened me terribly because I would also have to admit how I felt about her to myself. I would need to admit that I wanted to take our relationship one step further. This was totally dark territory if ever one existed…at least for me.

I entered the kitchen and saw Allie by the sink. She was still in her gown with a glass in her hand sipping some fruit juice. She looked down into the sink as if she was looking into a bottomless abyss. I trembled with fear as I walked up behind her. I suddenly had a sort of out-of-body experience as I kind of saw myself place my hands gently upon her waist.

I could feel her body’s warmth on my palms. The aroma of her au de cologne combined with her natural body scent wafted to my nose drawing me a bit closer. I felt Allie tremble for a moment. She was still otherwise; still gazing down into the sink. I saw my face move off to the side barely grazing her hair. I saw my head bent down slightly until I was alongside her ear.

9 IMG_1662.jpgI gently kissed the side of her neck.

I was possessed by some kind of spirit as Allie trembled again from the touch of my lips. I saw myself straighten and again my neck bent to her other side and I kissed the left side of her neck; inhaling her fragrance deeply as my lips touched her bright lobster red blushing skin. As I began to straighten, I noticed that Allie’s eyes were closed and her lips slightly parted.

‘Leave!’ I heard myself silently scream. I quickly removed my hands and walked out of the kitchen without looking back. You know how sometimes you can tell that someone who you’re close to does something without you having to see it? I knew that Allie’s eyes followed me as I left, my head bowed down. I had done what I felt I needed to do and now it was up to her to accept, or reject, my…supplication?

I went to my room; my eyes on the verge of tears. A flood of emotions were being released and all from two simple, almost innocent, kisses. I began to wash the remains of the cosmetics off my face and begin my nightly routine. Looking at my reflection in the mirror over the basin, I watched as several tears dropped from my eyes. I felt myself the ultimate fool.

The water on my face, although refreshing, did nothing for the redness in my eyes. Deciding to leave the remainder of the stain on my lips, I left the bathroom, a dampened washcloth in hand, and laid down upon my bed. I shut off the lights and placed the cloth over my eyes. Unable to control my feelings any longer, I let my tears flow; so much for a happy New Year.

Will the other heeled pump ever drop??? Will Andi ever bend over to pick up the soap in Peter's shower??? Was Andi’s indiscretion unforgivable…or unforgettable??? And did anyone remember to walk the damned dog??? Ooopsies…!!! My bad... Wrong tale… And what about Bob??? All this and more to follow in the never ending saga of Andi and Allie!!!

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