Allison was watching the girls at the table two across from hers and Ginny’s. Not blatantly of course, no just the most innocent of glances so they wouldn’t know they were under discreet observation. They were lesbians- she was sure of it.
She leaned forward bringing her cup to her lips.
“Ooh,” she protested elegantly, “hot. Those two-no, don’t look- just over there, two tables away on your left.”
“What of them,” Ginny asked bracing herself for another of her friend’s character assessments on total strangers.
“Lesbians,” Allison declared with quiet certainty.
She put her cup back on its saucer and reached for her cake fork to carve off a portion of her peach and mango muffin. She was calmly chewing on this when her companion replied.
“Why do you do this Ally?”
Allison’s face fell as she realized she was being told off. She didn’t mean anything by it; it wasn’t as if she was being hurtful to someone they knew- that would be different but these girls were total strangers so what was the harm in that.
“Do what?” she demanded the blink giving her away.
“Make these judgements on total strangers. How do you know they aren’t aware you have been looking at them? You’ve been pretty obvious to me and if they are lesbians they’ll be tuned in to picking people observing them, won’t they?”
“I guess,” God she wished she would stop. When Ginny got on her high horse about things she stopped being any fun at all.
“How do you think they feel about what you were doing? How would you like to be in love with another woman and know where ever you are some one will be sitting in judgement when you are with the only person in the world who makes everything OK?”
“Oh look I didn’t mean anything. I was just looking. See? I’ll stop looking now and they can carry on in their innocent lesbian existence.”
“I noticed them when I came in- I know them.”
“You know them? Why didn’t you say?”
“You didn’t know them so why should I have said anything?”
“You know something? This is making me feel very uncomfortable Ginny; I think I’d like to go.”
She took a final sip of her coffee placed the cake fork she had been fiddling with neatly on the plate and rose from her chair with her face turned away so Ginny wouldn’t see that her eyes were brimming. In avoiding her friend she had turned to face the blonde lesbian and their eyes met. The blonde smiled, she actually smiled and Allison forced a fake smile to her lips then quickly looked away.
She had been terribly rude leaving Ginny so abruptly but she had to get away- she just had to. Her concentration lapsed and still thinking of the horror of that, that Lesbian actually smiling at her- she hoped to goodness it wasn’t contagious- her right foot caught on a chair leg and she fell flat on her face.
There was a great gasp with chairs scraping as their occupiers turned to look at her then there was a leg right beside her it bent and a woman’s hands were on her helping her up. It was the other one.
“Here, sit on this chair for a few seconds at least,” the lesbian ordered and responding to the concern in her voice Allison sat in the chair the blonde one had pulled out for her.
“It can be a real shock to the system a fall like that,” she reached over and placed her hand firmly over Allison’s.
“Oh no doubt on that score,” her friend confirmed emphatically, “no doubt at all. Now Ma’am just stop and go over your joints, any pain which might suggest a break or a sprain?”
“Oh, um, no I don’t feel anything like that; I just feel rather foolish not watching where I was going and walking into that chair and having everyone stare at me.”
“We’re quite used to it.”
Was it Allison’s imagination or did she pause then?
“Tina! This lady doesn’t need to hear our problems, does she?” the blonde one said in a low but determined voice.
“Sorry, no, you’re right Lee.”
She had to get out of there.
“Well I’m good to go, thank you for your kindness but I’ll just be on my way.”
“You’re sure? A few more minutes wouldn’t hurt… you really do look a bit pale?”
“No, I’m fine, I’ll just be on my way.”
“Well OK then, it was nice meeting you,” the brunette told her while the blonde looked at her with a frown.
She wasn’t OK at all. On the third step she fainted. When she came round she was in a bed in an ambulance or something. The lesbians were with her; one was sitting on a plastic chair by her head and the other had her butt parked on the edge of the bed.
Her head was spinning.
“Be a good girl and close your eyes,” the brunette ordered. It was an order but the caring shone through and Allison closed her eyes, curled up and fell asleep.
They watched her as she slept. Ginny had come over when she fainted and went through Allison’s hand bag, sort of doing an inventory check. She had explained about her friend who might have been surprised at how nicely she was described after the telling off she had just had.
She was in a cot in the back of the girls’ Mercedes free spin Benz Hi Roof van. It was what they did, not wait for prejudiced middle aged ladies to faint in cafes but to provide basic care for their cases who ranged from mothers with young children through to the elderly. Their clients paid very little but there was an active “friends of the girls” Group which supported them financially and they in turn did everything they could on the cheap. In fact a nice coffee once or twice a week was about their only reckless expenditure.
Tina had taken Allison’s blood pressure and, in keeping with her pallid complexion it was dangerously low and as well as that she was clearly anaemic. There was no way she was going to be able to fend for herself so that decision was made for her- she would stay with them.
Allison meantime was in a deep sleep so that when they drove her home to their place it felt like when she had been snuggled in with her sisters in the back of their dad’s old Chevy on a drive to the batch and she had smiled in her sleep imagining Denise poking her with her elbow because she was taking up too much room.
Their place was a rambling dwelling on the outskirts of town which was leased to them at the princely sum of One Dollar per week. It was called The Haven. As well as being rambling it was also in constant need of repair which the “Friends of…” members did with pleasure. In fact when the Van pulled up four women, in overalls and scarves, whom Allison, had she been awake would immediately have picked as lesbians were working on the bedrooms.
They stopped what they were doing to go and see who the girls had picked up this time. Tina put her finger to her lips as she got out and they backed away a little holding their breath in reverent silence. A real ambulance would have had one of those gurneys with the wheels that drop down so determined and photogenic nurses or paramedics can wheel them to theater holding bottles of saline solution and shouting bewildering vital signs and loved ones can look on anxiously.
The girls, sadly, lacked even a stretcher and so Allison would have to be lifted and that because she looked so sweet fast asleep would most likely mean she would wake up. Tina, ex US Army Nurse was the powerhouse. It was a well practiced routine; Lee folded the bed clothes back then Tina did her lift, brought the weight known as Allison up and into her chest then carried her inside to where ever.
Sure enough as she was lifted the eyes fluttered open and Allison frowned as she tried to work out where she was.
“Take her through to the parlor Sweetie,” Deborah who was on the executive of “the friends” and had been on the working bee instructed simply taking control which is what she did.
She knew Allison; their families had had a lot to do with each other when they were girls and even though she hadn’t seen her in years she recognized her immediately.
There were only couches in the lounge, four of them in fact on the very good reasoning “who would want to sit on her own.”
Allison was lain on a slightly shabby but very comfortable one with her head held up briefly so a fluffy pillow could be slipped on to the arm rest before her head was allowed to settle in.
“Where am I?” she asked trying to get her bearings.
“Allison, it’s Debbie. You fainted at the coffee lounge and the girls have brought you back here to The Haven. Your blood pressure was practically non existent you naughty girl and you’re anaemic as well. What have you been up to you naughty girl?”
She was nine again and twelve year old Debbie had all the girls organized. Oh she missed that. It was so good to hear that bossy girl’s voice again and she beamed with pleasure as she rolled her head over to see her.
It wasn’t hard because the bossy girl had parked herself on the couch and taken Allison’s hands in hers. She even leaned over and kissed her. Allison kissed her back and wished she wasn’t so jolly inhibited. The room was full of women and she had an uneasy feeling they were all L e s b i a n s as well. That meant, she realized, that Debbie was one too.
“We might call it quits for today,” Debbie told the rest,” Allison sure won’t need any banging or your cursing Megan so we’ll pack up and head away.”
Megan, who adored Debbie, like all the others, poked her tongue at her, It was their little joke- Megan never swore no matter what the provocation. Allison felt her heart sink as the workers got ready to make tracks. She had just met Debbie again after all these years and it would have been so good to have a catch-up with her.
It was how her life ran though and she shrugged in acceptance of the inevitable bad news. In any case Lee was helping her off the couch so she could use the bathroom and she was so nice.
She wasn’t Debbie though and Allison still felt numb as she went through to ‘use the facilities.’ Then the phone rang and one of their regulars needed urgent attention so Tina and Lee had to be on their way. She felt a part of it now and her eyes rimmed as looked with such bonus veren siteler pride at the two women in their early thirties who the rest of them called the girls and on whom they doted with unconcealed affection. Lee held her on her way back to the parlor.
“We have to go doll, Debbie’s going to look after you while we’re gone. Don’t worry you just need some red meat in you to fatten you up and you’ll be good as gold.”
Then she kissed her on the cheek and the older lady burst into tears. It was just something one didn’t do: allow ones emotions to be on display like that. Yet they were and absolutely no one minded at all.
“Come on through to the kitchen Hon,” Debbie called to her and Allison followed the sound of her voice.
Apparently half a dozen ravenous lumberjacks were joining them for dinner she thought as Debbie sliced potatoes to make wedges and thawed three very large steaks commenting “One for me” as she looked pointedly at her. Allison could feel herself blush and at that point in time after a lifetime of denying it she finally accepted she had a crush on Debbie.
She couldn’t just sit there and do nothing so she found what she needed in the pantry to make the seasoning for the wedges then made a Diane Sauce for the steaks. The two of them sat together at the small table in the kitchen.
“Eat.” Debbie had told her when they sat down.
Allison had never eaten as much food as that in her entire life and when she finished she did feel bloated but she was allowed to talk then so she really didn’t notice because she was busy chatting with Debbie. Catching up they decided to call it and had it been possible to put more hours into the day Allison would have done just that.
Her mother, a religious woman had subscribed to the theory that a woman sins before God when she is vain and clearly holding the opinion that one is pretty or beautiful is the sin of vanity. Now beauty might well be in the eye of the beholder but how close one is to that state can be told truthfully or dishonestly and, no doubt for her daughter’s moral well being, that lady chose to tell her that she was of no more than average looks so could count herself lucky if a presentable suitor would give her a second glance.
In fact she was a beauty but so beaten up that she thought of herself as this merely average girl and accepted the role of minding her parents as they grew old firstly because she loved them and second because she felt she had no other options.
Now Debbie, who had always thought Allison to be a stunner, was sitting with her after all these years. She had hated Allison’s mother because of the mind games she had played with her and had little time for the father knowing they had conned her into being a free care giver for it was unthinkable that the girl should expect to be paid for doing her duty towards her parents.
Allison had Ginny from her school days as a friend and that was all. She was desperately lonely but too unsure of herself to strike up friendships and so had become catty about strangers creating reasons why she wouldn’t want to get to know them.
“Do you want to sit on my lap Ally?” Debbie asked absolutely out of the blue.
Seconds later as soon as Debbie had pushed her chair back from the table to give her room Allison was sitting on her lap. She weighed nothing and Debbie pressed her to her breast as you would a small child.
The conversation stopped completely with Allison in Seventh Heaven where she was. Sleep was the last thing she wanted but with a full tummy, warm and still quite fatigued as well as under strength she couldn’t keep her eyes open so she was soon sleeping contentedly with her head resting on Debbie’s shoulder.
Debbie kept her there enjoying her. It takes two to tango and Debbie had some history of her own. She had married, had a career of her own and done rather well but she had never been contentedly happy. Being with Ally had brought this home to her and she now had cause to consider what she was doing with her life as well.
In the end she carried her back to her bed and tucked her in- still in her clothes. She looked hard at this woman she had admired for such a long time then simply leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. Her mind was in a spin but she was so tired she had to get to sleep.
The girls hadn’t returned so she would have to mind Ally and she went to sleep with a smile thinking of a childish play on the words ‘mind Ally’, no she wouldn’t mind Ally at all. Not one bit.
Some time in the wee small hours Allison wet the bed. She was in such a deep sleep she didn’t notice when she was having her accident but she certainly did when she woke up just after five O’clock. It couldn’t be she agonized in tears.
Many years before when she was nine she had wet the bed and her mother had been livid. She had humiliated the hopeless girl in front of her sisters and beaten her with her closed fists as Allison had cowered in terror. She had never forgotten it and had always tried to be aware of needing to go every night of her deneme bonusu veren siteler life since and it had sent her deeper into her solitary little cave.
Now she felt humiliated again. What would Debbie think of her now? Wetting the bed at her age! She lay in the horrid wetness too scared to tell Debbie and dreading what she would say to her when she did find out.
Debbie heard her having woken herself at just after four thirty. There were low light cameras and microphones in each of the rooms so that the person could sleep or rest thinking she was in private but if anything happened they could be attended to straight away. What Debbie heard was that Ally’s breathing had changed from sleeping to waking and on the screen she saw that Ally was very upset. Only one reason for that: an accident.
The girls were back and she buzzed them.
“Hi Debs,” she heard Tina say.
“Hi love, Ally’s had a little accident I think.”
“Good way to start the day,” Tina commented amused and meaning for them. They all knew Ally would be terribly upset.
Debbie went in to Ally’s room without knocking.
“Come on,” she said patiently, “we need to get you in the shower.”
The forlorn teary eyes stared up at her from just over the covers. When Debbie pulled the covers down the jaw was trembling and then the sobbing began.
“Its nothing doll. Fucking nothing! now give me your arm and we’ll get you all clean and lovely again.”
They slowly made their way to the bathroom where Debbie made her do what she could on the lavatory and then undressed her when she had flushed. She studied her once she was undressed she was gaunt. Her normal build had been slender and she had never run to fat.
“Now just hold onto the bar there and I’ll used the sponge to give you a good clean. You’re not the first and you sure as anything wont be the last.”
Allison stood feeling cheered. She was wet but in a shower wet not lying in her own pee wet and Debbie had just everything under control. Being seen naked wasn’t as terrifying as she had thought and after a minute or so she managed to relax.
Seeing it Debbie turned the water off and stood waiting with a huge fluffy towel for this woman she cared about more than she had dared say to step out of the shower box. She dried her thoroughly then dusted her liberally with talcum powder and held a towelling robe out for her to slip into.
“Yes. Oh Debbie I’m just a mass of nerves, aren’t I?”
“Not your fault love,” and Debbie had to grit her teeth to leave it at that.
Ally, who thought it was, looked at her puzzled but before she could say anything Debbie was squeezing her in a good old fashioned bear hug to which Ally responded by giggling delightedly then snuggling in. She felt Debbie kiss her forehead and felt strangely content as if a corner had been turned and for some reason things would be better from now on.
The hose was alive now, back in the bedroom Tina stripped the bed and took the bedding to the laundry for the commercial size washer to handle. Lee had the aroma of frying bacon wafting through the house and shouted,
“Five minutes or I’ll eat it all myself,” and Ally joined the others in laughing at that.
They had clothes in a range of sizes and soon Ally was decently attired in a snug bra and pants set under slacks and a nice cream top which showed off her brown eyes with open toes sandals.
Of course she was naked until her make up was done. It was so nice having it done for her and the things Debbie said to her as she did her were so heartening that by the time her hair had been brushed and put up she felt quite radiant.
Her mouth fell open when she saw the huge pile of food on her plate: four rashers of crispy bacon (God forbid that anyone could ever describe Lee’s bacon as anything other than Crispy), a mound of scrambled eggs, five breakfast sausages, four slices of fried bread and a small lake of baked beans.
They watched her as she looked at it and rolled her eyes. No one laughed instead they smiled for her and she sat munching away like a good girl bathed in their love. It was so wonderful that even though she was near to bursting by the end she hoped they might offer seconds so it could stretch out a bit longer.
Life has to go on of course and soon the girls were off on yet another mission but then Debbie told her she had a board meeting later that morning and her world collapsed. She had just gotten used to having Debbie’s complete attention and now this. Oh sure it was board meeting and it couldn’t be put off but it meant Debbie wasn’t near her and she wasn’t sure she could last the two hundred years until sh e came back.
She cleaned up after breakfast to fill in her day and found she enjoyed it. At ten a fresh lot of worker bees turned up and she hugged them with no qualms at all. They set too and she found herself back in the kitchen rustling up a few batches of scones as well as making a pot of tea.
“Tea’s ready,” she called and she sat with them buttering scones or pouring cups of tea and feeling very much a part of it all. It would have been good if Debbie could have been there she thought as she smiled and nodded through the break. She couldn’t, she knew that it was just that it would have been nice if she had been. Allison wouldn’t have felt quite so empty for one thing.