Divia stared up at the windows of Marzia’s art studio. Since the exhibit Divia had hardly seen the blonde. Marzia had been too busy with filling orders and preparing for her next show in six months. Five now, Divia thought staring up at the window. The past four weeks had been long and lonely. The initial excitement of having helped Marzia realize her dreams had worn off, leaving Divia feeling lost and alone.
Biting her lip she hesitated. Was it a good idea to just show up unannounced at her girlfriends studio? It had never been an issue before the show. Afterwards though it had become a source of contention between them. Marzia had told her to call first. After a week and half of the blonde not returning her calls. She didn’t feel she had much of a choice but to come here.
Why hadn’t Marzia returned her calls? Divia had thought they had something special. Now she was beginning to come to the reluctant conclusion that Marzia may have been using her to make herself feel better. Shaking her head she refused to believe that until she had proof. She wouldn’t get that until she made Marzia talk to her.
Rubbing her hands along the sides of her arms. She moved to the stairs she knew would take her to the studio. She needed to know. Anything was better than this uncertainty. It was dark and eerie as she made her way up the old rickety metal stairs. What had Marzia liked about this place? Divia had always found it dark and foreboding. Why choose this place to inspire your painting?
Her knock sounded hollow like the space beyond the closed door was empty. She tried the knob. It was unlocked as usual. The door creaked loudly as she pushed it open. “Marzia” she called her voice echoing from the cement walls. Shivering she walked towards the cozy sitting area hoping to find the object of her quest. She had many fond memories of being held tight as Marzia’s sensual full lips moved across hers. Making her feel things she hadn’t felt before.
She stopped, shivering in the cold dark space. The cozy inviting sitting area was gone. Empty. Nothing was there but marks on the floor marking where things used to be. A wail built up inside her as she brought her hands up to cover her face. A sobbing wail filled the emptiness. What had she done wrong? Unbidden her mind went to the last night they had spent together in this spot. The night of the exhibit. Marzia had been glowing with happiness. Eyes sparkling with excitement. They had come here to celebrate the evening, making out on the small love seat…
Marzia’s deft fingers released the zipper in the back of Divia’s dress. She placed kisses down her throat, across her shoulders as her hands drew circles across her back. Her hands slipped inside the open zipper caressing her hips sliding further down.
“I’m not….” Divia protested attempting to pull away. Clutching her dress to her chest as it slid forward.
“Just let it happen” Marzia cooed “let me love you the way I know you want me to.”
For a moment she relaxed letting Marzia’s touch lull her. She wanted this. She wanted to be loved. Cherished. Marzia’s kisses left a trail down her shoulders, burying her face in the clefts of her breasts leaving Divia breathless. She felt Marzia’s hands slide up her sides seeking to unclasp her bra. Divia knew they were fast reaching the point of no return. She needed to stop before things went any further. “No please” she tried to pull away. She fought against Marzia’s arms pulling her down.
“What’s wrong?” the blonde asked anger her voice.
“It’s too fast. Too soon” Divia mumbled stumbling to express herself.
“Too fast. Too soon” Marzia mimicked “we’ve been dating for months.”
The moment Divia felt Marzia’s hands drop from around her, Divia zipped her dress up and stood. “You said you’d wait” she cried voice trembling “you’d wait until I was ready. You promised me no pressure to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with.”
“How long do you expect me to wait?” the blonde demanded “I have needs too you know.”
There it was. Out in the open. All the little kernels of doubt that had been floating around in Divia’s mind all coalesced at once. That uneasy feeling that this was more about Marzia’s carnal needs than any true feelings for her. “I wanted my” she stopped at seeing the loathing in the blonde’s eyes. “I’m sorry.” She gathered her things and walked towards the door. What a dismal ending to an otherwise glorious evening. It had been everything she had hoped for.
“That’s it then” Marzia’s voice startled her “you’re just to going to leave.”
“I think that’s for the best don’t you?” Divia asked attempting to keep her voice from betraying how upset she was.
“You’re such a baby” Marzia’s voice dripped in disdain “it’s just sex. It could have been fun. I could have shown you how pleasurable it could be.”
“That’s the difference between you and me” Divia shook her head. A part of her wished she could see sex in that light and easy way. “I want my first time to be special not like this.”
“It would have been special” Marzia persisted “it still could. Let me take you down this journey.”
It was tempting. Divia knew she wanted it as much as Marzia did. She couldn’t explain the feeling that had come over her. The one that left her feeling cold and sick like she was some sort of prize for a job well done. Shaking her head she walked through the door towards the metal staircase. “Not tonight. I’m tired and need to get up early for class.”
The door slammed behind her. She resisted the urge to go to the blonde and apologize. She simply couldn’t comply with the girls demands. No matter how she felt it was the right decision she thought as she got into her car and drove a way.
It was hard to believe that was four weeks ago. The beginning of the end she thought without humor. Marzia had become preoccupied with her painting. Spending less and less time with Divia until she had stopped all correspondence. Divia wiped a stray tear away as she turned to leave the empty studio.
Divia knew this was for the best. She couldn’t fill Marzia’s needs. Was she upset? Yes of course. Was she devastated? No. That realization alone was keeping her from falling apart. Once upon a time she thought the blonde hung the moon. Now she knew that was just an illusion. She had been so desperate to be loved and accepted she had willingly fallen under Marzia’s spell.
There was one thing she’d take from this experience. Divia had a new focus in life. She wanted to help people. Help them through their emotional crisis. Something she could sympathize with. As awful as this had been it wasn’t the end of life as she knew it. Marzia wasn’t the one. She’d be sad, maybe a little depressed but it wasn’t the end of the world.
The following morning she smiled over at Teasha who was just waking up. “Have you heard from Phoenix yet?”
“No” the girl sighed. “I don’t think I will either. He came by and spoke to Zach before he left.”
“Oh?” She was curious what that was all about but unsure whether or not to ask.
Teasha smiled understanding her friends dilemma. “He wanted me to know he hadn’t meant to break up with me.” She sighed, “I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with that information.” Giving her best friend a half pleading look. “Am I supposed to feel better that it wasn’t planned? I don’t. I don’t even know what I feel anymore.”
“To be honest I don’t know either.” Divia said moving from her unmade bed. “I do know that neither one of us are going to wallow in self-pity.”
“Did something happen between you and Marzia?” Teasha asked turning towards Divia in concern.
“She left” Divia announced. It didn’t hurt as bad as she thought it would to say out loud. “She didn’t even have the decency to tell me. To say goodbye. She just left.”
“Oh honey. I’m so sorry.” Teasha moved to hug the girl. She was sure Divia would be devastated. Pulling her close Teasha was the first one to burst into tears.
Stroking the girl’s long dark reddish hair Divia let the girl cry. She murmured a few inane things like it’s his loss. She’ll meet someone else. Mr right was out there somewhere. She just had to keep looking. It was all meaningless words meant to soothe, to comfort. It offered little help. She wanted to understand what made someone say they loved someone one moment, and turn around and leave the next, without so much as a goodbye.
Pulling away Teasha wiped her eyes. “I’m sorry” she mumbled.
“It’s alright” Divia said. “I owed you for all the times you let me cry on your shoulder.”
“Yeah you did,” she sniffed. “We should do something today.”
“I have to check into changing my major first” Divia explained. “Afterward I’ll be free.” She grabbed some clothes moving towards the door. She could read the curiosity in her friends light blue eyes. “I’ll tell you about it later, ok?”
Divia sat on a bench listening to the early morning birds singing in the trees around her. She gazed up into the deep blue sky a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. She felt at peace for the first time since coming to university. For the first time since she arrived she knew what she wanted and how to accomplish it. It was a relief not to have to worry about how her decisions might affect someone else. She no longer had to worry about anyone becoming upset if she stayed over to ask the professor a question or to get help on a project. She didn’t have to consult with anyone for a simple schedule change.
Her parents had been rigid and strict. A contrast to their rebel like appearance. She had become reclusive as a result. Afraid to rock the boat. She had never been afraid of them. They were her parents. They just didn’t understand each other. In a weird sort of way Divia felt they probably would have understood each other more if she had been more outgoing, more the type to push the boundaries.
Reflecting back she wondered if the rules they had made were meant to protect her more than restrict her. As uncommunicative and undemonstrative as her Dad had been she didn’t doubt it. It was his way of showing how much he loved her. Her Mom had been more approachable even when she backed her Dad up on his rules. They loved her. Divia had no doubts about that.
With Marzia it had felt good to be adored. Most of the time though Divia had to cater to Marzia’s feelings. Divia found herself caving to the girls whims and wishes more and more even when she didn’t want to. It had begun to feel restrictive like a millstone around her neck. Now that she was once again on her own it wasn’t as frightening as it once was. Even as awful as it was to know Marzia left her without so much as an explanation she was happy. In a strange way she was thankful for Marzia for helping her figure out who she was and what she wanted. How could she be upset about that?
While she sat observing the comings and goings of the various students, she released a contented sigh. The tone of her phone disturbed her reflections. Frowning she glanced at the display. Heart pounding she answered it “hello?”
“Divia?” her mother’s voice asked loudly in her ear.
“Mom” she cried sensing something was wrong. As long as she could remember she had never heard her mother cry and yet that’s what it sounded like she had been doing before she called. “What’s wrong?” She felt her inner calm slipping away.
“Your Dad,” her mother gasped. “He had an accident.”
“Oh no” Divia cried. Her mind formed images of her Dad on his motorcycle, hair flowing free. “He wasn’t wearing his helmet,” it was a statement more than a question.
“You know how he is” her mom cried. “He hated wearing it. He liked the wind in his hair.”
Divia could hear the panic in her mom’s voice. “How bad is he?” She forced herself to ask the question. All the while pleading with whoever was listening ‘please let him be alright. Please don’t let him be dead.’
“He’s in surgery.” The near whisper was worse than the near hysterical shouting her mom had been using moments before.
“Mom he’s going to be alright” Divia assured her. If she said it enough it would come true. It just had to.
“I hope so” her mom sounded defeated. “You didn’t see him.”
Divia took in a deep breath held it before responding. “You were with him when it happened?”
“Yes” her mother’s wailing answer was unnerving. “He had been so carefree and daring today.” She gulped audibly “a car swerved into his lane. He …. he tried to keep from hitting them. His front tire hit a rough patch in the pavement….”
Divia could imagine her mom clutching her phone in one hand pressing it to her ear. Eyes closed. Breathing hard. “Mom he’ll be alright” Divia pitched her voice loud and firm.
“His head hit the pavement” she continued as if Divia hadn’t said anything. “He could have brain damage or even brain dead.”
“Mom” Divia shouted to get her attention. “I’m coming home.”