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How does one begin? How do you write about the secrets that haunt you, the thoughts you keep even from yourself? Worse, how do you not express the things you hide in the dark? Letting them out seems terrifying, but keeping them in is eating me alive.

I can’t think about it by myself. I can’t talk about it with my husband. I don’t know what my friends would say. So, dear reader, I’m going to tell you what happened. Maybe you’ll know how to help me make sense of it all.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint when these feelings started, but I know the things that brought them to the surface of my awareness. So that’s where I will start:

Chapter 1 – Discontent

I’m a mother with four-year-old twins. That means I have almost no time to myself – they are busy, active and crazy, and I have to keep them entertained all day, while getting chores done and meals cooked. More often than not they end up in our bed in the middle of the night. So I almost never go out with my husband, who works, and even less by myself or with my friends. My social life mostly consists of playdates at the park or a friend’s house, and briefly having a cup of tea or coffee while the kids play – inevitably someone gets hurt, or breaks something, or hits somebody, so peace and quiet is a rare thing.

So I was somewhat excited to have a “girls’ weekend” – my friend Lorie planned it, and was having a bunch of us over to her cabin. There were about a half dozen of us – we had all gone to highschool together, and were what remained of our core group in our hometown. The rest had moved away after college or marriage, or drifted. The bulk of us had sung in the school choir and been in the school plays. I was too shy for that stuff, but I had helped out backstage and with posters and programs and things. I was part of the group, in my mind, because they were too nice to exclude the mousy, shy girl. I didn’t really belong, though.

We went skiing, drank wine, ate snacks, gossiped about life, neighbours, kids… It was all in good fun. Then Lorie put on a couple of movies, to kind of vicariously relive our musical youth – Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. I had never seen them before – like I said, I don’t get a lot of free time – so it was kind of nice to see a female-empowering, fun musical comedy. I munched my popcorn and watched the screen.

Then, there was an odd moment for me. The main character, Becka, was a freshman who was reluctant to go to college She wants to make music. She gets caught singing in the shower by one of the a cappella singers at the school, Chloe, who invites her to join their team, the Bellas. Chloe is a feisty character, and actually got into the school shower with Becka to ask her. There’s this awkward, almost flirtatious conversation as the water sprays them and Becka awkwardly tries to hide behind the shower curtain while Chloe makes her sing. A few scenes later, they’re celebrating at a party (Chloe got Becka to audition and join the Bellas) and a slightly tipsy Chloe leans in and *almost* seems like she wants to kiss Becka, before going back to the party.

I squirmed in my seat at these scenes. Nothing actually happened. Nothing at all. Just a subtle hint at the possibility of what some girls call “experimenting in college,” something I had never done. But seeing Chloe assertively boss Becka into singing, while naked, while awkward and shy, – well, that made me inexplicably, incredibly wet.

The sequel affected me somewhat similarly. Spoiler alert – the Bellas win the championship at the end of the first movie, and in the second are competing for the world title. Becka gets intimidated by the leader of the German team, a statuesque blonde, and responds as awkwardly as she did with Chloe in the first movie – all squirmy and nervous. She tries to trash talk back but ends up intermingling “You are flawless” and “I am a little sexually confused right now, but that does not mean I like you” with her attempts at insults. Later, in a tent during a team sleepover, Chloe tells Becka she wished she “experimented more in college” and there’s another moment where it seems like she *might* kiss her – and doesn’t. I was so wet, and blushing to myself in the dark as we watched the movie.

Nothing happened, to the characters or to me at the cabin. But nevertheless, the idea, the hint, the scenario – it had me soaked. I tried not to think about it, or consider the implications. I pushed it down and pretended it didn’t happen.

A week later my husband had an idea for a movie night of his own – he’s a huge Ghostbusters fan and was looking forward to the new movie that was to come out this summer. But he didn’t know if it was going to be good – so he decided to get movies from the same director, Paul Feig. He had Bridesmaids, the Heat and Spy, all of which have the very funny Melissa McCarthy. I had never seen Bridesmaids until that night. It wasn’t a surprising, sexual thrill the way the Pitch Perfect movies were. Instead, it made me feel terrible, despite being a comedy.

In casino şirketleri it, a woman named Helen is an elegant, fashionable trophy wife. For the bulk of the movie everyone is intimidated by how perfect her life seems. Then, towards the end, she has a crying fit because no one actually likes her, even her husband won’t have real conversations with her, and her life seems superficial and fake. The movie seems to emphasize the distance between people in life and relationships, with some of that tension comedically resolved by the end. But not all of it. It made me realize I had parts of myself that I had buried behind a facade.

I found myself alone in my room the next day, looking at myself in the full-length mirror in the corner. The woman looking back at me in the glass was a stranger. As a teen I’d defied definition – I was smart, but didn’t fit with the nerdy kids, and never applied myself enough for university. I was athletic, having played soccer as a kid, and had somewhat broad shoulders. But I hadn’t done much since puberty hit, as I got boobs – big D-cups. So I hadn’t been one of the jocks. I was too broad at the shoulders and round in the bottom to be one of the pretty, popular girls. I was distinctly average.

My husband had been my high school sweetheart, he’d asked me to a dance in junior year and we stayed together after that. I had always been a wallflower, and had been bullied a little as a kid, and overlooked a lot as a teen, so just him paying attention to me was nice. He was also unfailing polite and kind, and that made me like him. There weren’t anything I’d call real sparks between us, but I had a life that was pretty devoid of sparks in all areas, so I just thought it was something to do with me.

We’d gotten married out of high school during a pregnancy scare, only I had a miscarriage. But he was good and kind and worked hard, so we stayed together. He worked at an electronics factory in town, assembling, but then became a team lead and then a scheduler. Steve had always been good at computers and stuff, but his family hadn’t had the money to send him away to school. His dad died of cancer around that time, leaving them pretty stretched.

But his employers saw potential, so they helped pay for night classes. I worked for the first few years of our marriage to help. The electronics company got absorbed into a software and cell-phone company, he got promoted right out of school, and ended up on one of the design teams, making a lot more money once their designs succeeded.

I had been working in retail and customer service, it wasn’t like I had found my calling or anything, so when Steve asked if I wanted to stay home, I agreed. I became a housewife, learning to cook, clean, and doing some volunteer work through our church and a service club in town. We were “up and coming,” or something. I got pregnant at thirty-two, and it turned out to be twins. Should have been a good life.

But I had gained some weight in my twenties from working and not taking care of myself, which I guess might have been a form of complacent depression. Then I gained more weight with the twins. Our sex life had never been hot and heavy, but dwindled to almost nothing. I was used to being overlooked, unimportant, so I didn’t push for more. I didn’t really want anything, anyway.

About a year after the twins were born, though, I took a look in this same mirror, and hated the slob I saw staring back at me. I started dieting and jogging that same day. I went for a run every morning, and a few walks spread through the day. I ate a cereal bar for breakfast, and a smoothie for lunch. Dinner was usually veggies or a salad with fish or chicken. It was incredibly boring, but it began to make a difference.

I would always have wide shoulders and hips, and my bottom was round, but I looked healthier and a bit happier. Now that we had more money, I started dressing a bit better, clothes that fit my frame and emphasized it, instead of hiding under layers. I got my dirty-blonde hair cut, going from no-style to a sharp, short style with highlights. I would never be a ten, but I think I went from a four to a solid seven. Maybe an eight.

But still, no spark between my husband and I. He didn’t seem to notice the change. Work was busy, money was good, but our lives had drifted apart, and had never been that close to begin with. Being healthier and coming out of the fog of depression meant that, for the first time in my life, I was starting to be horny. But nothing.

Then the movies, and the realization that part of the problem might not have been him or me, but what I was attracted to. Not that I was necessarily a lesbian – could you be a lesbian when you’d never kissed a girl? No, I had been aroused during sex with my husband, just not overwhelmingly so. Part of what I liked about Chloe in Pitch Perfect was her assertiveness – neither my husband or I would be considered strong personalities. I didn’t know who I wanted, but I had to admit that confidence casino firmaları was part of it.

The woman in the mirror was the most attractive she had ever been, and realizing she was attracted to things she’d never considered before. She was scary – because for the first time, she wanted something for herself. The future had gone from a dreary drudging certainty, of work and parenthood and routine, to uncertainty. I wanted my life to change.

How it would change was a startling surprise.


We bought a new house in a better part of town in the spring. The next couple of months were a blur of painting and buying furniture, before moving in and getting settled. Steve was still busy with work and I was still busy with the twins, but our neighbours around us dropped by to say hello and welcome us to the neighbourhood. We gradually got on friendly terms with the surrounding families. They were more upscale than I was used to, and part of me worried they’d see through my new clothes and hairstyle and see the mousy girl I’d been in high school. Of course that was silly, but I still thought that way.

But they were nice enough – and when summer hit, one of the neighbours invited us to a block party at their house, with their pool. It was an adult party, and we’d arranged with my parents to take the twins for a whole week while Steve had time off from work. Larry was barbecuing, but everyone was asked to bring desserts or salads or side dishes. Their backyard was huge, with a deck, patio, huge pool, and landscaping. I brought over a summer salad, just in case the rest of the offerings didn’t fit my diet. I helped the hostess, Dana, in the kitchen with setting up food on counters and tables. Other people were swimming, drinking on the deck and patio, or mingling around the house.

“Thanks so much for helping,” Dana said.

“Oh, it’s my pleasure. I’m usually the one in the kitchen at a party,” I shrugged.

“Well just make sure you take the time to enjoy yourself, you’re our guest,” Dana reminded me. “But I do appreciate it. Do you mind holding the fort while I take Larry out these shish-kebabs? Then you can go have some fun.”

“Yeah, I’m good,” I smiled.

I went back to arranging platters while she headed outside. The table was a little low, so I bent over a bit to make sure a meat and cheese spread was situated properly.

“Doesn’t that look yummy,” a feminine voice said behind me. It had a sultry warmth to it, and for some reason its timbre sent a shiver through me.

I stood up with a start and turned around. A tall woman was standing there with a tray. She was in strappy, heeled sandals that emphasized her long legs, and a dress that was simultaneously a pool party sundress and way too classy for a pool party. It was red with black edging, and fit her toned body snugly in all the right places, while still swishing in the other right places. Her eyes sparkled with mischief, and her dark hair was elegantly styled but somehow casual in its short bobbiness. I felt my heart skip a beat.

“Um, hello,” I managed to say.

“Hello there,” she smiled, her eyes flicking up and down over me. “I was told to bring the food in here. Is there a dessert table?”

“Uh, yes, right over here,” I said, leading the way. I felt goosebumps up my neck as she followed behind me. I showed her the counter we had designated for desserts. She smiled and reached past me to put her tray down, her arm brushing mine in the close quarters. The goosebumps spread there, and I tingled. She smiled again as she stood up, in close proximity to me. My bum bumped up against the counter.

“I’m Eve,” she said. I stared at her for a second, while she looked back at me expectantly. Then I clued in.

“Oh!” I giggled. “I’m Mallory. Pleased to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s all mine,” she said, a little smirk in the corner of her mouth. My ears seemed to be humming, I felt warm all over. To break the spell I looked down at the desserts.

“That looks good,” I said of her dish. The tray held some kind of slices, densely packed together, drizzled with chocolate and caramel over what looked to be crumbles of toffee.

“Apples,” she said.

“No!” I laughed.

“Yes, indeed. You should try one, they’re my specialty.”

“I don’t think they match my diet,” I admitted, looking closer.

“You don’t have apples in your diet?” she teased.

“No, apples are okay. It’s the chocolate and caramel and whatever else that I have to avoid,” I laughed.

“Being apples makes it healthy. And besides, everyone deserves a cheat day, now and then.”

Her voice was tempting. Her eyes were tempting. The nudge she gave my shoulder with her shoulder made me clench inside.

“I don’t know,” I said hesitantly.

Eve reached down and tugged out an apple slice. She lifted it up towards me, all chocolatey and appealing. The buzz in my ears seemed to increase, as did my heart rate. My cheeks felt warm. The apple slice came closer and güvenilir casino closer to my lips. I felt them opening slowly of their own accord.

“Come on,” she urged. “Try it. I need to know if it tastes good.”

“Well, if it’s to help you,” I squeaked. She nodded, and the apple touched my lips. I opened and bit, chewing. She held it there, making me squirm, until I swallowed and bit again.

On the third bite, the apple slice disappeared into my mouth. For a split second her fingertips brushed my lips, and then pulled back. The whole time, Eve stared into my eyes. Then, as I swallowed, she stepped back, and I could breathe.

“So?” she asked.

“Um, good.” I blinked.

“Just good?”

“Decadently good?” I offered. She smiled, and seemed pleased.

“Is there any wine in this place?” she asked, looking around.

“Um, yes, through here.”

I led the way again, to the bar off the deck. There was a wine fridge and glasses. I got her a glass and put it on the bar without even thinking about it – I just naturally started serving her.

“White or red?”

“Red,” she smiled, standing there. I got the bottle and poured for her. She waited. I looked at her.

“Something wrong?”

“Are you going to make me drink alone?” she asked.

I blushed. “Oh! Um, I guess not.”

I scrambled for another glass and poured a little bit for myself. She raised her glass so I clinked with her.

“To new friends,” she said.

I drank and smiled.


For the rest of the party, Eve was never far away. She asked me about myself, where we were living (two doors down), what I did (housewife,) what my husband did, (software design team lead), our kids (twins), my hobbies, (books and jogging), and in between I brought her wine or snacks while we chatted with our neighbours. I found out that she lived at the top of the hill, in what everyone else called “the big house,” and her husband was one of the top dogs at my husband’s company.

“I should introduce them,” she said definitively.

She took me by the elbow assertively, and I found myself introducing her to Steve. She smiled, she spoke warmly, she got him to laugh, and then she was tugging me over to her husband, with Steve tagging along behind.

“Honey, I want you to meet somebody…”

Somehow, Steve got invited to join the golf trip that was planned for the next day, Saturday, and he had to take me aside to enthusiastically talk about the “great opportunity.”

I smiled and nodded and agreed, all the while stealing glances at Eve from across the way. She was looking right at me, with a pleased smile on her lips, caressing her husband’s arm while he chatted to other guests. She tipped her wine glass at me and I nodded back.


Steve got up early the next morning for the golf trip, which apparently was supposed to be all weekend. I woke up with him and made coffee and helped back his bag, and then went back to bed. I had more than few wine glasses the night before, when usually I never drank, so I wanted a few more hours sleep. I got about one and a half when the doorbell rang.

I rolled out of bed and pulled my bathrobe over my long t-shirt, all I wore to bed over panties, and marched downstairs. I took a second to smooth out my short hair in the hall mirror before opening the door.

Eve stood there, in a grey and white summer dress and heels. She was carrying a tray with coffee.

“Good morning,” she smiled.

“Eve, hi!” I said. “Um, did we make plans for today that I don’t remember?”

I tugged my bathrobe a little tighter around myself, feeling very under-dressed compared to her elegance.

“No, I just thought I’d be friendly and pop by,” she smiled. “Can I come in?”

“Oh, certainly, please,” I said, and stood back to let her in. She came in and put her purse on the side table, and marched towards the kitchen. I followed.

Eve put the coffee on the breakfast counter, sitting on a stool. She patted the other one and I sat, nervously. She acted like it was her house, not mine.

“It was lovely to meet you, yesterday,” she said. “I thought I’d come by and see if you wanted company today.”

“Um, well, I didn’t have any real plans, just tidying up and doing the shopping. The kids are away with their grandparents, and now Steve is off golfing, so my day is pretty free.”

“Good, that lets us spend some time together,” she smiled, patting my bare knee.

I squirmed a little on the stool. “Thanks for bringing coffee, that was nice of you.”

“Thought maybe you could use the pick-me-up. I didn’t know how you took it, though so they’re both black.”

I nodded. “I don’t add cream or sugar.”

“Me either.”

We sipped our coffees together, all the while Eve didn’t take her eyes off me. I felt warm, and not just from the coffee.

“Should I go get dressed?” I asked.

“No, why? Am I making you uncomfortable?”

I shook my head. “It’s just, um, you were looking at me, and I wondered if I looked bad, and then thought maybe I should get showered or something…”

“Shhhhh…” Eve said, interrupting my rambling by pressing her finger to my lips. “You’re perfect just the way you are.”

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