The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Learning To Laugh (June 11, 2019)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:51 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 530
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Title: LEARNING TO LAUGH
Author: Taranwillow4ever
Rating: PG-to begin most likely moving to R/NC-17
Disclaimer: Josh owns all of the characters; I just imagine different lives for them. No spoilers, no monetary gain, just an opportunity to write.
Feedback: YES PLEASE
Summary: Willow and Tara meet in college, but it takes a little while for the romance to set in. Time of Meeting mid 1980’s therefore no cell phones, no tablets. Computers are in labs and it is only the lucky few who have their own.

Thoughts in italics


How the hell do I get myself into these types of situations? wondered Willow Rosenberg. She was laying on the floor of a dorm room of a different college than her own. She and her two friends had come to the larger Boston university to meet others who were involved with their Gay/Lesbian student groups. One of the girls had offered that Willow and her friends, as well as, another student from a nearby college could sleep in her dorm room after the dance that the college had sponsored. Willow’s two friends had paired up with the host and the other student, leaving Willow laying on the floor listening to the hushed kissing and giggling in the beds above her.

Willow had felt different from the other girls since kindergarten. She had a short period when she wanted to be a boy, because the boys were able to chase the girls. Adults said that the chasing was the way boys told girls that they liked them. Willow was clear that she wanted to be the chaser, not the person being chased. After being told clearly that she would never become a boy from one of her closest friends, she suppressed these thoughts. Willow knew not to talk to any adult about these thoughts and feelings she had toward the other girls. She knew it was wrong without being told. She had never heard the word homosexuality, or lesbian or gay. The only option presented to her was growing up, getting married, implied to a man and having children, once again with a man. Her parents always joked that she didn’t have to get married until she received her Ph.D. Eleven-year-old Willow discovered the loophole and vowed that she would prolong her Ph.D. as long as possible. She knew that she had no desire to get married.

Willow suppressed this thought that there was something different about herself all through elementary, middle and most of high school. She had a strong aversion to dresses and skirts and only wore them when her mother insisted. When put to her own devices, she would choose corduroys or shorts, polo, tee- or button-down shirts. She was sometimes called a tomboy, and that was a fine definition of her identity. Willow spent her middle school, and most of high school years being mostly invisible. A smart red-head who loved school and was not particularly gifted at sports. The one sport she loved was softball. She played it from third grade through high school.

As friends became more interested in boys, and classmates began pairing up, Willow figured that she was a ‘late bloomer’ and focused on her studies trying to do as well as she could. She knew that she wanted to get away from her parents and go to college.

Willow began to strongly suspect that she was gay, she didn’t like the words lesbian or homosexual, during her last two years of high school. Late in her Junior year, she had developed a very intense friendship with a girl named Kate. Kate professed her love for Willow on the last day of school; while standing under a tree on the campus of their small, private high school. Kate was adamant however, her love for Willow was a philosophical love, not a physical one. Willow, being somewhat naïve, took this as truth and quashed what she now realized was her significant attraction to Kate. She wrote and received long letters and poetry. They spent almost every weekend together. They slept over at each other’s houses and spent hours siting in parks and docks in each other’s neighborhood. Looking back, it was possible that Kate’s mother had an inkling of what was going on, because she would frequently look in on them during sleepovers, and make sure that they were both in separate beds. She also slept on a cot outside Kate’s room.

Willow took every opportunity to be physically near Kate that she could. They would sit, knee to knee near their lockers, sharing chips after the softball practices or games. Willow volunteered to be the score keeper for the field hockey team so that she could be crammed in the backseat of a car with Kate, who often would fall asleep on her shoulder. It was a long distance call from Willow’s home to Kate’s. Willow would save up her babysitting money to have long phone conversations. She even asked her parents for a telephone credit for Hanukah instead of a present. Kate was the most important person in Willow’s life.

Toward the end of their ‘friendship’, there had been rumors that she and Kate were more than friends. As Willow looked back, the source of these rumors was the girl who had been Kate’s best friend prior to Kate and Willow beginning to spend time together. Willow wondered if she had inadvertently stolen this classmate’s girlfriend. In hindsight, Willow thought that it may have been better if they had admitted to their attraction, the sexual tension had been channeled into self-defeating behaviors and angst which caused Willow to become depressed and referred by her school for therapy. The therapist framed the end of the friendship as ‘breaking up’, and Willow realized that it was an appropriate description. It didn’t take long for Willow to accept that if she was having the feelings of a breakup, then they’d been in a relationship.

Willow applied to two co-ed and three women’s colleges. Her parents, who had gay friends, and couldn’t have been so dumb as to not see what was happening in front of their eyes, but were also in profound denial, strongly encouraged the co-ed schools, but fate had the final say. She was rejected by all but one of her chosen schools, a small, women’s college in Massachusetts. She remembered an aunt saying that the school would turn her into a lesbian. Little did her aunt know, that there would be no turning necessary.

When Willow entered college, she found that many of the group of students that she had befriended were coming to grips with their sexual identity as well. It was not anything that people talked about, but slowly her friends began to pair off, and/or become involved with older students. Willow joined the very small, on-campus gay group and this is how she found herself laying on the floor of a strange dorm, listening to her friends laughing and making out.

The other place that Willow found acceptance was the theater. The girl across the hallway from her was the lighting design person for the campus theater. She encouraged Willow to come and participate, sharing that you could get paid to work making scenery and doing other tech work. Willow had always liked drama, but she knew that she was not particularly good at acting. Even in high school, she’d been the girl behind the curtain, doing the sound or finding the props, or helping the drama teacher with whatever she needed. The idea of making money to do something she already loved, was an ideal opportunity. She worked in the theater all freshman year and was assured a work-study job for the next year.

The first week of school her Sophomore year, there was an alumni activity. Willow was asked to represent the Computer Program. Representing involved her attending a dinner and talk about how the Computer program was state of the art and they should donate to it. Willow put on her best pair of chinos and a button-down shirt and her blue blazer. She tied her long red hair back into a ponytail and walked out of her dorm to the cafeteria where the activity was occurring. When she got there, most of the tables were filled with Alumni and students. Willow saw a spare seat and sat down. She introduced herself to the Alumni and the other student representative.

“Hi, I’m Willow Rosenberg. I am a sophomore studying Computers and Mathematics. She was going to start talking about the Computer program when the other girl burst in. “Hi. I’m Tara Maclay. I am in the Art Department. We are going to have a major exhibit this semester and are hoping that we can get a few well-known artists to come and do classes. Willow saw the girl’s eyes narrow, daring her to interfere with her goal of getting the alumni to sponsor these classes. Willow waited for the girl to put some food in her mouth and she began her spiel about the Computer program and how they were working hard to get more desktop computers in the libraries. She started talking about MS-DOS and how the school wanted to buy a few Mcintosh Computers for the Art labs. Willow thought that working the other girl’s interest into her comments would be an olive branch, but the other girl just glared and waited for Willow to breathe to begin her sales again. Oh my gd, she is such a bitch thought Willow and was glad that most likely their paths would rarely cross. Willow continued talking to the alumni beside her. She was called to talk to other tables about the Math, Computer and Physics department. She talked about the computer languages that they were using and the most state of the art information. Willow returned to her table when it was time for desert. When the alumni got up to grab some, Tara said rudely to Willow. “If it wasn’t for your long hair, you’d look like a boy. This is a Women’s College.”

Willow acknowledged her feedback silently repeating her appraisal of the brown-haired girl.

This girl got her goat . All the way back to her dorm she was fuming. How dare she make that comment. Sure, she was all pretty and feminine and a typical straight girl, but that doesn’t give her the right to comment on what I’m wearing. What if I commented that he shirt was low cut, what if I said that it seemed that her skirt was too short. She wouldn’t have liked it.

Willow fumed into her room, closing the door a little harder than she had planned. Her roommate, Anya was sitting at her desk studying.

“What’s up Wil? You don’t usually slam doors.”

“I just met the most infuriating girl. She was at the same dinner as me. She was always trying to cut me off, and she had the nerve to tell me that I didn’t look like a girl.”

“Um, sweetie, you usually don’t, especially if your hair isn’t obvious.”

“I know, and you can say that, you’re my friend, but she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t have the right to judge my clothes. What if I made comments about her blouse being low cut. What if I told her that her skirt was too short. That would be rude. It is just as rude to comment on my clothes.”

“You noticed her blouse and her skirt?”

“Anya… focus, she was rude to me. You are supposed to support my tirade.”

“Oh, poor Willow,” said Anya in a deadpan voice.

“Have you ever met someone who just made you so angry. I wanted to scream. She was so rude.”

“Hum. Willow you don’t usually have this strong of a reaction. Even when you’ve been called ‘sir’. What’s up?”

“I think it was that holier than thou attitude. Like she was better that me because she was all pretty and artsy and articulate. I hate when straight girls look down on me. They are not better than me.”

“Hey, Willow chill. Don’t let some random girl get you so upset. Nobody’s better than you. Nobody’s worse than you. Breathe kiddo. Don’t you have some proofs or equations that you can do to get your head off this?”

“Anya, you know me so well.” Willow took off her jacket and grabbed her backpack to start her homework.

***

A few weeks later, Willow went to the theater shop to work. She and another girl were reassembling the stage. In came a group of girls who Willow suspected to be actresses. These girls were full of charisma and energy. They were gossiping and laughing with each other. They were talking about the roles that they were going to try out for, and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Willow noticed that the girl from the dinner was there too. She looked down at her dirty tee-shirt and jeans and hoped the girl would not recognize her. Willow felt invisible. The acting teacher called the actresses up one at a time, and they each recited a monologue and sang a song. Willow had returned to the shop when she heard the most beautiful voice. This voice made her knees weak, this voice was beautiful. Willow moved to look onto the stage, but as she was walking, the tech teacher called her over to ask her a question. Once she was finished talked to her, there was no one on the stage.

Willow looked out into the audience and saw several girls sitting together. They all looked like the typical students, fresh faced and happy and straight, definitely straight Willow remarked to herself. Willow continued her work and hoped that the girl with the beautiful voice would get a part and she could hear her again.

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


Last edited by taranwillow4ever on Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 2019 Fic)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:21 am 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 31
An intriguing first chapter. I do enjoy an alternative setting and I don't think that I've read a story where Willow has taken a dislike to Tara. I was at university in the late 80's and remember well computer labs! Looking forward to the next chapter.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 2019 Fic)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:36 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
Posts: 120
Topics: 3
Location: Canada
Oh, interesting! Trying to adjust a bit, though - Tara!? :angry That was uncalled for missy.

This is looking like it will be a fun read! Looking forward to more :grin

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~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 2019 Fic)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:38 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 530
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Northernlass: Hey, a kindred spirit. I often feel like I am WAY older than everyone else. When I first joined the board. I had several people who called me "mom". Yes, computer labs, and plugged in phones. I admit that I am channeling my own experiences in this fic. I was in undergrad from 83-87. This is a story that I have been working on since I found myself in the identical situation that Willow finds herself in at the beginning of the story.

CopperAndGold: I hope you enjoy. Definitely lighter than my last story.

Title: LEARNING TO LAUGH
Author: Taranwillow4ever
Rating: PG-to begin most likely moving to R/NC-17
Disclaimer: Josh owns all of the characters; I just imagine different lives for them. No spoilers, no monetary gain, just an opportunity to write.
Feedback: YES PLEASE
Summary: Willow and Tara meet in college, but it takes a little while for the romance to set in. Time of Meeting mid 1980’s therefore no cell phones, no tablets. Computers are in labs and it is only the lucky few who have their own.

Part Two

Along with pursing a double major in Mathematics and Computers, working in the theater, being one of the three co-leaders of the Lesbian Alliance group, Willow was also an academic advisor for her dorm. This job only required her to be available if students needed guidance and to remind everyone to register for classes, it didn’t require much work except being the Residential Staff on-call one weekend a month, and to sit in the student lounge and watch the door on Friday and Saturday nights. Willow remembered that this was her weekend and hurried off to her dorm. As she sat at a desk in the main room, doing her homework and being ‘available’, a girl walked in. She was wearing loose fitting pants and a peasant blouse that accentuated her assets. Willow couldn’t help herself, she had realized quickly that she was a ‘breast gal’. She recognized her from the theater and asked in a friendly manner

“Hey, how did your audition go?” She realized it was the girl from the dinner and wished that she had stayed silent.

“H…H…How did you know I auditioned?” replied the girl. Just then, another girl entered the dorm, grabbed the first girl’s arm and pulled her back toward the dorm door. Willow could just hear the second girl warning the first, “Don’t be seen talking to her. She’s one of the campus dykes.”

Willow felt humiliated; she looked back down at her notes. She didn’t see the brown-haired girl look back and smile.

It sucks that I get labeled that, and I haven’t even had a real relationship. I’d like to earn that reputation, not just get it.

Just then, her roommate Anya came up to her. “Hey Wil, how you doing? You on-call this weekend?”

Willow gestured to the desk and answered in the affirmative.

“Well, I’m going into Boston to a party. I’d invite you, but you’ve got to work.”

“I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway. Not into the partying crowd.”

“Not into the straight crowd you mean.”

“That too,” said Willow.

“You’ve got to go out. It’s not like a hot girl is going to just walk into the dorm and knock on your door or chat you up at the desk. We’ve got to find you a girlfriend. That would put a smile on your face.”

“It would be nice. Too bad it’s so hard to know who is gay and who is straight. Wouldn’t it be cool if that was just something you could ask someone? I keep looking for the girls with the double piercings or an ear cuff on their right ear. But every time I find someone, they are always someone I already know.”

“Well, have a good night. I should be back pretty late, but don’t worry if I don’t. Just assume I crashed with someone in Boston.”

“Be careful of that ‘crashing’” Willow put up air quotations.

Anya smiled and replied, “I will. I took my pill. I take my pill every day.”

“That doesn’t protect you from STDs though. Be careful. Do you need a condom? I think there are some in this drawer.” Willow began searching through the desk.

“I’m fine roomie. Bye.”

Willow watched as Anya left the dorm and walked toward the bus stop.



***

Willow was putting up the lights as the rehearsal began. She had a wrench attached to her beltloop and was sitting on the ten foot ladder waiting for the actress to stand in her spot so that Willow could be sure that the light would illuminate her correctly. She moved herself ladder around, listening to the people sing, and doing her job as the lighting assistant. She listened for the voice she’d heard, but none of the actors sounded like the girl. I wonder who she is? Why do I care? Why do I get so hung up searching for people. Thinking that it is destiny. I just need to just realize that I am going to stay alone. I’ll never have a girlfriend. I’m too weird. . She was about to exit the Art’s Building when she heard the voice again. It was coming from one of the art rooms. Willow quietly walked down the hall, glad that she’d been wearing her backstage garb so it was difficult to see her. She got to the art room and there was no one there. I guess I am hallucinating beautiful voices. I’ve got to get more sleep.

***

Willow was at sitting at the desk again, watching the phone and making sure that nobody came into the dorm without an escort or a key. Her friend Leslie had agreed to come keep her company and they were gossiping about the ‘dyke drama’ of the day.

"Sometimes it seems like we're in a square dance, swing your partners, change your partners. There is a small group of our friends that seem to have dated everyone else in the group."

“Yeah, you have a point." she paused, "Hey, you know what, there’s a new one. I would have never guessed her."

“A new what?”

“A new 'player on our team'. Terry and Faith were at that Bar in Cambridge, you know that one that has a Women’s night every Sunday. She was there. They said she was really pretty, with blue eyes, and they said that her eyes are not the only thing about her you’d want to look at.”

“You are as bad as a guy sometimes?” remarked Willow. “And just because a girl is at that bar, doesn’t necessarily mean she’s gay. Maybe she went with some friends. Maybe she likes to dance to techno.”

“You can’t blame a girl for looking. Terry and Faith said she was on her own, and she looked really hot.”

“What is this girl’s name?”

“I can’t remember. She’s an art student or something. Terry and Faith talked to her and they said she was really sweet. She had a bit of a stammer but seemed really nice.”

“All this, and you can’t even remember her name?”

“Sorry. Well kiddo, I got to get back to my dorm room. Chris will be getting out of work, I promised her some…” she air quoted, “snuggle time.”

“You two are insatiable. I am so jealous. I want a relationship like that.”

“I am sure you will eventually find Ms. Right. You are a really nice person. You deserve it. But you’ve gotta put yourself out there. As Anya says, nobody’s going to just walk up to you and express their interest."

Willow thought to herself. I only know one art student, but it can’t be her. For one, she didn’t stammer and for two, her comment to me was definitely homophobic. However, she does have really pretty eyes, and as Leslie said, her eyes aren’t the only thing you’d want to look at.

It was getting late and Willow was about to pack up for the night, when there was a knock at the door. Willow got up to answer it and was greeted by a pair of the bluest eyes she had ever seen. It took her a moment to realize that this was the art student who she had been thinking of.

“Who are you here to see?” asked Willow before allowing the girl inside.

“Um…you?” said the girl.

“Me?”

“Yeah, I’ve come by a few other times, but it must not have been your night. It was other people at the desk.”

“Yeah, I only have to be sitting here every fifth weekend day. I sometimes offer to take other people’s shifts. They all have lives. I don’t, so I don’t mind sitting here. I get my homework done and I at least interact with some people. So, what do you want?” asked Willow slightly gruffly.

“Um...I…I…I’ve been thinking…never mind it is stupid,” the girl turned to leave.

Willow saw that the girl was struggling. It pulled for Willow’s compassion. “Come on in. I’ve got another few minutes. You can keep me company, that is if you want to take the risk of being seen with one of the biggest dykes on campus.

“Y…you…you heard that?”


“Uh…huh. Not my favorite comment. Takes a close second to being told that I look like a boy.”

Tara hid behind her hair. “T…t…that is w…w…why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to apologize. I treated you really badly during that dinner. I don’t know why I said that. I was just feeling so competitive. My teachers had told me that I had to convince the alumni to give to our program. I was afraid that everyone was going to want to give you money. You were so well spoken and sounded so smart. I wanted to get you off your game.” The girl gave her a lopsided smile and followed Willow into the lobby.

“Well, it kind of did. I know that my idea of dressing up is kinda boyish. But I hate dresses and skirts, and I feel like if I am wearing pants. I should wear a jacket. I guess maybe I should invest in some nicer shirts.”

“Your shirt looked nice. It set off the green of your eyes.”

“You noticed my eyes?”

“Yeah. I’ve never seen anyone whose eyes are almost emerald.”

Willow blushed. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that she was flirting with me . Willow and Tara talked for a few minutes. Each sharing how successful they had been with the alumni.

“Well, I better go home.” She started to walk to the door, Tara turned around and said, “Listen Willow, I am really sorry about how we met and what a jerk I was to you, and then I didn’t confront my friend when she said that mean thing about you. I looked back and tried to smile at you, to tell you I didn’t agree with what she was saying, but you’d looked down.”

“You smiled at me?”

“Yeah.”

“But today, you still waited until really late to come talk to me. Is it so nobody would see you come to apologize.”

“I was working at the library, my shift wasn’t over until 11.”

“Oh, sorry. Now I’m being the jerk. Here you are being really nice and apologizing, and I am accusing you of being homophobic. It’s been really hard being one of the known ‘out lesbians’ on campus. I feel like everyone looks to me to be the model. I’m just a Computer and Math nerd. I am nobody’s model.”


“It’s ok. I can understand how hard it is to be called names by people who don’t even know you. Well, I’ll see you around. Bye.” Tara walked to the door and left.

“Bye” said Willow watching the blond walk away and enjoying the view. It can’t be her. It just can’t be.

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 6, 2019)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:58 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
Posts: 120
Topics: 3
Location: Canada
Ok, I'm feeling less cross with Tara now :lol

I can't relate much with Willow's situation, I've been really lucky to not have had a rough time being gay. I can't imagine the turmoil of being bullied over it and trying to figure out how to date without stepping on landmines. I really appreciate all those who've gone through these things for the lessons their struggles taught societies at large.

As for the story, you've got me looking for more. Now the girls have met, I'm excited to see how it'll all develop! :clap

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~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 6, 2019)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:59 am 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 31
I'm liking how the story is progressing. It's a lot different from Meeting Expectations, that's for sure. I love to read how other people take two such adored characters and write them in a range of situations.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 8, 2019)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:03 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 530
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Northernlass: Thanks for the positive vibe on this newest iteration of mine. There will not be close to as much angst, and probably more 'smut'. I greatly appreciate your providing feedback. It makes me want to post.

CopperAndGold:

Quote:
I can't relate much with Willow's situation, I've been really lucky to not have had a rough time being gay. I can't imagine the turmoil of being bullied over it and trying to figure out how to date without stepping on landmines. I really appreciate all those who've gone through these things for the lessons their struggles taught societies at large.


I am glad for you that you cannot relate to Willow's situation. I look back at my teen and young adult years and wonder how my life might have been different if there had not been as many landmines. I know that I still hold the internal homophobia from these years. I still approach a lot of new friendships with the expectation that I may be shunned for my affectional preference.

Learning To Laugh Part 3.
PG


It was a week later, Willow had offered to watch the desk for one of the other dorm staff. It had been a busy night, and she’d not been able to do much of her homework. She was engaged in a particularly difficult math problem when she heard a tapping at the door. She grumbled to herself, “I wish people would remember their keys.” She looked out, and once again was greeted by the bluest eyes. She opened the door.

“Hi. You just got off work again?”

“Yup.”

“Who are you visiting today?”

“You?”

“Me” she squeaked.

“Yeah, is that ok?”

“Sure.”

Willow sat down at the desk and Tara sat down in a chair nearby. The desk was a little higher than the chair, so Willow had a very good view of Tara’s chest. Tara was wearing a v neck tee-shirt under an open long sleeved jacket. Don’t look down her shirt, don’t look down her shirt.

“Um, Willow, my eyes are up here.”

“And they are very pretty blue. Cobalt right? You’re an art major, I am sure you know all those blues. I am a lighting person. Blues are really important. You’ve got to mix the blues and the yellows to make a natural color on the stage. I like blue.” Willow babbled. She caught me looking at her. Now she must think I am deserved to be called those names. She’s smiling at me. She has a really pretty smile. This cannot be the same girl that my friends saw at the bar.

Willow paused, Should I ask? What’s the harm? If it’s not her, then she’ll just say no and will never know why I asked. “Hey Tara, can I ask you a really weird question?”

“I guess.”

“Um. Did you by any chance talk to my friends Terry and Faith two Sundays ago?”

Tara blanched, “How did you know? Who told you?”

“Listen, word gets around really quickly in this community. Actually, not that quickly. I guess they mentioned something to my friend Leslie and she told me last week.”

“Do you ever go there?”

“I’ve gone a few times; when I could get a ride.”

“Are you always alone?”

“Um…yeah.”

“Does that mean you’re not seeing anyone.”

“Nope.”

“Nope you are seeing someone, or nope, no girlfriend.”

“The latter.”

Willow found her gaze moving from Tara’s eyes. She quickly looked away; hoping that Tara had not caught her.

“Do you like looking at them?”

“Honestly?”

“Sure.”

“ I am a breast gal. I like looking at women’s breasts. I try not to be a perv, but yeah.”

“I’m more of an eyes and butt girl. I noticed that you looked nice in those chinos. Kinda cute in those jeans when you were up on that ladder too, and as I said, the emerald eyes...”

“You saw me on the ladder?” Willow gulped.

“Yeah, I was looking in on the rehearsal and I saw you up there perched on the ladder, bending over, aiming those big lights down on my friend Amy.”

“Really?”

“Uh huh. I’ve been noticing you around a lot. I’ve been wanting to talk to you. But I get tongue tied. I met your friends at the bar, and they were so nice. I asked them about you, and they said you were one of the nicest people they knew.”

“You asked them about me?” Willow squeaked again.

“Yeah, that’s not creepy stalkerish is it? I’m not sure that they realized that I was asking specifically about you. I threw in questions about other people to make sure I wasn’t too obvious.”

Willow looked at Tara. why this girl was telling me this, and why of all the people in the school, she’d be asking about me . She suddenly felt tongue tied, and said, “Um, thanks for coming to sit with me. Um, my shift is up. I gotta go. The show is tomorrow and I’m going to be in production all day. Are you going to the show?”

“Yeah, my friend Amy is in it. Maybe I’ll see you there?”

“Maybe.” Willow gathered her books and went to her room.

This interaction continued to perplex Willow. Why was this girl coming to talk to her?

Willow did what she usually did when perplexed, especially when it came to women; she called her friend Leslie.

“Hey, Leslie, it’s me Willow.”

“Yeah, I know. Your voice is pretty identifiable.”

“Can you talk?”

“For a bit, Chris is in the shower.”

“This really weird thing happened tonight.”

“What?”

“This girl, her name is Tara, two weeks in a row she has come by. She is the girl who I thought was such a bitch at the alumni dinner. Last week, she wanted to apologize for being rude to me at the dinner and then about when her friend made a rude comment to me. Today, I don’t know what she wanted. She just sort of came over and started talking to me.”

“Ok. What was she talking to you about?”

“Nothing much. School, the weather, normal stuff. Then she caught me looking down her shirt. I couldn’t help it. She was sitting in the chair next to the desk, and they were just there. You shouldn’t wear a V-neck tee-shirt if you don’t expect people to look.”

“Ok. So she knows you’re a perv.”

“She knows that I am gay, from her friend’s comment that I was one of the biggest dykes on campus.”

“You actually are probably one of the smallest, but yeah?”

“I admitted that I was a ‘boob gal” and then she talked about how she likes eyes and butts. Then she made a comment about how I looked in my chinos and jeans and said that I have pretty eyes. Oh, yeah. I think she asked me if I ever went to the bar, and if I had a girlfriend. She’s the girl that Terry and Faith met.”

“Willow.” Leslie said rather loudly.

“Yes?” said Willow wondering why her friend was yelling.

“Are you really that dense?”

“Huh.”

“Remember when I told you that a girl wasn’t going to just come up to you and start something?”

“Yeah…”

“That is exactly what happened. A good-looking girl, who we are pretty sure is gay, purposely came to the dorm not once, but twice to talk to you. Basically, told you that she had been checking you out, asked if you were single, and you don’t realize that she’s flirting; coming on to you.”

“No. She’s way out of my league.”

“Seems pretty clear to me. Now did you say anything to show your interest, other than staring at her eyes and chest?”

“No. I kind of ran away.”

“Seriously!”

“Yeah.”

“Willow, if you think you could like her, you’ve got to make that up to her. The ball is in your court. Don’t blow it. A hot girl is interested in you.”

“Are you sure? She said that she was asking questions about other people.”

“What did she say exactly.”

“Um…Something like, ‘I met your friends at the bar, and they were so nice. I asked them about you, and they said you were one of the nicest people they knew’. Then she said that she wasn’t trying to be creepy stalkerish, that she’d asked about other people too.”

“Willow, Willow, Willow.”

The realization hit her, “I blew it, didn’t I?”

“I don’t know. But if I were you, I’d find her, and I’d find her soon, before she gives up and moves on.”

“I gotta be in the theatre all day, but she said that she was going to the play.”

“I’d get out of that damn lighting booth as soon as the play is over, and I’d look for her.”

“What should I say?”

“Willow, I can’t do this for you. Say what you want to say. Be your sweet self, just try not to babble too much.”

“I kinda had a babbling attack when she saw me looking at her chest and she told me that her eyes were up higher. I started babbling about blues and told her about the role of blue in lighting.”

“You have got to be the biggest nerd I know. I love you, but nerd.”

“That’s me. Big old dyke nerd.”

“As I said, you’re actually not that big, you are definitely not old, but dyke yeah, and nerd definitely. Listen Chris is back, and we have some plans.”

“Goodnight, enjoy yourself. Tell Chris I say hi.”

Willow got off the phone. Shit, shit, shit, shit. How could I miss this? I wonder if I’ve been missing clues all my life, that’s why I always feel like people talk to me and then move on. As my therapist would say, “social skills Willow, social skills”. Nobody tells you how to distinguish being nice from flirting. .

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 8, 2019)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:45 pm 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 31
Loving how light hearted this story is. Willow is just a bit dense and clueless which is very amusing. I'm looking forward to seeing how you write their relationship.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 8, 2019)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:06 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 530
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Northernlass: THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for replying. I can see people are reading my story, but no one was giving me any feedback. I want to know what people think. Thank you again. Yes, WIllow is dense and the story is fluffy. There will be some "normal" angst, but nothing like Meeting Expectations.

itle: LEARNING TO LAUGH
Author: Taranwillow4ever
Rating: PG-to begin most likely moving to R/NC-17
Disclaimer: Josh owns all of the characters; I just imagine different lives for them. No spoilers, no monetary gain, just an opportunity to write.
Feedback: YES PLEASE
Summary: Willow and Tara meet in college, but it takes a little while for the romance to set in. Time of Meeting mid 1980’s therefore no cell phones, no tablets. Computers are in labs and it is only the lucky few who have their own.


I was going to stretch this out into several different "parts" but decided to post a longer one. I hope people are liking my story. Please, leave me an emoji if you are Kitten Board member. I really like getting feedback. :banana

Part Three

It was a week later, Willow had offered to watch the desk for one of the other dorm staff. It had been a busy night, and she’d not been able to do much of her homework. She was engaged in a particularly difficult math problem when she heard a tapping at the door. She grumbled to herself, “I wish people would remember their keys.” She looked out, and once again was greeted by the bluest eyes. She opened the door.

“Hi. You just got off work again?”

“Yup.”

“Who are you visiting today?”

“You?”

“Me” she squeaked.

“Yeah, is that ok?”

“Sure.”

Willow sat down at the desk and Tara sat down in a chair nearby. The desk was a little higher than the chair, so Willow had a very good view of Tara’s chest. Tara was wearing a v neck tee-shirt under a long sleeved jacket. Don’t look down her shirt, don’t look down her shirt.

“Um, Willow, my eyes are up here.”

“And they are very pretty blue. Cobalt right? You’re an art major, I am sure you know all those blues. I am a lighting person. Blues are really important. You’ve got to mix the blues and the yellows to make a natural color on the stage. I like blue.” Willow babbled. She caught me looking at her. Now she must think I am deserved to be called those names. She’s smiling at me. She has a really pretty smile. This cannot be the same girl that my friends saw at the bar.

Willow paused, Should I ask? What’s the harm? If it’s not her, then she’ll just say no and will never know why I asked. “Hey Tara, can I ask you a really weird question?”

“I guess.”

“Um. Did you by any chance talk to my friends Terry and Faith two Sundays ago?”

Tara blanched, “How did you know? Who told you?”

“Listen, word gets around really quickly in this community. Actually, not that quickly. I guess they mentioned something to my friend Leslie and she told me last week.”

“Do you ever go there?”

“I’ve gone a few times; when I could get a ride.”

“Are you always alone?”

“Um…yeah.”

“Does that mean you’re not seeing anyone.”

“Nope.”

“Nope you are seeing someone, or nope, no girlfriend.”

“The latter.”

Willow found her gaze moving from Tara’s eyes. She quickly looked away; hoping that Tara had not caught her.

“Do you like looking at them?”

“Honestly?”

“Sure.”

“I’m a breast gal. I like looking at women’s breasts. I try not to be a perv, but yeah.”

“I’m more of an eyes and butt girl. I noticed that you looked nice in those chinos. Kinda cute in those jeans when you were up on that ladder too.”

“You saw me on the ladder?”

“Yeah, I was looking in on the rehearsal and I saw you up there perched on the ladder, bending over, aiming those big lights down on my friend Amy.”

“Really?”

“Uh huh. I’ve been noticing you around a lot. I’ve been wanting to talk to you. But I get tongue tied. I met your friends at the bar, and they were so nice. I asked them about you, and they said you were one of the nicest people they knew.”

“You asked them about me?” Willow squeaked again.

“Yeah, that’s not creepy stalkerish is it? I’m not sure that they realized that I was asking specifically about you. I threw in questions about other people to make sure I wasn’t too obvious.”

Willow looked at Tara. why this girl was telling me this, and why of all the people in the school, she’d be asking about me . She suddenly felt tongue tied, and said, “Um, thanks for coming to sit with me. Um, my shift is up. I gotta go. The show is tomorrow and I’m going to be in production all day. Are you going to the show?”

“Yeah, my friend Amy is in it. Maybe I’ll see you there?”

“Maybe.” Willow gathered her books and went to her room.

This interaction continued to perplex Willow. Why was this girl coming to talk to her?

Willow did what she usually did when perplexed, especially when it came to women; she called her friend Leslie.

“Hey, Leslie, it’s me Willow.”

“Yeah, I know. Your voice is pretty identifiable.”

“Can you talk?”

“For a bit, Chris is in the shower.”

“This really weird thing happened tonight.”

“What?”

“This girl, her name is Tara, two weeks in a row she has come by. She is the girl who I thought was such a bitch at the alumni dinner. Last week, she wanted to apologize for being rude to me at the dinner and then about when her friend made a rude comment to me. Today, I don’t know what she wanted. She just sort of came over and started talking to me.”

“Ok. What was she talking to you about?”

“Nothing much. School, the weather, normal stuff. Then she caught me looking down her shirt. I couldn’t help it. She was sitting in the chair next to the desk, and they were just there. You shouldn’t wear a V-neck tee-shirt if you don’t expect people to look.”

“Ok. So she knows you’re a perv.”

“She knows that I am gay, from her friend’s comment that I was one of the biggest dykes on campus.”

“You actually are probably one of the smallest, but yeah?”

“I admitted that I was a ‘boob gal” and then she talked about how she likes eyes and butts. Then she made a comment about how I looked in my chinos and jeans and said that I have pretty eyes. Oh, yeah. I think she asked me if I ever went to the bar, and if I had a girlfriend. She’s the girl that Terry and Faith met.”

“Willow.” Leslie said rather loudly.

“Yes?” said Willow wondering why her friend was yelling.

“Are you really that dense?”

“Huh.”

“Remember when I told you that a girl wasn’t going to just come up to you and start something?”

“Yeah…”

“That is exactly what happened. A good-looking girl, who we are pretty sure is gay, purposely came to the dorm not once, but twice to talk to you. Basically, told you that she had been checking you out, asked if you were single, and you don’t realize that she’s flirting; coming on to you.”

“No. She’s way out of my league.”

“Seems pretty clear to me. Now did you say anything to show your interest, other than staring at her eyes and chest?”

“No. I kind of ran away.”

“Seriously!”

“Yeah.”

“Willow, if you think you could like her, you’ve got to make that up to her. The ball is in your court. Don’t blow it. A hot girl is interested in you.”

“Are you sure? She said that she was asking questions about other people.”

“What did she say exactly.”

“Um…Something like, ‘I met your friends at the bar, and they were so nice. I asked them about you, and they said you were one of the nicest people they knew’. Then she said that she wasn’t trying to be creepy stalkerish, that she’d asked about other people too.”

“Willow, Willow, Willow.”

The realization hit her, “I blew it, didn’t I?”

“I don’t know. But if I were you, I’d find her, and I’d find her soon, before she gives up and moves on.”

“I gotta be in the theatre all day, but she said that she was going to the play.”

“I’d get out of that damn lighting booth as soon as the play is over, and I’d look for her.”

“What should I say?”

“Willow, I can’t do this for you. Say what you want to say. Be your sweet self, just try not to babble too much.”

“I kinda had a babbling attack when she saw me looking at her chest and she told me that her eyes were up higher. I started babbling about blues and told her about the role of blue in lighting.”

“You have got to be the biggest nerd I know. I love you, but nerd.”

“That’s me. Big old dyke nerd.”

“As I said, you’re actually not that big, you are definitely not old, but dyke yeah, and nerd definitely. Listen Chris is back, and we have some plans.”

“Goodnight, enjoy yourself. Tell Chris I say hi.”

Willow got off the phone. Shit, shit, shit, shit. How could I miss this? I wonder if I’ve been missing clues all my life, that’s why I always feel like people talk to me and then move on. As my therapist would say, “social skills Willow, social skills”. Nobody tells you how to distinguish being nice from flirting. .

***
Willow felt nervous/anxious/excited the entire day. She tried to keep herself under control by focusing on her job of helping in the lighting booth. She kept going back to wondering if Leslie was right. Was Tara really flirting with me? Maybe she’s just that kind of person. Flirts with everyone. She’ll probably wonder why I am even coming up to talk to her. Maybe I shouldn’t do it. I don’t want her to think I’m stupid, but what if she really is interested, this might be my opportunity. I don’t want to blow it. She has seemed so nice these two times that she came to talk to me. I guess her explanation made sense.

The anxiety was already causing her to feel hot and little weak in the knees. She needed to climb up and adjust some of the lights, so she took off her shirt and worked in her black tank top. You gotta keep your balance, don’t want to fall 10 feet down. Focus Rosenberg. Everyone else had gotten a break before the play, but Willow and Aimee needed to practice the light cues, so they stayed in the booth.

“You have another shirt to put on right” asked Aimee

“Yeah, we don’t want to have a glowing white Willow in the booth.” Willow put the black button down shirt over her tank.

“Good, us techies keep the black clothing business in stock. I guess us and the English techno people.”

“Yeah, sometimes we are the same people. Have you listened to the The Cure album The Head on the Door?” asked Willow.

“Yeah, it is wicked good.”

“Willow laughed, yeah it is.”

***
The play went off without a hitch. Willow successfully made sure that all the lighting cues were set up, and the right lights came on at the right time. As soon as it was over, Willow told Aimee that she’d be back to clean up, but there was someone she needed to talk to.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got it. Go find that girl. See you tomorrow?” said her friend Aimee.

“What girl? What makes you think I am going to see a girl.”

“You’ve been kinda off your game today. Not that you didn’t do everything right, but it seemed that you were a little more spacy than usual. It was clear someone was on your mind.”

“I am sure that it is just a friend thing.”

“Well, go see.” The older girl smiled at her.

Willow walked out into the lobby. She looked around for Tara, and at first didn’t see her. Shit, I missed her, idiot! However, she looked around again, and saw her standing near the door. She walked up to her.

“Hey, did you like the play?”

“Yeah, it was good. I’ve seen it a few times already. My friend has had me sneak into the auditorium to watch. But it was nice to see it all come together. You were doing the lighting right?”

“Helping, my friend Aimee was controlling the board. I just set it up for her. It’s not that important.”

“I am pretty sure that it is an essential role.”

Willow blushed, “I guess.”

The two girls looked at each other.

“So…”

“So…”

“I was wondering….um…I missed dinner. I was wondering if you’d like to go to the campus pub and maybe get some pizza?”

“Are you asking me out Willow?”

“Um…just asking if you’d like to get some pizza.”

“I wouldn’t mind if you were asking me out,” commented Tara quietly.

Willow looked at the blue eyed beauty. Part of her wanted to hit her ears to make sure that she wasn’t hearing or imagining things. She froze. “I couldn’t have just heard what I think I heard. This cannot be happening. These kind of things don’t happen to Willow Rosenberg. Willow must have been staring at the girl with a shocked look on her face.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, yes I am fine. I just wasn’t sure if I heard you right. Can you repeat what you just said?”

Tara walked closer to Willow and said in her ear, “I said that I wouldn’t mind if you asked me out.”

“That is what I thought I heard.” Willow kept on staring at the girl.

“Do you really want to go to the pub? It’s going to be loud there. How ‘bout going to Gino’s. I’ve got a car. We can drive there.”

She probably doesn’t want to be seen at the pub with me. But she’s ok with Gino’s. Their pizza is good. Beggars shouldn’t be choosers. “Ok”

They walked to the parking lot and to a somewhat beat up brown Honda Accord hatchback. Tara got in the driver’s seat, and then opened the door for Willow.

Willow got in. I am in the car with her.

“What kind of music do you like?” asked Tara gesturing to the radio.

“Pretty much everything. What do you like?”

“I like alternative rock, stuff like Echo and the Bunnymen, Squeeze, Yaz.”

“I like them too. Is that why you went to the bar? To listen to music and dance?

“Well, that and the obvious.”

“Obvious?”

“Um went to a lesbian bar…dance, to hang out with other women, meet other college students, all the things you go to a bar for.”

“I usually just go to watch people. I tend to feel invisible. Everyone looks like they are having fun.”

“You don’t have fun?”

“I like being around all the other women, but as I said. I feel invisible.”

“Oh.”

Tara picked out a good radio station, and they drove to the pizza place.

They walked into the restaurant and each bought themselves a piece of pizza. Willow tried to pay for Tara’s, but she insisted that she didn’t need to.

“Maybe next time.”

Willow looked at Tara again, her heart was beating fast, and she felt like she could hear the blood rushing through her ears. I’ve got to be hearing things. Next time?

They sat down and began eating their pizza. A few times, Willow looked up and saw Tara looking at her, but when Tara realized that Willow was looking, she hid behind her hair. Eventually, they both looked up and their eyes met. She is smiling at me. She has a really pretty smile. Her eyes are really blue. The shirt she is wearing makes her eyes look really blue.

“That shirt makes your eyes look really blue.”

“I know. That’s why I wore it. I was hoping you’d notice my eyes again. Are you going to give me another lesson on color combinations for lighting design.”

“Well, you’ve got to be careful of the greens. They can make it seem like you are underwater. Wait, you didn’t really mean that did you.”

“Well, it’s interesting to listen to you talk about lighting. It is clear that you really enjoy what you are doing, but no I guess I was teasing you about your babble yesterday.”

“I babble.”

“It’s cute. Your cheeks got really red when you started to babble yesterday. I wanted to see if I could get it to happen again.”

“Did it?”

“Yep. Though not as red as when I caught you looking down my shirt.”

Willow felt defensive, “If you don’t want people looking, why did you sit the way you were sitting. It was like your cleavage was right there, underneath my nose. How could I not look.”

“I didn’t want people looking, I wanted you to look.”

Willow gulped. “Seriously?”

“Uh huh. Tara smiled at her. It was sort of a half-smile looking out the corner of her eyes”

“So why did you give me so much trouble?”

“Cause it was fun. You turn red, and I can see the wheels turning in your head, but it seems like you don’t know what to say. Haven’t you been teased before?”

“Um…yeah, lots of teasing, but not the kind of teasing you’re referring to, I had the teasing, making fun of Willow teasing, not the pretty girl trying to get Willow to blush teasing.”

“You think I am pretty.”

“Of course. You’ve got to know how beautiful you are. You’re classically beautiful. The kind of beauty that artists paint beautiful.”

“I’m an art major. I’ve never seen a painting that looks like me.”

“You must not be looking at the right paintings. You are knock down gorgeous.”

“Are you flirting with me Willow?”

“Were you flirting with me last night?”

“Uh, yes… I thought I was losing my touch. You jumped up and left.”

Willow pointed to herself. “This girl is usually not flirted with. Nobody usually notices me. I work really hard to fade into the background. Flirting, not my strength, identifying flirting, not my strength either. Honestly, I was talking to my friend last night and she had to practically hit me over the head to realize that you were maybe flirting with me.”

“It wasn’t that subtle.”

“Well, it was subtle to me. I’m not used to people just coming up and talking to me. I don’t have a lot of friends. I’m used to being looked at like a pariah, like your friend indicated. Nobody just says they want to be my friend.”

“Did I say I wanted to be your friend?” asked Tara.

Shit, shit, shit, what is going on. She came with you to dinner, and now she’s saying she doesn’t want to be your friend. Maybe you should just leave. I am sure there is bus back to campus. I am so stupid. I just set myself up as a joke. I bet she’s going to go back to campus and tell everyone that she pulled one on me. I am so stupid.

“Willow, I can see the wheels turning in your head. Are you, ok?”

Willow pulled herself together, vowing not to show that this hurt her feelings.

“Well, I’m sure that you’ve got your good laugh. Tell all your friends how you got me. I’m going to go now.” Willow stood up.


“Wait,” Tara grabbed her arm, “What are you doing. I drove you here. Tell all my friends what? I don’t get it.”


“Well, you just said you don’t want to be my friend, so this must be some sort of joke. A prank.”


“You really are not used to be being flirted with or teased are you?”


Willow sat down again, “No. I’ve been pranked before though. I’ve thought people were going to be my friend, and then I find out it was some sort of dare.”

“Really? I am so sorry. I did not want to hurt your feelings. Of course, I want to be your friend. I don’t just go out for pizza with random strangers. I actually don’t usually take chances and try to get to know people who I find interesting. Believe it or not, I am really shy.”


“Seriously, you have not seemed shy to me.”

“I don’t know. When I am around you, I don’t feel shy.”

“That is ironic. When I am around you, I do feel shy, but I feel shy around a lot of people. The only time I don’t feel shy is in class and in the theater. I feel a sense of accomplishment and mastery there. Interpersonal interactions with others, not so accomplished.”

“You put yourself down a lot, do you know that.”

“Just telling the truth.”

“Whose truth?”

“My truth I guess.”

“I am thinking that your truth is skewed. I don’t think you see yourself objectively.”

“Say’s the girl that doesn’t know she’s drop dead gorgeous.”

Tara smiled her lopsided grin again.


“I am sorry that I got all righteous indignant Willow. I’ve been told that I don’t always get humor. I often take things literally. That might be why I am so good at computer code. It is objective. It is clear. If you aren’t clear, if you don’t give clear instructions, your program won’t work.”

“It’s kind of funny. My major is the opposite. If you are too clear, you are too literal, the professors don’t like it. Most of the art professors like abstract art rather than realism.”

“I guess that is why they give out two different degrees. Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Science.”

They had both finished their pizza. They threw away the trash and walked back the car.

“I like your car. It must be nice to have a car on campus. I sometimes feel trapped. If I had a car I could escape sometime. But I won’t have a car. My parents don’t think it is something that is necessary. They believe in the use of public transportation. We’ve always lived places with public transportation, Boston, Chicago, Washington. babble much Rosenberg.

“I live in the country, so no public transportation. It was like I got my freedom as soon as I could drive. I could take you off to escape sometime. Just call me. Speaking of car rides, would you like to go to the bar tomorrow with me.”

Is she asking me to go to the bar WITH her, or is she just offering a ride? Either way, it’s a ride to the bar. “Sure, if you are going.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow and we can make plans. That is if you’ll give me your number.”

“I’ll write it down for you.” Willow found a piece of paper and a pen in the car and wrote down her number. “Here.”

“Thanks.” Tara put the number in her pocket.

“Thanks for coming out with me to get food. I didn’t realize how hungry I was. I need to remember to bring a granola bar or something with me on show nights. I feel like I often get left hanging without dinner.”

“My pleasure.”

Tara turned on the radio again. They drove back to campus, Tara left Willow off at the dorm.

“Talk to you tomorrow. Thanks again,” said Willow.

“You are very welcome,” replied Tara.

***
Willow walked into her dorm and climbed the stairs to her hallway. There was loud music coming out of one of the singles and a bunch of guys and girls were in the hallway. Well, this is going to be fun to go take a shower. But I am so sticky from the show and hanging with Tara, I gotta take one. She went into her room, grabbed some sweats and a tee-shirt, towel and shower bucket. She quickly walked past the group and went into the bathroom. I wish there was a way to lock the door. I hate when there are guys on the hallway. She thought to herself.

After her shower, she returned to her room, closed the door and settled down into bed. She could still hear and feel the beat of the music coming out of the other girl’s room, but it was muted by her door and the fact that her bed was pretty far away from the hallway. Willow grabbed the book she was currently reading; and settled in to read and go to sleep. She was drifting off when the phone rang.

Ugh, who would be calling me now?

“Hello.”

“Hi Willow. It’s Tara.”

“Hey,” said Willow perking up.

“Um, I just wanted to call and tell you I had a really good time tonight.”

“Thanks. I did too.”

“Anything interesting going on?”

“No. There is a loud party on my hall, and I felt weird taking a shower with a bunch of guys around. But all worked out ok. Your dorm?”

“It is quiet here.”

“That must be nice.”

“I guess. Sometimes it seems too quiet.”

“Oh.” What am I supposed to say? Willow yawned.

“I’m sorry did I wake you up?”

“No, no. I was reading.”

“What were you reading?”

“It’s a fantasy book about dragons by Anne McCaffrey.”

“Dragons are cool.”

“I guess. She’s a good writer. I have read most of her books. I like this one.”

“What other things do you like to read?”

“Well, I’ll read a cereal box if it is in front of me. I like science fiction, and fantasy, mysteries, and some non-fiction. Not much into the romance books.”

“Have you read Rubyfruit Jungle ?”

“Yeah, her writing is a little weird, but it is a lesbian classic.”

“Yeah, I guess. One of my friends said it was so good, so I read it. Unfortunately, a lot of lesbian fiction is pretty badly written.”

“I know. It is also often depressing. Have you read The Price of Salt ?”

“No, should I?”

“Sure. It is a little dated, but supposedly it was one of the first lesbian novels to have a happy ending.”

“Do you have a copy?”

“I think so. Do you want to borrow it?”

“That would be nice.”

“I’ll bring it tomorrow.”

“Well, good night. Sleep tight.”

“Ok, you too.”

Willow hung up the phone. That was odd.

***

Willow spent much of the next day in her room. Her roommate Anya had returned in the morning and Willow had shared with her the events of the night before.

“So you went to dinner, and then she called you afterwards?”

“Yeah.”

“And now, you are sitting here waiting for her call to see if she still is planning on taking you to the bar?”

“No, I am just hanging in my dorm room, doing my homework, and talking to my favorite roommate.”

“Willow, I am your only roommate, and you usually spend any weekend day that you are not in the theater, in the library, NOT in our room. Having you as a roommate, usually means that I have the room to myself. You never hang here.”

“Well, new habits can be made. Maybe I want to spend more time here. My parents pay a lot of money for me to live in this dorm.”

“So now you are worried that your Ira and Sheila aren’t getting their money’s worth. I don’t buy it.”

“I am not sitting here waiting for her phone call.”

“Whatever you say, whatever you say.”

The phone rang.

“You answer it.” Willow said to Anya.

“Why? It is probably for you.”

“Please?”

“Ok.”

“Hello.”

“Hi. I am Willow’s roommate. Yeah, she just came in the door. Willow it is for you.”

“Hi.”

“Hi”

“So, I said I’d call.”

“Yeah.”

“Do you still want to go to the bar?”

“I guess if you are still planning to go.”

“Yeah, I thought it would be fun. My friends Sue and April are going to come too.”

“Cool.” Ok, it is a ride to the bar. Not an invitation to go to the bar with her. Good to know.


“So, I’ll come by your dorm about 8?”

“Ok, I’ll be ready and waiting. See you then.”

“Ok, Bye Willow.”

“Bye Tara.” Willow put down the phone.


“Does my roomie have a date?”

“No, it’s just a ride. She’s bringing two other girls with her.”

“Oh, well I guess that is good too. Maybe this is the night that you will find Ms. Right.”

“I am pretty sure that I am not going to meet anyone at a bar. You know I just go to hear the music and watch people dance. I don’t have the guts to talk to anyone. I try to be invisible.”


“Willow, you think you are invisible a lot. You do realize that you are a good looking woman, right?”


“Oh, Anya. I didn’t think you’d noticed.” Willow pretended to fan herself.


“What are you going to wear?”


“I don’t know. Jeans and shirt. My usual.”


“You said that she’d made a comment about your eyes.”

Anya walked into Willow’s closet and looked at the clothes. “This shirt will show off your eyes. Wear this, do you have a nice tank top, wear that under and use the shirt like a jacket. Wear a real bra, not one of your sports bras. You want to accentuate what you got under the tank top. Anya continued to look around the closet. “and these jeans.” She took a pair of pressed Levi’s off the hanger. These show off your curves and are clean.”


“I wasn’t going to wear dirty jeans.”


“I hope not”


“Wear your converses too. That will be a good outfit for you. Comfortable, and cute.”

***

It felt like the day dragged on. Willow tried to keep herself busy doing homework, reading her book, she even tried to take a nap to kill time, but napping had never been her forte. She went to dinner, came back, took a shower and put on the clothes that Anya had suggested.

A few minutes before eight, Willow walked down to the doors of her dorm and watched for Tara’s car to come by. Tara arrived promptly at 8. Willow was surprised to see that the other girls were in the backseat leaving Willow the passenger seat. She entered the car.

“Hey Willow, you look really nice.” She gestured to the girls in the back seat, “Do you know Sue and April?”

“You are on the soccer team, right?” she said to the two girls who were cuddled up in the back seat.

“Yes. Just so you know, you didn’t see us. We’re not out. The coach is really homophobic and doesn’t want any dykes on the team.”

“Ok, got it. That must be kinda hard. How long have you been together?”

“We met last year when we came in the summer for the soccer preseason.”

“So you’ve been able to keep it secret for over a year?”

“I don’t think it is really a secret from most people, just something that is not talked about,” said April.

“I get it. If I had it to do again, I would stay in the closet. One of my biggest regrets was accepting one of the leadership positions of the Alliance. I thought that it would help me meet people, but all it did was give me a reputation and cause me a lot of grief.”


“Really?” asked Tara.

“Definitely. It’s been nothing but grief since the paper printed the leaders of all the campus organizations. Nothing like being outed to the whole school without your knowledge.”

“I can imagine that it was hard,” commented Sue.

“So how did you guys meet,” asked Willow referring to Tara and the soccer players.

“Oh, Tara was one of the team’s biggest fans last year. Little did we know that she had a crush on the goalie.”

“You had a crush on Buffy?” exclaimed Willow.

“Unrequited, but yep. Sue saw me looking all doe-eyed at her and told me that she’d been dating Erica since freshman year.”


“It’s not like I even realized that was what was going on. I seriously thought that I just liked to watch soccer. It took Sue confronting me and spelling it out to make me realize. It really wasn’t until this summer that I admitted that it was not a passing phase.”

“I hate that phrase.”

‘What?”

“Phase. My mother still keeps saying it is a phase. I will come to my senses and date, marry and have many grandchildren with a nice Jewish boy. Until then, I am not particularly welcome at home. To quote my mother, ‘I am not going to have a dyke as a daughter.’ Do your parents know?”

“I think that my parents suspect, but it is just not mentioned. They know that Sue and I are roommates and good friends. They don’t ask. I don’t tell,” replied Sue.

“Same with my parents. They are traditional. I don’t think that it even occurs to them,” commented April.

“My parents were really cool about it when I told them. They said they loved me, and would love whomever I loved,” stated Tara.

“Seriously?” asked Willow.

“Yup. I am really lucky, and I know it.”

Tara turned on the radio as they drove the hour into Boston.

Once they got to Cambridge and found a parking spot. They all got out and walked to the bar. It was a college night, so all they needed was to show their college ID’s and pay the cover to get in. Willow realized that she must have been the only one with a real ID, because the other three were given one handstamp, while Willow was given another, the one that clearly telegraphed that she was too young to drink.

“You don’t have a fake ID?” asked Tara as they went into the bar.

“No. I don’t drink, so I don’t need one.”

“You don’t drink ever?”

“Not really.”

“Oh. That’s cool. I don’t drink a lot either and of course I’m not drinking tonight because I drove. I don’t drink and drive. I think that is why Sue and April asked me if they could come along when I said that I was coming here. They wanted to drink and not have to worry about driving.

“That makes sense, they seem nice. Make sure that they know that I’d never out them. But do they know they are taking a risk coming here. You never know who is going to be here.”

“I think they are tired of hiding. They are two of the best players on the team. The coach can’t afford to kick them off.”

“That’s good. I guess I should try to watch a game.”

“Yeah, we could go to the next game together. Beth has been a good friend to me and I like April.”

“It’s good to have friends. They seem nice.”

Willow and Tara walked into the main bar. It hadn’t gotten too crowded yet, but the techno beat was thumping and people were dancing. Willow walked over to the wall and started watching the videos that were playing on the screen.

Tara stood near Willow, they watched the videos together for a few minutes, a song came on that Tara obviously liked, she asked Willow, “Do you like to dance?”

“Sometimes, I’m not very good at it. I look like one of the kids from Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Do you?

“Yeah, I love to dance.” As Tara was saying this, Sue and April came into the bar and grabbed Tara and they went to the dance floor.

Willow watched them dance. They seem to really enjoy themselves Willow watched Tara dancing. She looked so carefree and happy. It was like she was in her element. As she was watching, the feeling of being ‘other’ began overwhelming her. how can I feel so alone among all these people , Willow began to feel the curtain of depression begin to fall. She walked into the second room of the bar and sat down on one of the couches to continue watching the videos.

After a period of time, a sweaty Tara came and sat down next to her. “Why did you leave? I thought that we were going to dance?”

“You looked like you were having fun with them, and they are good dancers.”

“Yeah, we were having fun, and yes they are pretty good. But I don’t care how people dance, just if they want to dance. Willow, do you LIKE to dance?”

“It’s ok. I tend to feel really self-conscious. But sometimes, when I let my head go, it can be fun.”

“What can I do to help you ‘let your head go’? I want you to have a good time.”

“I have a good time just watching.”

“It doesn’t look like you are having a good time. You are sitting in the dark, alone in a corner, watching videos. Your eyes look sort of sad.”

“The videos are really cool. I try to figure out why they choose what video to go with what music. Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense. I think that sometimes they put the videos and music on randomly and occasionally they link up, but otherwise they are playing independent of each other.”

“You’ve really thought this through.”

“This is not the first time I got a ride to the bar, and the other people were dancing and drinking and I was in here watching videos drinking Coke.”

“Willow, do you think that I just offered you a ride.”

“Yeah?” Willow looked at Tara, she couldn’t understand Tara’s facial expression, but she knew that what she’d just affirmed bothered the girl. take a chance, what can you lose

“I was kinda hoping that maybe you invited me to the bar because you wanted to go to the bar with me, but I wasn’t sure, and then you brought the them too. As I told you yesterday, I don’t pick up the social cues as well as I should.”

“Willow. I invited you to come to the bar with me, because I wanted to come to it with you. I thought that we could have fun. I want to get to know you.”


“What do you want to know? But first, can I get you something to drink? You look hot.” Willow blushed at the double meaning of what she had just said. I am glad that it is dark, so she can’t see how red I must have just turned

“You think I look hot?”

“Well, you were just dancing, and that causes sweating, and it can be warm on the dance floor…”

“Oh, that kind of hot.”

“Not that you aren’t the other kind of hot too…” UGH “Do you want something to drink?”

“Sure, a Coke© would be nice.”

Willow got up and went to the bar to get a Coke©. She sat back down next to Tara and handed it to her.

“Thanks.”

“You are welcome. My pleasure.”

There was an awkward silence.

“So, you like Coke©?”

“Um, yes. The caffeine is a positive too so that I don’t get tired at the bar or driving home.”

“Yeah, too bad that the ‘Ladies night’ is Sunday night. Doesn’t quite jive with the going to college, classes early in the morning.”

“When is your first class tomorrow?”

“8 am.”

“Willow, why did you agree to come. You’ve got to be in class at 8am!”

“It will be ok. Plus, when pretty girl invites you to go to the bar with you, you don’t say no. Sleep be damned.”

“Ok, whose flirting now?”

“I am, I guess. I don’t really understand this flirting thing. It seems like it is just being honest. Saying the nice things you think about the person, rather than filtering it. I’ve got a very fine filter.”

“Fine as good or fine as not much gets through.”

“Um…” Willow thought, “probably the second, but there is also a hole in part of it, if the thoughts get through there, it causes babble. I can babble and I often say things I am thinking and that I shouldn’t say, and I make comments, and a lot of words that really don’t say anything of relevance, but it is me trying to explain what I was trying to say.”

“Like that?”

“Exactly.”

“I think it is cute.”

Willow smiled She thinks I am cute!”

“Why are you blushing”

“How can you tell I am blushing. It is pretty dark in here.”

“I can just tell. I can see that you are getting red patches on your upper chest.”

Tara put her finger on one of the patches. “Feels kinda hot.”

OMG, she is touching my chest.

“Blood flow, definite skin issues for redheads.”

Tara removed her finger from Willow’s chest and scooted closer to Willow. Their legs were almost touching. “Do you ever not put your hair in a ponytail?”

“Sometimes…it’s just easier to deal with and cooler in the ponytail.”

“Can I take it down?”

“Sure” Tara reached beside Willow, undid the hair tie, and fluffed Willow’s hair. It I turned by head even a fraction, my face would be in her boobs. I feel self -conscious now. She is looking at me. Did she just lick her lips. She is looking at my chest again. What is she thinking.

“Wow.”

Willow didn’t know what to say. Her eyes darted around. She looked at the girl who was still staring at her.

“Yeah, it is kinda longer than you’d expect.”

“N..n…no t..t…t…that’s not i…i…it.” Tara tool a breath, “You are beautiful. I knew you were cute, but with your hair down you are beautiful, striking. Add to it, that great tank top, I don’t know why I ever made a comment about you looking boyish. You are a beautiful woman.”

“Thanks?”

“Let’s go dance.” Tara took Willow’s hand and led her back to the dance floor.

She’s holding my hand..AHHHHH

They began dancing to the music. Willow got warm and took off her overshirt, tying it around her waist. Instead of being self-conscious, she just let her body move to the music, trying to mirror some of the moves that Tara was making. As one song led into another, Willow saw April come up and whisper something into Tara’s ear. April then looked at Willow, smiled, whispered in Tara’s ear again, Tara whispered back and April went back to where Sue was dancing.

When they stopped to take a break, and Willow had brought back two more sodas for them, she asked, “What did April want.”

Tara blushed. “She wanted to know who the pretty redhead I was dancing with. Honestly Willow, you look a lot different with your hair down and less layers of clothes. I had no idea how muscular you are.”

Willow made a muscle, “lifting and moving 30lb lights can tone a girl up.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you have a very nice clavicle?” Tara reached over and touched the bone she was commenting on.

Willow’s eyes went wide She is touching me again. I hope she doesn’t notice what effect that has on me a little further down. Padded bra, a good thing to wear. No clear nipples. “Um, no. Nobody has every commented on any of my bones, other than to say that I have a small bone structure.”

“Oh, she also said that they needed to leave soon. Sue’s got a lab at 9. I said to give us about 15 minutes.”

“Ok, I am ready to go whenever you guys are.” Willow put her shirt back on but left it open so Tara could admire her clavicle.

Tara put her hand on the small of Willow’s back and led her into the other bar where April and Sue were waiting.

April and Sue fell asleep on the ride back down. Willow stayed awake to help keep Tara alert. They talked about the songs that they’d heard and about their favorite groups.

Tara dropped Willow off at her dorm and commented that she’d had a good time, and hoped she’d see Willow soon.

“Yeah, I had a great time too.” Sue and April had woken up. “Nice to meet you too. I’m going to try to catch your next home game.”

“Cool.” They both answered.

Willow went up to her dorm room, trying to be quiet to not wake up Anya, but Anya was awake and it appeared waiting for her to return.

“So how was it? Tell me all about it? Did you meet any hot lesbians?”

“Um…no…I pretty much hung with Tara the whole night. We danced a bunch.”

“You danced?”

“Yeah, it was fun.”

“You, Willow Rosenberg, wallflower extraordinaire, danced at the bar?”

“Yes, why are you so surprised.”

“Willow, you never dance, and your hair, your hair is down.”

“Yeah, Tara asked me to take it down, and she said that it made me look good.”

“I’ve been telling you since last year, that you look really good with your hair down. Beautiful, wavy red hair, and you push it back in that ponytail. So, this Tara? Do you think something could come out of it?”

“I don’t know. She seems to like me, but I can’t tell if it is as a friend or as a potential, you know…”

“Lover?”

“No…girlfriend?”

“Same thing?”

“No it is not. Lover implies sex. I’m not ready to have sex. I don’t believe in having sex until you are in a committed relationship.”

“You are an old soul Willow.”

“I know.”

“So you had fun?”

“Yes.

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 11, 2019)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:27 am 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 31
Great update. I feel like I got a double helping of your writing. I think that we must be about the same age because I love Echo and the Bunnymen! They were my absolute teenage band. I have actually seen both Echo and the Bunnymen and Squeeze in the past 5 years. So back to the story......totally loving the socially inept and unconfident Willow, missing all the cues. Tara is just gonna have to seduce her! More please.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 11, 2019)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:06 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 530
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Quote:
Great update. I feel like I got a double helping of your writing. I think that we must be about the same age because I love Echo and the Bunnymen! They were my absolute teenage band. I have actually seen both Echo and the Bunnymen and Squeeze in the past 5 years. So back to the story......totally loving the socially inept and unconfident Willow, missing all the cues. Tara is just gonna have to seduce her! More please.


Northernlass: Glad you got the references. I had no idea that either group was still together. I absolutely LOVED Squeeze. It was definitely a double helping of the writing. As I whine about regularly, I see the count go up on my stories, but very little feedback. THANKS FOR YOURS. :blush I feel like a loser when I see that nobody has commented for days and I see my name under the last post. I was so happy to see your feedback this morning. Willow is very unconfident and really just doesn't understand that someone could actual like her. (She's nothing like the person that I regularly saw in the mirror in college :) or see now. You comment, I update. I've been writing ahead, so I will always have something to post when someone comments.

Learning to Laugh -continued-

Willow was sitting in the cafeteria the next day eating her lunch. She was deep into her reading when a tray was set down next to her. She looked up and saw it was Tara.

“Hi.”

“Hi. Mind if I sit here?”

“Nope. Have a seat.” Willow moved her backpack off the other chair at the table.

“Did you make it to your 8 am class?”

“Yes, but just barely. I must admit I just threw on some clothes and went.” Willow looked down at the sweats and a tee-shirt she was wearing.

“I don’t know how you do it. I could barely get to my 10 am class. I was yawning during most of it.”

“Are you sorry that you went to the bar?”

“Definitely not, you?”

“No. I had a really good time. Thanks again for taking me.”

“My pleasure. What does the rest of your day look like?”

“Well, I have another class at 1:30, and then work at 4:00. We have to strike all the lights and put them back in storage.”

“So, if I came to the theatre I’ll get to see you climbing up and down ladders?”

“I guess.” She has made several comments about my climbing up and down ladders Speaking of that. I need to run to my dorm and change. Need to wear jeans to work.”

“How come?”

“Um, I need to have a belt loop to attach my wrench to.”

“Why?”

“Well, a falling wrench could really hurt someone, so we attach them to a telephone cord and hook it on our belt, so if we accidently drop it, it just kind of bounces back.”

“That makes sense.”

“Yeah.”

“So, what is your schedule?”

“I have a studio class, 3-D Art at 2. Before then, I need to go to the library to do some reading for my Sociology Class.”

“You’re taking Sociology?”

“Yeah, gotta love those required courses. It’s my last required Humanities class. All I have left is a math class next semester and I can totally focus on the art classes.”

“I have one more Humanities class to take next semester. I came in with some credits, so I can take several extra electives if I want.”

“What is your course load this semester.”

“Analytical Geometry, Physics of Chemistry, COBAL, Psychology 101, and Technical Theater 200.”

“You are taking five classes?”

“Yeah”

“How do you do it, with working in the theater, being a dorm staff, and being an officer of the Alliance.”

“I don’t know. I just do it. We pay by the semester, not by the course, so I want to get as much as I can out of it. You can only take five and a half courses without getting permission of the dean. I couldn't find a half credit course this semester, so just five. What are you taking?”

“Art History 300, Drawing 200, 3-D Art, and Sociology”

“That seems like a pretty heavy load too.”

“Nothing like yours. No wonder when I came to the dorm to visit you, you were studying. You must have to study all the time.”

“Not all the time…”

“They, here is a game on Wednesday at 7:00 at Smith. I told Sue and April that I’d go. Want to come with me?”

“What time would we need to leave here?”

“5:15 at the latest.”

“My Physics lab gets out at 5. I could do that.”

“Do you want me to just pick you up from the Science Building.”

“That would work.” Willow looked at her watch. It was almost 1:00. She picked up her half eaten sandwich, and grabbed her backpack. “I hate to run, Tara, but I’ve got to run to my dorm, switch books, change into jeans and get to the Science Building for class at 1:30. It was really nice talking to you.”

“It’s ok. If I don’t see you sooner, I’ll be outside the Science Center at 5:15.”

“Great.” Willow put her tray up and rushed out of the cafeteria.

Willow was out the door and on her way to her dorm when she realized that she had forgotten her book under the table. She was walking toward the table when she saw a girl sit down at the table with Tara. She heard their conversation.

“What were you doing talking to that freaky, geeky dyke?”

“Um, talking. Do you even know her?”

“No. I don’t want to know her. You should watch out. People will wonder about you if you hang out with her.”

“Thanks for the warning.”

Willow walked up to the table, and quickly grabbed the book from under the table. “Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt your conversation.”

She tried to leave as quickly as she could. Thanks for the warning Willow felt humiliated. Tara was thanking someone for warning her about Willow. Idiot, you should have known that it was too good to be true. A girl that beautiful would never really like a geek like you.

***

Willow was climbing up and down the ladder, unscrewing the lights and handing them to Aimee who was putting them in the storage area.

“Hey, Willow. I think there is someone here to see you?” said Aimee.

“Huh?” asked Willow.

“There is a girl, who came in the auditorium and is just watching you. We could take a break, you could go talk to her. I am pretty sure it’s the same girl I saw you leaving with Saturday.”

Willow looked around and saw that Tara had taken a seat in the audience.

Keep your chin up Rosenberg, don’t let her know that the comment hurt. Figure a way to bow out of the soccer now too when you get the chance.

Willow walked up to her and sat down, a chair between them. “Hi.”

“Hi. I thought I’d come watch you work. Is that weird?”

“I don’t know is it?” Willow said tersely. “It’s a free country. You want to watch, I guess you can.”

“Are you ok?” asked Tara.

“Yeah, kinda tired. But I am ok.”

“You seem upset. You seemed upset when you came to get your book from the cafeteria.”

“No, I was fine. You know I love being called a dyke by people who don’t know me.”

“I told her not to call you names, that she doesn’t even know you. She’s a real bitch. I don’t know why I ever was friends with her.” Tara looked Willow in the eye.

“Listen, Tara it’s ok. I understand that you wouldn’t want to be seen with me; be my friend” Willow looked down at her hands.

“What are you talking about?” asked Tara, her voice getting shrill.

“You thanked her for the warning,” mumbled Willow.

“No, I didn’t. That was totally sarcastic.”

“It didn’t sound that way to me.”

“Well, that is how I meant it. I thought she was being really stupid, and rude.”

“Really?”

“Really. Willow, have I recently said or done anything that would indicate that I don’t want to be your friend?”

“I don’t know. I am not around you all the time.”

“Well, I haven’t I like you. I want to get to know you better. I want to be friends with you.”

“Why?”

“Well, you’re cute, your smart, according to your friends you are really nice and caring, you look good on a ladder.” She raised her eyebrows.

Willow blushed. “According to my friends…have I not been nice to you?”

“You’ve been nice.”

Willow looked over to see that Aimee was trying to do the work of both of them.

“Listen Tara. I gotta get back to work. I will see you Wednesday, ok?”

“Can I call you?” asked Tara.

“Sure. I’ll be back in my dorm probably between 6:30-7:00.”

Willow noticed that it took Tara some time to leave the theater.

She is totally looking at my butt This thought made her smile.

***

Willow returned to her dorm room a little after 7:00. Anya was sitting on her bed doing homework.
Willow threw her knapsack on her bed and went to grab clothes to change into after a shower. She was about to leave, when Anya said, “Oh, that girl called you at 6:45. I wrote down her phone number.”

Willow went over to the desk where the phone was located. In Anya’s neat script, was a phone number. She picked it up, looked at it, looked at the phone. She then went and sat down on her bed.

“Aren’t you going to call?”

“I don’t want to sound too eager.”

“She seemed disappointed you weren’t back.”

“Did she say she wanted me to call.”

“I guess. She just asked for me to give you her phone number. Wil, people don’t leave their phone numbers randomly. It usually means that they want you to call them.”

“Oh, Ok.” Willow picked up the phone, dialed the number and waited for the rings.

“Hello. Room 304.”

“Um, hi. Is Tara there?”

“Sure, I’ll get her.”

“Hello?”

“Hey Tara, this is Willow. You called?”

“Yeah.” Willow could tell that Tara was bringing the phone into another area of the room. “Sorry, I needed to go in my closet. Nosy roommate and her friends.” She said very quietly. “Um…I…I…I was w…w…w…wondering if you’d like to go for a w…w...walk tonight? But it’s getting late. You must have a lot of homework to do. Sorry.”

“Actually, I am sort of ahead of my self in all my classes. I could go for a walk. Where do you want to go?”

“I thought that we could walk the par course. It’s kinda lit and it’s supposed to be a really nice night. Do you know where it is?”

“Yeah, it circles around the fields and ends near the Science Building, right?”

“Yeah. You want to meet me in front of your dorm?”

“Speaking of dorms, what dorm do you live in”

“Washington 304.”

“How did you get on old campus?”

“I don’t know. My roommate had a good lottery number I am guessing.”

“When do you want to meet?”

“5-10 minutes.”

“Sounds good. See you then.”

Willow hung up the phone.

“What did she want?” inquired Anya.

“She wanted to know if I wanted to go for a walk.”

“A walk?”

“Yeah.” Willow shrugged.

“That’s a new one.”

“Huh?”

“Well, I don’t know. Maybe it is a lesbian thing. No guy has ever asked me to go for a walk before.”

“I guess I’ll see.”

Willow went into her closet. Grabbed a fresh tank top and shirt, sprayed on some deodorant, and looked at herself in the mirror. She grabbed a hooded sweatshirt and put it around her waist in case she got cold. She undid her hair, putting the elastic around her wrist, and brushed out her hair.

“That’s better.”

“It feels weird not to have It up.”

“You look so nice with it down. You should go brush your teeth, who knows this might be a rouse to get you into the woods to kiss you.”

“You think?”

“I don’t know. Can’t hurt to be prepared. Have fun. Don’t do anything I would do.” Anya laughed at her own joke.

Willow exited the room, went to the bathroom, brushed her teeth, made sure her hair still looked good, and went to the front door. Tara was already there, looking a little flustered. She too was wearing jeans and a shirt. She had a string bag that Willow figured had a sweatshirt or sweater in it from its bulk.

“You ok? You look flustered.”

“No, I’m good. I just walked a little fast so I’d get here on time. You left your hair down.”

“I know you liked it last night.” Willow smiled at Tara.

They walked through the fields behind Willow’s dorm and into the woods where the par course was located. The lights from the field illuminated the path. They talked and Tara occasionally bumped into Willow and laughed. Willow felt that this was reminiscent of walks that she and Kate had taken.
Maybe it IS a lesbian thing

“Is this something you do often?” asked Willow, “taking evening walks around the fields?”

“No. April gave me the idea. She said that she and Sue used to do it. It was a good place to go and talk where no one could bother you.”

“You don’t want to be bothered?”

“Not bothered, I just feel like everywhere on campus is so loud and public. There isn’t a lot of places to be able to sit quietly and talk. My dorm is so loud, and my roommate is always inviting people into the room. I don’t feel like I have room to even think sometimes, definitely not talk to someone.”

“You want to talk? Yeah…No… I…I…I…I actually…”

She is stuttering, that usually means she is nervous. Why is she nervous “What’s wrong, you actually…?”

“I…I…I…I am not usually the one who…usually… I don’t know how this works?”

“What works?”

“This telling someone that you are interested?”

“You’re interested in what?” said Willow. “I’m interested in a lot of things. We can talk about whatever you want to talk about.”

“Let’s sit down.” Tara motioned to a sit-up bench. It was on an incline, so the two slid into each other.”

“Willow, I like you.”

“I like you too.”

“No, Willow I LIKE you. Like butterflies in my stomach like you. Like I think about you a lot like you. Like I want to hold your hand like you.”

“Oh…” OMG, OMG, OMG, Chill Rosenberg

“Oh?” said Tara kind of quietly.

“Oh, I like you too.” Said Willow louder than she had planned. Willow reached out, tried to subtly wipe her hand on her jeans and took Tara’s hand.” She’s got soft hands. I hope mine aren’t too sweaty.

“Really?”

“Uh huh.”

“I’ve never done this before.”


“You’ve never done what before?”


“Held hands with a girl I liked. Well, actually that is a lie. As I look back on my middle school and high school life, I realize that I had several strong crushes on other girls. I’d try to maneuver myself to be standing next to them in activities, and other excuses to be near them,” confessed Tara.


“I hear you. I volunteered to be the score keeper for the field hockey team so that I could have the chance to sit with my first girlfriend in the backseat and she’d fall asleep on me.”

“That’s cute.”

“I guess. In the end it caused a lot of problems.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t think I want to go into that now. It might scare you away,” mumbled Willow.

“I’m a lot stronger than I look,”

“I’m not. Well, you saw my arms, my arms are kinda strong, but you’re not talking about that are you. Going to stop babbling now.”

“You’re cute when you babble.”

“I’m glad you think that. If you are going to hang around with me. It is something to get used to. It’s that hole in the filter.”

“Huh?”

“Never mind.”

“Oh, that description of your filter at the bar. I remember now.”

“Yeah.”

“Do you think we should keep walking. I feel like it is getting really dark.”

“I brought a flashlight.” Tara took it out of the string bag on her back.

“You thought this out. It seems.”

“Sort of.”

“It is nice. A bit chillier that I expected. I’m glad I thought to bring my sweatshirt.” Willow stood up and put her sweatshirt, including the hood.
“W..w..we could still hold hands if we each put on our hoods. Kinda incognito in the dusk/dark. We could be anyone.” Tara paused. She put on her sweatshirt and hood and took Willow’s hand. They walked a bit and she asked, “Does it ever bother you that you have to hide?”

“It’s my reality. I don’t really think about it. Lots of people think what I am is wrong, so it’s best to keep it as secret as possible. I hate hearing the Bible thumpers talking about sin and hell and all of that. Actual the Torah doesn’t mention anything about lesbians. But still, it is clear than all types of homosexuality are considered wrong at my parent’s synagogue.”

“You are Jewish?”

“Yes. Not practicing though. I had a Bat Mitzvah, that is sort of like Conformation for Christians, but I really haven’t gone to synagogue of my own free will since then.”

“I went to a friend’s Bat Mitzvah; it is way more complicated than a Confirmation. She had to lead the services and read a whole long passage in Hebrew, right? The food and party afterwards were really great.”

“Yeah, it is a lot of work. But for me, it ended up paying off. If it wasn’t for my Bat Mitzvah money, I wouldn’t have any spending money other that what I make at the theater.”

“Your parents don’t give you any money?”

“No, as long as I am “living this deviant lifestyle, they will not give me any help.”

“How are you affording to be here?”

“Several really good scholarships, financial aid and student loans.”

“Wow.”

“It’s nothing. There are a lot of people in my same situation. This year it was a lot better, I didn’t have to take out as many loans. Last year they didn’t believe me that I was doing it on my own. This year, I was able to prove that they were not providing me with any financial assistance.”


“That’s good I guess.”

“Yeah, I am guessing that I’ll get a good job after I graduate, and the loans won’t be too bad. Computer Programming is taking off. The ‘wave of the future’ they say.”

They waked until they were at the end of the path. As they came into the light, they dropped their hands.

“We’re closer to your dorm,” said Willow. “Can I walk you there?”

“Sure,” replied Tara.

Willow kept her sweatshirt hood on, in case someone recognized her. She walked Tara to her dorm.

“See you tomorrow?” Willow asked.

“Hopefully. Do you have a break for lunch tomorrow? I have one at 1:30.”

“Me too. Upper or Lower cafeteria?”

“Which one do you usually go to?” asked Tara.

“Lower.”

“I guess that is why I never saw you. I always go to the Upper.”

“We’ll meet at the Upper café at about 1:40?”

“It’s a date.” Tara smiled.

Willow smiled back and practically skipped back to her dorm.

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: Learning To Laugh (June 11, 2019)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:49 am 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 31
You wrote this so sweetly. Only Willow and Tara could finally admit they are attracted to each other then not even hug at the end of their walk. I wanna knock their heads together! You capture the era and the homophobia and secrecy really well. As long as you keep posting I will read. It's so lovely that after all the post Buffy years that some people are still writing new content.


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