For over a month everything seemed perfect for Ashlee. She had graduated from high school with good grades and a nice scholarship to the college she'd wanted to go to ever since she knew she wanted to go to college. She was even going to be able to room with someone she actually knew and liked in the person of Macy who was going to the same college on scholarship. No rooming with some stranger for her.
She also finally had her own car. Not just a car she could drive, but her own car as in a car she owned thanks to her father's unusual display of generosity brought on mainly by his gratitude over Ashlee's success at securing enough scholarships and grants to make her education virtually free for both him and her. It was a nice car, too. Not some used hunk of junk, but a brand new, nice and shiny silver Jetta paid for with what was to be the money for her first semester at school.
It was beautiful and she'd actually cried tears of pure, unadulterated joy when he had handed her the keys. She even hugged him and kissed him for the first time in several years while he laughed and smiled at her. She wouldn't have admitted out loud, but it was the first time in a long time that she'd actually had any good feelings towards him. It wasn't just because he'd given her a car, either. It was because he'd actually given her the car she'd always wanted and not just a car. She loved her dad, but, honestly, until that moment she'd always kind of had a lingering feeling that he simply didn't get her at all.
Her job was going great as well. She'd even received a raise which was nice and, even better; she'd already been informed that her transfer request was actually going to go through. That was quite a relief even though she knew with a full load of classes it wouldn't mean much money wise. Still it was nice to know that she at least wouldn't have to worry about bumming money off her parents or selling plasma until she found a new job when she went off to college.
But there was something more important going on in her life and it was the one thing that made everything just perfect. Ashlee was in love and she was absolutely certain that the feeling was mutual. So certain that she didn't even feel the need to question it one bit. Ashlee and Naiya were in love. That's all there was to it.
Ever since their first night together a few weeks before graduation she and Naiya had been virtually inseparable. Even during those last few weeks of school they'd managed to come up with every excuse in the book to find time to be together at night when they could be alone and continue their exploration of each other's bodies. They lost a lot of sleep in the process and it was actually something of a miracle that they didn't fail their finals, but both were of the mind at that time that there was nothing they'd rather be doing than spending the night making each other moan into their pillows.
Once summer arrived and they no longer had to worry about classes and grades and what not they only got worse (if that was the right word for it). They actually became a bit reckless once they had almost unlimited time together to do as they pleased. Ashlee couldn't even count the times they'd almost been caught doing things to each other that were more than what most would call friendly. Luckily, they'd avoided that embarrassment quite well so far.
In short, the last two months had been the best of her short, 18 years young life. Everything had seemed absolutely perfect and as far as she could tell it was going to stay that way for forever. Oh, maybe when she left for college and Naiya left to go her different school seemingly light years away complications would arise, but that seemed like something far in the distant future at the time, but things were about to change and what looked like the keystone of her perfect little life was about to be pulled out much sooner than she'd ever expected or feared.
It wasn't that Naiya didn't like having sex with Ashlee. It was that, unlike Ashlee, she had no illusions about the new sexual aspect of their relationship being anything more than that. To her it was just sex. Awesome, great and incredibly fun sex, but just sex. It held no deeper meaning for her at all and honestly she had no idea that her interpretation of their relationship was any different than Ashlee's.
And it wasn't because Naiya was necessarily insensitive to her friend's feelings. Well, no more than your usual teenager might be, but it wasn't that. In fact, the situation that ended up bringing everything to a head was something well known to both of them, but it was also something that Ashlee had no willingness to acknowledge even though she knew full well that it had existed before she and Naiya had ever even kissed.
The problem was that Naiya's love life was already rife with complications. Complications mostly of her own creation, but complications none the less. They were also complications that Ashlee was well aware of, but personally chose to ignore because they simply didn't fit into her desired reality. Why? Because they involved a third person who she secretly knew she had no real hope of competing with for the affections of Naiya.
The person is question was a boy named Max. Well, not a boy really. In fact, calling Max a boy to his face was not exactly a wise thing to do. Not that he was violent, but it just wouldn't be a good decision on your part because Max ... well, let's just say Max wasn't exactly an insubstantial human being. He also really wasn't a boy. He was old enough to call himself a man and he did.
Of course, the man thing was really debatable, but at the ripe old age of twenty he was definitely old enough to claim some other title than boy. Like college sophomore for one or, maybe, young adult. He also was the one guy that Naiya could truly say she was ever in love with and as well as the one guy that Ashlee really could've lived without.
Frankly, she kind of had the impression she was going to get her wish until two weeks after school ended when he hadn't made his usual summer appearance or even bothered to call Naiya since Christmas break. In fact, it was something that Naiya had been quite vocal about before Kelli seduced her and then Naiya in turn seduced Ashlee. It therefore seemed perfectly reasonable to Ashlee that even if he did show up he wouldn't have a chance in hell.
To be clear though it was not that Ashlee really hated Max. He was actually just about the only guy Ashlee really and truly got along with. He was funny, he was nice and he wasn't the type to be an obnoxious flirt nor was he the kind of guy that treated his girlfriend's friends like unwanted pests or competition for Naiya's attention.
In truth, Ashlee was quite fond of him as a person and a friend. When Naiya informed her one night while they were hanging out in Ashlee's bed cuddling and kissing after a slow, wondrous bout of mutual masturbation that he was coming back to town for the remainder of the summer Ashlee was actually almost as excited as Naiya at the news. She actually found herself looking forward to hanging out with him for the first time in what seemed like forever despite the empathetic anger she'd felt towards him when Naiya was still bitter about his lack of attention. If Naiya could forgive him, so could she. Besides she knew that he at least would be appropriately appreciative of her new car unlike Naiya who had just complained that it wasn't red.
This calm sense of mild excitement at the prospect of hanging out with her old friend remained relatively intact for two full days before she found herself noticing something odd about Naiya's behavior. Not odd really, but definitely different from what she'd grown accustomed to over the last several weeks. Different and very worrying from her particular perspective.
First, there were the phone calls. There were many of them and they were all long. They also became increasing more and more private. It was slow progression from Max calling to talk to both of them to just Naiya, but it was an obvious progression that was more than a little worrisome to Ashlee. As the day of Max's arrival grew closer it became almost impossible to see Naiya sans cell phone talking quietly and constantly to Max in a tone that sounded unmistakably at times like that of a girl in love. At least when Naiya actually stayed in the room long enough for Ashlee to overhear which, again as the time of Max's return approached, also became more and more a rarity.
Second there were the text messages. The constant, unending stream of text messages that Naiya couldn't stop responding to. The text messages that never failed to bring a smile to Naiya's beautiful face. The text messages that Ashlee never received nor was allowed to read. The text messages that more than once had interrupted a nice, wonderful afternoon of soft, loving kisses.
Third, and this was actually the worst of it all, there was the one conversation that she had been fully allowed to listen in on that she really wished had never happened. The conversation that finally opened her eyes to what life was going to be like once Max finally came back to town. A conversation that she fully realized at the time was not intended to hurt her, but which still hurt her deeply and brought her whole world crashing down around her. In fact, the lack of intent what actually what hurt the most.
It all happened the night right before Max was supposed to get in his car and head back to town. It was late, but that was hardly unusual. It was summer after all and 2am phone calls were hardly unusual. It was still very annoying however because the timing could not have been worse as far as Ashlee was concerned.
After a long night of waiting for Macy, who until recently had been making herself quite scarce for reasons completely unknown to either Ashlee or Naiya, to take a hint a get out of Naiya's room so Ashlee could finally have Naiya to herself it was quickly becoming obvious that it wasn't working. Macy seemed intent that night on making herself quite the annoying third wheel. Normally, this would've been a non-issue, but after a day she'd had Ashlee was simply bubbling over with hate for everyone and Macy was no exception.
Not that Macy knew that or had any reason to even think that might be the case, but that didn't matter. Ashlee was just not in that good of a mood. The entire day had simply been nothing but a series of disappointments thanks to both Tabitha banging around in her room all afternoon while Ashlee tried her best to get Naiya in the mood for some girl fun while Ashlee's parents were still at work. This in turn was followed by the arrival of Ashlee's mother about an hour early and just in time to make Tabitha's much anticipated departure absolutely meaningless as Ashlee found herself roped into running errands before working a short shift at her job instead of making Naiya come in the shower.
Then, of course, work had been a small piece of hell. Every other customer that came in seemed absolutely intent on taking out the frustrations of their day on poor, frazzled Ashlee. To make it even worse her boss, usually a rather sympathetic and kind person willing to back up her employees at the drop of a hat, was of absolutely no help. In fact, she seemed to think that it was Ashlee's responsibility to handle every single complaint on her own even when they were far beyond her experience level. Then she insisted that Ashlee work an extra hour because, well, there was no because. She simply insisted that it be done and made it clear there was to be no argument.
By the time Ashlee finally escaped an hour and a half later than she was suppose to she was pissed off and tired of other people and their shitty attitudes. All she wanted to do was smoke some weed, listen to some good music and have sex with Naiya before going to bed so she could forget about her shitty day and all that thoughts that were currently driving her insane. Sadly, it was just not in the cards. Oh, there was weed to smoke and good music aplenty, but thanks to Macy it looked like the sex just wasn't going to happen any time soon.
Still, Ashlee's day (and night) up to that point did have one benefit. It had so far been fairly Max free. Oh, there were a couple of text messages that made Naiya smile that secret little smile of hers that Ashlee was growing to hate, but she wasn't allowed to dwell on them too much thanks to Macy and her desire to talk and talk and talk about anything and everything that crossed her mind. It was hardly unusual and frankly Ashlee needed the distraction, but she still resented it. Well, a little bit, anyway.
But at two in the morning almost on the dot any resentment Ashlee felt towards Macy quickly evaporated with the sound of Max's very own super special, ultra annoying ring tone blaring obnoxiously from Naiya's phone. Not for long, though. No, as had become usual, Naiya barely let it ring for more than a second before she answered it with her sweetest, most sickening young women in love voice. After that Naiya was gone and lost to Ashlee for the remainder of the night.
Ashlee, finally fed up with everything going so wrong all day long, managed to sit there for three long, agonizing minutes before something inside her snapped. Not violently or anything like that. No, it was more like she was just suddenly overtaken by intense and unshakable desire to get up and leave without a single word.
And that's exactly what she did. She just got up and walked out of her best friend's room in the middle of Macy's tale about a really interesting squirrel she'd seen two day's prior while Naiya whispered longingly into her phone about much she missed Max and simply couldn't wait to see him the next day. Ashlee could already feel the tears beginning to flow even before she got to the door and paused just long to notice that Naiya didn't even notice before opening the door and slamming it shut hard behind her. She then proceeded to run down the stairs to the bathroom as the dam burst and the tears began to flow in earnest.
She felt so stupid at that moment. She didn't want to be crying. It made her feel weak, small and dumb. It wasn't like she and Naiya had ever really been a couple. They'd never even discussed it. Not really anyway and even those not really conversations had made it quite clear that Naiya, unlike her, definitely viewed the sexual pleasures they were sharing as just another aspect of their friendship. Just something fun for two close friends to do together. Nothing deep, nothing meaningful, nothing even approaching the level of a true, committed relationship.
But there she was crying her soul out at just after two in the morning in her best friend's bathroom while her best friend was probably still too busy telling her ex-boyfriend whom she hadn't even seen in almost a year how much she missed him and couldn't wait to be with him to even notice that Ashlee was gone. The thought of this just made Ashlee cry even harder and feel even dumber. Her sobs were coming out hard and loud. If she'd cared at that moment she might have been worried that they'd be overheard, but she didn't. Besides she was absolutely certain that there was no one there even paying enough attention to notice. As it turned out, she couldn't have been more wrong and she found this out when a soft knock sounded from the other side of the bathroom door followed by sound of a quiet, deeply concerned and very familiar voice asking "Ashlee? Are you okay?"
The voice was not the one she wanted to hear at that moment, so at first she chose to simply ignore it. Luckily, however, the owner of the voice wasn't one to be turned away by silence and she knocked again and repeated the question. When she was again met with silence she didn't bother to ask again and instead tried the doorknob and finding it unlocked proceeded to open the door as Ashlee turned away in a vain attempt to hide her tear swollen eyes from Macy's view.
"What's wrong, Ashlee?" Macy asked in a soft, caring voice that made Ashlee cringe. Not out of hate or anything, but more out of embarrassment. Ashlee covered her face with her hands and again refused to answer. Even though she knew Macy was trying to be nice, trying to be a good friend, she just couldn't bring herself to answer the question.
"C'mon, Ash," Macy said, crouching down in front of Ashlee and reaching out to put a hand on her shoulder. The gentle touch was shocking, but very comforting. Still, Ashlee couldn't bring herself to do anything except cover her face to hide her tears as her friend continued to try to comfort her. "What's going on? Why are you crying? Are you okay? C'mon. You can talk to me."
"It's nothing," Ashlee finally lied, but quickly thought twice and made an attempt to tell the truth between sniffles. All that would come out however was "I just ... I just ... I don't know ... it's..."
"Are you mad about something?" Macy continued to prod obviously befuddled by Ashlee's outburst. Her befuddlement was easy to understand. She had no idea what had been going on over the last several weeks. She couldn't have. She hadn't even been around. A part of Ashlee really wanted to answer the question honestly, not holding back anything just to fill Macy in if only so she could have someone, anyone to vent her feelings to, but she couldn't. Something inside of her just wouldn't let her.
"I don't want to tell you right now, okay?" Ashlee said, wiping away her tears and trying not to sound angry because she wasn't. Not at Macy, anyway. She even tried to smile and failed miserably before adding in a quiet voice "It's just really complicated, okay?"
"Okay," Macy said and smiled back just happy that Ashlee had stopped crying. Then she hugged Ashlee. It was a spontaneous kind of thing, something Macy had been somewhat known for when she was high, but it was a sweet, loving gesture that made Ashlee feel much better then she knew it should have. She even found herself laughing about as she instinctively returned Macy's hug. The laughter just seemed to encourage Macy to hug Ashlee harder and Ashlee did the same in return until Macy released her and added "Better?"
"Kind of," Ashlee said still smiling sadly. She did feel better though. Not a lot better, but definitely better than she had only moments before.
"You don't need a ride home do you?" Macy asked and Ashlee couldn't help but be confused for a second before shaking her head and informing Macy that she had a car which apparently was both shocking and incredibly great news to Macy's ears. "What? Seriously? When did you get a car?" After that Ashlee found herself having a long conversation about her car that somehow ended up with Ashlee and Macy heading out to the driveway dressed only in their pajamas so Macy could admire her car.
"This is yours? This is fucking awesome! I'm so jealous," Macy said once they finally got outside, sounding sincerely overwhelmed and impressed. "How did I not notice this when I came home?"
"No idea," Ashlee said simply as Macy paused briefly only to continue spewing praise over Ashlee's new car almost immediately. Ashlee had no idea why, but this simple, almost one sided conversation was actually making her feel a lot better. Maybe it was the simple fact that it was a distraction to the sad, jealous thoughts that had been haunting her mind over the last few nights, but it didn't matter. Whatever it was she was feeling much better and when Macy made the suggestion, no, demand, that Ashlee should let her drive her car right then and there she actually found herself saying yes almost right off the bat before it hit her it was now well past two in the morning and they were in their jammies.
"So?" was Macy response, "C'mon, let's go for a drive! Ooh! I totally have a joint already rolled and everything! Stony cruise, dude! C'mon! You'll totally feel better after a nice long drive in the country and besides screw going home or going back up to hang with Naiya when she's busy talking to her penis..." Macy paused as she noticed Ashlee's smile begin to vanish at the mention of Naiya and Max. She started to apologize, but found herself interrupted.
"No, let's go, but you tell Naiya we're leaving and grab my weed. I know exactly where we can go." Ashlee said this with an odd tone of unshakable determination that almost shocked Macy. Honestly, Macy had half expected Ashlee to start tearing up again. She may not have known exactly what was going on, but she was smart enough to figure out that it had something to do with either Max or Naiya. She really couldn't have denied that she was curious as to exactly what the deal was, but she wasn't rude.
Besides, if Ashlee wasn't going to dwell on it she wasn't either. She knew Ashlee would tell her whenever she was ready. For the moment though Macy was more than happy to do exactly as Ashlee had asked while Ashlee started the car up trying her best to fake a smile as she watched Macy basically run back into the mostly darkened house. No more then five minutes later she came running back out carrying two hoodies, Ashlee's shoes and her backpack which Ashlee could only assume contained the smoke and god knew what else.
"Let's roll," Macy said with a bright, stupid smile on her face as she slid into the driver's seat after handing everything to Ashlee and then proceeded to put the car in reverse and head on out into the night. From the moment they pulled out of the driveway Ashlee was already beginning to feel a little better. As they exited the neighborhood and cranked up the stereo she was beginning to forget her immediate worries and just enjoy her friends company. By the time they hit the country roads and sparked the joint that had already been rolled Naiya and her penis, as Macy had so wonderfully called Max, were the furthest thing from her mind.
None of this was really all that amazing of course. Macy and Ashlee had always gotten along quite well. It had actually been Macy who had become her friend first and Naiya, Macy's stepsister since they both very young, came after. Even when Macy started hanging out with Kelli, a girl with whom Ashlee had occasionally clashed with for various reasons, they'd remained close friends. In fact, most of the time all three girls( and often four with Kelli) usually ended up hanging out together though generally they usually split up when it came time for bed with Kelli going with Macy and Ashlee staying in Naiya's room. It was an arrangement she often wondered about in passing, but until recently not one she bothered thinking about all that much.
After her first night with Naiya though that had changed. The knowledge that it had been Kelli who had first helped fan the flames of Naiya's nascent sexual interest in girls had begun to make Ashlee wonder a bit about some things. Macy's sexuality was one of them. After all, she was hardly a social outcast herself and she'd heard all the rumors about Macy sleeping with this girl or that girl, but back then Ashlee had just blown them off as nothing but bitter trash talking from any number of boys who'd been shot down by Macy. After all, she too had been subject to rumors like that simply because she'd never had sex with anyone and was, for the most part, extremely shy around boys when they made it obvious they were interested in being more than just friends.
Macy, though, had never been shy. She'd just been disinterested. Ashlee knew because Macy made it quite clear quite often that most boys just weren't her thing. Still, at the time, Ashlee had just chalked it all up to pickiness because she simply found it hard to imagine that one of her best friends might be gay or bisexual without her knowing all about it.
That wasn't all though. There was another aspect to Ashlee's denial and that aspect was that for a very long time, even before she knew what a lesbian was or first grasped the then frightening idea that she herself might in fact be one, Ashlee had something of a crush on Macy. Nothing deep or wicked, but a crush. A little bit of childish lust that she'd always struggled to keep buried lest Macy find out and reject her as some kind of a pervert. When the rumors started this crush made it almost impossible for her to believe them. Why? Because the idea that one of the girls she wanted most in the world might be into girls, but not enough to try and seduce her was something she just couldn't bear.
As Ashlee sat in the passenger of her own car finding herself enjoying the company of Macy as they sang along to the Ting Tings she found these thoughts suddenly racing through her mind. She tried to quell them, but as they approached the park she'd told Macy to drive to she found herself unable to do so. At least not completely. Even rolling and smoking a second joint while they sat in the darkened car didn't help too much until another lingering question popped into her mind and she found herself asking Macy a question which would prove to be most enlightening when answered.
"So where the hell have you been anyway?" Ashlee asked somewhat bluntly and a bit out of the blue. She was high, though, so she didn't notice. She did, however, notice that Macy's expression changed almost instantly once the question had left her mouth. The marijuana induced permigrin faded and was replaced by an odd look that Ashlee had never seen on Macy's usually calm and collected face. It was a look somewhat resembling worried concern.
"What do you mean where have I been?" Macy came back with more than a hint of defensiveness in her tone. "I've haven't gone anywhere."
"Yeah ... well," Ashlee started suddenly aware that the question that had at first seemed so innocent was not being received all that well. "I mean, like, you haven't been around much and tonight was like the first time you hung out in like fucking forever. I mean we like always used to hang out and shit, but for like months and stuff you've like not been around."
"I just..." Macy started then stopped, took a deep breath and then looked over at Ashlee in an intense manner that instantly made Ashlee uncomfortable. It was like Macy was trying to read her mind or gauge her in some way. When Macy finally continued Ashlee knew that's exactly what Macy was trying to do as she asked "Look, can you keep a secret?"
"Of course I can keep a secret," Ashlee responded feeling a bit defensive herself for an instant. If Macy noticed, however, she didn't let it show as she continued to look at Ashlee in discomforting way.
"No," Macy said sounding deathly serious, "I mean like a real secret. Not just pretending Naiya or me didn't say something shitty and mean behind someone's back. I mean like a real thing that if you mention it to the wrong person someone I care about might get in trouble."
Ashlee didn't really know how to react to this. Part of her was definitely feeling more than a bit insulted. Another part of her, however, was very curious about what exactly Macy had been doing that made her so serious about keeping it a secret. Flashes of all sorts of ridiculous scenarios were running through Ashlee's mind, but she managed to shut out just enough of them to again reassure Macy of her ability to keep a secret. It still wasn't good enough, however, as Macy made her swear that she would tell no one, not Naiya, not Kelli, not anyone what Macy was about to tell her. Ashlee agreed and she swore it and then prepared herself for the worst.
What she heard, however, wasn't really all that bad. In fact, it more than a little intriguing as Macy not only confirmed the rumors that had been circulating about her since freshman year, but also confirmed another rumor that Ashlee had heard, but immediately filed away as dumb school boy fantasy as Macy told Ashlee about her short, but passionate relationship with Miss Gutierrez. All the warnings and forced assurances suddenly made perfect sense as Ashlee sat next to Macy glued to her seat and staring wide eyed at Macy as she just kept talking about the beautiful student-teacher that all the boys (and some of the girls including Ashlee herself) had secretly wanted ever since she first came to their school.
What struck Ashlee the most about Macy's seemingly unending confession what was the sheer amount of love that was evident in her words. She wasn't a bit surprised to see tears beginning to well up in Macy's eyes as she began to talk about how their relationship had ended abruptly one night when Emma, a name that until now Ashlee had never associated with the beautiful vision that was Miss Gutierrez, told Macy that she was moving halfway across the country to begin her teaching career.
The tears finally began to flow as Macy tried to sound as if she understood the reasoning behind the decision, but she didn't sound too convincing. Those tears made Ashlee think of her own problems with Naiya and for a moment she too felt sad. Then, however, the feeling shifted slightly as she realized how much she and Macy had in common and that despite this obviously still very fresh wound it had been Macy barely more than an hour before who had reached out to try and comfort her. That thought made her respect Macy just that much more and told her that there was just one thing to do as she leaned across the seat to bring Macy into a hug.
At that the dam finally burst fully and truly. The silently falling tears gave way to sobs and it was now Ashlee's turn to be the sympathetic shoulder to cry on for her friend. She actually felt more than a little guilty for asking the question that brought out this obviously painful tale from her friend and said so as she held her only to be answered with sad, little laugh.
"No, don't be sorry," Macy said in a soft voice. "I'm actually glad to have someone to talk to about it. You don't know what it's like to have to keep something like that inside. I mean, I wanted to tell someone, but Kelli's mad at me because I haven't hung out with her in forever and Naiya's all caught in Max right now and you ... I hate to say it, but I just didn't know how you'd react. I mean, not to sound mean, but you know ... I'd never even told you I was gay before."
"It's okay," Ashlee said, understanding completely even though it did make her a little sad to realize that she may have been the only one in their little group of friends to be completely out of the loop. She really did understand though. She'd always been the most conservative, most timid of their small circle. In fact, that had been the main source of conflict between her and Kelli, the girl who most closely embodied Ashlee exact polar opposite.
"No," Macy said after Ashlee repeated its okay a few more times and she gently removed herself from the hug so she could look Ashlee in the face as she spoke. "It's not okay, Ashlee. I really am sorry. You're my friend and I should've told you. I mean you always defended me when some girl I'd slept with got nervous and started spreading rumors about me and I always just let you do it. I should've trusted you more. We've been friends for forever. I really shouldn't have hidden all that from you. I should've known you'd be cool with it, but I just let my fear and Kelli's silly crap get the better of me, so I'm sorry."
"It's really okay, Macy," Ashlee said even as she felt her heart swelling with affection over the heart felt and obviously sincere apology. "It's not like I've never kept secrets from you before. I'm just glad you trusted me enough to tell me now." With that they hugged again and after that they talked some more about more mundane things as well as occasionally touching back on Macy's turmoil. Macy seemed to have been all cried out at that point, but every time she talked about Emma, a name Ashlee was still struggling to get used to, there was still sadness in her voice that Ashlee couldn't help but feel to a certain extent herself. Not just out of empathy either, but because it reminded her of her current issues with Naiya. She was starting to feel a little guilty over not trusting Macy enough herself, but she kept silent about it until after they'd rolled another joint and got about halfway into it and suddenly she found herself getting ready to share her own secret.
"Macy?" Ashlee said in a quiet voice as Macy was taking a hit off of the joint and then continued after Macy turned to her and made an acknowledging noise." Can I tell you a secret?"
"Dude, you totally don't have to," Macy said as she exhaled the hit slowly. "It's not like you owe me a secret just because I told you one." Ashlee knew this was a yes, but Macy was trying to be nice and let her know she trusted her.
"No," Ashlee continued. "I want to tell you. I mean, I have to tell someone or I'm going to go crazy."
"If this is about why..." Macy started only to be interrupted by Ashlee who knew she was just going to give her another out.
"Why I was crying? Yeah, it is, but I'm seriously not telling you because you told me about Mi ... Emma, so shut up. Please. I just have to tell someone, okay?" This time Macy took the hint and merely nodded as she passed the joint waiting for Ashlee to begin talking, but Ashlee instead took a hit herself to cover a moment of weakness and help herself gather her thoughts a bit. The irony of taking a hit off of a joint in order to gather her thoughts was completely lost on her at the moment, but it did work well enough that after she exhaled she finally began to speak.
"I'm gay too," she said simply and immediately regretted it thinking it sounded too blunt and almost hollow. It must have seemed the same to Macy because no sooner had the words left Ashlee's mouth did Macy choke on the hit she'd just taken from the joint.
"You're serious?" Macy finally said after recovering from a small coughing fit. Ashlee narrowed her eyes a little at this, but then nodded simply in response as she took the now much smaller joint from Macy and took another hit herself partly out of habit and partly to calm her nerves knowing that that was the easy part. Sadly, or happily really, she didn't really get a chance to get to the hard part before Macy said "Oh no! You don't mean ... Naiya!?"
Ashlee actually had to do a double take. Maybe it was the pot clouding her mind, but she really hadn't expected Macy to put two and two together so quickly. She also hadn't expected what was happening right at that very second as Macy, instead of appearing shocked or appalled suddenly started laughing. Ashlee was stunned. She really had no idea how Macy would have reacted before she decided to tell her, but this was definitely was not she expected. It also wasn't exactly welcome because Ashlee had no idea what so funny.
"Oh god," Macy said after catching her breath and noticing the evil glare that Ashlee was casting her way. "I'm sorry; I'm not laughing at you. It's just ... It's ... oh god, I don't know how to say it. I don't know. It just makes so much sense."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ashlee said still feeling a bit defensive and still more than a little perplexed.
"She was your first wasn't she?" Macy asked as she tried to regain her composure.
"Yeah, but what's so fun..." Ashlee began to retort only to be interrupted.
"It's not funny. It's just ... I don't know, I just ... I kind of already knew. I mean, I kind of thought that's what was going on when you busted out of her room earlier I just didn't want to force it out of you. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. It's not that it's funny. It's just so obvious. You know what I mean? I'm not trying to be a bitch, Ashlee. I just ... I'm sorry for laughing." By the time Macy finished her meandering explanation she actually did look sorry, but Ashlee still felt more than a tad stupid.
"Was it really that obvious to you?" Ashlee said in a small voice the reflected her inner turmoil.
"Oh, please," Macy said leaning a bit forward a placing a hand on Ashlee's thigh. "Don't be like that. Trust me, I'm only laughing because I've been there tons and tons of times and I'm totally stoned right now. I'm not trying to make you feel dumb. I've totally done worse. Hell, I fell in love with Kelli after our first time together and you know Kelli. I love that girl to death most of the time, but she'll fuck anything with a pulse."
"Really?" Ashlee said crinkling her nose at the thought of anyone falling for Kelli. Macy just laughed and said. "Yes, really." After that Ashlee relaxed a bit and Macy let her spill her guts and bleed all over her bitching about the last couple weeks. Macy just listened for the most part only interjecting with an affirmative noise to keep Ashlee going until had told the whole story without shedding a tear much to her own amazement. How she managed to get through it without crying was beyond her, but the sadness and frustration she'd felt earlier was beginning to give way to anger. Not rage, but just anger over having her feelings ignored by someone she thought she loved and could trust with her heart.
"You know Max is Naiya's first, right?" Macy said simply looking very serious after Ashlee had finished venting her anger for the moment.
"Yeah, so?" was Ashlee's response.
"Well, think about it like this. You love Naiya, right? As a friend and now as a lover, right? You think that what you had together was perfect and that you'll never have it with anyone else, right?"
"No, it's not ... Well, kind of, I guess, but..."
"No buts, that's how you feel. I know. That's how I felt the first time I ever did it with another girl. I thought I was totally in love and that we were going to be together for ever and everything was going to be great and awesome and we were going to get married and blah blah blah. A lot of girls go through that. Hell, boys too. Once you get your first taste of what it's like to share that perfect moment with someone else it totally fucks up your head and makes you a complete moron for whoever you did it with ... unless your Kelli, but that's something else together. That girl just fell in love with fucking, but I'm not going to talk shit about her..."
"But..." Ashlee began to interject only to be interrupted by Macy once again. That was all well and good though because she had no idea what was going to follow her but with anyway.
"Shhh, just listen okay. I'm trying to save you a lot of heart break. Look, I love Naiya. She's like my sister. I don't mean like my step sister 'cause duh, but like my real sister. I love her to death, but she's an idiot, okay? But, and I know she hurt you, but you gotta understand that the way you feel about her is the way she feels about Max. She fucking loves him.
"God, do you remember when he left for college and he gave her that promise ring?" Ashlee nodded trying to take in every word before Macy continued. "Well, do you remember how much that meant to her? It was like they got engaged or something. She was floating on air for like a month after that until he actually left and then she turned almost instantly into this big, mopey lump of sadness until he called her from the airport to tell her he landed safely."