Disclaimer: All individuals in this story are eighteen or older. The author does not condone sexual acts with non-consenting participants. The author does condone consenting adults doing basically whatever they want to each other in the privacy of their own home. Please enjoy. Constructive feedback is appreciated.
I love Game of Thrones. It is by far my favorite way to wind down after a fun filled day of providing tech support to the technologically illiterate. Today included a rather spirited exchange with a rotund forty something who insisted I clean up his hard drive without violating his, “Constitutional right to privacy.” Translation: pretend not to notice the copious amounts of pirated porn flooding the drive.
I suspected if I didn’t have a vagina he would have been more cavalier about it, but this was the reality of working in IT. Needless to say, I valued my time away from my customers, so the last thing on earth I wanted to deal with was the doorbell ringing at eight o’clock at night. I lived in small apartment and wasn’t super chummy with the neighbors, so the only people who ever used my doorbell were there to sell me their religion or something equally useless.
I considered pretending no one was home, but the bell kept ringing insistently. I peeked through the peephole, expecting to find a demented home security salesman or something along those lines. Instead, I found the somewhat disheveled form of my lifelong best friend/longtime hopelessly unrequited girl crush, Amita Subramani, known to white people as Ami.
“Hey Ami,” I said, surprised, but happy at the unexpected visit.
“Hey Sarah,” she replied wearily. Her hair was tied back in an unusually messy braid and her mascara was smeared. She still looked beautiful, especially compared to me, the scrawny, pale, straw-haired nerd known as Sarah Caulfield. “Can I come in?”
“Of course, come on in,” I said, holding the door open for her. “Sorry, I thought you were a Jehovah’s Witness or something.”
“Sorry, I should have called first. I know it’s Game of Thrones night,” she explained apologetically, stepping through the door. As she came into the light, I saw that her dark brown eyes bloodshot and that she had a large piece of luggage in tow.
“No worries. So, what brings you here? And with a suitcase?” I asked as delicately as possible. Ami lived with her boyfriend Paul, so an impromptu overnight visit did not bode well.
Ami’s ability to surprise me knew no bounds. “Wow. That’s awesome! Congratulations,” I said enthusiastically, pulling her into a warm hug, which she returned in kind.
“Thanks. That was the reaction I was hoping for,” she murmured over my shoulder.
“Shit. I take it Paul was less than thrilled?” I asked sympathetically. Ami and Paul’s conflicting positions on children was still unresolved after years after they first started dating in college. Although I liked to dream that the reason they never married was that Ami was secretly a lesbian and madly in love with me, I suspected the kids issue was the real obstacle between Ami, Paul, and unholy matrimony.
Ami shook her head somberly. “He was furious. Accused me of getting pregnant on purpose. He told me we’d go to the clinic tomorrow to get it ‘taken care of,'” she replied bitterly.
“Jesus. He does know that choosing is part of the whole pro-choice thing, right?” I asked incredulously. I was immensely proud of myself for not breaking into an impromptu rendition of the, “told you so,” dance. I never liked any of Ami’s boyfriends for obvious reasons, but I especially didn’t like Paul.
“Apparently not,” Ami said ruefully. “It’s not like I expected him to be happy about it, but I thought he’d at least be a little supportive.”
“Want me to kick his ass?” I offered. I could do it to. I used to be in the Army after all, which kind of made me a certified badass. Okay, slight exaggeration, but I could still take Paul.
Ami chuckled. “That’s sweet, but I’d rather not have to post your bail. I’ve had enough stress for one night,” she said sadly. Her gaze moved the floor as she unconsciously ran her hand down her midsection. “It’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting into. He told me right from the beginning that me he didn’t want kids. I guess I was just hoping he would change his mind.”
“I’m sorry Ami.”
“Thanks. I’ll be out of your hair as soon as I can. I’ll start looking for a new place in the morning,” Ami said.
“No way. There is no way in hell I’m letting you go through this alone. Mi casa es su casa,” I replied adamantly.
“Really, I don’t want to put you out.”
“You’d be doing me a favor. Now when my coworkers try to drag me downtown to get hammered and hit on experimenting college girls, I can tell them I’ve got a beautiful woman waiting for me at home,” I said with a cheesy grin.
Ami rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. “Alright, you win,” she replied with a melodramatic sigh.
“Damn straight. Do you have everything you need?”
“Just bahis firmaları need a blanket and a spare pillow. Your couch is pretty comfortable.”
“Nonsense. Take the bed. I just changed the sheets,” I insisted.
“I am not going to kick you out of your own bed,” Ami replied sternly.
“House rules. Pregnant women get the bed.”
“You can put in a petition if you like, but I hear the owner is kind of stubborn,” I said with a shrug.
Ami shook her head, giving me one of those looks that managed to combine exasperation and gratitude into a single expression. “You’re the best, you know that?” she said, leaning in to kiss my cheek. “Thank you. For everything.”
“Anytime Ami. Try to get some sleep.”
“Ok. I love you. Good night.”
“Love you too. Night.”
I’m a light sleeper, an unfortunate byproduct of spending a considerable amount of time in parts of the world where random explosions, alarms, and gunfire were a frequent occurrence. It didn’t take much to wake me. Any strange sound would do the trick. A woman crying qualified as a strange sound.
I left the lights off, moving quietly toward my bedroom door. I heard Ami gasping between her sobs, the awful panicked breathing of someone strangled by pain and grief. I knocked on the door lightly, unsure of what to do or say.
“Ami? Can I come in?” I asked softly.
She didn’t say anything for a while. I couldn’t even hear her breathe. “Yeah. Just a second,” she replied after a while. I heard the springs shift as she moved off the bed and opened the door. Her eyes were red and swollen, and though she’d wiped the tears from them, a few drops were still on her cheeks.
“Sorry. Goddamn hormones,” she explained dismissively. “It’s like a freakin’ roller coaster.”
I didn’t buy it for a second. I wrapped my arms around her and held her tight. “It’s gonna be ok,” I whispered. I had no idea what I was doing, but come hell or high water, I was going to keep that promise.
Ami burst into a fresh set of tears, soaking my neck and shoulder as she squeezed me back and didn’t let go. We stayed there for a while, holding each other while she let out all of her fear and sorrow.
“Will you stay with me?” she asked in a small voice.
I followed Ami into the bedroom, slipping in behind her as she curled up under the covers. She linked my fingers between her own and brought my arm around her. My presence seemed to calm her and within a few minutes, she was asleep.
I realized that this was the first time I shared a bed with Ami since we were tweens and the first time I shared a bed with a woman since I broke up with Cameron. Normally I would have felt conflicted about it, but tonight I was just grateful to give a moment of comfort to my lifelong friend.
The smell of coffee and bacon greeted me the next morning. I didn’t have to work, so I woke later than usual, surprised to find Ami already up and about.
“Morning,” she said, her tone far more chipper than the last time I saw her. She was wearing one of my t-shirts along with a pair of yoga pants. That particular shirt was much thinner than Ami must have realized, leaving no doubt that she decided to forgo a bra, a fact I very deliberately chose to ignore.
“And here I thought you weren’t a morning person,” I said, helping myself to a crispy slice of bacon and pouring a cup of coffee. I noted Ami wasn’t drinking any herself and made a mental note to get some decaf.
“Well, someone didn’t have any food in the apartment, so I had to run and get groceries. You know what big white box in your kitchen? The one that’s cold on the inside? You can put food in there and it will last more than a day,” Ami teased.
“There was a pizza in there,” I said defensively.
“It was at least a week old. If I’m going to be living here, we’re going to need actual food. My lovechild demands sustenance.”
“Amazing. You’ve been here less than a day and you’ve already taken over,” I said in mock indignation.
“I promise my rule will be fair and just,” Ami grinned. “Speaking of which, I was wondering if you could do me a favor.”
“Ask away sister, ask away.”
Ami’s smile was still there, but it receded a bit, the light dimming in her eyes somewhat. “I was wondering if you could pick up the rest of my stuff from my…from Paul’s place,” she asked quietly.
“Yeah, of course. Does he know I’m coming?” I asked.
“I texted him. He said he’d pack up my stuff for me, that I swing by later today. I thought I could do it, but everything’s still so raw, I just don’t think I’m up to it,” she sighed.
“I get it. I’ll head over this afternoon. Do you have to work?”
“Yes, unfortunately. I’ll leave you a key, but Paul will probably be there. He shouldn’t give you any trouble. He’s not a bad guy. We just wanted different things,” Ami said sadly. I decided to keep my opinion to myself.
I headed over to Ami’s old apartment later kaçak iddaa that afternoon. Paul’s car was in the lot as predicted, so I took a moment to compose myself before ringing the doorbell, determined not to introduce further drama into her life. I threw a flannel over my shirt and tied up my hair, trying for some approximation of scary butch. The actual result was less than intimidating.
Paul answered the door almost immediately, seeming just as ill at ease as I was. “Hey,” he said tonelessly.
“Hey,” I grunted.
“I boxed up as much as I could. I think I got most of it. Take a look around, if you see anything, go ahead and throw it in,” he explained.
We worked in silence for the next twenty minutes, loading boxes into the back of my truck. Once the bulk of it was loaded, we scanned the apartment for anything Paul might have missed. There was a variety of Ami’s random personal effects scattered throughout the apartment. Paul looked like he might protest a couple of times, but each time his body went limp and he continued working quietly.
“Is she okay?” Paul asked as I went through Ami’s side of the closet.
I gritted my teeth. “I’m just here for her stuff dude,” I replied evenly. Even when we were on good terms we were never on good terms, and his recent actions had not improved my opinion of him.
I tried not to make eye contact with Ami’s former boyfriend, or even look at him at all. I caught him staring at the contents of a random box, fixated on its contents and oblivious to all else. In spite of my anger, I found myself feeling sorry for him. The man looked like he’d aged ten years overnight. I couldn’t begin to imagine what losing Ami would feel like, but it I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
“I think that’s everything. Ami said she’d come by later on, give the place a final sweep,” I said briskly.
“It’d probably be best if you weren’t home when that happens,” I said, allowing a little edge to creep into my voice.
“Right,” he replied dully.
I picked up the last box and started out the door. Paul caught my shoulder, and I turned to lay into him, but found my heart wasn’t in it when I met his eyes.
“Take care of her,” he said simply as I walked out the door.
Ami and I settled into a new rhythm quickly enough. Our work schedules overlapped for the most part, so we had plenty of time to get her unpacked and set up in the apartment. The second bedroom served as my home office, and though I offered to let her move into it, Ami convinced me to continue sharing a bedroom. It wasn’t the most practical solution all things considered, but I suspected that she simply wanted me close.
I could certainly empathize. It’s surreal and unsettling, going from the reassuring warmth and soothing sounds of a loved one’s presence to still, cold darkness.
There were a few issues here and there. Nothing major, just little bumps here and there as we grew reacquainted with each other’s habits and quirks.
Ami was rather liberal regarding her state of dress after work and on the weekends. Turns out, she almost never wore a bra at home. Removing it was one of the first things she did when she got home, doing that bizarre magic trick every other woman seems to know where she’d slip it off out from under her blouse. I tried it myself a couple of times, but only succeeded in strangling myself with elastic and underwire.
“Is it that uncomfortable?” I finally asked one afternoon after Ami discarded her bra on the coffee table.
“Oh yeah. I think I’m getting my pregnancy boobs. My bras don’t really fit anymore,” Ami explained. “You don’t mind me going without, do you?”
“It’s a little distracting, but it’s no big deal,” I said with an embarrassed shrug.
“Distracting, huh?” Ami teased. She seemed amused by my discomfort.
“I am a lesbian,” I replied sardonically. “My people notice these things.”
“I never understood the fascination with breasts,” Ami said, looking down at own. “There’s nothing special about them.”
The abundance of cleavage Ami exposed while surveying her bust was prompting an unfortunate reaction, a sudden heat between my legs that reminded me just how long it had been since I had sex. I shifted in my seat, trying very hard not to stare down my best friend’s top.
“Spoken by someone who actually has them,” I retorted.
“You have breasts.”
“Sure. But there are breasts,” pointing at my rather unremarkable chest, “and there are breasts,” I proclaimed, pointing at her abundant bosom. The luscious, golden brown breasts that hung before me compelled me to do more than just stare. Ami was either oblivious to the effect this had on me, or was downright evil.
“I still don’t see what the big deal is,” she shrugged. Which made them bounce. Damn you Ami.
“Agree to disagree.”
Other habits were more infuriating than distracting. I’d forgotten just how much time girly girls spent in the bathroom, and my BFF was a particularly kaçak bahis egregious offender. My desire to give her privacy was quickly overridden by my desire to get to work on time.
“Ami!” I yelled irritably, knocking on the bathroom door. “Are you still in the shower?”
“Yeah. Do you need it?”
“No, but I need to brush my teeth and stuff. Hurry up!”
“I’m shaving my legs. Just come in,” Ami replied.
“Fine,” I said, rolling my eyes.
I went in and headed straight for the sink. I brushed and flossed my teeth, then started putting on my makeup. When I looked in the mirror, I saw Ami’s silhouette in the not all that foggy shower door. I couldn’t help but stare, captivated by the sight of her beautiful nude form.
I tried hard to focus on my own reflection. Since I was old enough to notice girls, I was aware of the fact that Ami was a very beautiful woman. But seeing her like this, that was something else altogether.
Morning sickness was another bump in the road, albeit a considerably less confusing and far more miserable one.
“Ok, this baby had better be very cute, because I did not enjoy dinner the second time around,” Ami moaned. She was sitting on the bathroom floor, next the toilet. I stood nearby, trying to find a remedy in one of the half dozen pregnancy books the two of us bought.
“The book says it should pass in a couple of weeks,” I said sympathetically.
“Does the book say how to dispose of the body of the man that did this to me?” Ami growled.
“No, but I think there might be a chapter on it in one of my old field manuals.”
“I thought you were a computer guy.”
“There were bad days,” I replied darkly. I might have been a commo nerd, but IEDs and rockets didn’t know the difference.
Ami looked me in the eye, seeing something I tried to keep below the surface. I typically made a deliberate effort to avoid thinking about Afghanistan. Sometimes I failed. “One of these days, you’re going to have to tell me about it,” she said softly.
“One of these days,” I agreed. Dammit, I was supposed to be looking after Ami, not the other way around.
Satisfied, Ami started to sit up. “Ok,” she sighed. “I think I’m done throwing up now.”
“You want some crackers?” I asked, pulling a package of them out of my purse.
Ami stared at them for a moment before returning to the toilet.
“I was wrong.”
“Thanks for coming with me,” Ami said warmly as we sat in the waiting room.
“Thanks for inviting me. This is kind of exciting.”
“I know, right? I’m a little nervous.”
Honestly, I was a little nervous too. I guess that’s how most people feel before the first ultrasound. “You’ll be fine,” I said, not sure whom I was trying to convince.
“Mrs. Su…Subaruman…Su,” the receptionist struggled.
“Subramani.” Ami corrected politely. Gotta love it when Americans that aren’t in the know try to pronounce Indian names. Fortunately, Amita was easy enough to Americanize.
“You and your wife can come on back.” Neither of us corrected her.
Ami giggled nervously as the technician rubbed cold, clear goo on her slightly rounded abdomen. “Alright, let’s get a look at your baby,” the tech said cheerfully.
I couldn’t make sense of anything on the screen. I felt Ami reach toward my hand. I clasped my fingers around hers, squeezing them reassuringly.
“And there it is.”
I couldn’t really make out what the tech was pointing out on the screen. It was just a series of black and grey blurs. But the heartbeat, that was unmistakable.
“Wow. Would you look at that? She’s really in there,” Ami said in awe.
“She?” I asked, equally amazed.
“Just a feeling.” I brought Ami’s hand to my lips and kissed it gently, incredibly grateful to share this moment with the woman I loved.
It seemed like things were changing between me and Ami. After the ultrasound, we started making plans. Converting the office into a nursery. Picking out names. Starting a college fund. Building a future, together. And despite that little voice that warned me that I was deluding myself, I started to hope.
Ami really was everything I had ever looked for in a partner. I needed her just as much as she needed me, and after the last few months I couldn’t imagine going back to an empty apartment.
I chuckled when I walked through the front door early one afternoon. Ami was in the shower, belting out a heartfelt rendition of “Let It Go.” She has a beautiful voice, but she’s oddly self-conscious about it, so I decided to keep quiet so as not to interrupt.
I sat down on the couch and started skimming a book on my iPad. I hadn’t done much recreational reading in a while, and I was eager to delve into another Asimov novel. Ami’s song ended and I assumed she’d be out of the shower soon. Now that the nausea was finally over, Ami started working out again, hell-bent on ensuring that the only weight she gained due to her pregnancy rather than sloth and poor diet.
As intrigued as I was by Dr. Calvin’s foray into robotic psychology, the sound of a low moan emanating from the bathroom caught my attention. The water was still running, but it did little to muffle Ami’s voice.