Until very recently, if pressed to describe me, friends would have had me as one of the quietest of quiet mice.
What kind of woman is Kate?, you might have asked. Quiet, polite, shrinking, modest, might have been the reply.
One thing you could always have relied on me for was to be transparent in a room. I would have brought you tea but you would not have noticed me at all. If you spoke to me my conversation would have been as bland as a water cracker, immediately forgotten.
You will have noticed great changes since the time I began this diary of sorts. Things have happened. Things never happened to me before. I was not the sort of person things happened to and certainly not the sort to have made things happen.
Then your friend became one to drastically make over her house, then a nudist, albeit only in the home, behind closed doors, and just slightly later, a woman who enjoys the intimate company of another woman.
How does a person effect such a dramatic change in life? Shock, I think. Shock at being left, stranded like an orphan abandoned on a busy street in a strange town. One either adapts to the changes or remains frozen in place. With the encouragement of friends I began to adapt, and it has been an awakening as if I’d been in a coma for many years.
Now, to the point of what I sat here to write.
Dramatic change can be a wonderful thing, it has been for me in every way. However, dramatic change can lead a person to forget oneself in the onrush of enthusiasm. And so it was for me last evening.
At home baking biscuits and enjoying a nice, hot cup of tea and a book, the phone rang. It was Audrey. She was at home and wishful of company. Naturally I invited her over to mine. It was just before seven. Audrey lives barely ten minutes from me by car and she’d said she would be right over. So, I prepared a surprise for her.
Fifteen minutes passed and my doorbell rang. I went to the door and flung it open to give Audrey an eyeful of my naked body.
You’re ahead of me I know. Of course it wasn’t Audrey, was it? No, it was my little gang of five, sans Audrey.
Are you picturing it? Myself, stood naked for no apparent reason, with a smile on my face, and a huddle of women, open-mouthed, on my doorstep.
What did I do? I more or less cried out “be right back” and slammed the door in their faces. Then I ran for my bedroom, took hold of my bathrobe, slipped on my slippers and went back to the door, and opened it.
There were my friends, looking embarrassed for me and looking everywhere except at me. And Audrey had just joined the group, unaware of what had just occurred, obviously, from the expression on her face.
I asked them inside and while they were hanging up their coats and scarves I went off to the kitchen to put on the kettle for tea. Audrey followed me. She whispered, “what’s going on?” and I told her. She did her best not to laugh out loud but she couldn’t hide the glee from her face.
To her credit she finished making the tea and getting out the biscuits to serve to our friends whilst I went back to my bedroom to dress more appropriately.
How does one explain such an action? I mean, even to friends you’ve known for years, how does one explain?
Well, I explained as a person does in my culture and situation and state of high arousal, I lied, and I did it badly. Instead of being mature and open to my closest of friends, illuminating my affair with Audrey with confidence and brio, letting the chips fall where they may, I told them I’d been seeing a man and it was he I’d been expecting to arrive at the door.
After a short few moments of tittering along with mutterings of “oh”, “oh”, and oooh!”, the questions began. Could I save it from becoming more complicated? Yes, I could. Did I? No, I did not. I compounded the lie with another and another until I’d created an entire character of a man who did not exist, and with whom I was sufficiently intimate to throw open my front door in the dead of winter, at night, in the altogether.
I suppose had we been Continental, or younger, Audrey or I would have spoken up sooner. We would have risked friendships for the sake of honesty. Women from our backgrounds do not, however, take such risks, not easily and not without a great deal of thought and discussion at any rate.
And so I endured the few hours of probing and innuendo until they left.
When they were gone I cried. Audrey is not one to cry easily so she sat, stone-faced, in the armchair, facing me.
Not long after we went to bed, without a word, and held each other. There were no kisses or play, only the sound of each other’s breathing in the dark.
I think I realized last night that I do feel for Audrey and perhaps this isn’t a fling. We seem to have become a couple of sorts.
This pretense with our friends can’t go on, it’s too painful and it’s become ridiculous. I’ve spoken with Audrey at breakfast and we’ve decided to take the risk, to tell our friends. We’ll invite them for dinner tonight, our dearest friends, and after, over tea, we shall uncover our secret.
I hope by the end we have some friends remaining. It must be done though. For years in a loveless marriage I never let on, never said anything to my friends. I shan’t be doing that again. What they do with it when they know is up to them.
One needs love in one’s life and to express it freely. That I have learned and I am learning.
Wish me luck.
Until next we meet,