By Shufflebum Munky
Kelly entered the house, giving little thought to the time or how much noise she was making. After leaving Karen's she'd gone to a gay bar a little out of west London... a fact she was now regretting.
"Kelly, where the hell have you been?"
The blonde stopped short at the voice of her aunt, "Out."
"Well, I must say, it was lovely of you to tell me where you were going! I've had Karen around here, making absolutely no sense, saying you left her in the middle of dinner." Sadie hastened the verbal attack on her niece, and noticed the expression on her face. "Oh, darling - what's wrong?"
Shaking her head slightly, Kelly made a move for the stairs. "Nothing. I'm a little tired, do you mind if we do this tomorrow?" 'Or never.' She added silently, hoping Sadie would leave it at that. She had no such luck.
"You may be tired, but we need to talk about this." Sadie motioned the sofa, but entered the kitchen herself and headed for the kettle.
Kelly sighed and sat down, wearily rubbing at her eyes all the while hoping her aunt wouldn't probe too far. "Aunt Sadie, this really isn't a good time. I'm tired, I'm aching, and I'm bloody upset. Please don't do this now."
Sadie re-entered the lounge, bringing with her two mugs and a lecture. "As much as you would like for me to shut up and never speak again, I'm going to make you talk about it - about Karen. And don't give me that look... I know perfectly well that she's the cause."
Admitting defeat, Kelly relaxed into the soft cushions and gladly accepted one of the mugs. "This has got nothing to do with Karen. It's me, and the fact that I'm such a stupid coward."
Sadie's puzzled face stared back at her own, "But she said..."
"Yeah, she told me she loved me," the blonde took a sip of her coffee, "so I did the only thing I'm good at - I ran out of there as fast as I could."
The older woman reached forward and clasped one of Kelly's hands in her own. "Kelly, darling, you may be one of the most na´ve people I've ever met, but you are certainly not a coward. I seem to remember a certain young woman spilling her heart out not too long ago, knowing that all she would get in return was rejection. Yet you still did it, didn't you? You told Karen how you felt, and I've no idea how much courage that must've taken." Sadie smiled and patted Kelly's hand. "And now Karen has told you she feels the same, so why did you leave like that? It makes no sense whatsoever to me..."
Kelly sighed and shook her head. "It can't be real... this is what I've wanted for so long. I wanted Karen and Matt to split up, and I wanted her to love me... I come back here, expecting to find you ill - which I've not forgotten about - and suddenly all my prayers have been answered. It's too good to be true; it has to be. You don't just fall in love like that over a few weeks, yet it seems Karen has."
Sadie, exasperated, forced Kelly to look up at her. "You're proving my earlier point - you're so na´ve, Kelly, that sometimes it breaks my heart." Shaking her own head, she continued, "You think Karen has only just developed these feelings? Kelly - anybody must have been blind not to notice how jealous Karen was when you left with Ellen! Christ, she practically turned green at the mention of Ellen's name..."
Kelly opened her mouth in an attempt to argue her point, but Sadie cut her off. "No, Kelly, before you start again, you listen to a few things..."
"NO! Sadie, you listen. I asked Karen - I asked her before I left. And you know what she told me? That all I had was her friendship. If she loved me so bloody much she wouldn't have let me go!"
Kelly angrily banged down her mug, causing the remaining liquid to splash out. But neither woman paid attention to the brown stains.
"Kelly, do you remember what it was like when you first realised you were a lesbian?"
"Well, yeah... but what's that got to do with anything?" The blonde asked, wondering where the conversation was heading.
"And do you remember how difficult that was, admitting it to yourself - let alone anybody else?" Sadie backed off a little, leaning into the chair. "Now think about this from Karen's point of view. When you asked her, she was with Matt. Her husband." Sadie took a breath, wanting Kelly to hear the words. "Can you imagine how terrified she must have been to realise she had feelings for another woman? Yet you expected her to tell you, to ask you not to leave?"
Kelly's eyes widened in realisation slightly, and she let her head lower, feeling fully ashamed with herself. "I guess, I didn't think about it like that. It just seemed so obvious to me; that she'd be able to tell me if she really did feel something for me." Kelly covered her face and let out a deep breath. "Oh, aunt Sadie, shoot me now. Could I really be anymore of an idiot?!"
Sadie smiled slightly, and patted her niece's knee once more. "I won't disagree with that. But you've got to stop feeling sorry for yourself, and sort this mess out with Karen."
Kelly made a move to rise, but the older woman glared at her meaningfully. "Tomorrow, Kelly. You were tired, remember?"
"Exactly - I was tired... I'm feeling strangely energetic now, though." She smiled and got her coat. Putting it on, Kelly moved over to Sadie. "I can't thank you enough, but right now, I just want to see Karen."
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