By Shufflebum Munky
Why was looking at this house so hard? Kelly's eyes moved up to the roof of the Webb home and took in the dull tiling and peeling paintwork. Anybody coming home from a night out right now would think she was mad, but Kelly couldn't give a bugger what people might think of a young woman standing outside a house at two o'clock in the morning. She was a woman on a mission... except she couldn't quite bring herself to take the first step and knock on the door.
Maybe Aunt Sadie was right - maybe she should have just gone to sleep. But knowing that Karen's feelings for her could border on serious, on something meaningful, had shunted all thoughts of sleep from her weary mind. This was what all those months of secret longing, then confession, and finally pain had come to. A woman who was too scared to knock on the door of a house she had visited countless times before.
Kelly turned abruptly in the direction of Sadie's house and let out a small sigh. Yes, she wanted to see Karen and hear how much the other woman loved her, but the possibility of rejection scared Kelly into leaving the conversation for another time. She just wasn't sure if that other time would ever happen.
Someone was tugging at her hair, Kelly realized with a start, which seemed to be enough to bring her out of her temporary coma. The young blonde opened her eyes to find herself looking into the face of a toddler. Davie squealed with delight and ran to his mother, Cat, as Kelly sat up and prodded her hair.
"Oh, sorry about that!" Cat said, sounding decidedly not sorry and entirely too loud.
Kelly grimaced as she detected the smell of cheap cigarettes on Cat's breath, even with the other woman standing at the other end of the lounge. She supposed that Cat was here to scrounge some more money off Sadie.
"Where's my Aunt?" Kelly asked, her tone bordering on hostility.
Instead of the expected reaction of hurt or anger, Cat chuckled and said (again, with a voice much louder than was needed in a room of such size), "She's just getting some old books for me. Davie's past the stage of eating the pages and actually wants a story these days!" Looking Kelly up and down, Cat's grin grew to massive proportions. "You look like you had a rough night! Ahh, the days when I could get pissed without worrying about the next morning; God, do I envy you."
Kelly scowled. "I haven't been drinking. It's lack of sleep that's made me like this."
Cat nodded knowingly and looked as if she was about to say more, but mercifully Sadie re-entered with an old box of books and quickly exited the loud woman. When she came back into the room she smiled sympathetically and simply said, "Coffee."
Kelly was so glad she had an Aunt who had her priorities right.
After a quick shower, breakfast, and sorting out the days activities, Kelly sat down with Sadie for a quick cuppa. The other woman wanted to know what had happened the night before, if anything, and had turned into one of those gossiping old ladies that Kelly usually made a point of ignoring.
"But are you ever going to tell her the truth - that you still love her?" Sadie asked after Kelly had told her about her exciting night of standing outside the house for an hour.
"Yes... maybe... eventually. You don't know what it's like. I'm still not used to seeing her without Matt. And I don't even know how she feels about me! If I go storming in there while it's not serious on her side, I might scare her away for good."
Sadie seriously doubted that would happen, but she decided to let Kelly deal with it in her own, extremely long way. She hoped the two women were together before she hit 70.
Karen watched surreptitiously from her front window as Kelly helped Sadie with some bags across the road. The blonde was dressed in a pink summer top, and a long denim skirt that brushed the tops of her sandal-clad feet. Karen admired her tanned, toned arms and wished that she didn't have to appreciate Kelly from afar.
The brunette edged away from the window and was just about to go and get herself some lunch when she heard a knock at the door. She walked through the hall and opened the front door, expecting to see Jim or Paul. It was Kelly.
"I need to talk to you." Kelly said, and Karen couldn't stop the flips that her stomach made, nor ignore the look of urgency on the face of the woman she was in love with. "I think it's time we talked."
To Be Continued
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