Breeze (The Mighty Queertet: Story 3)
Chapter 10: Eye of the Storm by Victory Thru Tears
We gladly accepted.
Taz and I walk around the small town, occasionally ducking into shops. The Bash Brothers have gone to eat at a diner, and Julie and Guy are going to see a movie. Awww, their first date.
Last I saw Maya and Adam, they were sitting on a park bench together, conversing quietly.
She makes me sick. It’s no problem that she’s bisexual, I’m not a heterophobe. Also, I myself am bisexual. Sure, I said that Linda meant nothing to me, which she didn’t… but I had to feel at least a little attracted to her to kiss her. However, my gay side is more prevalent, which is why I dumped her for Adam. But the reason I’m upset with Maya is that she flat out lied to Taz. I’ve given Adam the occasional white lie, but… no, no buts! This isn’t about me! This is about how Taz now feels like crap due to her girlfriend. And as Taz’s best friend, it’s my duty to cheer her up.
Right now, though, my mind is on other things.
“Taz, remember last night, when you were talking about your dad?”
“Yeah.” Her voice sounds uncertain.
“What were you talking about when you said that he let you down?”
She sighs. “I… I don’t know.”
She looks up at me with her big purple contact lenses. “He promised me when my mum died that he’d take care of me. And he hasn’t. He beat the living hell out of me when I told him that I was gay.”
She laughs bitterly. “Ironic, isn’t it? I took all of those beatings for Maya. And look where it landed me.”
I stop walking and grab Taz off of her feet, pulling her into a hug. I don’t know what to tell her. My mother was happy, so was my soon-to-be father. They both love Adam. Of course, everyone loves Adam. Adam leads a perfect little preppy rich boy Banksie life that…
I think I’m getting off of the subject.
“Hey, Taz, do you want to go to an ice skating rink?” I ask her suddenly.
“What for, I don’t want to play hockey!” She sounds a little bitter. I think it’s because Adam was teaching Maya.
“No, let’s just go skating.” I see her skeptical look. “Come on, it’ll be fun!”
She sighs. “Well… fine! But only because you’re you.” She hops down from my hug and we start to walk back to the ice skating rink we had passed earlier.
She holds onto my arm and we skate onto the ice shakily. After a few times around the rink, I turn to grin at her.
“See, you’re doing it! You’re skating!”
She cuts off as she slips and falls onto the ice. We both laugh, and I respond by skating away, leaving her stranded. She gets up slowly and follows me. I stop to take her hand again, but she jumps onto my back.
“Umph!” I grunt, but adjust her so that the weight is nothing to me. I start to skate, and she laughs with joy as we make our way along the ice.
I spot Maya and Adam just putting on skates. Maya looks up in our direction, and I prepare myself with a glare. She doesn’t return it. Instead, she bites her lip almost nervously. Adam asks her something, and she nods. He turns to me and beckons for us to come over by them.
“No,” Taz says firmly in my ear.
Let’s see. Listen to Adam, who hasn’t spoken a nice word to me in about the last week, or my best friend Taz? That’s a tough choice.
I shake my head, and we—I—continue skating. We’re skating right past them as an older couple looks at us. The woman smiles and shakes her head at us.
“You kids. But I do have to say, you two do make a very cute couple!” she says as we pass.
I almost felt bad seeing the expression on Maya’s face. Has she done a 180 in the past day? From her look, it seems like she might have. Adam’s not saying anything either, just looking out onto the ice. Taz sighs and sets her chin on my head.
“I’m going to talk to her,” the female voice says quietly. If we hadn’t been so close, we wouldn’t have been able to hear her over the TV.
“Are you sure? You know how she’s going to react.” The male sounds doubtful.
“I know. But still. She has to know. She’ll react even worse if I wait.”
“You’re probably right. You know her better.”
“Yeah. But listen, Adam. Thank you for listening. I felt so good to get it off of my shoulders.”
“It was no problem. It’s what I’m supposed to do as your… you know.”
Taz looks at me in confusion as we stand on the other side of the doorway. We weren’t meant to hear that conversation, but we did anyway.
‘Your, you know?’ No, Adam… we don’t know, but we sure would like to hear it from your own mouth!
Why didn’t I think of it before? Adam’s obviously got something going on with Maya! It all fits together—pretend to be jealous of me to stop me from being suspicious of him… he already kissed her, that has to mean something… she is bisexual… it’s all just one big conspiracy! Hearing that snippet of a conversation as we walk in from the car later that night made all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
Maya and Adam pull away from their hug as Taz and I walk around the doorway. Taz has an expression of mixed anger and jealousy. I have no idea what my own face looks like.
Julie and Guy are sitting on a couch together. I remember their date, but I’m far too wrapped up in my own business to ask them about it right now. The Bash Brothers are watching TV, trying not to pay attention to us.
“Taz,” Maya says weakly. “Just who I wanted to talk to.”
“Yes, I’ve heard.” Taz snaps.
“What did you hear?”
“All about Adam being your, and I quote, ‘you know!’”
Maya rolls her eyes. “Taz, please. He’s my best friend.”
“Yes, and Charlie’s mine, you still were suspicious of me!” Taz’s voice is getting strangely high-pitched.
“I know. And please Taz, I’m so sorry about that all, I just—”
“Ok, so my behavior has been a little erratic recently, but you used to love me for that. Now I’m just aggravating. I love the way you talk about me, have I mentioned that? I love the whole ‘This is Taz, my really annoying girlfriend’ attitude you have. Actually, to be fair, almost everyone here has picked up that little trait.”
She whirls around to face the Bash Brothers. “You two used to like me! Now you just hate me because you think I’m the reason that Adam and Charlie are having problems. Has it ever occurred to you that the reason I like Charlie so much is because he’s the only person here who doesn’t sigh with resignation every time he sees me? And I wouldn’t spend time with him if he didn’t want me around, the fact that I never talk to you two should be proof of that!”
Fulton sighs, reluctant to join the argument. “Taz, I’ve got a lot on my mind and you’re not helping.”
Taz snorts. “Yeah, well so have I.” She looks around the room. “Yeah, who’d have thunk Taz had problems, that can’t be right. Taz doesn’t have problems, she causes them! Just because I’ve not thrown myself a pity party like Fulton, doesn’t mean I’m not unhappy.”
Portman looks highly pissed off at her last comment. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Sure I do. Fulton came back from Thanksgiving covered in bruises and hasn’t been home since. I’m not stupid, no matter what you lot think of me. The only reason I haven’t tried to talk to him about it is because he doesn’t want me around.”
She glares around the room. “So, we’ve all noticed Fulton’s problem. Did any of you notice mine? No, you’ve been too busy finding me irritating. Did it ever occur to you to wonder why I suddenly became more insane than usual?”
“Taz…” Maya tries.
“I haven’t been home since Thanksgiving either.” She looks at Maya. “But you knew that. You never wondered if I was ok about that, did you? You just assumed, hey, it’s Taz, she doesn’t have any real feelings. Well, guess what? I do! I took five beatings because I love you!”
“Taryn!” Maya yells, tears in her eyes. “Would you stop and listen to me? I’m trying to talk to you, and I don’t want this to become something that it shouldn’t!”
“Why should I stop and listen to you? You haven’t given me the time of day since we’ve gotten here! You’re too wrapped up in feeling sorry for yourself because I’m not spending time with you to actually try to be around me!”
She turns to Adam. He winces, sensing the imminent attack.
“And you. How dare you accuse me of wanting your boyfriend? You have no idea how much he loves you, and how much he would do for you. Just because he doesn’t want to be a friendless loser doesn’t mean that none of those things are true anymore. You’re the one that we should be suspicious of, you and my bisexual girlfriend!”
“Taz, just stop!” Maya screams. “Please, just stop! Can I fucking talk to you yet?”
Taz becomes unnaturally calm. I can see the fire in her eyes, but she closes her mouth.
“Thank you.” Maya breathes out slowly. “Starting from the beginning. It’s about that guy that you asked about last night. We dated during the summer, when you and I were broken up and you were in Ireland. Let me just say, he meant nothing to me. Nothing compared—or will compare—to you. But…” She exchanges glances with Adam. “Ok, I can’t beat around the bush about this. Taz, we slept together.”
I actually back up as this last statement registers in Taz’s mind.
“Taz, please hear me out. It isn’t like it sounds at all… I… Taz, I love you, and I’d never give that up for anything. I’ve told you before, I know I have. But it’s hard to see you with Charlie because it just seems like things are getting weird with us like they were before we broke up last year, and I can’t take that again.”
“Yeah, you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding another guy to sleep with you? Oh, wait, never mind, you have Adam for that!” Taz’s face is turning bright red.
“Stop, please. I was going to say that if only you maybe stopped hanging out with Charlie so much, we could try to fix things betw—”
Taz cuts her off. “If you’re asking me to choose between you and Charlie, I’m choosing him. At least he doesn’t lie to me. I’d rather have a friend I can trust than a girlfriend who’s ashamed of me.”
She turns around and walks towards the door. Maya frantically looks at Adam for support.
“Go after her!” He commands, pushing her forward.
Maya nods and runs after her. “Taz!”
The door slams and through the window we can see Taz walking outside. Maya opens the door again, and the last thing we hear before she in turn slams the door is “I was raped.”
Taz stops outside, and turns to look at her girlfriend, who has just stepped outside. I stare in Adam in shock. The expressions around the room are the same.
“Did you know?” I choke out.
I feel like I’m drowning in all of the regret and guilt that I’m feeling. I judged her way too quickly. The door slowly opens, and Taz and Maya walk by, arm in arm. They walk down the hallway into their room, and I hear the click of the lock on their door.
The only sound is the theme of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the TV. I reach for Adam’s hand. He shakes me off, and looks at me with contempt. He walks off into the kitchen. I don’t follow. Instead, I walk back to my own room, where I lean against the bed. I can hear Maya and Taz murmuring on the other side of the wall, but I can’t hear what they’re saying.
Even with all of the emotion inside of me, not a single tear comes out. I don’t like it. I want to cry. Not for myself, but for the rest of my friends. I haven’t been there for them at all, even Taz. I hadn’t even known about her problems until last night. I’ve let them all down… Fulton, Portman, Adam, Maya. But I still don’t know whether I want them to forgive me, or the other way around.