Girl Meets Girl

She was out of my league. The school social worker at my kid’s school: Mrs. Taylor sat across the table from me. We were on a committee together. I knew nothing of her except for a brief phone call she made to introduce herself. My triplets and my older son were all new students at the school. I had left my 17 year relationship with their mother and moved out. I now had full custody of all four kids. We had a new house, new school, new life.

As I sat there at that meeting, discussing the multicultural event the school was planning, the kids, my kids, started to run around the library where we were meeting. The social worker stood up and grabbed a stick from my daughter’s hands.

“You’re going to poke your eye out” she said to my daughter.

She then turned to the table and said apologetically, “Forgive me I’m a Jewish mother”.

I left the meeting, almost ashamed at my own thought: I wish she were my friend.

The school year progressed and I had several occasions to talk with Mrs. Taylor. I met her husband at the Multicultural night at school. He made balloon animals. She made humus.

She worked with my oldest son. He was autistic. She found him delightful and never neglected to share some nice story about him when we met.

As the school year ended and we said our goodbyes on that last day, she handed me her phone number. She said to call.

“Really” I asked, not quite understanding what she meant. After all, I was the one looking for a friend. She handed me a torn sheet of legal paper with her phone number on it “You might be doing me the favor” she said as she walked away.

As the long summer stretched out before me, I held on to the phone number but didn’t call. What would I say? What would we talk about besides my kids, and then there was the little thing about me calling her Mrs. Taylor. Was I going to make social plans with someone I called as Mrs. Taylor?

I waited till the second week of July, a full three weeks since the last day of school. I grabbed the phone number that I had tacked my cork board and gathered the courage to make the call.

To my surprise, she was so congenial, even happy to hear from me. We made a plan, lunch and a walk. We had a light lunch and the conversation was easy.

We met every Friday for lunch and to walk for the rest of that summer. By that September we were friends.

The school was across the street from my house and I saw Mrs. Taylor mornings and afternoons. She often stopped by at the end of the day and we would chat on my front stairs.

Our weekends were spent going to tag sales and often she would come over at night and watch TV .

We never tired of each other’s company and when we weren’t together we would talk on the phone.

The kids got used to me and Mrs. Taylor being friends. I’m sure the teachers at the school had what to say about it but Mrs. Taylor didn’t care.

When she went on vacation with her family, she called me several times just to say hi. I was ashamed to admit it, even to myself, but I missed her when she was away and was nearly giddy when the phone rang and it was her.

When I signed up for an internet dating service, she mocked me, said we would have to stop seeing each other if I were ever to find a love. I didn’t understand what she meant but after going out to dinner with “lonely from Hamden” I soon realized that these husky voiced girls were not for me. I wanted to meet someone, less gay, someone, like Mrs. Taylor.

I joked with her. “I am attracted to straight girls”

As my dating pool narrowed, it became clear that it was going to be hard to find that special someone in the Rainbow Softball League.

There was no one moment when I knew, no stars falling from the sky, no lingering touch, but after two years of Saturday morning tag sales and watching two seasons of Survivor on my DVR, I had fallen in love with Mrs. Taylor. I understood that mine was a forbidden love. She was married for 25 years. She was the mother of two grown kids. She was my friend. She was straight.

I kept my feelings to myself. I didn’t dare utter them out loud. I pushed my thoughts of her out of my mind. She was out of my league. She was out of my division.

I enjoyed our friendship with no expectations for more. Then, one evening, the conversation took an unexpected turn and the worst happened. I blurted out that unspeakable truth.

“I would rather do nothing with you then something with anyone else.”

I looked down at my hands, sat there in silence, waited for that awkward rejection, followed by a hasty exit. The seconds dragged as I waited for her response.

She was kind, even kinder then maybe I have ever seen her. She said that nothing, not even my professions of love would end our friendship. She had to think, we would talk more, later, tomorrow.

By the end of that week, she confessed that her own marriage was already over and it was just a matter of time before her husband would leave her. She confided that her husband had developed a conspicuous pre-occupation with his own sexuality. He had announced months earlier that he was bi-sexual. In fact he believed we were all bisexual. What that meant to her marriage she was afraid to ask.

I told her I would wait for her, I felt like I could wait forever. Just the promise of a future with her was enough. Ten days later she gave her husband the only gift he wanted for his birthday, she gave him his freedom. He told her it was all for the best and never said more.

I held off telling the kids for as long as was possible.

Then one night, alone with my older son, I somehow found the words to tell him.

“You know how much I like Mrs. Taylor, I said to him, my heart beating out of my chest.

Well I like her kind of like I the way I feel about you. You know, like kind of love.

I felt my face turn red as I continued. I love Mrs. Taylor.

There I had said it. I love Mrs. Taylor. He smiled and said he was happy for me and gave me a hug.

I waited until the triplets were just about out of the school before I shard the truth with them. They were not quite so invested in mommy’s happiness.

That first year was a tough one. She, a married woman of 25 years, had to tell her children, sisters and ultimately her mom that she was divorcing her husband, but wait there’s more, she had fallen in love with a woman. Though following through with her divorce, she still shared her house with her husband and well there was me with my four kids and my crazy ex parked at my curb most of the time.

I worried. I worried about her coming to her senses and leaving me, returning to the normal life she had given up. My life was like a boat pulling up in front of her house that said load of trouble.

The feeling we had when we were together was electric. We lived for Friday nights and an occasional Wednesday.

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