Vikie gasped, her mouth hanging open and arms too stiff with surprise to slap her hands over her lips in a failed effort to take back her words. She, Vikie Manners, daughter of Lisa Manners and Claire Fields, had just come out to being straight. Or at least to finding a guy attractive. To her co-worker Marie Fellding, the wanna be punk daughter of Dr.Phil.
Marie dropped her O magazine in her lap, swinging her legs down from the checkout counter to lean over it instead to get in Vikie’s face, who had been restocking the candy bars just below it.
“You? Straight? I remember the scandal you caused when you kissed Heather Beir during recess in fifth grade.”
She and Marie weren’t really friends, they had been standoffish enemies in high school, but now in college they found themselves both working the closing shift in a rarely visited campus convenience store. Now, it might be better to classify them as annoyance buddies – who ever annoyed the other one the most during the shift got the prize of sitting back and doing nothing while the other restocked the shelves before they could leave.
Still, Vikie hated it when high school or middle school, or elementary school too now, cropped up in conversation. It was a sure way to get her irritated, which Marie knew and used as a very successful weapon in their twice-weekly competition. But Marie had already won tonight, there was no use to bring out the big guns and reduce her to microscopic particles.
Vikie blushed at the memory, and then scowled. That mess with Heather was awful as it drew a line through the small town they lived in. Some had sided with her moms, others with the Beirs, and the local paper had a field day posting the scathing letters the two couples wrote to each other under the guise of letters to the editors. They wouldn’t talk to each other in person. The result was that Vikie and her family had moved, due to Claire’s job, but two years later they were back for Vikie to start 8th grade. The Beirs ended up moving out of town around the same time, and Vikie always secretly thought it was because of her.
Marie didn’t seem to notice her discomfort though. “And I remember you and Mary Fletcher used to share ice cream cones the summer after 8th grade. And in our junior year you dated some girl from Darth right? I remember hearing all about you guys making out in hallway during the Frosty Formal.”
All things which again isolated Vikie at school.
“I get it!” She snapped. “Me, the girl who has been lesbo since birth, is actually straight!” Vikie slammed Snickers bars into their mesh basket, people would by a few tomorrow and find them smooched with caramel on the inside of the wrapper.
“But let’s back up a bit.” Marie circled her finger in a counter-clockwise direction. “Erin, the girl who hates you, annoys you, more than me I might add, who you think is a prissy little bitch, and yet is also the person who used a guest meal pass on you when you were out of swipes for the week, who you also offered shared an umbrella with, because you secretly like her, like I said last week and the week before that – that girl. You’re finally admitting that you like her?”
Vikie yanked the Skittle case towards her. “Yes,” she grumbled. “I’m admitting the person I’ve been annoying you with for the past two months is actually someone I’m crushing on.”
“And,” Marie drew out, trailing off in an invitation to have Vikie finish.
“And this person is a boy Aaron, not a girl Erin. Name is spelled with an ‘a’ and everything. “
“Fuck, you’re not kidding. Your face is bright pink.”
Which went lovely with her strawberry blonde hair, Vikie was sure. She refused to look up and see the gleeful expression that was sure to be on Marie’s face.
“But, what happened to being a lesbian. Are you not one anymore than?”
Vikie looked up, Marie’s face over the counter was actually pensive and the comment wasn’t snide.
She paused to think about it. To her, being a lesbian was natural. She had been attracted only to girls and was raised by two moms. Being straight was, was, well wrong. And weird. And totally not cool. Her moms would be so disappointed.
“Hot or not?” Marie asked, shoving Oprah’s cover image into her face.
“I’ve never been attracted to Oprah.”
“Oh, what about her?” Marie flipped pages to a perfume ad with a scantily clad model. Brunette. Vikie had a thing for those.
“So you’re bi then.”
Vikie went back to work, more careful than she had been earlier, and didn’t answer. Bi, wouldn’t her moms love that.