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The first time Chloe slept over she wore a pink tank top with white lace trim. That first night I stared at the back of her neck and admired the way her shiny, black hair hugged her skin and cascaded down past her ivory shoulders. The soft tickle of her bare legs against mine sent my heart into overdrive. I loved how she didn’t seem to mind when I inched up to her. In fact, she cooed when I did, which warranted that I snuggle even closer. She sought me out and pulled me to her. Caught up in the swirl of it all, I cradled an arm around her hips, resting my hand within centimeters of her breast. My breath quickened. My temples pulsed. My skin tingled, connected to the root of ecstasy. She eased into my embrace with a relaxed sigh, placing her hand over mine, acting so cool and collected, like she’d done this a million times before. I pressed my body against her, and she responded with a lovely moan.This marked the defining moment when I first lost control over my heart to a girl.


Dear Journal,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Hope Steele. I turned twenty-eight yesterday and I’ve got something to confess.

I am gay.

Just seeing these three words scrawled out on my page jolts me. I am charged tossing my truth out and seeing it stand on its own, strong, confident, fearless. I’ve told two people in my life to date, my best friend, PJ, and her girlfriend, Rachel. I’ve lived the better part of my life with this secret, and might just lose it if I have to live another moment hidden. So, here I am, confessing my truth on paper, hoping I can get to know the real me through this journaling.

So what’s the big deal that I’m gay?

Well, you see, I’m married. I’ve been married to my husband Ryan for two years, ten months, four days, ten hours and thirty-one minutes.


The second I met Paula McKenna I knew I was in deep trouble. Not the kind of trouble that would land me in jail or make my twelve-year-old son, Owen, question my moral integrity. More like the kind that forced me to look inside myself and realize I had a lot of growing up to do if I was ever going to be happy.

We met under the belly of the Sling Shot ride at Roller Kingdom Amusement Park. Owen introduced her as his soccer coach. She was more of a bronzed goddess to me. She shook my hand and thanked me for being a chaperone. Her skin felt like silk and she smelled just like Zest soap.

She was so commanding and smiley. As our group herded forward, I studied her from a few paces behind. She pounced around the park sniffing out adventure like a happy-go-lucky puppy dog afraid of nothing but the day ending.

I liked her instantly.

She was fearless, a complete and perfect blend of fun and confidence, and I secretly envied people like that. Some thought I was crazy because I’ve never been able to climb a ladder more than three steps, careen down a roller coaster with my hands raised up to the sky, or fly in an airplane since I was young enough to get away with wearing pigtails. I was that person who hung back, holding everyone’s pocketbooks while they went off and had fun. That day at the park was no exception. I sat like a chicken-shit on a bench all day, holding everyone’s crap in my tote bag, smiling like I was having a grand ole time.

If Paula didn’t have such beautiful curves for me to admire all day, I would’ve been pissed off that I had wasted a perfectly good Saturday in amusement park hell. As a hairdresser, Saturdays were everything to me, especially to my pocketbook. It’s when I double-booked and made all my spending money. It was how I could afford to buy Gucci and Prada. That day may have set me back an outfit or two, but it also granted me a front row seat to glimmering beauty.

Paula and I first really connected at lunch time. I watched her bend over to pick up an apple core she dropped. Her hips sloped at just the right angle, sculpted like a work of art. When she scooped back up, she caught me staring at her.

Our eyes locked and time just froze. That’s when I first suspected that Paula McKenna was going to be that one woman who was capable of challenging me in ways no one has ever been able to do before.


My quest for a music career started the first time my fingers danced along the strings of my grandpa’s bass guitar. So, it was no surprise to my girlfriend, Kelly, that I choose McFadden’s Pub over her every Saturday night.

I grabbed my guitar and cell and headed out of my music room and down the hallway. I watched Kelly from behind the wall. Her back faced me, legs stretched out, hair pulled up in a messy twist, glass of lemonade in one hand, a photography book in the other. She wore her pink and white checkered pajamas with her fluffy white slippers. A half-eaten bowl of Doritos sat on the coffee table next to some playing cards still in their unfinished Solitaire pose. Comfort paired with the incomplete. Basically, a perfect analogy of our life.

I walked up to her, kissed her crop of golden spirals and said like I did every Saturday night, “Sure you don’t want to come?”

She offered me one of her obligatory smiles. “Don’t have too much fun without me.”

To that I headed out of the door and left her alone in my apartment.

Standing at the top of my stairs and gazing out at my overgrown evergreen, I breathed in the smell of hot dogs sizzling on someone’s grill, and felt slightly guilty that I was happy to be free of Kelly for the night.


I braved even closer, crossing my leg over my knee and inching it precariously near hers. “What do you want to know?”

She rolled her gaze down to it and then ever-so slowly swept her eyes back up to me. “So, you’re getting married? How’s the planning going?”

I didn’t want to talk about the wedding. I didn’t want Colin popping up into my night. Most of all, I didn’t want Haley to focus on the fact that I was engaged. “It’s still months away. I haven’t been doing too much with it at this point.”

“You’re going to be a bride. I would think you’d be bubbling over with explaining the details.”

Why did she want me bubbling for Colin? “I think the problem with so many new marriages is that the bride and groom focus so much on planning that when it’s over, the excitement that kept them soaring through their engagement fizzles rather quickly after it’s done, like the smell of a new car does.”

“Wow. I never thought of it that way. Kind of takes the romance out of it.”

“I think people put too much emphasis on the big day.”

“I’m sorry if I’m getting too personal, but I have to ask, are you happy to be getting married?”

The answer was apparent and easy to divulge to her soft, waiting eyes. “I’m not sure.”

We stared at each other in silence. She circled her gaze around my face. I followed her roaming eyes, yearning for her to land her soft lips on mine.

“That’s normal I think,” she said.

“I’m sure it is.”

“What’s causing your confusion?”

Well, for starters, the fact that I wanted to reach over and kiss her.

Secondly, the fact that I was more attracted to her in that moment than to anyone else I could ever remember. “A few things that I’m sure with time, I’ll figure out.”

“Can I ask you an even more personal question?” she asked.
I nodded not letting go of her gaze.

She traced her fingers along the curl hanging on my face. “Are you as attracted to me as I am to you?”

Moisture pooled between my legs, sending quivers where I’d never felt them quite so strong before. Her outspoken, bold persona inspired me and frightened me at the same time. I could only manage to drop my eyelids and breathe.

She wrapped her finger around the curl. “You don’t have to answer.”

I opened my eyes and followed her mouth as she spoke, not uttering a word.

“I just want you to think about it,” she said.

She uncoiled my blonde spiral, easing it onto my cheek. She leaned in closer and hugged me. Her sweet breath washed over my face as she caressed my cheek with her soft lips. And as she drew away, she whispered, “I think you are.”

I melted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now I'm hooked on wanting to read more of this book!