"I can't believe she fucking took a swing at me!" Lacey yelled once she had finally gotten out of the car and was settled in her and Kelli's hotel room. "What the hell was she thinking? Didn't you tell her what I've done?"
"I don't think she quite understands it all," Kelli admitted regretfully. "All she realizes is that you hurt someone she loves very much. It's hard for her to look past that."
"Well she could at least try. I used up all my control already just talking to Morgan."
"What did happen between you two?"
"I yelled and she eventually listened," Lacey answered shortly. "There's really not that much to tell. I apologized yet again for my mistakes then we got in the car and I drove her to the greatest love of her life."
"Why do you say that like that?" Kelli moved over to the bed Lacey had dropped on and cautiously took a seat on the very edge of the mattress.
"Say what like what?" Lacey sighed and covered her eyes with her forearm.
Kelli promised herself that she wouldn't lose her patience and she wasn't about to let Lacey draw her into an argument that she had no hope of winning. "Why do you say 'greatest love of her life' like you're bitter about it? Are you jealous of Tamera?"
Lacey snorted. "Not hardly. I have nothing to be jealous of."
"Then why did you say that like you did?" Kelli persisted. "You always choose your words and tone very carefully."
"Are we really going to discuss my tone?" Lacey asked incredulously. "Don't you think there are more important things going on?"
"Fine what do you want to discuss?"
Lacey sat up and looked directly into her girlfriend's eyes. "What did you tell Tamera I did?"
Kelli couldn't help but look away. "The truth," she replied softly. "I told her exactly what you wanted me to."
Lacey's chuckles were unexpected. "The woman is a spitfire. You have to admire that."
"What do you mean?"
"After knowing that I almost destroyed Morgan completely both mentally and physically, Tamera still has the audacity to attack me. You have to admire that kind of blind rage."
"Maybe it wasn't rage that drove her to attack you, Lacey, maybe it was love."
Lacey shook her head. "No. It was rage. The specific kind of rage that stems from frustration, from the inability to understand, and the inability to change the past."
"Darlin' maybe we shouldn't?" Kelli began but Lacey held up her hand and forestalled her speech. "Kelli I know that kind of rage and I understand it. That kind of rage drove me to do what I did."
"Lacey, you really don't need to talk about this again."
"No," Lacey muttered. "I don't. I don't need to talk about it ever again, but I will. I'll talk about it as often as I have to if it means that one day I'll finally be able to move on. Kelli, I'll tell you a thousand times that I raped her. I'll tell everyone a thousand times that I lost control and attacked her because I didn't see her anymore I just saw someone else who wanted to control me. I'll tell everyone that she begged me to stop but I did it anyway. I'll tell them everything."
A harsh silence fell upon the room. Kelli had no idea what she could say that wouldn't seem like she was downplaying what Lacey had confessed to her yet again or made Lacey feel worse than she already did. Lacey just didn't know what else to say. She could describe in intimate detail how she let the deepest darkest part of her essence come out; that particular part of herself that she didn't know existed and didn't even know she was capable of developing.
One of them needed to take a chance and speak, but neither of them was brave enough so they just sat in silence.
"I can believe she did that," Tamera whispered as she laid snuggly in Morgan's embrace. They had retreated to the guestroom of Jackie's home almost immediately after Lacey's car had been swallowed up by the night.
At first, they didn't bother with talking about what had happened in the past. They couldn't even bring themselves to talk about what had happened moments before with Lacey. All they did was hold each other and profess their undying love. Morgan apologized and Tamera accepted it without hesitation. It was important they focused on them instead of Lacey. Lacey had no part in their relationship. She had been given too much control over them, too much power and upon silent agreement that power would be taken away. Lacey would be stripped of any further say in their relationship. She would no longer be the one baring the secret of their love, which no longer needed to be hidden and which they were no longer afraid of.
"It was a long time ago," Morgan responded dismissively. She had forgiven Lacey for what had happened. They had moved on and going back in that place where she hated her best friend and her world was turned upside down wasn't a place she wanted be. An important part of moving on was not turning around and looking back. Morgan hated looking back. Looking back meant that she had to admit, at least to herself, that a part of her still hated Lacey for what had happened and still feared her because of it.
"But it still happened, Morgan, and just because it happened a long time ago doesn't mean it's forgotten--buried maybe but definitely not forgotten."
"What's the point of bringing it up again then? Whether it's buried or not or forgotten or not it's still not an issue now. Why force it?" Morgan wanted to push Tamera away because she was starting to feel things again that she hadn't felt in a very long time. Feelings that she'd prefer to remained buried under the thick blanket of the past.
"Aren't you upset that nothing happened to her?" Tamera maneuvered so that she was now staring intently into Morgan's eyes. "Aren't you upset that she just was able to hurt you in the way that she did and never had to answer to anyone about it? I understand that she was very confused and emotionally broken at the time, but that's no excuse. That's never an excuse."
Morgan pulled away from Tamera slightly. "I'm not saying it is an excuse. I'm not even trying to defend her actions at all. I'll be the last person to defend her, but you must realize that it's over now. Lacey and I settled this issue a long time ago. I want it buried Tamera."
"Burying it almost made you walk away from me," Tamera said in a tone that reminded Morgan of a small child.
Morgan reached out and caressed Tamera's cheek with the palm of her hand. "And that was a mistake. Actually it was almost the biggest mistake of my life, but that still doesn't make me want to unbury everything that's been said and done and taken care of. I hate to say this," Morgan took her eyes away from Tamera, "but this thing has always been between Lacey and me. It doesn't involve you and it doesn't involve Kelli."
"Why?" Tamera asked weakly.
"Why still be her friend? Why not make her answer for a crime she committed? Why let her still be so close to you? Just why everything."
Morgan couldn't help but chuckle, not because she found humor in the conversation but because she had no idea where to start. She had no idea what she could say that would change Tamera's already fixed opinion of Lacey, and she wasn't quite sure she wished to sway Tamera's opinion. It was rewarding--in a sadistic type way-- to see Tamera hating someone she wished she could hate sometimes, but just never could bring herself to.
"I'm still her friend," Morgan began to explain slowly, "Because there's no possibility of us ever being anything else. I don't know if you can understand this, but Lacey and I are something that's kind of forever. We compliment each other and we understand each other.
Tamera considered getting jealous over the statement but decided not to be. Lacey wasn't a threat to their relationship and never had been. Tamera was always aware that Morgan and Lacey shared a special connection, one that she didn't fully understand, but she never felt threatened by it. Tamera knew that Morgan loved her. She never did question that, not even when Morgan had all but disappeared on her after the miscarriage.
"And she has answered for what she's done to me. Not to the police, no," Morgan hurried to add, "but she's answered for it. She's answered to me and she's answered to herself. I'm just going to say again that it's in the past. Eventually you'll have to accept that. You don't have to accept what she's done, I don't think I even accept it, but it's over. It's just over."
Tamera sighed heavily. "I hate her for what she did to you."
"So do I," Morgan admitted surprisingly with ease.
"What happens when I see her next?" Tamera asked her anger having settled. "What happens when I want to hurt her for hurting you?"
Morgan turned her gaze to the oddly blue colored ceiling and sighed. "She'll let you hurt her." Morgan's response was surprisingly simple. Lacey would take the punishment Tamera handed out and she wouldn't say anything about it until she lost control and that beast that was inside of her was released. Then, Tamera wouldn't ever want to attack Lacey again. "I wouldn't recommend hitting her though. She'll react eventually and you'll be faced with the same person I was faced with."
Tamera didn't want to ask this next question. She really didn't, but she needed to know. She wanted to know. "What happened? What really happened? I know Kelli didn't tell me everything."
Morgan was never a very good storyteller. She never was the type that could words together into meaningful strings of sentences that made sense. She especially wasn't very good at telling the types of stories that involved her own heartache, but Tamera wanted to know. The woman she loved more than anything in the world wanted to know about her life and she didn't want any more secrets between them. They had been working through so much and still had so much to go through.
"Lacey has always been my superhero," Morgan began. "She was the one person who I could talk to and understood everything I said and meant and felt. I've always loved her but never in the romantic sense, even though it did develop into that eventually. We always had this connection. She was always like this Goddess and I was like her special chosen. After she got attacked and I saw her I saw my hero had fallen. All the power and control she had was gone. She was practically afraid of her own shadow and she turned to me for support. There was one night when we went out and that was my first mistake of the evening. She told me she couldn't do it, but I just figured if I could get her to leave the house then everything for her would start going right again. Well, we ran into some people that weren't very nice and she got angry. When we got home I was trying to calm her down and I grabbed her and I really shouldn't have done that."
"If you don't want to continue," Tamera wasn't sure she could handle the rest of the story and she certainly didn't want to force Morgan to say anything she wasn't fully prepared to.
"No, I'm on a role now." Morgan responded lightly. It was the only defense she could put up now. "So, I grabbed her to calm her down. I was afraid she was going to hurt herself with all raving she was doing. I didn't know what else to do really. She turned on me. She was stronger than me and she turned on me. She hit me in the face a few times first. She told me that I couldn't control her. She said she wouldn't allow me to control her. I tried to tell her that I just wanted her to calm down so she wouldn't hurt herself, but she wasn't listening. She was so much stronger than me. I never knew she was that much stronger than me. I was on the ground and she was standing over me just telling me I couldn't control her and that no one could control her. She said that no one could control her ever again. She was the one in control. She was the one that made up all the rules. She dragged me to the bedroom and told me that she was going to show me who was in control and who was the one that had lost it-you see I had told her earlier that night she was losing control and it was obviously the wrong thing to say. She was very forceful with me that night. It really hurt and I asked her to stop but she wouldn't.
"Eventually she came back to herself and when she saw me bleeding on the bed she jumped away from me and just kept on apologizing to. I was too afraid to respond to her by that time. She left the room for a few moments and returned with a first aid kit. I don't know why I let her, but she cleaned up all the wounds she had inflicted on me then led me to the bathroom and cleaned me up in the bathtub. I really don't know why I let her, but I just let her continue on with fixing up what she had done. I don't know why I let her. She eventually led me back to the bed. She changed the sheets and the covers and laid me down. We hadn't said anything to each other up to this point, except for her telling me to move this way or that so she could clean me up better, but now she felt like talking. I don't know why I let her.
"She apologized again. I didn't say anything. I'm not sure I quite understood what had happened to me. I'm not quite sure that I wanted to understand just yet. She said to me, and these are words that I will never forget, 'I'm sorry. You're right. I'm out of control. I'm not me anymore and I am so sorry I've pulled you along with me on this stupid ride with me. You deserve better. I'm going to leave you now and whatever you decide to do after this I'll be okay with. This wasn't your fault so don't ever think that it was. This wasn't your fault. I'm messed up. Don't you dare put the blame of any of this on your shoulders. Let me take the fault here because I'm the only one that has earned it.' Then she got up and left. I don't know how she had remained so calm during the whole thing.
"The next day I got up and went about my business like nothing had happened. When I got home that day there was a message on my machine and of course it was from her. She just called to tell me that she was sorry again and that she was leaving. She was going to get away from everything here because she was falling apart and she didn't want to subject anyone else to watching her break or fall victim to the process. I thought for sure that the next time I heard anything about her it'd be someone calling me telling me she was dead."
Tamera had so many things she wanted to ask but the first thing that happened to escape was, "When did you hear from her again?"
"It was two years later. I was walking out of my newly acquired home to check my mail. She was running around the neighborhood that I had just moved into. It just so happened that she was my new next door neighbor."
"Which one of you moved out first?" Tamera knew that neither one of them was in the same residence they had been in a few years ago.
"We actually moved out at the same time. It was a year later though. We had already settled things by then. When we moved we were just moving on, in a way."
"Just moving on?"
"If we didn't do that then we'd still be in the same place we were before and neither of us needed or could be there any more. We had to move on. I had to, not really forgive her, but at least accept what she had done. Our relationship is an odd one, but we understand it and that's all there really is to it. She's my best friend. She always has been and she always will be."
"You're right," Tamera huffed. "It is odd and I don't understand it at all."
Morgan shrugged. "That's fine. It's just that I can't hate her enough to take her out of my life. She just gets to me."
"I know. I may never understand it, but I know." Tamera reached out and ran her hand over the soft skin of Morgan's cheek.
Morgan leaned into the touch. "Does that mean that you're not going to ask me choose between the two of you?"
"Honey, I'd never ask you to do that. Besides, as much as I hate to admit it we both owe her a lot despite what she has done."
"Yes," Morgan sighed, "it's very complicated."
Tamera nodded slightly. "Yes. It is. I think, however, that it's going to get easier pretty soon. I mean we're finally together and that almost seemed impossible a few months ago."
Morgan leaned closer into Tamera and captured her lips in a soft kiss. "I love you," she whispered as the kiss ended. "I'll always love you."
"Me too," Tamera whispered back as she captured Morgan's lips once again.
There's more but not here. So this is the end for now.
Continued In New Day...