by Giselle RenardeI don't have any phobias. I only know one person who does (as far as I'm aware) and she's the wife of a man with whom I had a 10-year affair. Snakes. She's got a phobia of snakes. I always found that incredibly... telling...
Over the years, I've developed quite a fascination with this woman. Even when I was 19 years old, I made up little stories about her in my head. Not uncharitable stories. As a horny barely-legal teen, I just found it perplexing that a woman could go YEARS (decades?) without having sex with her husband. Baffling.
In 2010, I started a much bigger little story about this woman. This time, I did it on paper. Okay, on the computer. That's where the magic happens.
In my imagination (and my novel The Other Side of Ruth), she turns into a lesbian who only comes to terms with her sexual identity later in life, when her queer neighbour Agnes sees what she's been hiding all these years... even from herself.
Here's a (very much unedited) excerpt from The Other Side of Ruth, which is in the earliest possible stages of production. I'm not sure I can even call it "Coming Soon" yet, because it could be a while. Although thank goodness I've finally finished the first draft.
Only took me four years...
Agnes swept across the hardwood in stocking feet. Her socks were black with little white ghosts. “You still live with that bald guy?”
“Lawrence? Yes.” Ruth watched Agnes slip into the front room. She ached to follow, but couldn’t bring herself to move. “That bald guy is my husband.”
A sour sensation gripped Ruth’s stomach.
He’s my husband.
She took a sip of her peppermint hot chocolate, and that helped.
“I always thought you were too good for that dude.” Agnes tilted her head to read the titles on the built-in bookshelves.
Ruth watched her through the stair railings, not knowing quite how to respond. Was that a compliment?
“You always looked so young and beautiful, out there working in your garden. And he looked old. Way too old for you.”
Ruth laughed without meaning to. “Lawrence looks younger today than he did ten years ago. That’s how it is, for men. They’re the lucky ones.”
“Bet you could still get lucky.” Agnes looked Ruth straight in the eye. “If you really wanted to.”
Was that…a come-on? Ruth felt the heat in her gaze despite the distance between them. Rumour had it Agnes was a girl who liked girls, even in high school. But why on earth would a beautiful, buxom young woman like Agnes be interested in Ruth? She wouldn’t. What a silly thought.
“Well?” Agnes hadn’t moved, and yet Ruth felt the girl’s hot breath all over her skin, making her prickle inside and out.
Ruth choked on her tongue. It felt too thick for her mouth. “I don’t know what you mean.”
Agnes approached slowly, her hips waving side to side. She had on a black belt, though her tight grey jeans would surely have stayed up on their own. The buckle read ‘Pet My’ set against the retro image of a snarling Halloween cat. Another Agnes original, no doubt.
What must her father think of her “art”?
“I mean…” Agnes stood at the base of the stairs, then fell to her knees, straddling Ruth’s feet. She leaned slightly forward, and then further forward. If she’d worn a low-cut top, it would have been hanging open—and Ruth would have looked. “If you ever wanted to… I mean, do you want to?”
Agnes leaned in, leaned close, and that’s when Ruth realized she was about to get kissed. She focused on Agnes’s pink lips because, goodness, they were so full and beautiful even without cosmetic enhancement. She found herself drawn to that mouth, moth to flame.
Ruth’s chocolate-mint breath bounced from Agnes’s lips back to hers when she said, “I want to.”
When Agnes’s hands landed at Ruth’s sides, her attraction transformed to fear and she was tried to escape. But Agnes insisted. The back of Ruth’s head met a stair.
Nowhere to hide. Their breasts met with every breath, and Ruth found herself hoping the girl would press those gorgeous spheres fully against her chest. She could feel that sensation on the horizon, like a blast of hot anticipation. Yes, she wanted it.
Agnes kissed her, softly, on the lips, and Ruth’s whole body turned to liquid. She would have dripped down the stairs if Agnes hadn’t been there to hold her in place. When that new tongue infiltrated her mouth, she moaned. The heat was unbearable. She felt itchy on the inside, where nothing but a kiss could scratch—a cause and cure wrapped into one.
How long had it been since she’d been kissed this way? Since she’d kissed her husband, even? No, Ruth had never kissed Lawrence like this. Not in all the years they’d known each other. Theirs was a marriage of minds. He’d appealed to her intellect, not her body. Not her mouth. Not even her heart, perhaps.
She kissed the girl lying on top of her. This was the pressure she’d hoped for, the beautiful bliss of breasts on breasts. She wanted to touch them, but she didn’t. She resisted because, of course, it wouldn’t be proper. It wouldn’t be at all proper to reach up and grasp those gorgeous tits, to squeeze them like ripe melons, feel them yield to her palms. It wouldn’t be right to strip Agnes bare and suck her nipples, or to reach down to those fiery depths and ram her fingers inside the girl’s wetness.
What Ruth wouldn’t give to plant her face between Agnes’ thighs right now. Lick that girl fast as anything, take those lovely lips, that engorged clit, take it all in her mouth and suck until Agnes exploded. Ruth would have her screaming to the rafters, crying out for more and then begging for mercy.
Agnes eased away from Ruth. Her lips glowed bright red and glistened with wetness. Ruth’s heart pounded in her ears, but astonishment kept her from moving or speaking. In any case, what would she say? Thank you?
Agnes backed away, smiling, staring. This was like a dream, like the ones she used to have back when she remembered her dreams. The good dreams. The fantasy dreams. Ruth throbbed between the legs when the girl tossed her hoodie over her arm and picked up her shoes.
“You know where I live,” Agnes whispered, her voice gritty.
She slipped out of the house in stocking feet. Ruth watched through the window as she stepped down the garden path. Her firm breasts bounced when she turned onto the sidewalk.
Ruth sat on the stairs, sipping her cold hot chocolate until the sun cast orange streaks across the far wall. She ought to start dinner, but she wasn’t hungry. And she’d long ago given up playing the good wife, cooking for her husband. They lived as roommates. Housemates. She’d come to that realization long ago, and it seemed preferable to any alternative she could think of.
But a new alternative presented itself. A strange alternative, a curvaceous alternative, a kissable alternative. And Ruth was undeniably attracted.