by Giselle Renarde
Lola had been asleep for hours by the time Cynthia got home from her big date. First time out with a man since the divorce. I half expected her to burst through the door, drunk as a skunk, dragging the guy upstairs for an I-haven’t-had-sex-in-four-years fuck.
I was sitting in the living room, watching TV and eating Lola’s fruit snacks, when Cynthia walked in and said, “Well, that was a bust.”
Turning off the TV, I swivelled around to see her. For a woman her age, she looked pretty kick-ass. And I guess she wasn’t old-old. She worked with my mom, but they weren’t the same age. If I had to guess, I’d say Cynthia was… maybe forty? Hard to say.
Sometimes she looked tired and run-down, but not tonight.
Tonight she looked defeated, but gorgeous.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, though I didn’t expect her to tell me.
She’d never confided in me before, but I guess she was super-down-in-the-dumps that night, because she collapsed on the couch like I was her therapist. “I don’t know how to date, Lin. It’s been years! You know I started going out with my husband in college? I was nineteen when we met. Nineteen—that’s the last time I went on a first date with a man.”
“Oh,” I said, second-guessing my psych major status, because I felt super-uncomfortable listening to the woman vent about her personal life. “So, I’m guessing it didn’t go well with Ed?”
Cynthia sat up on the couch. When she leaned forward to grab the box of fruit snacks, her breasts nearly popped out of her low-cut dress. “Tell me the truth, Lin: am I not attractive? Is that the problem?”
If she’d caught me staring at her tits, she’d have known that wasn’t the problem.
“It’s not you,” I said. “It’s men. They’re idiots.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re a lesbian. You don’t need a man.”
My blood ran cold when she said that, not because I was ashamed or anything. More that I couldn’t believe my mom had outed me to her coworkers.
She didn’t wait for me to speak. She just asked, “What am I doing wrong? Is it my dress?”
She stood up to showcase the tight-fitting red gown that was both sophisticated and playful. It hugged her curves like you couldn’t believe, drawing my eyes, once again, to her magnificent boobs.
“It’s definitely not the dress,” I said.
Again, she collapsed on the couch. “If it’s not my looks and it’s not my clothes, it must be ME.”
I kinda didn’t know what to say. Because, yeah, it totally was HER. If she treated her date in that superior and condescending way she spoke to her first husband, then yeah.
I’d been babysitting for Cynthia since Lola was a toddler. I’d seen a lot, over the years.
But I didn’t know how to tell her that. Some therapist I’d make, huh?
“I invited him in for coffee, Lin. I invited him in for coffee and he said NO. Why would he say no?”
“Maybe he doesn’t like coffee.”
“Oh, he likes coffee. We work together. I’ve seen him drink entire pots of coffee.”
“Anyway, coffee doesn’t mean coffee. Everybody knows that.”
I tried to think fast, come up with something that might console her. So I said, “Well, he knew I was here. Maybe he thought it would be awkward because you’d have to drive me home.”
Cynthia gave me a look that said GIMME A BREAK and I shrugged. I didn’t have all the answers.
“Or maybe it’s because Lola’s in the house.”
“Lola sleeps like a rock.”
“He doesn’t know that.”
“Stop making excuses for him!”
Jeeze, it’s not like I was taking sides. I didn’t even know the guy. I met him for five seconds when he picked her up and all I could think was, “Cynthia, man, you can do better than this loser.” He was a balding, pudgy old guy with the personality of a lumpy bowl of oatmeal.
“What did you talk about?” I asked.
“On the date?”
“Yeah, on the date. Of course on the date.”
Cynthia tore into a packet of fruit snacks, but the plastic burst and the gummies flew across the room. “Damn it. Just my luck.”
“I’ll get them.”
I slumped onto the floor and picked up fruit snacks while she listed off the things they’d talked about at dinner: divorce, kids, lawyers, work, lawyers’ fees, child support, ex-spouses…
Finally, I just had to say, “You know, I’m no expert, but I don’t think that’s the best way to hook a guy.”
“Talking about your ex, for starters. Talking about divorce. No offense, but I’ve heard you talk to my mom about divorce. You come off kinda…”
I sat on my feet on her carpet and scrunched up my nose. “I don’t want to say.”
“Just say it.”
I sighed. “Kinda bitchy, okay? You sound kinda bitchy when you talk about the divorce.”
To be honest, I thought she’d yell at me and kick me out of her house. She didn’t. She absently grabbed another thingy of fruit snacks and opened it properly this time. She just started putting them in her mouth and chewing them, one after another, like factory work. She stared into space and just ate a bunch of fruit snacks in front of me.
It was kinda weird.
“Sorry,” I said. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
“No, you’re right,” she replied, without even looking at me. “You’re right. No wonder Fred didn’t want to come in. I’m repulsive.”
Before I knew what I was doing, I’d thrown the fruit snacks on the coffee table and placed my hand on Cynthia’s thigh. “You are not repulsive.”
“My personality is repulsive.”
“No it isn’t!” I climbed up on the couch and sat beside her, with my body turned to face hers. “Cynthia, listen to me: you’re a really cool person when you’re talking about whatever. It’s just when you’re going on about the divorce and all that…”
“Then I’m bitchy.”
“You come off that way, yeah. Doesn’t make you a bitch.”
She finished off the fruit snacks, then turned to face me. “Do you think Fred will give me another chance?”
“Why do you even want another chance? Fred’s a dud.”
She seemed surprised. “Maybe to you. Talk to me in twenty years, when you’re a divorced mom raising a daughter on your own.”
“Yikes is right. They’re not exactly coming out of the woodworks for a shot at this.” Cynthia showcased her body the way The Price is Right models point at a new car.
“I think you’re undervaluing yourself, Cynthia. I really do. You’ve got a great body, and, like, nice hair and stuff. A nice face. You’re more attractive than you think, I think.”
She seemed puzzled.
“And you’ve got money,” I went on. “That’s a real draw for younger guys. Maybe that’s who you should be going for.”
She waved her hand. “I don’t want to marry a younger guy.”
“I’m not talking about getting married, just dipping your toes back in the water. You’ve got to start somewhere, so be a cougar. Why not?”
Her eyes widened. “You think younger guys would go for me?”
“Absolutely! A sexy older woman? Why not?”
I had no idea whether I was blowing smoke up her ass, at this point, but she seemed a lot happier, so mission accomplished.
“Let me get out of this dress and I’ll drive you home,” Cynthia said. “Or you can stay, if you want. The guest room’s all made up.”
“Not at all. Saves me driving at night.”
I nodded as I followed her upstairs.
The guest room was to the left of the stairs, just past Lola’s, but when I turned that way, Cynthia said, “Oh, this zipper always sticks. Can you give me a hand?”
So I went with her to the master suite, which pretty much had its own wing on the second floor. In a lot of ways, I felt bad for Cynthia’s ex-husband. He was just a nice, quiet guy and he’d lost all this in the divorce. Now he lived with his mother. Yikes.
When I stepped into Cynthia’s bedroom, she closed the door behind me. I used to snoop in there when I was younger. It seemed so fancy. Well, it still seemed fancy. Lots of dark satin fabrics on the bed, in the draperies. A few years ago, I’d pawed through her underwear drawer and come across things I’d found shocking at the time. Every time I looked at her after that, I felt super-guilty.
I actually felt guilty again, just thinking about it.
Walking over to her bed, Cynthia asked, “What’s it like, Lin?”
“What’s what like?”
She twisted her long chestnut hair into a rope so I could unzip her dress. Then she asked, “What’s it like, going to bed with a woman?”
If you want to read the rest of Sitting for Cynthia, buy the individual ebook or save money by purchasing Taboo Lesbian Erotica, which includes this story along with 9 others! Taboo Lesbian Erotica is available as an ebook and in print.