Kiss & Tell

By: Cynthia Dane & Hildred Billings

Part 1: Kiss & Tell


Two Weeks Before the Shitshow Begins

It’s a truth that no lesbian is allowed her grand moment of happiness without the universe deciding a great unbalance has been unleashed.

A truth that Victoria Nicholson was about to find out the hard way.

Born of privilege and not doing too shoddy for herself, Victoria was used to things going her way. She had a sweet girlfriend of nearly five years who kept a warm home for the hardworking heiress. She had not one, but two cars: one for standard use, and a classic Corvette worth more than her college education. She was lucky enough to live in one of the historical brick townhouses in Old Town, down by the fresh air of the marina.

And she was successful. Clearly, unbalance had been wrought.

“It’s going to be fabulous,” her agent, Pepper Gladstone cheered into Victoria’s cell phone. Warm air whipped back Victoria’s scarf as she cruised down the country highway in her Corvette, heading home after a meeting in a neighboring city. Sure, Victoria should not have been on her phone and driving at the same time, but on a day like this? Fuck it! Throw caution to the wind! Nobody else was on the road, so the only person Victoria had to kill was herself! “The European stops are going to put your name on the map! The French translator is falling over herself to get to meet you at the party in Paris.”

“You don’t say!” Paris! How about that? “Anna’s going to love it!”

“You sure you can get her to come? Because I haven’t sent out the final press releases yet. There’s still time to remove her appearance from the reports.”

“Oh, she’ll be there.” This was Victoria’s biggest book release yet, and her grand, global foray into the international non-fiction markets. Of course her girlfriend of so long, and the woman who inspired her to write a book titled “Making Lesbian Relationships Work… Forever” wasn’t getting out of going on the big book tour with her girlfriend. No. Way. “She’s promised me up and down that she’ll finally leave the house for once.”

Anna wasn’t simply a homebody, content to spend most of her days in the house, taking care of this, working from home, overseeing that… she was borderline agoraphobic. A “hermit” people politely called her in social circles. The only colleagues who met Anna were those who came over to their house in Old Town. After two years of intensive therapy, however, Anna was leaving the house more often – sometimes alone! She had agreed to go to LA to kick off Victoria’s tour with her. When she brought up Europe a week ago, Anna had hesitated – before finally agreeing to give it a try.

Perfect, really. What better way to promote Victoria’s relationship book than to have the woman who helped make it happen there? Fantastic!

“I’ll call you later to sort out the details,” Pepper said. “I had to let you know as soon as I finalized the plans with London and Paris.”

LA. London. Paris. What could be better for a lesbian author spreading her experience and knowledge around the world?

Victoria tossed her phone onto the passenger seat as soon as she hit city limits. At the first stop light, she spruced up her short hair and scarf in her rearview mirror. She wanted to look her absolute best for Anna when she shared this exciting news. Hopefully, visiting a non-English culture wouldn’t be too much for her. Or maybe it would be better!

Victoria was so excited that she almost didn’t notice the U-Haul on her street. Oh, was the neighbor finally moving? That Seth Christens had been whining about taxes for the past few months, or at least every time he and Victoria happened to step out of their doors at the same time. Complains the doctor. Sheesh. Maybe he had bought a nice piece of land out in the countryside for his old-man ways.

No. That U-Haul was definitely parked in her driveway.

“The fuck?” Victoria slammed on her breaks the moment she realized that was… Anna! “What the fuck!”

Gone was the excitement of the day. Hello, balance.

She illegally parked her car along the curb and hopped out of her Corvette. But not until she was almost strangled by the seatbelt still secured across her chest. “Anna!”

There she was, standing at the top of the stoop with a box of her clothes in her hands. “Victoria? What… what are you doing home so early?” Her long black hair was caught in the next breeze, obscuring her panic-stricken face. Wait. She was the one panicking? Was the universe kidding Victoria right now?

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Victoria stood aside as a crew of movers swiftly loaded the back of the U-Haul with Anna’s furniture, books, dishes, heirlooms… wait. One of those guys was not a mover. She wasn’t a guy at all!

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