True Directions
by Tiki

Lying in bed on her first night away from True Directions, Graham couldn't help wondering if leaving had been a mistake. She'd been so close to graduating, to proving she was straight enough to be worthy of Daddy's affection and the benefits that accompanied it. She could have just walked down that aisle, picked up that stupid statue, smiled pretty, and kept her mouth shut. She could have taken advantage of her parent's wealth, gone to a good college, gotten a nice apartment, secured a plush trust fund. She'd spent months learning how to play the part of the docile housewife; how hard would it have been to keep the act up for a few more years?

But Megan had shown up in that cheer uniform- Megan who was now snoring softly next to her- and everything had been blown to hell. Graham loved her, and she wanted more than anything to be with her. So she'd run off with hardly a second thought about what she was sacrificing for the relationship, or about how she and Megan would manage, how they would support themselves, what they would do with their lives.

Graham sighed heavily and kicked the sheet down to the foot of the bed. She and Megan were in love, she told herself. Things had to work out.

But doubts and to-do lists sprang up like weeds in her mind, and she spent a long time staring into the darkness before finally succumbing to dreamless sleep.


It was a year before Graham earned enough money to move out of Lloyd and Larry's house. She and Megan had gotten lucky and managed to find an apartment only a few blocks from Graham's day job at the supermarket. It wasn't the best place in the world to live- the sink dripped, the toilet clogged frequently, and the roof leaked when the people upstairs ran a bath- but Graham supposed it was better than nothing.

Megan proved to be quite the homemaker: she painted the walls, hung new curtains, and dragged Graham along on numerous shopping excursions to pick out fabrics and pictures for the walls. Megan had barely suppressed her giggles when she and Graham purchased the Georgia O'Keefe print that now hung above the apartment's crappy gas stove, and Graham had chuckled with her. The apartment may not have been much, but it was home to her and Megan, and, she felt a certain pride in that.

After all, she worked hard to pay the rent and put food on the table. She had a full-time job as a checker during the day, and she spent a few hours a night in class at the local community college. Megan worked too- as a waitress at the local pub- but only part time; she spent the majority of her time as a student at the near-by state university. Her grades in high school had been close to perfect, and she'd managed to swing a full scholarship and a position on the cheerleading squad. Graham was proud of her. Megan was happiest when she was cheering, she knew, and the education would help Megan get a good job when it was all over and done.

Still, she couldn't help but resent the fact that they were both so busy all the time. Megan always had dinner waiting when Graham got home from work, but Megan usually spent the meal frowning over one of her textbooks. Graham liked to watch the way she furrowed her brow and scrunched her nose when something she read upset or confused her, but she never had much time to enjoy things before she had to leave for her class. In truth, she and Megan found themselves falling into a routine that barely allowed them any time together. It had been months since Graham remembered them having a long conversation or a night out.


Several months after moving into the apartment, Graham arrived home from the college especially late. Traffic had crawled because of rubbernecking, and it had taken more than an hour to drive only a few miles. Graham yawned, dropped her coat by the door, and wandered over to the thrift-store couch in the living room without turning on the light. Megan had mentioned something about an exam she had the next day, she remembered, and Graham decided to sleep on the couch rather than wake her.

She'd just settled herself on the sofa when she heard a floorboard creak behind her. "Hello?" she heard from the direction of the bedroom. "Graham, is that you?"

"Jesus, you scared me," she whispered hoarsely, "I thought you were asleep."

"Now why would you think that?" asked Megan as she felt around in the darkness for the switch on the desk lamp. "Did you forget what night it is?"

Graham started to make a teasing comment about it being past Megan's bedtime, but her exhausted brain suddenly realized the implication of Megan's question. "Shit! Our anniversary. Christ, I'm sorry, baby."

"Don't say 'Christ', and don't worry about it. I know you've been really busy lately," said Megan, and then found the light switch. Graham gaped for a moment, then burst into laughter. Megan was decked out in make-up and wearing the pink teddy that she'd been forced to sleep in at True Directions.

Graham sat up on the couch. "Why in God's name are you wearing that thing?" she asked, still giggling.

Megan's face fell. "You don't think I look good in it?"

"No, no, of course that's not it," corrected Graham quickly as she pulled Megan onto her lap and brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "You always look gorgeous. It's just funny that you're wearing it."

"I though it might be good for memory's sake," said Megan as she kissed the tip of Graham's nose. "I was wearing this the first time we·" she trailed off, blushing.

"I know. I remember." Graham giggled and pulled her in for a long kiss. Despite her fatigue, she still found Megan's innocent shyness charming. Graham's last coherent thought as Megan pushed her back down onto the couch was that as hard as it was to make ends meet, it was all worth it for the occasional sweet-as-fucking-pie moments.


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