Francine entered the bar to meet her boyfriend, James. She saw him sitting on a bar stool, ordering a drink. She walked up to him and said, “Hi, honey, did you order me a drink?”
“Fran, I was about to,” James replied.
They drank all night until the last call. They were too drunk to drive, so they took a cab back to James’ apartment. Francie slept in James’ bed.
The sun rose and Francine got out of James’ bed, took a shower, and got dressed in the clothes she left at his apartment.
James woke up, “Honey, are you leaving already? I can make you breakfast.”
“Yeah, I need to get to work.” She closed the floor.
Frankie got on her motorcycle and rode to Amelia’s house. She stopped in front of a little white cottage in the suburbs. Her girlfriend sat waiting on the doorstep for her.
“Frankie! How are you? It’s been a few weeks,” Amelia fixed her brunet locks and said.
“Fine, babe. Sorry, I’ve been working. Ready for lunch?”
“Hop on,” Frankie said as she tapped on the back seat.
They rode to the next town over until they stopped at a little restaurant called “Rest Stop”.
They walked in and Frankie told the hostess, “Table for two under the name Vargino.”
“Right this way,” the hostess said as she grabbed the menus.
They followed her to the table and sat down.
“Your waiter will be right with you,” the hostess said.
They ordered their drinks (a water and a coke) when the waiter arrived.
“So, Frankie, anything change for you in the past few weeks?”
“No, I — ”
“What? You can tell me anything.”
Frankie looked at her phone and saw a text from James.
I have something for you.
See you tonight?
I can’t, I’m busy.
I’ll see you there.
“Amelia, I can’t stay at your place tonight. I have to be at work tonight.”
“Alright, but when I see you again?”
“At lunch tomorrow, at the park.”
The waiter returned, “Are you two ready to order?”
“I’ll have the chicken salad,” Amelia said.
“And I’ll have the steak,” Frankie replied.
“And how would you like that cooked?” the waiter asked
“Medium to medium-rare,” Frankie replied.
“Great, I’ll put these in and your food will be out soon.”
“A steak for lunch? Isn’t that more of a dinner food?” Amelia asked.
“Yeah, you got a problem about that?” Frankie asked back.
The food arrived, they ate with silence.
They left and both paid.
Night fell and Francine rode back to James’ apartment. She parked in front of his building and stomped up the stairs to his apartment. She knocked on his front door.
“Fran, please sit down.”
“I was just here, what do you need?”
“I have to give you something.”
“What is it?”
James walked out of the bedroom and pulled out a small rectangular box from behind his back. He opened the box and showed it to her.
“It’s beautiful, but what’s it for?” Francine asked, eyes watering.
“We’ve been dating for a few months now and I wanted to give you something to celebrate our anniversary.”
“A necklace, you shouldn’t have.”
He took the necklace out of the box, unhooked it, and put it around her neck.
“You’re welcome, it’s pure gold, so don’t lose it.”
“I made you some dinner.”
“Oh, I already ate.”
“Too bad because I made spaghetti.”
“That’s my favorite food.”
“I know,” James said with a smile.
“Alright, I’ll have a small bowl full.”
Francine walked over to the dinner table and sat down. James pushed in her seat. He set out a plate and placed a small amount of pasta and sauce on her plate.
“Got any butter?” Francine asked.
She ate the pasta in one quick swoop and bite.
“Are you still hungry?”
“Well, here’s some more,” James said as he set some more spaghetti on his girlfriend’s plate. He drizzled some marinara sauce on top of it.
“Aren’t you gonna eat?”
“Oh, yeah.” James sat down and gave himself some spaghetti.
They ate together and looked at each other lovingly with food in their teeth and sauce on their cheeks.
They loved each other.
The next day, around noon, Frankie rode down to the parking lot of the park. She parked and saw Amelia in a pretty yellow dress sitting on a nearby park bench. She walked over to her with a bouquet of roses.
“Frankie! You brought me flowers!”
“Yeah, I wanted to make up for not seeing you for a few weeks and leaving so soon after lunch yesterday.”
“That’s thoughtful, but you didn’t have to.”
Frankie held out her hand and Amelia grabbed it. She pulled her girlfriend toward the end of the park and into the woods.
“Where are we going?” Amelia said with excitement and fear in her voice. Her dress tore on a prickly bush.
“There’s an old treehouse in these woods. My friends and I built it when I was a kid.”
“Why are you showing me it?”
“So we can eat in it.”
They stopped in front of the treehouse and Amelia stared at it in awe.
“I’ve been fixing it up for a few weeks and it’s finally done.”
Picnic basket in hand, Frankie stepped up the wood pieces on the tree trunk. Amelia followed her. They climbed into the treehouse.
“It’s kind of dark in here.”
“I’m prepared, I brought battery-powered candles and wine.”
Frankie popped the cork and it flew into Amelia’s eye. She screamed in pain.
“I’m sorry, I also brought a first aid kit.”
“I need ice, it burns.”
“I didn’t bring any ice, put a cold sandwich on your eye.”
“I think I might go. I’ll find my way back.”
“No, wait, I made brownies.”
“Oh, brownies. I love brownies, are there any nuts in it?”
“No, I know your allergic to nuts.”
Thunder rumbled in the distance, but they didn’t hear it over their talking. It started to pour and they thought about it, but they didn’t want to get wet and ruin the flowers. It down poured and lightning struck the tree they sat in. Branches fell and the treehouse collapsed. They survived and ran back to the park. They saw a man running toward them.
“James? I mean — stranger-person I don’t know, what do you want?”
“My friend told me he saw you in the park with another woman? I thought nothing of it since I knew you were straight. But I got worried when you didn’t text or call me back.”
“Sorry, my phone died-I mean who is this man?”
“Frankie, who is this and how does he know you?”
“Yeah, Fran, how do you know me?”
“I — uh — he’s my ex-boyfriend who’s been following me. You’re obsessed James, it’s over!”
“Oh, really?” Amelia asked in doubt.
“It’s true,” Fran/Frankie lied.
“I’m her current boyfriend and she’s been cheating on me with you,” James said to Amelia.
“Who are you gonna believe, me, your kind and thoughtful girlfriend or this guy?”
“You have been shifty and you leave and come back at random times. You’re always too busy with work.”
“That’s the same thing she says to me.”
“So, who are you gonna choose, Frankie, him or me?”
The clouds cleared and Francine held her hand in front of her. “The jig is up. I’m bi and I’ve been dating both of you at the same time. I’m sorry, I wanted the best of both worlds. A normal romantic relationship with a guy and a same-sex relationship with a woman. I lied and deceived both of you. I don’t even have a job, my parents are rich. I choose — ”
Amelia thought of all the fun times they had together. Their relationship wasn’t perfect, but it also was.
“Let me help you choose, our relationship is over. You’re dead to me!” James shouted as he ripped off the necklace hiding under her sweatshirt from her neck. He turned around and walked off.
“Frankie, I’m sorry, but I agree with him. We’re through, you cheated and lied to me, we’re through.” She threw the roses at Francine and ran away crying.
“Amelia! James! I messed up. What am I gonna do now?”
The rain returned and she got back on her motorcycle and drove home to live back with her rich parents.
“Fran, you’re home! her mother said in excitement as she put down her book.
“Don’t call me that,” Francine said, emotionally fractured by that word. “I’ll be in my room.”
“What happened? Did you crash your motorcycle or break up with someone?”
Francine slammed her bedroom door.
“What’s wrong, Meridith?” her father asked her mother.
“I don’t know, Fran came home and ran to her room.”
“She’s an adult, she’ll figure it out.”