I Hate Mondays
I wake up to some sort of song about hope. Yeah, that’s suitable for this morning. I grumble as I turn off my alarm and stare at the ceiling, wondering how this day is going to turn out. I do my morning callisthenics to get my body and mind going for the day.
I send Monique a text asking her to come home with me after work. Time to face the music.
I’m dressed and washing up in the bathroom when I get her reply.
-= Monique =-You haven’t spoken to me all weekend, and now you’re demanding I come over after work?
This is starting the day off to a wonderful start, she’s upset, and I haven’t even broken the news to her yet. I send a reply, hoping to calm her temper before she needs to be angry.
-= Rose =- Please honey, it’s important.
-= Monique =- Fine.
I hop on my bike. Well, here goes. And head downtown.
Beth is coming out of the bakery when I get there, and I greet her with a hug.
“So, you going to tell her this morning?” Beth gives me a concerned look.
“I don’t have a choice in the matter.” I give her a sad look. “Dave made himself quite clear that, if I want to continue living here in Birch Creek, I have to come clean with my girlfriend that I’ve been cheating on her.”
We spot Monique’s family car pulling up in front of the café and I turn to face my girlfriend as she comes out and wishes her father a good morning.
Monique turns around and pulls me into a big hug. Her motion catches me by surprise, but I don’t hesitate as she looks up to me for a good morning kiss.
She leans her head against my shoulder. “Just cause I’m upset you haven’t spoken to me this weekend, doesn’t mean I didn’t miss you.” She says holding me tight.
“I missed you too.” I can’t help but smile and relax in her arms.
“Is that why you asked me to come home with your this morning?” Monique looks up at me with a twinkle in her eye. “Looking to make up for lost time?” she says suggestively.
“Something like that.” I smile hesitantly.
Monique notes the change in body language. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“After work, okay?” I give her a half smile.
Monique frowns. “Okay.”
Beth gives me a slightly worried look, turns and opens the café. Monique is being her usual affectionate self as we get going for the day. I’m trying to relax and not let my anxiety control my emotions this morning, but I can tell by the way people around me react that I’m not myself this morning. I can't stop this overhanging worry of what's going to happen after work.
As we’re about to leave, Beth looks at me concerned. “You sure you want to go through with this? You’ve been an emotional wreck this morning.”
“Beth, I don’t have a choice,” I say sadly.
Beth gives me a grim smile. “Yeah. Good luck.” She gives me a comforting hug, and I head out of the office.
I hand Monique her backpack, our fingers entwine, and we walk out of the café together.
We’re not even a block away from the café when Monique confronts my mood.
“Honey, you’ve not been yourself this morning, what’s wrong?” She says in a concerned tone.
“Dave got angry with me this weekend.” I start. “I almost didn’t make it back home from Rivercrest. I was thankful that Beth joined us this weekend, otherwise, I may not have even been here this morning.”
Monique looks at me worriedly. “What could you have done that would warrant him to make that serious a threat, my love?”
I take a deep breath, trying to keep my grip steady on my handlebars, as I walk my bike beside us. “It’s mostly what I haven’t done that’s made him angry.”
Monique looks at me confused.
“Monique, I haven’t been honest with you lately, and he’s angry that I’m holding things from you.” I glance at her, trying to hold back a tear. Monique frowns in confusion. Before she can say anything, I continue. “Dave has told me to come clean with you or I lose my choice of living here in Birch Creek.” I take a deep breath. “I was hoping to keep stalling till we got home, but I guess I might as well just spill it now.”
I stop, prop my bike on its kickstand, and turn to my girlfriend, taking her hands in mine.
“Monique, I am so sorry my love, but I have not been faithful to you.” I start in a sad tone. “I’ve not only dated others behind your back, but have also been sexually involved with them.”
Monique looks at me blankly for a moment, dropping her hands from my hold.
“I think you have suspected for a while. I’ve lied to you repeatedly that you were wrong, that there was nothing serious -- yet all this time I have been seeing people behind your back. It's unfair to you, you deserve to know the truth. I'm sorry I wasn't honest.”
Monique’s face turns red as her anger boils. “Leilani!” she spits vehemently.
“She was the first, yes,” I say, bowing my head in shame.
“There’s more than one?!” Monique’s anger is increasing.
“Travis, and two others his weekend,” I reply hesitantly.
“So that hickey on his neck Wednesday, that was you?” She snaps bitterly. “And the matching one on Leilani was from you as well?”
I take a deep breath. “Yes.”
Monique reaches out and slaps my face, hard! I didn’t move or dodge her attack; I deserved what was coming to me.
“How could you!?” she yells at me, completely losing her composure.
I readjust my glasses. “I...” I start.
“No! Don’t you try to justify cheating on me!” She continues her yelling. “To think I loved you all this time, and you're fucking your neighbour behind my back!”
“Monique, I love you...” I start.
“Don’t give me that bullshit! If you really loved me, you wouldn’t have gone and slept with your friends!” She’s so angry she’s crying.
“I... you’re right,” I say with a small voice.
“Were you expecting me to just smile and say that everything is okay?” She demands tearfully. “Do you think I am just going to forgive you for lying to my face all this time? How the hell do you think I can trust you after what you just did to me?”
“Monique I...” I start, taking a half step towards her.
She pushes me away
“No, I don’t want to hear any excuses! Go and fuck your neighbour, we’re done you and me!”
Monique storms back the way we came, I see her pulling out her phone, she’s probably texting someone to come pick her up.
I could try to chase after her. Try to find some way to make things up... No, Rose, you’ve done enough damage for one day. I turn around; I glance sadly at Monique one more time, wiping a tear from my sore cheek. Monique is now talking to someone while leaning on the corner of a building, visibly crying.
I slump my shoulders in defeat. I turn my back to her, kick my bike off its stand and walk back home.
I stand in the shower, letting the water wash over me. I feel so dirty. No amount of soap or water can wash away the guilt I feel right now. The guilt I probably should have felt a long time ago, but somehow haven’t... I let the water wash away my tears as I cry. I broke Monique’s heart. And for what? Sexual satisfaction? No. Not just for the sex. Outside of Lee, I love Leilani, Travis and Cassandra. And then there’s Diane. She knows there are others, yet -- like my other lovers -- wants to be with me. Gods, why did I have to make my life so complicated?
Jane never warned me of the side effects of being polyamorous. How complicated it would be to keep those I love happy. What would happen when I found someone who wouldn’t understand how I can love more than one person -- and the heartache it would cause? I do still love Monique deeply, but I have shattered her trust, and ruined what we have together. It would take a miracle for her to forgive me.
I lay in bed, listening to music, trying to change my mood and get some focus on my mind for the day. It’s not helping. Well, no point in moping around all day, I still need to get to school. I ignore breakfast this morning, my stomach is too upset for me to even think about eating.
I’m still early when I knock on Leilani’s door. I simply walk in, as I’ve become accustomed to.
“Good morning,” I call out as I close the front door behind me.
“You’re early.” I hear her mom call out from the kitchen.
“Yeah, I rather not be sitting alone in my house this morning, is Leilani up yet?” I say in a flat tone.
“I heard her come out of the shower a moment ago.” Her mother says as I join her in the kitchen. She looks at me. “Are you okay, Rose? You’re not your cheerful self today.”
Apparently, my whole body echoes my mood this morning. I take a deep breath. “Monique and I broke up this morning.”
“Yes!” The excitement in my girlfriend’s voice is clear as Leilani’s arms wrap around me lovingly.
I relax into her arms, relishing her affection, I need to feel loved right now.
Her mother’s expression is different. “What kind of fight could you two have possibly had to have your relationship end so suddenly?”
I am distracted by Leilani kissing me lovingly.
“Leilani, let Rose talk.” Her mother interjects in annoyance.
“Sorry.” Leilani blushes and leans against my chest.
I take a deep breath. “My brother gave me an ultimatum.” I start as I hold Leilani close to me. “Tell Monique of my other relationships or I move back to Rivercrest with him. My... Umm... Promiscuous behaviour has him upset. He says I’ve been acting irresponsibly and thinks I need proper adult supervision.”
Her mom is quiet for a moment. “Well, he’s not wrong...”
I bow my head, kissing Leilani’s forehead. “No. He’s not. He was almost ready to keep me up in Rivercrest this weekend! Beth was the one who argued the right for me to come back home.”
She smiles. “So nice of you to think of Birch Creek as home already.”
“I’ve never have felt like I belonged anywhere till I moved here,” I say, a tear welling in my eye.
“So... I take it your girlfriend didn’t take the news well.” Her mother probes.
“No, she accused me of not loving her, and for destroying the trust we shared...” I take a deep breath. “She’ll likely never talk to me again.”
“You loved her, didn’t you?” her mother says surprised.
“I still do, which is why it hurts so much,” I say sadly.
Her mother shakes her head. “You love each of the girls for different reasons, which is how you formed an equally deep love for each, haven’t you?”
I nod. “It won’t take long for the rumour to circulate in school that we broke up... I don’t know how that’s going to affect how people see me.”
“I guess it all depends on how you broke up spreads around.” Her mother says with a grim smile. “Teens can be rather cruel with one another.”
“You don’t have to remind me of that. I just... things were finally going so well, and I just ruined it all.” I say sadly.
“I think you’ll be fine.” She says reassuringly. “People love you. That you aren’t a faithful girlfriend could have repercussions thought.” She warns me.
“Yeah, I’m going from a positive image to being coined the school's slut.” I say bitterly.
“Now Rose, don’t be so hard on yourself.” Her mom frowns.
“How else would you define what I’ve done?” I say in exasperation.
Her mother is quiet for a moment. Yeah, that’s what I figured.
“So, I don’t have to hide my love for you anymore?” Leilani looks up at me hopefully, breaking the silence.
“Give it a day or two my love, I don’t want to make this worse by not showing any remorse for what happened this morning,” I say with caution.
“Not even a little?” Leilani pouts.
I squeeze her. I see that it’s been so difficult for her to hold back her affections, and now that she feels she has free rein, I’m still telling her no.
“Just give this some time, okay?” I ask her.
Leilani cuddles into me. “Okay....” But I feel she’s not happy with my request.
“You two best get going so you’re not late.” Her mother says at last. She hands us bananas. “Here, I doubt you’ve eaten this morning, Rose.”
“That obvious?” I say sadly, and she nods. She steps forward and hugs us.
“Know that you are still loved, Rose, regardless of what the kids are going to say to you at school.” She says reassuringly.
“Thanks.” I smile weakly.
We head out together. When we’re about a block away from home, I look down at my still happy girlfriend. Her comfort and affection are what’s keeping me together this morning.
“I’m moving,” I say to her quietly.
“But I thought you said that Beth convinced your brother to let you stay here in Birch Creek?” Leilani says, suddenly worried.
“I’m still going to live here, but my brother says I need proper adult supervision,” I say sadly. “I have a week to pack my things and then I’m moving to Beth’s family’s house.”
“But you’re living in their house,” Leilani says confused.
“Not the Simmon’s house.” I correct her. “Winslow Manor.”
“But that’s on the edge of town!” Leilani objects. “You might as well say you’re moving out of Birch Creek! You’ll be so far away, I won’t see you every day!”
“I know,” I say sadly. “But this is my punishment.”
“That’s so unfair!” Leilani says angrily.
“I know.” I sigh. “But, I did it to myself after my actions this weekend.”
Leilani frowns. “What did you do this weekend?”
“I got drunk, slept with a couple of friends...” The guilt in my voice clear.
“You had sex with people in Rivercrest?” Leilani says in surprise.
“I’m sorry, Leilani. I know I shouldn’t have, but my friend Diane came on to me, we were both drunk and...”
Leilani punches me in the shoulder. “Bad Rose!”
“Well, Diane’s another trans woman, so I couldn’t get her pregnant...” I start.
“You slept with one of your support group friends?!” Leilani says in surprise.
“She’s been flirting with me since June, I should have seen it coming...” I say apologetically.
“Are you going to see her again?” Leilani probes me, trying to gauge how serious the relationship is.
“She would like to, and to be honest, I would as well. Would that upset you?” I look at Leilani with concern. “If it does, I will tell her no. I love you too much to lose two girlfriends in one day.” I say, tears welling up in my eyes.
Leilani pulls me to a stop. “Rose, I love you, as long as you never leave me, I will always be by your side.” She pulls my head down and offers me a long, loving kiss.
“Thank you,” I whisper. “I never want to hurt you.” A tear runs down my cheek, and she wipes it away.
“Next time, asking permission before adding a new lover into our circle would be appreciated.” She says. “As long as you are being safe, then you aren’t putting the rest of us at risk.”
She is so amazingly different that Monique.
I nod. “Which is why I insisted on Lee using condoms when I slept with him.”
“Him? As in a boy? Or another of your transgender friends?” Leilani looks at me curiously.
“Lee is a boy, he and his brother work at the Bistro nearby where I spent the summer, apparently he’s had a crush on me for months now too.”
Leilani shakes her head. “Cassandra’s right, you are a sex magnet.” And we walk again. “Do you have feelings for this Lee guy?” she asks curiously.
“Not really, it was just a night of fun sex, I doubt we’ll ever be in bed again,” I reply.
“Well, I don’t mind your fling with Lee then, but Travis seems to get jealous when you show interest in other guys...” Leilani warns me.
“So I’ve noticed.” I frown. “I doubt he’ll react much to Diane... but... Yeah...”
Cassandra joins us. She has a hopeful smile on her face as she says her good morning to us. I can see the question forming, so I say it first.
“Yes, I told Monique,” I tell her as she approaches us.
Leilani frowns in confusion. “Cass already knows?”
“I told her last night when we were gaming. I needed a sounding board before my anxiety ate away at me.” I say in my defence.
“And what was her answer, did she react as we expected her to?” Cassandra inquires.
“She yelled at me, slapped my face, and stormed off crying. I doubt we’ll get back together now that I ruined her trust in me.” I say sadly.
Cassandra smiles. “I know I should feel sorry for you, but that means she’s no longer in our way.” She latches on to my other arm affectionately.
“Cass, can I ask that we hold off dating till the worse of this blows over? I don’t want to encourage rumours I’m nothing more than an uncaring slut and moving on to someone else already.”
Cass lets go and looks at me sadly. “As you wish, my dear.”
Leilani watches the exchange. “You two didn’t sleep together last night, did you?”
“No, Cassandra and I haven’t slept together,” I reassure Leilani. “I just uncorked the affections she’s been hiding since the slumber party.”
“Oh, really?” Leilani says with a smile, suddenly curious.
Cass blushes as we continue walking. “I tried to deny my feelings for Rose, but the more time we spend together, the harder it is to hide that I’ve fallen in love with her.”
I reach out to Cassandra, and she takes my hand willingly.
“She has that effect on people, doesn’t she,” Leilani says with an affectionate smile.
We spend the rest of our walk discussing the other things I did while up in Rivercrest. The spa, the karaoke, the dancing, the playing.
“I missed you playing in front of a live audience?” Cassandra says with a sad face.
“Well, the band loves my talents. This won’t be the only time I jam with them.” I smile encouragingly.
“When do you go back up there?” Cassandra inquires.
“Three months from now, just before the end of the year. I may even be gone for New Year’s Eve, but I won’t be leaving till the second week of winter break.”
“So we get to have you with us for Yuletide? My parents always throw a big party.” Cassandra smiles.
I smile. “I think the hardest part of the holiday will be who gets me for their grand feast.”
“Well, if the Simmons don’t mind having theirs early, I know Mama would love to have you over for supper,” Cassandra says smiling.
Leilani looks at her, surprised. “You know about Rose moving too?”
“Yes, I know about her brother’s bargain,” Cass says with a frown. “It’s totally not fair that we won’t have Rose with us anymore for our morning walk.”
I suddenly get an idea, Cassandra feels the change in my mood. “What are you thinking of love?”
“I might have an idea, but I need to ask Leilani’s parents’ permission tomorrow before I follow through...” I say with a smile growing on my face.
Leilani looks thoughtful for a moment. “You’re going to ask my parents if you can come over to my place after work, aren’t you?”
“Okay, maybe not so cunning.” I roll my eyes, Leilani got it on the first guess, am I that predictable? Or has she been planning that idea as well?
Leilani giggles. “I’ve been wondering if my parents would agree to such an idea since we left the house.” Cassandra’s smile shows she had the same idea this morning as well.
“Aren’t we quite the trio?” I smile. I stop and we all hug each other tightly before continuing to school.