The unpublished notes of Sterling Rover, on assignment for RollingPlum
I arrived at Jasper House still weighed down from my encounter with evil. Hard to shake it when I see another’s delight in the suffering and death of Sims.
The Jasper House presenter, Paula Thurpin, and her companion, Maya Marlowe, met me in front of the house.
“You two a couple?” I asked.
They looked at each other awkwardly.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” I was quick to insert. “I’m just picking up a little bit of a Butch vibe here and was wondering what’s the what.”
Another awkward moment.
I shifted the conversation to the accommodations. Same design firm and landscapers, natch, but the buildings seem a bit better suited on this lot.
The front courtyard, ringed by a wild flower garden and quaint gnomes, had a welcoming feel. Perhaps this is Maya’s touch–or Paula’s.
There was just one casita, where Maya and Paula were staying, and then a row of rooms with private entrances and shared baths up on the top floor, adjoining a large covered ramada where the presentations would be held.
Feelling nearly distraught from my encounter with evil, I excused myself and headed up to the room that had been assigned to me so I could cry it out under the covers. Hey, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a man and I cry. Tears are a sign of strength, I always tell myself at moments like this.
Paula found me later and thanked me for the comments that, upon reflection, I had felt were intrusive and, basically, none of my plumming business.
“No,” she said, “Seriously, thank you. You helped us face something that we’ve been skirting around for far too long.”
She confessed that they’d been attracted to each other during their long friendship, yet neither felt that it was right to broach the subject. Neither was sure of the other’s inclination, and as they were best friends, they didn’t want to say anything to jeopardize the friendship or introduce an awkward element.
“After you left,” Paula said, “We talked about just what we were–friends only? Could there be benefits, too?”
“We admitted to each other that we were attracted to each other.”
“One thing led to another.”
“And then another…”
“And now,” Paula said, “I feel like I can answer your question with openness and honesty. Yes. We are a couple.”
I felt better. I may be a plum-head, but sometimes the awkward comments of another can lead us to consider the situation that makes those comments awkward in the first place. And facing truth, even if it comes with a moment of discomfort, is never a bad thing. Sometimes, the situation calls for somebody to play the role of insensitive jerk, and at those moments, I am only too ready to comply.