Get Yourself Free


Thanks to Bebop3 I listened to them nonstop while dreaming up this story. You’ll see why.

Also, thank you to blackrandl1958 for editing and to D for the encouragement.

Hope you’re all doing as well as you can during these insane times and that the world looks a whole lot brighter for everyone soon.


It was over. Or, it had to be over. Soon.

Emily finally confessed as much to her sister after secretly thinking it at night, after turning out the lights and tossing and turning and listening to fairly angsty music, for months. It had begun as a whisper, an intrusive thought that Emily had flicked away as if it were a meddlesome gnat. And then it became a fucking Gregorian chant. Emily would watch Will doing all sorts of trivial things—playing video games, snoring, aggressively commenting about an episode of whatever show they were watching—and think we need to break up, we need to break up, we need to break up. There wasn’t even a concrete reason, either.

Julia tilted her head as she studied Emily for a moment before cracking up.

“So thrilled that my heartbreak is your amusement,” Emily said, stepping over a large crack in the sidewalk.

“Sorry. It’s not.” Julia stared intensely at Emily. Emily loathed that particular look; it meant her sister was doing far too good a job of reading her thoughts. “And stop being dramatic.”

“Dramatic? Me?”

Julia just smirked. They crossed the street before she continued talking. “I guess I laughed because I’m not surprised.”

“Excuse me?”

“You and Will act more like siblings than we do.”

Emily scoffed. “That is wildly inaccurate.”

“So, if you think it’s over, why don’t you break up with him?”

“Oh, like it’s that easy?” Emily thought of Will’s face, his earnest eyes, his patient mouth. How he’d saved her life, years before when she had settled into a rather impenetrable depression, and how now was her turn to be there for him since he’d lost his mother several months ago. “It’s not. You know that.”

Her sister nodded. “Well, breakups are rarely ever easy, right? But you’re really doing him a favor, too. He’ll eventually see it like that if he doesn’t at first.”

That was one problem; Emily was pretty certain he wouldn’t. Another problem was that she was terrified of being alone after being in a comfortable eight-year relationship with someone she truly viewed as a great companion.

Breakups are strange in general, she thought. In many ways, no matter how one views relationships, love, monogamy, etcetera, one’s partner is usually first and foremost a friend. The partner usually has compatible interests and friends become shared. Members of a couple are more than just boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or lover. They’re obviously not just a friend, either. They are ensconced into your life until it is hard for you or for your friends to accurately identify who’s who, like one twin who absorbs the other.

Bill becomes “Jenny’s boyfriend”. Anna is “Tom’s wife”. Even after the dissolution of a relationship, Lauren is “Vanessa’s ex-girlfriend”. Sam is the “dick who broke Adam’s heart”. You get the picture.

Because of this, breakups are hard. Maybe you’re not even in love with them, anymore. Perhaps you can’t recall exactly why you thought dating them was a good idea. The things you fell in love with then are exactly the things you loathe now.

“He likes to eat in bed,” you tell your friend. “It’s kind of cute.”

Later, it becomes, “He eats like a fucking monster and I sleep on two fucking inches of cookie crumbs. I hope he fucking chokes.”

“She’s spontaneous,” you confess to a friend over a beer. “I never know what she’s going to do. It’s fucking hot.”

Later, it becomes, “She’s literally insane. I never know what she’s going to do. It’s fucking awful.”

Sometimes there’s no real reason, either. Sometimes you change, or they change, or maybe it’s just the world that changes. Something shifts and you wake up one day and look at the person in the bed next to you and realize you can’t remember the last time you had a conversation with them: when you last even liked them, let alone loved them.

Sometimes it’s a messy combination of all those scenarios.

“You still with me?” Julia asked, drawing Emily from her thoughts.

She sighed. “Yeah. I just… I can’t talk about this anymore. Declaring it over out loud feels like a good first step. And can you please not bring this up to Jeremy when we get to his place?”

Jeremy was Julia’s longtime boyfriend. As lovely as he was, she didn’t want him to know about her relationship problems. He was constantly chiming in when Julia got on her about chasing her dreams and all that other sentimental nonsense, and the problem with that was he actually did make sense, which was somehow frightening and annoying.

“Should I bring up another unpleasant topic and ask you about work or should we talk about some bullshit?”

“Work still sucks,” türkçe altyazılı porno Emily said. “Jake keeps sending more and more tasks to my work queue and shrugging when I say there’s no possible way for me to make their deadlines on my own. He’s an asshole.”

“You could complain about him.” Julia took a deep breath and got that intense look in her eyes again, making Emily sigh. She felt like all she did was sigh lately, and she hated that so many of aspects of her life had become lecture-worthy. “Or you could finally finish the songs you were working on; I haven’t forgotten about them.”

Emily tried to be patient with her sister. “I don’t have the motivation or time for that right now.”

“Life doesn’t wait for you to be ready.”

Emily shook her head with a reluctant smile. “Are you quoting Dad to me right now?”

“Maybe I am,” Julia laughed. “He’s right, you know. And so am I. I hate seeing you unhappy.”

“I’m not unhappy.”

Julia’s eyes narrowed and she slowed her steps. “Then what are you?”

And the real problem was that Emily just wasn’t so sure anymore.


They arrived at Jeremy’s party a little early, but it seemed the other guests had the same idea. Julia spotted him in the crowd after scanning the room and dragged Emily over with her.

“You two are late,” he accused, handing them both wine. “Was almost afraid you weren’t going to show for my little birthday party.”

Emily looked around at the impressive amount of people packed in the small space. “‘Little’, right. Jeremy, how the hell do you even know this many people?”

“I’m very likable, if you hadn’t noticed.”

She sipped her wine and smirked. “I hadn’t.”

Julia snorted and Jeremy put a hand to his chest.

“Ouch.” He opened his mouth to say something else but his attention was snagged on something behind Emily. She turned and spotted a woman making her way toward them that she didn’t recognize.

She was tall, much taller than Emily, with olive skin and glossy back hair that hung over her shoulders and rested just below her breasts. She was quite pretty, Emily realized, and found herself watching as she approached. Emily also admired the olive-green dress she wore; the soft fabric was draped elegantly over her body and flowed down to her gold sandaled feet. She looked like she’d just been plucked from some faraway island that smelled like spices Emily wouldn’t be able to name.

“Hi,” she said when she’d finally navigated her way through the crowd. She leaned over to kiss Jeremy’s cheek. “Took me ages to get here. Traffic.”

“At least you’re here now. This is my girlfriend, Julia. Julia, this is Carmen from work.”

Julia smiled and nodded. “Carmen, I’ve heard so much about you! I hear you’re keeping Jeremy sane.”

Jeremy was one of the city’s most sought after real estate agents. He was amazing at his job; his picture was plastered on various billboards and he even had a commercial that played on the TV and radio.

“Nice to meet you,” Carmen said, smiling a little. “He keeps me sane, too. Especially lately.”

“And this is Julia’s sister, Emily,” Jeremy added.

Carmen turned her dark eyes toward Emily and nodded. Emily ignored the strange sensation rolling through her body, which felt as if someone had unleashed thousands of vibrating marbles inside of her, and nodded back.

“So, what’s new tonight, ladies?” Jeremy tugged Julia close and pecked her on the nose.

It used to bother Emily, the PDA they shared. For a long time, she couldn’t put her finger on exactly why. They weren’t nauseating about it, and it never lasted long, but it had always made her extremely uncomfortable and sort of hollow. She had talked it over with her therapist at the time, who had uttered a horrible word in attempts to explain it—envy. Emily had balked at that. She worked hard over the years to shed the strange jealousy one can only feel about their sister. She tried to stop comparing herself to Julia, ignored how she was taller and thinner and blonder and happier, but her therapist had pointed out that she really hadn’t done that at all. That she was actually a little resentful and perhaps a touch bitter that her sister was in a demonstratively affectionate relationship and that the closest Will had done to show her the same was when he’d had too much champagne at their college graduation and decided they should dance. Having had adequate champagne, herself, Emily had agreed. They twirled around her parents’ living room, bumping into relatives and friends. He dipped her a couple of times and then ran off to the bathroom to throw up. Wasn’t incredibly romantic, her therapist pointed out, as if Emily had needed that defined.

She got over the uncomfortable feeling. Now she just felt hollow.

“Emily has relationship angst,” Julia sighed.

“For God’s sake. You said you wouldn’t say anything!”

Julia shook her head. “You asked me not to say anything. xnxx I simply didn’t agree.”

“You know I don’t want to talk about this right now.”

“Yeah, because you’re the queen of repression. Are you ever able to relax, or will all of your issues come flying out?”

“Now, now, girls, it’s my party. Be nice to each other.” He took a swig of his beer and then looked at Emily with twinkling eyes. “Relationship angst, huh?”

“No,” she snapped.

“She wants to break up with him but they’re too codependent on each other,” Julia explained. She smirked and took a sip of wine. “She thinks it’s a good idea to spend forever with him just to be polite.”

Someone called Jeremy’s name and he started off in that direction, bringing Julia along with him. “I want to hear more about this later. Tell Carmen all about it. She can help.”

“Fuck off.” Emily gave him the middle finger when he laughed at her.

“Your sister seems worried about you.”

Emily looked over at her new acquaintance, feeling awkward. She wasn’t great in social situations. Plus, there was something incredibly intimidating about the striking woman beside her. “Um, she means well.”

Carmen pushed some hair from her face and smiled. Her teeth were very white and straight and Emily couldn’t stop herself from staring at them. “Sisters always do. I’m sure you’re the same with her when you think she needs some help.”


“So, you are having relationship angst.” Carmen leaned against the wall, looking entertained and surprisingly interested.

“A little bit. We’ve been together for a long time.” She tugged on the ends of her hair and Carmen watched. “I’m sure you don’t really want to hear about this.”

“Sure, I do. I’m not in a relationship. I’m living vicariously through you.”

Emily snorted.

“You know, it doesn’t have to be so difficult if you don’t want it to be.”

“What doesn’t?”

“Breakups,” Carmen said, and she started humming something.

Emily stared at her until she placed the tune. “Are you… are you humming “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” right now?”

“Yes! I love that song.”

“So do I,” Emily laughed. “I don’t really know if it’s sound relationship advice, though.”

Carmen shrugged a shoulder. “‘Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free.’ Pretty sound to me.”

“It’s complicated,” Emily sighed. “We’ve been a part of each other’s lives for so long. And he lost his mom earlier this year.”

“That’s sad, but I’m sure he wouldn’t want you to stay with him just out of guilt or a sense of obligation.” Carmen ran a red-painted nail around the rim of her wine glass. It was an alarmingly erotic sight for some reason, Emily thought, and she shifted her attention elsewhere.

“No, that’s true.”

Carmen’s smile softened. “So, what do you do?”

“I work for a very boring law firm. How long have you been working with Jeremy?”

“A few months now.” Carmen’s shiny eyes bounced over Emily’s face. “Why is your job boring?”

“It’s not fulfilling for me. It wasn’t really what I wanted to do with my life, you know? I write songs. But I kind of gave that up.”

Carmen moved closer. “Seems to me like you need a change.”

“I think you’re right.” She cleared her throat. “Anyway, you’re really not in a relationship?”

Her previously soft expression transformed back into an amused one. “Is that surprising to you?”

“A little. Having a hard time finding the right guy?”

Carmen shook her head. “Right girl.”

“Oh,” Emily said.


Suddenly, it felt too loud in the apartment. She hadn’t noticed how many more people had arrived since they started talking. Somehow, the rest of the party had faded away from Emily’s consciousness, only to rush back in now. She wasn’t sure why she felt a vague sense of panic, why her hand shook a little as she held her glass of wine. She ran a hand down the side of her hip nervously and her stomach dipped when she caught Carmen watching the movement. She felt like running away.

“Is that a problem?” Carmen asked, snapping her eyes back up to meet Emily’s. Her voice was still soft, but her eyes were not.

“No. No, of course not,” Emily said. She wasn’t homophobic. She was just… surprised. “That’s, um, wonderful. Good. Great for you. I mean, good for you. Yeah.”

Carmen laughed, and in spite of the odd bubbles fizzing in her chest, Emily noticed she even laughed attractively. “Yes, it is. Am I the first gay person you’ve met or something?”

“No! I just was surprised.”

She tilted her head. “Why?”

“I have no idea, honestly. I’m sorry that I am acting like such an asshole right now.”

“Hmm.” Carmen drank some wine. A tiny drop lingered on her wet lower lip when she pulled the glass away and she licked it away. “I don’t think you’re an asshole. You’re cute.”

Emily really wasn’t one to blush, but she could feel her cheeks flaming and knew she had to be red porno izle as fuck. “Uh, thank you.”

That’s when Emily realized what was happening: she was attracted to another woman for the first time in her whole life. Not passively admiring or pleasantly appreciative. Attracted. She wanted to reach up and press her mouth down on Carmen’s full lips. She desperately wanted to touch her skin, that looked so incredibly smooth that she imagined it would be like touching velvet. But she couldn’t, because she wasn’t gay. She wasn’t bisexual. She liked men. Right? Right. If she was into women sexually, she would know that by now. It wasn’t like she was really in the experimental zone anymore. She was an adult. An adult-adult, in fact. Super adult.

Carmen laughed again, thankfully unable to read Emily’s mind, and changed the subject. They finally settled into a discussion about some new show streaming on Netflix, and though Emily was still unnerved, she was doing a better job of pretending not to be now. At least, she hoped so. They talked like that for a while until some other coworkers showed up and drafted Carmen over into a conversation about some new client they had. Emily took the opportunity to slink away and run to the bathroom.

She saw that she wasn’t red anymore when she glanced in the mirror, though her eyes were actually sparkling and she had a stupid grin on her face that she couldn’t seem to get rid of. She washed her hands with icy water as if that would help. She had never felt this way around another woman before, so what the fuck?

Someone knocked on the door and she decided she would have this meltdown somewhere else, if ever.

Carmen was still engaged in an intense talk with someone when Emily rejoined the party. She waved at Carmen and the other woman grinned back.

“What’s up?”

Emily looked over at Julia. “I’m heading home.”

Her sister frowned. “Now? But it’s so early.”

“I have to go.”

“Are you okay?”

Emily swallowed and looked away. “Yeah, I just have to go. We’ll talk tomorrow, okay?”

“Okay,” Julia said, sounding worried.

“Seriously, I’m fine. You know I hate parties.”

Julia nodded, but she still looked suspicious. “Text me when you get home.”

Emily crept out of the party, deliberately not looking Carmen’s way again.


Will found her sitting on the outside steps to their apartment that night, a little frown pinching the skin between his eyebrows when he saw whatever it was that was on her face. She was a little buzzed from the party, from both the wine and from her revelation. Emily’s heart did a bizarre little shiver when she thought about Carmen and hoped it didn’t show on her face.

Will lowered himself to sit next to her. “You drunk?”

“Not really.”

He played with his keys, swinging them over and over and over again on his finger. They sat in silence and watched people go by.

“You okay?” he asked eventually.

Emily watched a guy arguing vehemently with someone on his phone and nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine.” She dragged her gaze over to him and was surprised to see him watching her so closely. “You?”

“Fine.” He looked away and noticeably hesitated saying something.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he said. He breathed out, his shoulders coming down. “I’m heading back in. You coming in soon?”

“Sure, yeah.”

He stood, leaving Emily with the feeling that something was going to give soon. She only hoped she would still be standing when it did.


There were a surprising number of articles about discovering your sexuality later in life, Emily found out. She sat in her cubicle and googled all sorts of random and embarrassing questions, like “Am I bisexual?”, “Can you find out you’re bisexual when you’re 30?”, “How do I know if I like girls?” She was frustrated by her confusion, and she was even more frustrated by the non-answers that her search provided. She found herself wanting to talk to someone about it, but her friends might not understand. She definitely didn’t want to talk to Julia about it.


Her body jerked in surprise and her phone went flying, flipping over and landing on the hard-carpeted floor with a thud. She looked up at Jake and worried that he might have seen what she had been looking up. She tried to appear as innocent as possible.

“I sent you an email, but you didn’t answer.” His eyes flicked down at her phone on the floor and then back up again. “Please check it and get back to me as soon as possible.” He gave her phone one last look and then left.

“Fuck,” she muttered to herself.

She really didn’t need this right now, whatever it was. She had no problem with homosexuality, but she didn’t want to be questioning something this monumental at this stage in her life. Things were hard enough.

She picked up her phone and closed the searches, vowing to let this go. So, Carmen was pretty and she smelled nice and had an attractive smile. So, Emily had fun talking to her. It didn’t have to mean anything too deep. She wasn’t breaking up with Will right this minute, and even when they did, it didn’t mean she was suddenly going to start a relationship with a woman just because one had momentarily caught her eye.

Bir yanıt yazın

E-posta adresiniz yayınlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir