I’m not going to lie I was a bit nervous about publishing this as I am not gay. Then I thought my nervousness was proof enough of why I should publish it. I thought I would give the fiction aspect a go, with split perspectives. My friends got married recently, two women, which kind of inspired me to take this perspective. Plus I wanted to reflect the theme of prejudice that runs through To Kill a Mocking Bird, by looking at a similar kind that is also very relevant today.
I ran my eyes over the door as I waited for Ally to open it… the familiarity of the chipped, dirty red paint, the black door knob that was starting to fall off with over use and disrepair, the chalky 229 scratched on in a wonky fashion, and the faint unsanitary smell from the surrounding streets. I brushed some of the stale flour from my floor length skirts, not that Ally would notice. She needed to hurry up or else someone would notice me; ask what I was doing stood looking at her door like a plonker.
“Jen!” Ally finally threw the door open. I looked at her, her hair not neat and pulled back, as it would be at the start of her shift, but unkempt, and messy. I liked it. “Come in already will ya, can’t have people gawp can we? They’d throw us in’ cells before you could turn ya ‘ed if they passed it on!” She promptly swept around to go in, her skirts swishing around her ankles as she went.
I turned my head to check no-one was watching me before I stepped inside. The boy hadn’t come out yet… the lamps in the street were unlit. I couldn’t see much, it was too dark. Should be safe then. You never knew with this lot. A street like this. It’d spread like wildfire if they thought they saw somat. As I stepped inside I looked over at Al. She was stood, leant against the wall; waiting for me to come across to her. I shut the door behind me. We didn’t take our eyes off each other as I edged towards her.
She reached out with her hand as I came closer. Too close. Her hand had found my face. I could smell the scrubbing soap on her hands; feel the roughness of her well-worn skin.
“If we ever get caught Al…” I murmured. Almost in a defeated manner.
“Shhh… Now’s no time for talkin’…”
I stood on the steps of number 229, waiting. As I waited I got more and more anxious. What was she playing at taking this long? I nervously picked at my denim shorts, the fray on the bottom getting worse as I pulled at it. The door was bright and fresh. It still smelled like paint in fact. The pillar-box red colour was shining in the street light. The black door knob was new, vintage looking… wasn’t my style but it was nice.
Leigh was forever running late. I could hear her clanging around upstairs. I bashed the door again in frustration. Loudly.
Her head suddenly emerged from an upstairs window, and I craned my neck to look as she shouted; “Alreet Christ! Give us a minute will ya! I’m coming!”
I didn’t mind the waiting, its just the neighbours were a bit funny. Some of em’ knew we were getting married soon. Didn’t like I guess. Someone had said somat to me a few weeks ago… hurled abuse at me from their doorway. I couldn’t be doin’ with it no more… I really wanted her to move but she wouldn’t. Said the house had a nice feeling to it. An atmosphere. The door flung open…
“I told ya to get a key cut dint I?” She flashed a massive grin my way. “Give us a kiss then!”
“Aw lemme in first will ya, you know what this lot are like!”
“Screw em! Our lives init… twenty first century like… what do they ‘spect?”
I gave in and leant towards her beautifully slim frame; I could smell detergent on her hair even though she hadn’t been at work today. It was an attractive smell. To me anyway. As we went in I turned my head and glanced down the lamp-lit street… a couple of curtains were twitching. But Leigh was right. Screw em ey?