How It Began
Mary Lynn Reed

She asked me to join her for lunch and I said yes. She chose Mexican, ordered a margarita, munched chips and salsa compulsively. I complimented her outfit.

“I know you’re a lesbian,” she said.

“I know you’re not,” I answered.

She scooped salsa with a chip, tilted her head slightly. She was divorced, had two teenage daughters, and she flexed her sexuality like a muscle. She was the kind of woman who didn’t have women friends, and no one ever wondered why.

She placed her hands together, in an unlikely prayer pose, and said, “I’m sorry—I really have no idea—”

She began to fidget.

I leaned forward.  “Is it possible that you’re hitting on me?”

“It is possible, yes,” she said.

There was a wideness to her eyes I’d never noticed before, as if they were fixed apertures, permanently locked open, receiving constant light. As if she’d never seen darkness. Never slept and never dreamed.

“How’s that margarita?” I asked her.

She licked salt off the rim. “Excellent.”

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