Something lighter for this week because the last two weeks have had extremely heavy topics . If you haven’t read any of the Lesloom stories, I suggest starting with the first and second episodes to get a background of what the lesbian futon is and how its adventures began. For those who are up to date on these short little fairy tales, I present episode 3 “The Awakening.”
The futon settled into its new home and routine easily. Living with Emma felt so right that an outsider would think the two had been together for years rather than just a few months. Emma felt an instant trust with her new bed, opening up her soul to the futon and revealing her secrets. It became a ritual of sorts for Emma to tell the futon about her day as she prepared for sleep. And the futon did exactly what it was born to do—it listened.
Though Emma had not become aware of her orientation yet, the futon could sense that her sexual awakening was not far off. A futon, though you may not suspect it, has a keen sense of smell. And the hormones that gently arrived to tip Emma’s world upside down were unmistakable even to this inexperienced futon.
Emma could already tell that she wasn’t the same as some of her friends. Although she’d hung a few pictures of boy bands on her wall, she didn’t feel what they felt. She didn’t gush over the boys in school or fret about dating. She kept her difference to herself, only telling the futon, “I just don’t get what they see in them.”
The futon sighed, I know. Give it time.
“But I just don’t want to get married,” she whispered back. “Why does everything have to change? Why can’t we just stay the same?”
The futon knew that the “we” Emma was referring to was her best friend who, up until recently, hadn’t shown any more interest in boys than Emma. But as Rebecca too started to change, Emma had withdrawn more into herself.
Slowly, Emma stopped hanging out with the most of the girls in her class. She felt awkward when they talked about boys and found it easier to be alone, but Rebecca didn’t let her pull away.
One night Emma begged her mom to let her stay home from a classmate’s birthday slumber party. “I don’t feel well!” she complained. It was becoming her go-to excuse since she’d discovered that it caused the fewest question in her quest for solitude.
“Do you want the heating pad?” her mother cooed sympathetically.
Letting her mom think it was cramps, Emma shook her head and buried her face in her pillow.
“Okay, I’ll let Janie’s mom know you won’t be coming.” With a gentle pat on Emma’s head, her mother left to spread the convenient lie.
Emma had been snuggling into the safety of the futon, watching a movie and trying desperately not to think about her lack of attraction to boys, when Rebecca suddenly strolled through the door.
“My mom sends her special menstrual relief salve,” she said with a sarcastic smile.
Emma jolted upright. “What are you doing here?”
The futon perked up at the tension that suddenly emanated from its ward. It fluffed itself protectively around Emma’s small form and sent out a silent warning to Rebecca. Don’t hurt her.
“I came to keep you company.” Rebecca flopped down next to Emma, her dark hair cascading to cover the computer screen. Reaching over, she tapped the space bar, pausing the movie. “I didn’t feel much like hanging out with a bunch of twittering idiots either. Are you really on your period?”
Emma grimaced at Rebecca’s frankness. “No,” she admitted.
“Didn’t think so.” Rebecca laughed and pushed the computer out of the way. “So what do you want to do?”
“I dunno.” Emma had never been so tense around Rebecca. The futon did what it could to purr out some comfort, but Emma wasn’t listening to her furniture friend. She was too busy trying to hide her discomfort from her human friend.
“This puberty thing sucks, doesn’t it?” Rebecca continued after a moment.
Emma flinched again. “Why do you have to be so . . .”
“Because why should I be afraid to talk about what’s happening to me? I’ll never understand it if I don’t try.” The words were harsh, and Rebecca seemed to regret them as soon as they were out. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be mean. I just . . . don’t understand why it’s so tough to talk about this stuff.”
Emma chose not to respond but rolled over and grabbed a deck of cards off her nightstand. “Wanna play?”
Rebecca nodded and folded herself into a cross-legged position. Emma shuffled and dealt out a simple game of rummy, and the two of them settled into the familiar comfort of the cards. Emma was thankful for the distance the card pile between them created, but deep inside she was aching with a longing that she didn’t know what to do with.
“Have you ever . . .” she began the question, but didn’t know how to continue it.
Rebecca looked up from her hand. “Have I ever what?”
“I don’t know.” Emma stared fixedly at her cards, nervously arranging them before finally discarding one. “Sometimes I feel like I’m doing the whole puberty thing wrong.”
Rebecca picked up the discarded card, adding it to her own hand and throwing out another. “How do you mean?”
Emma blushed and hastily drew a new card. “Sometimes . . . I just wish boys would stay out of the picture.” She looked sheepishly at Rebecca to see if she was picking up on her meaning. “It’s not that I don’t like the idea of kissing. I just don’t like the idea of kissing boys.”
The futon’s heart was racing by now to match Emma’s and, surprisingly, Rebecca’s—though she looked perfectly calm to Emma.
“Well, I don’t think I’d dislike kissing boys,” Rebecca began.
Emma sagged into the cushions just slightly, playing her cards without a word.
“Of course, I’m not like the others . . . I don’t always think about kissing boys.”
Emma opened her mouth to retort, but Rebecca cut her off. “Sometimes I think about kissing girls too.”
“Is that . . . is that normal?” Emma couldn’t hide the hope in her voice at hearing someone say what she’d been feeling for so long.
“Me too.” The admission was made more to the futon than to Rebecca.
The futon sighed visibly with the relief of the truth, startling both girls.
Emma giggled nervously. “I forgot where we were in the game.”
“Me too,” Rebecca echoed, throwing her cards into the center and gathering the deck together. She began shuffling aimlessly. “We could, uh—” The cards scattered on a failed riffle. “We could try.”
“What do you mean?”
“We could test out how we like kissing—girls.” Rebecca shrugged. “Each other.”
The poor futon trembled for Emma. As much as it wanted her to find herself and find love, it could foresee the beginning of the painful road of awakening that would accompany the end of this time of blissful ignorance.
Emma’s first kiss was awkward, she and her best friend leaning towards each other over a mess of cards. It started with a peck.
“What did you think?” Emma asked, her voice unsteady.
After a moment, Rebecca replied, “I don’t know. It was too short.”
So back together they went, lingering this time on each other’s lips in as sweet a second kiss as you would ever see. Emma’s heart soared with the perfection of the moment, finally understanding a little bit about what all her friends had been gushing about. This—this feeling! This moment! This contact!
Over too soon as Rebecca pulled away again. She rubbed the back of her hand over her lips. “It’s nice.”
Emma withdrew to her side of the futon, wondering what “nice” meant. “Yeah . . .”
“I won’t tell anyone,” Rebecca said in what she seemed to think was an encouraging promise.
Emma shook her head. “Me either.”
There was so much other stuff she wanted to say though and didn’t. The rest of the night passed in the same way that their sleepovers usually passed, with movies, games, and snacks. The kiss wasn’t mentioned again. No other kisses followed.
Emma had entered into that torturous stage of first love when nothing is certain and no one knows how to move forward or backward. She went to bed with a bittersweet memory lingering on her skin. Unsure of whether to be elated or devastated, she lay still until she thought Rebecca was sleeping then whispered to the futon, “But I liked it a lot.”
“Me too,” came the soft whisper next to her.
The futon hugged the two girls to itself, proud of their honesty with each other, apprehensive of their hearts, and wishing with all its might that it could tell the future. But it was just a futon and had to settle with doling out lots of loving energy to the girls in the hopes that it would make their dreams happy and their sleep restful.