On the tram ride home, Luke didn’t speak, but instead stared out of the window at the passing city. When they got home, he said,
“Nice bloke, your Keith.” He seemed a little melancholy. You might get someone to love, even if he is gay, but I won’t get anybody ever, was the subtext.
“Not mine, Luke.”
“He likes you.”
Esmé shrugged. “He’s gay,” she said. “He’s a friend.”
Luke had watched how Keith had looked at Esmé, and he wasn’t so sure. But he didn’t want to raise her hopes so he let the subject drop.
“Are you working tonight?” he asked.
“No. Well, I have an assignment.”
“How does pizza and a beer and a DVD sound to you?”
“I dunno. I bought some new gay movies from Amazon.”
“Do you think I’m turning into a fag hag?” Esmé had read that term just that morning and it had terribly depressed her.
“That’s a horrible word, Ezz. Just because you have two gay friends.”
One of whom gets a hard-on when he dances with me. “Yes, but, I’ll prolly never get a man, you know.” She sensed Luke’s sadness and all at once she shared it.
“Why ever not?”
So Esmé finally told him. It felt as if a wound was torn open and scraped with salt. But afterwards—though there was still a throbbing ache—for the first time since it had happened, she believed that she would be OK. Things would get better.
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter