Fiction X

The Ballad of Lisa and Lacey (Part X)
(for Part IX click here)

But that was the problem.  Plagued with good intentions, Lacey had decided to do the right thing and everything had gone to hell from there.  Actually, that wasn’t strictly true.  She hadn’t planned any of it.  She’d kinda fallen into it, like Alice down the rabbit hole.  But that wasn’t true either — not really.  Alice had never been to Wonderland before, and Lacey’d been going there for nearly ten years.  She was an accomplice, not just a participant, and in the cold, dark soul of 4 o’clock in the afternoon, she knew that.  Sitting on the brown sofa, looking out the window on a chilly all alone Christmas Eve, she knew, despite the stories she’d been telling herself, she was just as responsible for Lisa and Lacey as Lisa was.  After all these years of living two different lives, juggling half-truths and lies, keeping her time with Lisa safely on the other side of the Atlantic, Lacey understood that.  There was no longer any distance between the two women, and there was no use dressing it up in good intentions.  She remembered way back when, on the boat — the first boat — down the Rhone, she’d asked:

lisa and lacey1

“You’re so complicated.  There’s all these layers.  But I still don’t know what kind of a person gives all this to someone they hardly know?”

Lisa didn’t hesitate:

“The same kind who accepts it.”

She should have known then.  She did know then.  The truth was, she just didn’t want to admit it.  She didn’t want to think too hard about what makes a person put their real life on hold to play house once a year.  Lisa understood and was willing, but Lacey had spent years diligently avoiding even thinking about it.  It had been so simple.  She had been so happy.  So…  But now — now was different, even though Lisa had called, several times, and every time had managed to reassure Lacey that everything was fine and that things were alright — now was Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve and without Lisa, Lacey realized she was no longer a girl, and she was sitting alone with a bottle of Cote du Rhone — and she had never intended to end up this way.

Next week the conclusion of The Ballad of Lisa and Lacey

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