The next day, Bridget sat down in the lunchroom with the leftovers that Franky had given her the night before, and was joined by Vera.
“Bridget, I’m really sorry about yesterday. I know I probably put you in a bad position, but I couldn’t risk anything happening to you, to any of my staff, and it had just been such a crazy, unpredictable day.” Vera had seen how tired Bridget had been, and knew that on top of everything at work, she was also trying to juggle looking after her niece. Even though she knew she made the right decision by making her stay, she still felt bad for adding to her friend’s stress.
“No, no it’s fine, really. I know you were just trying to look out for everyone, and I was just thinking about trying to pick Emily up on time.” Bridget smiled at Vera and patted her hand that was resting on the table in an effort to reassure her that she understood the governor’s actions from the day before. In reality, the blonde thought she should probably be thanking Vera. If not for her having to stay late, she would have never gotten to meet the tall brunette, who had been on her mind since she’d woken up that morning.
Vera gave a small smile in return, and decided to move on from the topic. “That looks amazing. Where did you order it from?” She asked, nodding towards the other woman’s lunch.
Bridget gave a mock gasp and pretended to act offended. “You just assume that since it looks so good that I couldn’t possibly have made it myself?”
“We both know you didn’t.” the governor stated trying to remain serious, but failing.
The blonde gave a small laugh. “Well, yesterday, when I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pick up Em on time, I called the centre to let them know. The woman who teaches the class said she could stay and look after her.” Bridget knew she was smiling when she talked about Franky. “When I got there, they had made this together, and we ended up staying and having supper there with her.” The blonde finally glanced up and caught the large smile on Vera’s face. “What? What’s that look for?”
“What look? Nothing! It’s just…” The small brunette said quickly then trailed off.
Bridget narrowed her eyes slightly. “It’s just what?”
“You sound happy when you talk about her. It’s nice. I haven’t seen that from you in a long time.”
“Yeah, she seems nice.” Bridget tried to act casual but she and Vera had been friends for too long for her to be fooled.
“Nice? Bridget, come on. I can tell it’s more than you just thinking she’s nice.” The governor tilted her head to the side and raised her eyebrows holding Bridget’s gaze with her own, waiting for her to agree.
“Yeah, I guess. Maybe you’re right.” Bridget admitted.
“So when are you going to see her again?”
“Vera! Let’s just eat lunch, okay?” Bridget laughed. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk about Franky, or think about Franky, but she just wasn’t ready to discuss everything with her friend right now. She wanted to keep the details to herself.
The two friends spent the rest of their break eating and having easy, casual conversation then parted to go about the rest of their day.
The next couple of days passed without Franky hearing from the blonde, and she thought that maybe she had misread her cues that night. Currently, she was at the centre prepping for that night’s class. It wasn’t the one she wished it was though. She wished it was the one where she would get to see Bridget when she picked up her niece. She was lost in her thoughts when she heard the door at the side of the room open. Looking over, she saw Kim walking towards her.
“Hey, Kim,” Franky said casually, returning to her work.
“Hey? Really? You cancel on me then I hear nothing from you, and all I get is a ‘hey’?” Franky let out a sigh and prepared herself for what she knew was coming. She had been avoiding Kim ever since that evening. She had left numerous texts and missed calls on Franky’s phone, but the brunette couldn’t bring herself to let the girl down.
“You’re right, I’m sorry I had to cancel on you, but I told you what happened with the kid.”
“Yeah, you did, but I still shouldn’t have had to come looking for you.” Kim softened a little, but was still obviously upset. “So, are we still doing this or what?”
Franky could give Kim credit for one thing, she got right to the point. “Uh, actually, I don’t think it’s a good idea anymore.”
“What?” Any points Franky had earned with her earlier apology suddenly evaporated, and she could feel the other woman’s anger returning fast and furious.
“Kim, listen. I had fun with you that night, I did. But that was all it was. I don’t see us going any further than that.” Franky tried to be as honest and sincere as she could. She knew that the woman standing in front of her wasn’t the one she wanted, and she also didn’t feel like she owed her a huge explanation. They had seen each other around at different bars a few times and eventually ended up hooking up in the restroom one night. Franky wasn’t looking for anything serious, and she didn’t think Kim was either, so when the woman suggested they hang out again, Franky thought ‘why not?’, expecting it to maybe turn into a casual once in awhile hook up thing. But that was before Bridget. She knew that maybe she was stupid to be giving up a sure thing, no matter how small, in favor of something that she had no idea if she was even on the right track with, but she’d deal with the consequences later if she was wrong.
“So that’s all it was then? A fuck ‘em and forget ‘em thing?” Kim’s voice was raised, and Franky could see the first few people start to make their way into the centre.
“Kim, please, you know it wasn’t like that. We can talk about it later if you want, but right now I need you to leave. We can’t be doing this,” she waved her hand between the two of them, “when my students start to show up, alright?”
Kim scoffed and turned to leave. “We’re not done yet though.” She said as she left.
Franky blew out a breath in a big sigh and looked up at the ceiling. She should have known better. Her friends had all tried to warn her not to get involved with Kim in any way, and Franky knew what the woman’s reputation was like, but she was in the habit of making bad decisions, and clearly this had become one of them.
That night, as Bridget was getting ready for bed, her thoughts once again drifted to the green-eyed woman that had been occupying most of her headspace recently. Laying down in bed, she reached for her phone and opened up her contact list. She scrolled down to find the number she had added the other day and hesitated, her finger hovering over the name. “Fuck it.” She mumbled and made the call. It rang 4 times, and she was just about to hang up when she heard a sleepy “Hello?” on the other end of the line.
“Franky? It’s Bridget.”
“Oh, hey, Gidge.”
“Did I wake you? I know it’s a bit late to be calling.” She heard the brunette chuckle on the other end of the line.
“Well, yes, but I think I’d fallen asleep on the couch, so you probably just saved me from a sore back in the morning. So, to what do I owe this pleasure?”
Bridget hadn’t realized until this moment that she didn’t really have a reason to be calling Franky, especially at this hour. Her brain raced to try to come up with something believable. “Well, I uh, think I need some expert advice.”
“Is that so?” Bridget could hear a flirty tone creep into the other woman’s voice.
“Yeah, see, tomorrow, I’m thinking that I might mix it up and make a ham sandwich to send with Em instead of turkey, and I was just wondering, what are the rules for cheese placement in that case?”
Franky knew this had nothing to do with a goddamn sandwich, but she was willing to play along. “On top Gidge, always on top.”
“Always on top? Is that a thing that everyone knows or….?”
“Well I don’t know if everyone knows, but in my personal opinion, it’s better on top.” There was silence on the other end, and Franky thought for a second that maybe the blonde really was just asking for advice on sandwiches.
“Well, I think that’s a matter of opinion, but maybe we can debate it another time.” There was a playful tone in the older woman’s voice. A short pause and then “It’s late, I should let you go.”
“Yeah……I’ll see you tomorrow though? After Emily’s class?” Franky asked.
“Definitely. I promise I won’t make you play babysitter again.”
“It was nothing Gidge, she’s a great kid. Now get some sleep, okay?”
After they both said their goodbyes, Bridget put her phone back on the table beside her bed. Maybe Vera was right, she deserved something good, and even if her attraction to Franky had taken her by surprise, there was no reason why she shouldn’t see it through.
On the other side of the city, Franky settled herself into bed and laid there thinking about the phone call she’d just had, and the fact that she’d get to see the blonde again tomorrow. She was both excited and scared. Her fear and excitement were both caused by the same thing: this beautiful, sophisticated woman had at least some type of feelings for her.
Franky pictured the blonde in a beautiful, large house in a nice part of the city. She was a professional and obviously had some family, who she was close with. Franky was struggling for everything she had, having grown up poor with just her abusive mother to look after her. If one could call what she did “looking after”. She mostly got high or drunk and brought home strange men at all hours of the night, leaving a young Franky to look after herself. If Franky dared to ask her mother for anything, she was met with a slap or a cigarette burn on her stomach. The brunette tried to push those thoughts away and focus on her life as it is now. She hadn’t always made the best or smartest choices, but she’d worked hard to get where she was, and she knew that she had at least that to be proud of. She also knew that she was going to have to make sure that she didn’t somehow fuck up this thing with Bridget.