Don’t Talk to Laura

Hey, um. I don’t really know how to phrase this, but I’m just gonna say it the best way I can. My wife is not who she used to be. I fell madly in love with her, but now I can’t look at her without feeling terrified. I’ll just start this off with how it all happened.

I am Aloisia Kennard, I am a 28-year-old woman and I was born in Kentucky. I always had trouble making friends in middle school; highschool wasn’t much better. Living in a very conservative town probably had something to do with it, but I always knew that I would make my escape someday and there was always hope for the future. I had always liked girls and I never felt there was a problem with it, until my mother asked me why I didn’t have a boyfriend yet.

“Sweety, you’re so pretty. Why haven’t you gotten yourself a man yet? You could get anyone you wanted, yet you’re still single,” she said with a smirk.

I didn’t think much of the question and just replied with, “I don’t like boys, I like girls.” This seemed very normal to me at the time.

My mother gave me a puzzled look and didn’t say much for a while, “Honey, you’re just confused. You’ll like boys some day. You can’t be saying stuff like that.”

“No, I’m not confused, I know I like girls. Is that weird?” I was bewildered by her response and didn’t understand why it was a big deal.

“You’re only 16 honey, you shouldn’t know about that stuff.” My mother seemed angry now.

Looking back at this now, it doesn’t make much sense to me. She asked me if I had a boyfriend, but didn’t think I was old enough to like girls. If I’m not old enough to like girls, then how am I old enough to like boys? Either way, I decided to ignore her advice and didn’t try to hide the fact that I liked girls.

When I went to school the next day, I saw my best friend talking to someone she said that she couldn’t stand. I was confused and went to talk to her.

“Hey Kat, what’s up?” I tried to talk to her, but her face stayed glued onto the suspicious ex-enemy.

“Don’t talk to me d*ke. I don’t feel like being harassed and flirted with right now,” Katrina said while snickering with her probably new best friend.

I was really taken aback by what she just said. I’d never heard that word before, but I knew it wasn’t meant to be nice. The way she said it was almost like she had just spat at me; eyes full of hate and her nose twitched upward trying to taunt me. My heart sank when her new friend laughed and pointed at me; it was worse when Kat started laughing too. She had been my only real friend since, well, forever. I had no idea what I was meant to do.

As I tiptoed my way to class, I felt the eyes of the whole school peering at me. Waiting to swallow me whole and kill me right there in the hallway. Everyone was staring, following my every move; even the teachers. My heart was racing and it seemed like time had stopped. I finally made it to my math class and I pulled out my pencils and paper. The bell rang and the teacher babbled on while I subconsciously took notes. Suddenly the classroom phone shattered the silence of the bored classroom.

All I heard from the phone was muffled talking and the occasional ring it emitted every few seconds, “Yeah… I’ll send her up right away. Aloisia, to the counselor’s office.”

I was dumbfounded and I immediately started thinking of all of the things I had done that week, no fights, no missing homework, no failed tests. What could the counselor have wanted? I slowly eased up from my seat and made my way to the counselor’s office, stopping at my locker to drop off my stuff. I got to the room and stood in front of the door for a minute; my heart was racing.

I opened the door and was greeted by the face of the overly-cheery counselor, Mr. Boston.

“What do you need sir?” I asked him with my hands mildly quivering and my legs close to buckling under me.

“Please, sit down. We need to talk,” Mr. Boston was very hesitant in the way he spoke, lips pursed and eyes squinted as if he were trying to peer through me.

“Sir, I don’t understand why I’m here. I don’t remember doing anything wrong or-” he cut me off when I was speaking.

“Ms. Kennard, there has been a… rumor buzzing around school that you umm, like girls. Is this true?” he seemed to be uncomfortable saying this.

“Yeah, I guess I do, but I never thought it would be that big of a deal. Right?” he seemed to have some sort of a smile when I spoke.

“Listen to me, many people think that girls liking girls or boys liking boys is weird or immoral. You can’t say stuff like that around school, especially here; it’s not safe for you,” he seemed to be speaking from a personal experience.

“Oh. I didn’t ever think about it being unsafe. Do you like guys Mr. Boston?” I spoke quietly in order to avoid anyone else’s glance or attention.

“Yes, and one day it will be legal for me to marry one. One day we can both move out of here and find happiness in a place we are accepted, and loved. If anyone is ever giving you a hard time again, just tell me. If they hit you, hit back, I’ll just pretend I didn’t see,” his eyes lit up; he was probably just happy to find someone else who understood him.

I nodded and went back to class. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful up until lunch. Mr. Boston was the one surveying the cafeteria so that no one would get themselves into trouble. I got out my lunch and tried to take the first bite of my sandwich. Before I could, someone sat next to me and smacked it out of my hand. I turned to pick it up off of the table and saw another girl standing next to the table.

“Um, this seat’s taken sweety, could you get up? Actually, I don’t want to catch your queer, you can stay,” she spoke with a snake-like expression and her friends laughed along with her when she finished her insult.

“I’ll move, your breath has contaminated the air,” I figured I’d throw an insult her way before I left.

She grabbed me by the collar and pulled me up for my seat, “What did you just say to me? Do you want a fight?”

“No mam, I just want to leave, I’m not looking for trouble.” My voice stayed strong and I kept my composure.

“You just found trouble anyway!” she threw me on the ground and started kicking; soon her friend joined in. They laughed as they kicked and no one even tried to help.

I looked over at Mr. Boston and thought about what he had said, I needed to fight back. I grabbed one of their feet and pulled; soon a ponytailed head hit the floor with a loud “BOOM!” I stood as soon as the other one stopped kicking. I threw a quick fist to her jaw and ran to the bathroom with my backpack over my shoulder. Mr. Boston looked at me as I ran and smiled a weak smirk.

I made it to the bathroom safely and locked the door. Breathing heavily I tried to think straight. I couldn’t just stay in the bathroom all day; I would wait until the bell and go to class. I made my escape and went through the rest of the day without a problem. When I made it home, I saw my mother on the couch filling out a form with an odd man sitting next to her.

“Hey Mom, is this one of your friends?” I asked, knowing fully that if he was one of her friends, then I would have met him before.

“Honey. This is counselor Riley, he is here to take you to camp and fix you. You can learn to be normal and make friends.” My mom wasn’t very happy in the way she said this.

I looked the man in the eyes as he stretched out his hand, seemingly wanting me to shake it. I thought for a second and looked at my mom, “No,” I said proudly.

I ran to my room and locked the door behind me. I grabbed my pillow and took off the case; all of my clothes and money I could fit went directly into it. I tied a knot at the top and hoisted it over my shoulder. I looked to my door just in time to her my mother banging on it and telling me to go into the living room immediately.

I screamed as loud as I could, “I’m not broken, you can’t fix me! I’m leaving and you obviously don’t care enough about me to come after me!” I hoisted up my window and threw my pillowcase out.

I jumped out and ran with my pillowcase over my shoulder. I got to the nearest bus station and cried until I couldn’t breathe. Almost 20 minutes had passed by the time I was done. I opened my makeshift suitcase and grabbed out around $20, enough for a bus trip to wherever. I thought for a long time, “Do I really want to do this? No, I need to do this.” I got on the bus and when the driver looked at me, he just smiled silently, but his eyes seemed to understand.

I made my way to the back of the bus, careening down the aisle trying to avoid all eye contact and overall confrontation. My seat was made of torn leather and I remember there were some names scratched into the material. I can’t remember the exact names, but the way they were carved made it seem like it was a group of friends that carved them. I slouched in the back with my feet pressed into the seat in front of me and my book opened on my lap. I tried to resist from dozing off into the enchanting land of dreams where my mother didn’t hate me. Alas, sleep won and I managed to take a nap that lasted somewhere near 6 or so hours.

I woke up to the sound of the bus driver knocking on the back part of the bus, “You gotta get off the bus ma’am, it’s closing time.”

I suddenly stood up and gave him my twenty, “I know it’s probably too much, but just keep the rest; I don’t really need it that much.”

He smiled and put his hand out to push the money back to me, “You need it, this bus ride’s free of charge; promise not to get into any trouble while you’re here. Also, maybe try to find a bag that’s something other than a pillowcase.”

“Thank you so much sir, I promise not to make too much trouble.” I made my way through the empty bus and trotted off the stairs at the bottom of the door.

He tipped his hat at me as he drove off to wherever bus drivers go when their shift is over. I looked at the nearest building, it was a shopping centre. I read the sign and found out that I had managed to go all the way to Frankfort. There wasn’t much to be seen where I was, so I started walking. After a while, probably around an hour, my legs got tired and I leaned onto a nearby park bench. I went over all of the day’s events in my head; I did a lot that day.

My story skips over a couple more years after I find a nearby homeless shelter where I met some people who became my friends. Harley, David, and Samuel. All of whom were extremely odd and seemed to stand out from the crowd. Harley was a non-binary person who liked to be addressed with they/them pronouns; they tended to stay quiet and go with the flow of everything. Harley was also pan, so, that’s cool. David was a gay guy who was absolutely hilarious in every sense of the word. Last, but not least, we have Samuel who I still am in contact with to this day. Samuel was the only straight one in the group, but here’s the twist, he was actually born with the name Belle. Yes, that’s a girl’s name and also yes, Samuel is transgender. These three were my friends and I truly loved them all.

One day at the shelter, we were all trying to tidy up the place in order to earn some extra cash, “Hey guys, I have an idea,” Samuel spoke loudly.

“Yeah, me too. Why don’t we start a donut shop where we make donuts that have two holes instead of one, and they are called twonuts,” David said cheerily.

Samuel looked at him inquisitively and spoke quietly, yet confidently, “Um, no, I have like… a normal idea.”

David looked at Sam and lost a bit of his cheery smile. “That was a normal idea, I’m serious.”

Samuel ignored him and continued speaking, “We have a good amount of money, right? All together, we could probably afford an apartment; we could even get some real jobs.”

“That’s actually a really good idea Sam,” I said; Harley nodding in agreement after I spoke.

We all went to our part of the shelter and sat on our beds. After we had counted all of our money, we realized that we had way more than we thought we did. Harley glanced at the stack of cash that Sam, David and I had pulled out. They grabbed their secret stash of money and dumped it on the bed next to the rest.

“Whoa, dude, you just like doubled our cash,” David said in excitement, “We can totally afford an apartment now.”

I can’t exactly remember how it all went down after this, but I do remember getting on a bus and we started renting out a two-bedroom apartment. Harley and I shared a room. David and Sam shared a room. We were all pretty happy and eventually got jobs. I ended up saving enough cash to get my own place, but I decided I would stay with them until I could move to a different city. One day, I walked into the living room to see Harley and David sitting on the couch watching T.V.

I sat down next to them and spoke just loud enough so they could hear me over the T.V. “I’m thinking about moving up to New York and getting my own place. I do really love you guys, but I’m ready to be on my own for a while.”

There was a long silence and then Harley and David said in unison, “Okay.”

I glanced over my shoulder into the kitchen to see Sam holding back tears, “Are you seriously leaving?”

Then the bubble burst and we were all crying. The rest of the week was just me packing up my things and eventually Sam and I decided to move in together in New York. Nothing too eventful happened after this, but Sam and I found an apartment and lived there for a while.

After about two years, Sam and I were both twenty and decided to go to a pride parade. We put on some face paint to match our flags and wore our most comfortable, yet presentable, outfits. We had the best time at pride and ended up buying a rainbow flag to hang up in our living room. We were just about to get in our car to leave when a group of people came up to us. I could smell the anger radiating off of them.

I can’t remember much after that, but I do remember waking up in a hospital with a needle in my arm and a slight pain in my face. I looked to the nurse and asked her where Sam was. I learned that Sam had started running when he saw the people beating me up, he grabbed one of them and threw them off of me before he left though. I don’t blame him for running, they could have seriously messed him up, he didn’t have much muscle after all. I was laying in the hospital bed with my mind running after the nurse had left to get the doctor. I was surprisingly able to move my head, although it did hurt to do so. I glanced over my shoulder to my left and saw a woman laying there, she seemed to be around my age and she had long blonde hair.

I attempted to form words out of my mouth, “Hey, what’s your name?”

The lady in the bed beside me made a smile and spoke quietly, “Laura, what’s yours?”

“Aloisia,” I always got nervous when I said my name because it always confused the people around me.

“That’s a really pretty name, why are you in here? If you don’t mind me asking.” She was so cute and her voice was so soft.

“I uh… got beat up at-” I stopped myself before I said where I was. I didn’t want to cause any problems.

“Where were you at? I can’t believe someone would beat you up. You seem really nice.” Her voice was so sweet and it was hard to not answer her questions.

“I-I was at a pride parade. I’m a lesbian,” I tried to speak quickly in hopes that she wouldn’t understand me.

“Really? Is that why they beat you up? I can’t believe people would do that at a pride parade.” She seemed to be getting angry, but not at me, at the people who beat me up.

“I don’t really know why they attacked me, but that seems like the only reason I could think of.” I was glad that she didn’t get mad at me.

After a while of talking, the doctor came in and told me how long I would take to recover. Laura and I found out that we were going to recover around the same time. Over the next few months that it took for us to get better, we ended up becoming best friends. Then a couple years after we got out, we became more than friends. When I was 25 and she was 27, we got married.

We were madly in love for such a long time; I still am madly in love with her to this day. I just… I really don’t know what to do. After we moved in together, there was weird stuff happening around the house. I would always wake up to her sleep talking. She said the weirdest stuff too. Sometimes, I would wake up and notice she was out of bed, I would go to look for her and find her with her legs crossed and eyes closed in the basement. She was humming lowly and her voice was sickening.

Laura and I had been married for a year now. We had talked about adopting a cat to take care of together. I decided that we would got to the local shelter to adopt one instead of getting one from a pet shop. We drove up to the shelter and looked around for a cat; most of the animals there were dogs. We saw a large cat and later found out that she was pregnant. I decided to sign the papers and name her Turquoise. There was no specific reason I named her Turquoise, I just thought it was a cool word and a cute name for a cat. We took her home along with a mass amount of treats and an adorable bed.

My memory gets a bit foggy from here, but I’ll tell you what I remember. I went to work at the local coffee shop from 9am to 2pm. The coffee shop turns to a bakery in the afternoon. I got in my car to drive home and got a weird feeling in my stomach. I pulled into the driveway and noticed that Turquoise wasn’t on her perch that she had normally sat on. I was immediately worried. I walked out of my car and into the house. I yelled out to Laura like I normally did, but she didn’t reply. I walked into the basement and smelled the stench of blood and rotten food. I turned the corner into our unfinished laundry room. My heart stopped. I saw Laura sitting there. There was… blood on her hands and the corpse of our beloved cat on the ground. I’ll spare you the details because it hurts to think about them myself, but there was no emotion on her face, just a sickeningly empty expression.

She swindled her way out of the dilemma. She said something about how Turquoise went into labor prematurely and somehow died from it, but I didn’t fully trust her. I still was madly in love with her though, and decided to believe her. We had a burial and cleaned up the basement, although it was hard to move a mop properly through the tears streaming down my face and clogging up my eyes.

I ended up getting rid of all of our cat’s stuff. The beds, the toys, the clothes, everything was donated or sold. I couldn’t stand to have her things in the house; I cried every time I saw something. I couldn’t look Laura in the eyes because I knew it was her fault. I just didn’t know why.

Laura decided we were going to go out for dinner a couple weeks after the… incident. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant on the corner of town. I ate slowly as she gobbled down her food wildly. We attempted mild conversation; “How’s work?” “Found any good books lately?”. There’s not much to talk about when you are already married and know everything about one another.

“Why did you do it Laura? Why would you ever do this? I don’t understand!” I tried to scold her through the tears that had waltzed their way through my eyes and down my cheeks.

“Honey, do you know why I was in the hospital that day? When we met?” she talked soft, but I could tell that she was upset.

“No. You never wanted to tell me. I always asked you and you never responded.” I was confused to why she had brought it up then.

“I had been attacked by a… group of sorts. They were going to use me as a sacrifice to the god they worshipped. I had been beaten and the cops came by in just the right time before I was stabbed. I almost died.” her voice was monotone and she was surprisingly calm to be recalling this memory.

“Oh… I didn’t realize that had happened to you. I’m sorry,” I was fairly calm at this point, “but that doesn’t explain why-”

“They approached me after our wedding. They said that I was worthy enough to join them on their quest for righteousness. They claimed that their god had chosen me and was the reason I had survived,” she spoke seriously and calmly, “If I would have denied their request, they would have killed me. Everyone who learns about the cult must either join, or perish.”

“But, now I know. What do I do?” I looked into her eyes with panic flowing through me.

“Join me, we can be together forever in this cult, our god will save you.” Her eyes turned cold and her gaze turned sour.

I refused and she lunged at me with a fork in her hand. I ran for my life and drove as fast as I could. I’ve told you my story in hopes of buying me some time. I’m really sorry, but I need to go; I think I see her outside my window.