When she had her beer, she came over and slid into the seat opposite mine. She drank, then she said, "You were waiting for me? To find out what I decided?"
"No, I think I know what decision you'd make, and I thought you'd want a drink after." She nodded and took a deep swallow of her beer.
"So, I guess you thought I'd break it off with Claudia."
"Yes. I was fairly sure you would."
"Well, everything that's important to me, Pat is a part of it. Everything that matters to me, matters to her. Claudia told me a couple of weeks ago that she had been thinking about leaving town, but she decided to stay, and she made it clear that it was at least partly because of me." She drank some more. I had finished my beer, but I didn't want to interrupt her.
"On the other hand," she continued, "on the other side of the scale? Love? Sex? If I was ever in love, it wasn't with either Pat or Claudia." She smiled crookedly. "Don't worry, I'm not going to get drunk enough to talk about her, not even to you." She looked up. "Have I told you about the sex? With Claudia?"
She laughed at my expression. "Don't worry, I'm not going to get explicit on you. How about if I just say, 'Wow'?"
I laughed. "I'm acquainted with 'Wow.'"
She shook her head. "Claudia was the first woman I'd ever been with who had been with a woman before me." She grinned. "Your first time, was it with someone who had experience?"
"Yes. Quite a bit of experience, actually."
"Well, I've never been in that situation. I've never slept with a woman before who had any experience before me, with women. It's like I've been making it up all this time, and then suddenly I find out there's an instruction manual." She smiled. "I like it when you blush. Anyway, here's what made the decision for me, in a way. You'll find out tomorrow, if you haven't guessed. Doc wants to step down, at least for a while. She wants to think about writing her book. And she wants me to take over, with everybody's help, of course. And, right before you all left, she whispered, 'This doesn't change anything, you know. You're still stuck with it.'" I chuckled, imagining Doc saying that.
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