Disclaimer: The characters of Dr. Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended through the writing of this story.

Subtext Warning: Uh-huh, it’s here, but nothing extreme. Yet, this story does imply a loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you under 18, this type of thing is illegal in the state/country in which you live or you are offended by it, read no further.

Author's Notes: Okay, I don’t exactly know what possessed me to write this very short story. I hardly ever write in first personÉmaybe it was the voice, and I'm not talking about John Farnham, or maybe I was suffering from a morbid case of melancholia.

Feedback: I'm at archaeobard@hotmail.com

The Voice


I had been working with her for years, and I don’t know when it started. We'd been friends for so long that I found it difficult to understand where my thoughts finished and hers began. That happens sometimes, I believe. We had shared so much, had been through so much. Something inside me had said that I needed to protect this small woman who kept everyone at arms length and fought like a woman possessed to keep it that way, even against me. She could never understand my tears until she cried her own. Yet that had changed, as things do, and I became the occasional shoulder to cry on, the rare arms that would comfort in times of desperation. I would smile and say that no matter the circumstances it would be alright, whatever it was, and I was always right. She had thought she was so strong, that her will could force her through anything. She learned the hard wayÉmany times. She had alienated herself from so many people that I began to lose count. Why I never abandoned her to her own stubbornness, I'll never know. It was that voice, every time I thought of leaving, something would wrench haphazardly at my soul and I was trapped. I came to understand that tearing sensation in time, it was love, and the thought of forsaking that was more than I could bear. To my great consternation I began to grasp the concept of caring for someone more than I cared for myself. It was a self obliterating concern. I did not know if I wanted to give that much of myself, especially to her, yet then there was that voiceÉthat damn voice that rose its ugly head each time I wanted to run away. It cajoled me in its softness and left me helpless in its wake.

That's why I let her cry like a long lost child in my arms, why I let her shout out her confusion against me, because I would never let her ruin herself, since in turn, she would be ruining me. I deserved more than her pain, but maybe that was all she had to give. Although I didn't dare believe that, not for an instant.

So when she'd speak my name softly in the dead of night at my bedroom door, we shared a house, but nothing more, I couldn't bring myself to fall further into the abyss she had made of my world, I would rise sleepily and we would talk, often until dawn, about everything and nothing.

Somehow I found myself losing. I watched her from the silence of my heart, slipping away because I let her. Yet then she would drag herself back from whatever disastrous road she had chosen to travel that moment and she would smile again, something that lit up her eyes like there was no tomorrow, and I would see the spark once more that spoke to me of my own fear.

I don’t know what it was that made me love her, perhaps it was all the things I couldn’t stand about her. Her never say die attitude that was apt to get her injured more often than not. The way she swaggered into a room as if she owned the entire world which would at times cause me acute embarrassment. Her cigars and her terrible habit of leaving half smoked stogies lying about the house in the most inopportune of places. Yet there it was, this feeling I could not shake if you paid me. How I used to lie alone at night and curse the day I ever met her, how I would cry silent tears for her light.

I had always been careful to mask my heart, so how she could have known amazes me, maybe she had her own voice. Yet there she was, staring at me with those eyes that could see right through me and beyond. Her coyish smile had taken pity on my soul and widened to a grin that split my entire being. I smiled back, for what else was there to do? Her eyes were intense with a flame I had never seen, not for me, or maybe I hadn’t been paying attention. I was lost again, a million miles away from where I should have been, some rogue phantom of emotion curling through my mind.

She whispered to me and I followed every word, maybe that's where I went wrong, or rightÉI can’t tell any more, but my voice has been speaking, and it says that it's alright.

The End.

Geez, where the hell did that come from? And no, I didn't nick the last bit off Melissa Etheridge, it just came out that way okay?


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