Episode Six: A Stranger

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"I did not tell you we were getting married!"

"Yes you did! At Lucinda's party the night Prop 8 was overturned, you kissed me in the kitchen and said, 'It just makes me feel so happy to know that we can get married.'"

Brie stands against the wall in the bedroom, wincing as she watches Sarah and Katrina fight. She lies in wait for her chance to leave, but SantaMonicaSam is standing sentry in the doorway, glowering at her.

"We, as in the larger LGBT community," Sarah clarifies to her girlfriend. "Look, I'm sorry. It was a heat of passion sort of thing." Sarah turns to Brie, her eyes softening. "I'm so sorry to drag you into this."

Gawkers are starting to gather outside the bedroom door.

"You're saying sorry to her?" Sam shouts at his sister. "What about me, Sarah? You just fucked my date! All these years and you're still taking my toys from me."

Brie bites her lip to stifle all expression, but out escapes a giggle.

Sam turns to Brie. "Oh I'm glad you're so amused by this, Miss I-Don't-Give-a-Fuck-About-Anyone-or-Anything."

Brie coughs out a laugh. "I'm sorry, but you do remember that we just met this evening? You're making it sound like I'm your girlfriend."

The look he is giving her, like she's the abomination of the world. "We were about to kiss," he says. "Then you disappeared to the bathroom, where I find you having sex with my sister."

Brie winks one eye closed. "I totally get how that would upset you." She glances at Sarah. "It's like she said, it was a heat of passion sort of thing. I got lost in a momentary fleeting attraction for her, and I think it's just best we leave it at that."

Now Sarah is glowering. "What do you mean momentary fleeting attraction? Like, it's gone now? You're not into me anymore?"

"In fact," Brie raises a finger. "I think I should leave."

Now it seems that pretty much every woman at the party has joined the audience. Their eyes feign sympathy, but the upturned corners of their mouths betray their delight in the drama. Lesbians love drama.

Katrina whimpers. "What, so you're in love with this heteroflexible now? Is it really that easy for you, Sarah? I thought we were in a committed relationship. I can't flipping believe this! How many others have there been?"

Sarah has moved next to Brie, as if to form some sort of girl-on-girl phalanx. Katrina is looking at Brie like she just murdered her kitten. "Thanks a whole lot," she says.

Sam puts his arm around Katrina and Brie's chest rises and falls with a sigh. "Okay, I can tell we're not going to be friends here, and I recently awakened to the power of total honesty, so here it goes. She's not into you, Katrina. That was clear from the moment I walked in, when you were complaining to Sam about how she was probably off flirting with some other woman. Right then I knew that your relationship was doomed and yet you didn't, which suggests to me a state of catastrophic denial. So I think you actually needed this wakeup call in order to start seeing things clearly. Don't ever waste your time with someone who doesn't love you. I've done it. It sucks, and then it ends badly."

"But she does love me," Katrina whines.

Brie shakes her head with sympathy. "You probably make her life easy, bebopping around in your cute little dresses putting flowers everywhere. But you said it yourself, she's got a wandering eye. If she had what she wanted, she'd stop looking around."

Brie turns to Sam. "And you, while I'm at it. You're really nice, but you have self-confidence issues. Seems like it's probably your sister's fault, and maybe this is a good opportunity for two to take some time apart. But just so you know, she's the one with the swagger, and the truth is, women love that shit."

Sarah is doing her best to stifle a grin.

Sam says, "This is bullshit."

Katrina says, "You're psycho."

"Now that's not true," Brie tells her. "But I understand why you would say it."

"Well obviously I can't live here anymore," Katrina says. "I'm moving out."

Someone beyond the doorway whispers, Oh my God, I want her room.

Brie smiles politely as she sidesteps to the exit.

"Wait," Sarah says, going after her. She leans in and whispers, "You wouldn't happen to be looking for a place, would you?"

Wide-eyed, Brie shakes her head at Sarah. Then she looks at Sam. "Be strong, and if you're interested, I have a friend who's totally hot for you. She'd be great practice for the whole swagger thing."

"Just go," he tells her, and she nods and goes, rotating her shoulders to slice through the crowd of punk-pompadoured women, their eyes glassy with blood orange margaritas and the thrill of the night.

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