twelve || leslie's femininity

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Lucy’s house was quiet, set back off the less than busy road a little, and surrounded by trees. In front of each house, a tall birch grew from the pavement and a short stretch of garden lay before the door. It was the sort of place Leslie hated. She thrived on the bustle of the city, the pathetic cosiness of her crappy flat and her noisy neighbours, even the upstairs tenant who insisted on blaring Mozart after the eleven pm cut-off.

The house was bright and well-lit, the surprisingly strong midday sun illuminating every shiny surface and making the kitchen look like it was out of a catalogue. As much as she hated the perfection, Leslie had to admire Lucy’s housekeeping skills.

“So,” Molly said, setting her bag down on the kitchen table. She sat carefully, keeping her knees together until she was comfortable, then she crossed them. “You and Greg.”

Leslie sat beside her, leaning her elbows on the table. “Yeah.”

“How did that happen?” Lucy asked. Cloe was in town, having met up with a couple of friends.

“You know, the usual. I went over to tell him I liked him, nearly came at the sound of his sexophone then I beat him in a death match and we had sex. The standard.”

Molly frowned. Of course Molly would frown. “You had sex right after opening up?”

Leslie grinned, unable to let the opportunity slide. “Technically, yes,” she said, spreading her legs.

“This is what I’m talking about. You’re so crude. Men don’t like crude,” Molly said.

“Well, I don’t know if I’m right or not but Greg seems to like me just fine, crude or not.” She twisted her lips. “Ok, crude. That’s what he knows, that’s what gets him hard.”

Leslie,” Molly said in her warning tone. Lucy busied herself with the kettle.

“Look, Mol, I would understand this if I could never get a second date or I was really struggling with guys but I’m clearly not.” Leslie shrugged, checking her phone when it buzzed with a text from Cloe.

How’s it going?

They’re tryin to convert me to a “lady”…good luck!

“Won’t you at least try?” Molly asked, folding her hands over her knees.

“No.”

“Just stop sitting like a guy.”

“I’m more comfortable like this.”

“No wonder people think you’re gay.” She sighed and shook her head. It was Leslie’s turn to frown.

“What’re you saying? That lesbians are manly? That’s a bit of an enormous stereotype, don’t you think?”

“It’s a stereotype for a reason.”

Leslie nearly choked, spluttering for a few seconds before she got her words out. “Oh, my God. You cannot say that, Molly. That is awful. No, actually, you are awful.” She stood up, dropping her phone into her bag.

“Les,” Lucy warned, waiting for the slow kettle to boil.

“No, no. I don’t have to put up with this shit.” Leslie hit the table. “I am happy and I love Greg, and you know what? Maybe I do want to be his girlfriend. Shock horror, Leslie’s conforming. Well, screw that.” She thrust her chair under the table.

“Les, please don’t go,” Lucy said. “Have a cup of tea, we’ll all calm down.”

“Don’t tell me what to do, Luce,” she snapped, immediately regretting taking out her irritation at Molly on Lucy.

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