It had been six months since Kinsley walked away from the abusive relationship with Cindy, and although Kinsley was grateful Luna would share her home, Kinsley was looking forward to finding a place of her own. Luna loves antiques and has many lovely collections occupying practically every inch of her home. Even so, when Kinsley needed a place to stay, Luna made room. Luna’s house had two small bedrooms; one was Lunas, and the other she used as a catch-all, so Kinsley happily slept on the couch. Gayle, Kinsley’s girlfriend, offered a spare room at her house. But Kinsley felt it was too soon. Although they’ve known each other since Kinsley moved in with Luna, they had only been officially dating for a month.
Gayle was reluctant to push Kinsley, she wanted Kinsley to create her own path. So when her friend told her about a room for rent, she immediately passed along the information to Kinsley—excited by the news, Kinsley called the number and made an appointment right away. To Kinsley, her relationship with Gayle didn’t feel like a rebound romance, but she needed to give it a little more time before committing to living in the same house.
Luna also thought Kinsley was ready to be on her own; although her home was always open to her best friend, she was also excited to have her own space back. Kinsley was looking forward to sleeping in a bed instead of on the sofa. The day Kinsley officially moved into her new place had been emotional. But Luna was so happy for Kinsley; the tears that flowed were from the joy she felt at her dear friend finding her way.
Kinsley spent every weekend at Gayles but made sure to be home Sunday night through Thursday. Kinsley was adamant about moving slowly; she rushed things with Cindy and wasn’t about to repeat that mistake. When Kinsley met Cindy, they moved in together that same month, and before Kinsley realized Cindy had control over her every move. Now unfortunately, it didn’t take Cindy long to figure out where she was staying, and she began showing up unannounced, scaring her landlady. After several shouting matches between Kinsley and Cindy, Kinsley’s landlady asked her to find a new place.
This time Gayle was adamant she stay with her. If Cindy insisted on showing up, Gayle would be the one to greet her. “Gayle it’s not your job to protect me!” Kinsley yelled at Gayle after feeling overwhelmed.
Gayle thought differently. “Young lady, it most certainly is my job. You are with me now and if somebody hurts you they hurt me.” Then seeing the confusion in her girl’s face, Gayle added. “Look Kinsley, I promise, I will not try to control you like Cindy did. But I want you here. I want to hold you every night and know your safe and if you need space all you have to do is tell me.” Kinsley couldn’t hold back her tears any longer, so when Gayle wrapped her arms tightly around her petite frame, Kinsley tucked her face in and cried.
Several minutes passed before Kinsley calmed and was able to look up into her girlfriend’s face. “Gayle, I’m scared. I want to, but, oh I’m sorry.” Kinsley couldn’t even finish her sentence. She tucked her head back into Gayle’s shirt.
Lifting the girl’s chin, Gayle spoke softly. “I know and that’s okay. I promise I’ll never hurt you, well except for a spanking here and there.” That got a muffled giggle from Kinsley; spankings began almost as soon as their friendship started.
“Alright, let’s give it a try.” Although she was scared, deep down, she knew Gayle would never hurt her. Decision made, nervous excitement surfaced. “Should we get my things tonight?”
It was getting late, and Gayle had other ideas for their evening. “Oh no baby, tonight you’re mine.” Gayle leaned down, nibbled a little on Kinsley, grabbed her by the hand, and led her to their room.
The first few weeks living together, Gayle watched as Kinsley slowly became comfortable adding a picture here, a knick-knack there, smiling as Kinsley imprinted herself on the place. Most nights, they spent together preparing dinner, and occasionally if one were running late, the other would step up. As time progressed, so did their feelings for one another.
But things got a little tense one night when Gayle came home and was unable to locate Kinsley. Calling out, “Hey babe, I’m home.” No answer. Looking out the window, Gayle verified the car she saw was indeed Kinsley’s.
Gayle walked into the kitchen, and along with a faint smoky smell, on the counter sat a pan with what might have been chicken at one time. Now crispy bits of charcoal but still no Kinsley. She called again. “Kinsley, where are you sweetie?” Again no answer but this time, she heard a faint sniffling sound coming from the pantry. Worried at what she might find, Gayle slowly opened the door. Scrunched down, almost into a ball, was Kinsley. She was visibly shaking and had tears flowing freely down both cheeks.
Stunned, Gayle knelt by Kinsley’s side and, as softly as possible, asked, “Sweetheart, what’s wrong? Are you hurt?” Kinsley flinched away. “Kinsley, it’s me Gayle. Oh baby, I’m not going to hurt you. Please talk to me.” Gayle spoke softly, then sat on the floor, trying to make herself smaller and less intimidating. “Kinsley, I’m not Cindy and if you think I’m upset over a few pieces of burnt chicken, let me reassure you, I’m not.” Kinsley peeked over at Gayle. “Please come here, sweetheart, and let me hold you.”
Kinsley uncurled her body, then slowly crawled over to Gayle. As Kinsley climbed onto Gayle’s lap, she let herself be comforted. After five or maybe ten minutes, Kinsley looked up into Gayle’s eyes; still weary, she braced herself before asking. “Are you sure you’re not mad?”
Right then, Gayle knew only time and patience would heal the hurts and insecurities of this girl. “Sweetheart, I promise, I’m not mad.” Looking seriously at her girlfriend, Gayle added. “I’m not going to hurt you. I know you’re not sure yet, and that’s okay. It’s going to take time for you to fully trust me. And that’s okay too.” Kissing Kinsley on the nose, Gayle then said. “This floor is getting kind of hard. Can we get up? How about we order in tonight? Maybe from that Asian restaurant we like, Heavens Dragon?”
Kinsley carefully got up; she was a little stiff after laying on the floor for the last thirty minutes or so. “Okay.” After standing, she reached her hand down, offering a well-received tug up. Once they were both standing, Gayle took the opportunity and wrapped her arms securely around Kinsley. Mumbling, Kinsley said, “I’m sorry Gayle. I don’t mean to be so much work.”
Gayle pulled them apart so she could see Kinsley’s face when she spoke. “You have no reason to be sorry. You did nothing wrong, Cindy is a bully and an abuser. What she did to you was not your fault.” Seeing there was still doubt in Kinsley’s eyes, she added. “Please be patient. With yourself, and with me.” “For now, let’s order. I’m starved.” Kinsley let herself be led to the cabinet where the take out menus were stored. On the way Kinsley wondered if she would ever be able to truly relax in a relationship.