Letting Go and Moving On

A Bedtime story by A. Magiluna Stormwriter

It's definitely a tick when I see you, your dress smoothed
over invisible knees, tick the way I feel you know me.
I've danced with girls before, swaying lightly back
and forth, just on the edge of what it means
to fill my body, of being poured in like wet cement.
  - from Charlie Brown In the Dead of Night by Melanie Jordan Rack


Rating: R for language
Pairing: Donna/Liz, bedtime
Date: 27-28 November 2003
Summary: Liz finally tells Donna how she feels in the aftermath of their breakup.
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions & the Free Verse Challenge site. anyone else has to ask first
Disclaimer: "bedtime," the characters and situations depicted are the property of Showtime, Viacom, Paramount Television, etc. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This story is in no way affiliated with "bedtime," Showtime, or any representatives of Susan Gibney or Felicity Huffman. This story contains content between two mature, consenting adult females.
Notes: This story is based in the universe created in the 1996 Showtime series "bedtime." In said series, the premise is that in New York's Greenwich Village, stage designer/playwright Donna is trying to get her banker, Liz, out of the closet.
Dedication: For Mosca, because she said she was "hoping for a diversity of fandoms, genres, and styles." I'm certainly hoping digging up "bedtime" qualifies...


Dear Donna,

I can't believe I'm doing this. It's been two years since you walked out on me. Not that I necessarily blame you anymore...and I don't. You had every right to be angry with me. It's not like I was exactly thinking straight at the time. But you could have cut me a little slack. My parents had just disowned me, for goodness sake. Their opinion meant a great deal to me. Still does.

But that's beside the point, isn't it? Did you know they finally forgave me? Took my father having a heart attack last year and scaring the hell out of my mother and me to do it. Dad and I still have some issues, but Mom didn't want to end up alone if he was gone, so she and I have forged a tentative alliance. They're finally grudgingly accepting the fact that I'm bisexual.

Yes, Donna, I said bisexual. No, I didn't go back to men after you left me. A part of me thought about it, but it wasn't what I wanted, what I needed...what I was. And still am. I'm not as blatantly out as you are. Don't know that I'll ever be that self-confident, to be completely honest. I'm not sure I could ever make that such a defining part of my personality. But then again, that's one of the differences between you and me, isn't it? You've been out for so long, made it a part of who you are. For me, this has only been a part of my life since I met you. You changed my life in so many ways, Donna. Good and bad. And I appreciate every last moment of the time we spent together. I did love you, you know. Still do, if I'm completely honest with myself. But then, they say you never forget your first.

But that's not why I'm writing you this letter. Not the sole reason anyway. I'm writing this because I needed to tell you something. I don't even know if I'm going to send this to you, but I need to get this off my chest and tell you anyway. I've been following your career ever since you left. I've seen every one of your shows. I even tried to talk to you after a few of them. But you always had someone on your arm. Some beautiful woman was always at your side then. Part of me, the jealous part, thought you were doing it to spite me. That you'd known I was coming to your shows, wanting to talk to you, and that you wanted to find a way to keep me from doing that. Whether that was your intention or not, it was a successful maneuver. I never tried to speak to you, not even when you made eye contact with me. Or at least I'd always hoped you'd made eye contact with me. Maybe hoped is the wrong word. Assumed is more pragmatic, isn't it?

For the longest time, I hoped and prayed that you'd change your mind. Call me. Come to see me. Think of me. Did you think of me, Donna? Ever? Even just once? Maybe it's pride, maybe it's wishful thinking, but I'd like to believe that you did think about me. You and I were together for a long time. I know you loved me. You wouldn't have stayed with me if you didn't. Not for that long. And I kept promising you things to keep you, but I never followed through in time, did I? And I lost out on the greatest love I ever knew...all because of my own fear and inadequacy. And I'll never forgive myself for that.

But I can't allow that to control my life, now can I? I did for nearly a year. But then I realized that it just wasn't productive. It was consuming my life, almost obsessive. I turned into one of those stereotypical jilted lesbian lovers. I did what I could to find out anything and everything about you. Spent the money to have a seat at every single show of your various productions, whether you were directly or indirectly involved. Fell into a seriously debilitating depression. Took an extended leave of absence at one point. I didn't have you. I didn't have my parents. I didn't have anything but this guilt, fear, and need. And I very nearly plunged off the deep end then. But I couldn't do it. I had the whiskey and the sleeping pills right there in front of me.

And then Dad had his heart attack. I remember when Mom called to tell me Dad was in the hospital. That she wasn't sure he'd make it. At first, I was terrified to go to the hospital. I didn't want to see Dad like that, but at the same time I didn't want to lose out on a chance to talk to him one last time before he died. I didn't want my last conversation with him to have been him disowning me when I finally came out to him. So I went to the hospital and saw him. He looked so fragile, so frail, and I couldn't continue down the path I was on. So I walked up to the psych department and found myself making an appointment with one of the psychiatrists. And the first thing I did when I made that appointment? I told them I needed someone who was lesbian-friendly. I couldn't hide it anymore. Or rather, I couldn't hide from it anymore.

I was lucky enough to find a wonderful woman to talk to. I'm still seeing her in fact. My life is completely turned around now, Donna. I'm back at work, but I'm also taking more time for me. I'm still working through some things, but for the most part I'm in a much better place. It took a lot of work, don't get me wrong. But I'm glad I did it, that I went through what I did. I needed to do this, needed to find myself. And I needed to let go of you, of that obsessive need to have you back in my life. And I have, Donna, I really have. This is something I've been meaning to do for a long time now. Writing you this letter, I mean. It's taken me this long to find that inner strength and resolve required to do this. I had to find that part of myself that's been missing, in order to let you go. And I think I finally have. I don't think I could write this if I hadn't.

And you know, part of me wants to send this your way. To know what you think of what I've said. And that tiny part of me that will never forget my first female lover still hopes that you'll read this and decide to take me back. But I'm working on that. As much as I'd love to have you back in my life, I don't think it's conceivable for either of us. We were too co-dependent at the time. And I don't know that I'd ever be able to remain this self-sufficient if I were with you again. Friendship? I think that's up to you. I would like it, obviously, but at the same time I think that cliche about lovers and friends is far too true, particularly for first loves. And that's both a shame and a blessing, depending on how you look at it.

But I do want to wish you well in your life. As I said, I've kept up with your career, and tried to see your shows when I've had the chance. But I've contained myself to one performance per production since I started my therapy, no matter how much I like it. And I definitely don't try to stick around afterward to find you. It's not healthy and I'm seriously trying to keep to my promises to myself that I won't fall back into those old obsessive habits that nearly destroyed me.

I've been thinking about trying to date again. At least make myself some friends in the lesbian community. I won't be completely out, but I won't hide who and what I am either. If that makes any sense. I don't know that I'm ready yet to date again. I made a lot of mistakes with you, and I don't want to go through that again. Or perhaps I mean to say that I don't want to put another woman through the same things I put you through. That wasn't fair of me, and for that I sincerely apologize. I only hope that you can forgive me one day.

And on that note, I think I should close out this letter. I could go on and on for pages about how sorry I am for what I did to you, to us. But that doesn't accomplish anything, does it? All it does is send me spiraling backward, and that's not conducive to my therapy. I won't pressure you into anything, Donna. It's up to you if you want to do anything about this or not. I'm simply content to know that I've finally gotten this off my chest. And I certainly hope you're happy with your life, Donna.

Take care and be happy.




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