Didi tears the tape gently, “Don’t move, baby.”
Suzi sits patiently on the bench as Didi presses the tape firmly but tenderly to her nose, “Okay.”
Didi surveys her handiwork, “There! It’s all done!” She smiles, “Check it out!”
Suzi, making sure she doesn’t move too fast, turns to the mirror hanging inside her locker door and turns her head from side to side. She surveys Didi’s handiwork and is glad she’s been released to wear tape on her broken nose instead of that unsightly mask. “Looks good, D. Thanks!” She smiles and looks back at Didi, “Can I ask you something?”
“Why are you wearing those huge earrings?” She laughs and fingers one of the hoops.
“You don’t like ‘em?” Didi’s face falls.
“Well they’re kinda big, aren’t they?”
Didi checks out her own reflection, “I don’t think they’re bad, do you?” Suzi doesn’t comment. “I mean, they’re big, but they’re not too big, right?” She turns to face her girlfriend again, “But I got all this hair I need to balance out!” Suzi just blinks. “Should I take them out? I have some studs in my bag. I brought ‘em just in case I didn’t wear my hair like this. I should probably take my hair down.” Her shoulders slump, “But I’ve already done it!” She sighs, “Nah I’ll just take the earrings out. I should take them out.” She nods and moves to reach for her bag. Suzanne’s hand stops her.
“Didi, D. Wait.” She turns Didi’s face to meet hers, “Are you nervous?”
Didi scoffs, “Nervous? I’m not ner-” knowing she can’t lie to Suzanne, she stops “Yes.” She hangs her head slightly, “I’m trying to be calm, Suzi, I really am. But I don’t know why I’m nervous. I know this is your night to shine and I don’t have any reason to be nervous, but, Jesus, I am!”
Suzanne smiles and wraps her arms around Didi’s neck, “It’s alright. I’m perfectly calm. You can be nervous. Be my guest.” She pulls Didi in for a soft, slow kiss.
Didi smiles, “What was that for?”
“Because I need it.”
“Need another hundred or so?” Didi slides her arms around Suzi’s waist and pulls the woman closer to her.
All conversation is halted when they find something else to do with their lips.
Time passes slowly for them. The minutes prior to game 1 of the finals ticking away without a care in the world for the two lovers locked in an embrace.
“Suzi!” Ray calls out, “Suzanne!”
Suzi turns to the sound of someone calling her name and notices Ray waving his hand. She nods with a smile and trots towards him, “Yeah?”
He shakes her hand, “Would you mind posing for a picture for me?”
She shrugs, “Sure. Alone?”
Ray looks around frantically, “Nah, I had someone. Where did she go?” His eyes land on the woman and he calls out, “D! Didi!”
Didi turns around and smiles at the pair, “Is that who you want me to take a picture with?”
Ray laughs, “Yeah, do you need introductions?”
Didi walks towards them and sticks out her hand while making eye contact with Suzanne, “Hi, I’m Didi Tate. And you are?”
The older woman chuckles and then gets serious, “I’m Suzanne Baird. I’m sorry, I don’t recognize you.”
“Yeah, I don’t know you, either. But it’s nice to meet you. What do you do for a living?” Instinctively Didi’s arm slides around Suzi’s back as they stand side by side for Ray’s picture.
“I’m a brain surgeon.” Suzi quips.
Didi laughs loudly, “Oh yeah? Cool!” They smile for the picture, but don’t let go when it’s done, “You married?”
Suzi smiles slyly, “Nah, but close to it.”
Didi nods, “Ah, boyfriend has ya on a tight leash, huh?”
Suzanne squeezes Didi’s waist before pulling away, “Nah, he’s not into that kinda kinky stuff.” She winks.
After a beat, Didi calls after her, “You need to find someone who is!”
Nate grabs Suzanne by the elbow, “I want you to stand here, please, by Didi.”
She laughs, “Ah, so we meet again.”
Didi nods, “I guess so. How you doin’, doc?”
“I’m alright. And yourself?”
Didi shakes her head sorrowfully, “Not so good.”
Suzi’s face scrunches up, “Why?”
“I got this ache.”
Suzanne gets the joke, but she plays pretend, “Where?”
Didi barely contains the laugh, “Umm it’s…well..it’s uh…”
Nate calls out, “Alright, ladies, looking this way!”
Didi mumbles through her forced smile, “It’s in between my legs.”
Just as the flash goes off to burn their image forever, Suzi closes her eyes, throws her head back, and laughs heartily.
3 weeks later
Didi points at the monitor and laughs, “What th’ hell? Your eyes are closed in this picture! Come look!”
Suzanne comes to stand behind Didi, who’s sitting in front of the computer, and checks out the picture of their basketball teams. She snorts, “Yeah. Thanks, a lot, Tate.”
Didi gasps, “How is that my fault?”
Sue walks away, calling over her shoulder, “Those fuckin’ earrings blinded me!”
Later that night
“Ow!” Didi winces and comes to the door of the bathroom where Suzanne’s brushing her teeth for bed. “I hurt my finger.”
She glances quickly at the cut before spitting in the sink, “What did you do?”
Didi squeezes her finger to stop the blood and motions with her head towards the nightstand, “I cut it on the edge of that damn table you made me buy!”
Suzi rinses her mouth out, “I didn’t make you buy those. I said that you should get them.”
“Well, regardless, it was your idea and now I’m hurt.” She holds her hand out to the woman.
Suzi gives her a look of shock, “What do you want me to do about it?”
Didi gasps, “Well, shit, aren’t you a doctor?”
Sue laughs, “No.”
“Well, shit!” Didi sighs, “My mom’s gonna be so disappointed that I’m not dating a doctor!”