I'm Okay...


Look for me right when the lights go down
My own little natural hide
I should be floating on top of the world
But I just keep wondering why

Bensonhurst, Queens, New York City...

Dale looked in the mirror for what seemed like the fourteenth time. Her makeup was as good as she had ever gotten it, and while she wasn’t a stunner, she appeared somewhat presentable. She decided against the stockings and belt; too much would show, and the last thing she wanted to do was draw attention to herself, if that was even avoidable.

“What I did for love…” she sang to herself as she pulled the pantyhose up her legs. The feel of clean shaven legs was still somewhat disconcerting; she had only gotten into dressing in the past year, and that certainly only for her lover. She stepped into the half slip and pulled it up to her waist; the feeling of the smooth fabrics together wasn’t lost on her as she sighed.

The pink silk blouse seemed to shout at her from the closet, and she hurriedly put her arms into the sleeves. Buttoning in reverse was almost a chore; maybe a right brain/left brain thing? The satin-black skirt went on; quickly followed by a pair of black pumps with two-inch heels. She was already wearing the engagement ring, so all that was left were the clip-on topaz earrings she had gotten for her birthday.

She stepped up to the dresser and peered in the mirror over her new chic glasses; might as well complete the look, she had thought. A lot of money and time and effort had gone into preparing for one moment in time. She frowned at her image and tried to keep steady on her heels; walking in them was already proving to be a chore, and she shook her head in near shame at her inability to replicate what her lover had been looking for. She peered over the glasses once again and frowned as she remembered the conversation from the night before…


“I never planned this, Dale. I wish I could say otherwise, but I’ve …I’ve decided I need to do something. Maybe I’m desperate, but it has to be something for me for a change.”

Lindsey seemed to be out the door already, her look distant and far away even as Dale sat next to her, practically pleading for her to stay. Dale didn’t know what to do or say, since from Lindsey’s perspective everything had been said and done. The only thing that kept her from standing up right at that moment was the hand firmly grasping hers; one last chance.

“You know I love you, but…there’s just something…”

“Someone. Just say it; I can handle it.” Dale shook her head, wondering if she could handle the truth.

“You’re not …what I need, Dale. I need…”

“You need a lady and I’m not.”


I feel more alone in this wonderful crowd
And I ever do on my own
I know that this is a place I'm along
But I'd rather be coming back home

Lindsey walked into the apartment and found Dale sitting at the kitchen table. Her face was absent of makeup and she was wearing a pair of grey slacks and a navy blue polo shirt.

“I thought we were going out. You’re not even dressed.”

“I’m sorry, Lindsey, but this is as dressed up as I’m going to get. This is who I am. I can’t be who I’m not. I love you, but I’ve gotten to the place finally where I love me, too.” She so wanted to stand up and run to Lindsey’s arms, but if things were ever to work out, it had to be at least meeting in the middle; something Lindsey had been slow in doing all along.

“You…you’re right. You can’t…you shouldn’t have to change.”

She put her head down. She moved closer to Dale without taking a single step. Dale held out no hope for anything more, but Lindsey surprised her and literally stepped forward, causing Dale to pull back suddenly. The back left leg of the chair broke and she fell to the floor. Lindsey stood stock still; her hands were balled in fists; not for combat but for self-recrimination as she pounded her hands against her hips.

“Oh damn…oh damn.” The girl was practically hysterical and she began to cry. Dale just looked up at her and began to laugh.

“What’s so funny,” Lindsey asked between sobs.

Dale continued to laugh; more heartily and loud. Lindsey’s face grew hot and red and she grabbed a dishtowel from the table and wiped her face; her nose ran heavily and she sniffled a few times before repeating,

“Damn it, Dale…what’s so funny?” The words echoed in the small kitchen and seemed to provide a soprano counterpoint to Dale’s melodic tenor laugh.

“It’s just that….you’re….” She stopped and smiled warmly.

“Wha…what?” Lindsey almost mewled, but her look pled for an answer.

“You’re such a girl!” Another laugh; this time more quiet and almost sweet, followed by,

“And I’m such a guy,” Dale said as she stood up. She stepped close to Lindsey and pulled her into a strong, almost manly kiss.

“And I am so glad I married you!” Lindsey squirmed in Dale's arms, trying to resist, but Dale was too strong and Lindsey gave into the moment.

“You’re just about the best husband any girl ever had. You just have to let me be who I am, too…okay?” Dale said as she nibbled on Lindsey's ear. She kissed her husband hard again on the lips.

“I…I’m sorry…mmmmmmm” Lindsey never finished her sentence. But then again, she didn’t have to….

Oooh, I want you to know I'm okay
I just need to know that you're waiting
you're waiting
for me

I'm Okay
performed by the composer
Sarah Bettens

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This story is 1033 words long.