You Win Me Over...


I locked that door so many times
I don’t know how
you navigated through this labyrinth somehow
So tell me everything you know about my heart
Don’t leave out anything I’ve nowhere else to start

“I hate myself…” Shelby put her head down and turned away. Lana shrugged her shoulders as if to say, “I still love you…as if that mattered…” Lana felt almost helpless. If the love of a ‘good’ woman wasn’t enough to convince her partner? Nevertheless, she at least never failed in the trying.

“You look lovely tonight…that color is very nice on you.” The white and burgundy thigh-length robe did look nice.

“I guess. Maybe if someone else was wearing it…you know?” Lana had been with Shelby for nearly eight months, but nothing seemed to get it out of her head that she was there ‘to stay.’ Shelby kept waiting for old girlfriends to return, as if they were waiting outside the condo entrance literally anxious to intrude. They were, in a way, as long as Shelby continued to harbor those thoughts. Funny expression, ‘harbor those thoughts,’ but it was like Shelby’s insecurity acted as a safe haven for all anxious, erroneous assumptions about herself and her ‘rivals.'

Oh, you win me over, oh
Time and time again
Oh, I’m falling over
For every breath I wasted
I’m coming home to taste it in you

“Shel? Come here, please?” Lana said softly. Shelby turned and walked with a hesitent pace to the bed where Lana said. She opened her mouth to speak but Lana grabbed her by her left hand and pulled her down roughly, rolling her on her back. She leaned close and stifled the complaint that waited inside her lover by kissing her rudely and roughly.


Lana mumbled it between kisses; tired of fighting all of the ghosts of the past. She bit her lip in frustration; Shelby tasted the blood mixed with saliva as Lana continued to kiss her. She gave up talking, but her squirming continued to provide the avenue for protest to the love Lana wanted to express. Lana straddled the girl and put her hands firmly on Shelby’s wrists; pinning her to the bed.

“I said, STOP!” Lana repeated. Stern and loving usually don’t mix, but it was a new recipe Lana had wanted to try. She leaned close once more and spoke.

“You have to let it go. I don’t love anyone else but you, and I’m really hurt that you don’t believe me.” Shelby went to speak but Lana put her hand over the girl’s mouth.

“I love you.” It seemed incongruous that such a rough gesture would indicate anything other than rude and angry control, but she removed her hand almost immediately as if to bargain with the girl. Be quiet? Yes? A nod? A resigned sigh? The girl looked away and began to cry softly; nothing in her heart and soul was upset or angry….she just remained hopeless in the truest sense. No hope that anyone would care.

Say the world to sound like music to my ears
I love you love you it’s so wonderful to hear
And I'll settle slow in your warm and giving eyes
Don’t wake me up for anything
Don’t wanna say goodbye

“Listen, okay?” Lana’s voice seemed to be coming from someplace else; a place of calm strength? Peace?

“I’m going to start my inventory.” Shelby looked up at her with a great deal of confusion.

“I’m going to go over your body…the same body you seem to think I don’t enjoy at all? And I’m going to make an inventory of all the things I love about it…okay?” It wasn’t a negotiation; Lana was going to list everything once and for all….no vague “I just love you,” or “what’s not to like?” Glib answers can be clever enough, but they were lost on a girl who was told every day of her childhood just how ugly she was. No love or value or treasured esteemed care from anyone while receiving the worst words and the sad and hopeless silence in between. No more.

I never knew that there’d be someone, someone who could make me sing like you
Oh, you saved me, from never knowing where love could take me

“Top to bottom? Nope…too easy!” Lana spoke as if Shelby had a choice.

“Bottom to top? Nah…too boring….been there…done that, right?” She’d tried once before with no success.

“Ah…. Here we go.” She smiled a clever, guess what I’m going to do smile and began stroking the girl’s face.

“Top to start…we’ll see where we go from there. The ear…hmmm….I love your lobes…you know mine are so plain and straight. Yours loop a bit before they go back to the cheek. That place where the neck and the head meet? And that little notch and the tiny bit of cartilage? I love your ears. She kissed the girl’s neck in that spot by her left ear and the girl shuddered with a ‘nnnnhhghh.’ She went to lift but her rise was prevented by the weight of Lana’s body.

“And that little scar by your left eye? You hate it but I love it. It reminds me that you have a history before me…that you need to know that even then you were important. It tells me that you’re still healing and that I’ve been blessed to be allowed to be a part of that….” Her voice trailed off as she kissed the scar; an artificial and semi-numb reminder of an old wound but also a hallowed place. A tear squeezed out of Shelby’s eye and trickled through the scarred line onto Lana’s lip. She shuddered again and gasped a semi-sweet ‘oh’ as her tears increased.

“Your chin…that little dimple that didn’t quite make it to the center…just off enough to call attention to its cute self.

“I hate my chin…it’s too big.” She practically sobbed. Lana grasped Shelby’s face gently and kissed the place between her chin and her lower lip with a slight nibble.

“Just the right size, I’d say.” The girl went to shake her head but instead found Lana’s hands holding her face gently as she kissed Shelby on the lips; not rude at all but gentle and kind and generous.

“Your lips….very, very kissable.” A murmer of protest was met with a redoubling of effort as Lana kissed her once again; firmer with an aim to send a message that went beyond mere acceptance. Lana felt the girl stir gently beneath her and once again her rise was met with the warm presence of her girlfriend’s body.

“I love…” Lana paused and pulled her head back before lowering her face to just under the girl’s chin. A soft kiss was met with another sob; this time shame and sadness gave breath to the cry.

“I love your neck. It is a perfect neck.” The girl shook under her as Lana kissed the slight rise in the center.

Oh, you win me over, oh
Time and time again
Oh, I’m falling over
For every breathe I wasted
I’m coming home, I’m coming home, I’m coming home to taste it in you

“No…I…I hate my…life.”

“No….it is a beautiful life…. A lovely neck.” We are whom we are, no matter how we start or finish; the sum of everything, both good and not so good. There was nothing bad about the girl’s neck; it just was a reminder of where she wished to be and at which she had yet to arrive. Shelby was sobbing softly; ashamed and frightened over a judgement and rejection that would never begin, much less arrive.

Lana grabbed Shelby’s right hand and kissed the palm; a sensation that was both electric and scary as her tongue traced the lifeline that crossed Shelby’s hand. She kissed the girl’s wrist, evoking a cross between a giggle and a comfortable sigh; a confused mixture of contentment and shame.

“I hate….they’re too big….” No bigger than some, but bigger than they should have ever been permitted to grow; they still were the hands that loved Lana back. The hands that blessed and gave. Lana kissed her wrist again; a bestowal of energy and love on the nerve bundle that is both painful and ticklish.

“Staaaahhhp.” She protested, but Lana continued to kiss all the way up the arm, pausing in the fold of skin just next to the armpit. It was an argument Shelby was destined to lose as each succeeding sensation proved too convincing.

“You smell wonderful.” Lana laughed softly as the girl made a face. She shook her head in wonder at the sheer beauty; wonder at the idea that she could see clearly what the girl missed about herself.

“I love your breasts.” She laughed again; this time over the sheer comfortable familiarity of the soft tissue. The girl sobbed.

“They’re ugly. They’re not…”

“They’re beautiful and they’re all mine.” She began kissing around the areola, making sure not to kiss the nipple too soon.

“I hate my breasts.” These very same breasts for which the girl had longed became almost mocking to her; the illusion in the mirror with no reality to reflect.

“I love your breasts,” Lana repeated as she turned her attention to the other side of the girl’s body; a symmetrical attention to detail and care. This time Lana sighed a contented sigh. Once again Shelby rose slightly, her back arching as if to offer more of herself. Lana accommodated her and lifted her body off of Shelby’s only to plunge down and kiss the girl’s right nipple. Shelby began to sob, but Lana continued.

“I love you,” she mumbled between kisses as her face made its way slowly and carefully down the girl’s body until she was kissing and biting and licking clit. Shelby began to laugh even as her sobs intensified.

I never knew that there’d be someone, someone who could make me sing like you
Oh, you saved me, from never knowing where love could take me

“Nnnhhhghhaaaaahhhhh.” She grabbed Lana’s hair; her fingers tangled in the hair as if to hold on for dear life. Her hand brushed Lana’s left ear, sending a shock of sorts as the girl continued to kiss; intently and intensely until Shelby shook; she turned and practically submerged her face under the pillow that had fallen slightly down from behind. Her hands felt the energy that Lana was expending and the emotion of the moment overcame them both; a duet of sobs and laughter followed by soft crying and sighs.

“I’m….I’m not….”

“It’s not about what you don’t have…..It’s what you do…”

They never quite got around to the rest of the body. No matter how many times they rehearsed this for the drama of their lives together, they never seemed to finish, but the performance was always better than the last, so to speak. Each time they came together, thankfully, it was less and less a time of concern and more of a time for gratitude.

Moments of realization increased while minutes of shame and fear and doubt diminished. They hadn’t arrived, but then who of us has? Lana did her best to let Shelby know she loved her. And little by little, as Shelby tried as hard as she could, Shelby knew that she knew that she knew that no matter who she began as, Lana loved her as a girl..her girl.

Win Me Over
Words and Music by
the Artist
Sarah Bettens

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