Is She?

When Claire starts university she moves in with fellow student Jasmine and immediately falls for her. But how do you tell if a girl is gay? Claire looks up the ‘signs’ on the internet and desperately seeks advice from friends. But with all the signs pointing in either direction she is just left wondering: Is she?

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4. CHAPTER FOUR: THE NEXT LEVEL

Claire had ignored Mandy’s protestations about the signs being ‘rubbish’. Mandy didn’t understand her situation, she didn’t understand how hard it was to be a lesbian, and to never know for sure if the girls you’re attracted to are interested.

It was easy for Mandy; she always had attention from guys, she was always getting asked out on dates, always being the one that all the guys fancy. At first, way back when they were still in school, Claire had been jealous, she’d wanted to be the one asking Mandy out. But now she was starting to get used to the idea that at some point in the future Mandy was going to have a boyfriend and she would have to be happy for her. Happy that Mandy was happy.

But right now Claire had more important things to worry about. She had to confirm her suspicions about Jasmine.

It had been an interesting week and she’d learnt a lot, but she was slowly building up a body of evidence that all lead her to believe that Jasmine might just be batting for the girl’s team.

On Tuesday she had worn a silver ring on her thumb. Totally definitely a sign she was gay.

Claire also noted that although she never really wore men’s clothes, she’d only worn a skirt once since Claire had moved in, but she had a large collection of jeans and cords and at least two pairs of Doc Martins.

What she needed to do now was find out for sure, destroy all the niggling doubts, and put her mind to rest. So she was, once again, scouring the internet in search of the truth.

Rather than looking up the signs of being gay, Claire was now dredging the strange world of ‘getting a girl to like you’. She had found a crazy video that promised to give away fool proof tricks of seducing any girl, any time, anywhere. A lot of this tutorial seemed to involve staring at a girl’s lips and pretending to be popular. She had taken a few notes but in order to find out anymore information she would have to take the full course which was priced at $5,000, based in the US and aimed at men. She decided to move on from that website.

Claire went back to her notes.

She had done more research and reading about ‘finding the signs’ than she had done on any of her courses. Her first few essays were due in just a few weeks, she knew she should be reading for them but she just couldn’t focus while she still had this hanging over her head.

There were a lot of indications that if a girl makes eye contact while talking, then she is interested. This seemed to directly contradict the whole ‘staring at lips’ tutorial she’d watched. She was going to have to try and see if she could stare at Jasmine’s lips while trying to work out if Jasmine was making eye contact with her. That would be tricky.

She would also have to look for hair flipping and arm touching, these would be sure signs that Jasmine was flirting with her, but if Jasmine wasn’t sure that Claire was gay then she may avoid flirting. So Claire was going to have to be subtle about giving off her own signs.

Most websites had told her to mention celebrity lesbians and watch for a reaction. Claire didn’t actually know of that many celebrity lesbians and although she now had a list, she didn’t want to get into conversation about any of them as she didn’t actually know who most of them were.

Neither did she know the name of a local gay club (although she was pretty sure that G.A.Y was one) that she could casually drop into the conversation, but even if she did, she felt that it would be a bit too obvious and she wanted to give signs that wouldn’t be noticed by someone who wasn’t also a lesbian, just in case things went bad. This needed to be subtle.

Claire looked at the long list of gay friendly TV Shows, the only one she had actually seen was Glee, and she didn’t want to admit to that.

There were only really two options left.

The first was to ask if Jasmine was a lesbian. There was no way in hell that was going to happen!

But the second option was to get her drunk. Claire knew that it was a cheap night at the student union nearly every night, so she could try to casually ask if Jasmine was thinking of going out, then maybe meet her there, ply her with alcohol and see what happened. It was her best option by far.

She looked over at her phone.

Mandy still hadn’t been in touch. It was well over a week now since she had stormed out. She missed her. But being gay was something Mandy would never understand so she would just have to accept that they were going to start drifting apart. Perhaps it was for the best; if she was still interested in Mandy then her potential relationship with Jasmine could already be in jeopardy.

She grabbed her cup, wanting the last bit of tea but it was empty. It seemed such a long way down to the kitchen to get another one, but she was sick of looking at a computer screen.

‘Besides’ she thought ‘I might run into Jasmine’.

As usual she slowed down as she walked along the hallway passed Jasmine’s door, she waited, hesitating. Trying to drag out the length of time she was there, just in case Jasmine walked out and she would have a legitimate reason to ‘bump into her’, but after a few minutes it was clear this wasn’t going to happen and she slunk off down the rest of the stairs and headed towards the basement kitchen.

As she got closer she could hear voices, she didn’t recognise them at first but then realised one of them was Jasmine.

She still hadn’t met all of the other housemates, so she was a little nervous as she stood outside the kitchen door, but she put on a smile and forced herself through, delighted to lay her eyes on Jasmine again.

But she didn’t recognise the other girl and she didn’t seem to fit the description of any of the housemates.

“Heya!” said Jasmine, with a smile.

“Hey.” Claire replied, trying to decide whether she should be making eye contact or looking at her lips. Jasmine’s lips were beautiful, they were full and succulent, she didn’t wear lipstick but she always wore lip gloss, making them even more irresistible.

“—from my course.”

Claire only heard the end of the sentence, she realised that Jasmine had introduced the other girl but she didn’t catch her name.

‘Oh, crap’ she thought ‘oh crap, crap, crap.’

“Hi” she said, taking the girl’s hand. The girl seemed ok looking, a bit gangly though. She was wearing a football shirt, and Claire tried to think of something to say about football, but she knew nothing.

“What did you come here for? Am I in your way?” Asked Jasmine, trying to move out of the way of the oven, but not sure where to stand.

‘What did I come here for?’ thought Claire suddenly ‘Why am I in the kitchen? What am I supposed to do?’

“My cup!” She said suddenly, waving her mug vaguely at Jasmine before stepping over to the sink to wash it.

‘That wasn’t weird.’ she thought.

She slowly rinsed the cup under the running tap, not listening to the conversation going on behind her but wondering how she could drag out her visit, how she could stay in the kitchen with Jasmine a little longer. She couldn’t cook, it was only an hour since she’d eaten, perhaps she could join in the conversation... she finished washing her cup and wondered how long she could convincingly drag out making a cup of tea.

“Ok well, see you later.” The girl said, waving vaguely at Claire, before giving Jasmine a hug. Then she left and Claire was alone with Jasmine.

“So, what are your plans for the afternoon?” Jasmine asked, turning to her and smiling.

Claire tried to remember some of the things on the list, maybe she should say she liked football, only she didn’t, and that might cause problems if she was asked questions. She remembered the list of lesbian films, she should definitely go with that.

“I was going to watch something on my laptop, but I’m not sure I can decide which film to watch” she tried to think back to the list, but she couldn’t remember any of the titles, all she could remember was a reference to Angelina Jolie “maybe I’ll watch… ‘Tomb Raider’.”

“That’s not really my type of film. Are you a fan?” Said Jasmine.

“Not really.” Claire had to admit.

“Oh well, Ali has just given me a DVD to watch, it’s supposed to be really funny. If you want, you could watch it with me?”

‘Oh, my God!’ she thought. ‘Oh, my God! A film! Watching a film with Jasmine!’

“Yeah, sure.” she said coolly, trying to shield her excitement.

She tried to remember some of the signs to watch out for as she followed Jasmine up to her room, she thought about the arm touching, and asking her about lesbian bars, she wasn’t sure what was the most important thing to focus on.

“Make yourself at home.” Jasmine said, smiling and indicating the bed.

Claire made herself comfortable amongst the cushions and pillows. She could smell Jasmine’s perfume as she lay down, she tried to think about something else.

“What film is it?” Claire asked as she watched Jasmine place the DVD into her laptop.

“It’s called ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’.”

“Oh.” Said Claire, disappointed. “Cool.”

It sound like a typical American teen drama, not really something she was interested in, but still it would be great to watch it with Jasmine. She would have the next few hours alone with Jasmine, desperately hoping that somehow she would find out if she was gay.

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