“One day I’m gonna be free. . .”
Jess Carr told herself from the moment she met Kayla that she was going to leave Fox News, find another job, and live her life completely free of judgment from others. She could freely express her political views and hold hands with Kayla in public without having someone giving her the side-eye or having the possibility of a co-worker seeing her and completely outing her to the whole building. ‘I’m gonna be free, I’m gonna be free,’ Jess told herself almost every single day as she subtly eyed Kayla and her beauty.
Roger had finally been taken down by Megyn, Gretchen, and the other women who filed claims against him and that meant Fox News was on a different track. There was someone else who took Roger’s place and the people working gathered around to listen to a speech, which they expected to not be so exciting. Jess wasn’t paying attention to any of the words that were being said and instead, her eyes were glued to Kayla who seemed to be deep in thought.
‘If I stay do I just have to put up with it?’ Kayla took no time after that to start gathering her things and that set off a red alarm in Jess’s head.
What the hell was she doing? No matter what was going on, and if Kayla was really leaving, Jess was proud. SO proud.
Jess kept her eyes glued to Kayla as she watched her leave. Without any hesitation at all, she ripped the badge from around her neck and dumped it into the trash can. The look in Jess’s eyes said it all. Tears threatened to fall and she wanted to follow after her so badly. She wanted to run and say, ‘Wait, Kayla! Let me come with you!’ But Jess didn’t think she had the confidence to do so.
They kept on talking and talking, but those words that the men were speaking just went in her ears and faded to nothingness. She couldn’t get Kayla off her mind. She wanted to know where she was gonna go next and how she was going to continue on her life. Was Kayla still thinking about Jess? Thinking about when they went out for drinks together and the time that they slept together. Those were unforgettable moments for Jess and she wanted to know if Kayla was still thinking about her. There was only one way to find out.
After everyone began to disperse back onto their floors and into their cubicles, Jess took a second to think. ‘There is no harm in quitting because there are other jobs. I’ll do it for Kayla.’
Not a word came from Jess as she started packing up her things too. She put all of her necessary things into a bag and slowly headed for the exit. At that moment, she didn’t really care if anyone looked at her. She couldn’t work there anymore without Kayla. Just as she did, she took the badge from around her neck and it fell into the trashcan next to Kayla’s. Jess got outside and the rush of the cool New York air brushed against her face and man, did it feel good to be free. Jess was free. She remembered that one single sentence from when they laid together in bed. ‘One day I’m gonna be free’. There she was, standing on the sidewalk outside the building. She would no longer have to step foot in there again.
Her blue eyes darted around the busy streets, hoping that maybe she’d find Kayla walking or attempting to catch a cab. Jess spent about a minute looking until she spotted the blonde hair and recognizable black dress. It had to be her. Jess darted down the street, attempting to catch up with her. Finally, a few feet from her, she called out to her, “Kayla! Kayla, I quit.”
Kayla turned around, a look of shock rendering on her face. “Jess? Y-You quit?”
Jess nodded and a smile appeared on Kayla’s face. It made her heart race faster than the speed of light. Maybe this was their chance to start over and get their happy ending.
“I’m so proud of you, so proud,” the tears that were hiding away suddenly came out and Kayla started to cry. Jess pulled her aside to the alleyway next to them and pressed Kayla against the bricks. She didn’t budge, letting Jess take the lead. She trusted her and it was true, she was still thinking about her and that one night.
“That means that we don’t have to worry. We don’t have to worry about anyone outing me or you. We can be happy, Kayla,” Jess didn’t even realize it, but she started to cry, too. She used both thumbs to wipe away Kayla’s stray tears and cupped both of her cheeks. “I’m proud of you for walking out like that. It takes a strong woman to do that and I think you are the strongest woman I’ve ever met.”
Jess’s gaze flicked from Kayla’s eyes to her lips, where she took a second to admire them. She didn’t take any more time after that and closed the large gap between their lips. It felt like the first kiss and felt like her entire world stopped right at that moment. There they were, kissing in an alleyway in New York, with absolutely no care in the world. They weren’t worried about anyone from Fox finding them and Jess could finally express her true self. All of those years of being in the closet (as a lesbian and democrat) were done. What was the point of trying to hide it now?
The kiss lasted for what seemed like an eternity before Jess pulled away.
“You know, I was hoping you would do that. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and I was secretly wishing we could quit together and start over. I think the Gods heard my cry for help. What do you think, Jess? We start over. Together,” An immediate smile followed.
Oh, how Jess adored that sweet, sunshine smile of hers. The only way she wanted to see Kayla was happy. She didn’t deserve any of the hurt.
“Of course I will.”
Those were the last words that Jess uttered before she placed another single kiss upon Kayla’s lips. They were finally going to be happy.