And a black widow spider makes
More sound than she
And black moons in those eyes of hers
Made more sense to me
Sisters of the Moon – Fleetwood Mac
It had been a halcyon day, years ago now, warm with summer sunshine and the sweet smell of clover and alfalfa. Hands clasped, twirling, skirts billowing and catching in the tall grass, they’d been drunk on laughter and Sadie could still remember the smell of Jane’s skin as they tumbled and kissed. They’d danced in their delirium, kissing and falling into the softness of the field, away from the other Sisters, giddy with their unity, their unbreakable bond, justified in their madness. They’d been found naked, fucking exuberantly, as the distant screams of the other Sisters filled the valley. The Farm had been in panic as they were dragged into The House to answer for their sins. At the time, what they’d done hadn’t set in. They were young and in love and only doing what they had to to be together. Sadie wanted to remember it differently, to remember Jane’s part in everything for what it was, to remember herself as stronger and less vulnerable, but time hadn’t erased the memory of the fear and regret that had overcome her when she realised just what they’d done.
Sadie fidgeted nervously with the napkin under her coffee cup, the pale brown stain at the base of the mug softening the paper under her fingertips. She fiddled with the napkin idly, occasionally sipping the hot, milky drink without tasting it, grateful to have something to do with her hands. This was not really her sort of coffee shop but Jane had made the plans which had made Sadie smile; some things never changed. It had been more than five years since they had emerged from the clutches of The Farm, the closed community they had joined together. The Outside had been hard to navigate alone and even harder without each other but both of them had survived, if barely, and they were to reunite under far better circumstances than they’d last seen each other in. Sadie watched out the foggy window for Jane’s familiar form among the wet and hurried pedestrians dashing from under one shop awning to the next. Would she still know her to see her? It had been so long. The bell on the cafe door chimed and the wet rush of the street faded in for a moment before being softened again by the closing door. Sadie watched the people on the sidewalk and was startled as Jane’s smile beamed through the glass at her, gloved hand waving exuberantly as she rushed in. Sadie took a swig of her latte and willed her heart to stop pounding.
The hugs and hellos were a blur, crushed together with Jane’s wet coat, her cold cheek touching Sadie’s as they danced awkwardly through their salutations. Jane eyeballed a server and called out her order, bold as brass, as always, as ever. Sadie tried to remember what her therapist had said, to take up space, to not feel pressured by Jane’s joie de vivre or her assertive nature. Sitting back to fill the bent wood cafe chair she looked Jane over and saw that Jane was doing much the same to her. They both laughed, a bit of the tension broken, both still on their own versions of tender hooks. There was a time when Sadie would have waited for Jane to arrive before she ordered, and more than likely, Jane would have ordered for her. Sadie bit her tongue as Jane asked what she was drinking and casually took a sip without asking, as if they were still Sisters, still friends. Jane touched the sodden napkin’s mocha ring and tsk-tsk’d Sadie with the same flirtatious mockery she had always used. Sadie felt the cold prickle of anxiety in her scalp, but she smiled and swallowed the lump in her throat.
“I didn’t think you’d show,” Jane said as she sipped her coffee. “Oh, this is better than yours, taste it.” She pushed the mug towards Sadie.
“No thanks Jane. Yours is hazelnut.”
“Oh that. Right. The “nut allergy”.”
“Jane, you know what the reaction is like, you’ve seen it.”
“We see what we want to see, don’t we, Sadie?”
Jane’s eyes were steely. Sadie looked at her as long as she could but dropped her gaze. Jane snorted and sipped her coffee again, the power imbalance restored. Jane was smug as Sadie’s cheeks burned.
“I came here today to give you the benefit of the doubt, Jane. I thought you might want to finally talk about things. About what we did.” Sadie could feel her fury rising in her chest and her voice escalating beyond the quiet titter of their fellow coffee shop patrons.
“What we did? Sadie, calm down, it was only a joke. Clearly there’s an elephant in the room and as always, it’s your sensitivity. You’re always on eggshells, it’s maddening.”
“I’m always on egg shells?” Sadie was shaking. “Jane, I lived as your pet, your captive, your …slave! We were lovers, Jane. I loved you. I followed you. I worshipped you. And then I was nothing to you when we left The Farm. You wouldn’t let me see you, you just dismissed me as if everything had meant nothing.”
Jane’s face was grave and blank, lost in a thousand yard stare out the foggy cafe window. They sat in silence, both victims of the same force, both ashamed at the things they’d said and done while blindly held in the bosom of The Farm.
“This was a mistake,” said Jane suddenly, gathering her coat and bag, tossing some crumpled bills on the table.
“Jane, please.” Sadie’s eyes filled with tears as she saw Jane wipe her eyes and sniff. “Please don’t go, there’s so much to talk about. Don’t you want to move forward? We can’t ignore what we did.”
Jane leaned in close, menacingly, and whispered, “We’ve gone this long. I’m not digging up the past. Not for you, not for anyone.” With that, Jane turned and began to leave and only stopped when Sadie called out across the cafe, her voice shaking.
“You can’t run forever, Jane. They know what we did and They want answers. The Sisters are coming for us. They’ll take their pound of flesh, just like we took ours,” The cafe patrons slowly stopped talking to hear Sadie’s monologue, Jane’s hand on the door. “You can’t escape them, Jane. You’ve been sleeping with one eye open since you left The Farm. You will always be a Sister, Jane. You can’t escape. You can’t outrun The Sisters of The Moon.”