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Rachel had met Samantha’s friends before but this time around she didn’t really want to go and hang around them.  Samantha was on a mission with her friends to raise hell, as she puts it, at society.  They wanted more rights. They wanted my freedom.  They wanted to be who they are without criticism.

Rachel didn’t know whether she felt comfortable being around them. Yet, she had submitted by being friends with Samantha, knowing that their friendship turned into more than friends and into a relationship. It wasn’t what she planned, but in light of Leslie’s constant threats and outburst, “where are you?” and “you’re going to have to sign the papers for divorce”, she felt that there are no other options and nowhere to go but to stay with Samantha. Moreover, it was very difficult to find a job without any employment history.  She’s become more reliant on Samantha for everything.

It’s been a month since she’s been living with Samantha and now she doesn’t know how to get out of it.  She trailed along walking next to Samantha where she was going to meet up with the rest of her friends. She was silent, barely there. Her thoughts everywhere else. She was once in a jail called Leslie and now she was in jail called Samantha with no keys to unlock the door and set herself free.

Rachel sat down quietly not wanting to engage in conversation. She stared out at the water while listening to them bickering. There they go again rambling about their mistreatments.

“If we help fund it, we can make a difference.  I doubt the town council will disapprove. They’ll be in our back pockets.” Samantha smacked her lips as she took a bite of her ribs. Her friend Jackie gave her a look.

“Do you think that you can contribute?   It would really help.”  Samantha asked.

“Sure, how much are you talking about?”  Rachel was living rent free and she could barely help out financially, with Leslie’s on and off again allowance.  But it was the least she could do, especially if she was getting money after the divorce.

“We’re all putting in a quarter million.  Can you get at least that much out of your monster husband?”  Samantha laughed.  Rachel’s heart fell to the floor.  She didn’t realize Samantha was sharing her personal business.  The no secrets deal was putting a violation on her.

“I think I can get that, but it’s going to take some time. He’s not that reasonable.”  Rachel muttered.  They were all too happy to hear her answer, for Rachel’s comfort. She wasn’t able to hide her discomfort in public like she did at the apartment.  Samantha didn’t seem to mind, though.  She continued with her laughter and sharing of her no secrets atmosphere.

A little while later, Rachel and Samantha trailed back to the apartment together in silence, leaving her friends behind. Samantha slammed the door shut when they walked in, startling Rachel.

“What’s going on with you today?”  Samantha spilled out.

“You tell me.  You seemed to know more about what’s going on than me?”  Rachel spat back.

“What?”  Samantha flung her hand in the air out of frustration.

“Apparently I was invited to that little outing for the money.  In and out. Once you got me to say yes, I’m off to be returned to this sanctuary.”  Rachel said sarcastically.

“Excuse me!  We’re here so soon because you obviously wasn’t enjoying yourself.  You were moping and what the hell?”  Samantha said, deciding not to go into the sanctuary remark.

Rachel frowned.  “I’m sorry just feeling a little out of place and in debt.”

“Debt?  What are you talking about?  You don’t owe me.  Did Leslie do something?”  Samantha said sincerely out of guilt.

“I haven’t paid rent.  He keeps playing around with my allowance.  And he wants me to speak to his lawyer.  I just can’t take this anymore.”  Rachel’s voice cracked, fighting back her tears.  She was grateful for Samantha, but the cost of living a gay lifestyle wasn’t what she had bargained for.

“Look, don’t worry about any money.  It’s not like you’re eating me out of my home.  Plus, it’s nice having company.  If anything, I should be paying you.  Your sweet, kind and…”  Samantha paused, “cry a lot but your good to me.”

Rachel chuckled, “but I know you’re just being nice. I wished I can help out more.”

“You will in your own time.  And by the way, I wasn’t trying to use you and your money.  I know it’s hard to deal with Leslie.  I just thought you wouldn’t mind.  We asked and if it’s truly a no, that’s okay too.” Samantha said.

Rachel chocked up, “no, that’s not what I meant. I can do it, but it’s going to be after the lawyer thing.  I know you don’t believe me, but I can prove it that Leslie has a pretty tight control over my money.”

Rachel reached for her laptop to show that her shared account with Leslie was practically empty.  Samantha was shocked.  Leslie gave her about $300 dollars per week and Rachel wasn’t contributing to her $2,000 monthly lease.  She had assumed that when Rachel said she had no money that she literally had no money.

“Oh, my goodness.  You’re right.  He’s awful. How much more was he giving you again?” Samantha kept her cool.

“At least a $1,000.  What am I supposed to do with this kind of money?  I can’t do nothing.  I’m sure it will barely pay for the rent.  I’m sorry.  Truly sorry.” Rachel said.

“Don’t worry about it.  I can be a really vicious lawyer at times.”  Samantha threw her a smile.  If Rachel couldn’t negotiate financially ruining her husband, it would be her pleasure.