Although I hate to be categorized, if I have to check a box on a US Census form, I would identify as lesbian. I always have.
I’ve been in long-term committed relationships with women and despite my mother’s desire for grandchildren the “natural way” and her loving skepticism regarding my “lifestyle,” I’ve always been confident in my partnerships. And that has been accepted from those who love me.
However, I do not conform to normalities.
It seemed like a set up from the beginning. I had just gotten out of a dysfunctional relationship with my ex-live-in-girlfriend of several years. It was one of those relationships where one took on the role of teacher, or as my mama would say “a clean up woman,” where you work tirelessly to mold and groom your significant other into the person you believe is a true representation of their full potential. But the drama it took to get them there was a complete and utter turn off that left you drained and eager for a spiritual cleanse to get rid of them.
My birthday was approaching and I figured a girls trip to Vegas would be a great way to celebrate being single and ring in my personal New Year. I booked my flights and Airbnb and was determined to take Vegas by storm! We were all flying in from different cities and since I was traveling alone, I figured I deserved the absolute most. When the service attendant asked me if I wanted to upgrade from coach to first class for a small fee upon check-in, I said, “Yes.”
With free champagne and a meal, I was off to a good start. And then I saw him.
While walking to my seat, he called my name. “Kori,” he yelled.
Caught off guard, I turned and gave him a hug when I recognized it was him. We shared a mutual friend who he went to college with. We hung out over the years and he was always into me but I never gave him the time of day. But, that didn’t stop his pursuit of me. Whenever I did see him, he’d always remind me, “I know you aren’t interested but if you change your mind, I’m here,” he’d tell me. Our friends thought we would be perfect together. I thought he was nice looking, a cool and sweet guy but paid him no mind. I NEVER saw him in that way.
We chatted for a moment. He told me he was headed to Vegas on business and ironically knew from our friend’s social media that I was headed there for pleasure. “Maybe we can all link up at some point,” he said, hopeful. That was the end of our conversation. I went to my seat, sipped on my prosecco, and mellowed out before takeoff.
This wasn’t your usual party all day and night Vegas experience. Instead, I wanted to bask in my new freedom with some adult-like excursions. We traded three nights worth of club hopping for a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, wine and bourbon tastings, high tea at the Cha Garden, and a host of lunches, brunches and even a four-course dinner. Cocktails flowed consistently and there were many outfit changes accompanied with Instagram postings for my followers to envy.
Then came the night in question.
On our final night, instead of paying a cover charge and waiting in line with 4-inch heels to get into the latest hotspot on The Strip that we would have to Uber to and from, it made more sense to me to throw a kickback-style shindig at our Airbnb, fill up the fridge with some gin and juice, and top it off with bottles of Hennessy X for us to share, which I later learned was the Devil’s nectar.