Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation was the First Woman I Fell in Love With
which is to say, Riker may have been Picard’s Number One but she was mine — my after-school date, my I-think-I’m-supposed-to-feel-this-way-about-boys, the empty chair I confessed all my secrets to. Her face on a 25-inch screen was a cure for lonely confusion, made my blood rush at warp speed. I like to think she would have understood; she was a Betazoid after all. I could cloak my not-like-other-girls-fears around my parents but not an empath. It was a relief to imagine being found. She would have coaxed truth from me gently over triple chocolate sundaes in Ten Forward, told my shame to exit through the sliding doors, surrounded my hideaway heart with stars, safety, and chocolate ice cream. Deanna Troi was the first woman I fell in love with because she was the first I thought would accept that love gently. Somehow, I knew she’d still wait for me every day after school, walk me home to myself with a steadying hand and gentle smile.
Han Solo Teaches Me How to Be a Lesbian
It’s my first time in this small midwest bar that doesn’t card in a town that orbits the college and the factory. This place caters to the latter but is happy to make money off the former. My palms are slick with sweat as I walk through the door.
He’s cool as nighttime on Hoth sipping his drink. Though Kenney Chesney is warbling “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” on the jukebox instead of a multi-species band playing cantina music, this bar full of tough customers is more his scene than mine.
I slip in next to him, steady my bouncing knee before I speak. Can I ask you a question?
I’m spoken for, sweetheart, he replies.
Yeah, not that. A blush creeps up my cheeks as I clarify. I used to think I had a crush on you.
I motion to the bartender, buy him a round of apology, think about asking where he got his vest.
I realized I just wanted to be you, I confess.
Oh, well that makes sense. His smile is a half-moon tilting toward the horizon. I memorize it to practice in the mirror later. I see why a woman might take a hit from a blaster for him though I can finally admit his girlfriend is more my type.
How do you do it? Get the girl? I ask. I’ve spent months in the gravity of wanting but anything beyond is another galaxy. He and I fell for the same princess. I’ve watched him kiss her seven hundred times. Never been able to write myself into the scene.
It’s like this, he shoots back, shelling a peanut and then popping it into his mouth. If you believe your ship can do the Kessel run faster than any other, it’s true.
I drive my dad’s 1987 Mercury. And only when he’s not using it, I reply. Immediately regret it when he rolls his eyes. I want to say, the first time I saw you smirk at Leia I looked through the lens of you, found who I wanted to be.
It’s a metaphor. You gotta believe you can get the girl, he tells me as, across the bar, a boy my age wearing a confederate flag hat cheers loudly about winning a round of darts. You think a girl like Leia should love a guy like me, a smuggler from the middle of nowhere and a princess?
A fucking badass princess, I add.
Yeah she is, he says. In the timber of his voice the same supernova I felt the day Courtney in my British Literature class forgot her book, slid her chair close, her breath bringing a flush to my face as she read over my shoulder.
I have a poster of Leia in my dorm room. It’s the one…
Don’t make it weird, he warns. Sheepishly I take another sip of my drink, motion for him to continue.
All that Force shit is a bit much for me but one thing that makes sense to me, sometimes you gotta trust something you can’t see. So you believe you’re the kind of guy…
I clear my throat, quirk an eyebrow, an expression I learned from watching him.
…or girl, he adds, that she can’t resist. And then you lean in real close. It helps if you’re on the Falcon and the ride’s a little bumpy but you can improvise. You lean in real close and then your lips meet and she’s pulling you closer and your blood is rushing the way it did the first time you jumped into hyperdrive.
I stop him there and say, My love life will never be a silver screen. I ache for a rewind, another universe where I’d rehearsed real romance in high school instead of learning the lines as written.
The Falcon wasn’t going to make the Kessel run in twelve parsecs until she did. With that, he stands, kisses me on the cheek, fires his parting shot. You’re gonna be alright, kid. I’ve got a feeling about you.
Liz G. Fisher (she/they) has loved writing and falling for fictional characters since childhood. She’s still exploring the world and imagining a better one through her words. They live in Michigan with their two cats, Ace and Marcie. You can find her on Twitter @Liz_G_Fisher.