Five Years Later
Miranda is awakened by a delicate touch upon her cheek. Her eyes flutter open to the blue hue of pre-dawn light, the sound of birds chirping outside the window a blissful contrast to the constant noise pollution of the city. As her senses come awake, she takes in the scent of Andrea, the feeling of smooth skin against hers, the softness of her chest under Miranda’s cheek.
“Good morning,” Andrea says, running her fingers through Miranda’s hair.
“Hmm,” Miranda purrs, burrowing closer and shutting her eyes again.
“Like a baby,” Miranda mumbles, her voice deep and husky from slumber.
Andrea chuckles. The sound reverberates against Miranda’s ear in a pleasant, familiar sensation.
“Come on, let me go get us some coffee," Andrea says, trying to pull away.
“No,” Miranda growls, and stubbornly tightens her hold on Andrea's waist. “Too early.”
“But you love coffee,” Andrea points out.
Miranda makes a non-committal noise. “Believe it or not, there are certain things I like more than coffee.”
“You must like this a lot then, huh?” Andrea's teasing voice is laden with playfulness as she nuzzles Miranda's shoulder.
“Your observation skills are so impressive, Mr. Holmes,” Miranda drawls, earning an amused snicker from her lover.
“Come on, I have plans for us before the twins get up. I’m not missing our yearly tradition because you decided to stay in bed. I can cuddle you later,” Andrea insists, pushing Miranda off her despite her protests. Andrea smirks at her once she manages to get out of bed while Miranda glares at her from under the covers. “Have I ever told you that you look like a disgruntled cat when you look at me like that?”
With an indignant huff, Miranda reluctantly rolls out of bed and pulls on her robe. Andrea grins at her, but wisely chooses to cease her teasing. Instead, she takes Miranda’s hand and pulls her out of the bedroom, down the wooden stairs, and into the open-plan kitchen. Miranda leans on the oakwood island as she watches Andrea work the coffee machine, muffling her tired yawns into the sleeves of her gown.
“There,” Andrea says as she presents Miranda with her cup of very strong, centre-of-the-sun hot coffee. She leans forward and kisses Miranda’s forehead, giving her an affectionate smile before brushing past her with a hand on her lower back. “Now come on, we might miss it.”
Sipping her coffee gratefully and trying to wake herself up fully, Miranda follows Andrea out onto the front porch. Miranda takes a deep breath of fresh, clean air. The symphony of bird songs around them sounds clearer now, and Miranda smiles. They sit side by side on the ample swing sofa, huddling close and sinking into the pillows before covering themselves with the blanket.
Miranda lets out a pleased sigh, taking another sip of coffee as her eyes wander over the familiar surroundings through the dim light of dawn. The beautiful lake in front of them is so still that it looks like a perfect mirror reflection of the mountains across the shore. She can smell the pine needles from the tall trees surrounding most of the cabin, making it feel like their own little safe haven away from the rest of the world. With a fond smile, she looks at the burnt out fire pit and camping chairs where she, the girls, and Andrea often sit under the glow of infinite stars, making smores, talking, and even singing along to Cassidy’s ukulele.
This peaceful place has so many cherished memories of their family that Miranda will forever feel lucky that she bought it as soon as she found it four years ago.
Before their relationship had even begun, Miranda had opened up to Andrea about wanting to take the girls away from the city, find a quiet spot where they could connect as a family and forget about everything else. Back then, Andrea had encouraged her to do so, because it was never too late to make new, happy memories with her daughters. Now, Miranda is certain she’s the luckiest woman alive, because not only has she achieved what she’d wanted for herself and the girls. Andrea is with them too, and that makes all the difference.
“Hey,” Andrea says quietly, breaking Miranda out of her reverie. “Sun’s coming up.”
For a moment, Miranda follows Andrea’s eyes to the red, pink, and purple skyline. The sun is peeking over the valley between the mountains, bathing the world in warmth and light. The surface of the lake twinkles like scattered diamonds. Light shines through the trees, turning leaves greener as the earth comes alive. It’s beautiful, but it’s nothing compared to what really matters in that moment.
Miranda turns to gaze at the woman beside her. Andrea is in awe of the scene before her, swept up in the wonders of nature she so adores. Her hair is softly swept away from her face by a gentle breeze, the brown of her eyes has turned to golden honey, and there is an unconscious, sweet smile on her lips. She is the most beautiful, the most treasured sight. Miranda feels overcome with love for the woman who changed her life, the one who brought her immeasurable happiness and joy, the person that truly loves her like no other. Her Sunrise.