It was a warm Spring weekend. Flowers had started to bloom and the bright, blue sky was hanging around longer each night. Elly stood looking out at the placid, blue lake with astonishment in her eyes. The way the water captured the reflection of the sky made her heart feel at peace for the first time in ages. Those bright, green trees that mirrored in the water and the little boat that sat drifting on the lake. After her busy life had torn her into all kinds of directions, this was exactly what she needed. The woman fell further and further into a daydream as her hands pushed over her red dress, keeping it still from the breeze.
“Elly? Are you coming?” Amy urged, gesturing towards the small lake house that they’d parked up next to just minutes earlier.
“Yeah. If you think we’re gonna unpack for you then you’re wrong,” shouted Kyle with a laugh as he walked into the building. Naturally, Kyle was attempting to wheel along everybody’s suitcases at the same time. It didn’t help that Chloe’s was big enough for a full month, never mind a single weekend.
“Yeah, one second,” Elly replied eventually.
After taking in a deep breath full of fresh air, the young woman turned around and strolled in behind her three friends. A weekend away from the dramas of Ramsay Street was what everybody needed every once in a while.
Chloe had asked to bring Pierce on the trip to begin with but it didn’t take much from Elly to convince her otherwise. The older woman could only hope she wouldn’t have to listen to Chloe speaking of how much she was missing him. She expected there to be a lot of that.
“Wow! This is gorgeous, it looks like something out of an American film,” Elly could hear Chloe beam as she stepped into the lounge area. She gazed around herself. There was a modern-charm about it; fairy lights throughout with wooden floors and cream-coloured walls.
“It’s very nice,” agreed Elly with a shy nod. She watched as Chloe shot a large smile in her direction.
The two women looked at each other when they heard Amy shout his name from another room. Laughing in sync, they walked quickly to see what had happened. There he stood with embarrassment on his features and hands wriggling awkwardly on his pockets.
“Are you going to tell them or shall I?” Amy questioned sternly. Elly caught eye-contact with Chloe again, this time narrowing her eyes with more confusion, maybe even a little concern. Their friends then looked them both in turn. “He didn’t book a three bed lake house like he told us he did. He booked a two bed lake house. You can’t trust a man to do anything right.”
“Well...what does that mean?” Elly thought to herself out-loud, not catching up very quickly.
“It’s fine. I’ll just...take the couch.”
“Chloe...no! You can’t sleep on that thing all weekend, you’ll get a bad back.” Elly wasn’t going to let her ex girlfriend sleep uncomfortably. If anything, she’d have preferred to take the sofa. I
“Both beds are doubles if that helps. I didn’t totally mess up,” Kyle mentioned with a shrug as his cheeks went back to a more normal shade. Chloe sighed and walked from the bedroom they were stood at, to the other. More hesitantly, Elly followed.
“Well we can always just share,” the teacher suggested. “It’ll be just like one of those old sleepovers we used to have. It’s no big deal.”
“Elly! It’s not the same! I slept on the floor when we had those,” Chloe replied in her usual rapid-paced and slightly awkward tone.
“Chloe,” Elly sighed. “I saw you sneak in, in the middle of the night.”
“Oh.” She paused. “Sorry.” Chloe pushed her teeth together awkwardly and quickly looked down to the ground. She’d never known Elly was aware. Now her mind was suddenly going all over the place trying to figure out why Elly would be okay with it even though Chloe had a clear crush on the woman at the time. But no, she had to quickly snap out of her stupid, intense thoughts and fixate her attention back on the current situation. “But we can’t just share a bed now after...well, you know. After dating. I mean, what about Pierce? What would he think? We’re getting married in a few weeks.”
“Fine, I’ll take the sofa then.”
“It’s fine, I really don’t mind.”
“If you don’t feel comfortable sharing then it’s the only option.”
“It’s not that I don’t feel comfortable, Elly. It’s just…well, it’s not the right thing to do. Is it?” Whilst Amy remained quiet, Kyle couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. He poked his head around the door to look at the two ex’s.
“It’s better than either of you two sleeping on the floor or on an uncomfortable sofa, don’t you think? I mean, I wouldn’t sleep there. That thing looks like a brick.” Amy hit him on his arm and whispered for him to stay out of it.
“Okay! Okay,” Chloe breathed out, defeated. It was two against one. Usually she wouldn’t think twice about it anyway but her wedding was so close and she still found herself having dreams at night about the other woman. Chloe didn’t know what they meant exactly, but she knew that everybody had them from time to time. That was what she’d told Elly when their roles were reversed. She just didn’t want to accidentally whisper Elly’s name in the middle of the night. She couldn’t think of anything more embarrassing.
“Hey Chlo, come and look outside,” Elly said excitedly, running to pull Chloe up from the couch. The friends had put the fire on in the living room, just because it looked pretty. The sun had gone down now and the group had been playing some board games to enjoy the evening. With alcohol, of course. Elly had insisted on it but nobody was too drunk yet. The brunette’s eyes gazed down for a second or two. Their hands had collided; fingers perfectly placed between one another’s. How could one swift moment that meant nothing bring back so many intense yet beautiful memories? Forcing her thoughts back out of her mind, Elly led Chloe out of the door and pointed up at the sky.
“A full moon,” Chloe giggled. “It’s so bright.” She wasn’t sure she’d seen one so bright or orange in all of her twenty-nine years.
“Pretty, isn’t it?” Elly loosened their interwind hands and instead took hold of Chloe’s arm, snuggling into it. “I know it’s just about Spring but it’s definitely too cold still to be wearing a dress.”
“Yeah but Elly without a dress is like Elly without wine or me without my spice hair.” The younger woman took a step to the side and looked Elly up and down. Her eyes locked onto the dress and her smile faded, just slightly. Her heartbeat had rapidly sped up in just a few seconds and she was starting to feel the palms of her hands sweat. “That’s the dress you were wearing when we…” The blonde gulped and looked to moon, pulling away from her friend. Instead, she awkwardly brushed her hands down her denim jeans.
“You have a good memory.” Elly’s eyes lit up.
“You know me, always remembering the little things, but forgetting the big, important…” Her words faded out again before she could finish. Spending the night with Elly was one of the big, important things. Taking that dress off of her that night was the best feeling she could remember ever feeling. That rush of joy and love and elation, finally being able to do the one thing she’d wanted to do for months before. “Thanks for showing me. It’s cool, huh? And all those stars…” The younger woman wasn’t certain of what she was saying, she was just trying to get something out to distract her from her thoughts.
“Yeah. You’re right, it’s really beautiful. Just like you.” Elly flashed Chloe a cheeky smile. “I think I’m going to head in and get warm.”
“Okay cool. Yeah, I’ll be there in a sec.” With another smile into Chloe’s direction, Elly walked back inside. She’d felt a little awkward tension during their talk. Perhaps it wasn’t even awkward tension, maybe another kind of tension all together. She let out a sigh of relief to be back indoors again.
Sharing a bed the first night had been fine. Elly had dropped off to sleep before Chloe had returned. Chloe had taken a long walk around the lake to clear her mind and it had successfully done the job. No odd dreams either, as far as she could remember. The following day was made creating happy memories from pushing Kyle in the lake to spending some time sunbathing. In the evening the friends had sat around a fire and melted some marshmallows on sticks.
“Chlo, you have some on your chin,” laughed Elly. If Pierce was there he’d have kissed it off, but Elly reached over and wiped it softly with her finger. Physical contact with Chloe was the most natural thing in the world for the teacher. She never thought about her actions because it felt so right.
“Right, we’re off,” Kyle announced, getting up from his seat.
“Off where??? We still have all these marshmallows to get through,” Chloe whimpered like a toddler, lifting the bag into the air.
“To bed. Obviously. I mean, not to sleep but-”
“Oh ew. Kyleeee!”
“Well you asked. And I didn’t even give details so, it’s your own fault.” Elly and Amy laughed at the other two’s interactions. They had the same child-like humour.
“Goodnight,” said Amy, sounding more grown up than Kyle and Chloe put together. Chloe waved off Amy and stuck her tongue out at Kyle. Silence feel for a while as Chloe looked across the water and began to yawn.
“If you’re tired, we can head to bed too,” Elly suggested. “Not…Not like they are. O-Obviously,” she stuttered, ending her sentence in a small laugh. With a sleepy look in her eyes, Chloe extended her arm into the air for Elly to take it and pull her up. The brunette did as she was silently instructed and led Chloe through the door and into the living room, from behind this time. She kept her hand softly on the back of Chloe’s shoulder, just using enough pressure to steer her in the right direction. Her thumb accidentally rubbed across it when they were halted, but Elly tried to stop herself from doing it multiple times.
“I’m not actually that tired, I just wanted you to touch my back. It feels good.” Chloe was a little more drunk than her older friend, which was an unusual occurrence. Still not drunk enough to not be aware of what she was doing though. Just blissfully enjoying herself. “I really hope these walls are thick, I don’t really want to be hearing those two you know…doing their thing,” she chuckled as they walked through the corridor to their shared room. It wasn’t a big room. It was very white with a large bed in the middle, a bedside table either side.
Taking it in turns, the women went to the bathroom to get changed. Neither communicated why, but they both knew it wouldn’t be fair on each other to change into their pyjamas in the room. Maybe both knew they wouldn’t be able to keep their hands to themselves.
When they had both returned they pulled the covers over. Elly was assuming they’d both go straight to sleep again but instead they’d somehow both turned to look at each other.
“Can you do that thing on my shoulder again?” Chloe said energetically, suddenly sounding a lot more awake than she had moments earlier.
“What thing, Chlo?”
“I don’t know. Like…when you had your hand on it. Your fingers.” She paused and shrugged. “I don’t know,” Chloe repeated. Elly wasn’t certain she knew what her friend meant, but she reached over to the woman’s shoulder nonetheless. With a soft touch, she drifted up and down in circles feeling Chloe’s smooth skin against the tips of her fingers. “Mmm yeah, that. Just your fingers on my shoulder, it feels insanely good.” Chloe didn’t do things like this with Pierce. It wouldn’t even feel good if she did. His fingers were so much rougher and harder. He couldn’t do anything gently. He’d put too much pressure on and make it hurt, but Elly did it just perfectly.
“I’ve missed this.” A short sentence that Elly spoke to Chloe all too often.
“Just…being close to you.” Not only were Elly’s fingertips now tracing Chloe’s bones but her toes had found Chloe’s foot too. Without realising, the blonde had wrapped her foot around Elly’s in return.
“We’ll always be close,” stated Chloe, without any thought. Her eyes slowly lifted to look into Elly’s. Their noses were almost touching and the younger woman could just about feel Elly’s warm breaths on her skin. “It’s just how we are. I mean…we’re Chloe and Elly. We’re meant to be close, we’re not meant to be avoiding each other or giving each other space all the time.” She beamed the words excitedly, with a gentle laugh at the end. “We’re happiest when we’re close and we need to learn to accept that.” Neither girl had defined what they meant by ‘close’, but Elly hoped they were both on the same page.
“You know what? You are so right, Chlo. There is no point in us staying apart because we will always find our way back to one another again.” The brunette moved her hand over and courteously pushed Chloe’s hair away from her face. There was silence for some time until their eyes collided once again, both enjoying their own thoughts about one another. Chloe couldn’t stop wishing Pierce would act this loving with her and Elly just longed to understand how she had lost such a beautiful human being. “You’re beautiful, Chloe. I know I’ve said it before but…” Elly took a deep breath as Chloe looked back at her with the most genuine smile anybody had seen on the younger woman’s lips in some time. “That dazzling smile. Pierce is so lucky to wake up to that each morning.”
Chloe had vowed to herself that she would never kiss Elly again, yet here she as staring at her with the brightest of smiles and a heart that felt like it might explode – in a good way. Elly could feel the strong tension, but this time she knew for sure what kind of tension it was. The chemistry was forcing them together and if Chloe made a move she just knew she wouldn’t be able to stop herself from reciprocating.
It was rare that Elly had ever seen the blonde so quiet. The music from the room next door was nothing but background noise as she focused on Chloe’s breaths echoing in her ears.. In the shadows, their noses pushed closer until they were touching. The younger girl had been the one to move forwards and it was only seconds later that her mouth had tilted too. Elly could feel her heartbeat growing faster, a feeling that felt so unknown, her body craving to push closer to Chloe’s. Chloe’s heart raced too, but her body did reach in to fill the gap between them.
The younger woman roped her legs around Elly’s further. She tilted her upper leg until it was on top, with her second leg falling between Elly’s. Then the lips moved again, only it wasn’t just Chloe’s this time. Both, at the very same time moved in until they clashed softly in the middle.
There were no thoughts in Chloe’s mind, it was as caught up in the moment as her legs were. The blonde’s hand drifted to Elly’s face, pressing against her cheek at the same time as her tongue sunk into the other woman’s mouth. The older woman’s mind was equally as blurred, withdrawn entirely from her own mind. Her lips escaped Chloe’s but only for a second as she gasped for air. Before she knew it they were locked onto one another again, a domino force pushing them onto one another’s. And so it continued.