6 months later
They stood in line, yawning, waiting for their turn to board the plane. The crisp air of the morning invaded Ann’s thin clothing as they approached the metal staircase leading to the plane, the echo of Anne’s footsteps clanging on the stairs behind her. The night was beginning its slow fade into daylight, stars still dotting the sky, the sun hovering just below the distant horizon.
Ann reached a hand up to touch the airplane as she stepped on, nodding politely to the flight attendant as she passed. Anne’s palm rested securely on the small of her back as they walked and she couldn’t remember ever feeling so calm before a flight as she did that morning; Peaceful and happy. Not to mention she had been on time thanks to Anne: A perk of her always having her eyes on her watch.
They found their seats towards the front quickly, and Anne staggered backwards as Ann narrowly missed elbowing her in the face with her weak attempt to lift the bag into the overhead compartment.
“Sorry, love,” She said sheepishly, as Anne shot her an amused look and pushed the heavy suitcase the rest of the way into the bin. She grunted under the bags weight and shrugged off her own as she sat.
“Ann. We’re only going for a week!”
“I know, I know. I couldn’t make up my mind so I just brought…well, everything!” Ann said animatedly, a grin spreading across her face. They settled in, catching each other’s eyes as they buckled and watched the rest of the traveler’s board. Anne reached out her hand and smiled broadly as Ann filled it, both feeling their nerves peaking as the plane began rumbling down the runway.
Ann studied her face contently; happy to see Anne’s eyes finally reopen as their jarring takeoff melted into a smooth ascent. She bit her lip and smiled encouragingly, clasping her other hand over the top of their linked hands.
“We’re on our way!”
“Mm. The worst of it is over! What a relief,” Anne exhaled, the lines on her face smoothing and her body visibly relaxing. “I don’t think I’ll ever love flying, but our honeymoon is certainly brightening the experience.”
Her fingertips reached over to Ann’s sparkling wedding ring, lips curving into a smile. Ann nodded in agreement, eyes twinkling as she remembered the whirlwind of their ceremony. It had been an intimate gathering with some family, mostly friends, speeches, and even some dancing. Her favorite moment of their day was seared into her heart: Anne reciting the vows she had written her, standing in her perfectly tailored blue suit, her brown eyes filled with love. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience, and Ann still cried every time she thought of her earnest profession of love. She blinked rapidly as her vision blurred.
She brought her wife’s thick gold ring to her lips and kissed it gently, and her heart soared when she did the same. She leaned in for a long, lingering kiss, both ducking their heads shyly afterward when they remembered where they were.
“I still can’t believe we’re married,” Ann whispered, leaning her head onto Anne’s arm, her stomach filled with butterflies.
“It’s surreal. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop smiling,” Anne said in a low voice, leaning her head back on the headrest with a satisfied sigh. She let her hand run up and down Ann’s leg, squeezing it reassuringly.
“Don’t you start. We have all week for that!” Ann hissed, a playful smirk on her face.
“Well, hopefully not just one week…” Anne mused, eyes drawn to the sight of the sunrise outside their window. She reached in her nearby bag, pulling out her book and handing Ann her drawing pad and pencils.
“Right. Forever. You’re stuck with me,” Ann laughed brightly, the gold in her hair illuminated by the sunlight that flooded in the tiny arched window. She flipped open to a familiar page after leaning over to admire the puffy white clouds beneath them. The real world somehow continued on below, microscopically.
Anne started to thumb through the pages, but she couldn’t pull her eyes away from Ann’s profile. She remembered the way she tilted her head back as she laughed, the genuine happiness in her eyes as they danced slowly around the room on their wedding day.
Ann was bent over her drawing of Sale Fell, biting her lip, fingers twisting in her golden hair as she pulled the image from memory. She began expertly outlining the wooden bench that they had sat upon the day of the proposal, every notch and curve coming to life on the page, the final detail in the masterpiece of her sketch.
Anne smiled quietly as she admired her wife, and her talent, the opened book unread in her hands. She felt a quiet calm in her heart as the the plane banked and accelerated, the sky stained with orange and pink as the new day broke.