"Hi, mum. Yeah, nothing is wrong. I'm fine and happy... Yes, I will come home for Christmas like I always do." Tobin sat on her bed in her Portland apartment too big for her, rolling her eyes at her mum's antics.
It was always the same thing over and over again but Tobin couldn't say no to her parents without having a WW3 in her house. Her parents didn't really 'agree with her lifestyle'. When she decided to move to Portland to study art at Portland arts school from her super close minded town in NJ, her parents weren't happy. They thought art wasn't a career and you can't feed your family with an art degree. That led to the second problem, family. Not her family, but her future one. Ever since Tobin was little she didn't like to conform to any norms society (and her parents) would put on her. She didn't like dresses, barbies, kid kitchen or any over the top pink girly stuff girls 'are supposed to like'. She liked sports, cars and whatever she was interested in at that point in her time whether it was supposed to be a 'girl' thing or 'boy' thing she didn't care about. So she never double flinched when she realized, at the age of 10, that she wanted to kiss her girl classmate, a pretty dark brown haired girl with prettiest blue eyes called Ella- it was normal. For her. Her family, closed minded Christians living in a small hardcore Christian town thought otherwise. That didn't stop Tobin from experimenting over and over again (without her parents knowing ofc).
One day, at the age of 16, she had it enough and told her parents. They weren't happy as she expected but at least they didn't throw her out she thought. That's when she decided she was done with this town and that she will be moving out to Portland as soon as she is done with her school. She won't let her parents dictate her life anymore.
That's how 5 years later she found herself where she is now. In her Portland apartment with her University degree in Art and stable job still arguing with her parents over the phone over the same thing.
"Okay, mum!" Exclaimed over exasperated Tobin, falling backwards on her bed waiting for this conversation to be over. Her parents weren't bad people, per se' but she couldn't stop herself being mad at them every time they opened their mouths.
"Anyways, one of my friends is gonna come over. She just moved here and they have a daughter your age. She is a really good Christian girl, she prays and goes to church every day. I think you should hang out with her so she could help you get back on the right track and forget your sinister lifestyle." her mum exclaimed all happy and proud like she just hasn't insulted Tobin once again. Not being able to listen anymore Tobin rolled her eyes again, said "bye" before hanging up. Not a minute later her phone chimed with a message. Knowing from who it was she just looked at notification
Why did you hang up? There was so much to say still?
Without second thought Tobin just opened the message, then closed it leaving her phone on the bed next to her as she rubbed her eyes, hoping that maybe she can poke them out so she wouldn't be able to go home for Christmas. She always dreaded Christmas time because she knew it meant going home and if it wasn't for her sisters, who are super supporting, and her baby cousins she would stop going long time ago.
Sighing she got up, deciding she should pack. It will be a loooong two weeks she thought.
That's how she found herself a week later in front of her birth house in New Jersey. She was super confident in herself in Portland but coming here always changed her. She felt like every time she came here she was back to being a 15 year old girl having to live with her parent's consistent judging and undervaluing every thing she does. Taking a couple of deep breaths she knocked on her door, ready for a hell week to begin. "TOBIN!! HI!" the door opened revealing her mum with an apron over her clothes. She gave her mum tight lipped smile and light hug "Hi!"
"Come in, come in. I'm just finishing dinner, my friends should be here any minute. You can go put your stuff in your room." Her mum exclaimed with the same tone she had on a phone and Tobin already regretted coming home.
"What friends, mum?"
"The ones I told you about over the phone before you so rudely hang up on me. And don't use that tone in this house Tobin Powell Heath." her mum continued in her quest to make this worst 5 minutes in the house.
"I told you mum. I don't need anyone to change my "lifestyle" bullshit you think my life is. Nothing will change it. Also, we had a deal, I won't date or marry anyone if you stop bothering me and just keep quiet. I'm keeping my end of a deal, are you?" Tobin picked up her stuff and went to her room leaving her mum stunned. While in her room she could hear the doorbell and voices sounding through the house.
"TOBIIIIN! COME DOWN!" boomed her mum's voice through the house. I'm not deaf, she thought before rolling her eyes and leaving down the stairs to greet whoever this old "christian savior" could be. Let the games begin.
Walking slowly down the stairs Tobin expected to be met with a weird looking Christian girl but she was stopped in a tracks when she was met with the goddess herself. Brown skinned girl with black hair and the most beautiful eyes she has ever seen stared back at her. HOLY SHIT! Tobin thought. Suddenly, she was out of it as she heard her mum's voice "These are Cody and Stacey and their daughter Christen, the one I told you about." Oh, straight Christian girl ofc. Just my luck Tobin frowned and she said hi.
Their parents talked a little bit while two of them just stared at each other.
"Okay, we are going to go and finish dinner and you two can talk in private. Christen you know what to do." Cindy gave them a smile and left for a kitchen closing the door behind them.
The two of them just stared at each other awkwardly before Tobin madly said looking Christen straight in the eye "Look, I don't know why you are here, but I don't want you to be here and give me your stupid christian advice on how to live MY life. Whatever my mum made you do I don't need it so we can just end with this shitshow."
What she didn't expect was the replay that came next "Why are you mad at me? I don't know what your mum told you but I want to be here less than you do, believe me! This fake christian life is getting boring and exhausting!"
"Wait what? Fake?" Now Tobin was the one confused. They moved to the couch feeling like the vibe in the room changed. After they both took a couple of deep breaths Christen started "Yeah, fake. I'm not this super religious girl everyone makes me to be. I'm just keeping that front because of my parents. I'm too scared to tell them who I really am. Your mum asked me to talk to you about some religious stuff but she never told me why." Christen explained and it felt like it was the first time she talked about it so Tobin felt like she owned her an explanation too.
Turning to look at her she said "SO you are not religious?" Christen just shook her head "Okay, so my mum wanted you to talk to me to "change my lifestyle" that she doesn't agree with and thinks will lead me to the afterlife in tenth circle of hell."
Christen's eyes widened "Wait, lifestyle? You mean you are gay?" She exclaimed in shock.
"As gay as they get." Tobin said with not one ounce of shame. Suddenly, the boisterous and most beautiful laugh Tobin has ever heard could be heard through the whole room. "Why, are you laughing?"
After Christen stopped laughing as hard, she wiped some of her tears that were lining up around her eyes and said "Because I'm gay too."
Now it was Tobin's turn to laugh. "Really? No way?" She exclaimed totally shocked. That was the last thing she expected to come out of this conversation.
"Yeah really! No one knows. Well, except some of my close friends. And Christianity is my beard." Christen explained curtly. Tobin figured out there was much more to the story but she also knew not to push it.
"So... what do we do with our parents?" Christen said with mischief in her voice. After thinking about it for a while and realizing Christen didn't want to be stuck here with her parents they came to a solution. "How about we trick them?" Tobin said smirking and turning so she was facing Christen with their knees touching "I'm listening"
"Okay, so you don't want to be here, I have a big apartment in Portland, I want my mum to get off my back with gay things and you want to keep being 'good christian girl'. Right?"
Olive oil skinned girl nodded in conformation, "So, how about we do this. We tell them we hit it off and we talked and stuff and like I want you to keep teaching me stuff or whatever and then you say you want to move to Portland and be roommates or whatever. I don't know. I'm just suggesting if you want to leave. In Portland you can be free, people are super chill and don't care who you like or how you dress and I have room for you and everything. You can go study or work or whatever. I don't mind." It seemed like Tobin said it all in one breath with nervousness lacing her tone. Just thinking about this girl being her roommate was making her nervous but also excited but at the same time she didn't want to step over the line. Christen being gay doesn't mean she is immediately interested in her. It's not how that works. She looked up from the floor where she was burning holes in the carpet when she didn't hear immediate response. She was met with warm eyes and a light smile "I like it. But I don't think I can afford to move to Portland." she said sadly, casting her eyes to the floor to avoid the embarrassing blush that covered her face.
"Oh, no no. I wouldn't need you to pay rent. One of my aunts owned the apartment but then it was small for her so she gave it to me. It's mine and I wouldn't ask you to pay anything for it!" Tobin intervened, putting her hand on Christen's that was resting on her knee to ease her a little bit.
"What do you mean? I can't do that! You don't even know me?"
"No, but you are doing me a favor and I have to be honest I was getting a little lonely there. I could use some company and you can always pay me by making dinner or something." Before Christen managed to answer their conversation came to a halt when doors to the kitchen opened and their mum's smiles became visible. Oh, if only they knew! They both thought as they smirked in each other's direction. This will be fun.
After dinner that night and selling their story to their parents who were really excited for the idea, Tobin's mum thought her daughter will magically turn straight and Christen's mum thought she will get more praise in the town if they find out her daughter managed to make someone straight by preaching their Christianity to them, Christen and Tobin exchanged numbers and started texting as frequently as they could. They hung out on Christen's birthday with some of her friends and then went to a party for New Years Eve together. Tobin could feel them getting closer and something growing between them and she is sure Christen could feel it too, she just didn't know what it was.
On January 3rd Tobin was set to fly home because she had to get back to work soon. She got Christen to hang out with her for lunch and coffee the day before she was leaving and they decided Christen could move to Portland in the next two weeks. Tobin was getting pretty excited for it and so was Christen. They did all the preparations because if there is one thing Tobin learned about Christen in the past two weeks it's that she likes to be prepared. So they figured out a plane ticket, pick up, shipping of Christen's stuff and every little thing Christen wanted just to ease her nerves a little bit.
The next two weeks after getting home from her parents Tobin spent working, talking to Christen every chance she got and preparing everything for when she came. She wanted everything to be perfect and was getting a little bit stressed about it.
"Tobin, stop pacing around! Everything is fine! Everything looks great. Her room is great, her stuff is here. Why are you nervous? It's just your roommate!" her best friend Kelley said after watching usually hard chill Tobin pace up and down the apartment for the 10th time that afternoon. It is the day before Christen is supposed to come and Tobin asks Kelley to help her 'proof the apartment' whatever that means.
"I'm sorry. I'm fine. Yeah everything is well. Yeah, she is just my roommate of course." mumbled Tobin looking around almost like she was reassuring herself and not Kelley but that also meant she missed the knowing smirk on Kelley's face who just chose to let it go for this time. Tobin had a lot to freak out about; she didn't want to start asking questions that she knew will stir more drama and arguments than necessary. There is time for that.
Next day around 1pm Tobin makes her way out of her work and to the airport as she promised she would. Christen is supposed to land around 2:30pm so she will be there just in time. She parked her car in the arrivals parking lot and glanced at the dashboard where the clock said 2:13pm. Okay, a couple of deep breaths and you'll be fine. Tobin talked to herself before opening her door and getting out. She pulled up her phone to check last message Christen sent her before boarding with all the instructions
Gate B, Flight 675, arrival time 2:34pm! Thank you for picking me up, see you soon! :)
Okay, gate B. Let's go. Tobin nervously made her way there. It wasn't that hard to do since she got back with the same flight a couple of times so she knew where to go. As she was making her way to the pick up area she heard over the intercom that Christen's flight had just landed. Just a couple of minutes more. Why are you making such a big deal Tobin? Stop it! And stop talking to yourself! Ughh... When she finally came to her senses she saw Christen making her way out of the door with a big smile on her face and she couldn't help but smile her biggest smile as something in her heart felt warm while looking at the girl. Yeah, I'll be more than fine. She thought.
"Okay, here we are." Tobin said as she put the car in park gear and turned to Christen who looked interested in everything around her. "My... oh well... our apartment is on the last floor so it has this cool view of the whole city. There is a cute little bakery down the street that has great croissants and waffles." she said pointing on the left down the street from where they were parked "and there is a cafe I usually go to. They also have some breakfast options so that's cool. And behind there is a park and soccer field where I sometimes go to play pick up soccer with my friends and people from the park." She kept pointing around as they got out of a car. "You play soccer?" Tobin nodded, picking up some of Christen's stuff from the back seat "Me too!" Exclaimed Christen excitedly, "We have to play sometimes!" She was almost jumping up and down. It was cute. "Of course. We meet at least once a week and you are more than welcome to join us!"
They made their way upstairs as Tobin kept telling her where the stuff was around the building like pool, gym, entertainment room etc. and then did the same in the apartment. After their tour was over Tobin let Christen unpack her stuff in her room after asking her million times if she was comfortable and if she had everything, and went to finish her work she had left because she left early. She didn't even notice it but Christen got everything out and started their dinner
"Chris, you didn't have to do that! We could've just ordered something! It's your first night here." Tobin insisted when she realized what she was doing.
"Oh, no worries. I like it, it doesn't feel like work at all." She said while putting pasta with veggies and tomato sauce and garlic bread in their bowls. It all felt really domestic really soon.
In the next couple of weeks they fell into a routine. Tobin would go to work until late afternoon, Christen would stay at home, go explore, look for a job or run errands. Every day when Tobin would come home she would have her snacks ready and Christen would already start their dinner. On Wednesdays and Thursdays Tobin had soccer practices with kids in Providence park so sometimes Christen would tag along and help her out. Tobin was really good at soccer and Christen is surprised she didn't play professionally and kids love her too. On the weekends they would sleep in, grab breakfast out, and go play pickup games in the park or just go and kick a ball around together and have movie and junk food night in the evenings.
They liked the routine they had going on and they learned so much about each other in such a short period of time that they felt like they were already really close friends but with some feelings that they weren't really ready to discuss yet.
"Tobin, where is Christen? Why is she never with you when you Facetime me? I wanna see how she is doing!" Tobin's mum scolded her in one of their weekly Facetime calls that are usually initiated by her mum trying to see how "becoming straight" is going.
"She is in the kitchen or living room watching a movie. She is tired today." Tobin said.
"Well, can you go and get her I wanna see how it's all going." her mum was not giving up. Read, I wanna hear her say you are straight now.
"Okay, fine. I'll go get her." Tobin left her phone on her bed and walked to the living room where she could see TV on. "Hey, Chris. My mum wants-" she stopped when she saw Christen's sleepy face A-DORABLE!! "Were you asleep? I'm so sorry. Just my mum is being persistent and wants to talk to you to see how IT'S going."
"No, no it's fine. I'll go and tell her everything is great and you are on the verge of becoming straight again" sleepy eyed girl joked as she got up to the couch and walked past Tobin in the direction of Tobin's room with a smirk on her face. I so wanna kiss that freaking smirk off her face Tobin thought to herself.
Tobin found Christen in her bed with her phone in front of her face talking with her good girl voice that she definitely didn't use a couple of seconds ago. After giving her mum a brief review of how Tobin is doing, Tobin must give her all credit because she just came up with all of that on the spot, her mum wanted to talk to both of them. Christen motioned for her to join her on a bed. After Tobin hesitantly made a few steps, Christen, as if sensing Tobin's hesitancy, turned her phone in a hand so it's not on her face and gave her a real genuine smile while mouthing 'it's okay'. Tobin joined her in a bed sitting shoulder to shoulder while staring at her mother way too cheery face for the time of a day.
"Oh, how nice to see you both together. SO, you are getting well right? Tobin, I hear Christen has been helping you?" Tobin scratched her neck, clear sign she was uncomfortable, but managed to murmur "Yeah, we are doing great. Yeah" trying to move on and end this conversation already.
"Oh, honey, that's amazing. Maybe now you will end with your lifestyle and will finally find a good husband." Even if Tobin heard this a lot of times and said it didn't bother her, deep down she knew it was still bothering her, but she also knew she wasn't alone. So she discreetly put her hand on Christen's that was resting on her leg and wasn't holding the phone giving it a little support squeeze. "Sure. We have to go bye." Took a phone with her other hand and ended a call.
After a deep breath she turned to face Christen and she could see tears were willing to spill out but Christen was not letting it happen. "Fuck her and fuck everyone, okay? Come on," and pulled them both down on a bed so Christen's head was on her chest and her arms were all around her body. She could hear a big breath coming out of Christen's mouth like she was fighting tears and after a couple of minutes Tobin realized her shirt had a wet spot. Squeezing just a little bit tighter and planting a kiss on Christen's head Tobin decided not to say or ask anything, just let Christen open up when she was ready to do so. That's how they ended up asleep that night.
After that night, late night sneaking into each other rooms started being more and more frequent. Everything was going great. They went on by their days as usual. Christen even got asked by some mums to give their kids private soccer lessons so that was what she ended up doing some of a day to get more money, she also did some online work for a friend's company and since she was almost always with Tobin as a co-coach they ended up paying her for coaching there too. What also was becoming more and more visible was the attraction they had, it was more than friendship and they both knew it. They would sometimes joke about it but no one ever initiated anything past cuddling almost every night. But March is gonna change everything pretty fast.
"Morning" Christen said as she opened her eyes ready for her day to start. "Tobs, you have to get up. You have work to do!" She tried to wiggle out of Tobin's grip but that was nearly impossible. With a light laugh she pushed her again before kissing Tobin's forehead lightly. Tobin's eyes opened immediately. "I knew that would work." She laughed.
"I like forehead kisses and I like when you call me Toby." Tobin said through her raspy morning voice. "Then TOBY, move your butt so I can go make you a breakfast and coffee before you leave." Tobin obliged just because she heard the words breakfast and coffee. After taking a quick shower and doing her morning routine she made her way to a kitchen where she heard TV
"For now the situation is not alarming but in the next few days it could get a lot worse. We are just looking at it day by day but we have to warn you, please stay at home as much as you can. We are advising you please don't go to concerts, parks, gatherings etc. Avoid large crowds and being around older people. We have to stop the spread if we don't do it. We will be in the same situation as China and Italy real soon."
Tobin turned to look at Christen with wide eyes. "Shit." She exclaimed in shock. They were aware that this would probably happen but they didn't think it would happen like this or this soon. "Okay, let's not panic. We'll be fine. How about we get ready I'll drive you to work go pick up some stuff for me, I have practice with Sophia at 2:00pm so I'll do that and I'll come and get you at work when you are done and we'll pick up food we need and some games and wine or whatever we need. How does that sound?" Christen asked, trying to be reassuring as she could. She wanted to freak out too but they need to be calm and not panic.
"Okay, yeah. Do you want to do a list?" Tobin picked up her laptop bag and coffee to go Christen has made for her "Yeah, please. Just some things that we think we'll need. We can do it in the car?" Brown haired girl said gratefully, knowing Tobin was only asking because she knows how much Christen liked planning. "Of course. Let's go. I'll write it while you drive."
After making a list in car what consisted of all kinds of food, toiletries, games, veggies and fruits, candy, popcorn and of course wine Christen left Tobin at her work promising to pick her up at 5pm and drove away to pick up some coffee and read some news since it was still too early to go shopping. She sat in Starbucks drinking her black coffee and started texting her friends and family asking how the situation is at their places. Around 10am she decided that it was time to go and pick some stuff from the local mall that she didn't want to go pick up with Tobin. While walking around the mall she walked in front of an art store and realized she could get some art supplies for Tobin so she can paint in their free time, also she could get some for herself too and Tobin could teach her how to paint some stuff. It would make Tobin so happy. She went in and got all the things she thought they would need (she asked the guy working there confessing she has no idea what to get). After finishing all the shopping she intended and having lunch at the mall food court, Christen put everything in the trunk and drove back to Providence park to meet with Sophia for her private lesson.
After an hour and half class and discussion with Sophie's mum about the future practices because of this situation they decided maybe they should not make any new practice appointments and they can see how things will evolve next week. Picking up all her stuff, she realized she will need another coffee and Tobin will probably need some food because knowing Tobin she probably didn't eat. So she made her way to nearby Chipotle and got her her favorite then went to Starbucks and got them both coffees. She pulled up in front of Tobin's building to see her already standing outside waiting for her.
"Hi, I was just about to text you." Tobin said getting in a passenger seat before closing the door. "Hi, I'm sorry, I was a little late. Here, I got you a coffee and Chipotle since I knew you probably didn't have lunch." Christen gave Tobin a take out bag from a back seat and showed her a cup in a cup holder.
"Wow, Chris, you didn't have to do it. Thank you!" Lanky girl was visibly smitten by the situation, not expecting that.
"I did, now eat it before we get there." Christen said smiling gently as she put the car into a drive and drove to the nearest Costco. After getting everything they thought they will need for the next couple of weeks and way too much wine but in Christen's words 'There is no such thing as too much wine'. They made their way home to unpack everything and finally have dinner.
Sitting on a couch in front of the TV with their Christen’s homemade Indian food and glass of nice red wine the conversation started to flow. These past couple of weeks changed the air around them somehow. They both knew it, it was just difficult to start the conversation in fear of rejection and changing the things from close roommates/almost best friends to awkward acquaintances. Suddenly, the quietness in the room was broken with Tobin’s question
“Uh, hey… can I ask you something?” The tone in her voice indicated that she was embarrassed to ask whatever will come next.
“Yeah, of course. You know you don’t have to ask. You can ask me anything.” Christen put her bowl down and turned sideways so her full attention was on Tobin.
“Okay, don’t get mad and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. I just thought since we became great friends we can talk about some stuff.”
“Tobin,” Christen just sweetly laughed at Tobin’s cute ramblin, “just say whatever you want to ask me. I don’t mind and you have become one of my closest friends lately and I could never be mad at you for being curious.” Or be mad at you. Period. Christen thought.
“Okay, so here goes nothing.” Tobin took one deep breath closing her eyes then opening them up to see green one’s staring at her curiously.
“The night we met, when you told me you are gay too I felt like there was something more behind that story but I didn’t want to push you to tell me everything. I’m still not pushing you. I just want to know if there is time you need or want to talk about it, I would like to help you. But I can’t do that if I don’t know what I should be helping you with.”
“Yeah, there was or is more to that story, a lot more. It's a really really long story almost as long as my life.” Christen said after a couple of seconds of peace.
“Well, it’s not like we have anywhere to be right now, or in the next week matter of fact, so I have time for as long as you want me to listen, I’ll do it. You can share as much or as little as you want.” Tobin’s sincerity did something to her heart. She never told the full story to anyone, not even her closest friends knew all the details and it took years for her to open up to them. Somehow, this lanky brown haired girl made her so comfortable and safe she actually wasn't against sharing it.
“Are you really ready for it?” Brown haired girl just nodded giving Christen a supporting smile and a light squeeze on her hand before sitting back on the couch to show Christen she is ready for a story.
“Okay, so I was born in a really religious family, as you know, in a little town in Texas. My parents and my grandparents on both sides lived for a church. We would have to go to church every week at least 3 times and Sunday was a big must. Praying before meals, before bed, in the morning and all that jazz. It was like that ever since I was born and for my sisters even before. My older sister Tyler is 3 years older than me and Channing is 2 years younger. Growing up,we were best friends, closer than you can imagine, we did everything together. When I was around 8 and Tyler was 11, we would talk about church and stuff sometimes. We realized we didn’t like it. Our parents raised us up like most stereotypical southerners and even at the age of 8/11 we knew it wasn’t right. But we had no choice really so we just went with it but we made a promise to ourselves, all 3 of us, we would talk about it and that we wouldn’t let them make us into people that we don’t want to be. So, that’s what we did ever since that day. At first it was only Tyler talking to us and trying to show us what we learned that day was wrong, Channing didn’t understand at first what was going on and I probably didn’t either. We called it “secret sisterhood meetings'' and for years my parents thought it was cute how we would do it and talk about who knows what. They had no clue. Then when I was around 13 on one of our monthly family dinners, both sides of a family, one of my cousins got outed by another cousin that saw her kiss her girlfriend at the time so he maliciously outed her in front of EVERYONE. And to no one's surprise they hated her. They yelled at her how she will go to hell, how everyone hates her, how she is an abomination and how God will punish her for her sinister way. They ended up throwing her out of a house. She was 17 at the time and no one spoke to her except my sisters. After we got home that night my parents couldn’t talk about how disgusted they were at her and all the nasty stuff about her.” Christen took a big breath as tears lined up, these were her worst memories and she was reliving them again. She felt a hand squeezing her in a supportive way and kept holding onto it tightly.
“The worst part for me was that at the same time I realized that I probably wasn’t straight. I had my first real crush on a girl little before that and no one knew. That night I realized what will happen to me too. It was unavoidable. I tried so hard to keep my tears in bay and I managed until I got to my room then I broke. Seconds later I heard my door open and both of my sisters came in. It was too late for me to stop crying and act like nothing happened. So that was the night I told them what I was feeling. They were super supportive and we talked about my cousin and everything. She was supposed to go to New York for university anyways the same as Tyler but no one knew her girlfriend was supposed to go too. So after their freshman year in a dorm they all moved into an apartment without anyone knowing. It worked just fine. My cousin and her girlfriend are getting married in December this year. None of my family will be coming. My sisters and I will. But yeah that was a traumatic experience for me and that’s why I never said anything to them because I knew if I said anything that means I’ll instantly lose my whole family and as much as I hate them for what they have done they are my family. Sorry that was long.”
Christen wiped some the tears that fell from her eyes, but her heart felt easier- a lot easier. It was a good thing to share it.
After a couple of minutes of silence Tobin spoke with a low quiet voice as not to disturb the silence that fell around them. “I’m so sorry Christen, but thank you for trusting me enough to share it. It means a lot to me. My story is not that deep but in some moments I could relate so much to my family dynamic but one time I was just so over all of it and just said it. They didn’t throw me out but things were never the same with us. And that sucks. we don’t deserve it just because we love someone.”
“Yeah, I’m so glad I had my sisters and my cousin and her girlfriend. We kept in contact all the time without my family knowing and they would give me advice and then I went to New York for university too and they all stayed there working and living. I would visit them and we would have our own family dinners once a week, then we started calling our friends to them too. My 4th year there there were maybe 12 of us every week and then I realized I have my family there too.” Christen said reminiscing her time in New York with all of her friends and family.
“Exactly, family doesn’t have to be people you are biologically related to but people you meet along the way. Kelley is my family and Alex and Lindsey are too. I relate to them more than some of my blood family. It’s not an easy thing to do and I still love my parents of course but some things they did to me I can’t forgive them.” Tobin gave Christen a small smile looking like she wanted to say something but didn’t know if she should. After a couple of seconds of silence she said quietly, “and you are becoming my family too.” Light blush appeared on her face, not believing she just said that.
Christen’s face flushed too but she smiled looking at Tobin appreciatively, “Thank you. It means a lot to be able to talk to you about this. And you are becoming my family too.”
After that they decided they needed something lighter to break the seriousness so they decided to put on Moana (Christen insisted she wanted to watch it again and Tobin is already wiped so she agreed.) They ended their night cuddling on the couch with their hearts full and happy.
Next couple of days were all the same. Literally. Everyone was advised to self isolate, Tobin got an email saying she can work from home until the situation gets better and Christen did the same. Practices were cancelled and they realized they were now stuck together for 24/7.
(They didn’t say anything but both were secretly happy they were “stuck” together.) The only time they left the house was to go to the store or to play soccer for a little bit every afternoon- 6ft from everyone else!
Even in this new situation they found fun everywhere.
“Tobin, please stop it! You can’t do that! Are you gonna clean it?” Christen yelled as she walked into the kitchen and got jumped by Tobin dumping fist full of flour on her face. They were baking a cake, well trying because Tobin was being a little shit.
“What are you gonna do ‘bout it?” Tobin teased while she ran around the kitchen island smearing her floury hands all over it.
“You are bored, I know it but look, this cake will take us some time and then we can even play soccer in the house!”
“No!” Like a 5 year old on too much sugar Tobin, kept running around teasingly smearing her hands on Christen’s (her’s) black T-shirt. Suddenly, as she was getting ready to make her next round she came to a halt with a hand on her elbow and second later was met with green eyes 5 inches away from hers.
The air thickened as Christen breathed out so close to her lips Tobin swore she could feel the words on her lips. “What are you gonna do ‘bout it?” Christen smirked before looking to Tobin’s lips and then back to her eyes.
Tobin couldn’t stand that smirk, the closeness, the air around them so without thinking about it for even a second more she closed the small gap between them. The kiss was hurried, passionate and long overdue. Tongues battling for dominance, teeth clashing, hands pulling each other’s hairs and caressing each other's face. After air became necessary they slowly pulled away. Heart beating fast, lips red and faces flushed.
“Wow.” Tobin exclaimed.
“Yeah, shit wow.” Christen said before pulling Tobin to a couch and in another kiss, this time less hurried.
After making out for a while, Tobin pulled away, put her hands around Christen that sat on her lap and looked her straight into her eyes with so much sincerity and something else Christen didn’t recognize,
“I really really like you Chris. I’m not doing this just because I’m bored or something. I’ve liked you since the day I stepped down to my living room and saw you there. Learning about you and getting to share my life with you these past couple of months was so special and I can’t wait to learn more about you.” She pressed a sweet kiss to Christen’s lips hoping Christen understood what she was trying to say.
“I know you do and I really REALLY like you too. And I liked you from that day too. Somehow, you made me feel so safe and comfortable without even knowing it. I mean, I told you I’m gay 10 minutes after meeting you with my parents sitting next door!” Laughter erupted as they both remembered that day. Who would’ve thought they would be here now?
“So, umm, you want to give it a chance? I know we can’t go on the dates outside but we can have all the fun here?”
“I wouldn’t want anything else more in the world.” Christen smiled gently caressing Tobin’s hair and then pressing a light kiss on her still red lips.
“First date is on me, tomorrow night in the living room!”
“Okay, deal. 8pm? You are picking me up?”
“Yeah. be ready I’ll pick you up.” They both laughed at their antics but that was the fun part of this. To keep it light.
“I’ll be ready.” Said Christen before adding, “oh and Tobin?” Tobin just nodded at her, “I wouldn’t want to be stuck with anyone else right now than with you.”
Giving Christen a kiss on her head Tobin mumbled “Me too Chris, me too.” Hoping she wouldn’t comment on the tears lining her eyes. She never expected something like this would happen to her.
That night they fell asleep in each other arms even closer both feeling safe and loved like never before.
The next morning Christen woke up with a feeling of pressure on her bladder. She tried to wiggle out of Tobin’s arms that were tightly wrapped around her without waking her but that proved to be impossible. “Hmm...Stop moving and go back to sleep.” Tobin mumbled into her hair and tried to pull her even closer.
“I have to go pee and you have to let me or I’ll pee in your bed. Soon!”
“Okay, only if you promise me to come back.” She opened her eyes slowly to look at Christen with a smile. She is perfect, Tobin thought.
“Of course.” Christen answered with a matching smile, there is no where she would rather be.
“And we can spend the whole day in bed cuddling and kissing and then have a date?” Tobin’s eyes light up like a kid on Christmas.
“Hmm..that doesn’t sound that bad I think we can work something out.” Christen said winking and then moving from the bed as Tobin let her free. She was almost down when she got pulled back and before she could say anything she felt a kiss on her lips.
After doing her business Christen went back to bed as promised and soon they felt back into a sleep. It’s not like they had anything else to do.
They were woken up by the blaring of a FaceTime call on Tobin’s phone. Tobin blindly picked it up from a nightstand with one eye still closed and without looking at a caller ID. Soon “HIIIIII!!!” rang through the whole room scaring them.
“Shit, Kelley. What the fuck. Calm down and stop yelling.” Tobin looked at her after feeling Christen startle out of her sleep on her chest.
“Tobin? You are asleep? It’s 12:30!” It seems like Kelley still didn’t realize Tobin wasn’t alone.
“We are having a lazy day and it’s not like we can GO anywhere, Kelley in case you forgot!”
“No, I didn’t forget. Wait… we? Who is ‘we’?” Kelley smirked.
Without saying anything Tobin just moved her phone a little down so Kelley could see Christen’s face pressed in her chest with Tobin’s hand around her and in her hair gently stroking it.
“Hi. Kelley.” Christen mumbled without moving “Thanks for a great wake up.”
“TOBIN! DUDE! Finally!” Kelley exclaimed happily moving her face closer to the camera as she could as if that will help her see anything more. She was really happy for both of them and she knew it would happen once, at least she hoped so.
“Thanks. Now what did you want?”
“Rude. But I’m bored and want to talk to some humans, this sucks.” Kelley said faking a frown.
“Well, where is your girlfriend?” Tobin said feeling a little sad for her friend because this wasn’t easy on anyone.
“In the other room working.” Kelley said laughing.
“Oh, so you don’t consider your girlfriend human? Don’t let her hear that.” Christen’s voice could be heard, her head still on Tobin’s chest.
“SHut up, Press and you two have some explaining to do anyways.” Kelley eyed them both and knowing there is no way out of this they both sat up and decided they could tell Kelley what happened.
After talking to Kelley for at least 2 hours, getting up to have some lunch, getting back to bed and watching a movie around 5 they each went to their own rooms to get ready for their date. Tobin made Christen promise she won’t leave her room until Tobin comes to “pick her up” so she could decorate their living room.
Tobin moved their coffee table to the side, pushed the couch back and pulled a big blanket on the carpet in front of a TV. On it she put one of the fake flowers they had in the apartment, some candles, wine and water glasses and plates. She decided it would be the best, knowing her cooking abilities, to order food (thank god they are still delivering!). The food should be there soon. Around the blanket she put some of the pillows from the couch and fairy lights she still had left from Christmas around on the bookshelves and TV. Looking around after her work was done she was actually proud. It wasn’t how or where she expected her first date with Christen to be but given the circumstances it wasn’t bad. She put delivered food in the oven to keep it warm and went to get ready. 2 minutes before 8pm she exited her room to go “pick up” Christen.
She walked up to Christen’s door trying not to laugh how ridiculous all of this was but they didn’t have much choice.
Knocking on a door she heard light coming from behind the door and the second later door opened and Tobin’s heart almost stopped. Christen was dressed in black skinny pants and a light dress shirt. Her makeup was minimal and her hair was in her natural waves. Tobin’s favorite.
“WOW, you look amazing. You are beautiful.” Tobin said once the first shock wore off and she finally found words.
“Thank you.” Christen said blushing “You look beautiful too.” Tobin had on her favorite ripped jeans and white cuffed t-shirt. Her only makeup was mascara and her hair was straightened. To Christen she still looked magnificent.
“Thank you.” Tobin replayed kissing her on a cheek before taking Christen’s hand, “ready?” Christen just nodded and closed her door before walking alongside Tobin to a living room.
“Oh my gosh Tobin, this is so beautiful!” Christen exclaimed, putting her hand over her mouth in shock.
“I’m glad you like it. I hoped you would. This is not how I imagined our first date but I guess this is what we get and we have to make the most of it.”
“So you imagined it,eh?” Christen teased while sitting down on her pillow.
“Oh, shut up! Is that the only thing you got from that?” Tobin rolled her eyes, sitting down and opening up a bottle of wine that was sitting on the blanket.
Even if this type of a first date wasn’t what they imagined it was possibly the best first date both of them ever went to. It was just them no distractions, they could do and talk about whatever they wanted without anyone interrupting. After dinner they moved to the balcony with their wine glasses looking at the usually busy city below them that now held no evidence of humans anywhere.
“Thank you Tobin.” Christen turned her head to look at Tobin who was standing behind her, “this is the best first date I have ever gone to. Everything was perfect.”
“Really? Even if it was in our lame living room with take out food?” Tobin said surprised but deep down she was hoping the date was as amazing for Christen as it was for her. Even with take out food.
“Yes. Even with that. You make everything special, even the take out food. And I know how much thought you put into it and it makes it so much special. I would rather have millions of dates like this than to go to some overpriced restaurant with hundred people running around.” Christen said sincerely.
“Thank you. I had the best date ever too and I’m glad you loved it as much as I did. Aad you make everything special too. Thank you for agreeing to go on a date with me.”
“Thank you for asking. Now I usually don’t kiss on a first date but I guess I could make an exception.” Christen winked and seconds later she was pulled into a most passionate kiss ever. Hungry lips biting and grazing each other, tongues battling for dominance and low sounds of pleasure leaving both of their mouths.
Christen pulled away just for second to look into a Tobin’s eyes and when she did and saw what she wanted and hoped she will see, she just mumbled “take me to your room” before smashing their mouths into another passionate kiss and then another and another as they made their way to Tobin’s room now glad that they were in their apartment already. Soon the quiet night was filled with low sounds of pleasure and emotions as they both discovered new parts of each other for the first time ever and hopefully not the last.