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And Then They Lived...

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Morocco

Independence Day

Bang!

Luisa wakes with a start, half a scream torn from her throat.

“Lu? Lu! What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

Luisa scrabbles at the space next to her on the bed, fisting her hands in the sheets surrounding the warm body beneath. Healthy and alive, alive, alive.

“Oh, thank god,” she breathes.

Rose wraps her arms around Luisa, murmuring soft nothings into her hair. “Shhh, it’s okay. It’s okay. You’re okay.”

“Rose, it was terrible,” Luisa cries into Rose’s neck.

Rose turns to scowl out the window. “I don’t know who thought it would be fun to start lighting fireworks at 3am, but I will definitely be reporting this to the authorities.”

She shakes her head. “It wasn’t the fireworks.”

“No? What was it, then? A nightmare?”

She nods.

Rose rocks her slightly. “It’s okay. It’s not real.”

Luisa lets out a shuddering breath. “It felt so real. You got caught with your Eileen face and then you went to prison and it turned out that you were letting me drink the whole three years we ran away together but then I was working with the police to keep you in prison and you had a prison girlfriend that you liked to pretend was me? And you hired this guy named Bobby to keep an eye on me.

“But then it turned out that all your money was transferred to me during a drunken Victoria’s Secret Angel photoshoot and Raf wouldn’t trust me until I turned the money over. So I pretended I was working with Bobby to get one of Dad’s old tie tacks from Raf’s safe. But it turned out that Bobby was after Dad’s watch, that had his fingerprint in it, that opened a safe full of money that was used to turn six women into fake Roses so you could escape from prison.

“So you stabbed yourself in prison and while they were transporting you to the hospital, there was a collision and the other six Roses were set loose, but the police caught and unmasked them all. So you escaped but then it turned out that I was still secretly working with the police and I pulled off my face and it turned out I was actually an undercover cop and when they cornered you, they shot Bobby and you escaped.

“But then you showed up to blackmail Jane into getting me to show up, which worked and we were going to run away together but then I broke up with you by pretending to eat cyanide which was really a wintergreen tictac and then I pushed you? And you were impaled on Rogelio’s giant statue’s tail.”

Rose blinks. “Wow. That’s…something. I’m glad that didn’t happen.”

“I know, right?”

“I’m so offended your subconscious would butcher our characterizations like that. Like I would ever let you drink. Who was the only one that was worried about you when you relapsed after inseminating Jane?”

Luisa nods. “I know.”

“And what? Raf is suddenly brother of the year because he’s nice to you because you have something he wants? An in with me?”

“Hey! I know he’s an asshole, but he’s my asshole brother.”

“I still don’t know why you’re still on speaking terms with him. He’s been so terrible to you.”

Luisa sniffles. “He’s the only family I have left.”

Rose sighs. “And that’s the only reason why I tolerate him.”

“Which I appreciate.”

“You know I’d do anything for you. At least the Victoria’s Secret Angel photoshoot was on point.”

“That is the one good thing that came out of this season—I mean, this nightmare.”

They’re silent for a while. Rose strokes Luisa’s back, up and down, up and down. Luisa is on the verge of falling asleep against Rose when Rose says, “Do you think your subconscious is trying to tell you something?”

“Hmmm?”

“Is there a part of you that’s so unhappy with me that you’d push me to my death?”

“Oh Rose,” Luisa murmurs. “We’ve had our differences. I’m not thrilled that you killed Dad, or kidnapped Mateo, or subjected Michael to so much ECT he got amnesia, which by the way, is a very outdated view on ECT. It’s actually quite humane now and it really works for some people.”

“So what I’m getting from this is that you’d totally push me to my death,” Rose says dryly.

“No! That’s not what I’m saying at all. I got sidetracked. You know how it is. The point is despite all the terrible things you’ve done that we very conveniently got a lot of therapy for that was never discussed, you are also the one person who’s always put me first. I love you so much. And you know The Greatest Love Story Ever Told deserves a happy ending.”

Luisa tilts her head up to kiss Rose languidly, in the way that someone who never has to worry of running out of time with the one they love does.

Bang!

Bang!

Pop pop pop!

Rose sighs. “It looks like they’ve all started shooting fireworks off early this year.”

Luisa smiles. “I don’t mind. It reminds me of that first night in the pool.”

Rose grins. “Well, we don’t have a pool, but we do have the whole of the Mediterranean right in our backyard. Come on, let’s go watch the fireworks.”

Luisa curls up against Rose on a little rocky outcrop, their feet dangling in the seawater, marveling at each explosion.

She exhales slowly.

Everything is fine.