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Picture Perfect

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Harper closed and locked the door to the bathroom. It was the first time she'd been alone all day.

Her plastic smile gave way to a face warped by despair.

"Oh my god, why did I think this was a good idea?" she said to herself.

She closed her eyes and thought back to the night she asked Abby to come with her. It had all seemed to simple then. The cool night air, the gentle twinkling lights, Abby's soft kissable lips; she had wanted to bring that with her. She wanted Christmas to be that and to share that with Abby.

She opened her eyes to the bright harsh florescent lights of her parents' house. The conversation that led her here consumed her thoughts.

"So, I'll be home soon. But, Mom, I have something to tell you. I'm bring--"

"I have something to tell you too!" her mother had practically yelled. "Your father is officially running for Mayor! The campaign is going great! And you being here will make this holiday picture perfect! I mean, it's not like I can have Jane front and center..."

Harper had sunk into her chair while her mother kept talking until Harper could finally get a word in.

"Umm, great. Anyway, I'm bringing my..." she choked on the words "...roommate, Abby, with me. She doesn't really have anywhere to go for the holidays."

And now, Harper was here. In a locked bathroom. Hiding from the ever watching eye of her mother's Instagram posts and the blinding flashes of photo op cameras.

"How could I ever think I was strong enough to come out to them?" she whispered.

Abby was so strong.

Abby was out and proud. And she was warm and soft and loving and good. How could someone so physically small make you feel so safe in her arms?

Harper looked in the mirror and wiped away the tears she hadn't noticed she had cried. She needed to be picture perfect and crying didn't fit that.

She thought about how her mother talked about Jane. She thought about how her father talked about Sloane. She was in a dangerous place; her parents' love teetering on a cliff.

She forced the hard plastic smile back on her face.

"I'll make this up to Abby. Somehow. After all this is over," she thought. "Somehow."

Then, she clicked the lock on the door.