Tatiana had never celebrated Christmas before. Not really, anyways. It wasn’t a huge part of Russian culture. Even if it was, she was always busy. Even after moving to the States, there was always work and American customs were weird. After everything had gone down with Owen, she finally had time to rest. But that was almost a decade ago and she was still stuck on what to do.
It was a few days to Christmas and for a time about family, Tatiana had never felt lonelier. She had moved to New York pretty much full time a few years back but she had trouble making friends. The United States and Russia were deep into the Cold War. For a woman with a thick Russian accent, it wasn’t easy to get by in New York. At least she had some friends.
Tatiana sat alone in her small apartment alone. A record played in the background while she sat looking out the window, drinking some tea. It wasn’t terribly late, only around nine o’clock in the evening. Still it was a surprise when she received a phone call.
“Hello?” Tatiana said into the receiver of her landline phone.
“T, hi!” It was Barb. A friend. A long time friend by Tatiana’s standards.
“How are you doing?”
“Oh fine. I was just wondering if you wanted to uh… go out tonight? I understand if it’s too late to be going out I just-”
“No, no. Not at all. When were you thinking?” she asked.
“Uh… no time in particular. Me and some other friends were just thinking about heading out to a bar and I was like ‘Oh I have to call, Tati. She would love to go out I’m sure’ and so…” Barb had the habit of over explaining and if Tatiana was being honest with herself, it was kind of cute. Really cute actually.
“I’d love to, Barb.”
“Oh! Great! I will stop by your place in say half an hour and then we can meet up with everyone else?”
There was a smile to her voice that Barb could hear. The friends were a lie. It was just going to be Tatiana and her. Barb had tried to convince Curt to go with her but he was ‘spending time with Russell’. Russell being his boyfriend of three years. So it would just be the two girls.
Half an hour passed and Tatiana was ready to go. Soon enough, Barb was buzzing outside the apartment.
“I’ll be right out.”
“Okay. It’s cold out here. Bring a warm jacket.” Barb chimed through the intercom.
Tatiana left the intercom, slipped on her faux fur jacket, got a black beret, her wallet, and keys before leaving for her night out. Down the stairs was Barb. She was in a knit sweater and jeans. A simple, but very her outfit.
Upon Tatiana arriving to the bottom of the stairs, Barb linked their arms together and the two were off for the night.
The bar itself was fairly busy. It always was. About ten minutes into their time there and Tatiana began to realize that they were still the only ones there. “Barbra?”
Barb looked up from her drink. “Hm?”
“Where are the others?” A moment of confused silence was shared between the two women. “You said that you were bringing friends…”
“Oh!” she exhaled. “They uh… they… cancelled. Yep.”
“Barb, you’re an awful liar.”
“I- I know.”
“So why did you tell me that we were going out with friends?”
“I don’t know… didn’t think you’d want to go out with me alone.”
Tatiana was taken aback. “Why not? We are friends, no?”
“I mean we are, but you know it’s… well you know.”
“Can’t say I do, Barb.”
A moment of silence. Barb looked at Tatiana. It was awkward and oddly sweet. “I kind of, maybe like you? Just a bit.”
“Yeah.” the shorter woman replied, nodding. “I understand if you don’t feel the same way. Wouldn’t be the first time-”
Tatiana smiled, “I uh, I guess I do? I’ve thought about it a lot and… yeah I feel the same way, Barbra.” She leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Barb’s lips.