Sterling had been settled back on her blanket for a few minutes now. She was covered in bug spray and ready to see whatever the Athens sky had to offer her this evening. Like clockwork, her phone buzzed with a call.
“Can you see it?”
“Yeah, of course. You asked for ‘same moon’ protocol, so that’s what you get sis.”
It was a comforting thought, a mechanism left from their time apart in undergrad. When either of them was having a bad day, they would agree to talk it through that night and look at the moon. Somehow, knowing that her twin could look up and see the same moon she did made the miles between them seem much smaller.
“I’m in a park, where are you?”
“The roof of Zone 2 precinct,” Blair answered a little too casually.
“What? I’m in uniform, nobody’s gonna bug me. Also, this roof is shaped weird, so I don’t know how long my back is gonna last laying up here.”
“Oof. I’d be more offended if we weren’t the same age.”
“Fair point,” Sterling conceded. She couldn’t come up with anything better, not when she’d called ‘same moon’ for a reason.
Blair seemed to sit in the silence for a moment.
“You know you’re only like an hour away, Sterl. You could’ve just come home this weekend if you needed me.”
“Yeah, but that’s not the point, is it? I need to start building a life here.”
“I gotcha, I gotcha. So why the moon call?”
“… I ran into April again.”
“Jesus Christ,” Blair groaned.
“Literally. She goes to the church I really like.”
“Are you finding a different one then?”
“No… it’s, uh, a little more complicated than that.” Sterling winced trying to get this out without upsetting her twin.
“We, uh, she invited me to brunch?”
It wasn’t the angry Oh Sterling was expecting from Blair. It wasn’t particularly surprised either. It was an Oh that came out like maybe something Blair had been expecting had come to fruition after all.
“Interesting Oh there.”
“Yeah, call me interested, I guess. When do you go?”
“We already went.”
“Oooh… Did y’all fuck? You called ‘moon’ to tell me that you fucked the one that got away? Was it good? Were you on – “
“No! We didn’t sleep together! We went to a lemonade stand and agreed to start over. We had breakfast at a diner. It was nice!”
“Gay,” Blair countered plainly.
“More like platonic.”
“Yeah right, like you wouldn’t suck whatever she put near your mouth.”
“Tell me I’m wrong, and I’ll stop.”
A wind blew through the tops of the trees, sending wispy soundwaves in its wake.
Sterling grumbled to herself. “How do I even know that she’s interested?”
“She already asked you out. Don’t you think that’s enough?”
“I don’t know. It seemed like a fresh start. She didn’t make any moves.”
Blair seemed to stew on that for a moment. “Forget about Stevens for a minute. What do you want from this Sterl?”
“I don’t know. You, like, hate her, don’t you? It wouldn’t make sense to - ”
“I don’t hate her,” Blair interrupted simply.
“Wha – since when?”
“Since the decade we’ve been out of school? She was a little closeted ball of repression trying not to get beat up by her skeevy Dad. Nothing to hate.”
“Wow. Love this growth for you,” Sterling enthused.
“Thanks, I’m really trying. So did you feel, like, a vibe or something?”
“Uh, I mean, I did, but I don’t know if it was mutual or anything…”
“We hugged goodbye. It wasn’t like a half-hearted hug. It was like…”
The warm midday sun was beating on Sterling’s back, and they were out of excuses to draw this out any further. Sterling had driven April back to her car, and now they were just lingering by it, neither of them willing to break the moment. Sterling had finally announced that she should go, and gently, so so gently, April had pulled her into an embrace. A soft hug, but tight enough that it made Sterling hyperaware of every point where they touched. Tight enough that something began to stir in her body. Tight enough that she could feel the deep breath April took to slow her pounding heart.
“You better fingerblast that bitch into next year!”
Sterling slapped her hand over her face and groaned.
“Better get used to making sounds like that too!” Blair added, gleeful about Sterling’s discomfit.
“Anyway, that was my ‘moon’ call,” Sterling desperately tried to change the subject, “What’s going on with you?”
“Okay, okay. Hmm. This café owner keeps giving me free croissants?”
“Cops really do live the dream.”
“Nah, I don’t think it’s that. I’ve been doing some plainclothes work around the city. He and I had a nice conversation about some of the paintings around his place, and it turns out that he paints them.”
“Ooooh. Is he cute?”
“He has kind eyes.”
Blair never said things like that. Either she was watching too many rom-coms in Sterling’s absence, or this was serious. Or both, both was possible.
“You should ask him out!”
“I’ll ask April out if you ask… what’s his name?” Sterling teased.
“Sam,” Blair sighed. The half-moon shone with all the might it could muster despite a few clouds passing through the night. “Fine. I’ll do it if you do it.”