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the feeling of bright and normal

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Lauren is having a bad day today, rather embarrassed and frightened. 
Yes she is mostly embarrassed and scared. 

And angry. 

At herself.

Today she caught herself wanting to take pills. It was so unconscious, just a hand reaching for a jar. She knew immediately that it was wrong, It was wrong oh so wrong. 

She is now afraid that she is going to ruin her almost 2 years of sobriety all this and only because of a stupid feint... or was it inner urge? The inner yearning for something she hadn't taken in for so long? 

Lauren doesn't know what to do with herself anymore. Her shift is done, but doesn't know where to go. She doesn't dare go home... She is alone there. She doesn't dare to be alone now. The confidence in herself is gone for a while. 

She doesn't dare bother her colleagues with it. She's afraid they'll put her back in rehab and that's anything but what she needs right now. 
She just wants to feel normal without all these strange emotions in her heart. 

She looks around the hospital hallway. There is not one person in the room that she wants to confide in, that she can trust. 
Opening up to someone still remains difficult and especially now... what if they start hating her? Consider her a failure? 

She sighs, tears standing in her eyes. Suddenly she feels a hand on her back, "Hey, are you okay? It's Leyla. It's the first time Leyla has touched her. It doesn't feel weird even though they still, only just know each other. It feels familiar like Leyla has been living in the closet for years instead of a few weeks. 

'Yes.' Lauren swallows away her tears and gives a brief glance at Leyla's hand on her shoulder. She observes it. Her hands are small and cute, they are hands Lauren would definitely want to keep in hers. 

When Leyla catches her staring at her hand she pulls it away. It seems like she thinks Lauren doesn't like it, but it's anything but that. 
Lauren just loves it, it makes her weird emotions subside and make her feel normal again. The one thing she really needs right now. She never expected Leyla to be the person who can make her feel this way... normal and real. Alive without some drama in her life. It all doesn't exist anymore and all because of one gentle touch. 

"Sure?" Leyla moves more in front of Lauren's field of vision and looks at her frowning. She's figured it out. Normally Lauren would run away at times like this, but she doesn't. She can't after Leyla has made her feel this way. It's the feeling she needs, the person she needs right now. 

Lauren looks at Leyla without saying anything, with a frightened look, she doesn't dare say it and she is too stubborn to admit that there is something. Yet the other woman sees right through her. 'Need some company?' Leyla smiles the softest smile Lauren has ever seen. Leyla's moodiness is gone, there is only sweetness in her face. 
It warms Lauren up inside. 

'Yes.' Lauren smiles again for the first time. 
'Come, let's go to the closet.' Leyla chuckles and grabs Lauren's hand whom she then pulls inside. 


'Welcome to the closet.' There is a chuckle. 

Lauren and Leyla sit next to each other on the small bed in the hospital closet where Leyla secretly resides. 

'Yes, I know this closet.' Lauren thinks of the nights before Leyla stayed in her closet in which she secretly slept in the hospital. It's not allowed she knows that, but anything is better than home even though she could get in trouble for that. 

'It looks like you don't have any good memories of this closet.' Leyla smiles at Lauren who stares at her open-mouthed. How could she possibly know that? 

Before she can have anything, Leyla looks at her again. 

'I can see it in your eyes.' She shifts closer to Lauren and looks even deeper and more pointedly into her eyes. 
Lauren continues to stare, saying nothing. 

'We don't have to talk either if you don't want to. We can enjoy the silence together.' Leyla smiles again and still stays close to her, staring into her eyes. 
It's such a safe feeling. 

They also don't need to talk for a safe and beautiful moment. So the silence is not weird or uncomfortable. It is perfect. 
They look at each other and give each other those looks that say so much more than words. 

Lauren's tearful eyes, Leyla's little smiles. 
It says everything from what is left unsaid. 
Both feels it like that. 

Lauren wonders if she would be allowed to touch Leyla too which she did just now. Would she find it weird? 
Is it weird? 

No right? Leyla did it too, right? 

And it feels so right to do it now, each other's company feels right. 

Lauren hesitates and this is noticed by Leyla. 
'I won't bite you.' That's all she says for the rest she just offers that same warm safe silence. 

That is Lauren's sign to also sit closer to the woman and observe her eyes even more closely. 
They are glowing dark brown eyes in which Lauren sees the goodness of Leyla's heart.  She can see the woman's soul in those eyes. It's so touching.

It does something to Lauren that makes her put her hand on Leyla's very slowly and carefully. 

They still don't say anything. 

Leyla gives a look at their hands which they are gently intertwining. Finger by finger, movement by movement, fiber by fiber. Everything is going so serenely, there is no rush. They seem to want to spend the whole night together in that closet. 

The two of them in that cozy silence in the dark thinking about everything that is going on in their heads and bodies right now. 

Lauren suddenly feels more than just her fear.... 

She sees from Leyla that there is something fearful on her face as well and so Lauren breaks the silence, but without freezing the warm feeling of the silence. 
'Are you actually okay?" she looks deeper and deeper into those chocolate brown eyes making her see more and more pain that is so deeply hidden behind the grumpy, but also that oh so wide and cute smile. 

Leyla sighs into space, Lauren first feeling regret for the question until words are answered. 

"Could be better, but that's with you too right? The intertwining of their fingers becomes firmer, more intense. 
They know and feel each other's pain without having really discussed it. 
The feeling is just there. 

'Yes.' Lauren is amazed at the silent connection she has with this woman. 
'Sometimes I'm suddenly scared or something.' She closes her eyes and thinks back to all those anxious moments, ending with her reaching for pills. 
The fear turns into shame. It makes her eyes pop open. 

'I almost did something stupid.' She confesses as she looks at Leyla again.
There is a soft chuckle in response. 
'Almost isn't quite Lauren.' Leyla winks. 
'Yes, but...' Lauren tries to bad mouth herself. 
'Nothing to yes but, you've been able to stop yourself. You know your limits, you do your best.' Why is Leyla acting so sweet? If only she knew... from the addiction I'm sure she wouldn't be like this anymore. 
' Leyla, you don't know what this is about, I really don't know any limits I...' Before she can finish speaking, Leyla's index finger is pressed against her lips. It makes her lips tingle. It's something she's never felt before. 
'Lauren, shut up don't talk so badly about yourself. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. Really.' There's that wonderful smile again. She removes her finger from my lips and continues talking. 'I get that you regret things, that some things should have gone differently. Believe me I think that too. I myself am not the best person on earth either Lauren, but that's okay.'

 This time it is Lauren's turn to touch Leyla's lips and give her a smile. 

Whether it is as bright as Leyla's? 

No idea, probably not, but whether it is radiant enough for Leyla? 

Certainly it is, because she feels two soft lips on hers giving her this confirmation.