The Memories Of Us
Sunlight filters in through the glass sliding doors, casting a nice glow into the living room. A gentle breeze blows through the opened door and lifts the white curtains, almost making it look like they're dancing.
A bird makes its nearby presence known by whistling its happy birdsong. There's a scent of fresh cut grass in the air, a smell that Dani has always loved.
Her morning had been hectic, but being here, standing in her new living room, feeling the warmth of the morning sun, taking in the calming sounds and soothing scents, brings a sense of peace to Dani's mind.
Which is something she hadn't felt in a while. It's just calm. Tranquil.
She closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath, taking advantage of the quiet. She opens her eyes a moment later and turns around, letting her eyes trace over the boxes she still needs to unpack.
Dani sighs but her attention is quickly drawn to one of the boxes. Or rather, one of the objects sticking slightly out the top of a box.
She walks over to it and smiles when she recognizes the book. She carefully takes it out and moves back toward the opened door.
Taking a seat on the floor, she places the book in her lap and opens it. A smile immediately forms on her face when she looks down at one of the first selfies she and Gigi had taken after they'd made things official.
Their smiles are so big, and their eyes shine from happiness. Dani can still remember how hard her heart was beating when she asked Gigi what they really were. If they were dating or just…
"Just friends?" Gigi stares at Dani, amusement clear on her face. "Honey, I've told you my feelings have changed for you, remember?"
Dani simply nods, before she starts biting her lower lip, and offers a small shrug. "It could've changed again."
Gigi lets out a small chuckle. "Yeah, I don't see that happening anytime soon."
It's a nice confirmation, and has made her heart speed up in an excited way, but that still wasn't an answer to her question. Before she can open her mouth, Gigi points over her shoulder to the kitchen.
"I think my girlfriend needs to go check on our food."
The grin on Dani's face is instantaneous and she's quick to lean forward to place a kiss on Gigi’s lips before sprinting over toward her kitchen where the water has begun to bubble over the side of the pan.
Dani remembers being only just in time to turn down the burner and save their meal.
Dinner had been wonderful and Gigi had looked so beautiful in the candlelight that she couldn't help but take a picture of her, which then of course led to Gigi telling her she better take a picture of the two of them as well.
She can still smell the perfume Gigi had worn when she'd leaned closer to kiss her.
Dani flips the page and is greeted by multiple pictures they'd taken on their phones. It was a mishmash of funny faces and them just smiling happily into the camera.
Of course there were a couple pictures where one of them surprised the other with a sneaky cheek kiss too.
Their happiness just radiates off the page. Loving Gigi and especially being loved by Gigi is just something special.
The next couple pages are filled with pictures of them and the kids. Dani had been so nervous to meet them but there'd been no need for any of her worrying.
Eli had greeted her with a big smile and immediately started asking her hundreds of questions. He was really excited when he learned that they shared the same love for dinosaurs, to the amusement of both Gigi and Olive.
Olive had been more silent and reserved. Dani had quickly realized that Olive was more of an observer and liked to quietly evaluate a new person she was introduced to.
They'd quickly bonded over soccer though and it eventually became their thing. As is made more obvious by the next picture Dani comes across of herself with Olive, lifting the big trophy Olive and her team had won together.
"What are you doing?" Gigi's soft voice reaches her ear and Dani smiles before lifting her head.
She looks over at the staircase Gigi is coming from and lets her eyes trail over her white outfit.
"I'm looking at photos of us," Dani explains before adding, "You look gorgeous by the way."
"A trip down memory lane, huh?" Gigi slowly glides across the floor over towards Dani and takes a seat next to her. "Thanks."
Dani points down at a picture of Eli's smiling face covered in blue ice cream. It was all over his cheeks and nose, some of it dripping down his chin. It was even in his hair. "Remember this?"
Gigi leans in and chuckles. "I do. That stuff was everywhere. I don't know how he managed to do that."
Dani lets out a laugh, thinking back on that day. It was their first vacation together.
"That was such a fun day. Actually, it was a fun trip all around. Minus all the swearing coming from you during almost every drive," Dani quips with a mischievous grin.
"Hey!" Gigi's eyes are wide before they narrow at her. "Maybe you should've learned how to read a map so we wouldn't have gotten lost so often."
"Uh huh, yeah, let's blame it on that."
Dani slowly flips through the next couple pages, both of them adding small bits of commentary here and there, until a singular picture on the right-hand side catches her eye.
Tears of joy quickly fill her eyes as she stares at the picture of herself. One hand is covering her mouth, cheeks glistening from the tears and her other hand facing forward, showing off a new, and very special, piece of jewelry on her ring finger.
It was taken on the night where Gigi had taken her by total surprise and had gotten down on one knee and proposed to her.
"That… I really had no clue at all," Dani chuckles through a watery smile. She lifts her hand and glances at the shiny engagement ring, now joined by a matching wedding band.
"I was hoping for that. I was so nervous, I thought I was gonna screw it up or simply blurt the question out to you," Gigi confesses. "All my preparations be damned."
Dani nods with a small smile before looking up at Gigi. "It would've been perfect no matter how or when or where you would've asked me. I will never forget this night."
They stare at each other for a moment before Dani looks down again and flips the page. Two grinning and excited kids stare back at them.
"They were so happy. I don't know who cried more, me, you or Olive," Dani jokes.
"Definitely you," Gigi replies.
Dani simply rolls her eyes and goes to the next page. More vacation, game and family nights out are shown in this section of pictures.
The way they so easily entwined their lives with each other, the ease and natural way their families blended with each other, is so clear in these photos.
Dani lets out a laugh. "Look at my dad here."
She points at a picture of Rodolfo, holding up a glass of champagne, clearly in the middle of a speech, a proud smile on his face.
"I have never seen him this happy before. Or emotional. Or proud."
"He loves his little girl," Gigi chimes in.
The words hit Dani in a different way than she expected. She becomes quiet for a moment before tilting her head and looking at Gigi.
"Do you… Do you ever think about…"
"Our little girl? All the time," Gigi adds with a sad smile.
Dani just nods and hums, seemingly lost in thought for a moment.
She turns back to the album and they silently look at the next set of pictures of them celebrating their engagement with their families and friends.
Dani's breath catches when she comes to the picture of the two of them standing together underneath the twinkling lights strung around the small gazebo in the Núñez' backyard, holding hands and staring deeply into each other's eyes.
Her fingers trail over the picture, over Gigi’s beautiful white suit. She looked so beautiful on their wedding day. Dani remembers exactly the moment she first saw her.
"I love this picture," Gigi starts, voice soft, almost a whisper. "It was just us at this moment. I don't think I heard a thing anyone said, all I could hear was my heart beating loudly in my ears."
Dani hums, knowing exactly what Gigi means. The two stay quiet once more, both lost in the memories of that special, beautiful day.
Gigi looks up and lets out a sigh, slowly standing up. Her time is up.
Dani's heart drops and quickens a little at the same time as she looks up at her, knowing exactly what's next.
"Do you have to go?" she asks, her voice barely a whisper.
Gigi nods sadly. "I do. I wish I could stay longer."
"When will I see you again?"
"Soon." Gigi kisses her fingers and blows her a kiss. Dani pretends to catch it and places her hand over her heart.
She watches with tears in her eyes as Gigi's form slowly disappears. Her heart clenches and she takes a shaky breath.
Dani closes her eyes for a moment before looking down at their wedding photo again. She kisses the tips of her fingers before placing them on top of Gigi’s picture.
"I miss you. I love you."
Dani looks around the large, half-empty room and sighs heavily. Back to reality again.