Serena Campbell had never caught a bridal bouquet. She’d thrown her own at her wedding to Edward but had never caught one. Not until she caught Greta’s.
She looks down at the arrangement of flowers in her hands with both surprise and glee. Forgetting, in the moment, about their earlier conversation and break-up, she searches the room for the love of her life, Bernie. She finally sets eyes on her standing at the door. They exchange a mutual expression of fondness before the blonde salutes and walks out of the pub. Serena stares at the doorway uncomprehendingly until she’s prompted into leading a conga line by the other wedding guests.
Then the realisation hits her like a freight train at full speed. Suddenly it feels as if she can’t breathe and that the world around her is moving in slow motion. What have I done? I’ve lost her, I’ve lost Bernie. My best friend. The greatest love affair of my life, she thinks, teary-eyed.
Panicking, and thinking she might be able to catch up with Bernie, Serena breaks away from the conga line and rushes outside. Still clutching the bouquet she scans the area around Albie’s entrance for any sign of the blonde. Not seeing her, she crosses the road and walks into the hospital car park. Continuing to search she reaches the benches near the wyvern wing entrance, where she loses hope of finding the other woman. Serena holds her head in her hands, wondering what to do until she realises there's one place she hasn’t looked; the peace garden.
Deciding she will call it a day if she can’t find Bernie there, she heads in the direction of the garden. As she approaches she notices Bernie a short way in front of her. She’s sitting on a bench staring vacantly into the distance, her face blotchy and red, tears streaming down her face. Not wanting to be noticed after seeing that Bernie is so upset, Serena slips out of sight behind the bushes. The scene before her shatters her heart. I caused this. Everything is my fault. Feeling ashamed and guilty, she looks away not able to witness the scene any longer. The sobs she hears coming from Bernie’s direction cause her to look back at the other woman. She desperately wants to comfort and console her former partner. Tears spill down her own cheeks.
She has never seen Bernie cry like this. She has seen the blonde let tears slip at a ‘moment of weakness’ before holding back her emotions and showing a brave face. That ‘Great British Reserve’. Exactly how Serena remembered Bernie’s expression when she’d left her sitting alone on the corridor floor shortly after Guinevere’s birth.
Serena feels nervous about approaching Bernie. I don’t deserve this woman. I can’t let her give up everything she’s worked hard to achieve, especially after betraying her. Maybe this is for the best. The situation isn’t going to change and the heartbreak will probably still happen at some point, eventually. She’ll find someone else more deserving of her and forget about me. She did say she probably wouldn’t be lonely, she reasons with herself. Sadly she decides to walk away and heads back across the car park to Albies.
Walking back into the wedding reception, she finds Jason and Greta.
“Auntie Serena, where have you been? You and Auntie Bernie missed Greta and I cut the wedding cake.” Jason says, sounding slightly disappointed.
“I’m sorry love -” Serena starts apologising before Jason cuts her off.
“Where is Auntie Bernie?” He asks, looking around for the blonde woman.
“Oh, she’s been called urgently back to Nairobi.”
“Why? I thought she was coming home to be with you, so we can all be a family? Have you had an argument? Why did she not say goodbye?” Jason fires questions rapidly at his Auntie, confused.
“I’ll explain everything in more detail tomorrow. Enjoy your evening; it’s still your and Greta’s big day.”
Jason nods and Serena continues, “Bernie probably didn’t say goodbye because she didn’t want to cause any upset.” Serena looks to Greta. “Would your parents be able to take Guinevere tonight? I’ve got a terrible headache and I just want to go home to bed.”
“I’m sure they won’t mind having her tonight instead. You really should not be taking care of her when you are feeling ill.” Greta answers.
“Thank you. I’ll see you both tomorrow.” Serena says with sincerity. She heads towards the door and leaves.
As soon as she’s outside she calls a taxi and asks to be taken to the nearest bar out of the vicinity.
In the peace garden, Bernie is still sitting on the same bench when the rain starts. Deciding to pull herself together and get out of the sudden downpour, she walks back towards the hospital to find some shelter. She contemplates her next move and decides she needs to collect her belongings from Serena’s leafy detached before the wedding reception ends. It really would be better if I didn’t bump into Serena, she thinks as she dials the number of a taxi company.
It’s not long before the taxi is pulling up outside Serena’s house. Bernie pays the driver and takes a deep breath before exiting the vehicle. Taking steady deep breaths to keep her emotions in check she walks down the path to the front door. At least I haven’t much to gather, she thinks as she lets herself in, closes the front door behind her and heads to the bedroom.
Not wanting to think, and to get the job done as quickly as possible, Bernie reaches up and pulls her lime green suitcase and duffle bag down from on top of the wardrobe and starts absentmindedly packing her clothes and gathering her few toiletries from the ensuite. Finally, she collects together the bits and pieces from the side of the bed formerly known as hers. Before closing her suitcase, she steps over to the dressing table, to check if she’s left any belongings there. She doesn’t see anything of hers, but she’s not really looking because her eyes have been drawn to a photo of her and Serena (taken by another tourist when they’d been in southern France) sitting on the chest of drawers beside the dresser. We looked so happy, she thinks as her thumb strokes over Serena’s face. Wanting a memento of happier times, she takes it out of the photo frame and places it between some clothes in her suitcase before closing and zipping her suitcase shut.
All packed, Bernie carries her belongings down the stairs and leaves them in the hall, picking up a pen and paper instead. She settles herself at the kitchen table ready to write Serena a note.
Sometime later, note written, folded and placed against a vase on the console table in the hall she sees the silhouette of a car pulling up outside, through the frosted window of the front door and realises her cab has arrived. With one last look behind her, she grabs her belongings, leaves the house, locks the door and pushes her keys through the letterbox behind her. Bernie turns and heads down the path, knowing she’ll probably never grace this leafy detached again.
It’s during the early hours that a rather drunk Serena staggers her way through the front door, stepping on the key lying on the doormat as she does. She dumps her bag on the floor, after routing in it for her phone, and hangs her coat awkwardly. She heads straight upstairs to her bedroom, walking pat the note Bernie left on the console table earlier. When she reaches the bedroom, she strips off her clothes clumsily, before rummaging in the chest of drawers to find something to sleep in. As she pulls a pair of pyjamas out and closes the drawer, she notices the empty and dismantled picture frame which used to house the picture of her and Bernie during their time together in France. Confused, she picks up the frame, inspecting the pieces before her inebriated mind realises Bernie must’ve already been here. She goes quickly to the wardrobe, opening it to see all the empty hangers on which all the blonde’s clothes used to hang, dangling on the rail. She stands back and closes the wardrobe doors, and notices the other woman’s suitcase and duffle bag are no longer sitting on top of it.
Serena changes rapidly into her pyjamas, settles herself on the bed and sighs deeply. What did you expect Campbell? Of course, she came here, collected her things and ran for the hills. It’s no more than I deserve. I all but broke off our relationship and sent her out the door. She deserves a hell of a lot better than me , she thinks as she slips under the duvet, hoping sleep takes a hold of her.
As she closes her eyes, all Serena’s mind can picture is the image of Bernie from earlier that day, distressed and sobbing in the peace garden. She opens her eyes, takes a deep breath and tries to banish the image from her mind. She closes her eyes again - the same image appears and continues to haunt her mind. Giving up on sleep as a bad job she sits up and leans back against the headboard frustrated. Tears slide rapidly down her cheeks and sobs escape from her mouth. Eventually, exhausted, she lays down and rests her head on what had been Bernie’s pillow, breathing in the scent which still lingers; a combination of the blonde’s vanilla shampoo and a distinct ‘Bernie’ fragrance. Finally, her face nuzzled into the pillow, she starts to relax. The effects of copious amounts of Shiraz helping her drop into a deep slumber.
With a sudden jump, Serena is woken by the vigorous vibration and message tone coming from her phone. Looking around blearily she realises it is laying on the chest of drawers, where she’d left it in the early hours. Groaning she lifts her head from the pillow and wipes away the sleep and the remainder of mascara from her eyes. Standing slowly she walks over to her phone with a slight wobble. It’s probably Jason with a ridiculously early wake-up call , she thinks to herself before picking up the offending object
Illuminating the phone screen she sees that she has a text message from Bernie. Serena’s heart races as she stares nervously at the screen, unable to tear her eyes away from Bernie’s name. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, she plucks up some courage and taps the screen displaying the message -
Hi, I just wanted to let you know, I posted my key through the letterbox and left a note on the console table in the hall after I collected my things. I hope you find them. Bernie.
Serena rushes out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the hall. Looking down at the doormat by the front door she spots the key. She bends down and picks it up, holding it tightly in her hand, thinking about how only mere hours ago Bernie also held this very key. It somehow makes her feel slightly closer to the blonde. Turning to the console table she sees the note from Bernie, where she’d said it’d be; resting against the vase. How did I walk right past it last night? She asks herself as she picks up the note, unfolds it, and starts to read -
I didn’t want to collect my things and leave the country without so much as a word. I want to tell you the truth about how I feel. I owe you, and whatever is left of our relationship, that much.
Serena, I love you. I’ve always loved you, from the very first time we met. You’re my best friend. I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you and I can’t imagine I ever will.
You seem to think I crave dangerous adventures, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I left all that behind. From the moment we became friends I only ever wanted to be wherever you were. I still want to be where you are. I have an adventurous nature. I wanted adventures with you, Campbell.
What we said last night, it couldn’t have been further from the truth. You did fall in love with a ‘suburban’ Bernie Wolfe. You fell in love with Bernie Wolfe, your AAU co-lead and ‘Trauma unit Bernie’. All this nonsense about swings and taking bins out in slippers. It might surprise you Campbell, but I have pushed a swing or two before and I’ve put out the bins too.
We are the right sort of animal Serena. We were made for each other, but I failed you. It’s my fault you felt you couldn’t come to me about what was happening before matters got out of hand. And for that I’m sorry.
You’ll always have a special piece of my heart. I’m going to need some time and space to heal though before we can be friends. Everything is too raw right now. If you need me desperately I’ll be reachable. My ‘if anyone hurts you, I’ll be on the first plane home’ still stands.
I’ll be boarding the first possible flight back to Nairobi tomorrow. Please send my apologies to Jason and Greta. I knew if I’d said goodbye to Jason, he’d had talked me into staying and fighting for you. You didn’t want me to stay and fight for you and I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself.
I hope the very best for you, Serena. You deserve the greatest happiness.
Shocked and overwhelmed, Serena stands glued to the floor. She re-reads parts of the note, feeling foolish and full of regret. Her tears, suddenly flowing freely, drop onto the paper, smudging the ink slightly. “You’re such a fool, Campbell,” she chides herself. I’ve made a colossal mistake! I can’t lose her because I let my head rule my heart. I need to find her and make things right. Hopefully, she’ll have the heart to forgive all the hurt I’ve caused. Checking the time on her phone she sees it’s 7.30am. There’s still time, she thinks. She runs back upstairs to the bedroom, her plans to win Bernie back rapidly forming in her mind.
She makes quick work of dressing, pausing only to tidy her hair and apply a hint of makeup to hide the effects of the previous night. It’s minutes before she’s back downstairs pulling on her coat and grabbing her bag. Heading out of the door she rummages inside her bag for her keys. Locking the front door, she turns to find her car isn’t parked on the drive. She looks confused, forgetting momentarily, in light of all that’s happened, that her car is still in the hospital car park.
Panicking, she turns around and lets herself back into the leafy detached. Her mind races, trying to find a solution to this set back to her plan. Time is not on her side she knows, and Bernie could be boarding a plane to Nairobi at any moment.
Out of nowhere, inspiration strikes. She grabs her phone and dials. There is one person she knows will absolutely come to her rescue - Fleur.
The phone rings and Serena listens to the call hitting the voicemail service with dismay. Trying not to panic, Serena re-dials and it rings again. Come on, come on, pick up, she mutters to herself, just as the call is answered.
“Serena Campbell, this better be good to wake me from my beauty sleep.”
“Oh Fleur,” Serena manages before breaking down in tears. “I’m such a fool. I’ve messed everything up. I let her walk out the door. She’s going back to Nairobi and I won’t be able to find her in time and make everything right.” She blurts out in one huge breath, her words only punctuated by sobs.
“Serena calm down. Breathe. Take a deep breath and explain what’s happened.” Fleur coaxes, now very concerned.
“Bernie and I broke up, last night, at Jason and Greta’s wedding reception. There isn’t time to explain everything. I’ve left my car at the hospital last night and I need a lift to the airport before it’s too late.” Serena explains. “Could I trouble you for a lift?”
“Of course, anything for a damsel in distress, especially silver-haired foxy ones.”
Serena sighs into the handset.
“Sorry.” Fleur says unconvincingly “I’ll be there are about 15 minutes.”
“Thank you,” Serena replies before the call is ended.
Slightly before the estimated arrival time, Fleur had given her, Serena hears the sound of an engine pulling up outside. She gathers her stuff quickly and heads out the door to see Fleur waiting in the car. Only Fleur Fanshawe would turn up in a hot pink Mini convertible, she chuckles to herself as she approaches the car. She’s even colour coordinated her lipstick with it, she notices as she enters the passengers' side.
“So spill, what happened?” Fleur asks, pulling away and driving off down the road.
“When I said Bernie and I broke up, what I really meant was I ended our relationship because I couldn’t see how it was going to work between us. I’ve been a fool and made a huge mistake.”
“Didn’t you learn anything from the last time you decided it wasn’t going to work?” Fleur comments.
“Clearly not,” Serena replies, trying to hold back tears, “I’ve ruined everything. She was willing to give up her dream job at the trauma centre and come home, she even forgave me for cheating on her with an F1.”
“Stop! What? You cheated on ‘the magnificent’ Bernie Wolfe with one of the toddlers?!” Fleur asks, astonished.
“Not my finest moment, but yes, I cheated,” Serena confirms. “Hardly a toddler though; she’s more mature than the average F1.”
There a moment’s silence between the two women. If the Werewolfe threatened to kill me thirteen ways with her bare hands for flirting, god only knows what she’s threatened the woman who actually made it into Serena Campbell’s knickers with! If anyone’s going to be killed today though, it’ll be me for not looking after Serena for her. Fleur thinks to herself before breaking the silence.
“So your sapphic attraction does extend beyond The Werewolfe?”
“It seems so. I don’t know. It’s all rather confusing. She made it clear she liked me, I fancied her. She was persistent, I was lonely and I gave in to her advances.”
“It can be very confusing figuring out one’s sexuality, but you’ll work it out eventually, we all do.” Fleur empathises. “Although, I never had any doubts about liking the ladies.” She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively.
“I can’t imagine you did.” Serena chuckles. “I’d never been attracted to a woman before I met Bernie and I wasn’t attracted to any other woman after Bernie. That changed when Leah showed up. I found myself instantly attracted to her. I never imagined I’d act upon it because I was in a relationship with Bernie. It’s no excuse for infidelity, but I was lonely and the communication was awful between us. I hadn’t heard from her in weeks.” Serena tries to explain. “But at least I know I must have a thing for blondes.”
“Oh, if I’d known that was the key to upgrading our friendship, I’d bleached my hair years ago.” Fleur offers flirtily.
“Wouldn’t have worked Fleur. There’s only one woman for me, so put your foot down.” Serena retorts.
Fleur speeds up as she joins the dual-carriageway leading to Holby international airport. The speed and erratic nature of Fleurs driving is a rather unpleasant revelation. Serena braces herself and holds onto the handle on the car door. Before they know it, the sound of a siren and blue flashing lights coming from a police car are forcing Fleur to pull over onto the hard shoulder.
When the car comes to a halt, Fleur and Serena look behind them to see a female police officer approaching the vehicle. Fleur, with lightning fast reactions, has grabbed her lipstick from the side pocket and has applied a fresh coat before the officer has arrived at the window and gestured for it to be rolled down.
“Are you aware, Madam, that you were driving at eighty miles per hour in a fifty zone?” The officer asks.
“I wasn’t aware that I was driving that fast, but I know it was more than fifty,” Fleur admits. “I’m very sorry Officer, my good friend here is in the midst of a crisis. It’s an emergency.”
The police officer looks to Serena and then looking behind Fleur and into the back of the car. “There’s doesn’t seem to be any serious emergency situation. There’s no excuse for driving at such speed. It was reckless. I’m going to ask you to exit your vehicle and take a breathalyzer test. It’s standard practice.”
“Yes, of course. I can assure you I haven’t been drinking.” Fleur answers as she gets out and follows the police officer to stand in front of the car.
From inside the car, Serena has the perfect view of the scene. She can’t hear any of the conversation taking place, but she has a pretty good idea of what’s happening. She witnesses the breathalyzer test, which appears to be normal judging by the police officer’s nod as she reads the result on the machine. As the officer is packing away the machine, Fleur appears to be speaking. Serena observes carefully trying to work out what is being said. What the hell is she playing at? She thinks, then realises swiftly what her friend is up to. Of course. She's going to flirt her way out of this. Should’ve guessed sooner. It’s typical Fleur behaviour, she tells herself. Serena continues to watch intently and sees the police officer is smiling, coy. Surely the officer isn’t buying it? Oh, she is. She’s blushing. Now, the officer speaks briefly before taking out her small notepad and writing in it. Oh, that can’t be good. Maybe it didn’t work. She must’ve just been embarrassed , she thinks. I’m not going to make it in time to find Bernie. She’s probably boarding a plane at this very moment. Well, it would’ve been a bit unrealistic to have caught her before she jetted off. After all, this is real life, not some sapphic fairytale. Serena’s thoughts are disturbed by the sound of Fleur opening the car door and sitting in the driver's seat.
“So did you get an on the spot fine or am I going to watch your prosecution from a public gallery?” Serena asks, noticing Fleur is holding a slip of paper.
“Neither. This is her number; I bagged myself a date.” Fleur answers, brightly. “I also told her about your crisis. It turns out she’s a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a fairytale, a sapphic one at that. She’s giving us an escort directly to the airport, with the hope that we'll make it in time.”
Serena’s spirits are lifted and she beams, bright, before and without thought, leaning over and kissing Fleur on the cheek. “Thank you.”
“Wow, I’ll have to flirt with police officers more often if that’s the reaction it provokes. Do I detect the slightest hint of Jealousy?” Fleur teases.
“In your dreams, Fanshawe. Now let’s get moving shall we.” Serena laughs.
Within a few minutes, thanks to their friendly police escort, they’re at the airport entrance. Serena grabs her bag and asks Fleur if she’d mind waiting in case the worst happens. Fleur agrees and Serena dashes towards the large building. She gets as far as security before she realises she won’t get any further without a ticket and a boarding pass. Thinking fast, she finds a check-in desk with a relatively short queue and joins the line. It isn’t long before it’s her turn. Approaching the desk, and trying to keep her voice calm asks for a ticket for the next available flight to Nairobi. She sighs with relief when the agent tells her she’s just in time to make the next flight which is about to start boarding, and she hands over her passport to complete the process.
As she has no luggage, check in is mercifully straightforward and brief. With her ticket and boarding pass in hand Serena breezes through to the next part of the airport. Before going through security, she checks her bag for anything which might cause a problem, or worse, a delay, and disposes of anything she doesn’t need in the nearest waste bin. She completes security with a minimum of fuss, steams past the rather tempting shopping areas and duty-free barely registering them, and finally arrives in the departure area.
Hearing a boarding call for the flight to Nairobi, she checks her boarding pass and realises her flight must be the fight after the one just called. She scans the area quickly for any sign of messy, tousled, blonde hair, but before she can complete her search, a queue for boarding starts forming at the gate. Deciding not to give up, she changes tactics and begins to check the growing queue. She walks at speed down the side of the line, frantically looking for Bernie It seems like hours has passed before she finally spots the instantly recognisable head of messy blonde hair about to reach the front of the queue.
“Bernie!” She shouts trying to catch the other woman’s attention, but it’s no use. “Bernie!” She shouts again as she gets closer to the front of the queue, still no use. “Berenice!”
It’s the use of her full name that does it. Just as Bernie is about to hand over her boarding pass to the cabin crew, she hears her full name ring out in a familiar voice and turns to face the sound. Serena is standing before her, completely out of breath and looking very nervous.
“Serena? What are you doing here?” Bernie asks confused, leaving the queue and walking towards the silver-haired woman, wheeling her hand luggage beside her.
“I needed to stop you boarding that plane. I’ve been a complete idiot. I’ve made a huge mistake.” Serena confesses.
“I… uh, think too much has been said, Serena. As much as I love you, I can’t keep doing this,” Bernie replies, wide-eyed and panicking, starting to back away as she notices people are watching them.
“Bernie, I can’t begin to explain how sorry I am for hurting you -” Serena starts before Bernie cuts her off.
“Sorry isn’t good enough this time. I… I can’t do this again. Serena, I’m sorry, I’ve got a plane to board.” Bernie turns and starts walking away.
“Berenice Wolfe, if you think I’m letting you go that easily, you’re wrong. I’ll follow you all the way to bloody Africa if I have to. I bought a ticket for the next flight.” Serena calls after the blonde some of her trademark feistiness entering her voice.
Bernie closes her eyes and takes a deep breath before turning around to face Serena again and walking towards the other woman. “What happens after you’ve followed me?”
“I…I hadn’t thought that far ahead.”
“Thought as much,” Bernie replies sadly, before turning around and walking away again.
Serena follows and grabs hold of Bernie’s arm to stop her leaving. “Bernie please, I love you. I don’t know what I was thinking. I still can’t imagine life without you. It was insane to think any different.
“No, I’ll come to Nairobi with you. Like we originally planned.”
“It won’t work. We’ve been here before Serena. I can’t stay because I can’t trust that you won’t break it all off again when things get a little tricky.” Bernie pulls her arm away from Serena’s hold and walks away.
Serena watches Bernie hand her boarding pass to the staff and disappear out of sight.
As Bernie walks through the tunnel to board the plane the realisation of what she’s doing hits her full force. Instantly she’s full of regret, can’t quite believe she’s walking away from the love of her life. Not leaving it like that. She turns around, heads back down the tunnel, and hopes Serena hasn’t got far and that she can find her.
She searches the departure area, desperate for a glimpse of that silver hair. Eventually, she spots Serena sitting at the airport bar looking as if she’s about to guzzle a whole glass of Shiraz down in one. Breathing a sigh of relief she makes her way to Serena’s side
“I don’t think that’s the answer, Campbell.”
“Bernie?” Serena turns on her stool and comes face to face with Bernie. She’s confused but very pleased to see her.
“Were you serious about what you said? About coming to Nairobi?” Bernie says, not wanting to waste any more time on small talk.
“Deadly serious. And this time it’ll work because I’ve made my mind up. I'm leaving Holby and coming to be with you.”
“But, Holby is your home, where your family is; Jason and Guinevere. I couldn’t take you away from them.” Bernie protests.
Serena leans towards to Bernie and tangles her fingers with the other woman’s.
“Bernie, you wouldn’t be taking me away from anyone You’re a part of my family too. Jason has a whole support system without me being there. He has Greta, Greta’s parents and friends at the hospital, Xavier, Donna, Ric and that’s just naming a few. If he needs us desperately, we’d only be a plane ride away.” Serena explains, trying to convince the blonde.
Bernie looks carefully at Serena, a whole wealth of emotions running across her face, which Serena can’t read. Without warning, she lunges towards Serena taking her by surprise with a passionate kiss. Serena almost loses her balance but she’s saved when Bernie takes her into her arms. Forgetting the world around her, Serena responds to Bernie's lips on hers and deepens the kiss. The kiss is finally broken when they can no longer ignore their need to breathe.
“Is that a yes?” Serena asks, cautiously, smiling and slightly breathless.
“Yes!” Bernie beams. “But, we’ll give it a year then we’ll come home.”
Serena smiles equally as bright.”You’d do that for me?”
“Absolutely” replies Bernie gazing into Serena’s eyes as if she’s never seen anything as beautiful.”
“Okay, it’s a deal. When we come back Holby we’ll take Guinevere to the park and push her on the swings and you’ll be free to take the bins out whenever you like.” She teases.
“We will.” Bernie agrees. “You know, there are bins that need taking out in Nairobi too.” She teases back.
“Are you still going back to Nairobi today?” Serena asks, nervously, hoping she already knows the answer.
Bernie smiles gently at Serena enamoured. “I’m not jetting off anywhere without you.”
Serena breathes a sigh of relief. “I would suggest we change your ticket to the same flight as mine, but I can’t just jump ship and jet off today. It would be rather irrational.”
“I understand. It would be a little illogical.” Bernie smiles.
“There’s rather a lot to plan, but I’m sure I’ll only take a couple of days to sort.”
“I think I can live with that.”
Serena smiles, overjoyed. “Let’s go home.”
Hand in hand they make their way back towards the airport entrance and home. As they emerge from the building, they see Fleur leaning back against her pink Mini, the convertible roof now down, waiting in the pickup zone.
“I’d completely forgotten, I asked Fleur to wait for me in case I couldn’t find you.“
Bernie looks confused.
“It was before I decided I’d follow you,” Serena explains.
“Ah.” Bernie smiles.
Fleur smirks as she sees both women approaching her. “I hope you two have kissed and made up for good this time,” Fleur says as they stop and stand before her.
“I’d say so.” Bernie answers, beaming and squeezing Serena’s hand slightly.
“Yes. We’re both leaving for Nairobi in a few days. Well, after I’ve sorted out a couple of loose ends.” Serena adds.
“Well, that’s a turn up for the books,” Fleur replies, surprised. “I’m pleased for you both.” She continues, opening the car door and sitting in the driver’s seat. “Get in. I’ll give you a lift home.”
Bernie and Serena buckle themselves into the back seats as Fleur drives off. It isn't long before they arrive at Serena’s house. Serena thanks Fleur profusely for helping a friend in need and wishes her good luck on her date. Once Fleur has driven off Serena glances back at Bernie and sees her blonde tousled hair is even messier than usual, strands sticking out in all directions. She tries to hold in a snigger but fails miserably, bursting out in laughter as they walk together towards the front door.
Bernie raises her eyebrows as she stops at the door, confused about what’s got Serena so amused.
“Sorry. It’s just you look rather windswept.” Serena manages to say in between trying to compose herself. “Your hair is quite a mess, even by your standards.” Serena takes her keys out her bag.
“That’s a shame because I was rather hoping you’d, uh, be the one to mess it up.” Bernie flirts.
“I think getting it any messier than it is now would be an impossible task. I’m willing to give it a go though.” Serena teases, picking a leaf from Bernie’s bird nest-like hair before unlocking the front door.
Pushing the door open Serena grabs Bernie by the hand and leads her inside the house, ready to make plans for the future and embark upon their next adventure together. Bernie holds onto her woman's hand tight.