DISCLAIMER: The characters within are the property of the author.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Demeter


She's a refugee now.

Given the fact that she's got enough of an income to start over pretty much wherever she wants to, this might sound a little exaggerated. And still, it's exactly the way she feels, her bridges burnt, her home left behind in ashes. No going back, welcome neither here nor there. If people look at her strangely, maybe it's because they know.

Maybe it's because she left so hastily she didn't even think of putting on a coat, walking in the rain for what feels like hours, her soaked cloathes plastered to her skin...

"What did you do?" It's part worry, part accusation, then the other woman steps forward to embrace her tightly. The chill is not leaving her though.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know – you've got visitors."

"Just a friend." She reaches up to touch her cheek, wincing as her fingers brush cold clammy skin. "I'll get you a towel and some coffee. Give me two minutes."

She is very much okay with someone else telling her what to do for the moment. That's because she doesn't have a clue.

She hears the voices drift over to her from the living room but not what they are saying, wondering what excuses are being made. A friend having a crisis. My crazy lover finally losing it? The warm wetness on her face feels hot against her icy skin. Standing in the middle of the woman's bathroom, clutching the damp towel to her, gravity is finally catching up with her. The cold stony silence of the man with whom she has shared years of her life, passion, a home, their children's laughter. The damning words of her older daughter. She wanted them to grow up to be happy, to know love. She'd wanted to live that for them to see.

What hypocrisy. She sees her younger self, the moment she walked into the room, at first sight stealing her breath, her safety, all of her carefully laid out plans.

She remembers the first time the made love, how high it had gotten her knowing that this beautiful, much younger woman wanted her, too.

She built her life on stereotypes and lies – what right does she have now to expect anything?

The other woman knows exactly what happened. The hands that grasp her arms and steer her into the direction of the living room, to the couch near the fireplace, tremble just a little.

"I never thought you--" She breaks off the sentence, realizing that neither of them is up to this conversation now. "I don't know what to say."

Say that I didn't do all of this for nothing, she prays, but only in her mind. She can't say the words. Say you're not sorry.

Fear has taken hold of her, savoring the silence. The woman sits next to her, close. She breathes deeply as if inhaling her presence, by small degrees starting to feel calmer though the tears won't stop yet. Too much is still uncertain; there's no way to tell if she'll be able to built a future from the remnants of that tangled web of lies they've woven.

The woman takes her hand, entwining their fingers, and meeting her gaze finally, she recognizes her expression even though she hasn't seen it on her in a long time: hope.

All refugees had to start somewhere to build a new life.

Her moment is now.

The End

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