The first story inspired by 5 random songs given to us by the shuffle option! The songs used in this story: 1. Water Fountain - Alec Benjamin 2. Fire - The Score 3. Stubborn - RIELL 4. Better - Lena 5. Guys Don’t Like Me - It Boys!
High school, what an interesting time period to be in, wasn’t it? Oh, reminisce in the drama, trauma, the pain. I can recall my own pain, the pain of hearing you say you were in love with me, how I should’ve listened. I remember us skipping Ms. Brown’s math class to meet there, the water fountain. It was such a beautiful place, centered in the courtyard where the bright roses would bloom.
I remember these memories like they were yesterday, yet they were oh so long ago now. We were but children, oblivious and naive. What a time to be alive- sometimes I wish we could go back.
Now, I work at a nine to five desk job-- What a dream, isn’t it? We spent twelve plus years within the confines of this “educational” system, only to end up here-- T R A P P E D. A yawn escapes me as I glance to the large glass windows of this so cliché office building. It’s a tall place, like a skyscraper, but it doesn’t reach the clouds. Sometimes, I’ll daydream about touching those fluffy white clouds.
As I do though, my dreams drift to you. . . To us, to the past. I sigh, the pain in my chest building up. “Damn it…” I scoff, as I check the time on my computer-- Midnight, suppose it’s another late night.
Finally, I finished the papers I was to turn into the boss. Would he be pleased? Probably not, he was cold. He knew I wasn’t “normal”, and treated as such. I was a strong woman, and I could take the worst judgement, but there came a time where it would become too much. He was good at what he did, manipulating me into going back to those dark times I tried to escape.
It was as if I was suffocating on the dark clouds of my doubt, of my memories.
I thought I’d be okay. I thought I could simply look away, that I would get over you. It was just a high school crush right? Wasn’t I supposed to just get over it? Wasn’t I supposed to accept the fact that… This was one sided? That it was never meant to be? Yet, here I am. I’m turning 21 in just one week, but you’re all I can think about. . . Where are you now, I wonder. Did it work out? Did you and him get married?
Are you happily living together, waking up together, making breakfast together, laughing together, smiling together..? I hope so. . .
As I walked out this office building and towards the bus stop, I wasn’t watching my surroundings. I was caught up on my phone, earbuds in, tuning out the reality. For me, the world has lost its color ever since I saw you two… Dancing together. I bumped into someone, immediate worry and guilt building up inside of me. “Sorry, I wasn’t--” Oh no… It’s--
“Oh, hey Alex!” Her voice was always cheerful, a calming melody. I was frozen, it’d been three years, and she was; she was standing in front of me. My eyes wandered her figure, she surprisingly hardly changed. Still dyeing her hair that half light blue and hot pink, hazel eyes that shone nothing but purity, that smile that could make the entire room stop and stare, the cheeriness in her voice hadn’t changed either…
I smiled, her presence seemingly made those once suffocating dark clouds dissipate. “Hey Lana, it’s been awhile…” I chuckle nervously, pulling at the white collar of my dress shirt. Her giggles rang through me, making me smile slightly more. “It really has! Oh! Are you busy? Do you want to catch up, maybe?” How could I ever say no to you, of course I will.
There we sat in the coffee shop, at one in the morning but neither of us care really. We talked for hours, easily. Well, rather, she talked; I just listened. She told me her story of how she got into her favorite college, and how now she was studying to become a writer. Her story was very interesting, and I had full faith in her. I hadn’t felt so peaceful in years, it was nice, but it couldn’t last forever-
The chime of the bell atop the door to the coffee shop, another customer? It wasn’t too rare that the night workers came to get their coffee before work but this coffee shop wasn’t too popular, so who could it be? Curiosity took over, I glanced over at the stranger and my blood ran cold- It was him. Lana’s smile widened more, “Ben, you made it!”
The man looked over at us from the counter where he was ordering his coffee, his dark blue eyes first looking at her then to me. I could see the subtle, knowing smirk. He knew, we both knew. “Hello Lana, I see Alex is here too?” He emphasized my name in a tone that showed and further proved it all; he knew exactly what he was doing, and he felt no remorse for it.
Ben. He was your typical football player, a jock, but also a very well known playboy. The other guys loathed him secretly because all the girls either had crushes on him, dated him, or fucked him-- Except for me. Luckily, I could see right through him. Those “charming” dark blue eyes held nothing darkness, not even a hint of care for anyone but himself.
He and I had a dark past, one that taught me about myself and that I’d never forget.
Back then, I thought I was straight. Rather, I tried to be. I’d grown up with parents who didn’t respect or love me if I wasn’t. When I tried to come out as lesbian to them, they threatened to disown me, kick me out, and I even suffered from both verbal and physical abuse unless I “fixed’ myself. That's what I tried to do, but I finally learned that was never happening.
I truly did try to love the men I dated, but I just couldn’t. Well, I’d have to hold myself back. Lana was the one who took my heart, and nobody else even compared to her.
When I was “dating” Ben, I tried my best to help him. He was an avid partier and drinker. I knew he didn’t come from the best family himself, so I tried to be sympathetic and love him-- I Never Loved Him. He was stubborn, unwilling to help himself. Instead, his way to “cope” was one night stands, drugs, and alcohol-- How I really hope he was different now.
Ben came over to our table, taking his seat beside her. Immediately, his arm went around her shoulders and they kissed- How badly I had to hold back my disgust and discomfort. He knew what he was fucking doing, and I could see it in those eyes.
“So, Alex… What have you been doing these past few years?” He had that subtle smirk, masked by a seemingly innocent smile. I scoffed, knowing what his game was.
“Oh yeah! You never told me what you’ve been up to, Alex. Sorry I was rambling…” Always apologizing when she doesn’t need to, still the same kind Lana as back then. Yet, the question was the same in my head. How could the kind-hearted Lana be still dating this man? I sat myself up a bit, as I’d been slouching since I saw him. I smiled, looking him dead in the eyes, and I told them exactly what he wanted to hear.
My story was short, simple, and quite boring to most. However for me, that was perfectly fine. I lived in a small apartment with my cat that I adopted as a rescue just out of high school, her name being Bethany, short Beth. She’s been my saving grace during all of this, and I love her so much. She’s an adorable feline, very cuddly and loving but funny and doing silly things.
I worked a typical nine to five office job; well it’s supposed to be nine to five, but it ends up being constant late nights. Mainly though, I admitted that I was still alone. However. . .
“And yeah, I’m still single, but I have plans to change that soon.” My eyes went to Lana’s hazel ones. I smiled at her, her face flushing a bit red. Ben knew what I meant, and he scoffed. “Oh, really? How so?” He asked with a bit of venom in his voice. I smiled innocently, chuckling slightly.
“Simple, I’m going to ask her out.” Silence. I had never verbally uttered the words that would give away the truth, the truth I hid from for long enough. Getting up, coffee in hand, I handed Lana a slip of paper with a small wink. “I’m going to head home, you should do the same. Goodnight, Lana.” My eyes went to Ben as I smirked, knowing what I just did to the man’s dignity.
“Goodnight, and goodbye, Ben.”
As I walked out of the coffee shop, I caught a glimpse of Lana one last time. That was it, I’d done what I could. That slip of paper had but a few words, ones that only she would understand. Now, all I hoped for was that not only did she remember, but she was there. I saw her eyes looking down at the paper, then they looked up to meet my own. I saw but a small, faint smile and simple nod.
“Go back to the Water Fountain.”
. . .
Today was the day, the day this would all be settled. It’s been a month since I met Lana and we went to that old coffee shop, and since Ben showed up. We haven’t spoken since then, so I could only hope she remembered or even wanted to go. I woke up that morning with anxiety, what if she didn’t show? What if this was all for nothing? What if she didn’t accept my feelings? What would happen?
A light meow pushed my toxic thoughts away, and I smiled as the furball purred, pushing her hand up against my cheek. She was a beautiful mix between a tabby and Maine Coon, and a sweetheart. I got up, took my shower, and got dressed up. Should I dress more casual? Maybe… I don’t want to scare her away. My hand naturally reached for the more… “feminine” clothes I’d wear back in high school.
However, it froze.
“What… What am I doing?” What was I doing? Wasn’t this supposed to be it? Where I’d put that past away for good? Where I was finally, for the first time in my entire life, going to be myself? I was going to confess for fucks sake. Beth meowed, rubbing my leg, and I smiled. Reaching down to pat her head, I sighed.
“You’re right…” Now, my hand went to my favorite bit of the closet. I dressed myself in a white button up with a light brown vest that I bought because it reminded me of Lana’s eyes… Black pants, sneakers. Once I was ready, I took one final look in the mirror. This was it, this was the moment, and I was ready for whatever would come of it. Checking the time, I saw it was nearly time to meet her.
After taking one last deep breath, I pat Beth’s head and smile. “I’ll be home soon.”
I wasn’t going to head straight there, but rather, I wanted to reminisce a bit in old memories. I walked around this town, looking around at all the different stores, cafes, and restaurants.
The donut shop. Lana and I would go there once school ended back in our middle school days. I remember that she always ordered but a simple chocolate donut with sprinkles, she always was a kid at heart.
The arcade. We’d gone there so many times during the summers and spring breaks. We used to play the crane machine a lot-- She sucked at it, but I got to be a pro at it, so I could win her the stuffed animal she wanted.
The coffee shop. This was where we went that night, where I got to talk to her again for the first time in years. Looking in the big windows, I could see Ben inside. He was sitting across some blonde girl, clearly it was a date. My eyes narrowed, “I knew it…” I scoffed as I turned away and walked by. He hadn’t changed, not even slightly.
Finally, I was here. Our old high school. School was out for the summer, so there were thankfully no kids roaming around or staff. I took a deep breath, pulling out my phone to check the time. “It’s time…” As I walked closer and closer to the courtyard, I could feel myself second guessing and questioning myself. Was this really a good idea? What if I lose her permanently..?
Shaking my head, I tried to push those thoughts to the back of my mind and focus.
I reach for the door handle, but flinch away for a moment. It was now or never. Once I open that door, there is no going back… But I’m ready. Gripping the door handle, I open the doors to reveal the courtyard. It was just as beautiful as I remembered. The flower beds are full of luscious, blooming flowers of all kinds. Daisies, poppies, lilies, daffodils, but her favorites-- the roses.
There were a variety of different colored ones, but her most favorites were always the orange, white, and pink ones. Relief and happiness washed over me as I looked over to those roses, and I saw her crouched in front of them with a pleasant smile. Just as I remembered. She turned to me and smiled, I did the same.
Once she stood, I walked over to her as she lifted up the folded piece of paper I gave her a month ago.
“I got your message,” She says with her soft giggle, and I smiled, chuckling slightly. “I’m glad, I was worried you didn’t remember.” She looked a bit shocked by my words, her face getting a bit more serious now. “Of course I remember, how could I forget?” I nodded in agreement.
Her eyes went up and down my figure, my hands in my pant pockets as she did so. I tilted my head in confusion, completely forgetting she’d never seen me dress this way before-- She’d never seen Me. “You look… different…” I chuckle nervously, rubbing the back of my head as I look away sheepishly. “Yeah… uh--”
“I like it.”
I looked at her in a bit of surprise, but I smiled anyway. “Thank you.” “So… why did you want to meet here, Alex?” She says as she puts the note away i in her pocket. This was it, now or never… No turning back.
“Do you remember what I said at the coffee shop?” She nodded, recalling my words. “Yes! You said you were going to ask the girl you liked out.” Suddenly, she gasped. “Oh my god, did you already?? Did it go well!?” She looked excited for me, which I was thankful for. I simply smiled, shaking my head.
“No… But I am right now.” Confusion overtook Lana, “What do you mean?” Taking a deep breath, I took my hands out of my pockets and braced myself.
“Lana,” I began, becoming the most serious I’d ever been. “I… love you. I always have been, ever since school. I know you’re with Ben, and you probably don’t feel the same but--”
“We broke up.” My eyes widened, as I frowned. I recalled the image of Ben with that blonde at the very coffee shop Lana and him were at just a month ago. He’d probably cheated on her, she found out, and thankfully dumped him. Despite saying those words though, she didn’t look at all bothered. As if…
“Honestly… I only dated Ben because I… I had a crush on you.” My eyes went wide as I stared at her, she was being serious. She meant it, she actually liked me back?? “But I was scared because I wasn’t sure if you felt that way so… I,” Lana sighs, looking to the roses. “...I only dated Ben so I could try and bury these feelings. You’re my childhood best friend, and I thought that I wasn’t supposed to like…”
Her hazel eyes lock with my dark brown ones. “I thought it was wrong for me to love you because we’re both girls and--”
“No, no that’s not at all bad!” I exclaimed, “It’s okay to love who you love, who cares what others think?? If you’re happy, that’s all that matters! No one can take that away from you!” She seemed surprised at first, but then she smiled and nodded. “You’re right,” I chuckled, “I know I am, I’m always right.” Her giggles rang through the air, and the peace returned once and for all. Finally, I did it...
“Lana, do you want to get some coffee? We can go to the arcade after if you’re up for it.” Her eyes shimmered, her smile wide. “Absolutely!” Relief washed over me that she accepted me…
Months have passed, and she’s now moved in with me, and we’re officially dating. She’s still going to college, studying to become a writer. Lana and Beth get along beautifully, and she adores Beth. Now, I’ve quit from that nine to five job, and I’m doing what I love- art. All of my feminine clothing have been stolen by Lana, of course, and she even stole my lesbian pride hoodie--
Which is absolutely adorable on her, by the way.
We’re not sure what Ben has been up to, but recently we heard from some old friends in high school that he got fired from his job and that blonde girl broke up with him for cheating-- again. To say the least, karma has come back for him.
We’re planning to move to a bigger apartment soon, and we’re even in the process of adopting a kitten. We’ve named her Rose, in memory of the water fountain that we fell in love at...
And those beautiful roses.