Fern woke up surprised by her surroundings. Sue Ellen felt the same way. The girls got out of bed and got dressed. Sue Ellen resisted the urge to glance at Fern. Fern had to do the same. They got ready for class. It was algebra. They walked together. They decided to sit together. They both had a hard time taking notes. They were thinking of each other.
After class they went back to their dorm. It had gotten colder outside. Fern changed into a sweater. Sue Ellen wasn't expecting it and saw Fern without her shirt. She turned bright red. She felt bad for looking but she liked what she saw.
"I've been thinking about Amanda's situation. It's no one's fault," Fern said. "It was bound to happen sooner or later. Her parents are conservative. They have positions here at this school. Her dad is headmaster at a Baptist college in Virginia. They were going to find out eventually."
"But will she be okay?" Sue Ellen asked. Fern shrugged, "She's strong. She'll either find her own way or follow theirs. She always hated her dad for being so stuck in his ways. She'll either be like him and stay queer or change like they want her to. Either way, she's probably done with me. I should move on too. I should get help for my bad thoughts, and…I should go to the meetings with you to learn more about people like me, people like us."
"What about us?" Sue Ellen asked. She turned crimson. Fern did too. "Sorry. Maybe we shouldn't talk about it. Maybe we should—" "Yes, maybe we should talk about it," Fern interrupted. They hugged.
"I've always felt safe with you, Sue Ellen. Ever since I told you what happened, you made me feel better. Since you never told anyone, I felt even safer with you. You're an amazing friend, and…if you don't mind, we could be something more," Fern said.
"I'd like that. But we'll take it slow. We'll communicate. We'll figure this whole thing out together, maybe with the help of the group," Sue Ellen smiled. Fern nodded. They hugged tighter. They kissed again. They both grinned happily.
That night, they slept in the same bed again. They held each other. They made each other feel safe. At the next meeting, they told people they were together. Everyone was supportive. They told them the relationship would feel weird or different at first, but to go with it. Fern and Sue Ellen knew that was exactly what they had to do.
During fall break, they went back to Elwood City together. They decided not to tell their family and old friends. They would keep their relationship a secret until they knew everyone would be supportive. They knew it was the best way. It didn't matter to anyone else if they loved each other. As long as they were happy, they were just fine.
a-n—i guess i failed the challenge since they never really did it. darkangelsnapelover, i'll let you decide.