24th May, 2018
Laura Eileen Hollis stood with her father, her robe and her hat gaining more justice by the small scroll that rested in her palms. Her eyes searching desperately for the flicker of black that had held her captive for the duration of all these four years.
A trio of gingers walk up to her. Their faces with expressions of happiness and excitement and perhaps, even relief to the fact that they had finally graduated from their creepy university. Silas University. The university where girls would go missing for a couple of days and then return to their dorm rooms with no memory or any idea whatsoever of what had happened to them. Where they had silly little turf wars with paintballs and anchovies, over which club would get to protect majority of the student body and where parties were filled with numbskulls getting hammered, when one year things went so out of hands that co-ed's started yapping in some gibberish donkey language, and yes, they had donkey ears coming out of their heads… But that was just a part of college, right?
Even if Laura Hollis had disagreed with that reasoning, she couldn't help but chuckle at the way her favourite person from these four years had described it. Her person who is so damn stubborn – just like her – and who is extremely strong and annoyingly logical. Her person, who with one look, has Laura Hollis weak and quivering in her knees, the woman who Laura Hollis knew, from a painfully long day back in her sophomore year, was meant to be with her.
"Frosh!" LaFontaine chirped with their arms wide open, enveloping Laura in a tight bear hug. "We're finally getting outta here!" They exclaimed causing their small gang and a bunch of people around them to chuckle. Yes, it was a blessing that they were getting out of there. Alive. Laura snapped out of her reverie of searching for her curly, raven haired, about an inch taller woman.
"Oh, come on LaF! We graduated today. You can finally stop calling me 'Frosh'." Laura said rubbing LaFontaine's arms while looking at Perry, expecting some kind of rescue from their favorite science nerd. "You'll always be Frosh to me Laura. That or the piniest pine." LaFontaine replied pulling away with a warm smile across their face. "I'll take Frosh, thanks." Laura huffed, moving on to hug Perry and exchanging their pleasantries. Laura turned and paused to stare at Danny. Her six feet two tall friend, whom Laura had a crush on from Day one. The feelings were always mutual, but not everything in life works out the way you want it to be. After a second of staring at each other, both the girls lips turned up in a slight smile and the next thing you know, is Laura throwing her arms around Danny's neck and Danny picking her up easily and holding her close. Both the women hiding their faces in each other's hair, reveling over the fact that even if a lot of days they fought, and were disappointed in each other or in themselves, at the end of the day, they had a bond so strong that nothing could stop both of them from confiding and trusting in each other.
"I still don't believe it when you both say that you're just friends." Sherman Hollis says, looking disbelievingly with a kind and gentle look in his eyes as Danny puts Laura back down on her heels. "Dad." Laura warns playfully to her father as Danny smiles genuinely. "It's not me who your daughter desires, Sir." Danny says teasingly while Laura goes red in the face and punches Danny on her arm to shut her up. The other two gingers listening on and understanding exactly what their tall friend meant by it and sharing a look.
Laura's father being just as oblivious as Laura makes a disapproving sound from the back of his throat and goes onto correcting the tall ginger on how many times he's told the kids to call him Sherman. Ever since the beginning of college, Laura's been tightly knit with the three gingers and Sherman Hollis knew from the day he met them, that they were like the children he could've had with his wife. That is, if his wife hadn't been tragically taken away by death.
On festive nights, he would wish that he could somehow pry apart the jaws of death to bring Laura's mother back so Laura could have the happy life that she so rightfully deserves. He just knew as much as he would do anything to give Laura the best, no God or Universe would turn time back around or change situations just because a frail little human wants his child to have her Mommy. He knew the universe was tough and downright evil at times, so he took it to him to make sure that no person or any force would ever dare to hurt his only child. His only reason left anymore to fill his lungs with life.
Perry and LaFontaine get busy with talking to Sherman about their plans for the evening and the party they're hosting for their whole class that just graduated along with them. Laura and Danny look meaningfully at the other trio with Laura feeling blessed and blissful whilst Danny understanding exactly the wavelength of emotions going through the smaller girl.
Suddenly, like Laura remembered something important; tore her eyes away from her folks and looked at Danny as if she was asking a million questions from her eyes while tugging at her forearm. Danny's questioning glance disappeared as quickly as it came on and her face reflected a kind smile. She looked around in the crowd, taking complete advantage of her inherited height and stopped when her eyes landed on the right face. Even if Danny sometimes wanted to punch the dark haired woman right in the face for being so callously sarcastic, she knew she couldn't hurt Laura in any way by hurting the laid back, intense woman that Laura was completely head over heels with since their sophomore year from a really painful and excruciating day. And Danny also knew that hitting an authority right in the face and breaking their bones is not going to gel well with her degree, especially if she herself wanted to get in the field of teaching college students.
Danny looked back at Laura to see a lost puppy dog look on her face. Danny nodded her head to the spot where the dark haired woman she searched for, stood. Laura followed her gaze and squinted her eyes, begging to the Gods above or the Universes that ruled the planets to let her eyes see her.
When Laura's eyes landed on the woman that she had been begging to see ever since the awarding ceremony and the marvelous speech that the woman had recited, her heart fluttered. She thanked the great Gods and Universes above that she had finally started believing in. If she could, she would've screamed 'Hallelujah!', but she didn't want people to think that she had a hemorrhaging or something and was turned into pod-people.
Instead, Laura Eileen Hollis took a deep breath, her eyes never leaving the beautiful, soulful woman, in fear that if she took her eyes away from her, she might lose her again. She patted Danny's still held forearm and muttered a 'Thank you' with more incoherent mutterings of how she'll be back.
"Don't do something stupid!" Danny's words floated in her head without really understanding what her tall friend meant. Laura was focused on one thing. The only thing that mattered to her anymore. She was like a vampire, who's only focus was the living being that would quench her undying thirst. She didn't feel her body anymore. It was like her body was a cage and her soul had finally escaped from the grasp of physicality. Her ears went numb and the only sound she could hear was the pumping of her heart and the feeling of her feet squishing the grass below her shoes. She pushed past other portals of living, perhaps, bumping into a couple of them, unapologetically.
When she was finally in close proximity of the woman, Laura so adored, she stopped about five feet from her. She stared at the beauty in front of her shamelessly. With awe and wonderment in Laura's eyes, she wondered how graceful and cat-like the object of her affection was. How even tugging her loose curl behind her ear made Laura question everything she knew about herself and about the infinite Universe.
Like another wish being granted from the great above, the parents and a couple of students ended their conversation with the raven haired beauty and walked away from her. When she went back to standing by herself, she folded her arms across her chest and her eyes idly wandered across the bunch of students and proud parents surrounding her. Her eyes, albeit with no emotion, held a fire that only made her irises even darker.
When her eyes finally landed on Laura, a flicker of some unknown deep emotion reflected in her eyes and it departed just as soon as it came. Age and past occurrences had taught the woman to be more in control of her messy emotions. It had taught her how if you let your feelings run haywire, you're bound to explode or maybe just fall flat on your face. That's what her mother had always tried to teach her too. If only she had listened to her mother…
The slight curl of her lips gave Laura the courage to move forward and diminish the five foot distance that lingered in the few moments of silence before their eyes held each other. Laura moved towards the woman who looked like a Greek Goddess with her perfect eyebrows and the sharpest jawline she'd ever laid her eyes on. Closing the distance between them, Laura opened her mouth to say something and a mumble jumble of random words spilled out of her mouth… Or that's what she thought.
The woman's eyebrows shot up so high that they almost touched her hairline. Laura still in a daze, wondered what had she said that raised a reaction like that in such a calm and collected woman. Shaking her head and trying to catch the words that would soon fall off from the woman's mouth, Laura shook herself off from her confusion. The numbness she had in the cage of her body disappearing and her soul returning to where it belonged. Her physical form gaining all of its senses back as she heard the deep, sultry voice of the woman standing in front of her. Her lips spilling her complete name out.
"Laura Eileen Hollis." The woman breathed, a small smile forming on her lips and voice. Laura heard her name as if she was hearing everything underwater. Everything was in slow motion up until this gorgeous woman spelled her name out and in a flash; everything was back to its normal pace. The sudden transition making her ears ring and her body lose colour.
4"I see you're still up to your wits to the point where you want me to lose my job, sit at home, drown myself in an ice cream tub that I will have to buy by selling one of my kidneys because I won't be getting pension anymore." She finishes with a smile still present on her face.
Laura's jaw drops wide open while her eyes look clueless. The colour red rushing back to her cheeks as she puts her brain in overdrive wondering what the hell had she just said.
"You asked me out…. Again." The woman answered for Laura's poor brain which was still trying so hard to wrap itself around what was happening.
"Oh…." Laura trails off. If Danny would've witnessed this encounter, she would've smacked her face so hard; the whole Universe would have imploded.