Aubrey is cleaning up in the apartment she shared with her girlfriend. She's segregating their things into coming; things that they will bring with them as they move in into their new apartment. Staying: things that they'll leave at the apartment for the next lessee. And Donations, well, for donations.
Her best friend and girlfriend of four years now is a broadway actress, she's not yet famous but Aubrey is certain that she would be once her big break comes. And Aubrey? She's a lawyer, a damn good one if you ask her boss. She already has a good position in the firm even if she just passed the bar exam recently.
All in all, they're in a good place that is why they were able to afford an apartment with two bedrooms, 1.5 bathroom, a kitchen and a spacious living room. It was a total upgrade from their current studio type apartment and the only space that has a room is obviously the bathroom.
But Aubrey wouldn't exchange it for the world. They made a lot of memories there; late night conversations about their future, tears stained nights about their pasts and a regular damn good love making. Aubrey smirked as she touched her lips that still tingles from remembering the last night they have spent celebrating her girlfriend's new show.
She came across a picture that goes way past the first time she ever met her girlfriend. It was in a river near a diner that her redhead girlfriend has been working and where they met.
Aubrey was seating alone in a booth inside a twenty four hour diner at the wee hours of the morning, crying her eyes out and was totally freaking out about the new uncertain future that is ahead of her. She was trying her best to be quiet and not to attract other people to her.
She thought she was doing a good job until she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. She quickly wiped her cheeks and tried her best to look presentable before facing the other person.
"Yes?" Her voice cracked but she kept her head high, not wanting to look small in front of another person. She didn't look up but just acknowledged the person beside her.
"Do you need some tissue?" There was an offered tissue before her. Aubrey could hear the sympathy at the voice of the redhead just as it shows in her expression. She curled her fingers against her palm, trying her best not to succumb again to the pain she's going through.
"No. I need to be left alone" she snapped and she saw how the redhead flinched at her. She felt bad immediately afterwards but don't want to take it back. She saw how the redhead frown and pout with her reaction.
She was about to walk away when Aubrey finally admitted what she has done. "Wait!" The woman looked back at her and it was the first time she saw her eye to eye. Aubrey almost froze at how blue those eyes she was staring at. It's big, rounded and bright, almost looked like it was twinkling.
"I'm, - I'm sorry, that was rude of me." She stammered at the beginning because she was taken aback by her eyes. "Do you need anything? Do you want me to move?" She asked without breaking eye contact. All of a sudden she's willing to do anything that this blue eyed redheaded woman in front of her.
"No. I just thought you needed some company", the woman shrugged while taking a seat across Aubrey without any invitation from the blonde.
"So, love life? D-bag boyfriend? Or girlfriend? I don't know yet your preference. My gaydar's a little rusty" she scrunched her nose and Aubrey found it very attractive. She don't know this woman yet she was being asked by very personal questions and she's pretty sure she tried to define her sexuality.
"No", she scoffed in unbelief of herself because she kinda wants to answer her questions and share the grief she's feeling at the moment. Bright blue expecting eyes are on her and she can't seem to deny her any longer.
"Actually, it's a bit complicated", she tried to discourage the woman and also herself since she knows once she lets go, she doesn't know when to stop. That's why she's easing herself slowly into what she's feeling at the moment because it is like a dam that if opened, there's no more closing.
"Try me", she winked at Aubrey and settled on her chair, looking like she's not going to budge and wait until Aubrey opens up. The blonde felt like her heart grew bigger when the woman showed genuine interest on what's bothering her. They're basically strangers yet the woman was more of a friend rather than her so called friends back at her hometown.
Then she did, Aubrey opened up about how she ran away from her home because her father wanted her to marry a man that she has never met because it's for the growth of the business. She just finished her college degree in Accounting when her father asked her to come home right after graduation.
So she did and she arrived just after lunch and was even surprised that her father hugged her and was very welcoming to her. He was never one for pleasantries or pleasures, he's all about the business. So when a tall blonde man emerged from their living room right after her father greeted her, she knew that something was up.
Then her father went straight to the point that everything was planned and the man knew that he's going to be wedded to Aubrey, her mother knew that it will happen after her graduation and her father has set it all up. Apparently, the only one who was not informed was the bride to be.
He didn't even let her argue, he just told her like she has no say at all and she's just a thing that he's ready to toss into the side for the business. It was a lot to process and at least her father gave her until dinner time to process everything.
She was sent to her room while her father and the man talked about their wedding. This is not part of her plans, she's suppose to go to law school to become a lawyer, that's why she agreed to take accounting as her pre-law. Yes, she dreamed of getting married but with the person that she loves and not just some random guy her father has chosen for her.
When it was dark enough, Aubrey got her unpacked luggage and threw it out of her window as quietly as possible. Collected her stash of money from her drawer, it was her savings since high school. Then went out of the window expertly just like when she was in high school then ran away, took the bus that she didn't even know the destination. She just wants to leave her hometown and never look back.
That brings her to the diner she's sitting at, miles away from home and talking to a complete stranger about what happened to her in the last eight hours. The woman didn't budge either, she just listened, didn't even interrupt, she just held Aubrey's gaze until she finished her story.
Aubrey was even surprised that she didn't cry hard enough like she did a few minutes ago. She teared when she talked about how her father has made her feel like a tool but other than that, it felt like she was just narrating a sad story. Maybe it has something to do with the connection that she had with the stranger woman. She held her gaze all throughout the story and Aubrey felt safe, like the woman was holding her metaphorically and not letting her fall.
Or maybe she just went numb, that's all.
The woman suddenly stood and walked away then Aubrey's heart dropped because she thought she just left her. Not the first time someone has made her feel like that, she just shrugged it off then took a deep breath. There are other things that she needs to think about like where she will live and how will she get into law school without the provision of her father.
The woman was back and with a glass of water on one hand then her bag on the other. That's when Aubrey noticed that the redhead was a wearing a uniform of a waitress. She must have been working at the diner when she saw Aubrey.
"You work here?" She stupidly asked and wanted to take it back the moment she said it. The woman just nodded at her and took a seat again.
"So where will you live now?" The woman asked, genuine concern is written all over her face. Aubrey just shrugged, that's one of the questions she's having a hard time answering.
"I have a queen sized bed?" Aubrey gawked at the woman. Was she offering her an indecent proposal? Aubrey wrapped her arms around herself, she didn't expect that the woman was that kind of person.
"No,no,no,no,no!" The woman exclaimed, Aubrey's reaction must have told her what she just implied with her words. "I'm sorry", she chuckled lightly.
"That was stupid of me. I mean I have a spare space in my apartment. I was just thinking that if you want, you can take that space until you've found your own place." She explained thoroughly and Aubrey sighed in relief.
She looked at the woman infront of her, she didn't even know her name yet she was offering her own space to the blonde. She doesn't look like a bad person either, and it's almost dawn and she's so tired and she also wants to save her money until she figured a way out of her situation. Her offer doesn't sound so bad.
"Really? You would let me into your house even if you don't know me?" Aubrey asked skeptically, she's just too good to be true. She can't be that super kind to a stranger. Is she a psycho killer? A rapist? A human trafficker? That must be it, no one is this kind unless they have something bad to hide.
"Don't worry, I'm not anything that you're thinking of right now" she grinned at Aubrey. "I'm perfectly normal and safe" she winked again. There's something in her eyes and her whole aura that draws Aubrey to her. It makes Aubrey feel that she can trust her and she won't let her down.
Aubrey just accepted the offer. It's better than nothing, and if this woman is one of her guesses, then she might be able to put into good use her self defense training.
They walked out of the diner after the woman bid goodbye to the owner. It was breaking dawn, everything is so quiet and peaceful, though it was dark but not dark enough like night. The little ray of lights were starting to illuminate her surroundings. The cold breeze of morning air welcomed her and made her shiver but it was such nice way to know that she's not numb at all. She can still feel everything; that she is alive, it gives her hope that she's going to be okay after all.
She can see the sunrise from where they are standing and it was the first she's witnessing such gorgeous sight.
Aubrey realized that it was already a new day. She was so scared when she entered that diner a few hours ago, everything seem so uncertain and shaky. But at that moment, she's not that scared anymore. She doesn't know how or what changed her but she was just glad that it did. Maybe it was because of the gorgeous redhead woman beside her who's also enjoying the sight, or maybe for the first time in her life, she felt FREE.
She looked to her side and saw the woman's profile she was smiling and has her eyes closed. The sight made Aubrey's heart flutter and her breath hitch. Her mind was telling her that she's crazy for the absurdity of her situation. She just graduated, ran away from her parent's house, cried her heart out in a public diner, shared her story to a total stranger, agreed to live with that total stranger, and now she thinks she likes that stranger.
And it all happened in a span of twenty four hours. Funny how her life changed in just a day.
Her logic tells her that this is impossible, that she has already lost her mind but her heart, her heart that is beating fast and loud against her chest says that this is RIGHT.
Aubrey chuckled as she processed her thoughts because nothing really seemed to make sense to her. The woman looked at her with her bright blue eyes that drawn her to her the first time, as if asking what's the matter.
"It just occurred to me that I didn't get your name and I'm going to live with you and be your roommate."
The woman smiled again, and pursed her lips for a moment. She offered her hand to which Aubrey accepts even if she hasn't heard her name yet.
"My name is Chloe Beale."