Inspired by true life events, a mashup paradise of lives I've lived and those I've known.
|Chapter 1: 2 in the morning
It’s usually 2 in the morning when she made life’s hardest decisions. That Thursday night she peddled between what her body begged of her and what her consciousness requested: to take on that 4-hour sleep or power through 2 more episodes of How To Get Away With Murder. We all know which one she’d always choose except tonight, she wouldn’t just be interrupted by video ads on YouTube.
“Can I call you?” a text buzzed in. A series of numbers she hadn't seen in a while.
“You’ve been drinking, haven’t you?” she replied too quickly.
“Yes.” It took mere seconds before she heard Paramore blaring off her phone. She picked up the device and walked into the kitchen before answering.
“Rey, I know it’s late and I shouldn’t be calling you…..” a familiar voice from the other end of the receiver.
“And it’s been 6 years, among other things,” she said, as a matter of fact.
“I’m in town for a few days and I really want to see you. For old time’s sake?”
“I don’t know,” she lied.
“Please?” Diana pressed.
“Call me when you’re sober,” was all she could afford to say and she really meant it.
“You okay, darlin’?” Erin showed concern with one eye barely opened. Rey didn’t say a word - she couldn’t - yet smiled so gingerly and kissed her lover goodnight. She pulled out her Xperia and launched Twitter.
It’s 2am and she calls me ‘cause I’m still awake #throwback #annanalick
She went along the next day as she always would; picked out Erin’s socks and shoes for the day, made the bed, got dressed, fed the cat and took her designated seat in the kitchen as Erin served her breakfast fresh off the stove. At a quarter to 8, both women would step out into the balcony for a morning cigarette and watch the neighbourhood crackle into life before Rey leaves for the office. This was the only part of Rey’s life that offered peace, perhaps even the slightest bit of stability, keeping her from falling apart.
She turned to Erin and caught the sun rays dancing on her beautiful face. Erin had such soulful brown eyes that spoke to her so gently. She smiled so coyly it made them both blush as they kissed goodbye. What good did I do to deserve this beauty? there’s a little voice in her head that lay unconvinced on one too many occasions but never once verbalised.
Rey’s steps quickened and she disappeared into the crowd too willingly that morning. The call bothered her but the fact that she couldn’t tell Erin about it killed her twice over. Just as she flagged her bus down, she turned around to search for her lover’s face, 4 stories up, and waved. She hoped hard Erin wouldn’t suss her out.
Can’t wait for our anni date 2nite! I love u @reyr
She couldn’t bring herself to reply. She favourited it.
- - - -
Chapter 2: 3 Syllables
For as long as her hours were billable, Rey rode on autopilot amidst the client briefings, flighting plans, creative brainstorms and fronted the team with a tenacious passion. She had spent more of her waking adult life at work than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Over the years, the office also served the people she held so close to her heart - from heartbreaks to drunken spurs, bachelorette parties to divorce alimonies, family feuds to funeral plans. Take for instance two years earlier, Erin packed up her prized kitchen and relocated Rey’s birthday dinner from the Marriott to the office.
It was no secret that the office was more of a home than any apartment she ever paid for. It was her default mailing address, too. She returned from lunch to find a large package demanding her attention.
To: Rehanna Rauzan
One last cruise while I’m back? Like old times. Same spot.
She knew the sender even though it wasn't signed off. She needn’t unbox it. It’s definitely a fishtail cruiser in there. Rey slid the Xperia open, hit Recent Calls and froze. I can’t do this, an attempt to coerce herself and turned to Twitter.
Haven’t heard/seen my name in 3 syllables since forever #backtobasics
@reyr omg Rehanna I haven’t seen you in forever! Catch up soon?
She regretted tweeting instantaneously.
“Rey, it’s almost 4. The car’s gonna be here anytime now,” she snapped back to reality and worked out a smile. Erin placed emphasis on well-deserved pampering and tonight it started with a Chrysler limousine that whisked her into a femme’s paradise of curated manicures, designer threads and dainty jewellery.
“You look like a dream, darlin’,” Erin cooed as she greeted her at the lobby. It was indeed a dream to be Erin’s girl and everyone knew it. At first it amused her, how Erin was seemingly the unattainable. Women gushed at her feet, cheeks flushed as she spoke every chosen word so eloquently. It was almost rude not to bat your eyelashes back at her hazy gaze. She wore a gratifying stance as she left the cellar and made her way back to our table. Tonight she was doused in Tom Ford, a three-piece classic with a hint of peach and the leathered oxfords Rey could barely afford at the time she bought them. The truth was, Erin was the dream and Rey was just a part of it as long as she didn’t wake up. Erin was every woman that never loved her, the doting child she couldn’t be, the kindred soul she couldn’t possess and wore her heart on her sleeve. It was Rey’s dream come true and she couldn't be more grateful for the last 4 years.
The night was spent with such intricacies and Erin preached courtship so handsomely. They held hands briefly between conversations and talked about everything there was in their lives, laughed freely at their silly encounters, raged passionately about their jobs, whined sparingly about their families. There was hardly anything they kept from each other until now.
Rey stood up, as the fourth course was cleared out, took the bottle of Brunello in one hand.
“Why don’t you and I… take this upstairs?” she beckoned for Erin in the other hand. She took it, twirled Rey back into her arms and leaned in.
“Maybe later,” she whispered so carelessly. They linked arms, threw lazy smiles at each other in the fluorescent lighting and didn’t speak till they got to the hotel’s garden, just ten floors down. They stood in a corner and lighted a couple of Marlboros. Rey rested her head against the wall, took the wine straight from the bottle, watched her lover remove her blazer and unbutton the top of her collared shirt. Erin kissed her.
“Take your shoes off.”
“Why?” Rey questioned but complied anyway. Erin took hers off, too, and led her onto a stone pathway into a ring of white flora. Erin admired the beauty in crimson kneeled into the bed of flowers in the dim lighting. She may have taken great lengths to get that Dita Von Teese piece flown in all the way from the US, but it took forever for Rey’s tomboy front to retire. She remembered the mess her hair used to be; short, in streaks of Manic Panic. She smiled just thinking of that acid wash vest and chunky boots she used to parade in, and even then she didn’t love her any less. She was always so proud of how comfortable Rey was in her skin.
“What are these?” Rey called out.
“Check the metal plate you’re kneeling on.”
“Wait, I’m a flower?” it made Erin chuckle but she nodded noticeably. Rey stood up and stumbled back onto the stone pathway to reunite with her lover.
“No, darlin’ you’re beautiful, you have no idea,” Erin leaned in to take her lips.
“Says every other pretentious dude to a girl with lipstick on and a slit up her thigh,” Rey slurred.
“I mean, I don’t want to sound rude but I think we should put that slit to good use,” Rey’s ear burned red as she felt a smirk creep its way across Erin’s lips. She palmed her way up and parted Rey’s legs as she brought her in closer. They kissed hard and breathed into each other’s passion. Hands wandered down collars, waistcoats, sweetheart necklines and flipped out slits. Hips grounded against silk, lace and buckles. Erin’s fingers found a way into Rey’s wetness. She lived for every restrained sound of pleasure Rey contained in her throat as she fought harder to keep quiet. Rey fumbled with the bottom half of that Tom Ford, slid her hand into Erin’s boxers and let out another passionate sigh.
“How long were you gonna keep this in your pants?” Rey teased, her mouth exploring down Erin’s neck.
“As long as you’re in that corset,” Erin let up. She pulled Rey’s hand out of her pants and her own out of the slit.
“Come on, I’ll try not to rip your dress apart on the way up,” Erin sounded unapologetic, but as they stood in the fluorescent light once again towards the 27th floor, Rey pondered over Erin’s voluntary public display of affection.