Kate and Chloe

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: End your story with someone dancing in the rain.... view prompt

9 comments

Romance High School Lesbian

The phone on the nightstand buzzed for the fifth time in less than a minute, but Kate just turned on her other side.


She knows it's Chloe. Knows that she'll likely be apologizing with a string of emojis – trying to explain herself with brightly-colored faces and googly eyes.


Making excuses.


Whatever. It didn’t matter, anyway.


Not anymore.


Kate sniffled and wiped her eyes dry. It's not like she cared. Not like Chloe was her girlfriend or something.


But she could have been, that insistent voice at the back of her mind whispered. The way she looked at you. Smiled at you. Held your hand.


The painful knot in Kate’s chest grew even tighter, a stabbing sensation going through her heart with each ragged breath.


This was not how it should have been. This is not how her senior year should have ended.


And especially not with Jason freaking Halloway.


Kate knew her best friend.


They’d grown up together right here in Springs Valley. Went to the same elementary school, middle school and high school.


They’d stuck together like glue – ever since a tiny girl with blonde pigtails had asked shy Kate if she wanted to join her on the swings.


And Kate had said yes, because there was something inside her that had immediately trusted Chloe.


The teachers referred to them in one breath. Kate and Chloe, come here, they said. Chloe and Kate, did you do your homework? Kate, tell Chloe to listen.


When they got to high school, saying both their full names was too long for most of their classmates. Kate and Chloe became KC – just one letter away from crispy chicken.


None of the teachers commented on it, but from the rumor mill around the coffee machine it became clear that they found it rather amusing.


How quaint, they would say. Such friendship!


The first time Kate had heard it, she’d frowned and clutched her physics book tight against her chest. She couldn’t tell whether they were mocking her or simply amusing themselves.


Chloe, on the other hand, absolutely loved it.


She’d burst into a laughing fit, snorting so hard she’d hurt her midriff – which caused Kate to join in on the fun.


We sound like rappers, Chloe had wheezed, wiping tears from eyes. But like, cool rappers.


KC.


It had quite a ring to it, didn’t it?


The next day, Chloe had sprinted into homeroom, bursting with glee. She carried two packages in her arms and handed one over to Kate.


“It’s for you! Open it!” Chloe bounced on the balls of her feet, her blonde hair flying around her head in wisps. “You’re going to love this.”


Kate carefully took the package, unable to suppress a smile. “If this is another one of your pranks, Chlo, I swear to God –“


“It’s not, pinkie promise! Just open it, Katie!”


Enthusiasm and curiosity rose inside her, and Kate tore the package open. It was …squishy?


She tore the last of the wrapping paper free, and pulled a black hoodie from the plastic bag. The fabric was thick and soft, but Kate still didn’t understand.


“Uh, thank you?”


Chloe rolled her eyes fondly. “You need to fold it open.”


Kate did as told, and then she realized what it was. A huge smile spread over her face. “No, you didn’t.”


“Yes, I did,” Chloe nodded proudly. She held up her own package. “So now we match!”


On the front of the hoodie was written in huge, blocked letters –


KC


“Oh my god.” Kate immediately pulled it on over her own clothes. It fit perfectly. “This is so amazing! Thank you, Chlo.”


Chloe had just shrugged. She winked at her. “Now you’ll have something to always remember me by.”


“Like I’d ever want to forget you.”


The memory vanished as heavy rain started to pound against the window.


Kate was shaken from her melancholy musings, then jumped up when she realized the window was still open.


A cold breeze slipped inside as Kate slammed the window close, anger mingling with her sadness. But it faded just as quickly as it had come, leaving her empty.


Kate leaned her head against the cool window and closed her eyes.


How had they even gotten here?


Chloe used to tell her everything – from what she’d had for lunch to her crushes to her deepest fears and regrets. And Kate would share everything in return.


It had always been that way, ever since they’d been six. They didn’t need teachers or counselors or shrinks. They had each other.


And that was enough.


Or at least, it had been before Jason had gotten involved. That’s when things had started going downhill.


The senior year prom is a big thing in America – even more so if you hailed from a small town like Kate did. Become prom king or queen, and you’ll be remembered for the rest of your lives.


Up to you to decide if that’s a good thing or not.


Kate didn’t really have anyone in mind who she wanted to go with. Prom wasn’t such a big deal for her, and she didn’t have any close male friends – let alone a boyfriend.


Chloe knew more people than she did, and she wanted to go with someone ‘fun’.


But Chloe always bragged that she lived by the saying ‘sisters before misters’, so if Kate succeed in getting a date, then they’d go together as friends.


When Kate didn’t find anyone, Chloe made good on her promise, even going as far to create a dance, just for the two of them.


Thanks to Chloe, Kate was actually looking forward to prom – something she could have never imagined.


Enter Jason Halloway.


Dark hair, blue eyes and a million dollar smile. The star of the football team, already on his way to become famous, if you believe coach Mitchell. A team player, a handsome fellow and just one hell of a guy.


Or in Kate’s words: egotistical, vain and way too overconfident. But that doesn’t stop nearly every girl in their year from fawning over him, unfortunately.


Why Jason was so adamant about chasing Chloe was beyond her.


They’d never spoken before, had nothing in common. Those two couldn’t be any more different.


But Chloe was beautiful – a fact Kate was very much aware of.


The way the sun turned her hair into a golden halo. How her sea-green eyes could sparkle with joy whenever she found something funny.


The elegant curve of her neck. The tilt of her lip when she tried and failed to stifle a laugh. Her hands covered in little doodles whenever she got bored during class. Her horrible celebrity imitations.


Or the soothing warmth of her arms and voice when Kate was upset – the long hugs and stupid jokes that never failed to make her feel better.


She knew all the reasons why someone would fall in love with Chloe.


Maybe that was why it hurt so much to see her practicing a prom dance – their dance – with a stupid jock.


Kate had been on her way to chess club when she’d heard laughter coming from the empty gym.


At first she’d thought it was the gaggle of cheerleaders practicing their routine for the upcoming match, but the voice was distinctly male.


The other voice was all too familiar.


“ – right, and then you put your foot here. No, not like that, you idiot. The other one.”


Jason chuckled, lifting his left foot and placing it behind the right one. The charming smile he gave Chloe made her want to vomit. “Like this?”


“Almost. But you lack spirit.” Chloe stood with her back to Kate. She crossed her arms. “You’re a far cry from becoming a decent dancer, you know.”


Jason relaxed and walked closer to her with a lazy grin. “At least I’m good-looking. That has to count for something, right?”


Before Chloe could reply, he’d leaned in and kissed her, snaking his arms around her waist and pulling her in close.


Something shattered inside Kate.


Her bag pack slipped from her shoulder and fell to the floor, spilling its contents all over the tiles. But she didn’t even notice.


Jason and Chloe sprang apart. She turned around to see Kate standing in the doorway to the gym, her eyes going wide. Her cheeks were flushed.


That was their prom dance. Not freaking Jason’s.


And that was – that was –


She’s not your Chloe, a voice inside her whispered. Not anymore.


“Kate –“


But Kate didn’t stop to listen.


She bolted through the hallway, pushing the door open and fleeing outside. Barely seeing anything through her tears.


A crack of thunder sounded outside, and Kate peeled an eye open just in time to see lightning arc across the gray sky. Rain rattled against her bedroom window.


The events from today kept replaying in her head like an endless loop, and she didn’t know how to turn it off. Tears streaked down her face.


How could she have been so wrong about the person she knew best?


How had she not seen this coming? Why hadn’t Chloe told her about Jason?


She wouldn’t have liked it – would have strongly recommended Chloe to find someone with a much smaller ego – but if she was happy, than so was Kate.


Or that’s what she'd thought.


Nothing had prepared her for the blazing jealousy that was currently raging through her body. It was consuming her whole being, leaving only ashes and embers in its wake.


People always make fun of characters in movies, but –


The doorbell rang.


Once. Twice.


Kate groaned and peeled her forehead from the now-damp window.


Of course her mother had to come home when she was in the midst of a breakdown.


She grabbed a random hoodie off her desk chair and sped down the stairs, taking them two at a time. Opening the door, Kate already braced herself for her mother’s rant.


But it wasn’t her mother standing there in the rain.


It was Chloe.


Chloe’s hair was slick from the heavy rain, sticking against her neck and shoulders. Her mascara ran in streaks down her face, and her clothes were completely drenched.


“What – what are you doing here?”


“I can explain,” Chloe said, her voice hoarse. Had she been crying? “I swear, Kate. Please listen to me.”


Too stunned to form a cohesive sentence, Kate just nodded.


Chloe shook her head, pressing her lips into a thin line. “It wasn’t what it looked like. Me and Jason.”


“I’m happy if you’re happy, Chlo.” Kate’s throat closed up from the whirlwind of emotions she was feeling. “I just wish you’d told me.”


A flash of lightning. “We’re not a thing. He was bugging me about going to prom, and I just wanted to get rid of him.”


Kate raised an eyebrow, unable to keep some venom out of her tone. “By teaching him our prom dance?”


“No, I was dancing, and he was watching me like a creep.” Chloe wiped her nose on her sleeve, but that didn’t help in the downpour. “So, I tried to get rid of him.”


“Looks like that worked out great.”


“I – God, you can be so stubborn.” Chloe sighed, gathering herself. Then she faced Kate. “Ask me how his balls are.”


“You – what?”


“Ask me how his balls are.”


Kate leaned against the doorframe, wondering if she was dreaming. “How – how are his balls, Chlo?”


“They’re blue,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “And swollen and hopefully very, very painful!”


“You’re saying you kicked him in the nuts?”


Realization hit her.


Chloe didn’t like Jason. Chloe didn’t want to be kissed by Jason.


Oh, God. How could she have been so stupid? Chloe didn’t tell her anything about him because there was nothing to be told.


“I did.” Chloe said. Her shoulders relaxed as the tension left their conversation. Water ran down her face in rivulets. “Twice. For you.”


“For me? He’s the one who kissed you.”


Chloe shrugged in her typical fashion. “You were more upset about it than me.”


A dam broke inside Kate, and she rushed forward to embrace her best friend in the pouring rain. Thunder rumbled overhead, but she didn’t care.


Chloe immediately returned the embrace, pulling her in for one of her trade-mark hugs. She buried her face in Kate’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.”


“No, I’m sorry, Chlo,” Kate pulled back and brushed a rain-slicked strand of hair from her face. “I should have just trusted you instead of running away.”


“It’s okay. I get it.” Chloe’s arms settled on her lower back. Kate didn’t mind. Her sea-green eyes were a swirl of emotions. “Does this mean we’re good?”


A brilliant smile bloomed on Kate’s face, undimmed by the storm. “Yeah. We’re great.”


Joy returned to Chloe’s features, and her smile matched Kate’s. “So you’re still my prom date?”


“Uh.” Unease rippled through her. “Like a date date?”


Chloe swallowed, lowering her eyes. “Yeah. I mean, if you want. It’s not necessary, of course.”


“Chloe,” Kate murmured as lightning flashed above them. She cradled her head in her hands. “I would love to be your date.”


Hope lit up her entire face. “Yeah?”


“Yeah,” Kate nodded. “Absolutely.”


Chloe was practically fizzling with excitement, bouncing up and down the balls of her feet. One hand stayed on the small of Kate’s back, while the other reached for her hand.


“You still have it,” Chloe said, awed.


“What?” Kate looked down at the hoodie in her hand, now wet from the rain. KC was written in big letters on the front. “Of course I do. I’d never get rid of this. Here.”


Kate motioned for Chloe to raise her arms, then carefully pulled the hoodie over her head and shoulders. “There. Otherwise you’ll catch a cold.”


“I think we’re way past that point.” Chloe lifted her soaked hair. “I look like a poodle dumped in a sewer.”


“You look beautiful.” The words were out before Kate realized it, but Chloe only smiled in response.


"You know, there's another reason why I came here." Chloe bowed at the waist and held out her hand. “May I have this dance?”


Despite everything – Jason, her escape from the gym, the freight train of emotions that wrecked her only ten minutes ago, the storm – Kate found herself smiling.


Because Chloe was here.


With her.


And this time, maybe she could be hers.


Kate accepted her hand, smiling from ear to ear. “You may.”

August 25, 2022 19:53

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9 comments

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Anna Dumas
18:03 Oct 17, 2022

so heart warming

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Kinnie Hearts
13:08 Sep 02, 2022

"Nothing had prepared her for the blazing jealousy that was currently raging through her body. It was consuming her whole being, leaving only ashes and embers in its wake." That is a really good line!

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Sara Breugelmans
18:33 Sep 03, 2022

That's so nice, thank you!!

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Nevaeh Donald
14:09 Sep 01, 2022

Omg this story is sooooo good! I love it!!!!!

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Sara Breugelmans
16:11 Sep 01, 2022

Thank you so much!!

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Amel Parvez
17:32 Aug 30, 2022

Sweeeeeeeet <3

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Sara Breugelmans
16:20 Aug 31, 2022

Thank you!!

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Amel Parvez
17:03 Sep 05, 2022

<3

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