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Fantasy Lesbian Romance

I have been in love with the woman across the hall since she came here. I don’t think she notices me though. I’ve never gotten the courage to talk to her. That is all going to change tonight though. Tonight is December 22nd, I heard the employees talking about it. December 22nd, the longest night of the year. I will have the most time for her tonight, as the daylight takes our movement away.

I can see the sunset from my spot on the wall, so I watch as the sky turns to beautiful shades of orange and pink and blue. Once the sun slips past the horizon, we are all free. You may, dear reader, think that it is chaos at night— that we run carelessly through the halls, moving the employee’s keys and sneaking into hidden rooms. You would be wrong though. In truth, we mostly just talk. It is lonely to sit on a wall all day, with everyone staring and no one knowing that you are even there.

The sun slips lower and lower along the horizon. All of the employees have left already, so all we have left is to wait. I can feel the tingle in my hands as the sun descends. It means that I will soon come to life and I will be able to talk to her. I have been in this gallery for around fifty years, but she came twenty years ago. Twenty years and I have never once spoken to her. I have tried, but I can never force myself to start.

I flex my wrist, pulling it free from my frame. Slowly, I peel myself away from the canvas, landing lightly on my feet. Everyone is coming out now, and I see her across the hall. She stumbles, and I run to her side. My earring swings with a violent force as I run, hitting me in the neck. I kneel down next to her and offer my hand.

“Are you alright?” I ask, my voice low and tender.

“Yes, thank you. I keep doing that,” she says. Her voice is like a melody. She gives me a tragic smile and takes my hand. We stand up in unison, her hand still in mine. Neither of us dare to move. I don’t even dare to breathe.

“I have been meaning to ask you something,” she says, meeting my eyes. Hers are a dark brown, like thick hot chocolate. Her gaze is warm and comforting, and I melt beneath her stare.

“Oh? I wanted to ask you something as well,” I say, looking down. Her dress reaches the floor, and I stare at the brassy hem.

“The man with the apple found a way to have music without an orchestra,” she says. As she speaks, I hear a waltz beginning to play from the lobby. “Might I have this dance?”

I cannot believe what I’m hearing. For someone whose reality is constantly drawn into question, this shouldn’t feel so strange. Even still, my dear reader, it feels like a dream. I cannot sleep, and therefore cannot dream, but I can relate to the unreal feeling of a dream. It feels as if I am floating— as if I will wake up back in my frame having never spoken to the woman across the hall.

“Yes, you may,” I say, trying to contain my joy. I fail though. Joy is a beast which cannot be contained; it can only be nurtured up to its full strength or left to rot away if fully smothered.

We walk to the lobby, our hands joined together. I don’t want to let her go; not now, and not ever. When we enter the room, I see many people dancing. Everyone, young or old, from recent days or long ago, man, woman, or otherwise, is dancing. I see all different styles, from the most elegant of waltzes, to the most free of solo dances.

The woman lets go of my hand, but only for a moment. She takes my other hand in hers and raises them above our heads. My palm presses against hers and I pause. I have never been so afraid to dance with someone. Slowly, we begin the dance. Neither of us is familiar with the song, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that our hands are pressed together and that our bodies move in unison to the music. It is more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

“It is funny in a way,” I begin carefully. “We have been in the same gallery for over twenty years, but we have never spoken, and I have never caught your name.”

“That may be my fault that we have never spoken,” she says, her voice a lifeboat in the sea of words and sounds around us.

“What do you mean?” I ask, the fear in my stomach rising. Has she gone to so much concern only to turn me down?

“You face the sunset, correct?” she asks. I do not see the relevance, but I nod anyway. “I face the sunrise. I have since I was brought here. I started avoiding you when I realized that I would rather look at your beauty than I would to look at the sunrise. Such beauty is intimidating, and I spent years fighting my feelings for you. I guess after your help from my fall tonight, I overcame the fear.”

This feels like a fever dream, and I begin to wonder if paintings can fall ill. But a painting cannot hallucinate, and I cannot dream. This is real, or at least as real as one can call our lives.

“I have been wanting to tell you of your own beauty since you came here,” I say, fighting the urge to run from her. But I cannot run forever, and maybe I won’t have to run anymore. Maybe it is time to turn and face my fear.

She blushes, and takes my hand in hers. It is the next step of the dance, but it means so much more than just the coincidence of the choreography. It is a touch with the warmth of the summer sun, and the burn of ice in winter. It feels electric, as if our hands will catch fire if we dare to move. I meet her eyes, which are filled with wisdom as much as they are with joy.

“Such beauty as yours cannot be matched, but your words mean more to me than I can say,” she says. She breaks the steps of the dance to place a kiss on the back of my hand. I gasp, and she pulls away. Her tragic smile is back, and I rush to console her.

“I did not mean to frighten you,” I say, “that was just unexpected.” I take her free hand in mine and place a gentle kiss on the inside of her wrist.

“I never did catch your name,” she says, meeting my gaze.

“It’s Nessa. And you? I would like to put a name to such a beautiful soul.” I smile at her, and she returns it.

“It’s Lisa. I am glad that I can now pretend to watch the sunrise and know who I am ignoring it for.”

We pick the dance back up, both of us having forgotten the dance in the midst of our feelings. Her hand lands on my waist, a gentle gesture in the dancing world, and a touch that means so much more to me than anyone perceiving it could ever know.

“Do you really miss out on the sunrise for me?” I ask.

“I like to watch both. It is fascinating to see the sun change your hues. My favorite moment is when it just starts to peek over the horizon, and your pearl earring is lit in shades of purple and orange. It is more beautiful than any sunrise could ever be. I would miss an eternity of sunrises if I could see the light changing the colors of your turban and your pearls just once more.”

I do not know how to respond to this. No one prepared me for such kind words from a woman so lovely.

“I wish we could switch places so I could see how the sunrise illuminates you. I see you in contrast to the sunset, and it could never rival your grace.”

“Perhaps we can watch the sun rise together this morning? You cannot see it all, but you can see what I see at first light. It truly is beautiful,” she says.

So we do. We dance the rest of the night our words and our movements matching in grace. When the morning is approaching, we take to the bench near her frame. I sit down next to her, and she wraps her arm around my shoulders. It is impossible for a painting to get cold, but the gesture is more than enough.

The deep navy blue of the night sky slowly lightens, and I sit up straight. Our time here is running out, and I have something more to say.

“Lisa?” I say, my voice steady and more calm than I could have expected.

“What is it my dear?” The name slips out so effortlessly, and I nearly swoon.

“I am in love with you. I have been since you came to the gallery,” I say, the words easy and smooth. I never could have predicted the ease with which I could confess to her.

“And I with you, my dear Nessa.” The first rays of color begin to peek over the window, and I sigh.

“Until tomorrow night?” It is not a question I expect her to answer. I lean in to give her a kiss, but I feel a tug around my middle. Without warning, I am back in my frame, staring at her from across the hall. Her smile is beautiful, if also sad.

That is how she will remain until nightfall when we can speak again. For twenty years, she was the woman across the hall. Now, my dear reader, she is my Lisa. And I am her Nessa. I know she is watching me now as the sun rises. I wonder what shades the sun casts across my face now. However beautiful they may be, nothing will ever compare to my Lisa. 

March 23, 2024 02:41

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1 comment

EKKOH V
21:14 Mar 28, 2024

cute :)

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