LGBTQ+ Romance Happy

Almost there. I’ll meet you inside.

Skye rolled her eyes at Julia’s message. This was exactly why she didn’t like making plans with her younger sister. Julia had fun ideas, but participating in them didn’t matter as she was chronically late to every single event.

Skye switched off her phone and looked up at the top of the building in front of her. The tan building had a wooden sign that read, “The Museum of Love.” She wasn’t completely sure why Julia had picked this place, but something about the place’s name intrigued her. Most museums had sections dedicated to the magical artifacts of the past depicting love and romance, but was it really so interesting for there to be a whole museum itself about the topic?

Her thoughts didn’t come up with an answer to the question, so she opened the tall glass doors in front of her. 

She was immediately greeted by a receptionist at the front desk. The woman seemed to have a whimsical aura around her, and the corners of her eyes crinkled as she smiled at Skye.

“How many tickets?” The woman, who had a name tag reading “Amara,” asked.

Skye wondered if she should buy Julia’s ticket now for a brief moment. “Just one, please.”

“That will be sixteen dollars and sixteen cents.”

She paid with her credit card and grabbed the paper ticket from Amara’s hand, wandering away from the reception desk to look around the room layout and see where she should go first.

The museum was smaller than she expected, with only three large painting sections, a marked “special display,” and a few sculptures and statues scattered around the room, plus a gift shop. The overall aesthetic was put together, however, with pale pink wallpaper and yellowed tiles on the walls and floor. There was also a big chandelier in the very center of the museum, near the special display, with much smaller, less harsh lights brightening the rest of the art taking up the space. She decided to start all the way to the left, and make her way around in an arch shape. Hopefully, Julia would be here before she finished checking everything out.

The very first section was an altar dedicated to the Greek god of sex and love, Eros. Skye wasn’t surprised to see it, but she was in awe of the altar itself. There was a large painting of him, with his signature bow and arrow, in a golden frame. The table below the painting contained a small white statue of him, similar to the painting, as well as loads of scented and fake LED candles (only the LEDs were lit up), a vase of red roses, and a large pink offering bowl, with water inside of it. Skye wasn’t completely sure of her relationship with hellenism, but she thought that Eros would enjoy this altar. The additional art pieces surrounding the altar included several more paintings of him and another statue. She decided to go check them out, taking her time at this section.

The paintings were all very simple and similar to famous art pieces of Eros already out there. Him shooting his signature bow and arrow, him with Psyche, the Greek goddess of the soul, him with his mother, Aphrodite. The statue itself was of Cupid, and was similar to most statues of the Greek and Roman deities; he was naked, with wings and a bow and arrow. Skye lingered on the statue for a second, wondering if he would shoot an arrow for her and another person anytime soon, before deciding to move on to the second art section of the museum. Part of her wanted to wait longer for her sister, but the other part of her was itching to explore the rest of the building. That side of her won the argument.

The second section was also an altar, but it was larger and more feminine in dedication to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Skye was amazed by all the roses, pink, seashells, and gifts from visitors surrounding the wooden desk. Both the real and LED candles were pink, there were stuffed doves and swans left with sticky notes (the handwriting was so messy Skye wondered if they were left by kids or doctors), and there was a large wreath of fake red and pink roses hanging above it all on the wall. The center of the altar contained a pearly white sculpture of the goddess herself, and Skye was drawn to the intricate details carved by the original artist. Next to the sculpture was an offering bowl similar to the one for Eros, only more intricately painted and detailed, with small pink lavender-shaped flowers circling the shape of the dish. 

She stayed there, wondering what Aphrodite would say if Skye had the opportunity to talk to her about her love life. Her struggles, her hopes, her dreams. She fiddled with the pink beaded bracelet tied around her wrist, a gift from Julia when they were still teenagers. 

Lady Aphrodite, if you can hear me, Skye thought to herself, please bless me with your guidance on my quest for love.

She checked her watch. Julia had still not given any time indication of when she would get to the museum. Sighing to herself, Skye bid a quick farewell to the altar, promising to come back with a rose, and started walking towards the marked “special display.” 

The walls between the altar and the special display were lined with many, many portraits and paintings of Aphrodite. Most were solo portraits, bringing the attention onto her and her beauty, but there were a few art pieces of her with Ares, her with Eros, and other members of the Olympian family. Skye felt herself reaching out to the goddess as she admired more and more of the art. She wondered if she received her message.

The final piece of the Aphrodite section was a sculpture of her. Paired with a signature dove, the naked art stood out against the place next door, where the “special display” was. Skye almost wanted to spend the rest of her time at the museum drinking in the glimpse of Aphrodite’s beauty, of the work of the artist that had been blessed with the sight to capture her beauty. But the back of her mind reminded her that Julia shouldn’t receive the satisfaction of being late and seeing Skye barely halfway done exploring the artworks. So, lost in thought, she moved on, following the arrows to the special display.

The hallway, though very short in reality, felt long as Skye made her way towards the art lying ahead of her. The walls were still pale pink, and she could still see glimpses of the other three art sections, but walking towards this intriguing display felt like a portal was taking her to an alternate universe. She reached the end of the (relatively short, in reality) hallway and looked up to see a giant sign on the wall.

The thing in your life you should love the most…

Below the sign was a mirror.

Clever, she thought to herself as she stared at her appearance. Her long, red hair was tied back in a french braid, but it was starting to fall apart. Her green eyes were too green for her liking. The scar on her cheek from her childhood dog was long faded, but still there.

She probably would’ve stayed lost in thought over herself if she did not see a young woman with dark brown skin appear in the corner of the mirror.

“It’s smart, right?” The woman said, gently shoving herself in front of Skye with a bright smile. “The thing we should love the most are ourselves!”

Skye’s lips twitched with a smile as she replied, “Yeah, it was definitely a smart idea.”

The woman turned towards her. “I’m Harley. What’s your name?”

Skye’s breath hitched before she answered. “I’m Skye.”

“Cool,” Harley beamed at her, and Skye had to will herself to not get lost in her deep brown eyes. “Have you checked out the whole museum yet?”

“Not yet.”

“Would you want to tag along with me? I love museums!”

Skye was confused on why Harley was offering to hang out when they barely exchanged a few words, but it didn’t stop her from accepting it.

“Cool, let’s go!”

Harley took Skye’s hand and took off running down the hallway of the special display. Skye could barely keep up, stumbling over her own feet several times and praying that she wouldn’t fall on her face. She wondered how a girl that looked to be her age, just shy of twenty one, had so much energy like a little kid.

The run had come to an end almost as quickly as it had begun. Harley held out her arm to catch Skye so she didn’t fall at the abrupt stop.

“Woah! You’re pretty clumsy, aren’t ya?” Harley said. She turned to the wall on their left. “Look at the paintings! They’re so romantic.”

Skye looked up at the painting in front of her. It was of a man and a woman, staring at each other, with the man’s hand grabbing the woman’s wrist. They both looked happy yet upset at the same time. They were standing on a boat deck of some kind. Skye wondered if they were supposed to represent the conflicts of relationships, before deciding she was reading too much into it.

Harley, meanwhile, had moved on to a couple paintings down from where Skye was at. 

“You really like your art, don’t you Skye?” Harley said with a smile. “Don’t act like you aren’t still admiring that painting!”

Skye wandered over to where she was, in front of a portrait of two young women kissing. “I like art. How do you move on so fast? There’s so much to admire about these pieces.”

Harley’s smile fell for a quick moment. “Are you accusing me of not thinking about the art?”

Skye’s mouth went dry as she tried to explain herself. “Well-”

Harley grinned mischievously. “I’m playing around. I’ve been here before. Don’t worry, I would never disrespect Aphrodite herself like that.”

Skye had never felt so relieved at missing a joke. “Oh, that’s good to hear.”

Harley’s nose scrunched for a second as she turned away from Skye and started wandering away to a different painting. “I always try to visit museums at least twice. This is my sixth time coming, but I like to people-watch here. The reactions to the special display, the love they bless Aphrodite’s and Eros’ altars with…it’s heartwarming.”

Skye followed behind her to a portrait of two people holding hands on a picnic blanket. 

“Plus…” Harley continued. “It’s nice to find my future dates at a museum of love. It’s very poetic, don’t you think?”

Skye’s face flushed red. Harley smirked, turning to look at Skye blushing. She then wandered farther away.

Skye stood and stared at the painting in front of her. Could she and Harley have something like that? She couldn’t answer the question. They had just met, after all. But maybe that’s what was so special about the place. There were dedicated spots to Eros and Aphrodite; who's to say they didn’t like leaving their blessings? Or shooting arrows?

Harley didn’t talk too much after that, but still made sure to string Skye along on her path throughout the last art section of the museum. Skye tried her best to continue admiring the paintings in front of her. Many were similar to each other; couples of all genders, races, and sizes were kissing, holding hands, hugging, any couple activity Skye could think of. The diversity of the love displayed in the museum was beautiful, even down to different art styles. No wonder Harley could find so many dates here; the diversity of the art probably pulled in a diverse arrangement of customers.

They eventually made their way to the last painting in the museum to see: two people, completely shaded in, sitting in front of a sunset on a picnic blanket, leaning against each other’s shoulders. The dark golden frame complemented the bright red, orange, and yellow colors of the sunset surprisingly well. 

There was a box of text underneath the frame. Skye and Harley stood very close to each other as they read it.

When a sample of one hundred people were surveyed about the most romantic scene they could ever see in a movie, the most common response was a couple watching the sunset together.

Harley turned to Skye and smiled. “So, sunset date later?”

Skye flushed. “I mean, it’s only three o’clock right now. Do you really want to spend that much time with a stranger from a museum?

“I mean, do you?”


The answer came out of Skye’s mouth so fast she wasn’t sure if she actually said it out loud.

Harley’s smile grew bigger. “Cool. Let’s get some roses for Aphrodite from the gift shop and get out of here. I know a great restaurant nearby that we could go to.”

Skye grinned, way larger than she would’ve expected. “That sounds nice.”

The two walked away from the painting and into the gift shop. There were many souvenirs to buy inside, but Skye and Harley stuck to their words and each bought a couple of roses.

When they went to put the roses inside the vase on Aphrodite’s altar, Harley asked if Skye could step away while she said a quick prayer.

“It’ll be quick,” she promised. Skye nodded and stepped away.

She stared at the roses in her hand, wondering if Aphrodite would be offended if she gave one to Harley instead. 

Maybe she did hear my thoughts earlier, Skye thought to herself. Maybe her and Cupid shot me with an arrow, and Harley is now here.

Harley finished praying and planted her two roses inside the vase. Skye put one inside the vase, and offered the second one to Harley, her cheeks getting more red by the second.

“For me?” Harley beamed. She gently took the rose from Skye’s hand. “No one has ever given me a rose before. Thank you.”

Skye nodded, feeling her lips form a smile. 

“Alright, let’s go. I don’t know about you, but admiring art always works up my appetite.”

Harley hooked her left arm with Skye’s, holding her rose in her right hand. The two of them walked out of the museum. Skye saw Amara smiling at them as they exited.

Suddenly, to Skye’s surprise, she slammed into a familiar red headed woman right outside the door.


Skye looked up. “Oh, you’re finally here.”

“Yep,” Julia smiled at her. “And, I see you’ve made a friend.”

Harley beamed. “Maybe more than that. I’m taking her on a date.”

“Woah,” Julia replied. “But, Skye, we had plans here!”

Skye resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Sorry, Jules. I’ll come back with you another time, okay?”

Julia’s lips formed a slight frown, but she still nodded. “I’ll check it out by myself, then. Maybe I’ll find my own date!”

She stormed inside the museum, and Skye laughed. “Yeah, good luck with that!”

Harley chuckled. “Is she your sister?”

“Yep. Now, let’s go to that restaurant you were talking about, yeah?”

The two walked down the street, leaving a shining building behind them. 

March 22, 2024 20:16

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