LGBTQ+ Teens & Young Adult Romance

In a large bedroom on the second story of a millionaires mansion in California, a tall girl with black hair that shines in the moonlight sat on the brick wall of her small terrace. She swung her socked feet gently as she watched the gentle wind sway the tulips that she had planted last summer. The breeze blew the scent of citrus from the orchard across from her house over to her. She inhaled and smiled, closing her eyes. 

She could hear the stream behind her house, the frogs and crickets singing inside it. The leaves swayed and shook while the cars flew by outside her gate.  This was her favorite song. 

She listened to the sounds and heard something off. She opened her eyes. 

Laughing? That wasn’t usual… Her posture fell and she craned her neck to see over the tall hedge blocking the sidewalk from view. The laughing got louder and she began to feel dizzy. 

People. Her age… she started hyperventilating. Her hands became clammy and shaky, the world began spinning. No, no, this wasn’t happening. The peoples faces were illuminated by the yellow light of a streetlamp before they disappeared behind the hedge.

Oh… It was just the town stoner kids. Whatever, she thought. They were probably too high to see her anyways. Even with this thought in mind, she still slouched out of view until they passed.

She didn’t hear the soft footsteps of Matilda, the housekeeper, coming to check on her.

“Clementine? It’s time to come in. The wind is picking up, head to bed. You’ve got a big day tomorrow-” she paused. She saw Clementine tense at the mention of tomorrow, and considered what to say next. “well, you should really head to bed.” 

Clementine nodded and swung her legs around , hopping off the ledge. She chewed her cheek and stuffed her hands into the pockets of her sweatpants as she walked inside. Matilda shut the door lightly as she left Clementine to be. Clementine clicked the window-doors shut and walked silently into her room on the plush gray carpet. She turned right, facing her chesterwood dresser, and unplugged her I phone. The screen flicked on, and the time read 11:48 PM. 

Eighteen minutes until her birthday. 

She set her phone, face down onto the dresser, a little too hard. She stuck her thumbnail in between her teeth and realized that there was nothing left to chew. She held her hands in front of her and examined them. 

The nails were chewed below the bed, beginning to sting. The cuticles were scabbed, torn, and most likely infected.  She opened the low drawer in the bedside table and pulled out some waterproof band-aids, wrapping each fingertip tightly. She continued chewing her cheek. 

She took the clip from her hair and let the silky strands fall over her face. She reached to the light switch and flicked it off. She lowered herself onto the ground, and laid back, sinking into the carpet. She gazed up at the glowing green stars plastered to her ceiling, finding the constellations that she had placed in them.


What an ugly word, Clementine thought. All she remembered from her birthdays was despair, agony. Nightmares of blue and red flashing lights, the back of an ambulance as it drove away from her.

She dug her fingers into the carpet.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Clementine jumped up. She slowly picked up her phone. It was exactly 12:00 AM. 

Ignoring the sinking in her heart, she walked to the window. She peered out, seeing nothing;  she should go to bed, she knew. But she couldn’t handle the nightmares…

She gently pulled the handle, wincing at the rather loud click. She Stepped out onto the terrace, cracking the door behind her. She climbed onto the wall and pulled her knees to her chest. She couldn't hear the sounds properly anymore. she couldn't see the world properly anymore. Everything had an ominous tint, as if tragedy was creeping in the shadows. The sound of sirens rang in her ears, as it did every August 10th. She tried not to blink, because every time her eyes opened again, all she saw was her face.

Her mothers face.

Clementine swallowed the lump in her throat, and buried the images that came with it. And then she felt... different.

The fuzz on her arms stood up, and she knew something was off. she started to feel caked in mud, sweaty and dizzy, as she did when...

When someone was watching her.

She pushed herself up, standing on the ledge, scanning the lawn and straining to see the street; the sidewalk was empty aside from that waxy, yellow light from the street lamp. Nobody in sight.

But Clementine knew someone was there. A sudden gust of strong, citrus wind caused her to drop into a crouch, pressing her fingertips to the lip of the ledge. She tasted blood, and realized that she chewed too hard on her cheek.

She had to check! If somebody was on her property then she had to investigate... it could be a robber!


Her head snapped to the shade of the willow tree at the back corner of her lawn. Her hands went limp and she tumbled back into the terrace. She laid there, contemplating if she should crawl to her room and just go to bed. But curiosity took control and she slowly stood up, darting into her room and locking the door.

Clementine jumped into some converse and listened outside her bedroom door, listening for the gentle snore of her father down the hall. Once she was sure he was asleep, she gingerly twisted the doorknob and cracked to door open just wide enough to slip through.

Her skin became rough with goosebumps, feeling weary in the dark hallway. Her only light was from the window at the end of the hall, right above the first stair.

Clementine crept past her fathers room, wincing when she put too much pressure on a squeaky floor board. It then took her three minutes to tiptoe her way down the stairs and, finally, to the front door.

Her stomach was doing flips as though it were trying to climb through her intestines and out her mouth. Her body was shaking, every joint feeling strained. She suddenly remembered to breathe and rested a quivering hand onto the cool, bronze doorknob, convincing herself to twist the deadbolt and turn the handle.

She let her breath out and twisted. The heavy door fell open, just a crack. She peered into the yard, a direct eye line to the shadow of the willow tree. She clenched her hands into fists and shouldered the door open fully, bee-lining for the tree.

The grass left the tips of her shoes with droplets of dew as she cautiously approached the tall roots.

"H-H...hello..?" Clementine stuttered in a whisper.

No response. She braced herself, gripped the thick bark, and looked behind the tree.

A piece of small, yellow paper with blue lines was tacked to the tree. Pinned to that was an abnormally small envelope. She couldn't see any of the words, so the retrieved it from the bark, ran inside, crept up the stairs and past her fathers door, and rushed into her room. She gently shut the door and collapsed onto her bed, waiting many moments before sitting up. She read the note.

Dear Clementine,

Please don't be alarmed, I know that this is weird. Let me explain.

I saw you on August tenth, 2010. It was your fifth birthday. I saw them carry your mother out in a body bag from across the street. My mother and I were heading to the park. I saw your face when they drove away with the sirens off... So I won't say happy birthday. I know that it's not.

Since then, I've kept track of you. I know about your social anxiety, and I understand you. Normally, when I see people, I see bullies and scary shadows and they go blurry; when I see you, I see kindness and vulnerability, someone welcoming. You were a perfect subject for photography as I found how interesting you were when you thought no one was watching...

Point is, I'd like to meet you if that isn't too creepy. If you don't want to just don't show up and i'll leave you be...

Greenedge Park @ 2:00 PM tomorrow?

With love,

Not a stalker.

Clementine squinted and read it again. And again.

She should feel horrified, right? She should scream and shout for her father and call the police? But she was intrigued. She wanted to know this person; she felt like she understood them, wanted to see them... So she would go. Her fathers only plans tomorrow were to give her a gift and some cake and head to work as usual. As she requested.

Now she opened the square envelope. Inside contained a developed Polaroid of herself, standing on the ledge of her terrace, searching the yard. This hardly looked like her, though. This girl had curiosity in her eyes, a flush in her cheeks, hair that glistened in the moonlight. Her eyes twinkled emerald and her bottom lip was pulled between her teeth.

This person must really know her... She glanced out to her terrace once again.

Feeling oddly giddy, she laid down and shut her her eyes, dreaming of Greenedge Park.

"Clementine? Dear?" a British voice called.

Clementines eyes fluttered open and squinted at the light. Matilda was at the edge of her bed with a sympathetic smile and a small, grey mesh bag in her palm.

"I'm sorry, deary, your father had to rush off to work. Here is his gift, and I will leave you be today." Matilda nodded and a worried wrinkle appeared between her eyebrows.

After Matilda had left, Clementine looked down at the bag. She pursed her lips and tucked her hair behind her ears; she set the bag on her duvet and delicately pulled the leather drawstring. She turned the bag upside down into her palm. a glimmer of metal flashed in her hand , and Clementine lifted a dainty gold (yet rather hefty) chain to examine the charm. It was a gold heart about the size of her ring-fingertip; the charm had tulips engraved intricately onto it's surface. As it slowly spun, the charm revealed a clasp on the edge. Confused, Clementine pulled the clasp and the charm revealed itself as a locket.

Her breath caught in her throat. She held the photo inside closer to her eyes. A tired looking woman with no hair and sparkling green eyes smiled up at her. This woman looked tired and worn at first glance, but when you really looked, you saw a fierceness in those tired eyes, and you could find a happy, loving woman in her smile. The same eyes and smile were found in the small girl beside her in the photo...

"Mommy..." Clementine whimpered

"I love you, my little tulip. Now, off to bed." a raspy voice said.

Those were the last words Clementine heard from her mother as she kissed her goodnight from her at-home hospital bed.

The night before her fifth birthday.

She sat for a while, silent tears streaming down her cheeks as she memorized every line and color in her mothers face. She sat for hours, just holding it. She eventually reached again to the bag, to store it for later, and felt something solid and flat inside.

She shook the bag again and a yellowing rectangle of thick paper tumbled out. Clementine gingerly picked the card up and scanned the words.

"Go far, tulip. Mommy always loves you. Happy seventeenth!"

Clementines lips twitched. it was her handwriting. she rubbed the card to her raw cheek and realized that it smelled like her.

She inhaled deeply and laughed, feeling sentimental. She tucked the card and locket into her bedside drawer. She shook her head and smiled, reaching for her phone.

1:34 PM.

She gasped and jumped out of bed, rummaging through her drawers and hesitantly deciding to wear a white, airy spaghetti strap paired with baggy second-hand bluejeans. She rushed through some concealer and mascara, smacking on some lip gloss and highlighter before sliding into her high-tops and throwing her hair into a messy bun. She snatched her phone and bolted down the stairs and out the door.

Clementine bounced on her toes as she waited for the wrought-iron gate to slide open enough that she could slide through.

She tapped her phone screen as she half walked, half jogged up the street.

1:49 PM.

The park was at least a ten minute walk away!

She began to move faster, taking corners very sharply. The park sign was in view at 1:57. She shielded her face from the sun with her hand, searching for someone approaching the park, and found nothing. She ran past the cross walk and onto the rubber mulch at 1:59. Her eyes flicked wildly around, searching anxiously. They caught a glint of orange.

Clementine did a double take at the swing set and zeroed in. A girl her age with long, ginger hair in a ponytail sat on the swings, craning her neck at the park entrance. Her brown eyebrows were pulled together, shadowing her chocolate brown eyes which were framed with thick lashes. A camera with a strap sat on the ground next to her swing. She drew her thick, rouge bottom lip through her teeth and twisted her mouth to the side, which highlighted the freckles on her gentle cheekbones and button nose.

Clementine slowly walked toward her, suddenly drawn to her presence. Her stomach was fluttering and buzzing. The girl locked eyes with Clementine and her lips parted in shock. Her chocolate eyes followed Clementine until she sat down on the swing beside her. She smiled in a quick second and then looked at the ground. The both glanced at each other and flushed pink, Clementine chewed her cheek.

"Hi" The girl said in a voice that reminded her of plush.

"Hi" Clementine said.

"So, uh, my name is Kate..." She smiled.

Clementine thought that her name suited her perfectly. Her stomach continued to flutter, but now with glee.

"I think you know mine" Clementine said, filling silence.

Kate's eyes flashed to the ground and back. Her body shifted slightly to face Clementine. She didn't feel suffocated when she was looked at by Kate. The world didn't spin and she could feel something beside terror. She felt... attraction, and curiosity.

Kate reached into her back pocket and pulled out a small, square book that looked like a small photo album.

"I made this for you" Her lips curved into and entrancing half smile as Clementine took it.

The two of them sat, flipping through some amazing photos. photos of people, animals, plants, even random streets. They were all captivating. The two sat in a bubble, basking in sunshine and talking for the rest of the day. They climbed to the top of the play set and watched the sun set. Clementine rested her head on Kate's shoulder and their hands twined together.

September 11, 2022 04:57

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Angelica Doria
20:06 Sep 26, 2022

HI Layla! Omg What a great Story! I love it so much!


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Rabab Zaidi
16:03 Sep 17, 2022

Beautiful ! Very well written !


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