Author's Note: I am aware that this story does not completely go with the prompt, but I was pretty proud to write a romance like this and wanted to submit it. Hope you enjoy it!
Iris’s stray hairs are pushed away from her face by the biting wind. Flying down the slope, the feeling of being free floods through her. This sensation blurs the rest of the world, and Iris suddenly collides with something–or someone.
A girl with shockingly black hair and olive skin tumbles down the slope with rainbow-haired Iris. They land at the bottom, one laughing and the other… not so much.
“Oh, my god! Are you okay? I’m so sorry.” Iris said. She bit her nails as they moved out of the way.
“I’m okay; you’re fine. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten run into.” This girl, who Iris found undoubtedly attractive, seemed to care less about the situation than Iris did.
“Are you sure you’re okay? I mean, if you got hurt or anything I can take you somewhere,” Iris said. The pair shuffled into the main building, sitting down next to the blazing fireplace. They glanced at each other, blushing every time they made eye contact.
“Um, I don’t think I caught your name. I’m Iris.”
“Tiana. Was this your first time skiing?” Tiana meant it as a joke, but Iris looked away and rubbed her arm (a nervous tic).
“No, actually. I was just a little distracted.”
Hesitant laughter emitted from both of the women.
“Are you from around here?” Tiana asked.
“Yeah, about fifteen minutes away from the main street. You?”
“I live off of there. I actually work in the vet clinic right next to the post office.”
“I know right where that’s at! I’m a therapist, I have my own business across the street from Starbucks. Convenient when I have long mornings and need a coffee to make it through the rest of the day.” Iris smiled, let it stretch all the way up to her eyes. Tiana giggled.
“Now, this might sound crazy, and I know we just met… but would you like to go out for coffee sometime? I know a cute, little shop that’s not Starbucks,” Tiana stated.
“I’d like that.”
“Hey, thanks for coming,” Tiana said. She smiled and waved Iris over.
“No way I’m turning down coffee. Are there any winter specials?” Iris looked up at the glowing menu that hung above the counter.
“Yeah, my favorite is the Merry Berry frappuccino. It’s pretty much just strawberries,” Tiana said. Iris’s excitement about this new coffee turned into a frown.
“I’m allergic to strawberries. I know, I know, a weird thing to be allergic to.” Iris laughed it off but couldn’t hide her uneasiness with this new experience.
“Well, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Iris scratched at her wrist.
The rest of the date goes by smoothly, and before they know it, the new couple has been talking for almost two hours.
“I better be getting home. This was a lot of fun, thanks again for asking me to come,” Iris stated, taking one last sip of her drink.
“No problem. Besides, when I see a pretty face, I just can’t help myself.” Tiana giggled as Iris’s cheeks flushed a bright red.
“Well, if you’re so confident, why don’t I pick you up at your house next Friday, six-thirty? We’ll go to a fancy dinner, just the two of us.” Iris rubbed her arm, a small smile dancing on her face.
Tiana seemed to contemplate for a moment, then looked back at Iris and said, “I’d like that very much.” She reached out and squeezed Iris’s hand before walking out, jingling the bell on the door.
“YES!” Iris celebrated. The few customers and one barista that was there gave her the side-eye, but a couple smiled and clapped for her in a joking manner. They watched as Iris danced her way out into the winter air.
“You look… beautiful.” Iris’s jaw practically fell on the floor when Tiana stepped out of her house in a sage green dress that came down to her knees.
“Thank you,” Tiana said. “I went thrifting one day and found it. It fits perfectly.” She twirled around.
“You go thrifting? That’s awesome.” Iris’s enthusiastic smile caused Tiana to blush.
“Shall we go?” Tiana teased.
“We shall.” Iris put her arm out, letting Tiana put her hand in the crook of it.
“I needed you to help me! How could you just go out and leave me here after something like that?” Tiana, red in the face, paced back and forth in front of an exhausted Iris.
“Based on the way you were acting, I thought that you just wanted to be left alone.” Iris shook her head, staring down at her hands.
“All I said was that I needed a minute to think after you told me about this ‘trip’ of yours.” Tiana stopped pacing, hands on her hips.
“No, T, you said that you wanted me to leave. So, I did and got a drink. I don’t know what you expected from me.”
“I wanted you to read between the lines! I thought that you would be able to tell that I just wanted you to stay and talk.” Tiana’s voice faded away, and she wrung her hands, flopping down on one of the kitchen chairs. Iris put her hand to her head.
“Look. I’m sorry that I’m not a mind-reader. But, if you really wanted me to know that, you would’ve come out and said it!” Her hand flopped back down as tears began falling from Tiana’s eyes.
“You told me that you’d always be there for me,” Tiana whispered.
“You also said that I wouldn’t have to tell you everything and that you would understand it all without me saying so.”
Iris’s face flamed a bright red, and bolts of anger flashed in her eyes. “I specifically told you that I don’t interpret things well! I don’t express my feelings well and you have to explain things to me.”
“You’re doing pretty well at that right now… I’m leaving. Gonna go for a drive or something.” Tiana got up, grabbing her coat and boots.
“Fine by me.” Iris watches in shock as Tiana slams the front door closed, shaking the entire house. Sinking to the floor, Iris sobbed.
Geared up in ball caps, sneakers, and matching backpacks, Tiana and Iris navigated their way around all of the obstacles that covered the path up the mountain. Iris powered on, but Tiana’s sweaty face showed nothing but exhaustion.
“Iris, will you please just tell me where we’re going?”
“Nah-ah-ah. I told you: it’s a secret. I can tell you that you’ll love it.” Iris grinned smugly.
“Fine. Can you at least tell me how much farther we have to go?” She glanced around, trying to find a stopping point.
They were standing on rocky ground, surrounded by trees. The cliff overlooked a green forest, and a small lake was off to the right. It was picturesque.
The couple took their backpacks off, setting them down off to the side.
“This is beyond beautiful, but why are we here?” Tiana asked. She looked around again, taking in the view.
“I have my reasons. The day that we had our first date–”
Tiana cut in, saying, “The coffee shop.”
“Yeah. I hiked up here because, ever since I was a kid, this is where I have come to think. And after our date, I thought. A lot. Mostly about you.” Iris paused, taking a deep breath.
Tiana raised one eyebrow, beginning to grow suspicious. “And?”
“I have come up here after each of our dates. Almost every time I’ve come up here, I’ve thought ‘She’s the one. The one I’m gonna marry.’ So, I thought it was only right to come here.” Iris bent down on one knee, pulling a ring case out of her sweatshirt pocket. Tiana put her hands on her cheeks, tearing up. The diamond on top of the silver band glinted in the sunlight.
Iris responded: “Tiana, you have made me the happiest woman on Earth. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”
“Obviously!!!” Tiana exclaimed. Iris, standing up, slipped the ring onto Tiana’s finger. They both grinned ear to ear as Iris pulled Tiana by the waist to her, kissing her.
“Do you, Iris King, take Tiana Talik, to be your lawfully wedded wife?” the minister inquired. Iris smiled at her soon-to-be wife, sliding the new and improved wedding ring on her left ring finger.
“And do you, Tiana Talik, take Iris King, to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
Tiana repeated Iris’s action, firmly stating, “I do.”
“Then I now pronounce you wife and wife. You may kiss each other,” the minister suggested. He stepped aside. Tiana was centimeters away from kissing the love of her life through the clapping when it started.