A/N: My fist fanfic. Pretty AU, no mention of Glee (sorry!). It's Faberry and it has a happy ending, don't worry. I'm a sucker for sappy romance :P
Enjoy. Read & review if you'd like to. Feedback is appreciated! :) I don't own Glee, sadly. All the ideas are mine though. And it's unbeta-d sorry for any errors in it.
The wind is blowing through my hair and the feel of the grass against my bare feet is cool and refreshing against the hot summer sun. I'm running as fast as a ten-year-old can move, and my little legs begin to tire quickly. I don't want to stop though; I finally have some time on my own, away from my parents, and it is very liberating. I want to make the most of it.
But I spot a bundle of luscious blonde and white, and I instantly redirect my route until I'm standing before it. It's a young girl, about my age, and she looks up curiously when she sees the shadow fall over her, squinting against the bright sunshine. I decide to be friendly.
"Hello." The girl looks at me with wide, beautiful hazel eyes. Her long blonde locks frame her face perfectly. She stares back at me silently for a moment, and I can tell she's nervous.
"Hi." She finally responds very softly, before looking back to the grass. I think she might be an angel; I've never seen anyone so beautiful before.
I decide to strike up a conversation. "Whatcha doin?" I ask innocently, my hands clasped behind my back as I rock on my feet a little. The girl just shrugs. After a moment, I ask, "Can I sit with you?" Another shrug. I plop myself down on the soft grass next to her.
She looks very nervous, and I catch her stealing glances at me. When our gazes finally lock, she looks away quickly with a deep blush coloring her cheeks. After a moment of silence I speak up again. "I'm Rachel Berry."
More silence. I hear her mumble something softly, and bend forward to hear what she has to say. "Quinn Fabray."
"That's a pretty name." She shrugs again, picking at the grass. "And I like your necklace. It's pretty too." Her eyes shoot up to mine. She subconsciously grabs at the cross on her neck.
"Mommy got it for me. She says wearing it is good. It shows how much I love Jesus." I nod, realizing she must follow a different religion.
"I'm Jewish." I say. "What about you?"
"Christian." She mumbles, looking back down to the ground. I smile and stand up, brushing my skirt off.
"That's cool. Wanna play tag?" She looks up at me and I see her lips turn up a little.
Quinn takes off and I'm chasing after her. She's faster than she looks; I bet she does some kind of sport. We play for a good half hour before she falls over and sprawls herself out on the grass, taking a breather. I fling myself down next to her.
"You're pretty cool." Quinn says after a few deep breaths. "I think we should be friends." I nod and give her one of my beaming grins.
We sit and talk for a little while, learning about each other. Quinn tells me about the recent move her family made to Lima less than a week ago, and that she knows only one or two kids here. I tell her about how I'm going to be a star on Broadway one day, and she smiles shyly at the information.
"You shine like a star." She mumbles, blushing once more, and I feel my heart leap a little in my chest at the compliment. She tells me about her love of gymnastics, and as our conversation continues, we become more comfortable with each other. In less than twenty minutes, we're laughing and joking like we've been best friends for years. I am thrilled at the amazing connection that I feel with Quinn.
By the time we're done talking, Quinn has to go, and she gives me a shy hug before darting off.
The next day I beg my dads to let me go to the field again, and the happily oblige. I find Quinn sitting in the field again, and she's just a bundle of blonde and blue this time. After I dash up to her and greet her, we decide to visit the small forest that meshes to the back of the field.
We spend the day exploring the forest and pretending we're safari hunters.
"My dad works with plants." I tell Quinn. "He takes care of all the wood from the trees that are cut down." She gives me an odd look.
"I thought you said your dad was a social worker."
I smile at her confusion and clear it up. "No, silly. That's my other dad."
"Oh." Her brow furrows and she's quiet for a moment. "You have two dads?"
She stands there with a deep look on her face. Finally, she speaks up. "That's really cool." She smiles at me. I tentatively smile back, noticing the internal conflict she must have been having at the information I gave her. I forget about it when she tags me and runs off, and I chase after her, the two of us laughing away.
And so comes the routine of Quinn and I meeting up each day in the field for our summer afternoons. We always find something new to do. I feel a special connection towards the shy Christian girl, and envision a lifelong friendship with her. At the young age of ten, I'm sure there's nothing that can keep us apart.
But one day in the middle of August, we come out of the forest a little late. I can see my parents standing at the edge of the field, a frown on each of their faces. I can also see a man and his wife not too far off, and I can tell they must be Quinn's parents.
My dads lightly chastise me for scaring them before pulling me into a monster Berry hug, relieved at the fact that nothing harmful happened to me. Quinn doesn't look like she's getting off as easily with her parents. She points to me and before I know it her family is coming over.
Her parents look at both of my dads judgmentally before stiffly introducing themselves. They turn to one of my dads.
"I assume you are Rachel's father. Is this her uncle then? And whereabouts would her mother be? I hope she has not passed away." Quinn's father asks as politely as possible.
"Rachel is adopted. We are both her fathers." My dad responds. I see Mr. and Mrs. Fabray's frowns deepen at my dad's response, and Quinn's father grips her shoulder tightly before giving us a curt goodbye and steering the family away. I look at my dad in confusion
He gives my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. Don't worry about it, Honey, It's nothing."
Quinn is there the next day, and as soon as I reach her she tells me that she's been enlisted to the private school instead of the public elementary I'm attending.
"It starts in a few days." Her face is filled with sadness. "My dad wants me to prepare for school after today, he says I can't come here anymore."
I'm so disappointed that she's no longer attending my school that I almost cry. "Why did he make you switch?" Quinn shrugs, looking to the grass again.
"He won't say."
We have one last afternoon of fun in the field and the forest before the sun begins to wane. It's time for Quinn to go home. Before she goes, she turns to me and gives me a tight hug.
"I'll see you next year." She whispers, and then she's gone.
I'm sitting in the middle of the field. It's been a year. Today is the second day of summer, and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't seen Quinn since that day she left me standing in this exact spot all alone.
I scan the expanse again and see a body come towards me. I recognize the blonde hair immediately, and I'm up and bolting to her in an instant. She boosts to a run and we meet each other halfway in a tight hug, words pouring out of our mouths in a jumble as we try to make up for a year away from our friendship. I pull Quinn down and we begin chatting animatedly, catching up on everything that had happened to each other in the past year.
Quinn tells me about a few girls she met in gymnastics that go to my school, Santana Lopez and Brittany Pierce.
"Yeah, I've seen them in the halls." I confirm for her. "But I don't talk to them that much. Mercedes Jones, Tina Cohen-Chang and Artie Abrams are my school friends." I sigh, looking at her slightly crestfallen expression. "None of my friendships with them are as significant as the one I have with you, Quinn." I hastily add, covering her hand with mine. She nods sadly.
"I hate the private school. I don't have many friends, and it's so strict and awful over there. And I miss you so much when I'm there. I wish my dad was okay with public schools." She says wistfully.
I look at her curiously. "Is that why you can't come to Lima Elementary?" I ask, and she nods.
I decide to change the conversation, and soon enough we're recalling all the hilarities we experienced in grade five. After our lengthy conversation dies out, we are up and running around in a classic game of tag again. I feel almost as if we had never been apart as the day ends, and I give Quinn a hug before heading home, promising to meet her tomorrow. I've never smiled so widely before (and that's coming from me, Rachel Berry!).
Our routine picks up where we had left off, and every day we meet in the field, finding the other sitting down and patiently waiting. Instead of just running through the forest, we would occasionally bring games to play. I know Quinn's favorite game is Frisbee.
"Run, Rach!" Quinn cries as I sprint to catch the Frisbee that got caught in the wind from Quinn's throw. I dive to catch it, but it curls away at the last instant and I miss, falling in a heap on the grass. I can hear Quinn laughing and when I sit up I see that she's doubled over in hysterics.
"Quinn Fabray, I do believe it is impolite to laugh at another person's effort!" I huff, but I can't keep the grin off my face or the smile out of my tone. Quinn rushes forward and grabs the Frisbee, sticking her tongue out at me.
"I'm laughing with you, Rach, not at you!" She exclaims. "Go long!" And I'm up and running after the Frisbee again as Quinn hurls it forth as straight as possible. She cheers and claps when I successfully grasp the disk in my hands.
Eventually the last day of summer for Quinn arrives, and we give each other a tight hug and another promise to meet again next year before I watch Quinn walk away once again. As I watch her retreating form, I can't help but wish that things could be different for us.
It's Quinn who's waiting for me on the summer of grade 6, and this time I tackle her to the ground playfully and start telling her about the crazy year I had and how much I missed her.
"I wish you went to my school so bad, Quinn!" I say. She gives me a sad smile and pats my knee.
"You and me both. But Daddy doesn't want me too, and I would be a bad daughter if I disagreed." I think this is one of the craziest things I've ever heard, but I decide to not point this out and avoid having an argument with Quinn. The dynamics of Quinn's relationship with her parents is obviously different than mine.
"Well, I still have the summer to spend with my BFF." I finally say after a long moment of silence. Quinn grins and bounces to her feet, smacking my shoulder lightly.
"Tag! You're It!" And she takes off with me laughing after her, allowing us to quickly fall back into our routine.
I have a lot more extracurricular activities this summer, but I always make time to spend with Quinn in our field. She seems more troubled these days, but instead of asking her about it and causing her more stress, I simply tell a corny joke to lighten the mood and hear her melodic laughter.
We play more games during our time in the field as opposed to running around and playing make-believe. It seems less appropriate now that we are growing older, and we are feeling some of the pressures of reality. When August rolls around, Quinn and I have played more games of Bocci and Croquet than I can count.
Quinn beats me at Bocci every time; I'm terrible at it. Often our games will morph from organized turns to each or us hurling our Bocci balls and chasing after them to shove them closer. At some point either Quinn or I will tackle the other down to try and buy some time, and whenever I take her out she always ends up tickling me until I can't breathe.
Croquet games, however, are quite different. I usually manage to beat Quinn from all the practice I had with my dads when I was younger; I love croquet and we would always play. One day I let Quinn set up the croquet game. She decides to put some wickets in the forest and we end up spending half an hour trying to get our balls through one wicket that is placed on a steep hill.
"Darn it, Quinn, why did you insist on locating a wicket in the most inconvenient area possible?" I grumble, and despite Quinn's frustration, she laughs.
"That's a lot of words to say you're ticked at the setup!" She teases before winding up and whacking the ball as hard as possible, sending it flying up the hill until it loses its momentum and begins rolling down again.
"Stop! No! Don't move! Desist! Cease! Argh!" Quinn exclaims, desperately running up to the ball that's increasing in speed and trying to will it to stop without touching it in any way. Watching her wave her arms around frantically and yell herself hoarse at the plastic ball is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
I calm myself down before taking a deep breath and wailing my mallet at the ball, sending it disappearing over the hill in the distance. As I chase after it, I hear Quinn laughing and calling out to me.
"I do believe that's a little too hard of a hit, Rach!"
Eventually I manage to get mine through on a complete fluke, and Quinn has to make bunkers of mud to stop her ball from rolling all the way down.
The sight of Quinn relentlessly hacking dents into the dirt with her mallet is priceless, and we are laughing so hard that we can't finish our game. I nobly sacrifice the win to Quinn, and she gives me a kiss on the cheek in return. I blush furiously.
Another summer of joyous freedom with my best friend Quinn ends too soon and I feel my heart break a little when we're once again saying goodbye.
She walks away, and looks back at me one last time before she disappears.
I spend another torturous year away from my one closest friend. I find myself wondering why Quinn can never see me except for the summer. I talk to Artie, Tina and Mercedes about it a lot. I also talk to my new friend Kurt, who moved to Lima this year and just started attending my middle school.
They each give me sympathetic looks and words of comfort, and laugh along to most of the stories I tell. Kurt always seems to have a particularly giddy gleam in his eye when I talk about Quinn and I.
I try asking my dads one night about why Quinn isn't allowed to see me aside from during the summer, and I see my two dads exchange glances before telling me that they will explain in a year or two, when I am old enough to understand. I open my mouth to start one of my Rachel Berry monologues, explaining why I should be allowed to know, but my dad cuts me off.
"Rachel, sweetie, I know you are trying to understand, but this is an issue that we are not comfortable discussing with you at this time. When you're fourteen instead of twelve, we will have a civilized conversation about this. Please let it go until then." I deflate and nod silently, defeated. I sigh. In a year and a half, I'll know, but I'll be impatient until then without a doubt.
I manage to forget about my questions and enjoy the rest of the year with my friends. I can't help but feel a pang of sorrow when Quinn is once again M.I.A. from my birthday celebration in May. The only time we see each other is during the summertime in the field. I find myself more and more often wishing things could change and Quinn and I could be free to enjoy our friendship whenever we want to.
The last bell of the school year finally rings, and I don't care that it's literally minutes into summer. I instantly dash off to the field, and I am pleasantly surprised to find Quinn waiting there anxiously in a beautiful white sundress.
"I couldn't wait." She tells me when we greet each other, and I understand. I couldn't either. I pull her into a big hug that we hold for a few minutes, mumbling into her shoulder.
"I missed you so much!" I start telling her about how my year at Grade 7 was, and my new friend Kurt, She seems very interested in the boy.
"He sounds like quite a character! I wish I could meet him." Quinn says wistfully. I glance at her.
"Maybe you could. I could call him, have him meet-" But Quinn shakes her head.
"My dad wouldn't like that."
I stare at her, dumbfounded. "Why not?" She shrugs and avoids my gaze, and there's a moment of awkward silence between us.
Quinn starts telling me about her own tales of grade seven, and our previous moment becomes forgotten. I quickly look forward to another summer of freedom with Quinn, like the previous ones.
But things do not go as planned this summer. A trip in the forest, quite literally, ends up with me escorting Quinn, who broke her wrist, to the emergency room.
When her parents discover what had happened, they are furious; not because of her injury, but because of the fact that Quinn had been spending each of her summers slipping out of the house to spend hanging out with me. Her parents angrily grab her from the emergency room and tell me off for being around her before they take her home, and I'm left standing there confused while my dads console me.
The questions resurface, but my fathers assure me that in a year they will explain everything. I'm not deterred though, and I find myself standing defiantly in the field the next day.
Quinn doesn't show up.
But I don't give up. I keep my vigil the next day as well, and after a stubborn hour of standing in the windy field, I finally see Quinn approach. I can see the bright green of her cast too, and I'm reminded of what happened in the ER.
I meet her and open my mouth to speak, but the words she says cuts me off.
"Dad doesn't want me seeing you anymore." She says softly. I'm lost for words.
"So…is this it then?" I finally manage to choke out, lost for words. She looks up at me quickly, a deep anger in her eyes.
"Absolutely not! I won't let him keep me away from you!" She exclaims, and I'm a little surprised at the force in what she said. She takes a calming breath before continuing. "You're my best friend. I'll still be here."
"I'll find a way." I smile. Quinn always finds a way.
I sign her cast the next day. I draw a row of grass, and over it, I write "Quinn's Field."
"I want this to be your field." I tell her. "Because you make it the most special place in the world. It is where you can be whoever you want to be, and I will always be here with you. It is our home, our place of freedom." Quinn can only smile, her elation and gratitude completely written in her expression.
Our afternoons are no longer organized and occur much less often than before. I spent less time with Quinn than usual, and the thought of all the wasted time from when Quinn couldn't get out of the house saddens me. I savor every day we spend together.
We don't play around pretending anymore. Things are a lot more serious when we hang out—more serious than they should be for two thirteen-year-olds. We still play a lot of games and sports (especially lots of soccer, Quinn is exceptionally good at it and loves to teach me), but we don't goof around as much as we used to.
"Eye on the ball, Rach!" Quinn laughs after a spectacular swing and miss on one of my kicks. I give her a mock glare, and she cocks an eyebrow at me, putting her uninjured hand on her hip. I take the opportunity to boot the ball directly at her as hard as I can, and she jumps in surprise.
Of course, the ball goes very wide and completely misses its mark, but I'm amused nonetheless. "Eye on your opponent, Quinn!" I tease back, and she grins.
"Touché!" And then she chases after the ball, booting it towards me before sprinting after her kick. I squeak when the ball descends towards me, a little frightened that it will drop on my head, and I cower a little with my arms raised at the last moment.
The ball lands next to me and bounces harmlessly on the grass. I fix it with a hard stare, my arms crossed tightly on my chest.
"It won't apologize, ya know." I hear Quinn say from behind me. "But I could kick some sense into it if it would make you feel better." I turn to face her and grin at her joke. She chuckles and shakes her head.
"You would make a lame soccer player."
"Hey!" I laugh because its true, and Quinn and I know she means that in the nicest way possible. I tackle her to the ground and we roll around laughing, forgetting about soccer altogether.
We have gotten lot closer to one another. We're more touchy, and each greeting is accompanied with a hug. Sometimes when we talk, which is now becoming a regular occurrence to sit and chat, we will hold hands or lean on the other's shoulder. Yes, we don't hang out as often as we used to. But our time together is definitely more special than it used to be. We have grown into so much more.
I think my heart actually breaks in half on the last week of summer, where Quinn cuts our time short. We spend an hour lying in the grass with my head on her chest, talking wistfully about how great our next summer will be.
"I'll get out more. Dad won't be so anal." Quinn mumbles, and I nod sadly.
"I'll keep practicing soccer." I promise, and I feel Quinn's chest rumble with the chuckle she lets out.
"And I'll keep singing for you so that my vocal chords don't dry out." It's my turn to laugh at her comment. While Quinn was showing me all kinds of soccer moves, I was teaching her how to sing better, and we would often harmonize and sing duets together.
After a five-minute hug and a kiss on the forehead from Quinn, our goodbyes are said. I wave sadly after our long-lived departure, and tears leak out of my eyes silently as I watch her run off.
My next year is stressful. I spend a lot of time thinking about my secret friend, and I count down the days to summer. It can't come soon enough.
Artie and Tina have started dating, while Mercedes is trying to win over a boy in the other homeroom. I find myself growing closer to Kurt, while still keeping my other friends close, and I can't get into the dating scene.
I finally turn fourteen and go to ask my parents again one night about Quinn and her father, but I decide against it when I her them arguing on the phone. They are having a conversation that doesn't sound very appropriate for a fourteen-year-old.
I tell Kurt about this the next day, and end up finding some answers where I least expect them: in him.
"It sounds to me like Quinn's dad doesn't like my folk." He says before taking a bite of his sandwich.
I look over at him. "What?" I ask brilliantly. He returns my gaze with a bored expression.
"The queers of Lima, Rachel. Think about it." And with that he heads off to his locker and I'm left to contemplate what he said.
I come to the realization that Quinn's dad must have a problem with my fathers. I feel immensely relieved now that I have some for of an answer, but I also feel pretty hurt at the cruel hate that I now am aware of. And to think, Quinn has to live with that man; I shiver at the thought.
I'm lost in thought for the rest of the year, and summer comes around before I know it. I'm finally free to spend the time with my greatest friend, which is what I've been waiting to do all year.
The first week of summer, Quinn doesn't show, and I'm heartbroken. But one fateful Friday afternoon, I feel someone pounce on my back and plant a kiss on my cheek.
"Rachel! Gosh, I've missed you!" Quinn says happily and hugs me tightly.
We begin talking about our past school year, but I have much less to share this time around, and Quinn's doing most of the talking. And then she says it.
"This boy in my class asked me out at the beginning of the year." We're walking around in no particular direction, and I turn my gaze to her.
"Oh?" I try to keep the hurt out of my voice.
"Yeah. I said no though." I feel relieved, but try not to show it. Quinn continues. "I don't know what the big deal is with dating. Maybe when I find the right guy, or I get a little older." She gives me a friendly shove and I let out a half-hearted laugh. As we keep walking, I envision Quinn walking arm-in-arm with a boy. A burning jealousy arises from my stomach, startling me, and that's when I realize it. The epiphany hits me so forcefully that I stop in my tracks.
I have fallen in love with Quinn Fabray.
I divert away form the conversation and put up a cool façade, hoping she won't think anything's up with me. If she does notice, she doesn't ask, and I couldn't be more grateful.
"So how has Quinn's Field been?" She asks, and our conversation becomes comfortable once more.
Our time spent together becomes more organized and frequent as opposed to last year, but it's still not as perfect as it used to be. I don't think it ever will be the same as it used to be now that a heavier weight is on our shoulders. I'm still pleased that Quinn has found a way to get away from her dad a lot more this year.
It's still as intimate as last year, but due to my newfound discovery I realize that I'm blushing a lot more and behaving more nervously around Quinn. She occasionally gives me a raised eyebrow, but doesn't press me about it.
Conversation becomes the prime of our afternoons, and it is backed up with some time spent singing or playing some sporty games. The hours are usually whiled away with the two of us sitting on a fallen tree, pacing around the expanse or laying in the grass chatting away about anything and everything. Things have lost their carefree spirit, and the friendship between Quinn and I has definitely moved to a more serious level. Sometimes I wish we could go back to the way it used to be; other times I wish Quinn's dad wasn't such a tight-ass.
I ask Quinn a question that I've been meaning to ask her for a while on the second day of July. "Why does your dad forbid you from seeing me?"
I don't miss Quinn's guilty gaze as she shifts uncomfortably and mumbles something about not knowing either.
A week and a half passes before the topic comes up again. Quinn shifts nervously before taking a breath and talking to me.
"I…I need to tell you something." I look up at her curiously. "I think I know why my dad…doesn't exactly…like you."
I shift so that I'm facing her, and she finally looks up to meet my eyes. Seeing my expectant look, she continues. "I hear him talking on the phone or to his church friends sometimes. Your dads will come up. He's always…derogatory when he talks about them. He has a problem with them being two men together." She turns away. "It goes against our religion."
We're quiet for a minute. I already knew this bit of information from Kurt's clues, but I can tell Quinn wants to say more so I grab her hand to encourage her.
"He thinks I'm going to become like your dads. That you'll… alienate, as he says, me and make me a sinful daughter. He thinks you're trying to lure me away from him and to you, something like that. He essentially hates you because he thinks you and your fathers are sinners. He wants to keep me holy," Quinn breathes out, and I can see she's ashamed of what she's saying. She's ashamed for her hateful father.
I take a moment to process it. "Do you hate me?" I finally ask. Quinn turns to look at me so quickly I'm scared she got whiplash.
"Never!" She exclaims. "It's him I have the problem with." She's quiet after that, the heaviness of what she said sinking in. We sit there and pick at the grass in silence, the cool wind whipping around up and playing with our hair. It's not a very nice day today; the gray clouds are obscuring the sun and giving it an all-around gloomy feel.
We sit in silence for a very long time, both of us lost in deep thought.
"I don't get what's so bad about loving though…" I whisper out eventually, and Quinn looks back to me. She sighs and rests her head on my shoulder, and both of us look out to the expanse of the field. I feel her intertwine our fingers.
I can tell there's a tension between Quinn and I after our conversation, but instead of straining our friendship, it only draws us closer to each other. It's as if we're scared of losing what we have and we only want to hold onto each other more tightly than before.
We don't spend as much time in the field as we used to. Days that used to be filled with laughter and innocence are now heavily weighed with a bigger knowledge of the truth behind our relationship. I find myself wishing that I were still a young kid, too carefree to know about the hate in the world that can tear apart something beautiful.
Each time we leave for home, our goodbyes are softly spoken, and I can tell there's something else there when we part ways. There's a fear that this could be our last goodbye. We always speak so softly, as if we're afraid to physically shatter our relationship.
It isn't the same. It can't be. Life I harder for Quinn at home, and she's being put under more pressure than I can imagine by her family. She comes to see me when she can, and we always make the most of those special moments.
I'm waiting for Quinn on the 21st of July. I don't know for sure if she's going to show up, but I always hope.
I catch sight of her a few moments before she reaches me, running towards me as fast as she can. I can see her tear-stained face, and I pull her into a safe and comforting hug when she gets to me.
I shush her and try to calm her down, while softly asking what happened. She speaks between her sobs, and I feel my blood run cold at what she says.
"I-I came home yesterday. Dad asked me where I had been, and I told him I was at Santana's. He just sat there with that quiet anger and told me San called that afternoon when I was out, asking to hang out. He caught me, Rachel. He-he was so angry, I was terrified-"
"Shh." I cut her off, but I'm so scared too. I try to comfort her and wrap her more tightly to me but she pushes at my chest. She shoves away from me roughly, breaking our embrace.
"No, I can't Rachel, I-I'm sorry." That's all she says before she turns around and runs away, and I'm left standing alone with no goodbye. I'm so shocked that I can't move.
I don't see her for almost three weeks. I show to the field every day for two and a half weeks before I finally lose faith in Quinn. When I walk away from Quinn's Field I feel as if I'm leaving my heart behind too.
But one day, Quinn finds me in the field. I don't know why I'm there, but I guess I wanted to seek comfort in its familiar grasses that day. It's another icky, grey day and she's bundled in a baggy hoodie and sweats.
She puts a hand on my shoulder and sits next to me; I'm so startled by her sudden appearance that I nearly have a heart attack from fright. "I'm so, so sorry about the other day. Dad was furious, I barely had time to get out and tell you. It took me so much effort to sneak out here to see you. He's doing everything to keep us away from each other. He was so angry that all these years I've been spending my summer with you. I never meant to hurt you when I left, I still value our friendship."
"He's scared of difference, and that you won't be the perfect daughter he wanted. He's afraid of a sense of freedom that he has never witnessed, and eh doesn't want to feel like he's lost control of his family." I mumble, and she just nods. I spent the past few weeks alone, thinking about the situation, and I had realized a lot.
"He will never approve of this, Quinn. He will never let us be friends."
She isn't fazed. "That won't stop me."
I don't know how, but Quinn sneaks out twice a week for me in the remaining time of our summer. We try to squeeze in anything we can in the rare time we have with each other. Our time together is no longer free-spirited. It's filled with the pressures of a deep hate that's trying to keep us apart and the stress of the limited time we have to spend with one another.
We say our goodbyes early that year. There's still a week of summer left, but Quinn can't risk it; her dad is already highly suspicious and has commanded her to stay home for the last week of summer. I feel as if someone is putting a knife through my chest when she tells me this.
"I wish we had more time, Rachel." She whispers. "I love you, you mean so much to me. We'll still have next year." She says with a small smile. I can only nod, unable to swallow back my tears.
Quinn walks up to me. She puts a hand to my face and directs my chin up so that I'm looking at her. We lock gazes for a moment before she softly presses her lips to mine. "Goodbye." Then she walks away, not looking back.
I know I'm not the same person. My experience with Quinn has made me grow so much, and I know my friends can tell. They often put in comforting words and remind me every once in a while of how many days are left until summer. I couldn't be more grateful for their support.
My 15th summer finally, finally comes. I'm standing in the field, waiting for Quinn. I pace around, sit, stand back up and pace some more for maybe two hours until I see her standing a few meters away from me. We stop and stare at each other for a moment before running to each other and meeting halfway, like in the movies. Quinn embraces me tightly and gives me another soft, quick kiss, and I whisper something into her ear that I wish I had said a year ago.
"I love you too…"
Quinn becomes my girlfriend, sort of. We never define ourselves. We simply indulge in our romantic escapades and make the most out of our stolen moments in Quinn's Field. I cherish every moment that she's mine.
Quinn's Field becomes the safe haven of our teenage love, and we while away our hours laying in the grass together, or sitting next to each other on a fallen tree in the forest, making the most of everything. I cherish every moment spent holding her hand, hugging her, kissing her.
Quinn and I are lying in the grass with my head on her chest when she shyly speaks up one day. "I wrote you a poem…" She trails off. I sit up instantly, and I see her blush and shift nervously. When I grin brightly, though, her uncertainty seems to evaporate.
"Tell it to me?" I ask quietly, pulling her up so she's sitting next to me. She readjusts herself for a moment before grabbing my hand and reciting her art from memory.
Meet me where you fell for me
Where you and I can be set free
A sanctuary of unity
Where love has no boundary
And you and I can live happily
Away from those who disagree
I'll hold your hand and let you be
Love you for eternity
Meet me where your heart still beats
She looks to the ground nervously, but I disregard this and tackle her down, my body pressed on top of hers. I connect our lips passionately, and when I break away, I whisper to her.
"That was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard, Quinn Fabray." She giggles and pulls me back on to her chest, and we go back to finding shapes in the clouds.
Quinn makes more time to come see me. She sneaks out as often as possible, and we see each other at least five times a week. It's phenomenal. I couldn't ask for a happier time in my life, and whenever we're together we temporarily forget about all the troubles we face in the world. They usually come crashing down on us when we get back home, however.
Our relationship isn't relaxed; I know Quinn feels as though she's constantly looking over her shoulder for a disapproving glare or a cross and holy water being thrown at her. But our long history allows us to move past the obstacle and spend our time together blissfully.
We get back to playing some games, and sometimes Quinn will bring a milkshake she made from home with two straws to share, because that's something she's always thought was insanely adorable to do with your girlfriend. I have to agree. Although we can't formally go out, the things we do are still very couple-y things to do.
We have an afternoon of passion in the forest, and it's messy. There are sticks and leaves and dirt, and a pesky fly that I decide to name Noah Puckerman, because I swear it didn't stop watching us the whole time. Neither of us really knows what we're doing, but we love each other and that makes it beautiful. I will never forget that day, and the rash that I got on my back certainly didn't help in that aspect.
One day I come to the forest to find Quinn sitting in a wide swing that she managed to install for both of us to sit in. We spend the day lying on it together, but one week later it mysteriously vanishes, and the rope that is used to hold it up is cut cleanly off.
Another day I prepare a serenade for Quinn, and after the initial scare, she melts at the gesture. Quinn responds by setting up a candlelit dinner on a rainy day, installing a tarp between the trees and going full-out with a two-person table, two chairs, candles, rose petals, and a hot meal that Santana drops off for us. It's amazingly romantic, and in return I install a hammock between two trees in the forest.
We lay together on the meshed material, Quinn wrapping me close to her body, and we stare at the stars through a break in the foliage above our head—I made sure to pick the perfect spot that has this. I sing softly to her and we fall asleep there together, cherishing a peaceful night outside in the arms of the one we love.
But of course, nothing lasts forever.
I know we have to pick up where we left off when we say our tear-filled goodbye (which I will not elaborate on). I love her too much to lose her. Quinn finally walks away with a promise to meet me in Quinn's Field again.
But next summer, Quinn doesn't show. I wait for her, and she's not there. I shrug it off; she's missed some days, even weeks before.
I go every day, but she doesn't show at all. Each day I come alone, and each day I leave alone. I can't understand it, and I fear the worse. I finally come to the realization that Quinn's not going to come back to see me, and I come home in tears that night. I can't give up going to the field though, and I spend my summer lying in the grass or on the hammock alone and heartbroken.
I finally feel a hand on my shoulder on the second day of August, just a few minutes before I would have headed home. The sun has almost completely set and the streetlights are on, giving the field a very orange-y glow.
I whirl around, expecting to see Quinn. Instead I see the one person least deserving to be standing on the sanctity of Quinn's Field. His presence here alone shatters the magic and safety that I once felt on this ground.
Quinn's father is standing before me. "Quinn is gone." He says quietly and maliciously. "I sent her away. She's a sinner and a disappointment." He takes a step closer. "Stay away from my daughter. You ruined her; I don't want you tainting her anymore. You keep yourself and your abominations of fathers away from her." He stares me down, and I realize the truth.
I realize that whatever I would have felt with Quinn wouldn't have made a difference. I realize that no matter how hard we tried, we could never be together. I realize that the hate in this world has taken away who I am. I realize that Quinn is gone because of me, and the man responsible for ruining my life is standing before me.
I realize that I'm too scared to stand up for who I love, for what I stand for.
And I do something I can never forgive myself for.
I turn around and run away, never looking back. I run away from Quinn's Field. I run away from the terrifying man. I run away from myself. I am a coward.
My tears don't stop. I cry for Quinn. I cry for years. Yes, it's true. But I don't go back to Quinn's Field. I can't.
I'm 19. I still think of Quinn every now and then, but she's more of a memory. My year away at Julliard has numbed the pain that I felt for my last two years at high school, and has helped me forget the knowledge that Quinn was ripped from my life. My friends had done everything they cold to console me, but I had almost been a zombie for my remaining years in Lima, moving around automatically and lost in memories of a beautiful angel who stole my heart.
I'm back for the summer, the pain of my summer memories sharper now that I'm back home instead of miles away in New York. But I decide to be strong; I don't run away back to New York. I'm tired of running away.
I go outside to pick up the mail. I grab the items and cycle through them, and my heart stops.
There's a sheet of paper in my hand. Flowing script is written beautifully across it, and the words dance in my head.
Meet me where you fell for me
Where you and I can be set free
A sanctuary of unity
Where love has no boundary
And you and I can live happily
Away from those who disagree
I'll hold your hand and let you be
Love you for eternity
Meet me where your heart still beats
I drop everything and run. My dad calls after me, but I don't listen. I don't even care that I'm in my pajama pants, tank top and house slippers. I can still remember Quinn speaking those words to me all those years ago, when we finally let our love shine through all the struggles we faced.
For the first time in three years I step onto the field. I can see a shape in the distance, and my heart soars. I don't stop running, even though I can't breathe. Quinn comes into my sight as I get closer to her.
She's even more beautiful than I remember her, and she's standing there in her white sundress with tears running down her cheeks. I don't hesitate for a moment and pull her into my arms, giving her a deep and passionate kiss full of three years of missing love.
She lays her head in the crook between my shoulder and neck, and we stay in or hug for a while. But I have to ask.
"I thought he sent you away."
"He disowned me." She says simply. I look at her in complete shock. She continues. "I busted out of that horrid reformation place he sent me to and I told him he could never change who I was. If he couldn't love me for that, then he was no father of mine. So he disowned me."
"I'm sorry." I mumble, still shocked.
Quinn's expression turns to a full-blown grin. She laughs. "I'm not!' She gives me another kiss, which we indulge in for what feels like hours. When we finally break apart, we simply stand there and hold each other.
"I'm going to NYC in the fall." Quinn finally breathes out. "I'm living my life the way I want to. We don't have to be scared of my dad anymore; he can't hurt us." My breathing becomes more shallow as tears begin falling from my eyes at a faster rate, and I simply pull Quinn closer to me.
"Move in with me." She whispers against my lips. "I found a place in New York. I want you to live with me." I can only nod. Our tears of happiness mingle. We are finally free. We seal the deal with another kiss, one that promises a lifetime of happiness together, one where we are free to step off the protective grounds of Quinn's Field.
I give my heart to Quinn right here in Quinn's Field, and it will belong to her forever.