Coda by patricia51

(Rain and warmth and love. Loss and gain. Annabelle's thoughts. Femslash. Annabelle/Simone)

The rain is soft on the roof. Occasionally a quick gust of wind will bow it against the windows and for a second they will rattle. Then it goes back to drumming on the shingles in time with what sounds to my sleep befuddled mind like a gentle chant of "Remember me? Remember me?"

I don't open my eyes. Instead I remember. I let my mind look. My lips curve in a happy smile as I follow the trail of discarded clothing towards the bed. A dress wet with the rain, two pair of heels and a tan slip lead right to the foot of the mattress. The bed is flanked; on one side a red bra and on the other a red slip. I nearly giggle. Both red but not matching. One mine and the other hers.

But in a way why shouldn't I giggle? This is happiness. I could practically leap up and dance around this room. I've come home, my dreams are fulfilled. Ever since I reached out and caught her arm under the portico as she turned away one more time and she stopped. Then my face was in her hands and she was kissing me and the whole world seemed to stop as my heart leaped for joy in a way that I was afraid it never would again.

It seems like it was just moments ago we staggered through the door of her room, kissing and refusing to release each other. I knelt before her to slide her slip down her to pool at her feet. When I kissed her tummy and I could feel her own heart beating as hard and as fast as mine and when I had worked back up to face her I could see the same thing in her eyes that were in mine. Excitement. Want. Love.

Love. I love her so much. It never was a schoolgirl crush on a favorite teacher. Even at the very first I knew that finally I had found my soul mate. Yes, it helped that Simone is giving and thoughtful and finally once more I had found someone who cared for me. And this time it would be forever. I knew that even as I pursued her and she tried to keep me at arm's length. Not because she didn't feel the same things I did though. There were other considerations of course but in the end they didn't mean anything.

I open my eyes. The gray morning light barely penetrates the room. I can barely see the matching gray surf rolling up the beach through the bedroom windows. The red numbers of the clock across the room on the dresser is the only bright light to be seen. This time though it s not flashing, not showing that the power went out and that we overslept. It simply changes from one minute to the next.

Now there is no need for us to frantically spring from the bed we share and desperately struggle to dress. Mother Immaculata will not walk through the door and catch us, fixing us with that stern disapproving look that yet to my mind showed a moment I can only describe as the pain of loss.

Of course now her intervention would be meaningless. Simone is no longer a teacher, she's that increasingly popular and in demand photographer I knew she was meant to be. And I'm not a student, well, of hers anyway. I'm an aspiring assistant to a certain professional while I take my college core classes. My eighteenth birthday is well behind me now.

Still, the memory of the most tumultuous twenty-four hours in my, in OUR lives will never fade away. The head spinning euphoria of that first kiss, the wild rush to her room. The feeble attempt to slow things down, to take our time, cast aside in the wonder of her body under my gaze, under my lips as I stripped away each garment that stood between her and me. The incredible feel of her body under mine, then on top of mine and then intertwined so closely that where one of us ended and the other began was meaningless.

The other side. Standing there as Simone whispered "This did NOT just happen" and my feeble hope that "It will be alright." Stunned, unable to move as I saw her being taken away in handcuffs. My frantic rush to her to give her my beads and the smile she gave me back as she clenched them in her hand. The belief that my heart would break as I wandered the halls only to end up at her room and look at the pictures she had taken of me that day at her beach house. Who was that smiling happy girl I had wondered dully as the tears streaked my face. It wasn't me I knew. It was some other girl in some other lifetime.

I shiver and Simone stirs. Her breathing doesn't change but her arm around my waist tightens and pulls me back against her. I relax and cover her hand with mine, lacing my fingers with hers.

It seems that I've never been anything but a disappointment and an embarrassment to my parents. Especially my Mother. But dear old Mommy came through once again in protection of her wayward daughter. Or rather in protection of the scandal Senator Mommy would have had to answer questions about if it came out that her daughter, already kicked out of two boarding schools and about the take a dive from the third, was involved in a lesbian sex affair with her poetry teacher. Much better to simply quash the whole thing. A few discreet words to the arresting authorities and a generous donation to the school and presto everything went away.

It didn't hurt when I pointed out that I would be testifying on Simone's behalf as the aggressor in the affair. Legally that had no bearing on the case of course, Simone was not only an adult to my minor but she was in a position of authority and influence over me. But that wouldn't have stopped the tabloids from spreading those nasty rumors. So she acted. At least for once she paid attention to SOMETHING I did.

And then I acted. I finished high school in a blaze of complete anonyminity, blending into the woodwork. That left me free to get into my graduation present car, put the top down and drive down to my heart's desire. I was able to scamper down that long series of steps and by the time I could see the beach house I was running.

And she was waiting.

Let the morning come.

(The End)

(By the way Coda is a musical term. In Italian it meant Tail and designates a short section that brings a piece of music to its finale. I thought it fit this.)