If Emily counted out the wait time for crosswalk signs and lunch foot traffic that came with being a bicyclist, getting to Tyler’s new flat only took about 25 minutes in total. To some that could be considered a long day trip, but Emily knew she couldn’t have biked to London. At least this distance was doable in good weather and close to a taxi stop if some freak rainstorm hit the city. Moments before pulling up beside the flat, Emily gripped the bag of things she’d gathered as “housewarming” gifts and took a deep breath. The significance of Tyler actually making the move to Bristol was far from lost on the redhead. She really hadn’t believed the blonde would follow through until she spent the first night in almost two weeks alone. Emily already missed seeing tracks of Tyler throughout the kitchen, the bathroom and the unmade bed sheets on her side. She pushed the kickstand down then began smoothing her outfit to a respectable crinkle.
For the first time ever in life, Emily knocked loudly on Tyler’s door and waited for her girlfriend to answer it. Would they come to a point where they exchanged keys? She didn’t know. Emily shifted her weight between both feet and smiled towards the bright yellow flowers propped up on the table. Instead of staying still, the redhead reached to grab one. The stems looked like Tyler had just plucked them from the ground and that made the gesture more cute than she wanted to admit.
Tyler stepped from the shower, crunching her wet curls in the towel she grabbed from the hamper. The flat was not entirely filled with furniture yet, but she did have a bed and necessary elements. A nice couch was delivered the morning before and a kitchen table. She slipped a sundress on before a loud knock at the door sounded from downstairs. Tyler assumed it was Emily arriving just on time as she always would. Unlike Tyler, who would have arrived an hour or two late. She powered down the hall and stairs reaching for the handle swiftly. Tyler smiled as Emily was poking at the flowers on the porch. “Like them? Beautiful like you, am I correct?” She scrunched her nose and kissed Emily’s nose.
“What’s in the bag, dear?” Tyler tried to see through the top but Emily had a firm grasp. In the midst of it all, she invited Emily inside her new flat. They could explore on their own time. Right now, she wanted to enjoy the fresh smell of flowers and drying paint. “Welcome to House of Evans, all guests welcome. Even bugs, though I wish them out sooner than later. Kitchen,” she nodded at the open room. “Stairs and two bedrooms upstairs. Living room and such. Patio in back with optimum jacuzzi that I have fixed up but do not understand how to work it.” Tyler wondered aloud and tapped her chin. “How have you been?”
“Stairs and two bedrooms upstairs. Living room and such. Patio in back with optimum jacuzzi that I have fixed up but do not understand how to work it.” Emily smirked at the last sentence. Leave it to her girlfriend not to know about adjusting water pressure and making sure there was enough chlorine to make it safe. “How have you been?” She put a piece of hair behind her ear before smiling. “Good, good. I do miss having to fight for the blanket in bed though, I must admit.” Emily stepped so closer, kissed Tyler for a good thirty seconds and then wandered into the kitchen to get a view of the hot tub. “I can help you set it up. It looks fantastic, everything does.” She did a 360-degree view and then ended up on the same spot on the counter. It looked so open and airy, a little bit different from her intimate flat filled with things. Emily placed the bag next to her arm before giving Tyler a warning look. “Don’t open it, I want to see upstairs first.”
She pointed towards the second floor and wondered how spacious those rooms were. This place was already striking her as beautiful, now all she needed see was a shower that dried you off or something else equally as amazing. Emily touched a newly painted wall resulting in a bit of color coming off on her fingertip. Rather than wiping it on another wall, Emily pressed the finger against Tyler’s exposed shoulder and smirked again. “Did you do this yourself?”
“Don’t open it, I want to see upstairs first.” Tyler pouted. Obviously she wanted to see the lovely bagged gift that Emily had brought to her new home. It could wait. She turned around swiftly and felt wet paint dabbed onto her arm. “No. Could never do this alone. Hired someone while we were still at yours. I would have suggested we do it ourselves but I believe we are too distracted. Come,” Tyler wiggled her finger and slid around Emily to the stairs. “My room is bare. But I have a bed with silk sheets.” Tyler opened her white bedroom door and showed the nice view from the window. Tyler sat on the edge of her bed smiling. “Now that you have seen the fruits, besides the loo, will you show me what you have brought?” Tyler hopped to her feet and touched Emily’s shoulders. “We can go in the tub after a nice dinner. Salad? Veggies? Everything you like all in one?” Tyler kissed Emily’s small forehead. She moved the red strands of hair out of her face and put them behind her ears. “Your ears are absolutely adorable. So tiny. Like your nose and hands,” Tyler waltzed around Emily, no hint of guilt. She put the things with Tally behind her. It was an accidental kiss and nothing more. It was not worth mentioning.
“We can go in the tub after a nice dinner. Salad? Veggies? Everything you like all in one?” Emily started to say something about not having a swimsuit, but then she decided that Tyler had an extra or preferred them both in the nude. “Salad sounds delicious with the croutons I like, the little ones that look like miniature loaves of bread?” Her eyes were still roaming the room as Tyler came up to begin touching parts of her face. “Your ears are absolutely adorable. So tiny. Like your nose and hands,” Even though Emily still got a knot of happy anxiety when Tyler gave her compliments, she had started to believe the blonde actually meant was she was saying. This wasn’t a fluff thing just to pump her feelings up, but rather Tyler really did find her weirdly small ears attractive. “My hands aren’t that small Tyler!” Emily held them up with fingers splayed and tried to keep from letting a laugh take over her features. She tickled Tyler’s sides before staring out the bedroom window. The view was fantastic, not to mention it showed how the jacuzzi was somewhat secluded compared to the rest of the patio. Emily crossed her arms and paced around the room in interest. “You can look in the bag if you promise, promise, promise you won’t give me that look.” The redhead rolled her eyes before realizing she needed a bit more explanation. “That look where you’re trying to convince me you love the gift when I think you really feel like it’s just juvenile. Just tell me if you don’t like it.” Emily nodded and then led the charge back downstairs to get the bag. She’d thrown a good amount of things in there including a picture of them, wine glasses and enough candles to light the hallway for months.
Tyler splayed her hands out and touched Emily’s to measure. “Still small. Tiny girl you are.” She wrinkled her longer nose. After their small fumble into a tickle. Tyler giggled but was not as ticklish as Emily had hoped. In the end, it was good for her. They admired the view and Tyler waited patiently for her gift that was downstairs. “You can look in the bag if you promise, promise, promise you won’t give me that look. That look where you’re trying to convince me you love the gift when I think you really feel like it’s just juvenile. Just tell me if you don’t like it.” Tyler rolled her eyes back to the comment. “I love everything. There is nothing you can give me that I would hate darling.” Tyler scooted by and touched Emily’s puffy cheek with a pinch while she passed. “We have a present to open, dinner to eat, and a session involving no clothes and water.” Tyler exited the room rather quickly and skipped into the kitchen to the bag. She pulled it open and spotted the small items that Emily had given her. She waited for the red headed girl to come into view before she ran over and picked her up into a hug. “I love it. I love it all. We can set the candles outside on the patio and use these new glasses for the dinner?” Tyler kissed Emily’s lips quickly and grabbed the photo smiling. “You look beautiful in here.” She set the frame up on the table in the hall for everyone that passed it to see. “You are wonderful, but what is the occasion for? House warming or you missed me that much?” Tyler poked Emily’s side. She moved to the refrigerator to grab lettuce and fixings for a larger salad that the two could have. “Grab what you like, I’ll get the bowls, dear.” Tyler reached up on her toes to grab the larger dinner sets from the top shelf of the cabinets.
Emily was surprised to see Tyler enjoyed the simple gifts so much and a red hue graced her cheeks at the compliment. The picture was of them just sitting on the couch of her flat both with faces that gave away they were about to laugh. She thought they looked cute, but beautiful? You are wonderful, but what is the occasion for? House warming or you missed me that much?” Emily followed Tyler behind the counter and then washed her hands in the kitchen sink. “Both, mostly the second one. I want to make sure I help with the moving process at least a little bit.” She watched Tyler easily move around the appliance while looking at her own fingertips. . “Grab what you like, I’ll get the bowls, dear.” She obediently grabbed bell pepper and croutons to compliment the rest of the salad choices Tyler had prepared. Emily reached for the dressing while holding the vegetables, a motion that resulted in the Italian dressing squirting out onto the floor. “Well, shit.” She placed everything down on the counter and then held Tyler’s waist to keep her girlfriend from slipping into the mess. “Let me get paper towels and then you can come with the breakable objects, yeah?” Emily laid a few out on the ground before swirling them around. After the main spill was cleaned, she took a damp towel to get any stickiness. “I’m sad to say I caused the first kitchen mess. Sorry.” She made a silly face towards Tyler and then tried to assist with chopping or tossing as much as possible. “What’ve you been up to lately? Just moving in?”
“Let me get paper towels and then you can come with the breakable objects, yeah?” She giggled. “You seem so accident prone. Funny accidents though. Don’t worry too much now.” Tyler ripped the lettuce into the bowls and watched Emily clean the small mess with the paper towels. She apologized but it was meaningless. Tyler did not find any harm in making a mess. She was mostly organized, beside her room for some reason. She could never keep it spotless like the rest of her house. Emily joined again, chopping the vegetables and tossing them in bowls. Tyler was glad she went shopping before Emily had stopped over. And she remembered her own diet specifications. The sound of meaty foods sounded delightful, until they were placed in front of her. Sadly, Tyler and her memory issues were getting the best of her still. “What’ve you been up to lately? Just moving in?” Tyler nodded casually. She did not want to bring about the two girls she had randomly met. Besides Chelle, though at the moment she couldn’t remember her name. “I was in a pub catching a drink and this poor girl looked sick to her stomach. I bought her soup and she ran off pissy. Turned out she was thought to be pregnant, money down the drain but I escorted her home after some saltines in her tummy. Hope the girl’s okay. Poor soul. One night stand and possibly pregnant? Wouldn’t that rustle you up some?” Tyler shook her head and finished applying the dressing and croutons in an organized fashion. “Other than that, hiring some painters, and shopping.” Tyler smiled while she handed the large salad bowl to Emily. “Now we dine, my love.” Tyler kissed Emily’s cheek and headed off to the square table on the other side of the kitchen. “Meet anyone new? Mates, old mates, lovers?” Tyler teased.
Emily listened to Tyler’s story and widened her eyes at the conclusion. “That’s terrifying. At least you were there to calm her down, I don’t what I’d do in situation like that.” She tried to restrain a smirk from coming across her lip. “Odds are that I’ll never be in that situation, but still.” Both girls rustled around each other to set the food in down in an appealing manner. Emily made it her business to carefully place the italian dressing far away from any corners and noticed her hands still smelled strongly of the topping. After washing them thoroughly in the sink, Emily joined Tyler at the table just small enough for them to touch legs if they wanted. “Meet anyone new? Mates, old mates, lovers?” She rolled her eyes and handed out a plate so Emily could begin scooping salads onto her plate. “No lovers, unfortunately. I think I might just be stuck with you and you alone.” Emily bit her lip cheekily before sprinkling the greenery with croutons. “I spent the other night in this cabin in the woods to keep a new mate company. She was slightly less freaked out by the sounds and creepy things than I was. It was okay eventually.” In between fork bites, the redhead pushed piece of hair behind her ear and nudged her foot against Tyler’s a few times. “There’s a potential party in the horizon. A sparkler party and I might potentially plan the shit out of it.” Emily smiled brightly. Party planning was out of her comfort zone but as long as people danced, got drunk and shot off sparklers she would consider it a success. “Jesse might plan it with me. She’s great.” Emily chewed a bit more though her stomach was already starting to get full of anticipation. “Talked to your mum lately?” The redhead knew this had the potential of being a touchy subject, but if they were trusting each other like they should, Tyler wouldn’t completely clam up as she did before. “I thought about calling mine for dinner arrangements or something.”
“I spent the other night in this cabin in the woods to keep a new mate company. She was slightly less freaked out by the sounds and creepy things than I was. It was okay eventually.” Tyler raised an eye at Emily. A new mate? She was curious of course. They would have to meet. “There’s a potential party in the horizon. A sparkler party and I might potentially plan the shit out of it.” Tyler chewed her salad patiently. “Jesse?” She smirked. Another possible mate for Emily. That was good, she was reaching out to more people and Tyler would not have to feel like she was smothering her. She ignored the question about her mother quickly, there was a subject she needed to speak about but not after addressing Emily’s last statement. “Dinner? With infamous Mother Fitch?” Tyler dabbed the corner of her mouth. “Would she approve? I have my doubts.” She slyly spoke before standing abruptly. “Wine?” She walked off breathing in beats. Tyler grabbed the white Chardonnay from the shelf and worked the cork off. The girls were still in the same room, speaking was still necessary. Tyler grabbed two wine glasses and filled them each half way. “About my mum.” She handed Emily the glass so she could sip before they continued. Tyler sniffed the wine, using all her scents. “Did you know the French invented tapping glasses? The proper way to drink wine is to admire your full senses. Sight, taste, feel, smell, and then hearing.” Tyler reached over and clinked the glasses to get the full effect. She was stalling the bad news. “Okay, no more procrastinating. My mother wants me to accompany her to Moscow.” Tyler sipped her wine and set it down carefully. Her mannerisms were calm and collected. Emily would be a mess soon. “She wants me to go in a few days. Russia, it is a little far, cold, but I cannot let her go alone. She’s getting in one of those moods.” Meaning, her mother was depressed and needed to run away for a little. Tyler was feeling slightly the same way, by being alone in her flat. Her thoughts drifted to her father like always.
Emily listened politely to Tyler’s background information on wine glasses, but she could care less where the practice came from. “You were talking about your mum?” The redhead sipped her glass slowly, her stomach already in knots about whatever was coming next. “Okay, no more procrastinating. My mother wants me to accompany her to Moscow.” Emily nodded slowly. She’d miss Tyler, but why would that be bad news? Another trip to a place the redhead had never been before and this time the blonde wouldn’t have to deal with an inexperienced traveler. “She wants me to go in a few days. Russia, it is a little far, cold, but I cannot let her go alone. She’s getting in one of those moods.” Emily sipped the last bit of wine as a realization came over her thoughts. “I understand. You can’t leave her alone.” She figured that using her secret girlfriend as an excuse to get out of the trip was not an option, something the redhead knew would become an issue if they didn’t talk it out completely. “When will you be back? Don’t tell me a month from now. I’ll miss you too much.” Emily could easily see Tyler shooting off and disappearing completely oblivious to how much strain that could potentially put on a relationship. Instead of diving deeper into her own feelings, the redhead bit at her lip. She reached for the wine bottle and poured a healthy amount into her own cup. Maybe the two women would find Russia boring which in turn meant for a swift trip back to Bristol. Emily brought her legs up into a chair and waited for Tyler’s response.
“When will you be back? Don’t tell me a month from now. I’ll miss you too much.” Tyler twisted her finger around the glass of wine. How long did her mother want to go? She was never given a time limit. The last time they flew off with no limit it was almost a month. Twenty-five days exactly. “I am sorry. She never told me. So, it could be a long while.” Tyler felt apologetic. Normally she would invite her along, but with her mother acting up again it was not possible. “It might be a long while. My mother gets very down on herself when she is alone. Without me there at home she is probably drinking more and visiting the wrong debutantes that put useless information in her head. How Moscow has the best fish to eat and hotels to stay in. She always gets that way. Running off when she reminisces about my father.” Tyler drank her glass of wine more healthily. The sips grew more grand so she would not have to speak about her father in general. Tyler touched Emily’s knee with her extended arm. “I wont know how long until I am there. She will force me to drive around to find all the sights and I would honestly rather be on the couch watching a film with you.” Tyler rubbed her knee softly. “It wont be forever.”
. “I wont know how long until I am there. She will force me to drive around to find all the sights and I would honestly rather be on the couch watching a film with you.” Emily stared at her girlfriend and tried to ignore the reassuring hand on her knee. It wasn’t either of their faults that this was happening, but that still didn’t make it fair. They had just gotten settled. “It wont be forever.” She looked at the blonde girl with an unexplained expression. “I know, but I’m scared it will feel like it. Can you even call from Russia? Text? Send pictures?” Emily pouted on the side of the couch before staring at her empty wine glass. She shouldn’t have been surprised that Tyler’s mother coped with grief this way. It came up similarly in the daughter that Emily was almost sure she was close to loving. Both girls were quiet for a moment and the redhead twisted her lips to keep from spurting out thoughts as they came across her mind. “Do you ever talk to her about your dad? Maybe she’s looking for an outlet or someone just to be silent with.” Even though that proved Tyler’s point about her mother needing a companion, Emily wondered if the two women ever got around to the elephant in the room. Tyler barely spoke about him now. “I bet he was a great man,” She said quietly.
“I know, but I’m scared it will feel like it. Can you even call from Russia? Text? Send pictures?” Tyler smiled wearily. She could afford a plan for the time there, however long it would be. “We can do anything, love.” She would have to find a way for this to work. She wasn’t moving away but for some reason it felt like she was. “Do you ever talk to her about your dad? Maybe she’s looking for an outlet or someone just to be silent with.” Tyler put her hands back in her lap. “I have tried. She blocks me out and gets angry. She would rather not talk about it.” Emily mentioned her father and Tyler did not like the sound of someone never knowing him say he was great. He was better than that. Her father was the best father anyone could ask for. He taught her everything good in the world and how to properly care for people. The other side was her mothers deceptiveness and manipulation. During her better moods she was more like her father. “He was better than great.” Tyler fell silent and grabbed her half finished salad. She applied a plate over it and set it in the refrigerator. Tyler did not want to speak about her father to someone that never knew him properly. “Would you like to go outside? Weather’s nice for the time being.” Tyler crossed her arms. She was irritated and needed to leave the conversation. Emily hopefully would leave it but she seemed like the type of girl to continue on.
“He was better than great.” Emily realized she’d overstepped a boundary and noticed how Tyler’s eyes changed the moment she even mentioned his existence. “Would you like to go outside? Weather’s nice for the time being.” Emily picked up her dinner plate then scraped the remaining piece of lettuce into the trashcan. After putting everything else in the sink, the redhead joined Tyler outside. The jacuzzi looked beautiful under this light and so did Tyler if Emily ignored the subtle anger coming from her girlfriend’s direction. “It’s great out here,” Emily said almost to herself. She could see them lounging on patio chairs for the rest of the summer. “I know you don’t ever talk about him with me but you know you can right? I’m sorry if I’m overstepping a line.” She stared at the rippling water in the jacuzzi and turned back towards Tyler with a shrug that meant Emily didn’t really mind the hostility. Not when her girlfriend was actually showing some emotion that wasn’t completely vested in affection.
“I know you don’t ever talk about him with me but you know you can right? I’m sorry if I’m overstepping a line.” Tyler stayed motionless. Her arms crossed under her chest and she stared along the outside lights. She eagerly wanted to talk about her father, but it was too difficult. She missed him and hated the feeling of mourning or longing. He would never return and she needed to accept it. “I don’t need to speak about it.” She blinked for a moment, scared she had forgotten his face. “Excuse me.” Tyler walked back inside and up the stairs. Not many frames were up in her home, but she kept one important one always next to her bed. Tyler rummaged through her drawer until she found the crumpled old photo of her and her father. She ran her thumb on the corners. It was the last thing she had of them together. Her primary graduation. She kissed the photo and set it aside. She could find two suits. Tyler grabbed the suit she had borrowed from Tally and stared at it. She felt guilt tough her heart. Tyler knew Emily was close by, she could sense her frail figure walking down the hall. She grabbed her extra suit and balled it in her hand. “We should change before we get in.” Tyler spoke at Emily while she neared the door entrance.
I think so?