True Love

I haven’t posted any writing on here in a long time but I wrote this one for creative writing class and I really liked it!! I missed writing gay short stories.
If there is one thing that I abhor the most it’s having my photo taken. I know it’s supposed to be a symbol of status and most people would kill to switch places with me but I can’t help but feel disgruntled. First the impractical clothes and hat then the poking and prodding from the photographer as he attempts to position me and then I’m not even allowed to smile! It’s a bunch of poppycock if you ask me but nobody cares to hear my opinion as I’m a lady and my opinion is as useless as a horseless carriage. I’m trying my best to get this over and done with but the photographer never seems to be satisfied.

        “Just because you can’t smile doesn’t mean it has to look like you’re attending your own funeral. I hear your are betrothed. Why don’t you think of him to make you happier,” The photographer says.

    I nod and try to picture James’ face in my mind but his is not the one I see. Delicate rosy cheekbones,emerald eyes and luscious brown locks are the features I picture. No matter how hard I try, she’s the one I always go back to. Memories of summers in the country where we would wade in the babbling brook and run in the meadow come rushing back to me. We had always been ” Ellie and Anna”: a perfect inseparable set.

” I really don’t want to go but mother is forcing me. She said she would stop my violin lessons if I didn’t go.” Anna says in exasperation as she sits in front of me on my bed.

“That’s ridiculous. I’m sure it won’t be that bad though. Louis is very handsome.”

“If he’s so handsome why don’t you go in my place?” Anna laughs that beautiful laugh of hers that always made my day better.

“It’ll be fine. One night and when it’s done, you can tell me all about it.” 

” But I don’t want to tell you about it. I want it to be you instead of Louis.”

“It’s always going to be you and I first Anna. But theres going to have to be other people one day.”

“You’re the only one I need.” As she puts her hand on my knee, and smiles it becomes clear that’s she’s no longer talking about our friendship. I don’t make any move to push her away as she leans in and presses her lips against mine. And though I know it’s so wrong, it can’t help but feel right.

***

The park has become our regular spot and we try to go there whenever we can. Nobody’s suspicious as we’ve always been close but mother keeps hinting at possible marriage proposals and it’s getting harder to push her away.

“My brother keeps asking about you.” Anna says, resting her head on my lap as we sit under the willow tree near the pond.

” Little Jamie?” A young overeager boy pops to mind, always wanting to tag along.

“He’s not so little anymore, James is 19 now and boarding school really changed him. He really likes you.”

” Well it’s too bad I’m already infatuated with another member of his family.” 

” He’s going to ask you to go to the Opera, and I want you to say yes. Just as a favor to me: mother is constantly nagging me and James taking you will be the perfect distraction.”

” Fine but just this once!” I lean in to kiss her and though it feels as though fireworks are exploding in my stomach, I can not help but feel tainted.

                                                              ****

“Ellie! Why have you been ignoring me? I’ve sent dozens of letters but you never respond.” Anna says as she barges into my room. I look up from the book I am reading.

“I sent you a telegram.”

” You said you were ill but it’s been nearly a month and I know you’re not sick! Anyway when has that ever stopped us from seeing each other? What’s the matter?”

“I just don’t think you and I can be friends anymore.”

” Is it because of James? He’s no longer heartbroken about you letting him down.”

” I never let him down.”  

Anna face fell as she realized what that meant,

” You lied to me? You both lied to me!”

” I love you Anna but I have to love James. I’m with child.”

“You’re with child?”

” It just happened and I need to marry him as to not ruin my father’s name.”

“What about me? Did you ever even think about me?”

” I did but what we did was wrong, loving you was wrong. I didn’t realize it until James. That is the life both of us need to live. You’ll always be my best friend but that’s all it ever should have been.”

” I see,” Anna bit her lip as to prevent the tears but they fall nonetheless.

” I’m sorry.”

” Not as sorry as I am.” Anna slammed the door behind her leaving me to cry my silent tears.

 ****

Ellie, Anna dropped this off while you were at the bridal shop. It seems to be a baby blanket. Anna seems to have great hopes for your future with James.” I take the blanket from mothers hands and studied it. Anna has never been the best knitter, but the blue yarn used was beautiful. I don’t know if this is her idea of an apology or a twisted joke and I really don’t care to know.

“Give it to one of your charities.” I say as I run up the stairs so mother won’t question me. Anna may have been my past but James was my future and nothing could jeopardize that.
The wedding is in mere weeks but it will not be the same knowing that Anna will not be my side. I try to block her from my mind but she always manages to wiggle her way into my thoughts. Every laugh I hear reminds me of her, every violin I see reminds me of her, everywhere I go there are reminders of her. I think of James and not a single fact about him comes to mind. I know nothing of him, and him nothing of me. We are total strangers. It shouldn’t be like that, I don’t want it to be like that. I want to know the person I am to marry better than I know myself, I want to feel their pain as my own. And I don’t. It is then that I realize something: what is normal and expected is not what will make me happy. 

I rip off the ridiculous hat and throw it on the ground as I run towards the door of the studio.

” Miss! We’re not done, I just need a few more minutes.”

” I’m sorry but true love can’t wait.” 

Anna can’t wait.

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