AA-meetings – Chapter 10: About The Girl

About the girl


As the girls make their way across town, some people recognize the toned down version of a supermodel. A few brave fans ask for autographs or selfies. Though it seems a bit uneasy and annoying after a while, Alex happily gives in to every request. These fans pay the bills, she resonates. They are the reason why the fashion industry thinks so much of her. Amy just thinks it’s weird. Like, how awkward must it be when every single person in this world knows your name and the way you look in your underwear? Back when they were dating, Alex’s star was starting to rise, but it hadn’t reached the level she’s at now. Two months ago, she owned the Victoria Secret’s fashion show – she had been told so anyway. Millions of men and women watched and drooled over her confident, super sexy routine. Amy didn’t. The bitterness and resentful feelings from before kept her from giving in to the curiosity. Now that they have established this sort of being back together thing, she can’t wait to stream the show online.

“Look at him,” Amy whispers, while passing a shy and secretive acting man.

Alex turns her head and smiles in a friendly way. The forty year old seems a little too hold back to say hi.

“Bet he has his bedroom wallpapered with posters of you,” Amy explains, as she carefully inspects the excited look in his eyes.

But the other woman pokes her softly and orders her to stop talking.

“Would anything be wrong with that? Am I not the most perfect thing to decorate your room with?” she playfully brags.

Amy shrugs: “I wouldn’t like seeing you taped to my wall vertically. I’d rather have you lying next to me horizontally.”

The comment makes the Latina blush surprisingly. They both stop talking for a while, until Alex’s phone starts beeping and she starts a conversation with Rick Spencer. When the blonde turns around to check out a pair of shoes in a window display, her fingers surprisingly get entwined between her lover’s. Unaware if Alex is actually out and proud as a public figure, her eyes stare at the gesture with confusion. Someone might take a picture of it. The gorgeous beauty, still talking to Rick, quickly curls the sides of lips up to smile and throws in a wink. Anyone can know about her and Amy. In fact, she has had trouble to not throw an after-sex selfie on Instagram late last night.

“Are there no paparazzi around you all the time?” Amy asks, seriously questioning the lack of privacy a supermodel usually experiences once the phone call ends.

“Sometimes. When I’m in New York, London or Los Angeles it can get pretty ugly. But out here, nobody from the industry knows where I am. Not yet, at least.”

She throws her eyes up to a nearby group of teenage girls, who anxiously snap pictures of her passing through. They’ll be uploaded in less than a minute. That’s okay, it’s part of the job.

That’s why she’s always dressed up to minimal expectation when she leaves the house. Right now, it’s nothing more than some worn out jeans, long black boots and a leather jacket, but the combination is stylish enough to come across as something well-considered. Her hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail and the make up she’s wearing is nearly invisible, but it’s there. And it’s there for a reason. Bad pictures popping up on the internet have always scared her. Especially when she just went in remission. Nobody knew she was sick, so nothing could spark rumors. Her skin was in a bad condition when she left the hospital. When she went back to work, the stylists and makeup magicians luckily made it seem like she was having the time of her life.

“I can’t believe we’re walking here. Together. Like nothing has happened,” Amy suddenly utters, after magically being absorbed into the handholding with the woman she has loved for many years.

Alex looks up to her and heaves a worrying sigh.

“But a lot of things did happen,” she checks into reality.

Suddenly, Amy’s pulled back into her confusion and doubt from last night. This is happening so fast, so unrestricted and careless. They are ignoring a big part of their history – the bad part. The part that made them both question how much or how less they were meant for each other.

“I still don’t understand why you never even asked me – why you didn’t even try to talk with me? Why did you end things back then when we could’ve …” suddenly a loud swallow interrupts her little rant. “Do you understand what you did? How you broke me? You brought out the very best of me, and then you took all of it away when you left. I couldn’t breathe for months.”

There’ll probably be a lot more apologetic moments from now on. Alex realizes that Amy could indeed have been the perfect person to hold her hand and be there for her while she was sick and recovering. But that doesn’t change the fact that it was for a reason. A reason that appeared good enough back then.

“Because I really wanted you to go to Stanford. You should’ve seen your face when you told me you got that interview. I didn’t want to deprive your special opportunity. And also because I couldn’t be your famous supermodel hero anymore. I was sick and about to lose ten pounds and all my hair and maybe even my mind. I couldn’t be the hero that swept you off your feet by appearing on every billboard in town or romanticize you with tons of flowers and secret messages. I couldn’t take you out for dinner every night and fly you across the country to join me on one of my photoshoots. And that was exactly how you knew me. How you fell in love with me.”

Amy scoffs her words and stops them both from walking along. She can’t believe this.

“No, I fell in love with the simple, pure you, Alex. You seem to forget that I knew you before you became all of this. You were the most ordinary girl when we first met. Remember that you once assured me that you were the gold digger in this relationship? And yes, you turned out to be this great extraordinary person. But not because of the modeling act. Sure, you seduced me with your gorgeous body, your romantic love notes from around the world, the high ranked defensiveness whenever someone bullied me and your tireless attempts to impress me with presents. But don’t be confused: I fell in love with the personality behind those actions, not the supermodel. I fell in love with the soft eyes that nobody saw whenever you looked at me, with the voice so warm when you spoke to me, with the touch of your fingers that gave me goosebumps and your stupid jokes when you got nervous. I never needed a hero. I needed you.”

Her eyes are tearing up. She had thought about all those reasons a million times before.

“And after all the things you’ve told me about your time in Belgium, I … I just wish you would’ve needed me too,” she explains.

Alex lowers her head and nods. Her plan has totally backfired somewhere along the line. She’s been stupid. Too stupid to realize that part of her selfless act was keeping Amy away from the baddest part of herself. The hurting and the emotional breakdowns her father had to deal with. She was scared that, without her hair and glamorous life, Amy might not like her that much anymore.

“It’s not fair,” Alex suddenly realizes.

Her reasons will never be good enough to Amy. Because if it would’ve been the other way around, she’d be mad too. Amy links their arms and pulls her along with her again. She puts her head on Alex’s shoulder and sighs.

“It isn’t …”

They walk across town like they used to do when they were sixteen. Four years have changed little to nothing in this little place. The same old hairdresser – Antonio – invites every passenger in for a glass of red wine. Haircut is optional. A bit further down the road, the little grocery store of Mrs. Warden is taken over by her daughter, Elise. And finally, before reaching Alex’s black rental SUV, the girls are greeted by Mr. Marren, the proud owner of the best bakery in a six hundred feet radius. Everyone around here knows Alex very well. She grew up around here, just a hasty few minutes outside of the big, crowded city area. She ran up and down these streets ever since she was a little girl. Bumped the side of Mr. Marren’s car with her bike one time. But that little girl had achieved a lot in life. She left town and became a superstar. Someone everyone talked about all the time. It was flattering to see her old friends and neighbors stare at her with a certain amount of pride in their eyes. How they could tell their friends that they once went to school with Alex Ochoa.

“My thesis was about you, you know?” Amy disturbs the long silence. “I didn’t use specific footage of you. I hired an actress. She was hot.”

Alex unlocks the doors and they both get in. The model’s tiny body seems way too small for this big car, but surprisingly, she masters it quite confidently.

“What was the story?” she curiously asks.

Amy buckles up and starts smiling into the distance. It seems like a lifetime ago when she filed in her final project before graduating Stanford. Looking back, she knew so little then. In just two years, she has gained a priceless level of experience by working. She loves it.

“The tragic, typical one. Girl falls in love with boy, boy becomes famous, boy leaves girl to chase her dreams, girl stays behind brokenhearted,” she explains. “But with lesbians. And a really hot sex scene.”

Alex softly smiles, while keeping focussed on the road. Clearly, that movie took place when Amy was still very angry at her.

“Critics really loved it. My big break,” Amy recalls nostalgically.

She lays her head against the window and discovers the irony in the story.

“Congratulations,” Alex tells her, genuinely meaning it.

The car turns left. Only two more blocks and they are home.

“I spent so much time being mad at you. And all along, you had cancer.”

The softness and sincere sorrow that lingers behind Amy’s words makes Alex look over at her. She thinks about it for a while and suddenly remembers their previous conversation.

“Yeah, like we said: it’s not fair.”

A cheerful song starts playing on the radio. It’s one of Alex’s favorites, so she starts wiggling her shoulders rather enthusiastically. It’s great to be home for a while. A nice change from the raging fast world of the fashion industry. And definitely anything but the strange foreign experience in Europe. Though, to be honest, she thought it was great over there. It contained a certain promise of privacy. Few people knew who she was. Few people could bother her. She could breathe – feel relieved about the anonymity. And even if she had to leave her comfortable life behind, she was too enchanted to look back for a while.

“So how was that, going to college?” she picks up on the thesis thing.

“University,” Amy corrects her with an amused cocky voice. “It was hard. Intense. It was only an hour drive away from San Francisco, you know. But I never went. Didn’t have the time.”

“That’s … sad,” Alex comments.

Picturing herself sitting in a dorm room, doing nothing but study and work on projects scares the living crap out of her. But Amy disagrees. Stanford was everything she had ever hoped for. And the hard work kept her too occupied to think about Alex all the time.

“It’s not. I’m an impressive professional now,” she mocks herself. “And I’m sick and tired of San Francisco after all the time I spent there working since then.”

The slightly overly serious comment makes Alex laugh. In the meantime, she keeps dancing to the fast rhythm of the song.

“So, you’re a professional editor now?” she innocently asks, while holding back a smile.

“Yeah. Kind of. Assistant,” Amy narrows down the confidence.

“What did you work for?”

Alex is just asking because it’s the right thing to do. Truth is: she can sum up all the productions Amy has taken part in. Chronologically. She kept track. Of course she did.

“A lot of the known sitcoms. Some movies. And now there’s this new show, Interception I’m really interested in.”

Alex’s friends circle includes some actors and television people as well. The show rings a bell, because most of the time, hanging out with her peers means discussing upcoming projects.

“Is that the one with the girl that can’t decide between two boys?”

The lack of detail in her description stirs up a comical laugh.

“That’s about every single television show on this planet,” Amy tells her. “But yes, it’s about that. Only: astronauts!”

Alex parks her car on the driveway.

Oeh!” she enthusiastically utters, but then frowns. “Could’ve been better with lesbians.”

The good old Ochoa house is crowded tonight. Every single member is present, all way too curious to witness the resurrection of the famous Alex/Amy saga. They all knew this was going to happen someday. Because Alex and Amy are the poster children of opposites that attract.

The entire family gathers around the old dining room table. They eat pasta with meatballs and act like they unintentionally went back in time. George and Amy hugged for a decent ten minutes when they saw each other again this morning at breakfast. Now they can’t stop talking, mostly about the Stanford experience. In the meantime, uncle Aaron and Eli catch up with their long lost cousin. Apart from David, Alex tried to stay as distant as possible from them while she went through the hardest part of her life. She didn’t mean to upset anyone. George did the talking over the phone. They all visited once, after her first round of chemo. After that, she promised to return home soon. George kept that promise. But it took Alex nearly four years to follow his example. Out of shame, out of stubbornness, out of fear that Amy was hating her.

After cleaning up and loading in the dishwasher, they drop into the massive couches in front of the television. Except for granddad. He claims to have a hot date. No one feels the urge to ask.

Amy’s so close to Alex that she might as well sit on top of her. The men realize that little has changed. Even though they fought a silent war during the last years, their teenage behavior remained the same. They still have their little AA-meetings. Amy’s fingers are tapping the growling belly of her girlfriend. Too. Much. Food. Asking for desert was the final punch.

“So,” Eli suddenly pops the predicted question, “the two of you are back together?”

They don’t even look up. The girls just remain sprayed on top of each other and nod while staring. That’s how simple it is.

“And the two of you can’t just be friends?” he questions the rapidity of their reunion.

Alex shakes her head faintly, like it’s too obvious or just too exhausting: “No, we can’t.”

“Why not?”

Even George and Aaron have opened their ears to listen to the conversation by now. Surprisingly, David has no opinion about any of this. He’s just glad he and his iPad can focus on the blog full time again instead of playing a personal shrink for both girls.

“I’ve seen her naked way too many times, often underneath me as well, to just be friends with her,” Alex jokes bluntly.

George covers his ears and subsequently shakes his head in disapproval.

“Again with this?” he mumbles to himself.

But the very happy mood of Amy kicks in too. She pokes Alex’s chest and objects.

“Oh, come on. Don’t be ridiculous … You were never on top.”

She winks but quickly decides that enough of this is enough. First of all, she forgot to whisper. Secondly, deep down, she realizes her throwback was a lie. Alex is always on top. And it’s a magical thing to experience.

Uncle Aaron laughs away the conversation he never wanted to hear about his little niece and clears his throat: “So you’re just gonna pick things up where you left them?”

Alex understands where all of this is coming from. She has thought about it as well. But the truth is that they’ve already lost too much time, by being apart. And this feels amazing. This feels like it’s meant to be. There are no doubts, no restraints. Just questions about the last four years. They can fill in the blanks about those along the way.

“What do you expect us to do? Become strangers again, introduce ourselves to one another, shake hands and make awkward jokes to break the ice?” Alex suggests.

Amy picks up on the romantic do-over of their first romance: “Oh, and then we’ll go on a first date, be all nervous while getting dressed, feel all flustered after our first kiss and pick a favorite song together.”

“Sounds kind of romantic,” Alex admits.

Just imagine the possibilities. The funny revival of their first steps. They’d have a blast.

“New memories,” Amy dreamily whispers, before instantly turning completely confused. “We’ll have to erase the old.”

Suddenly, neither of them finds the romantic and cute part in all of it anymore. Because the old are the best. They are the reason why they ended back up here in the end.

“Okay, never mind. I like my old ones way too much,” Alex decides.

The men in their company aren’t even listening to the babbling sounds of the girls. Just like before, they turn into background noises. Voices that are always there.

The girls start playing, teasingly poking each other every now and then. They always forget how their behavior might intrude the peaceful plans of their co-residents. Then again, they will never really care about it. After getting some drinks in the kitchen, Amy starts chasing Alex around the living room to grab her. George and Aaron look at them over their newspapers and sigh, while Eli and David hide their mischievous smiles. This used to drive the old men crazy. It’s the only reason why the young ladies are doing it in the first place.

It takes Amy two minutes to tackle Alex into the couch and land on top of her. They both shriek with laughter.

“No, stop it,” George demands, really looking forward to finishing the last page of his paper.

But the girls can’t be bothered. They remain in an ecstatic mood and goof around like they’re ten years old. Few seconds later, they start kissing. First it’s innocent and caring, but the smooch quickly turns into an expression of love. Oh, the years they need to catch up on. Again, the youngest men of the company remain amusingly quiet, while the older brothers put both hands in front of their eyes and growl with frustration.

“No, stop it,” they repeat themselves.

George rubs his bald head and tries to remind himself of the time when all he wished for was his daughter to be in her soulmate’s arms again. The longer this charade is happening, the more the memory fades out.

“Go to your room, Alex. Just get up and go to your room. You guys are terrible,” he orders.

Alex sits up straight and questions the level of parenthood going on when your father orders you to take your girlfriend up to your room. But she decides to keep the suspicion unsaid and quickly drags Amy along with her.

The San Francisco project was cancelled, and luckily, so were Amy’s initial plans for the next couple of weeks. She was keen on participating in the Interception show, but just like everything in showbiz land, it was a selective game of know and grow. Nothing had been discussed with the actual producers yet, so Amy’s participation remained uncertain. Therefor, Alex asked her to join her to a new photoshoot in New York. In fact, she nearly begged her.

The model has an apartment over there, in downtown Manhattan. Of course Amy was willing to check the place out.

As the girls leave the JFK airport, a bunch of photographers gather around Alex’s entourage: Amy, Rick Spencer and a personal assistant called Dianne. The blinding flashes get defied by really dark sunglasses. The bunch of ruthless professionals keep asking her about the girl. But it’s been a long flight, all that Alex really wants right now is go home with Amy and show her around the place a little bit. Her apartment is amazing, you see. It’s centered just below the penthouse, on the twenty-third floor, and has a view to die for. You can actually see the Empire State Building in the distance. Designer Alexander Dubrov personally helped her design the open-spaced interior. It has shinny, white furniture and flashy, contrasting paintings on the wall. You could call it pretty modernly decorated, exactly how Alex loves it.

After faintly smiling at the cameras and making their slightly interrupted way over to the exit, Amy starts to get anxious about the level of claustrophobia these paparazzi can generate. Her slim fingers search for Alex’s and once they entwine, the model looks over to her and reassuringly smiles. Just a couple more minutes and they’ll be in the cab. Perhaps they’ll find one or two sneaky bastards standing outside her apartment building, but once inside, it’ll be safe.

Rick and the assistant will be spending the night in a nearby hotel. They have business to acquire to, contracts to discuss and meeting to schedule. The live of Alex probably is a lot easier – simply taking the modeling gig aside – compared to what Rick has to go through all the time. She agrees to do a shooting, shows up in time – or late, as the past has shown – and gives it her best shot. Apart from a limited number of meetings, she mostly attends the big parties and festive gatherings Rick orders her to show up to. He’s her manager, the little voice inside her head that keeps imprinting all the important stuff concerning her job. He’s the oracle whenever she’s doubting herself or the ideas inside her head.

On their way up the elevator, Alex suddenly starts to wonder out loud what Amy attracted in Christopher. Completely thrown off by the sudden curiosity of her girlfriend, the blonde remains quiet for a second.

“He has a cute face. It’s the first thing I noticed about him,” she recalls

“But he looks kinda Asian, don’t you think?” Alex utters, mostly talking to herself.

The elevator light shifts to level thirteen and Amy starts laughing: “That’s because he is kind of Asian. What are you, kind of racist?”

Her girlfriend is fast to correct herself. It just an observation, that’s all.

“Was he any good?”

Amy scrunches her eyebrows, she’s not sure what Alex is referring to right now: “What do you mean?”

“I mean …” Alex rolls her eyes and aims them at Amy’s crotch.

The blonde puts one hand in front of her mouth and gasps for air. She cannot be serious.

“No, really. I want to know. I mean, I wouldn’t want you to have horrible sex for four years,” she scoffs in a way to mock the entire situation.

But Amy quickly realizes she has nothing to be ashamed of.

“It wasn’t four years. And I know what this is about. So no, it wasn’t just boys. But if you really want to know, Christopher knew exactly what he had to do.”

She winks, knowing this will piss off the Latina to lengths she’ll never admit, and for a second, Alex remains startled. Really? Not even soothing the pain a little bit? Her head turns toward the elevator door and the light switches to level sixteen. She licks the outer left part of her mouth and puffs away the frustration.

“You’re really going to tell me you didn’t have sex for four years? I can’t really imagine, when I recall our history of humping each other like bunnies,” Amy continues, loudly questioning Alex’s innocence when it comes to remaining faithfully hers.

It doesn’t take long before she cracks.

“In Belgium, I started a little fling with a nurse. She was cute. Looked a lot like you, though. After that, back on the road and all … Let’s just say it’s a pretty gay world out there.”

She coughs to make it sound less orgy-ish than it initially came out. Amy has no doubt about the level of sexual fluidity in the modeling industry. Most of them are already half naked by the time they first meet. Then again, it’s not like you’ll ever meet a person you won’t be attracted to in those circles. Everyone is drop dead gorgeous. Perfection at its finest. They live in a fantasy world, in which they attend celebrity parties and hang out at the most delicious restaurants. Going home with someone might be the most casual thing about their lives.

“It’s not like I actually had a relationship with anyone or something. It was more or less to pass time,” Alex smiles in order to cover her own sexual encounters. “Conclusion of this story is that you haven’t exactly been waiting around for me, huh?”

The conversation has turned into a full-blown teasing contest. They are out to make each other blush and cranky. And after just admitting she’s been sleeping with about every model on this earth, Alex is still determined to make the other one look bad in this story. The elevator pings. Twenty-third floor. Suddenly, Amy sighs while rolling her trolley out of the small cubicle: even this hallway is prettier than her room. She could live here, with all these stylish ornaments and amazing paintings covering the walls.

When they enter Alex’s apartment, Alex’s flicks the light on and while hoping to turn this teasing into a more physical game, she runs toward the open kitchen situated behind the living room area to grab a bottle of wine. But out of nowhere, a girl storms out of the bedroom to jump straight into her arms. Amy, who was casually roaming the place to soak in Alex’s natural habitat, jumps back an inch and observes her girlfriend, holding a barely naked twenty year old something in her arms. The brunette has put her lips on Alex’s mouth and that is just so wrong to her on so many levels. It takes her a full second to realize what’s going on. The model, on the other hand, can’t be fast enough to push the girl away from her, acting like she’s contagious or something.

Amy crosses her arms, leans into the wall and smirks: “You were saying?”

Startled by the surprise attack, Alex turns her head back and forth. The humorous part of their previous conversation gets lost in the utter confusion that’s happening.

“What are you doing here?” she asks the beautiful brunette who’s obviously too excited to see her.

It’s Emma Brown, a talented, rising actress. Amy now recognizes her from some smaller movie roles. She didn’t realize how gay the girl was. Alex must have a clue by now, though.

In an anxious attempt to cover up the lack of clothing her ex fling is exposing, the Latina grabs the beige blanket that’s on top of the nearby couch and wraps it around her.

“You told me you were coming back today,” Emma carelessly explains, while finally realizing there’s another person in the room.

Alex wipes her lips clean to get rid of her taste. This is dramatic, so utterly dramatic. If it were anyone else, she’d think it’s funny.

“When?” she asks, completely unable to recall it.

Emma shrugs and proudly smiles: “Last month.”

Seconds pass filled with nothing but awkwardness and painful looks thrown around the place. There is no way in hell even the notorious Miss Ochoa can come up with an escape route here.

“Who’s that?” Emma asks, pointing at an overly amused Amy.

Somehow, the blonde’s really enjoying this little high school drama. Alex forgot to cancel out her last fling, how fucked up is that?

Alex rubs her forehead with one finger and squeezes one eye shut.

“She’s … my girlfriend.”

That obviously comes as a surprise to Julia: “I didn’t know you had a girlfriend.”

Amy laughs to herself and watches the awkward encounter between Alex and Emma. She should’ve taped this.

“Neither did I,” the Latina admits. “It’s complicated.”

Except it’s not. They are back together. The end. She quickly glances at Amy to seek some sort of participation, but the blonde throws her hands up in the air.

“Oh, no, I’m enjoying this way too much.”

She sits down on the back of the couch to watch the show. All that’s missing is some popcorn.

“It’s not funny,” Alex protests.

Amy disagrees: “Oh, it’s pretty funny.”

The next couple of moments unfold an entertaining spectacle. Alex goes through great lengths to assure Emma of her best intentions from a few months ago, but she’s reconciled with her long lost love again. Going around, sneaking up on each other half naked in each other’s apartment is no longer possible. The girl seems disappointed, put aside even. She utters a soft ‘oh’ and disappears in the room to gather her stuff. Two minutes and a confused apology later, she’s gone. It takes exactly that long before Alex dares to look at her girlfriend. There’s no anger or jealousy. No, Amy’s about to pee her pants from laughter.

“It’s not funny,” Alex stresses.

But the tears rolling down Amy’s cheeks prove the contrary. She gasps for air and punts one hand on top of her chest to control her breathing.

“Well, it was great running into one of your little gay minions,” she concludes before wiping the tears of joy away.

“She isn’t gay,” Alex clarifies. “She used to have a ton of boyfriends, but we ran into each other and you know how they are: chatting, hugging, overly touchy, calling all the time. Kissing when drunk and before you know it, you are their sexy pet toy.”

Amy scoffs and rolls her eyes, because she knows exactly what Alex means: “Fucking straight girls.”

Alex decides to drop the awkward encounter and starts showing her girlfriend around the place. Amy thinks it’s beautiful. When they reach the bedroom, the model lies down on top of it and pats the side next to her. Suddenly, the happy tour is over. Amy frowns the most disturbing frown and shakes her head accordingly. She even shakes her finger.

“Nu-uh, I’m not getting in that bed before you change the sheets.”

The annoyance can be read off of Alex’s face.

“You’ve got to be kidding me?” she scoffs.

But Amy’s not.

The girls get hungry and decide to cook. They go through an empty fridge and resort to ordering in. Chinese. A doorman sends the food up shortly after and they have their first tête-à-tête in what seems like forever. It’s nice. It’s familiar.

Alex tells the story about going through chemotherapy in Belgium. How lonely she felt, how being trapped in a room with nothing but regrets and vomit drove her close to insanity. She explains the brilliance of Dr. De Weerdt, and the gentle way he guided her through her treatment. And then there’s brightness in her eyes when she recalls the day of the final verdict: the day she finally got into remission. There’s nothing much Amy can reply, though. She just listens in awe, realizing it’s impossible to even imagine how it must have been. But Alex looks happy now. Happy to have told her. To finally be brutally honest about it.

Amy remembers the lack of privacy ever since they arrived in New York, like those photographers at the airport. There were even a few downstairs, waiting for them to arrive home. Alex shrugs.

“It’s part of the job. And it happens to be a job I love,” she explains.

“But you haven’t told them about the cancer?”

Alex starts smiling mysteriously and leans back in her chair.

“I don’t want people to think that this illness is the biggest part of me – the most interesting part of me. I don’t want to be Alex, the model with cancer. I want to be Alex – exclamation mark – the model – exclamation mark. I did such a good job holding it together back there. If they are going to start asking questions about it, I’ll have to go back into that memory, about how bad it was. I don’t feel like doing it.”

When they start cleaning up, Amy teasingly rubs the lower part of Alex’s tummy. It sends shivers down her spine and that’s okay. Amy’s hands are the most delicate. They circle around her skin in a way to memorize the texture of it. They caress her with a softness that no other girl has ever repeated. Alex feels like she’s heating up. Being away from her for four years has suddenly ignited a roaring fire inside of her loins – and her heart. Because the perfect memory of their lovemaking just drives her insane.

“Hey, shouldn’t we, like, take it slow or something? Don’t you want that?” her little leftover of sanity suddenly utters.

Amy stood three steps away from Alex just then. Now it’s just two. Her grip feels tighter, firmer. It’s kneading the sides of the Latina’s waist now. Alex bites her lower lip and grins.

“I don’t know. I guess we could have slow sex or something?” Amy whispers sensually.

One step. A smirk colors her naughty face and Alex appreciates it way too much. Somehow, despite all the workouts and the successful modeling career, her body will always remain a reason to feel insecure around Amy. Does she think she’s pretty enough? Skinny enough? Muscled enough? But then their eyes lock and the look of the blue-eyed goddess says it all. Amy thinks she’s gorgeous. Alex bends over to her face and kisses the soft lips she’s always missing whenever they don’t touch hers. She pushes Amy back against the kitchen cabinets. Gently, though. Nothing about this feels hasty or rushed. It’s soft and loving. The way their bodies collide is magical. Alex runs some fingers underneath Amy’s shirt. She sighs into her mouth as the hardness of her nipples reaches her fingertips. Her arms lift the skinny blonde’s body up until she’s seated on top of the counter. Their kisses are starting to become deeper, more passionate. The girls recognize each other’s scent and moving routine. Amy pushes her breasts forward, forcing Alex to remove her hands, and their bodies blend. Before anything else starts happening, the girls softly start to pant.

“Want to go to the bedroom?” Alex proposes.

But Amy seems fond of the position they’re in.

“I’m fine here. After all, this is the room to go to when you crave something delicious, no?”

Alex smirks and nods before resuming the smooching. Then, she lowers her hands to the front of Amy’s pants. Her fingers unbutton the dark blue jeans, while Amy returns the favor. The girls erotically undress each other – teasingly slow. It makes them feel hotter than they initially were. They make love, completely exposed in that kitchen. They forget about the bed or the couch and remain focussed on each other. Halfway through their sexual encounter, Alex stops for a moment. She gasps for air as her fingers run up and down Amy’s naked chest. The girl in front of her looks gorgeous. So amazingly beautiful that it chokes her up completely.

“I have missed this,” the blonde admits and she feels more special than ever with this woman gazing at her.

“Of course you have, it can’t get any hotter than sex with a supermodel/girl,” Alex teases her.

Amy clears her throat while pushing back the dark hairs blocking Alex’s view.

“Shut up and say you missed it too,” she then commands, ignoring this insistent sense of humor her girlfriend tends to weave through each and every conversation.

“I missed this too,” a more serious Alex suddenly confesses.

It’s the truth. Because here, more than ever, she feels save and happy to be healthy again. Seeing Amy took away all the reasons to cry, all the doubts that kept her up at night, the great excuses to scare people off in order to protect herself.

The young woman starts to think back at days when she couldn’t sleep for nights. Makeup artists needed lots of eye makeup to cover dark circles under her eyes. It was from crying. Or from strolling from bar to bar once she felt better, just to drink and have fake fun with strangers. Once back in the US, she sort of felt obliged to attend the celebrity parties, but in between all her famous friends she found herself glaring into the distance. Those activities were part to shift her point of view – keep her mind off of Amy. Of course the people around her were awesome during the entire process of hearing the bad news to defeating the awful bastard cancer cells inside of her. She does have actual friends in the modeling world. Despite traveling around the world, hanging against the greatest billboards in New York or Paris and attending the best parties, they’re all just people. People that want conversations to keep them grounded. People that need hugs when they don’t feel great. People that want someone to care about their crap. Because even models have crap. And so when Alex passed out into her bed every night, fully clothed and as drunk as an Irish man after a Saint Patrick day celebration, some of her favorite girls came to check up on her.  Julia Danes, Kathy McGrath or Silvie Vermeer, they all had their methods to keep her from having Amy swirling around in her mind.

These girls started modeling around the same time. They feel connected, because the rest of their peers can’t possibly understand the world they live in. Of course they know about the cancer. Some people were allowed to enter the private circle of undercover treatment. Luckily, they all proved to be trustworthy.

But now Amy’s here. And Julia, Kathy, nor Silvie need to help her get up in the morning. Alex’s holding the reason of all her worrying in her hands – and at the same time, she’s the perfect solution for everything. Her bad memories disappear and get erased whenever she stares into these blue eyes. And though she’s extremely happy to be healthy again, it took her until now to be excited to be alive again.

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