It’s a story that never ends.
Like fireworks, it lights up the darkness with ease and shows you an explosion of colors that fills us with joy. It's able to change a world that could appear so black and white to you and transform it into these vivid... bright colors that are so beautiful, it almost feels dreamlike.
It hits you in the most unexpected way.
It usually starts with a signal, where you feel the spreading of warmth strike your chest without warrant or warning when you first lay your eyes on this stranger.
Then, the tingling sensation of curiosity. Who is this person to make me feel this way? I gotta know more about this person.
The curiosity transforms when it then gets mixed with a wrecking force of desire, to see this person again. To make them smile, absentmindedly making it a goal to hear their laughter just because it hits you that that’s a sound that bring your mind at peace.
It’s the most hypnotic sound you wish to hear over and over again. A sound, you can never get tired of hearing.
Then, you end up catching yourself smiling randomly at a moment.
Why am I still smiling? Is one of the questions you’ll eventually ask yourself when they are no longer near you but you’re still thinking of the moment.
It’s the calming peace that you feel, mixed with the feeling the surge of electricity coursing through your veins when you’re alone with the person and feel their lips move against yours in perfect rhythm for the very first time.
Then you feel the nerves kick in, when that moment escalates into more than just a kiss. You lose all your capabilities of thinking straight and lose yourself in their touch.
Then comes the endless tests and at the end of each test, that person is still by your side. You push them away, but they come back to you.
You feel yourself changing for the better, becoming better because you want the person to have everything good in the world, nothing bad.
Then it’s the realization that this is a fire between you two will never burn out, that it will last forever.
That, no test or fight will ever make that person run away… your bond ends up growing stronger with each adversary.
The electric touch never grew old and accustomed to your body. It still feels new.
The warmth through your body never faded away, always present with every kiss shared between you two.
The desires to see the person never ends, rather it becomes stronger. Where, you want this person to be the one you wake up to because that’s exactly what you need.
You want to wake up in their arms because you feel safe.
You feel complete.
If you’re lost, you’re no longer lost. For that, being by their side is where you feel most secure.
Where, it feels just right.
And if you are ever feeling lost, it's always in a moment, or within each other.
And if you’re feeling hopeless, you’re surprised with the feeling of hope, whilst finding the best version of yourself.
All while, longing for a future together.
For Tobin, it was just that.
They settled into the ginormous beach house that her brother owns. Christen was shocked to see that her and Tobin’s room had windows stretched from one wall to the other with a balcony overlooking the Atlantic.
After moving everything in, everyone slept through the first night very early. Tobin, was the first to wake up, watching Christen as she sleeps peacefully. However, she didn’t want her to miss a sight she’s missed out on all these years.
“Good morning babe…” Christen yawned, feeling a familiar finger go up and down the spine of her back slowly. She forced her eyes open to see Tobin smiling down at her, “What?”
“Get up, you have to see this.”
Christen groaned and looked to the left, seeing the sun rising and it’s beautiful, bright orange and pink colors reflecting off the water.
“Almost as beautiful as you.” Christen laughed seeing Tobin grimace at the attempt to flirt at 6:30 AM in the morning.
It still worked.
Morning breath and all.
“I love you.” She whispered softly, “You have no idea how much I love you.” With the sun rising and hitting her face perfectly, she was practically glowing.
“God, you’re so beautiful. How did I ever get so lucky?”
Christen hid her face in the pillow and giggled to herself, before propping herself up with her elbow, “Why the sudden sentiment?”
“I was thinking how lost I was before I met you,” Tobin shook her head slowly pushing aside Christen’s hair and smiled weakly, “I gave up on myself… but you never gave up on me. I don’t know… Where I’d be if you didn’t show up in my life.”
Tobin began to tear up and looked up to force back the tears, laughing at herself, “I’m sorry…”
Tobin pulled away and sat at the edge of the bed. She had to look away, not used to this sudden feel of opening up. They were both quiet for what seemed to be a long moment, with Tobin fidgeting around, picking at her fingers in her lap. She felt Christen’s arms wrap around her stomach, her bare chest against her back, legs on both sides of Tobin.
Christen moved aside Tobin’s wavy hair and kissed just below her ear before resting her chin in the crook of Tobin’s shoulder, sighing softly.
“There was this girl in college. I never really had a… crush before. It was always strictly soccer and school… I never knew what love was. She was my first.”
Tobin turned her to look at her, “What happened?”
Christen scooted backwards so that Tobin can get back in bed, which she did.
“Well,” Christen looked away, “Year four into the relationship, all of it felt normal. Routine, almost? You could say it was routine. Sex, dinner dates, arguments. We’d sometimes go days without talking. But we always made up. It was just… a pattern. But I never knew that love was supposed to be or feel different. Until I met you..”
She got quiet, “We got into another fight. And… she, uh…disappeared?” Christen’s voice broke, “Wow after all this time it still feels… painful.”
“Babe,” Tobin hugged her tightly, “You don’t have to tell--“
“No, let me just say it. She,” Christen smiled sadly, “…Cheated on me. With my teammate. And, I walked in on them… Tobin ever since that happened, I closed off. I got drafted, went to Chicago and never looked back.”
“I’m going to kill her,” Tobin got angry for Christen ever hurting, “I swear if I ever-“
“It’s okay…” Christen laughed and sniffled, “See, I had this idea of what love was. That pattern, I thought it was okay. Until I met you. You’re the first one that has opened my eyes into what love really felt like.”
Tobin smiled and gave her a long kiss, “You’re welcome.”
“Oh shuttup,” Christen laughed and lightly pushed Tobin from the shoulder, “In all seriousness baby, I-was… lost… too.”
Tobin scooted closer and extended her arm out from behind Christen’s head, prompting the other girl to scoot into Tobin’s side and cuddle.
Christen drew an infinity sign on Tobin’s stomach over and over as she continued, “You taught me what it feels to be loved. And to love… And it feels amazing. When I look back at everything, all the hurt, pain… It hurts, yes, but I’m happy it all happened.”
“Why would you ever be happy for that babe?” Tobin said quietly, running her hand through her lover’s hair.
“Because… if it never happened, I would’ve stuck by her side, because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought that was it,” Christen propped herself up on her shoulder and looked at Tobin with that same smile, “If it wasn’t for that, I would’ve never met you. I would’ve never known what love really feels like.”
She gave Tobin a long, deep kiss, before continuing again, “You are my end game.”
Tobin settled her hand at the base of Christen’s throat, looking deep into Christen’s grey blue eyes, pushing her down softly with that same hand and leaning down to kiss her. This time, it felt different.
She moved on top of Christen, looking once more into her lover’s eyes, “I love you. I love you so much Christen Press.”
Christen smiled biting her lower lip, brushing Tobin’s cheek with the back of her hand as she looked up at the beautiful brunette on top of her.
She pulled her in closer, leaning up to whisper into her ear softly, “Show me how much you love me.”
In that moment, Tobin’s feelings intensified, feeling herself dive into an ocean of despair. Longing, to be by her lover’s side forever.
She knew, that the night was coming.
The night, she was going to ask Christen to be hers.
She just needed to prepare.
A week passed.
They ran through all the errands that Tobin set out for them to do fairly quickly.
Their last stop was to check out the engagement rings.
“Someone has that sex glow on her! Has anyone else noticed?” Katie butt checked her sister as she looked curiously at all the rings in front of her.
Tobin’s cheeks flushed and her eyes widened tilting her head in her younger brother’s direction, “Dude?”
Her brother grinned next to her, “Tobin, I’m not that 18 yearold kid you once knew. I got game better than you.”
Tobin laughed out loud, “Boy please, in your wildest dreams.”
His wife joined in on the laughter, “You never know what a man in a wheelchair is capable of- -“
“NOOOOOO!” Tobin and her sister both said out loud covering their ears.
Never had sex in a chair before with christen… guess that’s on the bucket list of things to do.
Tobin pushed the thought away, “Can we focus on the rings in front of us please?”
“But we don’t know what she likes… What about that one?” Katie pointed at a cushion cut ring with a lot of diamonds around the band.
“She’s a simple girl… I don’t think she would li—“ Tobin’s eye caught onto one that took her words right out of her, that one’s it. She looked at the price behind the beautiful ring, shit. Almost 3 Carats cushion cut with a plain band... $23,000.
Her brother looked at her and followed her eyes to that same ring, “Excuse me sir?”
“Yes Mr. Heath?”
“That one please.”
“Right away.” He immediately listened to her younger brother, reminding her of how much of a prodigy he is.
“That’s too… I can’t afford that… I can’t let you do this Jeff.”
“Tobin, I want to.”
“Atleast let me go half.”
“Will you not bother me if I let you do that?”
“It’s my girl’s engagement ring…” Tobin huffed out.
“I don’t want you to settle for less. Besides, I like Christen.” Tobin rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.
“You only just met her…”
Her little brother continued right after she finished her last word, “… And I got my sister back. Because of her. Tobs, I want to do this.”
Tobin felt the brotherly love she’s missed out on all these years. Long ago, she used to take care of him. And now, it’s the other way around.
“Thank you.” She leaned down and gave him a tight hug, “I’ve missed you kid.”
“There’s no need to thank me,” He said as he hugged her back, “I’m just happy you’re here and I get to do this with you.”
The jeweler came back, “Any chance you know what her ring size is?”
Tobin pulled out a ring that she stole from Christen’s jewelry collection, “Any chance this will work?”
“Perfect, this should take no more than ten minutes to resize. I will be back shortly.”
The jeweler left and Tobin looked at her brother, “There’s one more thing we need to do. Do you mind taking me somewhere?”
“Ofcourse, where to?”
She stood in front of the small vacation home that they’ve owned all these years. The very front yard that she stood in front of was the yard her father would make her train viciously even on the vacations. Tobin never knew how much she hated those days up until the moment she left for Chicago. All those vacations spent training on the beach or in the front yard rather than being with family and enjoying the moment.
What a shame.
She was scared to face him.
Til this day, she still felt fear inside of her.
“You don’t have to do this.” Her little brother stared at the house from inside the truck, “You don’t owe him anything, Tobs…”
“I have to.” She whispered.
“To move on,” She turned around to look at her brother inside the truck, “I have to put these things behind me, officially. I want him to know who I am now without him.”
Her brother sighed, “We’ll wait out here for you.”
“No, I’ll take a lyft. Go with your sisters and set up our plan. Have mom distract Chris as we planned.”
“Alright, I’ll meet you there.”
She started walking towards the house slowly, reaching the front door. Before she could even knock, the door flung open. The man infront of her isn’t the man she could remember. He looked haphazard, hair no longer swept to the side the way he taught his son to do. He had a long, grey beard and age lines. He was no longer built strong, but rather leaner.
He lost a lot of weight.
So many things changed, but her heartrate increased like old times from the nerves.
However, one thing remained. The glass of whisky, made neat, was in his left hand.
Atleast they had one thing in common.
It was Tobin’s favorite drink.
“Hey.” She whispered. He looked like he was in shock, seeing the same figure that he never thought that he would never see again after that day in the hospital. He stood still, “Tobin.”
They both stayed quiet and Tobin broke the silence with a hint of anger in her voice.
“Are you not going to let me in?”
“Uh—yeah, yes… Ofcourse, come in.”
She let herself in, scooting past him, into the old home. Everything still remained, all her trophies and all the family pictures still remained on the foyer’s walls’ and its shelves. Tobin looked at all the photos of her and her family, walking slowly seeing all the trophies as well.
What she didn’t expect was the Chicago tribune paper. And the article that was written about her being the youngest, female firefighter on the force. And the next article, about all the fires she’s fought and never lost.
The article of Allie Long and Tobin Heath.
There was a section dedicated to Tobin’s achievements after soccer.
“I’m proud of you, of who you’ve become.”
Tobin laughed hysterically walking in the direction of the bottle of whiskey, “You don’t get to say that.”
She grabbed the cup sitting next to it, pouring herself a whiskey, neat, no ice, just like her father. They were both quiet, standing at opposite ends of the living room that was surprisingly clean.
“Why are you here Tobin, for what?” He sighed breaking the silence first, “Do you want me to say sorry? I’m sorry.”
“You blamed me for everything that…” Tobin clinched her jaws and laughed out loud, feeling her anger rise up, “You know what, this is a mistake.”
She started walking towards the front door until he stopped her, “Tobin, please wait. Don’t go.”
She stopped, hesitated in opening the door. Tobin felt herself fight back the tears and closed her eyes. Her fingers gripped the doorknob to the point that they were white, “You hurt me.”
“I know, Tobin…”
“Everything that fucking happened,” She turned back around and walked towards him and jabbed a finger into his chest, “YOU BLAMED ME.”
He couldn’t look her in the eye. Instead, he looked away, cowardice. Something, Tobin, was not used to.
“I hated myself. For years, I HATED MYSELF! Because… because, of you. The least you can do is—is mean it!”
“You don’t think I feel the same way?” He sputtered out almost instantly, drinking all of the whiskey in one go, looking her in the eye now like the man he used to be, “I hated myself too!”
“YES!” He screamed back at her, shocking Tobin enough to take a few steps back but he matched those steps forward, “I LOST MY DAUGHTER. And then my FAMILY. Because of ME. And This.”
Her father looked at the cup in his hand, chuckled as he shook his head, and threw it across the room.
The glass shattering against the walls and it’s loud sound didn’t even phase the two of them. They both stood there, staring at each other.
Tobin remained strong and tall, but her dad didn’t. For the first time in her life, she saw him cry. The man that she was so afraid of, where his presence alone can scare her into scoring a goal.
And somehow, she felt guilty. Despite everything, she felt sorry for him.
“I lost everything… I lost you Tobin. I was trying to make you into something you weren’t. I’m sorry for… everything.” He sat down and stayed quiet to gather his thoughts, “I wasn’t the best father to you or your brother. Your sisters got lucky. When I blew out my knee years ago, I started drinking away my pain. My future, Tobin, was gone.”
“Dad…” Tobin sat down next to him. He smiled for a moment when he heard that word years later.
“I... I have to say this.” He looked at her for the first time and spoke up, “I wanted my son to be what I couldn’t be. But I didn’t realize he was gifted with the brains. It took me years to realize that that’s okay… It was years too late.”
Tobin stayed quiet and looked at her hands as he spoke, feeling the tears fall down her face.
“I couldn’t get him to play soccer… so I-I… I put it all on you. I’ll never forgive myself for taking the love you had for the sport out of you.”
“It’s okay. It’s okay, I know now. That’s all that matters.” She said quietly, feeling sorry for him. Slowly but surely, all the anger she had felt towards her father started to disappear.
Not just the anger, but also the power she thought he had over her… All of it slowly disappeared with every word.
“No, Toby.” He looked at her with the saddest, most tired eyes, “I’ll never forgive myself for blaming what happened to him on you. It was my fault. He told me everything… everything he said to you before he got into that car, it-it... it was all my fault. I could’ve stopped it if I was a better man. If, I was just a… better father to you!”
He got up and Tobin quickly grabbed his hand, the first, real physical contact she has had with him in years. She got up quickly and gave him a hug, feeling the tears break away once again, “Dad, it’s okay.”
At first, her father didn’t know what to do. He hesitantly kept his arms away from touching her. Until, she felt him put his arms around her back, and gave in, resting his head in the crook of her shoulder. He cried silently in her arms, “I’m so sorry, babygirl. I don’t deserve this from you. I don’t know how you could forgive me. I understand if you don’t.”
By meeting Christen, she learned how to forgive herself with Allie. That allowed her to be able to do something she never thought that she could ever do.
And that, is forgiving her own father.
For all the emotional torment he put her through.
She had learned to forgive him.
A year ago, she would never be able to do this. To be in front of him, or even to cry in front of him.
But now, she can.
She sniffled feeling the tears run down her own cheeks, “I just wanted my dad.”
“I know…” He looked at his daughter and nervously spoke back up, “I wish I can fix things between us. I understand if it’s too late… Just know, that I have been watching what you’ve been doing in Chicago” He sighed once he finished saying the last word looked at her with a weak but proud smile, “And… And I couldn’t be prouder of the woman you’ve become today. I’m so proud of my girl.”
He hugged her tighter, a hug filled with, what felt like real, fatherly love to Tobin. Something, she hasn’t felt with her father in a long, long time. Hearing him say those words after all these years, impacted her in ways she never thought it would.
All these years growing up playing soccer, she searched for those words. After everything that happened, she never let herself care for hearing those words again. Truth is, being accepted by her father was something she always looked for, even after she left.
She wanted him to make him proud.
However, she buried those feelings deep inside and chose to ignore them.
She chose the easy way out.
What a thing forgiveness does for someone. How, it can heal one’s pain and… give clarity.
Something, she looked for, for so many years.
“We can start now.” She said, feeling relief spread across her chest, “But dad?”
“I want you to meet someone. We-kinda have to go, like now.”
“Who’s the lucky guy?”
She looked at him confused, “Oh wait. I never told you, I kind of kept it secret… I’m gay.”
He laughed nervously, “Oh, I guess that’s uh, something I missed out on apparently.”
Tobin pulled out a black, satin box from the pocket of her skinny jeans, and opened it, “She’s really special to me dad.”
Her father smiled down at the ring and looked back up at her, “I can’t wait to meet the lucky girl.”
She smiled back, “I can’t wait for her to meet you too.”
Christen looked nervously around the market, anywhere but Tobin’s mother’s eyes. She chuckled as she fixed her burnt orange tank and tucked it slightly into the front of her light jean shorts, “Ha-uh…Yeah, Tobin.”
“How’d you two meet?”
Christen noticed that Cindy, Tobin’s mother, checked her watch for the sixth time this evening. She would consistently look at her watch every five minutes and then her phone. Something felt a little fishy to Christen, like Cindy was stalling.
Nonsense Chris, stop speculating.
“Uh, my cat.” Christen cleared her throat when she saw Cindy raise a questioning eyebrow, “Yeah so cat got stuck, on-on the top of the counter-no-no, cabinet, obviously. I meant…” Why am I so nervous! She raised her hand up high and gulped, mimicking the raised eyebrows of Tobin’s mom before catching herself and relaxed, “Cabinet. I-uh called 911 and Tobin rescued my cat... That’s when I first met her.”
Cindy stood there with the pomegranate in her hand, “Huh.” And turned around slowly, walking towards the greens section, checking her watch again.
Huh? That’s it. Just, ‘Huh’.
Christen stood there for a second, before walking double the pace to catch up to the mom.
“Yeah-so, Tobin jumped out a second story window!” Christen said, trying to create some type of conversation. Her mother turned around quickly, “She did WHAT!”
Christen replied quickly to do some damage control, “For-a-baby! For, a baby. She had no-where to go and the building was going to explode. So, um… she jumped.”
“Anddd-I’m a nurse, and I took care of her. I was um… I had,” Christen paused for a moment as she pointed at herself proudly, smiling when she remembered how Tobin was her anonymous donor, “I had leukemia… And Tobin found out so, in that same hospital bed, with ribs jacked up and a shoulder, concussion and all… she asked to be my anonymous donor when I wasn’t there after finding out we’re a match.”
Cindy smiled, “That’s my girl. How’d. you find out it was her?”
She saw Tobin’s mother so proud of her, proud of how selfless her daughter is.
“Yeah… We were at a baseball game and I hit her ribs,” Christen paused for a moment smiling to herself again, looking up to catch the worrysome look that spread across Tobin’s mother’s face.
“You hit her…”
Do better Chris.
“…To catch a ball, promise it wasn’t on purpose!” Christen replied quickly again to do more damage control. Luckily, Ms. Heath’s face relaxed and she felt like she was safe to continue to speak.
“So yeah, that is how our story began. She saved my life too, Ms. Heath.”
“I’m so sorry about the leukemia honey, I can only imagine how terrible it is to go through it.” Tobin’s mother said, with a reassuring squeeze of Christen’s arm, “I can see so much light in you, Tobin is so lucky to have you.”
Christen held her breath and let it all go with a laugh, “Gosh-okay see you had me scared for a second there. I thought you were having second thoughts about me!”
“Oh no! I absolutely adore ya,” She looked at her watch again, frowning.
“Is everything okay? You keep… looking at the watch.” Christen looked at the watch with narrow eyes and Cindy smiling nervously.
I mean a five-year-old could tell.
“Well, we kind of have somewhere to be.”
Why is she acting so strange…?
Cindy put the only item she picked up in the store back where it belonged and started walking at a much quicker rate than before.
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
They reached the car and began their drive back home.
“Promise me that you’ll always take care of my little girl.” Cindy whispered five minutes into the drive, gripping the wheel a little tighter, “She’s the type to blame herself for anything that goes wrong in her life. Very easy for her to… self-destruct. My daughter, she… she has a gentle heart. Behind all that attitude and flare.”
They reached a red light and she looked at Christen with a soft smile, “Promise me. That you’ll never leave her side. Look after her.”
Without hesitation or a single thought, Christen reached out and in return, took Cindy’s hand into her own, squeezing it lightly.
They reached the house and Tobin’s mom looked up at the sky, seeing the pink skies overwhelm them, with the night almost beginning.
“Right on time!”
Christen looked confused as she looked up at the sky too, “For what?”
“The sunset just began! Come on!” Tobin’s mother took Christen’s hand into her own and lead her around the house and past the pool. Christen became nervous, “What’s going on Ms. Heath?”
“Gosh you really ought to stop callin’ me that, you’re remindin’ me of my age, lady.”
“Lady…?” Christen narrowed her eyes, “So that’s where Tobs gets it from…”
“Yes ma’am! That would be my fault. I used to always call her young lady when she would be annoying…” Cindy giggled to herself and it hit Christen that Tobin definitely thought she was annoying in their first time meeting each other.
“So, I’m going to get up those stairs of that boardwalk that leads to the beach. You follow me in five minutes. Okay?”
Cindy started walking up the stairs and Christen laughed, about to follow her as well.
“Nonsense, why? I can come with ya.”
Cindy turned around and stopped Christen from going up those stairs, “Stay put! Five minutes.”
“Gosh-okay okay!” Christen frowned with her hands defensively shooting up and stood there, watching Tobin’s mom disappear shortly after she warned her from going up the stairs.
“This is weird.” Christen said to herself, walking back and forth slowly, trying to process what’s going on right now.
She looked at her watch about five times before it ticked to the time she could go up those stairs. She looked up at the stairs and breathed in deeply.
“Here we go.” She exhaled slowly.
Going up the steps, she sees small candles lit on either side of the boardwalk or rather, passage towards the beach.
“Oh Tobin… Such a romantic.” She laughed softly, getting closer towards the beach. She took the steps down, seeing more candles lighting up a pathway. This time, there were rose pedals everywhere in that pathway.
Her eyes followed the candles and the roses, that were miraculously staying put despite the slight breeze of the ocean. She looked up slowly when she edged near the wet sand, seeing Tobin standing there in a white, linen shirt with her sleeves rolled up paired with her favorite white, pair of shorts that showed off her long, tan legs.
She looked beautiful, in the most natural way.
Christen laughed, what a girl.
“Babyyy! What is all this?” She looked around and they were alone, “Where’s your mom?”
Tobin laughed to herself as she looked down like she usually does when she is nervous.
“Babe, why are you so nervous?”
“Christen,” Tobin took both of Christen’s hands into her own before speaking up again a moment later when she gathered herself, “Before I met you, I was in a place that… felt so, cold. And lonely… Somehow, I thought it was what I deserved. I hated myself, for the things that you helped me realize was way out of my control. And…”
Wait, is this… Christen gulped, trying to say the words but nothing came out.
“…Then I met you. My life changed the moment I laid my eyes on you. I’ve never, ever… felt this way towards anyone before. I-I’ve never felt so inspired to find the best version of myself… I was fighting a losing battle with myself before I met you.”
“Just let me finish,” Tobin said laughing with her voice breaking and tears started to fill the rim of her eyes, “With you, I learned how to forgive myself. And it… it changed my life.”
The tears broke away and she sniffled, keeping her eyes trained on the girl who looked like an angel brought down from heaven.
“You taught me what love is and you helped me find myself again. I never knew what happiness felt like until I was with you… I never thought I could feel so alive… And this feeling I get when I’m with you… Chris-it’s like I’m in a constant feeling of free fall. I guess what I’m trying to say is…” She reached behind her back pocket and pulled out a small, black box.
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
Oh my shit!!!
She’s going to propose!
How could I not figure this out!!
“I don’t want this feeling to ever end… I want us to be forever.”
“I’m crazy, I have mood swings.” Christen yelled out backing away, feeling tears of her own run down her cheeks.
“I love your crazy and all those mood swings Chris.” She said, smiling as she matched her steps.
“I’m a mess in the mornings.” She whispered, her heart beating faster than it ever has before.
“You’re my mess… a mess I absolutely adore it,” Tobin got down on one knee, “I want us to be forever.”
She opened the box, to reveal this beautiful ring.
Christen gasped, trying not to bring her hands up but she deemed it necessary to hide her jaw dropping at the sight of the large diamond.
She started crying, “Baby…”
“Baby,” Tobin repeated slowly after her as she choked back on her own tears laughing at the same time.
“Will you marry me?”
“OFCOURSE you idiot! You’re such an idiot, how could you do this!”
Tobin laughed louder than she has ever before, her heart thumping louder in her ears, trying to put the ring on Christen’s finger but Christen was doing the…
“Baby, are you doing your pee pee dance right now?”
“SHUT UP! I don’t know what else to do!” Christen laughed out loud, watching the ring be put on her finger and then it really hit home. Tobin’s family started appearing from the shadows, cheering the two of them on.
“C’mere, I wanna kiss ya…” Tobin leaned forward and gave Christen the softest kiss, “Fiancée, has a nice ring, doesn’t it?”
Christen laughed out loud, hearing her sister’s yell combined with Alex, and the rest of her family joining in to cheer them on.
They all came in turns, hugging each girl before they all disappeared one by one into the house to give the two of them some privacy while the sunset was still there. Tobin and Christen sat side by side on the damp sand, watching how the night grew darker by the minute.
At this point, it was just them, the clear skies lit by the moon ahead, and the slight breeze from the ocean waves hitting the shore.
“How did you even get them here?” Christen said, resting her head on Tobin’s shoulder.
“Well, I had to ask your dad for your hand in a very unorthodox way… safe to say it was scary. But apparently he knew all about the firefighter that drives you ‘off the walls’. And, they came three days later.”
“He said yes, just like that?” Christen questioned out of curiosity.
“No clearly he said no Chris, why else would be here.” Tobin said sarcastically and immediately regretted it when she felt Christen raise her head from her shoulder, “I’m kidding. I love you.”
“I love you toooo baby!” Christen was too much in a state of happiness to be annoyed at her girlfri-scratch that… Fiancée. So, she rested her head back on her lover’s shoulder, “Your dad seemed cool. I didn’t know he was going to be here.”
“Yeah… me neither, but we um… talked,” Tobin put her arm around Christen’s back and hugged her closer, “It was… good. I feel happy. Everything feels just right now, especially now that I’m by your side.”
“You realize there’s no turning back, right?” Christen said quietly, intertwining her fingers with Tobin’s free hand.
Tobin smiled and looked ahead at the small waves that would crash against the low tide’s shoreline, “Yes, yes I do.”
“You’re stuck with me, forever. You realize that?”
"Get ready for a world of hurt."
"Baby, why are you acting like I'm going to war."
"Mmm, just gotta warn ya."
"Mmm, I'm good. Besides, you're the one that's stuck with me forever, lady."
"OOOOKAY don't start with me," She shoulder checked Tobin, "We're barely even engaged for two minutes and you're already calling me that…"
Tobin checked her back, "Don't annoy me and we'll be good."
"Wait a minute... so it's true?" Christen questioned.
“Your mom says that word when you would annoy her…” Christen said out loud as she got up putting two and two together, "And I annoy you! That's when you call me lady!"
She stomped away quickly, Tobin scurried up and started walking at a faster pace after her.
"BABE! Are you seriously mad right now…? I say it to annoy you!" She called out on Christen, who started walking through the deep sand, but not really getting far, "Baby..."
Tobin started laughing out loud when she saw Christen swing her arms swinging back and forth dramatically with anger and then she turned around.
“Seriously, you’re laughing?” Christen rolled her eyes and proceeded to walk her walk of anger.
She sprinted after her laughing as she called out on her.
"No!" Christen started to pick up the pace but it was too late. Tobin somehow already reached her and wrapped her strong arms around Christen's waist, halting the two to a stop.
"Stop, love me again."
"No!" Christen rebelled, trying to escape but she wasn't getting anywhere.
“Love me again?”
Tobin turned Christen around and Christen knew exactly what she was going to do. The firefighter raised her eyebrows to challenge her, at the same time asking her through her eyes is she going to stop or not.
But, Christen frowned again and looked away.
"Okay, have it your way."
That made Christen look back at Tobin nervously, “No.”
Tobin shrugged. Truth be told, she didn’t care.
"Don't you-dare-AH!" Christen's warning turned into a yelp once Tobin picked her up and put her over her shoulder, turning around and started her walk towards the ocean.
"Put me down!" Christen yelled out as she was moving around in Tobin’s strong arms like she was a fish out of water hitting her fiancée’s back, "I swear Tobin! No sex for a month! You hear me?!"
“NO SEX!” She yelled out, again.
“You’re not making your case any better babe,” Tobin said calmy as she was laughing, reaching the water, "Besides, I have been wanting to do this all... week... long."
"Baby-please no I'm sorry-sex for a month--sex for a month! Sex every day!"
"Too laaaate!" Tobin singsonged out loud and threw Christen into the water once the water was up to just at the middle of her thigh. Christen reappeared from beneath the water moments later with her mouth wide open, "I. Am. Going to KILL YOU!"
Tobin laughed out loud, "Not if you can’t catch me!" She turned as fast as she could and started to run, very, very... slowly, through the water.
Until, she heard Christen dive forward and yank Tobin back hard, into the water, laughing hysterically as she kept her under the water.
Tobin positioned herself between Christen's legs beneath and jumped up with all her force, "No-no-no! I surrender! I surrender!" Christen begged as she was laughing, feeling herself go backwards into the water.
"You surrender!?!" Tobin yelled out, practically brought to tears from the laughter after hearing Christen's shrill, girly scream she's never heard before. Christen reappeared from the water coughing and wiping away the water from her eyes.
"Yes damnit! I said that already!" Christen frowned, coughing, trying to take out the water in her ears.
"God, I love that frown."
"I love you."
Christen crossed her arms and looked away, pouting. Or, trying to hold a frown.
While, in the water.
"I love youuu?" Tobin said, testing the waters, tilting her head to the side as she inched closer, any minute now.
A minute passed and Tobin couldn't handle it. She was really pouting.
"You win. I surrender. Now tell me you love me because I miss you and it's been too long since I heard those words."
“You’ll be hearing those words for a very long time, you’ll be okay…” Christen looked at her seeing that Tobin was still waiting and laughed out loud.
“Fineee… you big, sexy dork.”
“Your. Big, sexy dork.” Tobin said, pausing between every word, correcting Christen for her poor choice in words. Christen giggled, wrapping her arms around Tobin’s neck while in the water that wasn’t so cold anymore.
“My.” Christen smiled and kissed Tobin’s right cheek, “Big…”
And she kissed the other cheek.
And then she kissed her nose laughing out loud, “Sexy.”
Tobin’s radiant smile appeared and Christen couldn’t help but do the same as she leaned in closer to her lover, stopping right before her lips.
“Dork,” She brushed her lips against Tobin’s and kissed her wet lips, breaking away shortly after, “I can’t wait until I spend forever with you.”
Tobin pulled her back in to give her a kiss, that could say a thousand words. Their chests were pressed against each other, both lost in the moment.
It was a kiss of security, a kiss of passion…
A kiss filled with reassurance. Where in that moment, both worlds collided and became one.
“Me too.” She whispered out, catching her breath while closing her eyes and pressed her forehead against Christen’s, “Forever with you is the only thing I need in my life.”
“You’re such a sap.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
Christen laughed at the command and began to inch closer smiling, “Can we kiss forever?”
“Not sure…” Tobin said, acting like she was thinking hard for a moment.
“But it sounds like a good idea,” She continued, placing subtle yet sweet kisses traced along Christen’s salty jawline and stopped at her ear, “Let’s try it.”
“Yeah?” Christen muttered, shuddering at the feeling of Tobin’s hot breath near her ear as the beating of her heart went haywire. Her heart, that switched between two elements rapidly: one, excitement; the other, adrenaline. Her heart, which flooded with emotions so strong and passion so resilient; together, creating a feeling of free fall for the both of them.
There was nowhere in the world that she wanted to be but right here, stuck in this moment.
With the girl who taught her what love truly feels like.
She looked for Tobin’s lips and found them, kissing her one time and Tobin happily nodded in agreement after breaking away.
“I love you.”