Alex doesn't know why she decided to work as a mailwoman for the summer when she has to get up at 4.30 am for the first time. It's way too early, but the sun has already risen and by the time she's out of the house, having to run back inside twice because she forgot her waterbottle and her phone, there are people outside, rushing to work or walking their dogs. Some even look like they are on their way home from a long night.
It's still early when Alex finally leaves the post office, pushing a large cart full of mail and packages in front of her.
She's delivering mail in a quiet area, there's not much traffic on the streets, but many trees to shield off the sunlight.
She knows she's taking longer than the guy who's usually on this route. Several elderly women have impatiently waited for her to bring them their mail. It's mostly catalogues for gardening or a funeral home or fashion for the elderly. Sometimes it's a death notice from another old woman in shaky handwriting, other times it's a post card from their grand children in even shakier handwriting. They all glare at Alex when she hands them their mail and don't retort her smile or her Good Morning!.
Alex' highlights are the dogs on her route. She keeps a few treats in her pockets and hands them to the dogs that are passing her. After only a week they all run towards her or stay routed next to the post cart until she comes back to give them a treat. Their owners are all very nice, but it's early, so they don't talk that much.
The dogs are definitely Alex' highlight.
And maybe the small bakery that's on her way.
Alex never dares to buy anything, she doesn't know if she's allowed to, but it smells so damn good her mouth starts to water every day when she walks by.
Kelley has a routine.
She gets up, puts on her workout gear and goes for a run.
She usually runs for half an hour or more before coming back home, showering and making breakfast for her and Tobin.
Tobin gets up while Kelley is on her run and takes Brooklyn for a walk around the neighbourhood. Normally when she gets back Kelley is in the kitchen preparing breakfast, so Tobin gives Brooklyn some water and food before the three of them sit on the back porch together, Kelley reading the newspaper she picked up on her run and Tobin studying the bible. After that they go to the gym for a workout and afterwards they play a little pick up soccer with some friends in the park. Tobin usually spends her late afternoon in the garden, kicking a ball around on her own and Kelley takes Brooklyn for another walk. For dinner it's always Kelley that cooks. Tobin says she's talentfree in the kitchen, but she can do the dishes, and Kelley loves cooking and hates doing dishes, so it works perfect for them. Some days Allie comes over for dinner and wants to help with cooking, but she's as gifted as Tobin in the kitchen so Kelley has put her on Brooklyn duty and Allie just plays with Brooklyn in the garden and tries to keep her from grabbing Tobin's ball.
On her Monday morning run Kelley notices that it's a young girl that's delivering the mail in her area now, not the grumpy guy with the wandering eyes.
On her Tuesday morning run she smiles to herself when she sees her struggle with the mail for a few seconds, before finally getting everything together.
On her Wednesday morning run Kelley sees her coming out of the bakery with a big smile and a longing look back inside.
On her Thursday morning run Kelley sees a dog come up to her with a loud bark. The girl reaches into her pocket and gives a little treat to the dog, who thanks her buy jumping up and trying to lick her face. The girl smiles at the dog and Kelley smiles at the scene in front of her. Well, on the other side of the road.
On her Friday morning run Kelley doesn't see the girl anywhere. She tries not to be upset about it.
Alex spends the Saturday after her first week of working on the beach with Christen.
Christen medidates, does Yoga, goes for a swim, puts up a sunshade, puts sunscreen onto Alex' back and grabs them something to eat, while all Alex does is sleep.
"Oh my god, I love you, Press!" Alex exclaims with a laugh, wrapping her arms around Christen's foot when she shoves a big bowl of something Alex doesn't know, but sure will love, because Christen picked it and Christen always picks the right things, into her arms.
"Did you sleep well?" Christen asks, squeezing into the shadow next to Alex and digging into her own bowl.
"Mmh", Alex hums with closed eyes, savoring the edamame in her bowl. "Fanks for fe food!" She adds with a full mouth before swallowing. "And yes, I slept so good. I usually never sleep at the beach, there's like so many kids screaming and people shouting, but I'm like so fucking tired. God, that felt good."
"I'm glad." Christen smiles at her. "How was your first week?"
Alex shrugs. "Good, I guess. The waking up at half past four in the morning I still have to get used to. But it's a nice area. Lots of old people." Alex scrunches up her face and Christen laughs.
"What do you have against old people?"
"Nothing. I love old people. But like, they have so much time, they're all retired, they got nothing to do, still they wait every goddamn day for the mail like the world depends on their stupid gardening catalogues. And I always smile at them and wish them a good morning, but they just stare at me with small eyes and then leave with their mail."
"Oh, poor Al." Christen laughs again, patting Alex' shoulder. "Are the old people mean to you?"
Alex rolls her eyes. "There are a lot of dogs though."
"Dogs?" Christen's face lights up at the mention of dogs.
"Yeah. I brought treats, you know, the ones you always give Khaleesi and Morena? I think I made a few friends this week. Like at least five dogs."
"That's good, right? Dogs are amazing."
It's become a routine to go to the beach every Saturday and surf for hours.
Kelley would be there by 5am if it were up to her, but Tobin doesn't like to be rushed and she also needs her beauty sleep, as Allie called it once. And they also need to take Brooklyn for a walk before they leave, because if Allie can't come with them they can't take Brooklyn because they don't want to leave her alone on the beach when they're both in the water, so they only get there by 10.
Kelley is in the water within seconds and Tobin puts up a sunshade and towels and checks their cooler before she follows her.
Being in the ocean, caught between waves, the salt and sun on their skin, falling into the water and getting up again - surfing is the one thing (besides soccer of course) that made Tobin and Kelley bond right from the start. It's where they can be themselves, without anything to worry about, no job, no responsibilities, just them and the water around them. It's where they talk about life and God and love and everything in between.
"Have you noticed, we have a new mailman." Kelley breaks the silence after a while, laying on her back on her surfboard. "In fact, it's a girl."
Tobin chuckles at the fact that Kelley just randomly started talking about the mailman. "A girl, I see. She hot?"
"Tobin!" Kelley splashes water at her friend.
"What? You're single."
"You're single too."
"So? And no, I have not noticed her, I'm asleep when she walks by. I think."
It's quiet again before Kelley says: "She's cute."
"Have you talked to her?"
"Like what am I supposed to say to her? Hey, I think you're cute when you pet the dogs and smile at everyone? Nah."
"Oh come on, Kell."
Kelley groans and turns onto her stomach. "I'm gonna head back, I'm hungry."
"God, I wish I could surf like that."
Alex looks up from her book and follows Christen's point of view. She sees to figures in the water surfing and as far as she can judge, which she can't, because she doesn't know a thing about surfing, but she judges anyway, they're pretty good.
"I'm sure you could surf like that."
Christen shakes her head. "Nah. I doubt that I'm strong enough."
Alex blinks once, slowly. "Press. You're a beast."
"I'm sorry, I'm what now?" Christen laughs and looks back at Alex.
"You're a beast." Alex repeats. "I mean, look at that guns." She squeezes Christen's arms. "Like come on, Chris, you're a yoga instructor, you go on a run every day, you work out. You sure have the balance and the strength to surf."
Christen blushes and shrugs. "You're sweet, Al."
"It's true. And, you know, you could, like, ask one of them to teach you." She points to where the two figures are still surfing and wiggles her eyebrows at Christen.
Christen rolls her eyes. "No, Al. I'm going to stop you right there."
"What?" Alex asks innocently. "Oh come on, Christen. What has it been since Julie broke up with you? Three months? Four?"
"Five, but we're not talking about that right now."
"Oh, why not? You need to get back out there. Maybe some surfer chick is better for you than a girl who will go back to her exboyfriend instead of being with you."
"Zach is a sweet guy. And Julie was just experimenting. They should have never broken up in the first place." Christen defends.
"Blablabla." Alex sighs. "You're too good and too pure for this world."
"I can't believe you and Julie still work together."
"It's not like I could or would fire her. And we're friends. Always have been. Being in a relationship for a few months doesn't change that."
"God, you're such a good person." Alex shakes her head with a laugh. "But still, why not try something new? Go on a date? Ask one of the surfer chicks over there out?"
"Why not do that yourself, huh?" Christen asks, eyebrows raised in challenge. "You and Servando broke up like months ago. Even before me and Jules. And you haven't been on a date once since."
"Ugh." Alex groans. "I hate you."
"No, you don't." Christen says with a smile.
"No, I don't." Alex agrees with a sigh.
Another week goes by and Kelley keeps looking out for the girl with the mail. She runs in weird circles, trying to spot her somewhere, trying to get a glance at the brown haired girl. Kelley's runs keep getting longer and Tobin narrows her eyes at her when she gets back and Kelley steps out of the shower with wet hair, breakfast far from being ready.
Kelley doesn't have a crush.
She just likes to enjoy.. looking at beautiful women.
Sometimes she feels like the girl is watching her as well, but it's probably all just wishful thinking.
On Friday Kelley spends so long running around that she just buys something at the bakery for breakfast. Tobin looks at her like she has two heads, but when she takes a bite of the fresh brioche bread, she hums with closed eyes and forgets about Kelley being weird.
When Brooklyn puts her head into Kelley's lap she considers taking Brooklyn with her on her run on Monday. Maybe the girl would give Brooklyn a treat and Kelley a smile.
They're on the beach again on Saturday and when they're out in the ocean Kelley admits to Tobin that she might have a little crush on the girl she knows nothing about.
"Just talk to her, Kelley. Seriously, like how hard is that?"
Kelley raises her eyebrows and blinks a few times. "I'm not taking women-advice from Tobin 'soccer-is-the-love-of-my-life' Heath, okay?"
"How dare you?"
"I talk to the girl when you talk to the girl from the yoga studio you always pass on your walk with Brooklyn."
"The girl's more in love with Brooklyn than she could ever be with me." Tobin groans. "And like, she's way out of my league."
"Oh come on, T. Nobody's out of your league."
"You haven't seen her, but like, she's gorgeous. God, she's like so beautiful. Her smile and like hair and when she laughs when Brooklyn does something funny. And apparently she does yoga!"
"And people who do yoga are out of your league?"
"You're weird. Also, I'm taking Brooklyn on my run on Monday." Kelley says and starts paddling away from Tobin.
"What? No you're not!" Tobin exclaims, following after Kelley. "You want to get brownie points with mail girl, but guess what, Brooklyn loves our walks and she doesn't want to go on a run with you."
"And you know that how exactly?"
"Like, look at Brooklyn. She ain't no runner. She's a walker."
Kelley groans and puts her head into the water quickly. "Goddamit, Heath. Then what am I supposed to do?"
"You could, like, order stuff she has to deliver to the door and then you'll see her there. And you'd have to talk." Tobin suggests with a shrug.
Kelley's face lights up at that suggestions and she starts paddling back to the shore to order something online on her phone.
"You know, there's this girl-" Christen starts, her feet buried in the sand.
"Tell me all about her!" Alex interrupts excitedly, putting her book down and sitting up.
Christen blinks a few times. "I was about to do just that, Al."
"Sorry, continue. I won't interrupt you."
"There's a girl I've seen every day for the past few weeks."
"She walks her dog past the yoga studio every day when I get there."
"I don't know, a big one. Don't interrupt me."
"Anyway, she has a dog and she's like huge-"
"The dog or-"
"The dog is huge. The girl is not. She's fit. Same height as me I guess."
"Is she pretty?" One look from Christen is all it takes for Alex to shut up again. "Sorry."
"Yes, she is. Like, so pretty. And she just seems so chill and cool and she wears a snapback everyday. And like, I don't really talk to her, we just say 'hi' and then I pet the dog for a few seconds and then I have to work."
"Do you say 'bye' as well?"
"Why do I even spend time with you, Morgan? Like, I'd rather sit between Julie and Zach during a romantic movie."
"No you don't."
"No I don't. But still. Shut up, Al."
Christen sighs. "What do I do?"
"Seriously. She's so pretty. And you said it yourself, I should get back out there. What do I do?"
Alex shrugs again.
"You can talk, Al."
"Now I can talk?"
Christen rolls her eyes and motions for her to continue.
"I don't know, Chris. Ask her out? Or ask for her name?"
"Will you talk to the hottie that runs by you every day then?" Christen asks with raised eyebrows.
"You don't even know if she's hot."
"You have good taste, Al, of course she's hot."
Alex narrows her eyes at her. "You never liked Serv, you said he looks like a Mexican drug dealer who's just gone through detox."
"Good point. But you have excellent taste when it comes to women." Christen smirks at her. "I mean, you wanted to date me when we met."
"Yeah, that was before I knew the obnoxious person Christen Press really is." Alex laughs. "Nah, you're great, Chris. And I'm glad it stayed a one time thing. You're better at being my best friend."
Kelley considers skipping her run on Monday, but then decides to just run faster. She's back after thirty minutes and sits at the sofa, impatiently tapping her leg. 'She has to ring the bell.' Kelley thinks, because she was clever enough to order something that would never fit into the mailbox.
She's into the sixth 'Friends' episode, when she finally hears a knock on the door.
She more or less sprints to the door, hitting her small toe on the couch on the way there, before casually opening the door.
Her face falls when she sees Tobin and Brooklyn in front of her.
"Expecting someone else?" Tobin asks with a grin. "We forgot our key." She says, looking down at Brooklyn as if it's her fault. "Is breakfast ready?"
"Make your own goddamn breakfast." Kelley shouts before falling back onto the couch, her toe throbbing.
Tobin just shakes her head and disappears into the kitchen and Brooklyn lies down in front of the couch and falls asleep immediately.
Half an hour later there's another knock on the door, but Kelley's half asleep and she drips over Brooklyn when she tries to get up and hits her head on the floor. She groans and then she hears the door being opened and Tobin's voice.
"I'm her roommate, she's, uhm, busy right now. I can take it though."
Kelley hears a raspy voice from outside but can't make out the words and when she's finally back on her feet Tobin's in front of her, a baseball bat in her hand.
"Clever. But since when do you play baseball?"
"I. Hate. You." Kelley growls and grabs the baseball bat from Tobin's hand. "You better run for your life, Heath!"
Alex won't admit it, but she's disappointed she didn't see hottie, as Christen put it, today. She's kinda worried, maybe she's hurt or she moved or she's dead. Alex stops in her tracks and shakes her head.
"If it's supposed to happen, it will happen." She tells herself, channelling her inner Christen.
On Tuesday she delivers another baseball bat to the same house from the day before. Alex shakes her head with a laugh and hands the bat, again, to Kelley O'Hara's roommate.
On Wednesday it's another baseball bat and Alex wonders if this Kelley O'Hara is a professional baseball player or if she has anger management problems.
Alex still hasn't seen hottie, but she still sees dogs and dogs make her happy, so that's a good thing, Christen says.
Two more baseball bats and no sight of 'hottie' later Alex and Christen are on the beach again. Alex sleeps a few hours and Christen does yoga and meditation again and when Alex wakes up they see the same surfers they saw the last weekends. At least they think they are the same, they're too far away to say for sure.
"Do you want to go out tonight?" Christen suggests suddenly. "There's a party at Ali and Ash's."
"I still don't know why we can't take Brooklyn with us."
"Kelley. We talked about this." Tobin sighs.
"I thought they had a dog themselves?"
"Logan, yes. She's like twice the size of Brooklyn. And she's also at Ali's aunts house for the weekend, Ash said."
Kelley sighs loudly.
"You're going to have fun without her, promise. Now come on, our Uber is here."
Alex is surprised by the amount of people at the house. Ali greets her and Christen with a hug and tells them to enjoy themselves and have fun, before she's off to look for Ash.
Christen grabs Alex' hand and leads her into the kitchen to grab some drinks before they mingle with the people in the living room. There's music and dancing and Christen wraps one arm around Alex' waist from behind, the other holding her drink up. Alex dances into Christen and when the first guy smiles at her she closes her eyes and leans back into her friend.
It's easy, getting lost in dancing and drinking and the people all around.
They both haven't seen neither Ali nor Ash since Ali welcomed them earlier, but Julie and Zach are there and Crystal and Pierre and Sue with her girlfriend Megan and more familiar faces.
Alex excused herself to get more drinks and Christen gets in line for the toilet. There's a girl in front of her, arms crossed, nervously tapping her foot. She mumbles to herself and Christen chuckles and leans back, but suddenly she bumps into someone. She turns around and is met with a freckled faced girl that's smiling at her.
"Sorry." Christen mumbles.
"No worries!" The girl says with another smile. "I'm Kelley by the way."
Christen looks at her offered hand, then her eyes and finally shakes her hand.
"Nice to met you Christen. So, what brings you to this party?"
"I work with Ali. Do you know her?"
"Yeah! She's great. My roommate went to school with Ash and I got dragged along."
"Cool! Having fun so far?" Christen asks.
Kelley nods her head. "For sure. But I lost my roommate, so I gotta find her. If you see the chillest girl ever with a snapback, let me know."
"I will." Christen chuckles and wonders about how many chill girls with snapbacks there are in this town.
"You want a beer?"
Tobin looks up from her phone and sees this girl in front of the refrigerator smiling at her.
"I asked if you wanted a beer."
"Oh, yeah, sure, thanks. Two, please." The girl raises her eyebrows and Tobin laughs. "One's for my friend."
"Whatever you say."
Tobin takes a step closer and takes the offered beer bottles, before taking a better look at the girl in front of her.
"Hey, I know you!"
Alex looks confused, but then she remembers. "Right, you're the one with the baseball bats!"
"Actually, that's my roommate. She's the weirdo."
"Whatever you say."
"I'm Tobin by the way."
"Oh my god, you scared me!"
"She's here!" Tobin whisper yells.
"The girl who delivers the mail?"
"How do you know she's here."
"I saw her. And she remembered me because of your baseball bats."
"I still hate you for making sure Brooklyn is always in my way and being at the door first." Kelley glares at her and Tobin rolls her eyes.
"That was two times. Once you were asleep, once in the shower, and once not at home yet."
"Anyway, she's here, Kell! You gotta talk to her!" Tobin looks way too excited. "Her name's Alex by the way."
"Alex. Sounds cute."
Tobin scoffs. "You know like thirty seven Alex. You never once said it sounded cute."
"Well, yeah. There's a first time for everything."
"I think she's here." Christen almost runs into Alex and grabs the beer from her hand.
"The girl I told you about."
"Uh, sure. Anyway, I met this girl in front of the restroom and she told me she's looking for her roommate who's like the chillest person ever and wears a snapback."
"Like this doesn't apply to half of the lesbians in this town."
"Way to destroy my hopes, Al."
"Sorry." Alex squeezes Christen's hand. "But I think I saw the roommate. I talked to a girl in the kitchen. Snapback, chill, light brown hair, big smile. Now that I'm thinking, she's exactly how you described dog girl to me."
"Don't call her dog girl."
"Let's go find dog girl!"
"Sorry." Then she adds: "Her name's Tobin."
Kelley and Tobin have just started looking for Alex when Allie texts them both.
"SOS! I need you guys! ASAP! HELP!"
They try calling and texting her back, but no response, so they reluctantly agree to leave the party and take an uber to Allie's house.
"Goddamit, Allie. If she isn't dying already I'm going to kill her."
Turns out, Allie wasn't dying. She was just bored, because Bati is out of town for the weekend and she needed to be entertained.
Tobin is laughing and Allie looks like a puppy and Kelley is fuming.
"Where's a baseball bat when I need one?!"
Another week passes.
Tobin takes Brooklyn on walks and they meet Christen in front of the yoga studio. Christen crouches down to pet Brooklyn and her and Tobin just politely smile at each other. They both don't see the way the other turns around when Christen steps into the studio and Tobin continues down the street. Julie and Crystal do though and they both shake their heads at how oblivious they both are.
Kelley started ordering soccer stuff she actually needs instead of baseball bats she doesn't need.
Kelley still runs fast because she hopes to be at home when Alex gets there.
Tobin finally stops getting in Kelley's way and on that Monday Kelley opens the door the first time to find Alex with a package in her hand.
"Hi." Kelley knows she must look stupid. She's grinning, hard, she can feel it, and she certainly looks like a fool.
"Hi." Alex smiles at her and Kelley thinks she might die right there. "Are you Kelley O'Hara?"
Her voice, Kelley thinks. Her eyes. Her smile. She's so beautiful.
"Are you?" Alex repeats and Kelley quickly shakes her head.
"Am I what?"
"Am I what?" Kelley seems to be confused.
Alex chuckles. "I have a package for Kelley O'Hara. Are you by any chance Kelley O'Hara?"
"Y-yes, yes, I am. I am Kelley O'Hara, Kelley O'Hara I am." Kelley groans internally as soon as she opened her mouth to speak.
"Cool, well, this is for you." Alex hands her the package and with a smile and a little wave she jogs back to her cart.
Kelley watches her walk down the street and when she feels Brooklyn lick her hand she finally steps back inside.
Tobin's lying on the floor in front of the sofa and shakes with laughter, holding her stomach, tears running down her cheeks.
"Her name's Kelley."
"Hello to you too, Morgan." Christen chuckles into her phone and lies down on her yoga mat.
"Hey, Press." Alex adds and Christen can see her role her eyes through the phone. "Her name's Kelley."
"The girl I told you about."
"I met a Kelley at the party on Saturday."
"You did?" Alex exclaims and Christen has to turn down the volume of her phone speaker. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I did tell you! She's the roommate, you know? Kelley and dog girl, Tobin."
"You called her dog girl." Alex says smugly.
"Not the point." Christen says. "Anyway, they're roommates."
"Cool. So what now? This information doesn't help us at all."
On Tuesday Kelley gets another package from Alex.
Kelley feels like her face is on fire and she mostly just stares at Alex for the five seconds it takes for her to hand over the package and leave.
Tobin feels brave and when her and Brooklyn meet Christen she asks: "Hey. How you doin'?"
Christen's smile grows bigger than Tobin's ever seen it.
On Wednesday Kelley decides to talk more to Alex when she brings her next package.
"H-hi." Kelley stutters and Alex smiles at her. God, she's beautiful.
She knows my name.
Kelley groans and facepalms in front of Alex.
Of course she knows my name.
"Are you okay?" Alex asks, concern in her eyes.
"Yeah." Kelley shakes her head and gesticulates with her hands, making twirling motions. "I was just, uh, surprised that you knew my name, but then I remembered that I, uh, that I-" Kelley gets lost in Alex' blue eyes and-
"That you ordered five baseball bats last week and more stuff this week?"
"R-right." Kelley nods her head.
Alex feels brave, so she asks: "Are you like a baseball player?"
Kelley scoffs. "Nope."
"Oh", Alex' face falls. "I just assumed with all the baseball bats."
Kelley smiles at her. "Sorry, no, I'm not a baseball player. I just, uh, needed them. For, uh, stuff. Brooklyn. My dog. She likes to play with them."
Just on cue Brooklyn shuffles through the doorway and sits down next to Kelley, a chewed baseball bat between her teeth.
You're the best dog ever.
"Hi, there." Alex leans down and smiles at Brooklyn who let's go off the bat and tilts her head to the side to look at Alex. "I'm Alex."
"Hi, Alex." Kelley says and offers her hand.
Alex looks up confused and then laughs. "I was talking to the dog, but nice to meet you too, Kelley."
Alex shakes her hand and Kelley blushes fifty shades of red. Alex doesn't seem to notice because she's leaned down again and offers her hand to Brooklyn.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Brooklyn."
Brooklyn barks once and then puts her paw into Alex' hand and Kelley couldn't be prouder of her dog.
"Well, it was good talking to you, but I, uh, have to keep going." Alex points behind her and Kelley thinks she sees disappointement in her eyes.
Kelley keeps being weird the rest of the week when Alex hands her her package. Alex keeps being nervous every time she sees the name Kelley O'Hara written on a package.
Tobin keeps walking Brooklyn and staring at Christen like she's the sun. Christen keeps petting Brooklyn and trying to not think about how she'd rather it be Tobin instead of the dog.
Allie comes to dinner on Friday and she immediately notices that something's up. There's five baseball bats, a new speed ladder, new cones, new small goals, new cleats and goalkeeper gloves. Allie picks up the gloves and throws one at Tobin and one at Kelley.
"Did Hope move in with you guys or what?"
"What to you want with these?"
Kelley grins at her and scratches the back of her neck.
"Uh, nothing. Right, Tobin?"
Tobin just nods her head. "Sure."
"What's up with you two? You're being weird." Allie narrows her eyes at them and they both stare at Brooklyn who doesn't know what's going on. "Okay, seriously. Is this about some girls?"
"I knew it!" Allie exclaims, pointing her fingers at them.
"You know nothing." Kelley says, arms crossed.
Allie just raises one eyebrow. "I've known you both for years now. You're being weird when it's about girls."
"No we're not." Tobin tries to defend, but Allie sushes her.
"Freshman year. Casey." Tobin cringes, but Allie continues. "Sophomore year, Sheila. Junior year, Kristen. And then Senior year, Shirley." Tobin is red like a tomato and Allie nods her head. "You were the weirdest, Tobin."
Kelley shakes with laughter, but then Allie turns to her and shakes her head. "Oh shut up, O'Hara. Do I have to remind you of Ann? Hope?-"
"Okay, okay, enough." Kelley says behind her hands. "Yes, this is about girls."
"Kelleyyy." Tobin whines and Kelley throws the glove at her.
"Oh shut up, Heath, she would have found out anyway."
"So, who wants to talk first?" Allie rubs her hands together and grins at them.
Christen wakes Alex way too aggressively for her liking.
"Alex! Alex! Wake up?"
Alex groans and takes off the sleeping mask she started wearing on saturday mornings at the beach. "Christen, I hope something seriously bad or something seriously amazing has happened."
"I'm sorry! Come on, sit up, look!"
Alex groans and moans while she sits up and then follows Christen's gaze until she sees two surfers in the ocean.
"The surfers. They're here every Saturday."
"I know, I know." Christen nods her head. "But look at them. Take a good look."
Alex squints her eyes together and stares between the waves.
"It's them!" Christen exclaims, shaking Alex' shoulder.
"Tobin and Kelley! I'm sure! I mean, I'm sure the one on the right is Tobin. I've like stared at her enough for the past few weeks. And I guess the other one is Kelley."
Alex tries to look closer and it seems Christen is right. The surfer on the left does look like Kelley. She can't see freckles or green eyes, but her still. "Oh my god. I think you're right."
"Right? Do we, like, do something?" Christen scratches her cheek. "Or are we just pathetic?"
Allie has listened to Tobin and Kelley gush about the girls they like half of the night, so she has a pretty good idea how they look like, though probably idolised by Tobin and Kelley. At first Allie doesn't know why she's agreed to go to the beach with them and take care of Brooklyn. Bati is home again and she wanted to spend time with him, but it's Tobin and Kelley and when they sit in front of her, both hugging Brooklyn, the three of them staring at her with puppy eyes, she can't say no.
So she's at the beach, trying to think of a plan for how to help her two friends.
Her first thought is to call Ash or Ali. They must know who they invited to their party and maybe she could get numbers or set something up. Ali surely would help her.
Allie's happy with her plan and she's about to send a text to Ash when Brooklyn suddenly stands up and starts running away.
"Brooklyn! Brooklyn! Come back!"
Allie jumps up and runs after the dog. The sand is hot and her feet are bare, so she curses the whole way until she finally finds Brooklyn again. She has stopped next to two girls and they're both petting her, while Brooklyn wiggles her tail and barks softly.
Allie looks at the scene in front of her, confused, because Brooklyn usually isn't the most outgoing dog, until she realizes how burning the sand is.
She quickly runs towards the two women and the dog and puts her feet into the shadow of their sunshade.
"Uhm, hi." She says, looking down at them.
"Hey, look." Alex points at the dog running towards them.
"Isn't that their dog?"
Christen is about to answer when the dog jumps between them and starts barking happily, wiggling her tail.
"Hi, Brooklyn." Alex says, petting the dog.
"So, was this a sign?" Christen asks, petting Brooklyn while looking out to where Kelley and Tobin are still surfing.
"You tell me, Chris." Alex laughs. "You're the one who believes in fate."
"I believe in dogs."
"It's the same."
They continue petting Brooklyn until someone stands in front of them.
They look up to see a blonde woman looking down at them.
"Hi." Alex says. "Can we help you?"
"Yes. You, uh, have my dog."
Christen narrows her eyes at her. "Are you sure this is your dog?"
"Wha- yes. I mean, no. No she's not my dog. She's my friends."
"Brooklyn, do you know this woman?" Alex asks the dog, leaning closer.
"You, uh, how do you know her name?"
"I, like, know her owner. Owners. Whatever."
"Oh my god. Oh my god." The woman exclaims excitedly and Brooklyn barks at her. "Well, they sure didn't exaggerate. Raspy voice, pretty eyes. Bright smile, wild hair. They sure have good taste."
"I'm sorry, who exactly are you?" Christen finally asks, narrowing her eyes at the stranger in front of her.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'm Allie."
"Hi, Allie. I'm-"
"Christen! You're Christen!" Allie then points at Alex. "And you're Alex!"
"How do you know our names?"
Allie grins at them. "You know Kelley and Tobin?"
She laughs when they both blush.
"We're going to grab something to eat later. Do you maybe want to join us?" Allie asks and Christen and Alex look at each other. "I'm sure Brooklyn would love it if you came."
Alex and Christen exchange a few looks and then they both nod.
Allie has never been more thankful for being on Brooklyn duty. As soon as they entered the restaurant and everyone stopped being weird (because seriously, they've been so weird) Tobin's eyes are glued to Christen's lips, she listens to her talk about yoga and meditation and her dogs back home and Allie has to admit that she seems so kind and nice and perfect for Tobin. Alex and Kelley have sat down opposite from each other and Allie has immediately noticed how they would press their legs together and as soon as they realized it, let go again. Alex laughs at everything Kelley says and when she has to say something herself, in that raspy voice of hers, Kelley looks at her with the biggest heart eyes Allie's ever seen.
It's abnormally cute.
Allie shakes her head with a laugh and pets Brooklyn's head in her lap. "We did good, Brooky. They should have come to me weeks ago. We'd already be planning a double wedding."
She leans down and whispers into Brooklyn's ear. "I'll make sure they let you be the ring bearer."
Brooklyn barks once and Allie is the only one to notice. She smiles down at the dog again.
"Thanks for asking. I'll officiate the weddings."