“It’s okay, Georgie, he doesn’t mean any harm.” Melanie put her hand on Georgie’s shoulder in what she hoped was a reassuring gesture.
Georgie remained fixed at the peephole. With a soft sigh Melanie brought her hand off the wall to cup Georgie’s face, gently pulling it away towards her direction.
Georgie softened. “Right, let’s get you back to bed.”
Melanie leaned her head onto Georgie’s shoulder as they walked back towards the bedroom.
“We’re getting close to the door, love.”
She stuck out a hand, feeling for the worn wooden frame that had become so familiar to her callused fingertips. She once would’ve scoffed when someone said their house ‘ felt like home ’ but ever since she made her choice, she had begun to understand what they meant. Each chip in the wall or flake of paint was a history of the lives within it. Georgie’s history, her history, their history.
She smiled slightly as Georgie helped her onto the bed.
“Well, that was unexpected,” Melanie said, pulling the blankets up to her chin. Georgie didn’t say anything, but Melanie was certain she was still standing by the side of the mattress. “Georgie? Plan on sleeping?”
“Of course,” she said, not moving.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, love. Nothing’s wrong.” Georgie’s voice stayed level, but something within it seemed off.
Melanie sat up, feeling for her girlfriend’s hands and intertwining them with her own. “Georgie, something is bothering you. You know I’m here for you, right?”
Georgie gave a little squeeze. “You’re right, I guess it’s just- I guess I just don’t understand how you could forgive him so easily.”
Melanie sighed. “He’s done some awful stuff, Georgie, but so have I, and I don’t think he had much say in it either.”
“But you didn’t have to. He let Elias- that creep- mess with you! He operated on you without permission! Look, I don’t think it’s entirely his fault, but how can you forgive him for that?” Melanie could hear the exasperation in her voice.
“It’s not easy to forgive him, Georgie. Hell, most of the time I don’t want to, but if therapy has taught me anything, it’s that I exist outside of my anger. The anger is still here-I don’t think that will ever change-but I can also choose to forgive and move on. I can choose to love.” She lifted up Georgie’s hand. “I’m much happier that way.”
Georgie moved to sit besides her on the bed, making sure not to let go of her hand in the process. “I just wish it didn’t have to hurt you like that.”
Melanie sighed, “Yeah, me too.”
As much as she loved her freedom, it didn’t come without pain. Sometimes the scar on her leg still stung, and there were mornings where her eyes hurt so bad she could hardly move. Even still, she couldn’t possibly bring herself to regret it. Sitting next to Georgie, feeling her warmth, feeling content, she couldn’t remember the last time anything had felt so right. Sure it hurt, but she was free, and she was loved. She supposed that was the best she could get.
She laid her head onto Georgie’s shoulder. “That’s in the past now. I’m just glad I can share my future with you.”
“I love you, Melanie.” Georgie’s breath was warm on her shoulder.
“I love you too.”
They sat like that for a moment, listening to each other’s breathing. After what felt like hours had passed, Melanie felt Georgie startle.
“What is it, Georgie?” she asked sleepily.
“I completely lost track of time, it’s 3am.”
“You sure we can’t just stay like this?”
Georgie let out a small laugh, “No, love, you need rest. I’ll still be here in the morning.”
Reluctantly Melanie crawled back beneath the blanket, smiling faintly as she heard Georgie click off the light, the grin widening as she lay down next to her, warmth radiating off her skin. She leaned over until she felt her lips meet Georgie’s forehead, planting a small kiss.
“Goodnight,” Melanie whispered.
“Goodnight, love.” Georgie wrapped an arm around her, pulling her in tight.
Lying in Georgie’s arms Melanie smiled to herself. Whatever tomorrow was gonna bring, she knew everything would be okay. She had Georgie, and that was no small thing