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tw: mentions of rape

- Maria -

Saturday was lonely and painful. Eliza called in to work and said she was sick, but sounded quite the opposite. I went home to James as usual, who spent the night hurting me as usual. I just hope it won't hurt the baby.

But Sunday was a new day. I pulled myself out of bed at around 9am, noting that James was already gone, luckily. I got dressed and went down to the café for my shift.

Eliza was there already, making sure everything was running smoothly and working in the kitchen. She told me to stay after we closed so we could talk. On Sunday's we close up early at around 2pm, so that employees can spend time with their families towards the end of the day.

I couldn't get my mind off her all day. As I served and waited on tables, I'd catch small glimpses of her handing off trays of food, but she never really crossed my path. I did lock eyes with her at one point, about twenty minutes before closing, and we both blushed before going back to what we were doing.

Soon enough, every other employee had left and the café was swept up and wiped down, ready for tomorrow morning. I sat down tiredly at one of the tables, resting my hands on my slightly protruding stomach. I sighed and closed my eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath. The baby caused a bit of pain, but not to the point where I couldn't deal with it or something was wrong. It was just mildly uncomfortable all day, and it felt good to finally sit and rest my feet.

A few minutes later, Eliza walked over holding two sandwiches and two cups of tea. I thanked her as she gave me one of both, and she just smiled and sat down across from me.

"So..." we both began at the same time. I smiled and met her eyes for a moment.

"You can go first." I mumbled, blushing as I looked away, fiddling with the hem of my shirt.

"Um, okay. I'm really sorry if I made you uncomfortable with the kiss... I know that since you're pregnant and you have a boyfriend and I kinda just forced that on you, it probably wasn't wanted by you." She said to start off.

"It's fine, I swear. I should probably explain the whole pregnancy-boyfriend-bruise dilemma though, yeah?" I said, mentally preparing myself for what I was about to admit. If James ever found out I told her any of this... I can't imagine what he'd do to me.

"My boyfriend James and I have been dating for a few years now. But I don't actually love him... I'm only dating him because I'm actually lesbian but my parents are homophobic and I didn't want them to find out." I began, stating the simple facts to begin. She nodded, but a look of confusion crossed her face.

"But you're pregnant... if you're lesbian, why would you consent to... doing it with him?" She asked.

"That's the thing. Um, he drinks a lot. I'd say he's teetering on being an alcoholic. He gets mad at me when I mess up and he hits me... which explains the bruises," I say quietly, not wanting to admit to the abuse out loud. Eliza inhaled sharply and placed her hand on mine, which was resting on the table. I steadied myself for a moment before speaking again.

"He also, uh, forces me to have sex with him...which is why I'm pregnant. But it's fine, since we're dating, so.." I finished, practically whispering at this point.

"Maria, just because you're dating doesn't mean it's not rape. Do you consent to him doing that to you?" She asked. I shook my head.

"If you don't consent to it, it's rape. It doesn't matter if he's your boyfriend or husband or anything. That and the hitting... he's abusive, Mar. You gotta get out of that." She said, worry etched on her face. I looked away, my hands shaking as tears blurred my vision. But I stayed strong, forcing the tears to go away as I pulled myself together.

"I'm trying. But um, can we talk about something else for now?" I mumbled, looking back at her. She nodded quickly and took a deep breath before talking.

"Recently I had a boyfriend and we broke up mutually. He came out to me as bisexual and admitted that he liked a guy. I felt like we were drifting apart so I agreed to the breakup. Now he's actually my best friend, funny enough," she started, running a hand through her hair as she smiled a little bit. I smiled too, her happiness was contagious.

"And then I met you. And immediately I was blown away... your beauty just hit me, and I sort of just fell for you from there, I guess," she said. I felt a blush rise to my cheeks and a smile spread across my face again.

"And I got to know you, and now I know that your personality is just as amazing as how you look. But at first I denied this whole thing, just brushing it off as admiration or something. I was so confused. I am confused," she continued, eyebrows furrowing as she looked away. I squeezed her hand in reassurance.

She looked back at me and took a small breath before speaking again, a little shaky.

"I had this whole breakdown.. I still don't know what I am or what label I fit into or whatever. I'm scared that if I pick one, someone will come along and then that label could be wrong, I guess? I mean, I was straight the first twenty years of my life, who knows what could happen?" She said. I nodded, feeling bad for her. I'd known I liked girls since I was in seventh grade, and never really struggled with labels or anything. I just dealt with homophobia instead.

"But even if I don't know what exactly I am, I do know this: Maria, you're one of the most amazing people I've ever met. And I can't deny that I've fallen for you. I'm helpless." Eliza smiled, kissing my hand gently. My whole face turned red before I took a leap of faith.

I leaned across the table and gently pressed my lips to hers, copying our actions from Friday. She melted into the kiss, her lips just as soft as they were the first time we kissed. When we broke apart, we both smiled at each other and she kissed my cheek softly before standing up and grabbing her purse from behind her. I grabbed mine too and made my way to the door.

"It's a pretty good bad idea, me and you." I told her with a smile before walking out of the café, waving a little at her.

I pressed my fingers against my lips as I walked to the subway, trying to remember the feeling of hers against mine. I squealed happily when I got home and checked my phone, seeing a text from her on the screen.

eliza: yeah, it's a pretty good bad idea.... me and you <3

a/n: ok I told myself today I was gonna update this afternoon and here I am at 9pm, writing this

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