April sighed and scratched the mop of freshly-washed hair on top of her head as she looked out her port window at the stars. She was exhausted from the events of the last few days but something in her prevented her from falling right in to the bed. She yawned and ran her hands through her hair in distraction, almost too tired to think but unable to stop the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that swirled about like a sandstorm in her mind. Questions, anger, relief and slight disbelief tumbled about her head. She had no more idea why Feb came back than she had of why she refused to be rescued in the first place. The more she thought about it, the more confused she became. She leaned forward and clunked her head in frustration on the port window.

She heard a light knock and hesitantly gave a shout to come in. She knew who it was from the knock- how many times had Feb come through that door, drunk, and wound up passing out in her bed. It had become almost a comforting habit, in a strange way, and she had come to like the warmth of Feb’s head on her chest as she slept. She winced as she remembered her words in their last argument.
“I…I’m not too late yet, right?” Feb ventured softly, in a voice that sent a pain through April’s chest. She could feel her standing behind her, waiting.
“What are you saying?” she thought for a second, then remembered. “It’s never too early or too late to have a dream.” she quipped quickly, trying to get up the nerve to actually turn around and face Feb.
There was a moment of uneasy silence as they studied one another. Finally Feb cast her eyes down. “I guess we’re both tired. I won’t bother you any more.” she pursed her lips as if she wanted to say more, sighed and turned. “Goodnight, April.”
April watched as she started toward the door, then cleared her throat.
“Wait.” she bit her lip. “Feb…you don’t bother me.”
Feb paused, but did not turn around. “Is that so.” her voice was barely audible.
“Really.” April began to run her hands through her hair, fishing for the right words. "I mean, if you bothered me I wouldn’t have come for you-” she stopped as she saw Feb’s head go down. “Oh Feb, don’t…” she fumbled for words “Um, can we…can you… I was wondering if you want to stay with me tonight- you know, like how you used to…” she faltered, as Feb turned and stared at her evenly.
“When I was drunk? I’m not drunk tonight, April.”
“Uh, I guess that’s good, right?”
Feb smiled, kicked off her slippers, and climbed into the bed, pulling the sheet over her. “I’m not going to be drinking so much anymore.”
“Really?” April asked, climbing in behind her, then laying flat on her back, patting her chest in invitation. Feb yawned and nestled her head under April’s chin. “Mmmmm…really.” her arm went over April’s chest and a knee went over her legs. “I want things to be different.”
“Things aren’t just going to be different. Things are going to be better- I promise you.” April said firmly, and was surprised at the tightened grip on her chest, then realized that Feb was crying, softly, tears spilling onto April’s nightshirt.
“Hey there.” she stroked the dark curls of hair away from Feb’s face, but Feb only only turned and buried her head deeper into her chest, her body shaking with quiet sobs.
“Feb…” she became quiet as she realized she wouldn’t get a response, and lay there stroking the long dark locks, wishing she knew what to say. Wishing she knew more about this woman who had the ability to just drive her nuts at times, but Feb was not one who ever talked about her past. So she had stopped asking long ago.
“I missed you.” Feb turned her head back to the side, and whispered hoarsely. “I missed you so much, April.”
It was all she could do not to cry at that point, but April figured one crying woman was enough. She pressed her face into the top of Feb’s head, fighting back tears. “I missed you too- I’m sorry.” was all she could choke out without losing control. Silence fell between them as Feb continued her free-fall of tears, and April continued to stroke her hair, until she could tell from her breathing that Feb had fallen asleep. She lay her head back, closing her eyes and letting out a deep sigh.
She twirled the dark locks up in between her fingers, slowly, as she thought about how she had first met Feb, almost two years ago…..

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