Believing in her

Arte smacked Monde with the umbrella once, twice, only stopping when Monde spluttered out a surrender. However, Arte immediately smacked her again when Monde giggled, “You have to admit, you’re cute when you trip.”

If her face hadn’t turned red, Arte might have been able to play it off as nothing. “What if I fell on my face?” she demanded.

Monde shrugged, dropping her arm around Arte’s shoulders as if nothing was wrong. “You wouldn’t fall, I wouldn’t let you.”

“How are you so smooth?” Arte demanded, nearly throwing her arms up in the air. This time Arte caught the umbrella before Arte accidentally whacked either of them with it.

“Because I’m super cool with my super cool girlfriend.”

Arte didn’t believe it, but she was beginning to think that Monde believed it. And that was almost more important.

Ways to laugh

Monde had two ways to laugh.

The first was the loud one. Uproariously would be the adjective. It could be heard from the other room. Arte could hear when she was coming home with someone from work, because the door opening was usually prefaced by the bark of humour.

Arte would reach up to her current length of hair, thin and blonde, and hope she would be presentable to her girlfriend’s friends.

The second came usually at night. When it was just the two of them at home. Monde would have humoured her and watched the latest episode of the latest show Arte wanted to dive into. Monde would make a comment to make Arte indignant and defensive, explaining what they just wanted.

Then Monde would chuckle, quietly, and kiss her on the head, no matter how much hair Arte had.

Arte like that laugh more.

Keeping it off the offline

Arte met Monse in the easiest way there was for Arte to meet people – online. Immediately Monse was everything Arte could ever want. Especially because she was far away where Monse would never have the misfortune to actually see Arte in real life, because that would be tragic as far as Arte was concerned.

the fastraunt? wait, you live here too?

Okay, maybe not so far away.

we should totally meet up!

Very not far away. Arte tugged at her hands, preferable to tugging at the hair she hadn’t had since the surgery.

It would have been so easy to come up with an excuse. It would have been easy. Online friends don’t always make good in person friends. Monse might not be the same in person. Even if Arte weren’t a failure, what if she’d built Monse up in her mind too much?

Arte had to turn her down. Which meant, of course, it was completely by accident and not planned at all when Arte and Monse finally met in person.

How you plan on recording the mental plane

Arte swallowed, looking over her newest invention. She had been so absorbed in it, she hadn’t noticed when her wife had come up behind her. Slowly, Arte became aware of the taller woman leaning against the back of her chair.

“What’s this one do?” Monse asked.

“A dream recorder. I hope.”

“Yeah?” For some reason, Monse was always excited about Arte’s work. It was as if Monse didn’t know that there was the potential for something to go wrong. Arte would ask to try it here and Monse would agree without a second thought.

Arte knew she shouldn’t keep doing this, but it was so convenient. Yet, there was the thought that eventually Monse would take a step back. This was one of those times. Monse couldn’t possibly want to agree to participate with Arte in testing this. She had to want some privacy. “Well, I’ll find out.”

“You going to use it on yourself?”

Arte opened her mouth, then closed it. That would have been the most obvious answer. She would know best what she dreamed, if she remembered them. She hadn’t even been curious about her own dreams. “That makes the most sense.”

“Then can I see?”

Monse had no limitations, it seemed. Arte should have known better, all these years of marriage. “You want to see my dreams?”

“Of course I do. It’ll be filled with me and machines and nonsensical bullshit. Why wouldn’t I want to see that?”

Finally, Arte looked back at her. Monse grinned. It was infectious. “N-no judgments?”

“Of course not. It’s dreams. All the subconscious or unconscious stuff. But…” She leaned in, breathing against Arte’s cheek. “I could try to make them better dreams and see if we succeed.”

Arte shivered, nodding instinctively.

She hoped it would work.

She hoped the dream would be a good one.