The First Steps

With University Behind Them, Racquel And Tina Set Out On Their Own.


Summer, Year 5

Racquel breathed a heavy sigh as she filled her glass up at the fountain. The Romance Festival had arrived in the neighbourhood and she’d never been before.
“You okay?” Tina asked. The two women had recently moved to the neighbourhood and were renting a flat close by. Both had started new jobs and were pretty exhausted after a long week. “You look shattered.”
“Yes, just tired.” Racquel laughed. “Who new being an adult could be this tiring.”
“I know!” Tina shook her head. “All the time I was at school, my mother told me I’d have plenty of times for parties and seeing friends when I’d finished my education. Well, I’m done with that and now I don’t have the energy!”
Racquel sipped her drink. “Mm, this is lovely. So, do you think we’ll have any luck tonight?”
“Meeting someone?” Tina gave a cursory glance around the festival and shook her head. “I don’t think so. It looks like it’s full of couples tonight.” She bit her lip. “I think I might go home, Racquel.”
Racquel nodded. “Yeah, I might too. I don’t think I feel like this tonight.”


The women finished their drinks and set off past several happy couples.
When they arrived at their flat, Tina fidgeted. “Racquel, I need to tell you something.”
“Okay.” Racquel closed the door behind them and nodded. “Go ahead.”
“I think we need to sit down.” Tina sat beside her flatmate on the sofa and took a deep breath. “I feel like I should have warned you before actually. I probably should but…”
“Warned me about what?” Racquel asked gently. “Tina, you’re my best friend. Whatever you have to tell me, I’ll support you.”
“Racquel, I’m bi.” Tina said quickly. She held her breath, waiting for Racquel’s reaction.
Racquel smiled. “Oh Tina, you didn’t need to ‘warn’ me! Why should I need warning?” She wrapped her friend up in a tight hug. “Tina, you are a fantastic friend. I couldn’t wish for better. You being bisexual doesn’t change who you are as a person and it certainly doesn’t change our friendship. Why should it?”
“I don’t know. I suppose because in a lot of cases, it does.” Tina felt the relief flooding through her.
“Listen to me; if anybody EVER has a go at you for being who you are, you tell me and I’ll sort them out.” Racquel squeezed Tina’s hand. “I’ll always be here for you, okay?”
Tina nodded. “Okay.”


The next day was a much needed day off for both women. Tina had suggested a trip to Brindleton Bay since the sub was shining and the heat was stifling in the city; a nice sea breeze from the coastal air would do them both good.
Additionally, Tina wanted to see inside the museum on Deadgrass Isle. As a museum curator, she wanted to get to know as much of the history of the local towns as possible.


They’d caught the ferry over to the island and had a good browse around the museum. Tina couldn’t resist giving a small lecture on the history of the island and the portraits adorning the walls of famous sailors and Navy personnel who’d hailed from the town in years gone by.
In spite of her general disinterest in history, Racquel found the stories fascinating and enjoyed letting Tina talk about her passions.


Tina ended up engrossed in a conversation with some locals about the history, so Racquel left her to it and drifted outside. It was such a beautiful day and she lay down on the grass among the flowers, watching the clouds drift lazily across the sky. It was nice to get a quiet day to herself to just do nothing but think.



On their return to the city later that afternoon, Racquel spotted a poster for the flea market in the Spice District and they agreed it might be fun to browse the market for a while.
“Hey, a human statue!” Tina said, grinning. “I love these, they’re so clever.”
“You’re not going to try and make them move, are you?” Racquel asked, laughing.
“You bet I am!” Tina giggled before pulling a series of crazy faces, hoping to watch the statue crack but to no avail.


The two women decided to go to Eden for dinner that evening. “This is nice,” Tina commented as Racquel placed their order. “It’s been a long week.”
“It has,” Racquel agreed. “Still, we have independence and freedom. Money in the bank and a nice flat. We couldn’t ask for more, really.”
“No,” Tina agreed. “We couldn’t.”

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