I write this story a little over a year ago, and I like it. It’s short, cute, and while it doesn’t say much, it fitted into the word limit of the competition. I haven’t finished any books this year, so I had nothing to review. Enjoy this in the meantime.
Sunglasses did nothing. The sun was just too bright; my hangover too intense.
I blamed Alex. When she’d heard about the ‘gift’ from my Aunt Linda she’d laughed herself silly, then pulled out the commiseration vodka we kept in the freezer for bad news. Today’s plans definitely counted.
Aunt Linda was a lovely woman, but she gave shitty presents. This year’s example? She had taken me to a psychic festival to find out when I would settle down and stop being so ‘hopelessly single’.
Aunt Linda was also stunningly unobservant, or she’d realise that not only had I been in a string of long-term relationships for most of my adult life, but that I was most assuredly a lesbian.
“Hurry up, Melanie! I got you a booking with the good one!”
I adjusted my sunglasses to try and block both the glare from the sun, and the ones we were now receiving from the people around us. “I’m sure they’re all great.”
Aunt Linda rolled her eyes, “Don’t be so naïve, dear, you shouldn’t waste your time on anyone but Raquelle.”
I tried to hide my wince. Trust Aunt Linda to insist on a psychic who shared a name with my most recent ex-girlfriend. I’d dated Raquelle for two years, and our break-up had been…not great.
She’d been upset that I hadn’t introduced her to my family. I was going to invite them around, officially come out, and introduce her, but I’d put it off too many times. Now I’d be turning thirty just as single as Aunt Linda thought I was.
Aunt Linda noticed my glum expression and was suddenly at my side, clucking and stroking my arm, “Now don’t worry, I know you haven’t done this before, but trust me. Raquelle is the woman for you.”
We bustled between tents advertising palm readings, crystal healing, and past life regression, all of them holding smiling people in earth tones on a first-name basis with my aunt.
“Linda, I have a message for you!”
“Your aura is all muddled, dear, let me take a look!”
“Is that little Mellie all grown up?”
I gave up trying to match faces to names, and simply smiled awkwardly.
I was expecting our destination to be a tent, perhaps a cartoony caravan draped in velvet and billowing smoke. Instead I found Raquelle, the woman I had realised too late I was achingly in love with, sitting on a picnic rug.
She caught sight of us, and stood.
The familiar panic rose in my chest, but I was determined not to let it stop me this time. I took a deep breath. “Aunt Linda, I’m gay.”
“I know, dear.”
“Why else would I drag you here? Now I’m off to enjoy the festival, you girls have a talk, and Melanie? I expect you owe this woman an apology.”
Raquelle stepped forward, and her smile was the brightest thing I’d seen all day. “Hi.”
I blinked, then looked at Raquelle, “I love you. Sorry. And uh, hi.”