“Smoking is bad for your health, you know.”
Danielle’s ears perked up at the sound of the voice behind her, spinning around towards the speaker, cigarette hanging limp between her thin, pale lips. The lights from the hotel room backlit the other woman perfectly, her silhouetted hands seated on her curvy waist, accentuated by the skin tight nightgown she wore a light, baby blue silk one with lace trim along the neckline.
“What are you doing up?” Danielle said, taking the cigarette between her large, nail bitten fingers. She put out her cigarette on the banister. The ashes collected at the base, mixing well with the dark steel they had been put out against.
The other woman’s full lips set into a deep pout, her eyebrows furrowing together as her arms crossed in front of her full breasts. She settled against the door frame, leading out to the balcony. It was a cool night in Chicago, and the streets were quiet for once. The smoke from Danielle’s extinguished cigarette floated up, pushed this way and that by the gentle breeze. Danielle watched her lover’s curly red hair move with it, her whole body shuddering, things moving in ways that set Danielle’s heart racing. Danielle looked past her flat chest, down at her hands, now empty. She picked at her cuticles.
“You’ll catch your death out here.” Said her lover, and Danielle sighed heavily, turning her back to the other woman and leaning on the banister. It felt nice against her warm skin.
“Danielle. Come inside, please.” Danielle heard her lover’s bare feet come closer, gently beating against the concrete.
“Danielle, it’s cold out here.”
“I don’t feel anything.” Danielle said as she picked her head up to remove her head scarf, holding it to the wind and letting it be taken off by the breeze. The air felt cold against her bare scalp.
“Please, Dani, you need sleep.”
“Sleep is for the weak! I’m perfectly fine.” Danielle turned around, smiling wide. She tried to ignore the tears welling up in the other woman’s eyes.
“No, you’re not.”
“Lisa, I’m fine! Those doctors don’t know anything about anything.” The older woman moved forward, placing a kiss on Lisa’s forehead. Lisa pulled away quickly.
“So I guess I don’t either then?” Lisa said, her throat beginning to close up. Hot tears rolled down her round cheeks, and she bit her lip as she quickly wiped them away with the back of her hand.
“Lisa,” Danielle picked the other woman’s chin up so they were eye to eye, despite Danielle’s major height over her lover. “I’m fine. We’re gonna make it through all of this, okay?” She wiped away the tears that had gathered around Lisa’s bright green eyes, always brighter when they were surrounded by the red. “We’ll get a second opinion, I mean, there’s more than just one doctor in Illinois.”
“But how do we know that they’ll say something different? How do we know that there are any more options?”
“We don’t, sweetheart. But we’re gonna be okay.”
“Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.” Lisa sniffled, before burying her face in Danielle’s chest. She could feel the bandages through the thin fabric of her lover’s tee shirt.
“Hey, when have I ever lied to you?”
“October 2nd, 2006. You told me I looked good in that God awful green dress.”
“Because you did.” Danielle giggled.
“Bull. I looked horrible, and we both know it.” Lisa looked up at Danielle, trying to smile as she reached up and stroked her cheeks, looking even more gaunt in the lighting. “Come on. I’m tired.”
“All right, all right.” Danielle said, putting her hands up in mock surrender. Lisa smiled, and the two went back into the room, closing the balcony door behind them.