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When we were young

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It was late, almost three in the morning. The moon was high in the dark sky, framed by a thousand shiny stars that, Lou noticed, almost were almost pointed in a arrowhead, leading her home. No other source of light in the night.


As she usually did when she got home this late from the club, every move was as silent as possible, careful not to wake Debbie up. She twisted the key and let herself in, smiling at the smell of something the brunette must have been baking earlier in the evening . 

Debbie’s cooking had really improved in the past months, given the extraordinary amount of free time she had and Lou’s rediscovered hunger after years surviving on takeout and alcohol. Too much alcohol. 


However, as soon as she approached the stairs she heard a muffled sound coming from upstairs, though she couldn’t decipher what is was from where she was standing. 

Lou hastily ran up the stairs two steps at a time, a thousand scenarios already displayed in her head, but as soon as she got on the top of the staircase she stopped.


A soft melody came from behind the wooden door, along with gentle piano chords. 

Debbie’s voice was unmistakable. 

Debbie can sing?

Lou knew the brunette could play the piano, but she had never mentioned she had such a marvelous voice. 

Of course she didn’t, Lou softly smiled. 


She leaned on the wall, fortuitous - intrusive? - listener. The tune didn’t sound familiar, it was not something Lou knew, and Lou was a top expert in music. 

She was genuinely curious. 

On the other side of the door, Debbie, unaware, coughed a few times, then started playing again. 


Everybody loves the things you do, from the way you talk to the way you move.

Everybody here is watching you 'cause you feel like home

You're like a dream come true.

But if by chance you're here alone, can I have a moment?

Before I go?

'Cause I've been by myself all night long, hoping you're someone I used to know.


Her voice was soft, a tone lower than her usual one. Or am I imagining all of this? Lou thought, but couldn’t stop smiling. 


You look like a movie

You sound like a song

My God this reminds me, of when we were young.


Lou could hear Debbie was smiling through her words. She could actually picture how she was sitting with her hair laying down on her shoulders - she always let her hair down when she was at home, their home -, barefoot at her desk. A glass of water on her right and a cup of tea on her left, now probably cold. 


Let me photograph you in this light, in case it is the last time

that we might be exactly like we were

before we realized we were scared of getting old.

It made us restless,

It was just like a movie.

It was just like a song.


Lou shivered. She could feel the emotions in Debbie’s voice. And the quick flash of the brunette running towards her on the beach made its way though her mind. “Come on one day we’ll want to remember this!” she shouted while attempting to take a picture of Lou casually reading on the shore. 

The quick realization of what it meant struck her like a train going full speed. 

Debbie wrote this song. The lyrics, the chords, everything. 


I was so scared to face my fears

Nobody told me that you'd be here

And I'd swear you moved overseas

That's what you said, when you left me

You still look like a movie

You still sound like a song

My God, this reminds me, of when we were young.


The brunette cursed as she hit the wrong piano key, and Lou chuckled.

“Is there anyone?” Debbie’s voice asked out loud “Lou, are you back?”

Lou held her breath, it may be selfish, but this was the closest thing to a miracle she had ever experienced, and she didn’t want this to stop.

Luckily, Debbie didn’t get up, and instead mumbled “We have to fix those floorboards.”


Piano chords started again, as she continued.


Let me photograph you in this light, in case it is the last time

that we might be exactly like we were

before we realized we were sad of getting old.


It made us restless,

It was just like a movie.

It was just like a song.

When we were young…


It's hard to win me back,

everything just takes me back to when you were there, to when you were there,

and a part of me keeps holding on,

just in case it hasn't gone.

I guess I still care

Do you still care?


It was just like a movie, it was just like a song.

My God, this reminds me of when we were young.


Lou felt hot tears on her cheek, her stomach twisted by something she once again couldn’t identify, but she had never been good with words, nor with emotions.

This is why she slowly stood up, as the last chords of the chorus were fading in her ears, and slowly opened the door. 


On the other side, as soon as she heard the wood cracking again, Debbie turned around and, the moment she saw Lou’s wet and rosy cheeks, she knew. 

They didn’t need words, they never did. 

(Sometimes they might have helped, tho)


Debbie softly smiled, a kind of smile that was only Lou’s, as she said “Come here, you dumb Australian.”

Tall as she is, it only took a few steps for Lou to cross the distance between the two, and melt into the brunette’s arms. 


She inhaled Debbie’s scent. She smelled like chocolate cake and vanilla shampoo, which was strange because Debbie uses peach shampoo and Debbie loves pumpkin pies, but Lou does use vanilla shampoo and Lou does love chocolate cake. 

But she doesn’t have to ask, because Debbie’s hazel eyes were shining like a million stars when they met Lou’s. 


“You know, I do still care.” Lou let go the breath she didn’t realize she was holding, as if letting those six words out of her mouth had been the most difficult thing of her whole life.

This is why they didn’t do words.


Debbie nodded, her thumb now stroking Lou’s palm. 


“I made you chocolate cake, want a piece?”

“Of course.”

But neither of them moved.


Lou didn’t ask her to play the song again, she knew Debbie wouldn’t do it. Instead, she curled up reaching the size of a puppy on Debbie’s lap (it should be impossible for someone that height, but Lou is Lou), held on a bit tighter onto Debbie’s neck and softly whispered “I do care about you, Debbie.”


“I know.”

There was a moment of silence before Debbie spoke again.

“I care about you too, Lou.”


Maybe one day they’ll find the courage to say the right words.