Ramona and Angie

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short romance about two girls battling between their love for the same sex and conflicting religious beliefs. This story might make some people mad, so beware.
TW: sexuality, religion, and mild discrimination/abuse mentioned.

Chapter One: Meetcute

Running late again.

Sunday school starts in an hour and I still need paint and foam lions for our project on Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Oh, and googly eyes. The kids love googly eyes.

Ding ding, the bell signals my wake into the arts and craft store. I’m rushing, looking up and down the aisles. I find the paint and googly eyes, but not the foam lions. Finally, when I’m at my most desperate, I spin around and nearly run into a surprised employee.

“Whoops, sorry!” I say as we topple away from each other.

“Oh, no, it was my fault—”

“Well, I was the one who turned around—”

“It’s okay.”

We stand there a little awkwardly. She takes a breath and points to the shelves. “Um, I realized you were looking around. Do you need help?”

“Oh! Yeah,” I shift my feet and wave a hand at the sketch books. “I’ve actually never been in here before, I shop at a different store—not that this one is bad, I just live far away.” Sounding stupid. You don’t need to defend yourself. “I’m looking for foam lions.”

She smiles. Cute dimples. “Welcome to the store. This is my first day on the job, so I’m not too familiar with where things are. But I can try my best.”

I smile, loosen my grip on my items. Some of the googly eyes are looking at me. “Thanks.”

We start walking around the store.

“So, lions, huh?” She says, looking up one of the shelves.

“Yeah, it’s for a Sunday school project at my church.”

She gives me a hopeful look. “Where’s your church?”

“Just up the road, like a block that way,” I point West. “It’s the Southern Baptist church with the weird palm trees.” We turn around a corner.

“Cool. I’m kinda new to town, so I’ve been looking for a good church. Oh, here they are,” She stops us at the foam animals. We look for lions. Must be hiding.

I kneel to look at the shallow rack. “Where’d you move from? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Not at all. Chicago. I came here for, uh…” She sighed. “A new beginning. Kind of new to Christianity, too. Well… kind of. I was raised in strict religion and then kinda fell away. But recently I just… was missing something, you know? I’m more ready now, this time for a free relationship with God. Sorry,” she looks away. “Rambling.”

“No, you’re fine!” I said, picking up the tigers and looking at the price tag. “I’m newer to Christianity. Wasn’t raised in it. I accepted Jesus in my heart, like, a year ago. Been a wild ride since then, but worth it.” I stand up, rub my achy knees. “I guess tigers will do, instead.”

“Sorry we couldn’t find lions.”

“No, that’s fine. I hope to see you at church…”

“Roro,” she shrugs. “It’s Romona, but everyone calls me Roro.”

“Nice to meet you, Roro. I’m Angie. Everyone calls me... uh... just Angie, really. You know, like that one Rolling Stones song.”

She chuckles. Cute chuckle. “Never heard it. I’ll have to listen to it when I get home. But, yeah, see you at church, maybe next weekend.”

I smile, pay for my items, and wave as I leave.

 

Chapter Two: Church

I see her.

She’s leaving the sanctuary, disappearing past the white doors.

I rush as fast as I can through the church congregation, repeating “pardon me,” until I catch sight of her again, looking at the brochures at the information table.

“Hey, Roro,” I say as I stop beside the table.

She looks up, smiles when she recognizes me. “Oh, hey, Angie, right? Fancy meeting you here. Thanks,” she motions. “For inviting me here, I mean. I really liked the sermon.”

“Yeah, Pastor Dan’s pretty real and honest.”

“Yeah. Hey, do you mind showing me around? If you’re not too busy.”

“Oh! Sure. Umm, well, you’ve seen the sanctuary…” I lead her out into the courtyard, where the other buildings are clearly visible. “There’s the restaurant… there’s the children’s building… that’s the youth group room… those are the offices and other rooms.” I shrug. “It’s not easy to get lost.”

“Nice,” at that moment, her stomach grumbles. She touches it and points to the restaurant. “Wanna show me that restaurant?”

We head inside and make our way, ever so slowly, down the long line. We both get burritos and sit outside, enjoying the sun. Everyone chatters around us. We chow down for the first few minutes, both hungry. When we fill our appetite just enough, we slow down and start a conversation.

“So, what did you think of the sermon?” I ask and take another bean-filled bite.

She swallows and nods in positivity. “About being a new creation in Christ? I really liked it. It’s a tough subject, but…”

“Tough?”

“Yeah, well…” She shrugs and takes a sip of cola. “I think the whole sanctification thing—you know, becoming a new creation—is kind of a rocky process. I think it must take a while.”

“Takes our whole lives.” I agree. “It’s not an overnight thing. I mean, I accepted Christ in my heart when I was seven and I’m still learning about who I am in God.”

“Really?”

“Of course. And there’s still so much I just don’t know about.”

“Me too,” she gets quiet all of a sudden. “I’ve had to relearn a lot of stuff, too. I grew up in real strict religion—you know, fire and brimstone type stuff. Hard to love a God you’re afraid of. I fell away for a long time, and I only recently started to realize how loving God actually is.”

“That’s rough. It’s hard to believe God loves us when we grow up in religious abuse. I grew up with a pretty loving view of God, but I know a lot of friends who didn’t grow up that way, and some have abandoned faith because of it. It’s really sad.”

“Yeah. Kind of hard to love a God who they say hates you.”

“They told you God hated you?”

“Well, not me specifically. But they said gays go to hell and… well, I grew up thinking I was going to hell for being pansexual. I didn’t really open up to the idea of God until someone in my Freshman year of college told me God doesn’t send people to hell at all. He lets us choose hell. So, if we just choose Jesus instead of telling Him to f off, basically, we’re saved. I stopped dating girls, though, because I still don’t know if God is okay with that. Sorry,” she chuckled and tucked curly black hair behind her ear. “Rambling.”

“No, you’re fine, I—well, I agree. I know God loves us and doesn’t send us to hell on the basis of sin. If He did, we’d all be in hell, y’know?” I shrugged. “I wish I could tell you if homosexuals go to hell or not, but I don’t know, either. I just recently came out as bisexual, and I’ve had to wrestle with that and my faith. It’s all confusing when we work it out.”

“For sure,” She seems a little more relaxed. She smiles. “It’s nice to talk to someone who understands. You’re actually the first one I’ve met who knows the struggle of being a gay Christian.”

“I do. Most people I’ve met either rebuke Christianity to fully accept their sexuality or they follow God and shrug off their sexuality as ‘just a phase’. It’s nice to know someone else who gets the struggle of both worlds.”

“Well, anytime you wanna talk, I’m here. Oh, that reminds me,” she takes out a piece of paper and a pen. She writes down her number and hands it to me. “You seem pretty cool, and I want to stay in touch.”

 

Chapter Three: Jobs

“So, what do you do for work?” I ask. Roro and I are sitting inside a coffee shop on a rainy day. After about a week of texting our schedules, we finally found a day to hang out.

She pulls the latte away from her lips, leaving a foam mustache.

“Oh, you have—on your lip—” I point.

She touches her mouth, laughs when she feels the foam. “Oops,” She wipes it off with a brown napkin before answering. “Thanks.”

“No problem.”

“Well, right now I’m a full-time Psychology major and a part-time college librarian. But

I’m hoping to become a writer one day. Like, a professional one. I’ve published some poetry and short stories online, but… haven’t found a huge following.”

“That’s so cool! I’d love to read your writing sometime.”

“Sure, I can send you some of my finished pieces.” She takes another sip, careful not to

 

 

obtain unwanted foam on her lips. “So, what do you do?”

“I’m a Graphic Design major and artist. I’ve been trying to get a fanbase, too. It’s hard to

do.”

“Do you have some art to share with me?”

“Sure, I can send you pictures of my newest piece. Actually, I’m showing my art at a gallery in a couple weeks. It’s my first show. If you—well, would you like to go?”

“Absolutely!”

We laugh and talk for at least four hours. Then we have to leave. We stand and decide to hug. She’s warm and smells like ink and undiscovered words. I don’t want to pull away, but we do. I see her to her pickup truck and wave until I get to my car. What a nice gal.

 

Chapter Four: The prince and the knight

Late at night, I’m cuddling my huge teddy bear, wrapped up in blankets, reading one of Roro’s stories on my laptop. Her tone is so smooth, the character design so thoughtful, the message so inspiring. Before I know it, I’m reading the epilogue. I’m not much of a reader, but I finish three of her stories in less than a day. I check through the emails she sent with the stories attached. What? No sequel? What happens to the prince and the knight? Do they end up together or not? I text Roro.

[I love your stories! What happens to prince K and knight M?] –Me

[Thanks! Uhh, I dunno, it’s up for interpretation] –Her

[So they could be partners in the end?] –Me

[Is that what you were thinking?] –Her

[Yeah, I mean, they had such a good dynamic and they seemed to be so in love] –Me

[I guess so. It’s funny, I actually hadn’t intended for them to fall in love] –Her

[Really?] –Me

[No. Their romance sort of just… happened. They were supposed to be friends] –Her

[Well, I ship them] –Me

[lmao, if I’m being honest, so do I ????] –Her

We text a little more about stories and art and dreams and books and TV shows. I almost can’t believe it’s only been two and a half weeks since we first met. I feel like I’ve known her my whole life. Our personalities get along so well, our passions run along side each other, and we feel so comfortable with each other. Soon I’m falling asleep, and we sign off with a “goodnight.”

Chapter Five: Sun dance

“What are you gonna write about next?” I ask, as we pace around the booths and chatty crowds. It’s the Phoenix Art Festival and it’s booming today. I smell hotdogs in the distance.

“Mmm, I dunno,” she kicks a pebble under a booth. “I’ve been thinking of writing a story based one of your paintings, the one with the cherry blossoms and the elderly lady.”

I perk and smile. “Oh! Really? You have a story idea for it?”

She smiles back. “Yeah, your paintings always inspire me. There’s just something so… alive about them. Like they’re the juiciest scene in someone’s life.”

“Wow, thank you,” I blush, look away at the dazzling jewelry we’re passing by. “No one’s ever said that about my pieces before.”

“Well, I mean it.”

“Thanks”

We make our way to the field, where a small band is playing some folksy music and the people are scattered around. Some are sitting on the grass and drinking lemonade, some are dancing, some are watching the band. After a few minutes watching the band, another song comes up. This one has a nice beat.

I hold out my hand to Roro. “Care to dance?”

Right away, she smiles and takes my hand. “Let’s do this!”

We try to do the box step, which starts out with a lot of stepping on each others’ toes. Soon we get the hang of it, and I twirl her—a perk of being the taller of us. Then we gallop around the field, and we fly, and we glide, and we laugh. We keep dancing, even after the band decides to take a break. Finally, we tumble to a halt, laughing so much that we’re practically wheezing.

Giggling, I look over at her. She throws her head back, chuckling, and her profile blots out the sun just so her silhouette looks like it’s glowing. She’s so pretty.

“What say we take a break for coffee and chili dogs?” She finally asks.

“I never thought you’d ask.”

We eat as the sun goes down and the streetlamps and stage lights blink on, white light cascading onto the closing booths and dispersing people. We’re sitting on the back of her truck. I don’t know how we get on the topic of family, but we do. She’s got three brothers—one’s married and has kids. I’m the only child, and live a block away from my dad.

“You close to your dad?” She asks.

“Well, ah, kind of. We’ve had rough patches, especially when I told him I’m bi.”

“I get that. My parents would’ve never let me stay with them if they had found out. I had to move away first, and then they kind of stopped talking to me.”

“That sucks,” I hesitate. “When I came out to my dad, he said I’d never have a happy relationship because I couldn’t pick a side. And he told me bisexuals are untrustworthy.”

“Yikes, why do you even talk to him after that?”

I shrug. “Some pastors told me I need to not run from my problems.”

“Fuck that.”

I just shrug. “I’m just torn, ‘cause he hurt me bad but I’ve been told Christians are supposed to be loving.”

“That doesn’t mean you should keep ties with toxic people. He wasn’t even being helpful, he was being plain rude.”

“I know. I just… I don’t know.”

She pauses, and looks at the asphalt. “I get it. It’s hard when the people who are supposed to be there for you aren’t. It’s harder ‘cause Christians are supposed to be loving but… where’s the line between love and codependency?”

“When you find it, let me know.”

“Probably takes a lot of therapy and Al Anon.”

I perk. “You’re in Al Anon, too?”

She seems pleasantly surprised. “No way, you too? I just said that kinda hoping…”

Then we talk about how great a program it is—we’re both fairly new. She’s only been going for a month. I went for a few months a couple of years ago, but I decided to attend permanently earlier this year. What a great program—completely free, sweet people, awesome and helpful principles, etc. etc. I knew I liked her from the start, but I’m liking her more and more, with every moment we’re together. There’s something about her that feels like home.

 

Chapter Six: Realization

It’s when I’m journaling on my bed when it happens. I’m typing on my laptop, on a private word document, about my day and my issues. Long hours again. Lots of studying. Stressed. And I write this:

But the two things keeping me grateful are God and Ramona. Praying helps. My friends have been all so busy, but Ramona is there when I need her. The other day I had such a hard day and she came over with a box of tissues and chocolates. She just listened to me cry. She’s so great. She’s so beautiful and talented and she makes me feel heard and I really think God sent her to me. She makes me feel so good, like there’s butterflies in my stomach. It’s kind of weird, actually. I think I’ve felt this way before, but this time it’s somehow slightly different. I think I might…

I push away from the laptop, hesitant, thinking. Was I really going to write that I might have a crush on her? Of course not, that’s ridiculous. She’s just a good friend. Right? I mean, my other friends make me feel good, too… when they’re around. And there’s plenty of people I find beautiful without being attracted to. I mean, we’ve only known each other for a short time, but she’s just… it’s not… we’re just…

I save the document and close my laptop. I don’t know what to think anymore. I hardly know what I’m feeling.

 

Chapter Seven: Life’s a Painting

Roro lets out a breath, staring up at my painting. It’s so nice of her to come to the gallery to see my first ever show. “It’s so… It’s dreamy.”

I nod up at the blues and greys and pinks and purples, the whisps and the splotches and the swirls. “I was aiming for something like that. Something whimsical.”

“Something kind of melancholy, too?”

“Yeah. And hopeful.”

We sit in silence. Emotions. What weird things. I’ve only ever been able to process them through paint and brushes.

I put my hand down on the bench to lean back, and my hand brushes hers. Simultaneously, I force myself not to look down. My heart flutters as I pull my hand an inch away. It was just a mistake. Hands touch every once in a while. No big deal. Then why do I feel my face redden? Why do I almost feel a longing to hold her hand? Friends hold hands, right? No romance involved. Just hand holding, just friends…

“Angie…” She pauses for some time. Her fingers curl and her feet tap the cold cement floor.

I glance at her profile. She looks contemplatively at her feet. “Yeah, Roro?”

Pursing her lips, she leans forward and looks up at the painting. “Do you ever feel like that? Like your painting?”

I look up at it, too. “Yeah. I actually thought about someone while I painted it.”

“Really? Who?”

Hesitation. There she was in the saddest indigos, in the lonely yellow ochres, in the happy oranges and the calmest greens. But she doesn’t have to know that, does she. “Well, it’s someone I like a lot.”

“A friend or a love interest?”

I laugh, a little nervously. “Good question. I’m still figuring that out.”

She gives a laugh, too, and nods. “It’s hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?” She sighs. “Maybe that’s part of being a woman in modern American society. We’re pressured from one side to be attracted to those we even remotely enjoy, and pressured from another side to take romantic gestures as platonic ones.”

“Exactly! How do we know? How can we tell? Honestly, I never know if it’s romance I’m feeling or if I’m hyping myself up to believe it’s romance.”

“Yeah, they have a term for that. It’s called quirosexual, I think, or something like that.”

“Then this is very quiro.” I catch myself as she gives me a look, and I motion to the painting. “The art. It’s quiro. Not us.” Nice save, I mentally roll my eyes.

“Oh. Who’s it about?”

I open my mouth, shut my mouth. “Uhh, she’s a friend. I think. Maybe.”

“Maybe,” She grins. “I can relate to this painting.”

“You can?”

“Sure. I’m kind of going through something like that at the moment.”

“Really, with whom?”

She gives me a cheeky glance. “If I tell you, you have to tell me who this painting is about.”

“That’s fair. We’ll say it on a count of three. One… two… three—”

We both say in unison: “You.”

 

Chapter Eight: Losing touch

[You busy?]

I checked my messages probably sixteen times within the past day, and she still hasn’t responded. It’s been five days since the art museum and we haven’t texted once, which is super weird. It’s a lazy day and I’m laying on my floor, staring at the ceiling. Suddenly, the phone buzzes, and I rush to open it. It’s her.

[Yeah, sorry. I’m off in an hour.]

[Can we talk then?]

She takes 15 minutes. [Sure]

My heart flutters. Just to think of talking with her sends happy chills down my spine. But I think some of it is nerves, too. Ever since the day at the art museum, she’s been slowly slipping away from me. I think I know why.

An hour passes. I call her. She picks up.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Roro, it’s, uh, it’s Angie.”

“Hey Angie,” She gives a little laugh. “I could tell by the caller ID.”

“Oh. Yeah. Well, I just wanted to see how you’re doing.”

“Good, just, you know, busy. Work. School. You?”

“Yeah, uh, same.” There’s a pause. I take a deep breath. “Hey, are you…?”

“Huh?”

I shake my head, trying to clear my thoughts. Why are things so awkward all of a sudden? “Do you wanna hang out soon? There’s this college church party on Saturday, and I was thinking…”

“Sure. Send me the address and time. I’ll meet you there.”

“Kay.” I try not to seem excited. My stomach is lighter than air. Jeez, calm down, it’s only been 5 days. But I get to see her. I can’t wait.

 

Chapter Nine: The Trouble

The weather darkens. It was almost 90 degrees yesterday, but it’s clearly about to rain today. The perk of Arizona in the spring is the unpredictable weather—you never know what you’ll get.

I’m standing in the huge, busy church auditorium. College kids are laughing and drinking sodas and playing games around the room. I mix with the crowd, talking to friends, chatting with strangers, and now I’m watching some people play ping-pong. The whole time, my eye is on the door, wandering around the room, looking for her. It’s been two hours and I’m ready to leave. The sky is black and I see it beginning to rain. That’s when I see her, way across the room, standing awkwardly against the wall.

I practically run to her. My gut clenches, afraid of what she’ll do. She’s been so quiet lately… what did I do?

But her face lights up—slightly, but noticeably—when she sees me. I see her shoulders relax. “Hey, Angie.”

“Hey, Roro!” I can’t help but smile. “I’m glad you made it! Come on, let me show you my friends.”

“Can I hold your hand? It’s just that I don’t know anyone here.”

My heart flutters. “Absolutely.”

Her hand is smaller than mine, but they fit so well together. I lead her through the crows to some of my friends, who greet her. We talk about school and work and life. Inevitably, one of them asks what brought her to town.

“Was it about a boy?” Lizzy asks, wiggling her eyebrows. Manny elbows her.

Roro looks a little flustered, shakes her head. “Oh, no, no. Definitely not.”

Samantha nods and then notices that Roro and I are still holding hands. Is that disgust I see in her eyes, or is my insecurity imagining things?

But Roro and I let go and pull away.

“Are you dating anyone?” Lizzy asks. Typical nosy Liz.

“Oh, uh…” For a moment, she glances at me, flushes, looks away. “No.”

“Are you interested? Because there’s this guy I know—”

Manny rolls her eyes. “Just leave her alone, Lizzy.”

“I’m just saying. Look, if you’re interested in anyone, I’m here to give you some pointers.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Roro looks like she wants to eat her words before anyone can hear them. Too late.

“Oh, are you…” She looks at me, then Roro, then me, then Roro. I can see her connecting the dots, but she seems to also be in denial.

“I think we should go get some drinks,” I offer, and Roro looks relieved.

Before anyone can say anything, we make our way to the drink stand. We don’t hold hands this time.

“I’m sorry about her,” I say, handing her a root beer.

“It’s fine,” She pops it open and takes a swig. “There’s always one.”

Awkward silence. We watch the mingling college kids. You can tell who’s dating who. All heterosexual, of course. Perfectly fine, but I suddenly become aware of how odd we are in this environment. Not everyone is so invasive like Lizzy, thankfully. But…

I look at Roro, and she gets it. “I need some fresh air.”

“It’s raining—”

“It’s fine, I’ll be back in in a minute.”

She leaves, doesn’t want me to come with her. I let her go. 15 minutes pass, and I know something’s wrong.

 

Chapter Ten: The End of the Beginning

I have to shield my eyes from the rain, which I’m drenched in. But my heart is burning too hot to feel the cold. I have to yell over the thunder. “Are you okay?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did I do something?”

“No,” she’s pacing in the puddles, hands to head.

I summon the nerve. “Then why are you pulling away?”

She turns to me, and her face looks sad. “Because I love you. Not like a friend, I… I’m in love with you, Angie.”

It’s now that I realize we had been in love all along. She loves me in the same way I love her. “I love you, too.”

She’s crying, and she turns away from me. Tentatively, I approach her and lift my arm. Make a fist. Put my hand back down. I hear the tapping of the rain on the asphalt. My tears mix with the umami raindrops pouring down my face.

“You know it, too.” She turns to look at my soiled converse. “You know this is worthless. You know we can’t do this.”

Now I feel the cold. I nod. “I know.”

“Then why,” she sobs, eyes red, as she looks up at me. “Why am I feeling like this? Why would God let me love you if—”

“If He can’t allow it?” I finish, wiping my nose and sniffing.

She shakes her head, sniffing, and raises her hands to my face. Her hands are warm and soft against my cheeks. “But you’re so beautiful. So sweet.”

I’m a sobbing mess, too, as I place my hands over hers. “And you’re so… so…” I give a rueful laugh. “You’re a painting.”

She laughs, too, sniffs. “Of course you’d say that.”

We hug. A long hug. A soggy hug. The thunder recedes into the distance, the rain starts to die down. The tapping of rain slows to a drizzle. We’re still hugging.

Then we pull away.

She sniffs, wipes her eyes, though it just smears the water. “Now what?”

I shrug. “I don’t know. I love you, but we just can’t.”

“Are you going to leave?” Her voice is quiet, but she meets my eyes. Hers are sparkling onyx. “Should we end our friendship?”

“I don’t want to.”

“Neither do I.”

We stand there, awkwardly, like we did at our first meeting in the art store.

I inhale cold air. “It’s warmer inside.”

She nods. “Can we talk more later, after the party?”

“Definitely.”

She reaches out her hand, and I instinctively grab it. We walk back inside. This time, neither of us lets go.


Submitted: April 15, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Aia Bunny. All rights reserved.

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88 fingers

Very good story. The balance between their religious upbringing and their attraction towards each other.
In the end, I hope the heart wins out. That's what matters most.

Fri, April 16th, 2021 3:28am

Author
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Thank you very much! It's inspired by true events, actually. I left the end up for interpretation, though. :)

Wed, May 5th, 2021 10:04am

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