Photograph by Faye Thomas, Story by Ben Fenlon
Lily could not believe her eyes, no matter how many times she put Danni’s electric toothbrush back in the cup holder; she would not get the message. Does she not realise how long it takes to scrub those scummy toothpaste stains off? Grabbing her scouring pad, Lily went to war with the multiple white rings scattered around the sink.
Catching herself in the mirror, Lily could see that her face was scrunched up with annoyance. She hated getting worked up about these things, but she couldn’t help it. The toothbrush belongs in the cup holder, how hard is that to understand?
Maybe she could be straight with Danni? Lily imagined confronting her. She would sit her down; look in to those deep blue eyes, trying to not get distracted as Danni played with her long sandy brown hair… It was no good, how could she stay mad at her? She was gorgeous.
They had met on the internet six months ago. Lily wanted someone local for something long-term, she had tried long-distance before; it never worked. Danni was looking for a trustworthy and reliable person; she had been let down too many times in the past.
They first met at Danni’s place, which broke Lily’s first rule about always meeting someone in a public place. But something about Danni’s profile picture and the sound of her voice over the phone made her think that she could trust her. It felt like she had been waiting her whole life to meet Danni. They immediately bonded over their love of goat videos on YouTube and bad cheese puns. Danni could have Lily laughing so hard she wouldn’t need to do her ab exercises for weeks. That’s what she loved most about her, her sense of humour.
It had only been six months, but Lily was already planning their lives together. Danni was going to be the one to propose. As support there would be a flashmob of dancers, a miniature pony and a goat, there has to be a goat. The video of the proposal would go viral, being shared by thousands of people online as they all laugh at the goat head-butting one of the dancers causing the miniature pony to get spooked and run off pulling down the giant banner with ‘Will you marry me?’ painted across it. Lily smirked at the idea of a miniature pony trotting away as fast as it could with those tiny stumpy legs.
Whilst the proposal was a grand affair, the wedding would be a simpler event. Just friends and family at a civil ceremony in the backyard, followed by a BBQ and a giant buffet, because Lily loved buffets and Danni would do anything to make her happy.
They would then live happily ever after with their Alsatian, two cats and their goat in the backyard, there has to be a goat.
Lily looked at the clock on the wall; Danni was due back nearly an hour ago. Maybe she was stuck in traffic because of the snow?
Lily walked to the window and stared out at the snow cursing it for keeping her away from the woman of her dreams. What else could she do to keep herself occupied? She had already arranged the toiletries in height order and then rearranged them alphabetically.
Her mind wandered looking at the backyard. Was there enough room for a goat? Should the goat come in the house if it snows? If it’s in the house will it eat all the underwear? That might not be a bad thing as there are a few pairs of ‘comfortable’ undies that Danni could do with chucking, the goat would be welcome to them. Maybe she could ‘accidentally’ dispose of them, in the garden, in that hole near the tree. The same hole she had used to hide that broken vase Danni hadn’t noticed was missing yet.
Spotting footprints in the snow, Lily was snapped out of her daydream, this could only mean one thing. Lily darted to the hallway. Danni was stood in the doorway, looking angelic like a snow angel had picked itself off the ground and wandered in. Yes, she had traipsed in snow and sludge all over the carpet, but Lily could forgive her that, this time.
‘I wasn’t expecting to see you Lily; I thought you’d be gone.’
Lily smiled. Should she play it cool or run over and kiss her?
‘Actually, it’s good that you’re here, I’ve a surprise.’ Danni reached in to her pocket.
Lily could feel her heart pounding in her chest, was this going to be it? Was Danni about to propose? It certainly wasn’t going to be a proposal that would break the internet, unless of course the flashmob, miniature pony and goat were hiding behind the curtains.
‘I saw this goat key ring in town and thought of you.’ Danni looked impressed with her purchase.
Lily’s heart sank; this wasn’t exactly the ring she had imagined. Taking the key ring from Danni’s soft hands, Lily tried to hide her disappointment.
‘Thank you, I love it.’ Lily gazed in to Danni’s eyes, smitten.
After what felt like an eternity for Lily, Danni broke away from the stare. 'All done?’
Lily reluctantly nodded.
‘Thanks Lily. So see you in two weeks?’
This was the part that Lily hated the most.
‘Is there anything I need to get?’
A dejected Lily looked at her feet. ‘There’s a list in the kitchen. You’re mainly out of toilet bleach and polish.’
‘No worries, I’ll have all that ready for you.’
Lily slowly edged towards the door, hoping that at any moment Danni would ask her to stay. Danni remained silent. Lily opened the door, the bright white snow out in front of her was blinding, as if she was walking towards a bright light away from her happy ending. She stepped outside.
Lily froze; she knew that Danni must have been joking about the key ring.
'Sorry about those toothpaste marks.'