It’s the quiet moments that make her miss Arizona the most.
It’s the mornings where she wakes before the alarm and simply stares at the ceiling, waiting for the day to start. She never wakes Penny, never feeling the same pull to see her eyes open, or hear her voice murmur a sleepy greeting. It’s not the same, and she feels badly…but she just lays there, thinking of another person, another lifetime, letting the quiet wash over her as the early light filters in.
It’s the evenings when she’s home alone, Sofia already in bed, and the apartment rests in silence when she can’t find anything to watch on TV. She’ll pick up a book, or catch up on news online, but instead of the comfortable silence she used to feel with the blonde as they shared the couch, or the kitchen table, or pillows on the floor, all she feels is an oppressive, heavy stillness in the air. And it’s not that she’s simply lonely – because she finds that she doesn’t yearn for Penny to be there. She doesn’t feel the need to text her at work, or to slip on one of her sweatshirts. And she feels a little badly about that, too, but she can’t help it, and she can’t shake the feeling that something just isn’t right.
It’s when she gets Sofia into her pajamas and snuggles up before a bedtime story at night. When the little girl smiles and it looks so much like her mother in Seattle, and when she clutches her stuffed polar bear – a bear that was gifted before they moved and that comes home to New York twice a month smelling like the other woman, a bear that’s become a safety blanket in more ways than one, to more than just Sofia.
It’s when she watches their daughter in the bathtub, and her eyes trail over the pale, barely visible scar down the centre of her chest – the reminder of how she was born, and the reminder of how Arizona helped save her life. The reminder of how her mother helped save her life, and how she’s been protecting her with her entire being ever since. The reminder of everything they went through to become a family…and everything that was lost.
It’s when she’s walking through the park, looking for a bench she’ll never find in New York no matter how hard she looks. It’s when the rain falls on cool, grey, cloudy days – reminiscent of Seattle, but never the same.
It’s when all she needs is a hug and there’s no one to give it because she’ll never ask, and Penny never seems to sense it. Arizona always knew, and Callie misses that.
She misses Arizona.
She has everything she thought she wanted – the life she imagined, away from a decade of memories. The life she thought would finally take her away and make her feel whole again. She has Sofia, and she has Penny, and she has it all.
But in the quiet moments, the moments that seem to grow more and more frequent the longer she’s away instead of the opposite, there’s only one thing Callie thinks about, only one thing she wants more than anything – one person.