don't lose hope

A Hundred Days After

By Cassie Bones

It takes five days for Alex’s humiliation to dissipate enough for her to return to the bar. Maggie is there, already waiting by the pool table. When she sees Alex, she smiles, but Alex can see the hesitation in her eyes even when she smiles back. So she takes several steps forward and wraps her arm around Maggie. Her heart hurts, but she knows that it would be a thousand times worse if she lost Maggie as a friend, the same way she lost Vicky all those years ago. Maggie practically melts into her, pressing her cheek to Alex’s shoulder. Alex feels all the air leave her lungs and she fights back her own sigh of relief as she holds Maggie tighter. She tries to ignore the way Maggie’s perfume makes her hair stand on end.

Just friends, she thinks to herself. That’s all they are.

Fifteen days after, Vicky Donahue reenters her life. She’s a defense attorney now and Alex isn’t the least bit surprised. Vicky was always so goddamn smart. She’s going up against Maggie, defending a client accused of a hate crime against an alien, which pisses Maggie off to no end. Alex can relate.  

Still, she feels her heart flutter the first time they come face to face after so many years apart. Vicky instantly recognizes her and offers her an uneasy smile, like she’s not sure if she should be happy about seeing Alex again or cautious. When Alex smiles openly back at her, Vicky seems to relax and they start the process of catching up. Alex has no idea if she should be pleased to learn that Vicky had felt the same about her when they were kids in high school—especially when Maggie gets upset about their ‘obvious flirting’. Alex tries to deny it, but can’t help but feel the tiniest bit excited at the prospect of romance.

She tells herself that it has nothing to do with the green she can see in Maggie’s eyes.

When she asks Vicky out for a drink, she says yes. Suddenly, Alex is a nervous wreck. She goes through her entire closet for something—anything—to wear. Everything she tries on is too casual or too fancy or too feminine or too masculine. She has no idea how to dress for a date with a woman. She nearly picks up the phone to call Maggie, but then thinks better of it. They’re friends, yes, but they’re not that kind of friend. It’s too soon. Besides, she still has a problem with Vicky.

So she calls Kara and Kara calls Wynn and Wynn helps her pick out a dress that he assures her looks 'knockout’ on a girl as hot as her. He receives glares from both of the Danvers sisters, but Alex can’t help but feel pleased when she looks at her reflection in the mirror. She does look hot.

Vicky thinks so, too. They go out for dinner; somewhere nice, but casual. They catch up on all the things they’ve missed since high school. Alex finds out that Vicky had been just as terrified to come out of the closet as she had. Her parents reaction hadn’t be entirely accepting. Her mother had come around, but her father still refused to speak to her, even at holidays. Alex holds her hand on the table and apologizes, profusely, for the things she’d said when things went wrong. Vicky gives her that smile and squeezes her hand, forgiving her.  

They kiss against Vicky’s door when Alex walks her home and there’s this light inside her heart, threatening to engulf her. Vicky is so soft and warm and just…beautiful. She’s so beautiful. But when Vicky invites her inside, Alex says no. She’s not quite ready for that step yet.  

It’s thirty days after and she and Vicky have gone on five dates and have had dinner with Kara. Twice. One of those dinners is interrupted by the DEO, but Alex tells Vicky that she has an issue at the lab. Kara makes up some kind of breaking news story that she has to cover for CatCo. They run out, leaving Vicky confused.

“You know, you’re going to have to tell her eventually,” Kara says as they fight, side by side.  

“It’s too soon,” Alex replies, with a grunt. “We haven’t even…it’s just too soon.” Kara, thankfully, drops it. But it hangs in the air, nonetheless. Alex has to tell her mother about Vicky. About…her.  

Forty-five days after, Alex comes out to her mother. Eliza takes a long moment to process and in that time, Alex feels herself run through the entire spectrum of human emotion until she feels entirely exhausted. Finally, Eliza hugs her daughter tight and tells her that she’ll love her no matter what. Also, she insists that Alex and Vicky have her over for dinner when they’re ready.  

They never get that dinner.

Fifty days after, Vicky receives a job offer in Gotham and takes it before she even tells Alex. Alex is, understandably, upset, but turns down Vicky’s offer to come live with her. Kara tells her that she should go if it’s what she really wants and Hank assures her that they’ll find a way to make it work with the DEO. Alex thanks them for their support, but insists that she really does not want to go, not even to be with Vicky. To her, that means that their relationship isn’t as strong as she’d once thought it was.  

She breaks it off with Vicky the day before she’s set to leave and they share one last, bittersweet kiss. “Stay safe,” Vicky tells her, as they say their final goodbyes.  

“You too,” Alex whispers to her closed door.  

She heads straight for the bar, where Maggie is once again setting up at the pool table. Their relationship had grown a little strained while Alex dated Vicky, what with them being on opposite sides of the law, but as soon as Maggie sees her, she offers a consoling smile. An “I know that look” kind of smile and offers to buy Alex a drink. Alex accepts and they play pool like nothing ever happened.

It’s seventy-five days after when Maggie’s life is put in danger. Neither of them have spoken about the chemistry between them that grows each and every day. Neither of them talks about how their flirting has grown more frequent and bolder even. Neither of them acknowledges the longing looks across the pool table or the shivers that run down their spines every time their hands or thighs touch at the bar. They pretend that their hearts don’t flutter every time they meet at a crime scene. Alex pretends that her world cracks a little bit when she sees Maggie hurt, lying prone on the floor. She pretends that the sigh of relief she lets out when she feels Maggie’s pulse is because she didn’t lose a friend; not because she didn’t lose the woman that she…

Alex pretends that she visits Maggie’s hospital room every day just to keep her from getting bored. She pretends that her heart doesn’t light up with joy every time she sees that smile on her lips or the way Maggie’s eyes crinkle as the dimples in her cheek pop. She pretends that she had no idea that Maggie’s favorite flowers were marigolds when she brings them to 'brighten up your hospital room a little bit’. Maggie pretends she believes it all.  

When she’s out of the hospital, Alex takes it upon herself to help Maggie out for a few days. She makes dinner for Maggie and helps her with her groceries as Maggie limps around on crutches, her foot encased in a clunky cast. They cuddle on the couch and watch sappy romantic comedies that make Alex gag, but Maggie loves them so she suffers just to see her smile. When Maggie falls asleep against her shoulder, feet propped up on the coffee table, Alex tries to ignore the shiver that runs down her spine or the glowing warmth that spreads from the left side of her body, where Maggie’s nose is pressed against her neck.

When the cast comes off, nothing changes. Except Maggie can now carry half of the groceries (Alex still insists on helping her, because the cop’s eating habits are ridiculously unhealthy without her around).  

One night, they fall asleep on the couch and when they wake up, Maggie is slung across Alex’s body, with Alex’s arms wrapped around her waist. It’s past midnight by then and Maggie insists that Alex just stay over. Neither of them really has work in the morning and they were planning to go to the park together, anyway. Alex reluctantly agrees and Maggie helps her stand, interlocking their fingers as she tugs Alex towards her bedroom. Alex’s eyes widen and her face heats, but she doesn’t resist.  

Maggie’s bedroom is…nice. The walls are a deep blue, which is calming. Her bedspread is dark gray and her bed is big and covered in pillows. Letting go of Alex’s hand, she collapses into it and crawls up to lay on the left side, her head pressed into the pillow as her body relaxes. After a long moment, she turns to look back at Alex, who hasn’t budged. Maggie smiles at her and motions, wordlessly, for Alex to join her. She pats the right side of the bed and Alex takes a deep breath before walking around and, cautiously—oh so cautiously—laying herself down on top of the covers. Maggie snorts and smiles at her, laying on her side so that she faces Alex. Alex mirrors her and, somehow, their hands meet in the middle.

They fall asleep like that.

When they wake up, their hands are no longer entwined, but their bodies are. Like before, Maggie’s body is slung over Alex’s in the center of her bed. Her head is tucked under Alex’s chin and her lips are open against Alex’s neck; not moving, but Alex can feel the vibration when Maggie snores. She snores so loud that she wakes herself up and Alex can’t help but snort at that, laughing harder at Maggie’s sleepy glare.

“What’re you laughing at?” she slurs.

“You snore really loudly,” Alex informs her, receiving a swat on the arm.  

“No I don’t,” she grumbles, then snuggles back in, forgetting herself for a moment. Alex’s face is red when Maggie pulls away again, suddenly aware of what just happened. They stare at each other for a long moment and Alex’s heart speeds up exponentially when she catches Maggie’s eyes flickering down to her lips before meeting hers once again.

Then the dam breaks.  

Neither of them know who moves first, but suddenly Maggie is on her back with Alex leaning over her, lips pressed together, hands buried in Maggie’s curls as Maggie’s press against her spine, trying to bring their bodies closer together. She pauses when she feels wetness on her cheeks and pulls her lips from Alex’s, searching her eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

Alex shakes her head and sniffles. “This,” she says, swallowing thickly. Maggie almost backs off, but then Alex continues. “This is how it’s supposed to feel.” Maggie melts and feels tears well up in her own eyes as she pulls Alex back down, reattaching their lips as they continue to roll around in her bed.  

When things start to heat up, Alex finally pulls away, shaking her head.  

“I-I’m not ready,” she tells Maggie. “I’m not ready for that. Not yet.”

“You and Vicky never…”  

Alex shakes her head. “It was never the right time,” she admits. “Our relationship was…” she trails off, shaking her head. “I-I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize,” Maggie says, gently, cupping her cheeks until Alex meets her eyes. She gives her a smile. “You’re worth waiting for.” Alex smiles and almost starts to cry again, but instead presses her lips hotly against Maggie’s. They spend their 'park day’ making out in bed, only venturing out for food at around noon.

Ninety days after, Alex is ready to take the next step. Afterwards, she feels…different. Not in a bad way, though. In the best way possible.  

She initiates round two. And three.  

A hundred days after, Alex is the first to say it.

They’re lounging on the couch in Alex’s apartment. Alex is wearing shorts and a tank top and Maggie is wearing one of Alex’s bigger shirts. They’re fighting over the remote when Maggie suddenly pokes her in the side and finds out that her girlfriend is ticklish when Alex lets out the most adorable squeal. She continues to tickle Alex as Alex continues to squeal and giggle and snort. Alex fights back, though, using her size to flip them over on the couch, wiggling her fingers up and down Maggie’s sides until it’s her turn to shriek with laughter. After a few breathless moments, the detective admits defeat and Alex sits up, straddling her as she raises her arms in victory, whooping.  

Maggie rolls her eyes. “You’re such a dork,” she says, affectionately. Alex grins at her as she leans down, pressing her lips to Maggie’s. Maggie doesn’t complain, sighing into the taller woman’s mouth as she wraps her arms around Alex’s shoulders.  

When she pulls back, Alex’s heart feel so full that it could burst at any second, so she does the only thing that she can think to do. “I love you,” she sighs, nuzzling Maggie’s nose. Maggie freezes and Alex pulls back to look her in the eyes, her heart seizing a little at the tears in her girlfriend’s eyes. She’s about to take it back, to say that it was just the heat of the moment, when Maggie pulls her back down, presses their lips together harder than ever before.  

It takes less than a minute for Maggie to say the words right back.

It might take me some time. But I’m going to move forward. I’m going to overcome. I’m going to educate myself. I’m going to grow stronger. I’m not going to live my life in fear.
—  Affirmation of the day.
One by one they slowly fade away. Don’t hope. Don’t hope for a even minute that they won’t. They all do.
—  another-broken-hello
Don’t lose hope, love. Once you’ve lost that, you’ve lost everything.
—  Mrs Potts (Belle’s Magical World)

Despues de 20 años mi mami Por fin pudo viajar a Mexico!!! I’m soooo blessed to finally witness this moment where my mother and her mother can walk together side by side en la tierra donde nacio💕 to my brothers and sisters who also have undocumented parents don’t ever lose hope!! Si se puede !! ✊🏽🇲🇽

Conversations with my Kid

Me: “So…a new president was elected.  It was the big bully I didn’t want to get in.”

Kiddo: “Yeah I know. I watch Newsround at school.”

Me: “Yeah…basically what happened is Voldemort got elected because some people thought Dumbledore was just as bad.”

Kiddo: “That’s dumb. We’ll call the lady who lost ‘The Nice One’ from now on and the big Jerk Lord Voldemort…no wait. Tom Riddle.  To remind us that we can be more powerful then him no matter what.”

Me: *stunned*

Now that’s cute and all but I want you to understand how brave my 7 year old is with that.  I’ll say it here because Kiddo has given me permission.  Kiddo is non-binary.  They have been saying things to suggest it since they were 3 but at the beginning of this year they told me they were a ‘boygirl’ and that they ‘felt like a boy and a girl smooshed together’ we have since settled on the technical term of ‘bi-gender’ but use ‘boygirl’ at home. 

They are in the process of coming out at school and as I said have given me consent to talk about it here.  They are aware that people are closed minded, mean and bullies..and they have said they ‘will not lose to bullies’

To be honest I would probably never have come out as Genderfluid if my kid hadn’t come out to me first. Their bravery gave me to the courage to do so.

But there’s more to it then that.  

You come into that as well. 

Tumblr is a place where I learned about terms like bi-gender and gender fluid.  It’s a place where I was about to find pictures of people breaking gender barriers and expressing their non-binary identity and share it with my child.

You made my child feel like they weren’t alone.  I’ve seen them grow and open up as they expressed sides of themselves that they admitted they had kept hidden for fear of teasing and become happier more whole. 

Now kiddo understand that the president elect (at the moment) of the country one of their parents is from…is a the type of bully that would hate them. Who would be one of the people trying to get them to be a boy even though it causes my child great distress to be labelled as such. Kiddo understands that…and kiddo is saying “I can be more powerful then him”

I am learning bravery from my 7 year old…and I’m learning it from all of you.  I’m incredibly privileged in that I don’t currently live in the United States. I have permanent residency in England. I will do what little I can to help but I am removed from the worst of it.  Many of you are living in it and are far more vulnerable than I am but I see you saying “We’re not giving up, we’re not disappearing, we’re going to keep fighting” and I am blown away by how strong and powerful you all are.

In spite of all the darkness at the moment in the world you guys give me hope for the future. I will support you in any way I can as you take back the world from the idiots, bullies and liars.

Because you guys are amazing.