When she looked closely at Gail, whose fingers twisted nervously in the sheets, she felt like the other girl was working up to something so she gave her some time. She didn’t expect the honesty that she got.
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to be good enough for someone,” Gail said very quietly.
Gail’s instruction not to interrupt held her still for a long moment, that and the uncertainty of whether Gail was done speaking. But she couldn’t wait any longer, and the words bubbled out of her. “You are more than good enough. For whomever you choose. And maybe your mom can’t see that and your asshole exes didn’t see it, but you are smart and strong and funny and beautiful and sweet and ambitious.” Gail snorted at that. “No, don’t. It’s true. You pretend you aren’t because ambition is all your mom ever throws at you and you’re probably sick to death of it,” Gail lifted her shoulder in a non-committal shrug, eyes searching the small room in case somehow her mother was there and listening in. “But I know that you are top of your classes and I know you trained hard for that track meet because you wanted to beat the pants off anyone who thought they could win against you.”
“I did kick their butts,” Gail said softly.
“I know you did, sweetie.” She cupped Gail’s cheek and her heart gave a little stutter when the blonde leaned into the touch, just a little. “You were amazing.”
Gail opened her mouth. But nothing came out. Holly could see her natural instinct of shutting down, backing off, brushing it away, fight with something else and so she was surprised when Gail averted her eyes shyly and plucked at the blanket again. “Thanks,” she said, bashful, and Holly cursed inwardly when her heart stuttered again.
“My…my point is,” Holly said, clearing her throat, a flush creeping up her neck when Gail lifted a hand to curl around Holly’s wrist, her thumb brushing against her pulse. “Umm. My point is that you are more than good enough and you’re going to make someone really happy one day.”
“I hate people.” Holly grinned. “Ugh. Maybe I just like a person.” The way she said it, intrigued and maybe just a touch happy at the suggestion, sent Holly’s poor heart into full palpitations as she thought maybe Gail already had a person in mind and the organ thumped its way between jealousy and hope.
“Anyone I know?”
Gail gave her a sweet smile. “It was just a hypothetical, remember?”