The day after the funeral, Diana went back to school. She’d already missed two days and she could easily fall seriously behind if she stayed out - though that’s what she wanted to do more than anything.
Her grandma was gone.
She felt like she was walking through quicksand as she traveled from class to class. Her friends did their best to cheer her up, but even their cheery voices turned to muffles in her ears. Good thing she had thought ahead, realizing she probably wouldn’t be able to focus, because she’d come up with an idea and asked her professors if they cared. Thankfully, they didn’t, so she ended up recording her lectures for a few days so she could go over them when she could focus more.
On top of that, she knew what was coming - Malin was going to break up with her. She’d gotten accepted onto her show and would undoubtedly win; her babe was super talented. Between losing her grandma and her first love, she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to keep it together.
“Hey, baby,” Spencer said softly, opening the door and peeking his head in. “How’re you doing?” He came in and closed the door behind him, coming to sit on her bed. He knew his mother’s death would be hard on her, but he wasn’t aware of how much until now. “A lot on your mind?”
Her eyes were so heavy. All she wanted to do was sleep for a week or two, wake up, and have none of this ever happen. Putting down her pen and notebook, she rubbed at her eyes, attempting and failing to wipe the sleep away. “Yea,” she said, swallowing hard. “I miss grandma…I know we hadn’t seen in each other in a while before she…” she couldn’t say it yet. “But she used to read Harry Potter to me, and now she’s not here. And I can’t focus, so I’m falling behind in my classes, and on top of that Malin got onto her show, so she’s probably going to break up with me. I just…” Diana’s eyes flooded with tears that brimmed along her eyelids before finally running over. “Why does life have to be hard when you get older?”
Spencer brought his arm around her neck and brought her toward his chest. “I’m so sorry,” he said softly. “You said it yourself though. Grandma is always with you.” She just missed her so much. The idea that she’d never be able to hear her grandmother’s voice again broke her heart. Diana got her snark from her Daddy and namesake. As his daughter cried into his shoulder, he whispered into her hair. “I miss her too. So much.”
For a few moments, they sat there in silence. “When it comes to school, Dad and I meant it. Do the best you can. And when it comes to Malin, I’m sorry. I know it’s not easy to lose your first love.” Without thinking, she almost asked who his first love was, but she caught herself. She’d never want to bring up bad memories of Maeve. At least Malin wasn’t dying, she was just pursuing her dream. “Dad and I are here when you need us.”
“I’m supposed to meet up with Malin in a little bit to talk. I may grab Ben and Jerry’s on the way back to drown my sorrows. Should I bring some for you and Dad?”
He thought about it for a few moments, but then he figured he’d just lost his mother so he should be allowed to drown his sorrows in ice cream too. “Yea, peanut butter cup for Dad, obviously, and for me…mint chip.”
When Diana looked at her phone, she noted the time and decided to get going to see Malin. She knew what was coming and she just wanted to get it over with. “Okay, Daddy,” she said softly, giving him a hug as she headed toward the door. “I’ll see you later. Love you.”
“Love you, too, sweetheart.”
Instead of meeting at the ice cream place down the block as they’d originally planned, Malin asked if she could drive to the music store. Malin was going to pick up a new guitar. When Diana stepped inside, she took in the scent of new instruments. It was a smell she couldn’t really describe, but she did love it.
Malin turned to meet her gaze and gave her a strained smile. “Hey babe,” she said, giving her a soft peck on the lips.
“Hey.” Diana squeezed her hand. Neither one wanted to start out the conversation, but it had to be done, so Diana spoke up. “You’re leaving, right?”
As Malin nodded her head, the tears started to sting at her eyes. “This is what I’ve always wanted…I didn’t realize at the time…”
“That we would start dating?”
“Yea. Di, I’m so sorry.” She clasped her hand to her mouth as a sob bubbled up from her throat. “It’s just, I’ve always wanted to sing for a living, and I might actually get the chance, and…”
Diana brought her finger up to her girlfriend’s lips. “I would never want you to pick me over this,” she said honestly. And she did mean it. “I’d never want you to have any regrets.” Diana wanted only the best for Malin and this had always been her dream, so she knew that to ask her to stay would be unfair. “You’re gonna go on this show. I’m going to be watching from home and voting like crazy, and you’re totally gonna win because you are the most skilled guitarist I’ve ever seen and you have the voice of a rock angel. I do want you to know though…that you’ll always be my first love.”
They hadn’t actually said they loved each other yet. It was probably coming soon, but Diana wanted her to know how she felt even though it was over. “I love you, too,” she said, bringing her tear-stained face within inches of Diana’s. “So much. Thank you for not asking me to stay.”
Never. Diana couldn’t do that to her. As they looked around the store, Malin settled on a guitar, that was going to be a gift from her parents. Once she was finished with her purchase, the two stepped outside of the store. “We can continue to text right? And call?” Diana asked. Even if she wasn’t going to date her anymore, she still cared for Malin and wanted to be able to talk every now and then.
Malin nodded excitedly. “Absolutely.” She leaned in, and for another few moments, their foreheads rested against one another. But as time came to a close, Malin pressed her lips to Diana’s one last time. “I love you, Di.”
“I love you, too, Malin.” She felt the bile rising in her throat and she turned around quickly to go get ice cream - which was absolutely necessary. “And Malin? I meant what I said. I’m gonna be watching from home and forcing both my fathers to stay up late at night voting.” With a smile, they blew each other and parted ways. As sad as Diana was, Malin was going to live her dream; she couldn’t stand in the way of that.
Diana had wandered between her meeting with Malin, the grocery store, and back home, unable to focus very well. But after about an hour, she returned home, three pints of ice cream in hand. “How’d it go?” Luke asked. He’d returned home a bit earlier and had already been briefed by his husband on what was happening between Malin and Diana.
Immediately, he hopped up off the couch and wrapped his arms around Diana, who’d burst into tears. “I’m sorry.”
“I love her,” she said softly. “This hurts.”
“I know, baby, I know.” After a moment, he reached for the bag in her hands. “That’s what ice cream is for.”
She sat down in between them and pulled out a movie. “I need Elle Woods.” Legally Blonde never failed to make her smile. The move started and Diana told them both of her conversation with Malin.
“So we’re going to be up late at night voting for Malin?” Spencer asked.
“Yes. I promised.”
“I think we can handle that.” He smiled.
Diana hated this. Growing up. Losing people. None of it was fun. But thankfully, she had great fathers and great friends to help her through - well that, peanut butter cup ice cream and Elle Woods. But no matter how she felt right now, she’d make it through.
Forget about superpowers and magical weapons and all that shit, I’d choose to be reborn in an anime just so I could get those default Effortless Good Looks™ (including, but not limited to, Perfect Skin and Flawless Hair) tbh.