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Operation: Getting Down The Tree

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Holly was in her car, unable to leave the parking lot. She sighed, her hands glued to the steering wheel. Walking away from Gail has been exhausting. It took all her willpower to not look behind her and wrap Gail into a comforting embrace. She tried not to cry but now, in the safety of her car, she couldn't take it anymore. The way Gail had looked, the things she'd said; all the words unspoken in her eyes. It was too much. The cop seemed so... desperate. Her blue eyes were drab and Holly could see the muffled pain in them.

Enough Holls; she told herself, then wiped her tears and took a deep breath.

This is why you chose to be with Nora instead of Gail. This is the reason why you called her even when your previous date in the Penny hadn't been so great, even if you haven't spoken to her in nearly two months; because things are not complicated with her, because she is not complicated.

Holly knew that using Nora as a rebound wasn't very nice. Plus, it wasn't in Holly's nature. She had always hated how people fooled one another in order to feel better. It was selfish and cruel. But she needed someone between Gail and her. She needed a barrier; otherwise it would be too easy to fall for the blonde, again. And Holly couldn't let that happen.
So, she had made up her mind and stopped calling Gail three weeks ago. She avoided contact and even forbade herself to think about her, about her smile, about the taste of her lips...

"C'mon..." whispered Holly.

It wasn't the time to flinch. She had to keep going. She had to be with Nora and forget Gail. She had to be rational. Holly had always been confident and together in her choices. She couldn't go back to Gail, no matter what she said. Gail wasn't mature enough; she had to learn how to live with others, how to talk and share feelings instead of running away. She had to grow as an adult before consider growing in a relationship. Holly wasn't strong enough to stand by Gail during the process.

That was because of Lilah, another straight girl who had turned Holly's world upside down. It was the same scenario; she was a beautiful new intern during Holly's residency, witty and full of surprises. She had red hair and brown eyes. Those kinds of eyes which made your legs shake and your heart skip a beat. Holly fell for her within a few months. She didn't want to but the attraction was too strong.

So one day, Holly couldn't take it. She kissed her. And Lilah kissed her back.

At first, everything was great. They were in a sort of honeymoon: happiness and a lot of sex. Holly was in a bubble of joy and recklessness. She helped Lilah to figure out her feelings and to break the news to her friends. She gave her time and space when she needed. She even took her in her first gay pride. Everything was great, Lilah was finally coming undone.
But, the week before telling her parents about her having a girlfriend, she freaked out. She denied Holly, told her that she hadn't had any felling for her. That she was just caught in the moment and never realized that she was making a great mistake. So she blamed Holly. She accused her of changing her into someone she couldn't even recognize.

Holly was destroyed. So she promised herself that she would only date women who were sure of their feelings. That's why she couldn't be with Gail; even if it's slowly killing her. She didn't want to take the risk of being devastated again.

Yet, even all her rational motivations couldn't erase Gail's words. Holly's breath caught in her throat when she heard them again, "I don't want end up a sad sorry woman who threw away the most wonderful person she has ever met."

Holly closed her eyes. She remembered the look in Gail's eyes; the pain, barely hidden, the desire to tell her something more, something to make her stay. She could see that Gail was making efforts. But Holly didn't want to be patient anymore. If Gail wanted her back, she had to fight for her. She had to open up to more people, not only her. She had to accept her feelings and stop hiding her behind this wall of sarcasm. She had to stop running and leaving every time she was scared.

Holly didn't want to turn Gail into another person just to make their relationship work. She just hoped that Gail could be someone more at ease with her feelings, more confident and loquacious. And to do so, Gail needed time and space.

Footsteps interrupted the course of Holly's thoughts. She was still in 15 Division's parking lot; and she didn't want run into a familiar face. Not in this state, with her eyes reddened by tears. Worst, she didn't want Gail to see her like that. She couldn't let her see how vulnerable she made her. Not after today. So she turned on the ignition and left.