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Merely A Madness

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It wasn’t Rosalind’s idea to go to a haunted house. Honestly, she would have much prefered to spend Halloween watching movies and cuddling with her boyfriend and girlfriend. But Phoebe insisted that they celebrate and that since both Rosalind and Orlando were new to the neighborhood, she had to take them to the scariest haunted house. Apparently for Phoebe and all the other folks of Arden, visiting Jacques's Haunted Mansion was a tradition. Plus, Phoebe added, Audrey and Touchstone would also be there. Rosalind eventually agreed and Orlando boldly insisted that he would protect both his girlfriends. Phoebe grinned with an alarming gleam in her eyes.

That was how, at 1 in the morning, Rosalind was carrying her boyfriend, bridal style, in her arms back home. Phoebe was walking by her side, happily humming, as she played with the edges of her trim on her skirt. Most houses still had their decorations up, but the lights were off. The streets were practically empty, children and adults alike having gone to bed.

Rosalind stopped suddenly, sighing loudly as she placed Orlando on the floor, as gently as possible. Phoebe, seeing her girlfriend stopped, paused and backtracked.

“What’s up doc?” she asked, skipping over. Despite the hour, the Asian girl’s makeup still looked impeccable, her highlighter shining in the dim light cast off by lamp posts.

Rosalind groaned and looked down at Orlando.

“I just had to put him down for a sec. I cannot carry him for more than like ten minutes,” she said.

Phoebe giggled, hiding her grin behind her hand.

“Do you want to try?” Rosalind insisted, pointing at their collapsed and unconscious boyfriend.

Phoebe raised her eyebrows.

“I am barely taller than him!” she squealed. Still, she crouched down and attempted to pick him up. She raised him a few inches into the air, before she began to wobble. Rosalind quickly intervened and carefully laid him back down. After doing so, she sat down on the pavement and Phoebe soon copied her.

“Why did you take us to that damn haunted house?” Rosalind groaned, leaning back to lie down on the ground.

“Well it was fun. . .” Phoebe asserted, peering at Rosalind. “Wasn’t it?” Her voice wavered on the last question, her brown eyes staring hopefully at her girlfriend.

Rosalind grinned despite herself.

“It was fun,” she admitted. “That dude who dressed up as Pennywise scared the living daylights out of me!”

Phoebe shivered, but smiled. “That guy was sooooo spooky.”

“And then Orlando fainted,” Rosalind continued, rolling her eyes.

“How was I supposed to know that all he had today was coffee?” Phoebe shot back.

“Yesterday.”

“What?”

“All he had yesterday was coffee,” Rosalind corrected. “It’s already tomorrow now. It’s like 1:06 AM.”

Phoebe groaned. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow, I don’t care. It’s Halloween.”

“It was Halloween.”

“Uggggggghhhhhhhhh.”

The two girls sat in silence for a while, staring at Orlando’s chest, slowly rising and falling.

Rosalind looked up at her girlfriend and reached out her hand. She poked Phoebe, who glanced up in surprise. She scooted closer to the other girl and leaned against her shoulder. Rosalind softly took Phoebe’s hand, tracing the wrinkles on her open palm.

Then after a moment, “I had fun tonight.”

“Really?” Phoebe said, looking up at the starry sky.

“Yeah. It was fun and cool. Pretty different from the big amusement parks where I’m from.”

“So you liked it?” Phoebe asked, her voice suddenly quivering with uncertainty. “Because I just wanted you to have a good time. I wanted us to have a good time. And I didn’t mean for Orlando to faint. . . I just wanted your first Halloween here to be a good one.”

Rosalind didn’t say anything for a moment and Phoebe sighed, pulling her hand away from the other girl. She was about to stand up when Rosalind started laughing. Cocking her head in confusion, Phoebe turned to her girlfriend who pulled her closer and gave her a peck upon the lips.

“I had fun, Phoebe,” Rosalind said, leaning back in for another kiss.

When they broke away she continued, “It didn’t go how I thought it would go-”

Rosalind kissed her girlfriend again. “But I still had fun.”

And another kiss.

“I always have fun when I’m with you.”

Phoebe grinned and grabbed the side of Rosalind’s face, sucking at her lips and twining her hands in her hair. They finally broke away, panting, a warm blush on each of their cheeks.

“I love you, Rose,” Phoebe blurted out. Realizing what she said, she turned away, fiddling with her hands. There was another silence, where Rosalind just stared at her girlfriend.

“Phoebe.” The shorter girl turned back. “I love you too.”

Phoebe grinned, lips curving up in a real smile. She moved forward and wrapped Rosalind in a bear hug, rocking back and forth in happiness.

“Awwwww. You guys are too sweet. I love both of you too.”

Both girls quickly separated and stared at their boyfriend.

“Orlando-” Phoebe started.

“How long have you been awake?” Rosalind demanded, brushing the grit off her jeans as she stood up.

“Maybe. . . since we left the haunted house?” the boy hinted, pushing himself to his feet.

Phoebe took a few steps back, a shit-eating grin covering her face.

Rosalind placed her hands on her hips, raising her eyebrows.

“Orlando Roman de Bois. Do you mean to tell me that not only have I been carrying you throughout the entire haunted house and down at least six blocks but you have also been listening to us arguing about you without saying anything?!” Rosalind demanded, stepping closer to the sheepish boy.

He grinned at her and jumped up onto his tiptoes to quickly kiss his girlfriend. “Yes?”

Rosalind let out an audible groan, unable to keep a smile from forming.

“You’re lucky that you’re so cute, Mister de Bois.”

Orlando laughed. “You mean Mister Senior hyphen Shepherd hyphen de Bois.”

“Oh you,” Rosalind started, moving forward to tickle the short boy.

Orlando squealed in terror and dashed away, hiding behind Phoebe. The two ran around their girlfriend, stuck in a stalemate, until Phoebe darted to Orlando and blocked his path. He ran into her and was immediately caught by Rosalind who began to tickle his sides.

“Nooooooo,” he wailed as Phoebe began to join in.

The three all laughed as they collapsed on the floor, giggling. Eventually, they all stood up and continued on their way back to Rosalind’s home. They all trudged upstairs and changed into pajamas before cramming into the same bed. After spending a few minutes fighting over the blankets, all three began to rest, calming down from their sugar highs.

All in all, it was a pretty great Halloween.