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Hello Neighbor!

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As much as Kimberly and Trini loved the hustle and bustle of living in downtown San Diego, a two bedroom apartment and a kindergartner was starting to feel a bit cramped. They wanted to move to the suburbs and really settle down in a forever home, it would be so nice to have more space and not have to pay rent. A mortgage sucked, but, so did a lot of things in adulthood. Reefside provided a new chapter in their lives, while San Diego was great it was time to move on from their after college trying to make it phase of life.

Kimberly worked downtown, she was a big player in the San Diego Padres marketing team. Her commute wasn’t unbearable and her job came with a lot of perks. Trini was just hired to be an English teacher at a prestigious co-ed non-religious private school by the name of Eastland Academy. She was comfortable at the high school level and was excited to be given such an amazing opportunity...more importantly, as an employee...their daughter received a benefit of going to such a place for free. All in all, the Gomez-Hart family were set. They could live comfortably, and quietly in the suburbs.

June Gomez, Trini’s mother, was the first to come to San Diego and help the couple pack everything they needed in boxes. Decorating the new house was something Kimberly was extremely excited for, especially when June started to take her daughter in law to the container store. Yeah, Trini did not miss that place. June could have Kim for hours if it meant Trini didn’t have to go. Since they only lived in a two bedroom, the hardest part about moving their belongings was getting their bigger pieces down from the fifth floor to the waiting UHAUL truck.

Emma for one was the most excited about the move. As much as she liked the apartment, she was thrilled to have a yard with grass and an opportunity to meet kids on her block. Emma was only five but she knew with these many families around their had to be kids. June, Ted Hart, Kimberly, and Trini’s brothers Michael and Gabe were all inside. The women were more than happy to tell the men where couches went and would use the twins strength to set up things around the house. Trini kept an eye on Emma, while she continued to take boxes out of the back of the truck and stack them in the garage. Her little girl was having fun drawing on the sidewalk with pink chalk. She had an absolute obsession with drawing birds, pretty phoenix’s with an everlasting flame.

Kimberly came outside to check on how her wife was doing, and also needing a little bit of a break from the chaos of organizing a house with her in-laws...and her dad. “I will say, your mom has a way of getting shit done”

“Hey, if anyone is an expert at moving around the country it is the Gomez family” Trini laughed, not missing the days of moving from place to place as a kid. “This is it though” Her smile only widened, all of their hard work was finally paying off. This was the dream that had set out for during their senior year of college...a place to settle, a place to grow old together. Trini could close her eyes and picture what it would be like to host Christmas, or Thanksgiving. Their extended families, maybe one day Emma would have a special someone to bring home to her moms.

Kimberly leaned forward to kiss her wife, “This is it” This was their home.

“Mama! Mom!” Emma’s small voice popped the bubble of domestic bliss. The two women saw their five year old holding the hands of a little blonde girl….that was new….where did she come from?

Trini craned her neck to look down one side of the street, and the other. Shouldn’t someone be watching her? Or walking her on a leash. She had heard that was a thing some suburban parents do to keep their kids near them.

“Who’s this?” Kimberly asked, eyeing her wife next to her. She was supposed to be watching Emma after all and now...now there were two little girls.

“This is my new friend Gia” Emma hadn’t stopped smiling. She lived on Harwood street for a total of like 10 seconds and she had already met someone. Their daughter was growing up so fast, too fast.

“I live down the street” With her free hand the little blonde girl pointed to a house five down and one across the street.

“Do your parents know that you’re here?” Trini asked, her maternal instincts kicking in. When the blonde girl shrugged her shoulders, Trini took that to mean her parents absolutely did not know and could be panicking worried sick about her whereabouts. “Okay looks like we’re going to meet the neighbors”

Kimberly didn’t seem to be phased by that, however she went back into the house for a short moment to ‘tell the others where they were going’ more like, she wanted to check her reflection to see if she looked good enough for a first impression. After all, they were the new family in town and suburbs...that was an entirely new game.

The two mothers walked behind the two little girls, making sure that Gia and Emma actually looked both ways before crossing the street. Kimberly whispered to her wife as they approached the house, “Do we knock? Or do we like...let her go inside?”

“I think we should knock” Trini deducted, after all the three of them were completely strangers to this little girl’s parents.

“Oh that’s okay” Gia headed right to the front door, opening it with ease and stepping inside her place. “Mooom?” She called out into the living room. Emma was about to follow her new friend, but was held back by Trini. They shouldn’t go into a strangers house unless an adult invited them in.

“Gia! Jesus, you little shit! Where have you been!?” Oh that did not sound happy. Trini wasn’t a fan of the woman who grabbed her daughter by the arm a little rougher than she’d like. If the door wasn’t wide open…upon seeing that she had company, her back straightened up. Trini could practically feel the hairs stand up on her neck as she heard bones crack.

The tall slender woman, her thick black hair tightly pulled back into a ponytail, smiled in the direction of the unfamiliar family. “You must be the new neighbors” Piercing green eyes stared into Trini’s soul. Suddenly it felt cold, and they were still standing outside. “I see you’ve met my daughter”

“Can Emma play with me?” Gia asked, her eyes still carried the innocence of a child. “We have Frozen on dvd. It’s my favorite movie”

“Can I stay and watch a movie?” Emma asked hopefully, tugging on Kimberly’s shirt. Trini’s instincts said no, but, it would be a lot easier to unpack if they didn’t have to worry about their daughter getting in the way.

“Uh” Kimberly blinked, she could feel the pressure of Gia’s mother, “Sure sweetie”

“Come in, let me get you something to drink” The woman motioned for the other two moms to come follow her to the kitchen, “I have some lemonade, you ladies could use a break from all that heavy lifting”

Kimberly and Trini sat at the kitchen table, for what it was worth. Gia and her mother did live in a lovely home, their furniture looked much nicer than what the two girls were bringing in from San Diego. Trini eyed Kimberly to say something, but the other one looked at her and shrugged, what was there to say? They both were intimidated by their new neighbor.

While her back was turned away, pouring drinks, “You can call me Rita. Mrs. Moran is too formal” She laughed, darkly, to herself. “When we got the divorce, I kept his last name. Oh it pisses him off to no end.” She brought the two glasses to the table, thankfully something to drink to keep them busy during this fun chat. “Lousy son of a bitch” Rita here must not have many friends if she was willing to spill that upon a first meeting. “So, you’re a couple” She craned her neck to the side, “Mm, so, UHAULING it?”

“It’s not actually...UHAULING when you’re married” Trini explained carefully, wanting to throw marriage. It was a good social test to see who actually was accepting of their relationship and who wasn’t. Kimberly lowly chuckled to herself, drinking lemonade so she didn’t have to speak.

“Right, it’s been so long” Rita chuckled to herself, “I was a lesbian in college” A pause, “It didn’t stick” Kimberly and Trini both glanced down to the other woman’s nails, it was always a reflex, the women loving women community could be thankful to say that Rita was not in the lesbian dating pool anymore. She sharpened her nails to a point. Ouch.

“I’m sorry to hear that” Kimberly couldn’t help but laugh, she was having more fun with this than Trini was. “Once we get all moved in Gia’s more than welcome to come over whenever she wants”

Trini would have to agree, if Emma really believes she and Gia would become best friends...she’d rather have Gia over their house instead of Emma coming here...to be watched over by this woman.

Rita put up one finger to pause that thought, she could hear let it go from downstairs, “Gia!” She barked, “Volume!”

“Sorry mom!”

“Kids are the fucking worst” Rita muttered bitterly, “I cannot wait for her to get old enough to stop annoying me every second of the day.” She realized how that sounded as soon she saw the expression on the two other mother’s face. “What were you saying?”

“That Gia is more than welcome to stay at our place, or come over after school whenever she wants” Trini was now convinced that if this was how Rita was raising her daughter, or felt about raising kids, that for that little girl’s sake...she wanted to be more involved. Call it a maternal instinct.

“I may have to take you up on that.” She went to further explain, “I’m a realtor so I do a lot of house showings and as you can imagine daycare can get expensive.” Rita paused, “And when I say daycare I mean my sister Dimiteria. Oh you ladies might be interested. She works over at the Galleon”

“Isn’t that a strip club?” Kimberly asked far too quickly for Trini’s liking. How the hell did Kimberly know where and what the local strip club was?

“Mmhmm. It’s good money, she goes on every weeknight and sometimes Saturday. Oh you’d have to ask for Divatox” She laughed, “I know, it sounds more like a Drag Queen name than a stripper name, but she says it makes her feel empowered. Who am I to take that away?” So clearly, Gia had a great role model. “She gives great dating advice” Trini was sure.

“Where does Gia go to school?” Trini asked curiously, “She can come over afterwards and the girls can do their homework until you get home from….whatever.”

“Eastland. My ex-husband may be a son of a bitch, but he owns a technology company” She waved her hand, “Zordon Tech, if you’ve heard of it. He makes a fuckton of money blah blah” Rita used her hand to mimic a mouth talking too much. Rita must’ve had a damn good showing at court if she got custody of the little blonde girl. “That school is Gia’s best shot at a future. If there’s one thing I taught her is that she should aspire to be a Queen not a Princess. My daughter is going to take life by the balls and give it a good twist. He just foots the bill for her education” She could only laugh, her smirk far too sinister, “If only he knew the truth”

“Truth about what?” Kimberly asked, that was a curious statement to make.

“Mm” Oh Miss I like to share everything Moran suddenly went quiet. She stood and walked over to the fridge, bringing out the pitcher of lemonade to refill her glass. “I may have to take you up on that offer, if there’s one thing that kills your dating life it’s a kid. God knows how many times Gia’s seen her aunt fucking around” Trini closed her eyes, saying a silent prayer that Rita did not mean that in a literal sense. “Before I forget! Let me give you my card. If you know anyone who’s looking to UHAUL.”

“Oh perfect” Trini reached to pocket the card, “I actually can think of a couple who could use your assistance” Kimberly could only look at her curiously, who did she hate that much to send to Rita? Trini’s best friend Lauren and her wife Mia were looking to move to Reefside as well. Now, Trini loved Lauren but boy did she want to see Mia, a federal prosecutor, interact with this woman. Now that would be a treat.

Once the movie was done, the Gomez-Hart family needed to say goodbye to the Morans, having an easy excuse of needing to finish their moving process. Emma took a hold of each of her mother’s hands when crossing the street. Trini and Kimberly didn’t have to say it out loud, no matter how many times they felt like they were screwing up...it couldn’t compare to how Gia across the street was being brought up. Emma’s surroundings was warm, safe, her parents were always there to make sure she was okay, to make sure she knew that she was loved.

“I like Gia…” Emma murmured, “I hope we become best friends”

“I think that girl could use a friend like you” Trini glanced back to the house five down and one across the street. “Maybe when we finish unpacking you could invite Gia for a sleepover?”

Emma’s eyes went wide with excitement, “My first sleepover?”

“Of course sweetie” Kimberly agreed, at five years old Emma was ready to have a friend spend the night. They’d watch movies and fall asleep, simple as that. “I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more of Gia Moran”

Oh if only the Gomez-Hart family knew what the future had in store for them...how close Gia and Emma would become over the years.