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Prize

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 It’s been hours since curfew, and Angie is still in Peggy’s room. The two women are sitting on the floor, propped up against Peggy’s daybed, with their shoes off. They finished off the leftover slice of rhubarb pie from the automat a long while ago, but are still taking swigs of the schnapps straight from the bottle. Both are bone-tired from working long days but neither make a move to end the evening.

    In fact, despite the stress migraine building behind her eyes, Peggy finds herself feeling giddy in the other woman’s presence. Warmth radiates from the spot where their legs touch, sending shivers up Peggy’s spine. She glances at Angie, who is stumbling through a story about a disastrous family dinner, and finds herself unable to look away. 

   Angie, feeling the heat of Peggy’s gaze as if it were a physical force, becomes too distracted to find her way through the rest of her sentence and lets it trail off. Then she lifts her head to return Peggy’s stare. The world suddenly becomes very fuzzy, due to the lethal combination of alcohol and her pretty neighbor. Angie wills herself to begin her story again to break the electricity of the moment, to bring the mood back over into friendly territory, but her tongue sticks in the back of her mouth. 

  It’s Peggy who eventually shatters the tension by reaching up onto the bed behind her, grasping a pillow, and bringing it down over Angie’s head, all while giggling softly.

  “What the hell, English?” Angie protests.

Peggy responds with a louder laugh and hits Angie with the pillow again.

  “Okay, no more schnapps for you.” Angie says with a grin, grabbing a pillow of her own and launching a vicious counterattack.

  The pillow fight ends a few minutes later, when Gloria from the next room over knocks on Peggy’s door angrily. 

   Peggy becomes the undisputed winner of the fight, as she has managed to straddle Angie and pin her hands over her head, preventing any retaliation from the other woman. 

  “Before I go, you should claim your prize.” Angie whispers, leaning against Peggy’s door.

  “Oh yeah?” Peggy says, eyebrow raised, coming to stand in front of Angie.

 ”Yeah.” Angie says, eyes fluttering closed.

Peggy takes the hint, closing the gap between them and sloppily pressing her lips to Angie’s.