An Awkward Duet Love Story

Elina Born and Debrah Scarlett were just girls in a pair of duets. Elina never imagined she'd have to watch Debrah wherever she went for the next several years.

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1. Waking Up, Again

The bedcovers rustled loudly to set Elina Born awake, blinking open her eyes just in time to see Debrah leaving the bedroom with her dressing gown tickling the back of her knees. As much as Elina may be enjoying that short snapshot, being the second to leave the bed could only mean one thing. The fact that Debrah had not scooped up a golden opportunity to complete Elina’s job of making sure they were both awake arguably made this an even more suspicious scenario. She could’ve done anything – tickle her, put her in the shower in her pyjamas, or maybe even just go back to sleep – but no, nothing. Pushing away the bedclothes but not having the time to change, which may be an alias for ‘couldn’t be bothered’, she let out a long sigh before crossing the hallway in order to prevent what had undoubtedly begun.

Usually, Debrah could be found in the dining room with a notebook, scheming again. The schemes themselves rarely passed the threshold of harmless joking, similar to April Fools’ style antics for the most part. This was only elevated by the fact that it had just passed April Fools’ Day, which had revitalised excitement for the next three hundred and sixty days she had to wait for the next one to come by. Elina always had to remind her girlfriend, who always conveniently “forgot” this fact, how easy it was for her to get be recognised and caught out.

Especially considering her planned victims – her friends from the Eurovision ‘Class of 2015’ who would notice her in a heartbeat. Common choices were their duet partners, Kjetil Morland and Stig Rasta. They would, by Elina’s reckoning, suspect her on principle. On occasion Debrah had tried to convince Elina to participate in the “fun”, with no success.

The last time Elina had joined in was during an impromptu Nerf war around the hotel they were staying in, which had resulted only in charges for broken items which they had grudgingly split the cost of between themselves. There was one outwardly showing physical sign of the childish fray, which was a black eye for Kjetil courtesy of Stig’s clumsy inexperienced aim. She remembered the dart ricocheting of walls to the mixed sound of their laughter, prior to the indignant “Ow!” from Debrah’s best friend. At this point, Elina firmly promised herself that she would never be doing that again, and had stuck to her ground when the three invited her to paintballing. She affectionately called them “The Dork Train” but had kept this to herself of late, because Kjetil would groan and call it ‘adding insult to injury.’

Leaning silently over the redhead’s shoulder, Elina vaguely wondered what it would be this time. It could almost resemble a game of “Spin The Wheel”. Well, every single choice was questionable and unlucky for at least one person, and probably almost as random. Debrah served as the host, with the exaggerated mischievous smile and the chirpy “Good Luck”, and of course the knowledge that Elina could never win this little game of pot luck. Despite herself, a chuckle escaped Elina, so she swiped the pad and pen before it was too late to do so.

“It’s nice to say hello instead of being a stalker,” Debrah grumbled, turning her head slightly to watch as Elina discarded the two items onto the coffee table. It was beauty at its finest – Debrah was still in her dressing gown, stretched out across the three-seat sofa while nursing a frankly adorable bedhead.

Elina felt the smile tugging at her lips. “Morning, beautiful,” she obliged, trying not to laugh. It wasn’t exactly a hello, but it would do – she leaned sideways to pick up Debrah’s hairbrush from beside the pen. Before beginning the task that could take a while, she stole a cheeky kiss that left flaming cheeks behind.

“Mm. Morgen.” The way Debrah blinked tired eyes at her led the brunette to severely doubt she was really awake. As did the following spout of her ‘Muttersprache’, actually. “Danke, liebling.” Was she referring to the compliment or what Elina was going to begin doing in the next few seconds? Elina wasn’t really sure, but either way she’d take the thanks.

“Doesn’t sound like morning for you,” Elina teased as she began brushing. “You look like you need more sleep, love. Try too hard to beat me out of bed this morning?”

A small scowl told her all she needed to know.

“Okay,” Elina began her sentence as Debrah began to groan, once she was done brushing, “It’s time to embrace the day.”

Debrah let her face fall onto the cushion nearest her. “Nein,” she mumbled flatly, the sound so muffled by the cushion that it was almost difficult to understand. “It’s too early, Elina, and I’m not doing anything today…”

Eventually, after much coaxing and bribery involving chocolate and a romantic date, they were both on their feet – at which time Elina took her chance to look her up and down properly for the first time that day.

Debrah was svelte, as well as rather pale in skin tone, but utterly lacked the (albeit stereotypical) ‘Nordic blonde’ hair of many of her peers. Instead of this, she had firebrand curls that were distinctive in most crowds. This trait was unfortunately only useful if you were trying to pick her out in a sea of concert-goers, or, say, masses of marathon runners on a television broadcast. Elina had always been, and probably always would be, cautious about letting Debrah Scarlett out of her line of sight; who knew what might happen if she did? Also, it was definitely not one of Debrah’s numerous goals to run a marathon in some far-off country. She could draw the line at Austria (for Eurovision), Switzerland (home) and the occasional Estonian venture for Elina’s benefit (to see Elina’s family). For now, the two were quite content settle in Oslo, with its variable weather patterns and generally depressing Norwegian ballads depending on the radio station. Sometimes they were even surprised with Debrah herself on P1.

While Elina was busy admiring Debrah, she was (although she didn’t realise it) being scanned by the other’s intent eyes in a similar fashion. (Elina had never quite been able to put a name to the colour of Debrah’s eyes. Perhaps that was what she loved the most about them.) Before she snapped out of her reverie, the taller Norwegian’s lips were on hers, leading to a pleasant surprise.

Elina was two years Debrah’s junior, a fact Debrah would rarely let the love of her life forget. It wasn’t particularly obvious when looking between the two women, as if they’d both found the fountain of youth and frozen themselves at this age. Elina’s hair was a (quite envious, in Debrah’s words) dark shade of brunette – and straighter, one might hasten to add. If you asked Elina herself, she probably wouldn’t confess to being jealous of how Debrah’s hair seemed to do anything that was needed, while Elina’s was stubborn, usually leaving her with the default ‘straight’ styles after similar efforts.

“Don’t give me a heart attack or anything,” Elina gasped out, before returning the kiss (a little timidly, though – she didn’t want Debrah to have the same shock.)

Debrah laughed a little, wrapping her arm around the other woman's shoulders alongside a muttered remark about Elina's height. An awkward duet love story, it might seem, made from coincidences and fan popularity. (Really, if it wasn't for them they'd never have met. Debrah wants to invite everyone to the wedding, at which Elina laughed and said they'd need a loan from a millionaire.)

Of course, she's already tried once. Bless.

 

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