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Shoulder to Shoulder


“Are you sure you don’t mind us going away?” Elena’s mother asked her regarding their last-minute New Year’s Eve plans.

“Mum, it’s fine, really. I think I might spend the night with Juan anyway.” She said over the phone, trying not to drop it as she wriggled into her jeans. Elena actually had no plans to ring in the New Year in a special way; Juan hadn’t asked her if she wanted to do anything. She’d only said that to her mum so she wouldn’t feel bad about going away with her father – they deserved some time away.

She heard her mum sigh on the other end of the line. “Okay darling, I’ll speak to you later. Have a nice evening.”

“Alright mum, you too. Love you.” Elena said. She chuckled as she heard her dad bellowing to her mum in the background. ‘Emma, where are my glasses?’

“Have you checked next to the armchair Joe?” She mouthed the words along with her mother, as she would give the exact same answer every single time her dad asked that question. Moments later she could heard him call his thanks.

“He never learns, does he?” Emma laughed down the phone. “I’ll talk to you soon El, love you.”

Elena put the phone down and walked into Lila’s front room. The blonde was sitting on the sofa flicking through the channels on her television.

“What are you doing for New Year Lil?” she asked, draping her legs over her best friend’s lap.

“I’m going to Switzerland with my family. You know that, we do the same thing every year.”

“Oh yeah…” her voice trailed off slightly, not sure what she was going to do.
Instead of waiting, she sent Juan a text asking if he was doing anything.

He replied minutes later informing her that he wasn’t doing anything, and he also extending an invitation to her that she could come over to his and they could spend the night together.

Sounds perfect. I’ll be there x

The week between Christmas and New Year passed in a flash, it wasn’t long before Elena and Lila would be back off to university. It was late evening before Juan returned from the game Chelsea had played against Everton.

When he walked through the door, his shoulders were hunched and he was dragging his feet. Juan looked utterly exhausted.

“Oh honey, come and sit down.” Elena cooed, moving her legs from the sofa, and patting the now empty space. As Juan dropped his body onto the seat, he let out a huge breath.

Elena moved over and kissed his cheek, stroking her thumb over his jaw softly. “I’m going to go and make you some chamomile tea, just wait here.”

“Gracias,” he spoke quietly, kicking off his trainers.

Minutes later, when she handed him the steaming cup, he sipped the hot liquid slowly. “I’m so tired.” Without another word, he placed the mug down on the coffee table and leaned over to Elena and rested his head in her lap.

On the television, the sounds of the dialogue washed over the pair. Elena carded her fingers through her boyfriend’s hair soothingly, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for him - he seemed so worn out. December was a tough month for Chelsea, they played 9 games in a month, averaging to one game every three days; and Juan had been chosen to start the majority of them. Although she know that he’d never admit it because he loved playing and would do so as long as he was picked for the team.

She noticed his eyelids fluttering, threatening to fall closed, so she rubbed his arm, rousing him from his semi-asleep state. “Come on you, we’re going to bed.”

He sat up slowly, ruffling his hair, before he asked, “What time is it?”

Elena looked at the clock on her phone. “It’s 11:55.”

“Well, let’s stay up until midnight and see in the New Year together.”

The imminent New Year had completely slipped Elena’s mind, she sat back down and held her arms open. Juan settled in them quickly and leaned his head against her chest.

As was tradition in her household, Elena turned on BBC One to see the countdown.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1.” They counted down together, their voices emitting from their bodies no louder than a whisper.

“Happy new year, mi amor.” Juan said, leaning up and pecking her on the lips.

“Te amo.” Elena grinned at her little foray into speaking Juan’s native language.

“Te amo.” He mirrored, smiling at his girlfriend sleepily. She rose from the sofa and took his hand, going straight to his room.

After he shed his clothes, leaving on only his boxer shorts, he fell into bed. Seconds later, the bed dipped under Elena’s weight, and without opening his eyes, he lifted up his arm so she could snuggle under it, being the little spoon to his big spoon.

Elena drifted off to sleep in the arms of her boyfriend, and she was at a loss to think of a place she’d rather be.
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Comments? What did you think of how they spent New Years?