Status: Active, updates may be very slow though, but bare with me

Shoulder to Shoulder


Elena’s wish came true…partly. Over the next month, when she’d talk to Juan, they had more to say to each other, but it still didn’t feel as easy as it had in the beginning. However, it was progress, and she was willing to take what she could get.

With her birthday approaching fast, Elena didn’t plan to do anything. Lila, Rachel, Millie and Susie had all tried to convince her to have a house party, but she didn’t feel like it. Although she wouldn’t say it aloud, what she wanted more than anything was to spend the day with Juan. Her hope of that dream becoming a reality was fading speedily as Juan hadn’t so much as mentioned her birthday once.

She wasn’t wallowing in her self-pity by not wanting to do anything for her birthday; she’d never been a fan of making a big deal of it. When she turned 18, all of her friends were going out clubbing, getting drunk and staggering around in the street. When it came to her birthday, she wanted to have a bit of a throwback party; she invited her friends to her house and had a kids party, cone hats, party bags and all. They spent the evening singing at the top of lungs to N*SYNC and the Backstreet Boys. And if she was being honest, it’s probably the best birthday Elena had ever had, because everyone was just relaxing and having fun. Just a group of friends hanging out and singing 90s cheesy pop much to the annoyance of her neighbours.

“You’re gonna be old!” Rachel exclaimed over the coffee table in the lounge.

“Hey!” Susie laughed. “I’m 22 already! So does that mean I’m old too?” she asked her younger housemate incredulously.

“It sure does,” Millie interjected said with a grin.

“Ustedes son malos,” (“You guys are mean,”) Susie pouted, jutting out her bottom lip. “Ay, Dios mio! Antiguo? Usted es sólo un año más joven que yo!” (“Oh my God. Old? You’re only a year younger than me!”)

They all laughed at the oldest member of the group’s mumblings in Spanish, knowing the gist of what she was saying.


“Happy birthday my angel!” Elena’s mum sang through the phone.

“Thanks mum.” Elena replied, happy to hear the comforting tones of her mother’s voice.

“It’s okay honey. How are you? How’s your day going?”

She laughed at her mum’s enthusiasm. “It’s only 9am, my day has barely started yet! I have a workshop this morning and 2 lectures this afternoon. It’s going to be a long day.” Elena said drawing out the vowel, elongating its sound, before falling back on to her bed, blowing her fringe out of her face.

After a gruelling day at university wherein she’d received some feedback on the first draft of her dissertation on the evolution of the representation of female characters in sitcoms from the 1980s to present day, Elena was truly exhausted. Going out and celebrating her birthday was the last thing on her mind, she could barely muster the minimal energy to get the bus back to her house.

“Well, hello there!” Millie said as Elena entered the house. The way she was hovering in the hallway made Elena think that she’d be standing there, awaiting her return. But then again, that did sound pretty ridiculous.

“Erm…hi?” Elena asked more than stated, still wondering why Millie sounded so cheery.

“How was your day? Was it wonderful?” Millie’s grin grew wider, though only a second before; Elena wouldn’t have deemed it possible.

Before she’d even had the chance to comprehend the question, Rachel came out of nowhere, her jet-black hair framing her face to perfection. “Coffee? Tea? Anything?”

Elena took off her jacket and dumped her bag on the floor and put he hands on her hips, demanding answers. “What the hell is up with you guys? You’re acting really weird and it’s starting to freak me out.”

They looked at each with expressions of shock that wouldn’t have been out of place at a small Christmas pantomime. “There’s nothing up with us Elena, we’re always like this!” Millie said.

“Stop shitting me, what’s going on? There’s something up with you two. You’re definitely acting weirder than usual.”

Rachel placed her hands on her chest, feigning innocence. “Why, I’m afraid I have no idea what you mean Elena.”

Feeling utterly confused, Elena picked up her bag and made her way up to her room. “You guys are nuts.” She muttered as she left her giggling housemates behind.

She could hear their two sets of footsteps following her up the stairs. Elena had no idea why they were being so annoying, but she put it out of her head as she went into her room.

As soon as she entered, a smile lit up her face. Turning her head and looking out on to the landing, her four housemates – Susie and Lila had appeared from nowhere – were all standing there with massive grins on their face.

Turning away from them and walking into her room, closing the door behind her, she couldn’t help but let a smile form on her face.

From behind a huge bunch of flowers sat on the edge of her bed, she heard the words “Feliz cumpleaños, mi amor,” (“Happy birthday my love,”) spoken quietly.

“Juan,” she said, taking the flowers from him and placing them on her desk. “What are you doing here?” she hadn’t expected him at all. In fact, she was really upset that he hadn’t so much as sent her text that morning.

“I came to see my beautiful girlfriend,” he said like it was the most obvious thing in the world and Elena was crazy for not realising it.

He pulled her into a hug, his strong arms pulling her into his body. “I missed you, so much.”

“Lo siento.” He said quietly. Elena had spent enough time around Susie to know that he was saying he was sorry.

She looked up into his eyes and asked, “What are you apologising for?”

He unwrapped his arms from around her shoulders. Taking her hand in his, “Lo siento por los últimos meses. No he sido un buen socio, me he esforzado más en nuestra relación. Lo que significa mucho para mí, yo no lo quiero perder. No quiero perderte. Por favor, perdóname?”

A giggle escaped Elena’s mouth. “Babe, you know I don’t speak Spanish so I have no idea what you just said to me.”

“I know, I know.” He shook his head softly. “I can get things off my chest better in Spanish. I said ‘I'm sorry for the past few months. I haven't been a good partner; I should've tried harder in our relationship. What we have means a lot to me; I don't want to lose it. I don't want to lose you. Please forgive me?’”

“You’re an absolute gem. I should be apologising as well, I don’t think either of us have been too great over the past few months. We need to work on our communication. If we don’t talk, we’ll never know when anything’s wrong.”

Juan nodded, agreeing with Elena. He then added that it wasn’t long until the season was over and Elena finished university, meaning they’ be able to spend a lot more time together.

“Ah, yes! Your gift!” Juan exclaimed out of nowhere. “I did not know what to buy you, so I want to pick a place, anywhere in the world and I will book us a holiday there in the summer.” He looked giddy with excitement at the thought of a proper holiday.

Elena placed a finger in the slight dimple in her chin, wracking her brain, trying to conjure up a destination.

“New York.” She said decisively. “I’ve always wanted to go, but never had the chance.

Juan smiled. “Done.”

“Thank you so much.” Elena said kissing him softly.
♠ ♠ ♠
Woop, birthday sex!