Hidden Love

by Sarah Andrews

"How could you do this to us young lady?" my mother shouted. "We let you two spend so much time together. I knew it was a bad idea! You know my views on this sort of impropriety."

Alexi held my hand tight, her palm sweating with the fear we were both trying not to show. Her parents had let slip about our relationship to my parents. Unfortunately my parents aren't as open minded as hers are and they didn't know that we're dating. I grasped her hand tighter as I took a deep breath, trying to think of what would calm mother down.

"We never did anything inappropriate Mum." I lied. "This, this is all so new that we haven't had a chance to do anything like what you're thinking"

"And how would you know what I'm thinking unless you contemplated it? I know that being a teenager is all about experimenting and God help me I hope that's all that this-" she indicated our joined hands. "Is about. However, I can not allow this to continue under my roof. I want her out of the house within the hour."

"But mum!" I protested. "Lexi lives ages away, she can't just walk home. Give her enough time to call her mother to come pick her up. Please?"

Mum pointed her finger at me while she replied, "Fine, but the second her mother picks her up you have got some major explaining to do. And don't think I'll leave you two alone in a room for long, you're brother is going to keep an eye on you for me." She turned to glare at Alexi. "Go and call your mother now, I'll expect her to pick you up as soon as she can." With that she stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

"I'm sorry Lexi," I whispered as I turned to face her. "I wish that my mum was as easy going as yours but…" I looked away, "Obviously she isn't." I tried to smile for my girlfriend but tears were welling up in my eyes.

"Don't worry Viv," she turned my head so that she could look me in the eyes. "We'll get through this. Think of it as something that we'll overcome to make our relationship stronger." she smiled at my stunned expression. "Hey, cheer up love. We've been going strong for awhile now. You're mother can't break that." she released my hand and followed after where my mum had gone. "Now I better call my mum before yours gets suspicious."

I watched my girlfriend walk away, so calm and collected. I couldn't believe that she was taking this all so well. Personally it felt like my world was slowly falling apart. I plonked myself down into one of the armchairs and rested my head in my hands. This whole day just wasn't going according to plan. We'd slept over at Alexi's place last night and we were came back to my place after our lunch date. We didn't realise that her mother had been talking to mine on the phone while Lexi and I were on our date. We'd just arrived home when mum confronted us. Alexi was right though, we couldn't let my mum break up our relationship.

We met on the first day of high school. I'd misheard my name and followed the group that Lexi was in towards her new access class. I fell in beside her, striking up conversation to cover my nervousness.

"Hey, I'm Vivian."

"My name's Alexis," she smiled at me and extended her hand. "Nice to meet you Vivid."

I shook my head at the nick name; it wasn't the first time someone had twisted my name around. "I'll let you in on a secret." I whispered to Alexi as the teacher looked back over at us. "I'm pretty sure that I'm going to the wrong access class."

"Why?" she laughed at me.

"Well I wasn't listening very hard." I laughed at the look she sent my way. "Okay so I was practically asleep. I heard the last bit of what sounded like my last name and my friend nudged me and told me that Mrs Jones had called out my name. So I left and joined up with your group." I looked around at the gardens we were passing through. "I should have realised that having a last name that starts with W would mean that I'd be called close to last. But I'm pretty sure that I actually did doze off."

She burst out laughing and started staggering. Apparently trying to breathe, laugh and walk all at the same isn't very easy. "I can't believe you managed to stuff that one up so badly," she wheezed. "You officially have me beaten in the silly stakes." She shoved me gently towards the garden bed. "Great now I've got to do something outrageous just to catch up."

I grinned at her, enjoying the easy camaraderie that had sprung up between us. "Now why would you want to do that?" I teased. "I'm pretty sure that you shouldn't have to try too hard to catch up."

She poked her tongue out at me in retaliation as I cracked up. When she tried to shove me again, I pulled her into a hug and gave her a noogie. Of course with my typical lack of co-ordination we ended up falling over. The ground smacked me when I landed, and my breath rushed out as she landed on top of me.

"Girls, what is going on here?" the teacher asked?

"We fell over," I wheezed.

"Yeah Vivid here just can't seem to stay upright and tried to use me to not fall over." Alexi said. She glanced down at me before talking to the teacher again. "Apparently I'm not too good at stopping people from falling over."

"Well see that it doesn't happen again," the teacher said.

We pulled ourselves upright and followed the teacher. Alexi looked over at me and we tried not to burst out laughing. It looked like I was going to enjoy school this year.

"What're you thinking about, love?"

I looked up as Lexi came back into the room. I'd been so lost in my memories that I hadn't even noticed how much time had gone by. I checked the grandfather clock on the other side of the living room; it had been a quarter of an hour since we got home.

"I was just remembering the first day of school, Lexi." I replied, smiling up at her. "I swear you nearly peed yourself laughing."

"It was probably a close call," she chuckled. "I can't help it, you always make me laugh. Remember that stupid game of one-upmanship we had going for awhile? What was it called again?"

"The silly stakes, I think." I replied. "Who ended up winning that one anyway?"

"Pretty sure it was a tie when we managed to out ourselves to the entire school last year on parade. How did you manage to fall precisely into my arms?"

"It's a talent I possess. You know me, if there's a possibility of something becoming embarrassing, I will undoubtedly end up making it so."

"Remember the look on Mr Parkes's face when I whispered that I'd been waiting for you to fall for me?" She laughed. "He looked like he could start a fire with his blush."

I poked her in the ribs, "That's because you said it practically into the mike. Then you proceeded to not let me go for ages." I chuckled. "Imagine if my mum had been there, the fireworks would have been spectacular." I became serious as I contemplated our current situation. "Speaking of my mother; what're we going to do now that she's practically forbidden me from seeing you?" I stood up and pulled Alexi into a tight hug, burying my face in her neck. "I don't think I could stand to not see you. You know she won't let me stay over at your house anymore."

"We'll think of something, love." Alexi whispered into my hair. "Even if we have to move out and get our own place, we'll figure something out."

A sharp knock from the doorway startled us into jumping apart. I looked up at the door, wiping tears from my eyes. My big brother stood in the hallway, looking in through the door.

"Alexi, you're mother is here." he said. "I think you should go before mum starts on another rant." He looked down at his feet. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry. I knew you guys were going out but I didn't want to tell mum because she'd do this." He glanced back up and smiled as Alexi grabbed her bag from the chair. "I'll try to calm her down while you say goodbye Viv."

"Thanks Ty," I replied. I grabbed Alexi's hand as we walked down the hallway toward the door. "Ty," I called to my brother. "Thanks for not telling mum."

Alexi's mum was waiting in her silver Camry when we got outside. I turned to Lexi, wishing I could kiss her goodbye. But I knew that mum would be watching from the kitchen window, so I just hugged her close.

"Don't worry, Love." she whispered. "I'll see you at school tomorrow."

I stood in the driveway, trying to delay the argument that I knew was coming. I watched as Alexi drove away.

"Vivian Kate Wilson, get yourself inside now young lady!" mum yelled.

I trudged into the house again, following the sound of mum's voice into the kitchen. She was chopping up vegetables for dinner with her back turned.

"Well, what do you have to say for yourself?" she snapped.

"Mum, we're just thought-"

"I don't care what you 'just thought' Vivian!" mum interrupted. "How many times have I told you that girls only go out with boys, and boys only go out with girls? What you're doing, it'd wrong." she sighed. "I don't know where I went wrong with you."

"Mum! Why's it wrong? I love her!"

"Love?" she laughed bitterly. "You don't know what love is Vivian. You're seventeen for god's sake. You only think you're in love with that girl. Why couldn't you be like you're brother and settle down with a nice person of the opposite sex?"

"I am settling down with a nice person. Just because she's a girl too doesn't mean we don't love each other!" Mum opened her mouth to say something but I talked right over the top of her. "And before you say that 'I don't know what love is' I do. I love the way she knows me better than I know myself. I love the way we don't have to talk, that we can just be in each other's company and know that we're there for each other." I walked towards mum, pleading with my eyes. "How is that not love? Please, can't you see I need her?"

"You don't need her," mum replied. "You only think you need her." She put down her knife and turned to face me. "Vivian I love you, but I can't let you do this to yourself. I can't let you hurt our family like this." she said, grapping my hands.

I pulled my hands out of hers, "Hurt our family? Mum, Alexi was practically a member of our family. It's not me who's hurting us, it's you." I turned away, leaving the room.

"Vivian! Don't walk away from me. I'm still talking to you." Mum shouted at me.

"Well I'm finished talking to you."

"If you don't come back here right now, I don't want you in my house anymore. We will settle this issue and you will conform to what is normal, or you can no longer be a part of this family"

"Fine! I'll go live with Alexi," I slammed the door. "At least her mother understands us, and loves us for who we are." I left mum standing at the counter, holding onto it with knuckles that had turned white.

We were lying on Alexi's bed, flipping through the latest Q news and Cherrie magazines. Lexi always picked them up from Central station on her way home from work. It'd been a few days since my major blow out with mum. So far, things weren't going too badly.

"Do you think your mum's going to let you go back home soon, Viv?" Alexi asked.

"What not enjoying my company?" I joked.

She smiled at me, "You know I love you, silly billy. I just don't like seeing you hurting, love." She rolled over so that she could push my hair out of my eyes. "Plus I can't have a grumpy girlfriend now, can I?"

I giggled and rolled over so I was pinning her to the bed. "And why can't you have a grumpy girlfriend?" I asked, leaning in for a kiss.

"Because a grumpy girlfriend doesn't get kisses," she smiled. "A happy girlfriend on the other hand…"

She didn't get to finish her sentence because I closed the distance between us, brushing our lips together. I nibbled on her bottom lip, teasing her a bit. She leant up and captured my lips, running her tongue along my teeth. Our tongues slid against each other, dancing together. I slid my hand into her hair, pulling her closer.

"Vivian, I came to tell you that…" The door opened to show my brother staring at Alexi and I in shock.

I landed on the ground with a thump. Seeing Tyler in the door had startled me into rolling completely off of Alexi, not to mention the bed.

"Damn it Tyler!" I snapped. "Didn't anyone teach you about knocking? I swear you're walking in on Lexi and me on purpose."

"I just came to talk to you about mum," he said, blushing. "It was an accident I swear. I've talked to mum about you moving back in."

I got up off of the floor, "What if I don't want to come home?"

"We miss you Viv. Mum's sorry for how she spoke to you. She wants to try to make things better," he replied. "Nothing's certain yet though Viv. She still doesn't like that you're going out with Alexi, but she'll try. That's better than nothing, right?"

"Do you think we could work it out?" I looked back at Alexi who was smiling encouragingly at me; not fazed at all about being caught out by my brother. "I don't want to giver her up, Ty. I don't want to give you guys up either." I sighed, knowing what my answer would be.

"I'll come back, Ty."