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“Finding a Voice”: Chapter Sixteen

The Arrival

By Nicole Higginbotham-HoguePublished 2 years ago 7 min read

“Lana, the guests are arriving,” her mother called up the stairs. “You need to finish getting ready and get down her. I’m going to need help with the arrangements.”

“I’m coming,” Lana replied, though she still hadn’t figured out what she was going to wear. She wasn’t as excited about their Christmas gathering as she normally was at this time of the year. Her thoughts had been consumed by Ziggy. She missed the other woman’s company and the way that she made her see the world in a way that she never had. Ziggy had changed her perspective on a lot of things, and she had began to treat others differently because of it. Lana had finally began to understand empathy and the point of putting herself in other’s shoes, and doing this helped her realize how selfish she had been.

“Lana, now,” her mother demanded, walking up the staircase.

“Okay,” she called back, picking out a black dress and slipping it on. She found a pair of matching pumps and exited her room before her mother had even reached the top steps.

“Is that how you are doing your hair?” her mother asked, walking past her and grabbing a brush from Lana’s vanity. “Come here. You need to at least look presentable.”

“I was working on it,” Lana said, attempting to grab the brush, but her mother wouldn’t have it.

“This reminds me of when you were a little girl,” her mother mused as she put the final touches on her hair. “You always wanted me to brush your hair back then, and you would have me searching all around to find the trending hairstyles.”

“I remember,” Lana said. “You always did it though.”

“I did,” her mother replied. “But that is because I love you, darling.”

“I love you to, mom,” Lana responded, going over to the mirror to check out her new look. “Thank you for fancy hairdo.”

“You’re welcome, baby,” her mother replied. There was a look in her eyes as if she wanted to say more.

“What is it?” Lana inquired, addressing her mother’s expression.

“I have just noticed how depressed you have been since leaving the dorms, and I think it is because you miss that Ziggy girl,” her mother replied. “And I wanted to tell you that I am sorry for judging the young woman so harshly. I don’t think that I was fair to her, and I wanted you to know that if you two ever did get back together, I would try to be nicer.”

“I thought that you were happy that we broke up,” Lana said. “Dad said that he would rather me date Libby than Ziggy. In fact, he insisted upon it.”

“Your father is hopeless,” her mother commented. “He would rather see you single for the rest of your life than dating anyone, and I’m sure that if he knew a little more about Libby than what her father told him then he would have reconsidered picking her as the best dating choice for his daughter.”

Lana smirked at her mother’s comment. She of all people knew that Libby Preston was anything but perfect. Despite her appearance and great reputation, Libby was just a confused woman wandering through life, trying to figure out who she was. Lana understood the other woman, but she agreed with her mother. Libby would never be her perfect match. She was too much of a people person, and if Ziggy had taken the time to get to know Libby, Lana was sure that she would see that as well.

“The caterer is here,” her father called from downstairs.

“Come on, we have to go,” her mother said, grabbing her hand. “Everyone will be here soon, and I want to make sure that everything is set before they come.”

CHRISTMAS DINNER WAS an elegant one. Each guest was served five courses, and though the conversation at the table seemed never ending, time passed quickly. After dinner, the guests all exchanged presents, and the bar tender began to serve wine to coincide with the appetizers that were floating around the room. Everyone was stuffed at this point, so Lana didn’t understand the need for extra food, but she knew her mother, and her mother wanted to cover every base, making sure that all of her guests were comfortable.

Lana made her way to the bar, picking up a stray glass of pinot noir that a server was lining up on his tray. She wasn’t interested in being bombarded by conversation, so she decided to take a seat in the corner of the large living area, making it easy for her to keep an eye on her guests while enjoying her quiet glass of wine. Lana watched at her mother flapped her arms around the room, trying to get the attention of the guests, who had easily tore through their presents in a hurry, and when her mother had silenced everyone, she announced the entertainment. Lana waited for the musician to enter the room. She knew the routine. Dinner. Presents. Wine and music. The music would play, and everyone would dance, and eventually their little shin dig would end.

The musician entered the room, setting up her equipment in the back corner, and though the shadow was heavy on that side of the room, Lana immediately recognized the other woman. Ziggy. Ziggy sat herself down in a chair, guitar in hand and brought the small microphone that she had set up to her face, and as the woman began singing, Lana felt her heart begin to beat hard in her chest. She closed her eyes, listening to the other woman’s voice and remembering all of the times that they had spent together. She knew that she had been missing the other woman, but she hadn’t realized how much she craved the other woman’s company until now. Lana opened her eyes as the last song ended, looking across the room at Ziggy, hoping that she would look back, but Ziggy just continued into the next song, once again taking her breath away.

She didn’t know what time it was when the crowd started to vanish, and the only reason that she realized that it might be late was the fact that Ziggy had finished her last song and had begun to clean up. Lana knew that she needed to talk to the other woman. She couldn’t let her go, especially now that they had unexpectedly run into each other. Lana got up from her small seating area and walked across the room, letting all of the other people in the area fade away from her vision. She only had eyes for one person at this point, and that was Ziggy, and though she didn’t know what she would say to the other woman if given the chance, she was determined not to let the opportunity slip away.

As Lana approached, she saw Ziggy look up, and a look of sorrow crossed the other woman’s face. “Hello, Lana,” Ziggy said, continuing to put away her equipment.

“Hello,” Lana replied. “Look I’m sorry for overreacting. I know that we really didn’t get to talk about the situation at the dorms, and I have been thinking about it a lot lately, and I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you about Libby.”

“It’s okay,” Ziggy said. “It’s over now, so I guess that we can move on.”

“Is that what you want? To forget about what we had?” Lana asked dismayed.

“Isn’t that what you want?” Ziggy asked.

“No, I want you,” Lana replied, looking into Ziggy’s deep, green eyes. “I want us. I’m falling for you, Ziggy. I miss you.”

Ziggy looked back at her, vulnerability in her expression. “I miss you too, Lana.”

Lana eased closer to the other woman, embracing her gently and kissed her on the lips. “I’m really sorry about everything.”

“Me too,” Ziggy said, kissing her back.

The two stood there embracing and looking into each other’s eyes for what seemed like forever. Snow fell slowly, glazing over the wide windows, and the night grew calm. Lana had lost track of time. She had lost track of everything around her, but when she thought about all of the beauty that Christmas brought, she realized one thing, getting back with Ziggy was the best gift that she could have ever gotten.


About the Creator

Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue

Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue is a lesfic author at Sign-up for her newsletter at

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