By Hannah Brown
Eva and Ally's Last Dance is a sapphic short about the end of a relationship and what could have been. Content Warnings for: Nudity
Basking in afterglow, they lie tangled in the sheets of Ally’s bed, legs hooked together like a promise. Eva throws back her head and laughs, that sated contented laugh she gives in the aftermath of their love, and her curls bounce around her dewy shoulders, single hairs clinging to her skin. Ally moves a hand across that shoulder, freeing them and smiling back.
It is in this beautiful wordless time that imaginations can run wild and free. Ally has framed herself forward in time, holding hands, sneaking kisses, living in the same apartment forever, maybe even a little house somewhere with a cat.
‘That was fun,’ Eva says, standing from the bed and reaching for her robe. This is Eva’s rote, her after sex ritual that cuts through the air like anti-magic until the room no longer glows with infinite possibilities. It becomes a single bedroom in Ally’s terrible apartment where they are forced to sneak around to avoid Ally’s sister and roommate.
Quickly, before the magic can be fully vanished, Ally picks up her camera and takes a moment from time; Eva flapping out her robe like a cape.
Eva recoils. ‘What are you doing?’
Ally shrugs and plays it cool. ‘You looked beautiful.’
It is on Eva’s lips, the censure. Don’t show that to anyone. But of course, Ally would never; not only would it break any semblance of the illusion they are still allowed to entertain, but Ally is capturing these moments of Eva just for herself. Hoarding them away like treasures, because they can both sense it; their ending.
Eva walks away to use the mirror over the dresser. She primps her curls, winding them back into submission, reapplies the lipstick that is smeared all over Ally’s thighs. She steps back into her uncomfortable undergarments, pulling on her garter belt and stockings. Hides her softness under the sensuality that being an aspiring actress demands from her.
When she is naked and smiling, she is the most like Eva but when she covers herself with her many layers of protection, she is a distant concept, one Ally cannot reach out and touch. Ally rolls herself up in the sheet.
Eva slips her dress over her head and lets it fall over her body like water. She looks back at her lover and frowns. ‘I have to get going.’
Ally doesn’t bother with the protests. She has tried them all before in a hundred different variations. Eva never stays. Often, Eva has already left the minute she repeats her rote.
‘It was fun,’ she says again. Like she knows that it hurts and wants it to; the hurt will make the parting easier for her.
Ally sits up onto her knees, still wrapped up in the sheet, and takes another picture of Eva. Eva flinches and then forces a laugh.
Ally shrugs, sitting back. ‘I think you’re gonna make it big someday.’
Eva’s eyes scour over Ally, searching for any hint of deception. Eva has never wanted anything more than to be that girl on the silver screen. Sometimes she wants it so hard it seems like it will pull her apart from the inside.
‘I do,’ Ally says.
Eva laughs, a juvenile and delighted sound, nothing like her husky pretending when she dines with producers. ‘Is that why you take so many pictures?’
Ally shakes her head. ‘I take so many pictures to remember you here with me.’
It is too much and Ally knows it. She knows she is forcing Eva back into their emotional push and pull even after Eva has taken so many steps to distance herself. This is the kind of talk reserved for the pillow and not for the parting.
Eva swallows. ‘I have to go.’
Ally nods. ‘I know.’
Eva takes a step towards the door and hesitates. ‘I—’
Ally waits for her to finish the sentence, sees a thousand possibilities flicker and fade across her face, moments of a potential future not given time to fully develop. Ally knows not to dream or to hope for too much at this point. The phone calls have been coming less and less frequent, their meetings more and more fleeting. Ally knows not to dream.
But in that moment of hesitation, she sees it again; that little house with a cat.
‘I have to go.’
Ally holds on to her camera and smiles.