GENRE: Lesbian / Transgender Romance
LENGTH: 12,471 words
From their humble beginnings as playground sweethearts, Chris and Anna have always been inseparable. Now Chris is an up and coming star in Silicon Valley, and Anna's about to get her big break on the set of Hollywood's hottest new movie. Everything is perfect, until Chris suffers a setback that requires her to take a break from her whirlwind life.
Now Chris is recuperating on the East Coast with her family while Anna's away filming. She's back on her feet, but still hesitant about the future and unsure of what Anna wants. Will Chris and Anna's relationship survive the long distance? Will they figure out which path they want their lives to take?
Chris made sure the sigh she let out had a touch of weariness to it. "I'm fine. Meds are still working, no spike in anxiety, or panic attacks, or anything like that."
"But ..." Chris chewed on her lower lip, then let out another sigh, genuinely heavy this time. "I don't know. I've just been thinking about how much progress I've made over the past three months. Especially these last few weeks, I've been feeling good. Happy, stable. But I still don't feel any desire to go back to work."
"Good," Anna said, her voice as blunt as a butterknife. "That job was crushing you."
"It wasn't the job." Chris fought to keep the irritation from creeping into her voice. They'd had this argument before, more than once. "It wasn't one thing that caused the breakdown, you know this."
"I do. I'm sorry." Anna looked contrite with her eyebrows knit together. "I know it wasn't one just one thing, but I thought we also agreed that the stress and pressure of your job was contributing. That's part of why we moved back home, so you could take some time off."
It was true, that it wasn't just one thing to push Chris' whole world out of whack. But it wasn't quite true that it was multiple things, either. It had been ... nothing, really.
Chris and Anna had thrived at UC Berkeley in undergrad. Chris had majored in engineering and business administration, while Anna had worked on her theatre degree. The diverse town was quirky and queer friendly, a refreshing change from the wary acceptance in their hometown. Anna had immersed herself in the East Bay performing arts scene, and they'd spent four years drinking green juice and mixing kombucha martinis and collecting flyers to yoga classes that they never quite managed to attend.
After graduation, Chris had been accepted to Stanford for her MBA. They'd gotten a studio in Palo Alto that cost more than her parents' mortgage, and Chris had snagged a steady stream of internships to cover most of their living expenses. Anna did theatre performance work in San Francisco and Santa Barbara, eventually dipping her toe into the indie film scene. She'd take a MegaBus trip down to Los Angeles a few times a year to film a few short movies, but they tried to spend as much time as possible together. Friday night pasta dinners on their cramped balcony, Sunday morning pancakes in bed.
And then Anna lucked into a supporting role on James Andrews' directorial debut, and Chris had graduated and accepted an offer with a prestigious venture capital firm. Things had been going so well for the both of them, truly.
Until they weren't anymore.