“Are we ready?” Arturo asked looking around for any mislain books, but the house was spotless. They’d spent all day sweeping and scrubbing.
“We’d better be, everyone is due any moment now.”
Arturo checked the clock. No one was late yet…”You think they got lost?
He couldn’t help being nervous though. This was the first time any of his friends would be at his house. Before when he just had a huge plot of land he never dreamed of inviting folks over. When he got the tent he wanted to show it off, but knew that a tent was no where near an acceptable living space. The shack Chana and he had shared was okay – but there was no space inside for guests. Just the bedroom. And that would have been uncomfortable. So this was the first time they really could invite friends over.
Sure the living room was still tiny, but it was a proper room and a proper house. All of it paid for by his and Chana’s hard work.
The doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it!” Arturo rushed to answer the door.
Bella and her daughters stood on the other side with huge smiles. Stefanie held a plate of cookies.
“Happy housewarming!” the twins said in unison.
“Welcome!” Aturo ushered them in and spied Katie and Ashley coming up the walk behind them.
“Hayden couldn’t make it?” Arturo asked Bella.
She shook her head. “No, he had to work late, but he sends his regards and his famous chocolate chip cookies.” Bella nodded at the plate Stefanie was carefully putting down on the table.
Arturo grinned. “I can’t wait to try them.”
Before long their tiny house was hopping. Bursting at the seams as everyone arrived.
Everyone ooh and cooed over little Samuel who just ate up all the attention.
They didn’t have enough room at the table for everyone to eat, but that didn’t seem to matter, everyone just grabbed a plate and found a spot to sit. Arturo filled his plate with some fresh fish and a little bit of everything else folks had brought. Katie sat down next to him.
“Nice place you have here,” she said, looking around.
“It’s small, but it’s a good foundation.”
“That’s for sure, it’s the foundation of something huge, like a dynasty.”
Arturo laughed. “It’s hardly a mansion.”
“No, but look, you’ve got all the requirements. It’s a fresh start, you’ve got big, empty plot of land and now you have an heir.” She nodded at little Samuel.
They laughed at the absurdly of it all.
Then she turned to look at him, her eyes now serious. “When are you going to marry Chana?”
Arturo froze. Marry? But wasn’t it obvious they were together for the long run. They even had a kid. And Chana already put up with all his annoying habits. “Weddings are pretty expensive,” Arturo hedged. Did they really need to make their relationship official?
Katie shook her head sadly. “Arturo, tell me. How often has Chana asked about marriage?”
That was true. She’d wanted to get married back before they’d even moved in together. And then there was the time that Chana was talking about “their future” as he headed off to work, but he’d been in a rush to get to work so he couldn’t say for sure if marriage had been the topic. But she hadn’t brought it up recently, though. He thought she’d didn’t care anymore.
“She hasn’t recently,” he said.
Katie just raised her eyebrows. “Maybe not to you.”
Arturo felt awful. He thought they were doing so well, new house, new baby. It was the perfect life, but if Chana wasn’t as happy as he was… He was going to have to do something about that.
“Don’t feel too bad, Arty.” Katie said patting his arm.
The party continued until dark. Arturo lit the fire outside for Bella’s girls who had been eyeing it all evening. They wanted to roast marshmallows. But by then the party was already wrapping up, it was Samuel’s bedtime and although Arturo could keep chatting all night, Chana was fading fast.
They bid everyone goodnight a little before midnight.
Chana woke up early as she always did. Arturo lay fast asleep next her her. Smiling she got up and fixed a quick breakfast. When Sammy woke up she fed him and then went to work in her garden. The sun was warm, and her plants were all doing well. Ready to be evolved up. She was making a small pile of money at the market selling her produce. Not like a nine to five job, but she’d never really wanted one of those. She liked the freedom working from home gave her. Plus she wasn’t sure how much she could sit in a cubical all day staring all day at a computer screen.
She heard Sammy crying inside and went in to feed him. He was growing so fast. Soon he would be running around the place. If their housewarming party taught her anything, it was that this house was not going to contain a growing boy for long. Luckily they had the entire lot to play around in. Perhaps she could save some of money and buy him some monkey bars to burn off energy.
As much as Chana loved their house, she was already imagining how she wanted to change it. A proper dining room and a room for Sammy to start. All that took money though, and money was always tight. It meant putting aside other dreams. Everytime she’d brought up marriage with Arturo though, he’d brushed her off. Saying it was too expensive. But she didn’t need a big wedding. A small ceremony would be fine. She sighed and Sammy looked up at her with wide eyes as her breath hit his face. She smiled and deliberately blew into his face. He broke into a huge grin.
She grinned back and rocked him. “Soon, little Sammy, soon,” she promised. “Your birthday is just around the corner. She heard Arturo open the door behind her and turned smiling. Pushing aside her doubts and wishes. Life was pretty good right now. No need to stir things up.
“Are we on for tonight?” Arturo asked.
“Bella said she and the girls will be here around 7. You won’t be late?”
He pulled out his cell phone and dialed. She waited while he spoke with the restaurant, confirming their reservation.
“Can’t be late now, reservation is at 7:30.” He grinned.
They hadn’t been on a proper date since Sammy was born. And since Bella’s girls kept asking to babysit Sammy ever since they’d met him, she had invited them and Bella over to give them a night off. The dinner reservations at a lounge in Oasis Springs had been Arturo’s idea. He’d been there several times for jobs he said and wanted to take her. Chana was bursting with excitement at the prospect of an adult night out.
Arturo was careful to arrive home right on time. Bella and the girls were already there eating dinner. Sammy had just fallen asleep. Arturo had to restrain himself from waking him up just to say goodbye. He was so cute and after being gone all day he missed his little guy dreadfully. But once he was asleep it wasn’t fair to anyone to wake him back up.
Arutro quickly freshened up and then returned to collect Chana. She was speaking with Bella, making sure she had all the required information on how to care for Samuel.
Arturo laughed. “Chana, she’s already done this and with twins even, she’ll be fine.” Arturo pulled her toward the door.
“But,” Chana protested. “What if I forgot something important – oh – if he won’t stop crying there’s the elephant pacifier. That’s his favorite.”
“We’ll be fine,” Bella assured her. “And I’ll call the moment anything happens.”
“Stop worrying,” Arturo said firmly and pushed her out the door.
They took the bus the Oasis Springs. Arturo asked about Chana’s garden on the ride over and tried to distract her with amusing tales about his coworkers. By the time they arrived at the lounge, he thought it worked. She seemed less concerned about Samuel. At least she wasn’t checking her phone every five minutes.
He swept her into his arms outside the lounge. See if she could stay distracted now, he thought.
“What was that for?” Chana asked somewhat breathless.
“Have I told you recently, how wonderful you are?”
She blushed and he took her had and led her inside. They were shown to their seats and their order’s taken.
Arturo was pleased with his choice. He’d been here before for a gig. But he’d only judged how good it was based on the crowds. Surely that many people wouldn’t show up if it was terrible? That many people were right. The food was delicious. He tried to remember the last time they’d been on a date, just the two of them. The bar back in Windenburg? Did the date on the bluffs count? Chana was so pregnant at that time, it was like Samuel was already there, a constant reminder that they would soon be three.
Both their phones buzzed during desert and they checked, fear leaping into his heart. Was it Samuel? Arturo laughed when he saw the picture Bella sent them. The girls, fast asleep on the couch, little Samuel tucked in between them. It was an adorable photo. Arturo was grateful that Bella seemed to know exactly what would help calm Chana down. For after that photo, she relaxed fully and didn’t suggest they go home directly after desert.
Author’s Note: Remember when Chana proposed to Arturo after their first night together? She also tried to elope with him right before he had to leave for work, which canceled her autonomous action, much to my chagrin. I’ve had her marriage whim pinned since she moved in waiting for Arturo to feel the same. It’s been a long wait. Marriage just doesn’t seem as important to him as it does to her. I’m not trying to make her all stereotypical female. That would just annoy me, but she really is quite the traditional female. Dreaming of marriage and family.
I thought I already gave all my house cc credits in the last post. But looks like I completely forgot to add the credits! The house exterior was built by nikkir1981 and found on the gallery as Teenie Weenie Cottage – (and it is very teenie – under 10,000 which is all the Huffman’s had to build with.) Interior cc includes the SV Provence paintings of flowers by Severinka and plasticbox’s curtains. I use both of those often.