Julia snuggled deeper into her pjs and leaned against Bre. This was exactly what she needed. Brainless movie time, she was utterly exhausted. Another day at the Gold Plum done. At least she didn’t have to close, dealing with irate customers was bad enough with having to convince them the kitchen was closed. It seemed like everyone expected that they deserved an exception.
Bre put her arm around Julia and pulled her close. “Hmmm,” was all Julia managed. She knew she should ask about Bre’s day or talk or do something. When was the last time they really talked? But it was all she could do to keep her eyes open for the movie. Even the plot was beyond her tonight. And tomorrow she’d have to do it all over again. Julia suppressed a groan at the thought. Sure waitressing wasn’t her dream job – but what else could an English major do? Especially a poet. They had to pay their bills.
Julia jerked under Bre’s soft touch and words. Darn, she had fallen asleep. She pulled reluctantly away and sat up. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Bre smiled and pulled her close for a kiss. She studied Julia for several moments after they broke apart. Julia tried to imagining what Bre was thinking? She definitely wasn’t at her best tonight. But Bre’s soft smile told her at least it wasn’t anything bad – like regretting marrying her or something.
“We should go ahead and do it,” Bre said decisively. It was as if she’d come to a conclusion about Julia. But what? There were several things they’d spoke of doing. But what did Bre want to do?
“Which one?” Julia teased, “quitting my job, going back to school, or the baby?”
“Yes,” Bre grinned suddenly and Julia’s world tilted suddenly.
“You hate your job and it’s no good for you.”
She opened her mouth to protest, but Bre shushed her.
“When was the last time you wrote anything? You’re a writer first. The waitressing was supposed to be temporary anyway while we got settled.”
“We need the money, I can’t just quit.”
Bre kissed her softly and then stood up, pulling Julia to her feet after her.
“We’ll be fine,” Bre reassured her. “Sure, it might be tight, but if you go get your masters, you can still work part time, maybe for a professor or something – something that doesn’t kill you a little more every day.” Bre gave her a tight hug. “I hate seeing you like this.”
Julia followed Bre to the kitchen her mind still reeling. She could quit? She had pretty much resigned herself to waitressing for the foreseeable future. She had been researching grad schools, true, but it was a far off dream. A someday daydream she entertained on her days off.
Then the final shoe dropped into place. “Wait – the baby too?”
Bre pushed her into the chair and started a pot of tea. As it was brewing, she sat down across from Julia, her eyes serious, but sparkling.
“Because they’re even more expensive than grad school? Because we’re still renting and this place is too small to raise a kid.”
“Pfft,” Bre dismissed Julia’s concerns with a shake of her head. She captured Julia’s hand and leaned over. “Don’t you want to have kids? Do you really want to wait two or three more years?”
Julia took a deep breath. She looked up and their gazes locked. She could see straight into Bre’s soul. There was a little house there, with a picket fence and a small child playing outside while they watched from the deck. She nodded.
“We’ll make it work,” Bre said resolutely. The electric teapot chimed behind them announcing it was done boiling the water.
“What about this one?” Julia looked up her mind still swimming in Bukowski’s poetry. Her paper was looking into Bukowski’s treatment of women.
but a woman is changed/by/children/age/diet/conversation/sex/themoon/theabsence or/presence of sun/or good times
Was Bukowski being sexist by proposing women were different than men? How would children change her? Would they make her a better or worse person? Or was she like a man, pretty much unchanged?
She focused on Bre, shaking away the mental image of Bukowski drawing cows in art class. A child’s smiling face stared back at her, tousled hair and a quirky smile. It was a school photo overly formal, but endearingly awkward as this kid seemed to be laughing at the whole event which explained why Bre was looking at him. There were only so many identical pictures of suppressed terror/boredom one could stomach without the brain going numb. Julia was grateful she had homework distract her.
“Well? Cute right?” She turned the photo back to her and smiled at the picture, “I think he looks a little like me?”
“How’d he do in school?” While Bre was more concerned with looks, Julia was more concerned with academic potential.
Bre frowned. “It says average?”
“What does that mean?”
“Probably that he didn’t excel,” Bre sighed and turned her laptop back to her.
“Are you sure anonymous is the right way to go?” Julia asked. They’d been looking at potential donors for months now and were no closer to finding one. Each potential male had been rejected by the other. “What if they want to know who their father was?”
“We’ll tell them we picked him especially. We didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Donors have all be through rigorous tests beforehand. We don’t get the same guarantees with other options.”
“We could always ask Marq,” Julia couldn’t help but say. “I don’t think Susie would mind.”
She’d been mulling the idea over since the beginning. Susie was very sweet and Julia couldn’t imagine Marq’s fiance to object. But she hadn’t brought it up before. While Julia had been pouring over MFA programs and studying for and then taking the GRE, Bre had been researching their options. So when Bre started looking through the local bank’s website for donors, Julia has assumed it was the best decision. But they’d been looking forever it felt, and no one seemed right. Sure they had to pick from a list of stats and a childhood picture, but surely someone would fit both their needs.
Bre frowned and stood up quickly. What? Julia was surprised to see Bre so visibly upset.
“Bre?” Julia stood up and walked over to where Bre stood, looking out the window.
“Sorry, I just – “ she started, but her voice hiccuped.
Julia wrapped her arms around her wife. “What?”
Bre didn’t pull away so she wasn’t upset with Julia instead she leaned into her as if drawing on her strength.
“It’s silly, I know. And Marq is a good friend. But – well, you dated him.”
“Not for long,” Julia snorted. “It was less than six months.”
“No, but – you understand, right? I don’t want him that close to us again. It was torture watching the two of you date.”
“That explains why you were gone all the time.”
“Had I known you were unhappy, I would have worked harder to break you up. But you seemed happy.”
“I like Marq, but only as a friend,” Julia assured her. “Don’t worry, anonymous works, I just hope we can find someone to match our exacting standards.”
Bre gave a tiny smile again. “I’m sure we will.”