‘You little piece of shite!’ Liane exclaimed as she limped out of her room. She and Mia had already started packing, but Liane was not neat or organized about it, so for a week now she would cram her leg or foot, against whatever she had left laying in front of her closet. Truth be told, Liane just didn’t have the energy to deal with the move after a busy day at work. She had enough on her plate with moving her team’s operations overseas, never mind moving herself and her daughter. Thankfully Mia was always there to keep things moving forward and, more importantly, keep them both on track. Liane was perfectly capable of doing it, but since her daughter seemed more than happy to be the boss at home, she just went with it. After all, her job was stressful enough and she had plenty of bossing around to do at the office.
Liane sighed at the sight of all the half-packed boxes and the general chaos that surrounded her living room. The kitchen was no better. She had sincerely hoped to be done with at least one of the rooms by now, but she had miscalculated how much time they would both have. Between Liane’s busy work schedule and Mia’s farewells there wasn’t a whole lot of time left. Wednesday next week the movers would be here to pick up all of their junk, and the Friday after that they would be boarding their flight to DC. Liane still caught herself not believing it was really happening. She and Mia had been living in Europe for almost two decades now, and Liane hadn’t been back in Virginia since ...Liane had to think for a moment to even remember. It must have been before Mia was born. She had seen old friends and colleagues here and there, but she had never actually been back since she had become a mother. When she was younger she would bounce around between her parents’ home in Arlington and either Baltimore or New York City, wherever she was working from at the time. She thought back on those days, when she still had the energy to study in one city and work in another, and still find time to visit her parents in yet a different city. These days she was happy when she could muster up the energy to make it to yoga class before work, or on the weekend. People really weren’t kidding when they said your stamina takes a hit with age, and she had begun feeling it before her thirties even! Now at forty-four she often felt like a sad deflated balloon, forgotten, days after a blowout party. Or, as she would always say, like a two day old soggy pancake. That’s always how she felt on Fridays. She never understood how her colleagues, no matter the age, had the energy to go out partying until dawn on Fridays after work, when she could barely perform basic human tasks. ‘Are you a pancake or are we doing something tonight?’ Mia would often ask her when she called after school. Liane would either answer she’s a burnt soggy pancake, or, on the very rare occasion she wasn’t working a seventy hour week, she would say she’s still freshly prepared batter. Just thinking about those long hours, headaches, and the moodiness that came with all of it, Liane had to shiver. In truth, she was more than happy to leave that high level job behind for something easier, stabler, less intense. She had taken weeks to make the decision. She was afraid of what it would mean to step down, even if it was only internally seen as a step down, and how it would be to have a brand new manager and division. She would still somewhat oversee operations of her current team, but they would no longer all report directly to her. As one of the few women with a love for numbers and analytics back in the late nineties, she had many doors open to her and it was easy for her to move up quickly wherever she went. Maybe it was time to stop chasing the promotions, the raises and the responsibilities. After all, at sixteen, her daughter would need her more than ever. At a new school, in a new environment, on a different continent. It could very easily be a culture shock for her. Hell, Liane barely remembered what it was like being an American teenager herself.
‘What the hell?!’ Liane exclaimed again as she felt a hand touch her back out of the blue. Mia had snuck up on her again, she was such a tiny thing Liane could never hear her coming. Mia smiled at her softly and placed a cup of freshly brewed coffee in her hands.
‘Your brain can’t even perform basic functions before you’ve had coffee, can it?’ Mia teased her. Liane took a sip and looked around. She must have dozed off in her thoughts for some time, she couldn’t even tell how long it had been, but it was clearly long enough for Mia to get up, go to the kitchen and prepare fresh coffee, and heat up the milk! She didn’t even hear her make any noise. Scary.
‘Mom?’ Mia looked half concerned, half bemused. ‘Did you doze off again?’ Liane suddenly snapped out of it and took a huge gulp of her coffee.
‘Yes! I don’t know what it is today, but I just keep losing track.’ Mia just rolled her eyes, swiftly turned around to take a sip of her own coffee and then turned back to her mother with a devious smile.
‘Are you ready to do this?’
Liane looked slightly confused at her daughter as she took another big sip. Mia’s smile brightened as she started saying ‘Alexa, play The Libertines’. Don’t look back into the sun came up and Liane exhaled aloud ‘No! No, it’s too early for that!’.
‘Come on, finish that coffee and let’s get crackin!’ Mia laughed and immediately launched into taking out all the books from their living room shelf. Liane looked at her daughter swing her hands around to the music as she grabbed the next pile of books. Ah, to be young again...and have more energy, she thought.
To be fair, Mia had had a much more relaxed Friday than her mother. She had gotten used to Liane’s long hours, and had made waiting on Friday night for her a ritual. She wasn’t into partying, not that any of her friends really were, and she wasn’t even that much into going out at all. She had made it a beloved habit of going straight back home after her 3 pm Italian class, changing into her running gear, and going for a solid ten kilometer run around the Tiergarten park, and on her last lap, order a meaty burger that would usually arrive just in time for her to take a quick shower and enjoy it with a new epsiode of How To Get Away With Murder, or now that it was summer, something from the classics. Twin Peaks had recently become her favorite, although depending on how tired she would be after her run, she’d opt for something lighter such as The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air or Friends, although her mother would teasingly get offended at her calling it an ‘oldie’. ‘Do you mean I am an oldie too?’ She would ask in an especially dramatic manner. She’d never think her mother is old, or classic. In fact, Liane sometimes reminded her more of a teenager than she did herself. It was probably not fair, every teenager thinks they’re more mature than they are, she thought. But when her mother would throw hissy fits over a silly plot line in a film, or would pretend to cry when she couldn’t get something to work (the delivery app, their Alexa device, or even sometimes her own excel sheets), Mia couldn’t help but think this is not very adult behaviour. But most of the time she didn’t mind, she’d always prefer her mother’s behaviour to how some of her school friends’ mothers behaved. They all looked very elegant and sophisticated, but they didn’t seem like the type of parent you could come to for comfort or advice. When she was younger she thought she would want to be one of those sophisticated, poised women who always wore heels, cashmere sweaters and had their hair perfectly fall into waves on the side of their shoulders. They always smelled like a walking Sephora and had shiny long nails. Not too long to be gross, but long enough so it was obvious they didn’t do any housework. Strange how her mother had gotten her into the habit of paying attention to such detail. ‘Do you see how that woman’s eye liner curls up at the edge there? You can tell it was a cheap eye liner, look how it’s already chipping away and it’s not even noon yet.’ her mother would comment - on strangers, on TV presenters, anyone really. She also had the incredible ability of knowing if a fabric was natural and of good quality by looking at it. They would be out shopping and Mia would grab something with a sparkle in her eyes, and within seconds she’d hear her mom exclaim ‘oh, that’s great quality!’ ‘Are you sure?’ Mia would ask, and Liane would reach to touch the fabric and say, ‘yes, that’s silk, I’m sure.’ And she usually would be. She’d only get it wrong when it was a blend of fabrics, but she never mistook polyester for nylon or some other fabric. Unlike Mia, who wouldn’t even bother checking, and then come home with a handful of tops that would look like a different color entirely after a few washes. That was one of the adult things Liane did. She may have been silly and sometimes even childish, but she did have those adulting senses, as Mia would call them. ‘When I’ll be able to recognize the quality of a fabric, I’ll know I’m a grown up’ Mia would jokingly say, although she was dead serious. She always thought it’s one of those things that just magically happens when you’re grown up. Sort of like knowing how to put Ikea furniture together without a manual and fixing a broken cabinet. But that was still far off, Mia thought. Right now she’d have to get through this move and get used to a new school, new kids, new traditions and new rules...Yet again. At this point, it was almost routine to her. They had been living in Berlin for a solid four years now, so long that her mother had started remembering the German her family had taught her in her childhood, and Mia had started going to the cinema for German speaking movies recently. But Mia was actually a little relieved, Berlin had become tiring and she always thought the program at her American High School wasn’t strong enough to help her get into a top tier university. She had dreamed of the London School Of Economics when they still lived in the UK, it felt like the go-to Law School of Europe, but more than anything she just wanted to get into a school that would help her get a job with Humans Right Watch. She couldn’t quite remember when she came up with that dream, but she had always felt like she wanted to do something of substance, she didn’t necessarily have to change the world, but she wanted to be part of the change. It was aspirational and idealistic maybe, but she always believed in dreaming big. After all, her mother had broken down many barriers in her job and Mia, although she’d never admit it, was often in awe of what a great life Liane built for them, as a single mother no less. That’s why she never complained when they moved, or when she had to help her mother with chores or her soggy pancake days. She did often wish she could see her father more often and she did fantasize about having a traditional family, a house, two cars, maybe a pet or a sibling. But as she got older she realized the need came only from wanting to fit in. The majority of her friends were from traditional families, usually with multiple siblings and happily married parents. Well, at least they were still married, how happy some of them were, was debatable. It’s not that she was completely OK with how things were, and she did miss having two parents, family around, or even people she could call ‘childhood friends’ or ‘friends from Kindergarten’. She did wish for a more stable, traditional life pretty often, but she also recognized that the way they were living was special and she always felt like she was different, so why fight it. But this time was different. They would be living on a completely different continent, where things were probably very different from any country in Europe. ‘America is very different’ people kept telling her the past few months as they had heard the news, ‘you will need some time to adjust’. That’s what they all said, but no one said how! Or what was so different! She knew the food would be different, it would be crazier, as her friend Kerstin kept saying. She only based that opinion on the snacks Liane would bring back from her business trips to the US. It’s not that they were crazier, they were just flashier, sweeter, they were more. More colorful, more sweet, more salty, more unhealthy than what they had in Europe. But it’s not like all food there would be like this, Mia thought, after all aren’t they also obsessed over fitness and wellness, and diets and the sorts? She was sure it would be fine and far less shocking than everyone made it out to be. ‘It’s still the Western world’ Liane would roll her eyes whenever she’d hear these comments. Liane may not have lived in the US since the nineties, but she still felt American at her core, at least most of the time. And while she had also started feeling European over the years, and frowned upon some American peculiarities, she could get pretty defensive of her home country.
‘Hey!’ Liane looked out for Mia from the kitchen door, ‘where are we eating today?’
’Brunch, you mean?’Mia asked without looking up, still bopping to The Libertines.
‘Yeah, we should visit all of our favorite spots before we leave’ Liane was still hanging her head out the door. Mia paused for a moment and looked up. It wasn’t until Liane had said just that, that it really hit Mia that they would leave for good. She suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness, and a little stress. ‘Are you OK?’ Liane asked, disheartened at her daughter’s sudden change in mood. Mia was speechless, she felt a little like crying, even though she hadn’t been particularly happy in this city. Liane came out of the kitchen, unsure of what was going on in Mia’s head, and gave her a gentle nudge, sort of like a dog would bop his nose against its owner’s face when they were feeling down. Mia looked at her mother and started biting her lips, and Liane knew she was trying not to cry. ‘Mi, it’s OK to feel sad about this. This was our life for nearly four years.’ Mia leaned her head against her mother’s breast and took a deep breath. Liane’s long blonde locks stroked her cheek and she smelled the hint of the fruity perfume Liane had used in her hair the day before. That smell along with feeling the softness of her mother’s chest gave her an odd feeling of comfort and safety, and tears started falling down her face. Liane hugged her tightly and started pulling her hair back, just the way she would whenever her daughter would fall ill. ‘Let it out, let it all out’. Mia brushed her mom’s hair out of her face, ‘but I don’t want to be sad’ she replied softly, even though she was actually angry about it. Liane turned her head to be closer to Mia’s ear and softly whispered ‘do you need to be picked up?’ Mia had to smile, ‘do you need a Fun Bobby pick up?’ She asked as she lifted her as high up as she could and Mia started laughing. ‘Joe was right - it works every time’ she laughed, tears still slowly rolling down her face. Liane softly put her back down and wiped the tears away.
‘It’s OK to have feelings about this, it’s a big change and we don’t know how different things will be.’
‘I know, but I wasn’t sad when you said we might move again. I wasn’t sad when I broke the news to my friends, I wasn’t sad on my last stay with dad, and I wasn’t sad when we started packing. I just don’t get it, I don’t get myself!’ Liane could tell Mia was getting frustrated with herself.
‘Maybe it’s not sadness you’re feeling, just a feeling of change and uncertainty. It’s still OK, just let it come and go.’ Mia looked up at her mom in annoyance. She didn’t need a learning lesson on feelings right now, she needed to be chipper and energetic again!
‘Whatever it is’ she exhaled, ‘I don’t like it.’ Liane contemplated if pulling on that thread would make sense now, or if she should just let her daughter be a teenager. She had always told herself she would let her daughter go through all the feelings she needed, not let her feel bad for feeling vulnerable or hurt, but there were moments where she had to just let her be. I didn’t want to talk about my feelings either at that age, she tried to tell herself. In truth, she had no idea when the right time was to have a heart to heart and when to just ignore Mia’s moods. She always figured that motherly instinct people were talking about would kick in at the right moment, and most of the time she felt like it did. But there were days when Liane wasn’t sure how well she knew her daughter, and what was going in that little blonde head of hers. She knew Mia was a sensible, responsible and smart girl. She hardly ever got into trouble, and even on the odd occasion she would do something boneheaded, she would come clean pretty quickly. If she sometimes needed to keep to herself or have an outburst of emotion, so be it. She still had a good kid, Liane reassured herself.
Before they knew it, it was moving day, the boxes had all already been shipped and they were left with a completely empty apartment for a couple of days. They had moved dozens of times, mainly abroad, and yet they still managed to forget to leave out cutlery, cups, and other utensils for the last few days they stayed in a place. ‘Again!’ they would both exhale in disbelief over their own stupidity. ‘We will never learn’ Mia would roll her eyes at her mother, ‘you will be going into retirement and as we will be moving your stuff to Bali or Costa Rica, we will still not remember to leave something out for the last few days’. Costa Rica would be nice right now, Liane thought. That’s all she had. Between the packing, the goodbying and dealing with Mia’s conflicted feelings, she was truly rid of emotion or thoughts. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, she did feel tired, and all she wanted was to be on that plane already! Get comfy in her business class pod, watch one of the latest Marvel flicks that they surely had on selection, and slowly doze off with a Baileys in her hand while Mia would most likely be flicking through the movie and TV selection for half an hour before settling on something she’d already seen, and fall asleep within a solid twenty minutes after take-off. She did know her daughter pretty well after all, she smiled to herself.
It was 9 pm when they landed at Dulles International Airport. A soft summer rain welcomed them outside of arrivals as they were waiting for the taxis to line up. It was hot and humid, and Mia hated all of it. But she would have hated a cold summer breeze now as well. She was tired, annoyed, angry, gloomy and about ten other things. It had been one hell of a journey to get here. Eighteen hours of travel, and just because their plane had gotten late to Frankfurt they had to be bummed to another connecting flight to Dulles. Because the next flight, which was in thirty minutes, was overbooked, they had to take a flight through London. And so, after an extra two hour flight and two hour layover at Gatwick, they both felt like they’ve had enough. The whole ten hour flight to Washington they were cranky, with each other and to each other. Liane actually enjoyed her Black Panther movie, but because she got so drawn to the story, she didn’t fall asleep midway through the first half as planned. Mia, on the other hand, fell asleep before she could even choose anything, but woke up two hours later unable to fall asleep again. Since they hadn’t planned on more than roughly twelve hours of journey, they hadn’t packed fresh underwear or particularly many cosmetics to keep refreshed. So on top of being extremely annoyed at how the journey had gone, they also felt unwashed and just overall gross. They both couldn’t wait to take a shower and jump into bed, but they still had to make the journey to Cherrywood, by the Potomac River, a good forty five minute drive from the airport. Liane knew how expensive a taxi drive up there could be, but as she was about to suggest they take the metro, she saw her daughter’s puffy, red eyed face. She looked like she was either about to cry or rip her to shreds, or both. She decided the fifty-or-so bucks weren’t worth getting into a fight and making their first evening in Cherrywood worse than it had to be. She really wanted to make the transition as pleasant as possible for Mia, and making her drag her luggage over to a metro station and then to a hotel, was not going to make things pleasant at all.
They arrived at their hotel before 10 pm. At least Liane’s company splurged for a small suite overlooking the river, and as soon as Mia saw the two rooms with King Sized beds and their triple mattresses, she lit up. She didn’t even listen to what her mother was telling the concierge, she ran to the master bathroom and shrieked when she saw the enormous bathtub, shower with massage heads, and selection of essential oils. For a brief minute the annoyances of the past twenty four hours were gone and all she wanted was to sink into a bubbly bath, maybe put on some music, and then relax in one of the large fluffy beds. She ran back with shiny eyes to where her mother was closing the door behind the concierge and grinned as she waited for her to turn around and notice her.
‘Do you like it?’ Liane chuckled. Sometimes Mia’s mood could really change within a matter of seconds.
‘Oh I love it!’ Mia exclaimed and ran to her suitcase to take out her pyjamas and face masks. Liane was about to tell her not to get used to it as they only had two weeks before they had to find a permanent home, but she thought that this could easily ruin her daughter’s upbeat mood, and instead decided to go take a shower in the smaller bathroom. It was really odd to be in Cherrywood and stay in a hotel. It made her almost feel like a stranger, even though she had spent years here. She met people who stayed in her life forever, people who had shaped her career and world views, people who have tried bringing her down, and, of course, Gio. This was where she met Gio, where they had spent so many evenings galavanting through the crowded streets with their lively little bistros and pubs, where they would walk through a sea of red, yellow and brown leaves on their way to work, take-out coffee and boysenberry pies from The Pie Cousins in hand. This had been the place where her and Mia’s story had started all along. It may not have been the place they had come together, but it was the place where it all started. It was the place where everything changed. And yet Liane didn’t feel familiar about it at all. They had in fact driven in through Duke Street, straight from the interstate to their hotel, without driving past any of the places Liane had hung out at in her youthful days. Maybe that’s why she didn’t have any feelings about it, or maybe it was because she was tired and she really just wanted to feel clean again.
Mia sunk into her bubbly water, relieved that the journey was over and that she would feel fresh and clean again. She had taken her bluetooth speaker into the bathroom and left her phone on a chair next to the bathtub. She took a moment to position herself, and as she was about to reach her phone, she thought a little silence might actually be better. Between the loud and rowdy crowds at the airport, the constant noise from the airplane’s engines and the babies on board, she just wanted silence. It was unusual for her - she’d always prefer to have some music around. She couldn’t study without it, she couldn’t even fall asleep without some kind of noise. She would usually leave Netflix up on her phone, or at the very least a podcast. She would have music on when she walked to school, when she went shopping, when she cleaned or cooked. There was always something playing except for when she was hanging out with someone. But now she just wanted silence, a peaceful moment to unwind. She couldn’t remember the last time she had had such a tiring time. She was used to boxing things up, moving, organizing farewell meetings and parties, everything that went with moving to a different country or city. But never did they have to take such long journeys, do so much reorganizing, or so much administrative work. With her Italian citizenship she never had to apply for visas or worry about being let into a country. The questioning she received at customs was less than pleasant, and they didn’t even allow her mother to stand next to her! And after such a long journey...What a gobshite that guy was, Mia thought. She quickly smiled to herself: gobshite. It was funny what she had picked up from the countries they had lived in over the years. ‘Shite’, ‘Gobshite’ and ‘Ah stop!’ as a response to anyone and anything, depending on the tonation, were from their time in Dublin, as was her fondness for Guinness Steak Sauce (something her mother never understood). She still had vague memories from their years in Paris, when they lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment overlooking the Seine river. She always thought that’s where her obsession with puff pastries started. They were her guilty pleasure and she’d get so often in trouble with her running coach when she would sneak one of them in during practice. She’d soon regret it, at the latest past her third kilometer, when the cramps would kick in. Still, it took a very different kind of pastry dough in Ireland to kick her naughty habit. She had enjoyed some of the Irish food, but pastries were the one thing that just did not compare to what she was used to from France. She found a good substitute for them in the form of Bubble Waffles, although those were way too big and too sweet to sneak into a run, or rugby match for that matter. Sports was one of the things she had hoped would kick up her university application up a notch when the time came. She wasn’t a math wizard, or particularly into the arts (or good at them), but she worked very hard to maintain a good form and participate in races, and any other sport that might get her extra credit. Aside from the occasional sweet treat, of course. She had of course the advantage of learning languages quite fast too, although she credited that to the fact that she had the luxury of living in the country of the language she was learning. Except for maybe Italian. She was still struggling with that one, despite regular after-school lessons. Something that she was afraid would break her father’s heart a little, but they were never around each other for long enough for her to pick it up. Her mom on the other hand, fluent in French, would make an effort to switch languages every now and then to keep Mia practicing. She wasn’t that much of a help with German, but Mia always suspected that this was due to Liane’s complete lack of affection for that language. Liane always thought German sounded harsh, unwelcoming. ‘So does Russian’ Mia always replied, and Liane always reassured her she had no intention of speaking Russian either. Except that four years ago Liane decided to take a high level job in Germany, and so Mia had a range of new arguments for her to use the language. And her mother couldn’t really escape it, she had to jog her memory, even if it was just so she wouldn’t get scammed in shops and gas stations. It doesn’t matter anyway, thought Mia, it’s one of the UN’s official languages, so I have to learn it. Brownie points for my university applications! ‘Brownie points’, that was another expression she hadn’t dropped since they moved from Dublin.
Liane snuggled up in the fuzzy warm hotel bathrobe. It had felt like forty degrees outside the airport, but with the air conditioning on full blow when they arrived, the rooms had gotten quite chilly. She had enjoyed her long hot shower with a side of Leon Bridges and a glass of Merlot from the minibar. ‘Coming home’ had just come on from her phone and she shook her head at herself. How ironic, she thought, this feels like just the right soundtrack for this evening. She laughed at herself and she started to slow dance around the bathroom. Am I really home, she wondered. With the stress and grosseness of the journey washed off, she thought she might start feeling something. But there were no feelings, no feelings about her being back at least. She had a lot of feelings about this day, the flights and the jet lag though. Her stomach growled. And the hunger! She had feelings about that dreadful plane food, that she did. It was definitely time to explore the room service menu. Just as ‘River’ was about to come on Liane shut her phone off, and rushed back into the living room area of their suite to find Mia. She looked around, but it seemed like Mia was still taking her bath. Liane paused. There was silence. No overly loud Josh Clark or Chuck Briant and their sarcastic remarks, no Libertines or Black Keys howling through the door, not even a soft Radiohead song was playing. Her daughter, who always had to have noise around her, be it at night or morning, or during a workout, would be in her bathroom in complete silence? She’d never take a book with her in the bathtub, she was too afraid to get even a drop of water on the pages. Something must have happened, Liane panicked slightly as she started nervously knocking on the door.
‘Mi’ she yelled, ‘are you OK in there?’ She heard a loud, overly dramatic sigh.
‘Yes, mother. I know how to poop and pee on my own by now’. Liane laughed.
‘No need to be gross!’ she joked, ‘but if you need a diaper, you let me know’. She heard Mia laugh through the door as she made the bathtub shriek on her way out.
‘I’ll be right out.’
‘Good’ Liane yelled, ‘I’m hungry, and you know how I get when I’m not being fed on time’.
‘Believe me, I do’ Mia yelled back. She knew all too well. If there was one thing her mother couldn’t miss, it was meals. Mia was always jealous of how much, and what, Liane could eat and still maintain her statuesque figure. She knew her mother had a stressful job and was usually pretty good at keeping up with her yoga and pilates classes, but she was envious. She was the one competing in half marathons, doing weight lifting sessions with her coaches, and keeping up a regular cycling routine to keep in shape for competitions. And yet she was always somewhat bulky. It wasn’t the weight lifting, she was sure. She wasn’t lifting nearly enough to build serious muscle mass, it was just to keep ‘her body guessing’, as her Berlin based coach would keep telling her. Most of the time she didn’t really mind, mainly because she kept a very solid time on her runs and with every half marathon or 10k ‘fun run’, she would finish a little closer to the top ten runners of each race. Last month she even finished in seventh place at a charity run around Berlin, and that was a fifteen kilometer run! She also did like how toned her legs and arms had gotten, especially in the past year. She wasn’t extremely toned, nothing compared to a world athlete, but you could really see her muscles move, and she found that very cool. But then there were those times when she would be out shopping with her girlfriends and they would pick up clothes one or two sizes smaller than her. There were those moments when she would watch a movie or TV series, and a leggy twenty-something would come up, in a mini skirt and heels, skinny legs for days. On one hand, watching an episode of a typical teen drama like Gossip Girl or Riverdale, or even a Jennifer Aniston movie, would keep her from reaching for the junk food, but on the other it would also make her consider going on a proper diet. Just for a few weeks, to slim down for summer, she would think. But then she would remember the few times she had tried sticking to a typical ‘tiny waist diet’, and how much her running had suffered. The first week would still be OK, but after a few days she would struggle doing a five kilometer run. In the end she always felt like the tiny waists and skinny jeans weren’t worth her performance going down the drain. But she couldn’t help wishing for a slimmer, more straight body. An Emma Stone body, she thought, even though in the back of her mind she realized that as soon as she’d start shedding the weight, her boobs and booty would be history too. She did like some of her curves, after all.
Once Liane and Mia finished their burgers and home fries (and strawberry shakes, because Liane wanted her daughter to have a ’full on American meal), they only found the energy to brush their teeth, and to fall over on the bed. They didn’t even bother picking beds, much less sides. They ended up sleeping next to each other, one curled up like a puppy in the middle of the bed, the other oddly placed with half her torso on the pillows and the other half tangling from the bed. They didn’t even mind that they still had their bathrobes on, or that their hair was in disarray. They were just done with that day.