You can call it Home

Chapter 25

Arizona’s POV- year and a bit later

So the time had come. My little girl was off to college. Well, I hadn’t known her for her whole life but it felt like it, and plus she was a foetus then compared to now.

I was so incredibly proud of her. She got into Stanford. Freaking Stanford, California!! Isn’t that incredible? She worked her ass off to get into there since it was the college of her dreams and now she’d done it. I’m not gonna lie, having her move to California was incredibly scary, but this was the next step in her life. She was an adult now. Plus, it wasn’t cheap, but we could afford it. We had pretty well paying jobs and there was also the option of student loans and what not. And also, Carlos had also made it very clear that we could always turn to him, but Callie and I had made it perfectly clear that that was only a last resort.

What made it better as that Lizzie and Clara were both going to the University of California, Lizzie to study business and Clara psychology. It brought me comfort to know that she wouldn’t be completely alone there, and I liked Lizzie and Clara so I was fine with them getting an apartment between them.

“You’re getting emotional, momma.” Poppy laughed at our last dinner together before she left tomorrow. We’d already been down there a few weeks ago to move stuff in, and the plan was to drop her off at the airport with Lizzie and Clara tomorrow morning. Of course everyone was emotional.

“Yeah, well, so is Madre!” I laughed, pointing an accusing finger at Callie who up until this point was perfectly fine.

Callie smiled and pointed at Sofia who was paying no attention to the conversation and was off in her own little world. “Well so is Sofia!”!

“What about me?” She asked, looking up from her plate curiously. “What?” She demanded when we all laughed.

“Nothing, sweetheart.” I laughed, and then turned to Poppy. “So on scales of one to ten, how excited are you?”

She thought for a minute. “About a nine. I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m also super nervous and I’m not keen on moving state either.”

“I get what you mean.” I nodded. “I was excited to move here to work at Seattle Grace, but I wasn’t thrilled at moving across the country. As much as I needed away from it all.”

“I think once I settle down and get used to it all then I’ll be fine.” Poppy agreed.

“And as much as we want you to chase your dreams, try to avoid moving across the country, because I couldn’t handle that.” Callie added.

“Either could I to be honest.” Poppy laughed, just as Sofia re-joined the conversation and frowned.

“You’re moving away?” She asked sadly, her lower lip trembling.

“Only for a while, then I’m coming back.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”

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“Momma, Poppy’s being mean!”

“Madre, Sofia took my makeup bag!”

Were they serious?

The day was here, and Poppy, Clara and Lizzie were due to be at the airport in four hours. Apparently, Poppy had been lying to us about being completely packed for weeks when in truth she was now dashing around the house trying to track everything down. Most of her stuff was in their apartment in California, but she still had a suitcase and a rucksack with bare essentials in it. Bare essentials that were yet to be packed, apparently.

“What’s going on?” I said as I approached Poppy’s room, which looked like a bomb had hit it. Sofia was sitting in the corner next to the chest of drawers clutching what seemed to be Poppy’s blue makeup bag, while Poppy towered over her trying to get it back.

“Poppy’s being mean!”

“Sofia has my makeup bag!”

I rolled my eyes. One day, they were gonna grow up and realise how stupid they were being. I still looked back on arguments with Timothy and laughed at how ridiculous the topic of conflict was. However, that wouldn’t help the current situation.

“Sofia, why do you have Poppy’s makeup bag?” I sighed, walking further into the room and starting to fold up some of the clothes that were scattered across the bed.

“I just want to look at it!”

“But you have your own.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Give it back to Poppy please.” I told her, and she looked like she was going to protest for a moment but decided not to. I left the room and began my hunt for Callie, who had disappeared into the depths of the chaos about half an hour ago and I hadn’t seen her since.

I found her in the living room, looking over all the photos on the mantelpiece, apparently having a moment. She had her back to me so I came up from behind and wrapped my arms around her waist, taking a closer look at the photo she had in her hand. It was one of all four of us, just before Poppy’s prom. Poppy looked stunning in a dress of pale gold and all of us looked so happy.

“Aw, you’re having a sappy moment.” I laughed and kissed her on the cheek. Everyone always thought that I would be the sappy one, but that was definitely Callie.

“I can’t believe she’s away to college. And to freaking Stanford too.” She said, setting the photo back down on the mantelpiece exactly as it had been before, in between Sofia’s school photo and our wedding picture.

“She was a baby when we first met her.” I agreed.

“I sometimes forget that we’ve only known her for three years, it feels like she’s always been here.”

“I get what you mean.” I nodded. “But I think we’re gonna have to save the sappy moments for later because we’re already running late.”

It wasn’t overly long before we successfully got everything packed and were on our way to the airport, once everyone chipped in and ran around the house packing like crazy. We met Lizzie and Clara there, both of whom were with their parents.

“And you have everyone’s number, you can call every single day if you want, and all you have to do is say the word and we’ll fly over there or you can come here, and you have to call at least once a week…” I rambled as we walked through the airport doors.

Seattle Tacoma airport, or what we called Sea-Tac airport, was of course most busy on the day that we were there. We had a hard time dodging people who were rushing to catch flights and I nearly had to restrain Callie from snapping at a woman who barged past me while walking in the opposite direction without apologising.

“I’ll call once a week. I’ll send photos. I’ll visit during the holidays, I’ll call you if there’s anything I need, or if I need help with assignments, and I’ll remember that although parties seem like a good idea in the first place, I’ll regret them the next morning.” Poppy recited everything Callie and I had told her over the last few months, ever since she got into Stanford.

“And Clara, remind her that she has to call us when she gets there because there’s over a 100% chance that she’ll forget.” I told Clara who smiled and nodded.

“You got it, Arizona.” She said, and I leaned in to hug her. I really liked Clara. I know I’d said that I’d liked Grace, but Clara was different. She didn’t always agree with everything we said and she would stand up to us, but not in an insolent way. It just showed she was comfortable with us. Callie and I approved of her right from the start because she made Poppy happy, and that’s all we were looking for.

I then moved on to hug Lizzie. Lizzie had helped Poppy through some hard times over the past years and had been an unswervingly loyal best friend to her, and I thanked her for that. As much as Callie and I could comfort Poppy, we weren’t teenagers and we weren’t Lizzie. Lizzie had a way of making Poppy listen when she would ignore us and quite often had to talk her out of stupid things.

“I don’t want Poppy to go!” Sofia cried as she hugged Poppy by the boarding gates. Sofia had been pretty okay with the fact that Poppy was going to college, all until she’d fully grasped the idea that Poppy was going to have to move to California to do so, which had been about five seconds ago.

“Hey, don’t cry!” Poppy comforted her, although her own voice was slightly shaky. “I’m still going to see you, every single holiday. I promise. I’ll be back for Christmas and we can make the house look like Christmas throw up!”

“But Christmas is ages away!” Sofia complained.

“Yeah, but because I’ll be away for so long it means you’ll be more happy to see me and we’ll have so much fun! And I’ll even write a letter to Santa to make sure he gets you a really good present.” Poppy promised. I took Callie’s hand in mine and squeezed it as we watched the whole scene play out.

“You promise?”

“I promise.”

Sofia contemplated for a moment before nodding. “Okay then. But you have to come back as soon as you can.” She said seriously, giving Poppy the biggest hug she possibly could.

“As soon as I can.” Poppy nodded, before standing up straight and facing us, wiping her eyes which were watering like crazy. “I don’t know why I’m so emotional, it’s not like we’re saying goodbye or anything. Just a ‘see you!’.”

I shook my head and pulled her into a bone crushing hug, feeling my own eyes starting to fill up with tears. “I’ll miss you so much.”

“I’m going to become a mess if we don’t stop all of this sappy stuff.” She laughed as I let her go and she hugged Callie tightly, before stepping back and taking a long look at all of us.

“I know you keep saying that I never need to thank you, because it’s not a thing to feel thankful for, adoption. But I’m going to say it anyway, and it’s gonna be cheesy because I’ve been rehearsing it in my head for days now, so be prepared.

“Thank you so much. If I hadn’t run into you Momma on the streets then I don’t even want to think about where I would be. In one of those horrible camps that try to make you straight again? Or dating a guy? Ewe.” She shuddered. “And you just took me, this complete stranger with loads of baggage, into your apartment and let it become my home then adopt me. And now I can’t even remember what life was like when you guys weren’t my parents. “Well I can, but I hate to think about it. David and Sarah are just people who exist to me now, because you guys are my family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She finished and took a deep breath.

“Wow, you were right.” I mumbled. “That was cheesy.” I laughed, before Callie and I both enveloped her in a massive hug, and I could feel Sofia hugging our legs too. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way either.”

“We love you Poppy.” Callie agreed, which set everyone off and it took us a few moments to be able to see clearly and form coherent words.

Just as we recovered from it all, the final call for Poppy’s flight was announced and now she really did have to leave. She gave us all last really big hugs before setting off.

“And don’t you dare love California too much!” I called after her.

She turned round and gave us a big smile. “Don’t worry!” She called back. “I’ll always call this place home.”


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