SOPHIA, MORNING AFTER
We spend the next day together – we do a few of the things we planned on but not many, opting to spend more time in bed than anything else. After we buy condoms, there is no slowing us down, especially since we know our time together is limited.
Hayes leaves for home Sunday morning and it is far more difficult than it should be, considering he’s only going to be a couple of hours away. We promise to resume our date nights and he reassures me he’ll make more trips but we both know that living in two different cities is going to be a challenge that we’re going to have to continue to live with. His home base is in Saskatoon and while I’m easier to uproot and move – I now have a home base here, even if it is small and far more ‘portable’.
I have a life here. I job, an apartment, a circle of friends – a life. I can’t uproot everything and give it all up for a man – not even for Hayes. Not for a life of… what? Dating? No, we can date as we are and see how things progress. I’m not changing everything in my life in the hopes that things work out between us – if they do, then we’ll see about moving but until then – I’m fine where I am.
I don’t see any reason for things to change.
HAYES, LOVE FROM AFAR
Returning home is far more difficult than I expect it to be – but then again, I never expected everything to go as it did either. It went… better. The visit surpassed everything I could have dreamed of and then some! We expressed our feelings to one another – to a degree, and then slept together, a lot. The only thing that didn’t happen was saying ‘love’ to one another and any sort of further commitment – but I think that’s there, if unspoken.
I know I’ll never look at another woman.
I’m confident she’s committed to me as well, Sophia isn’t the type of woman to screw around so in truth, I’m not worried. What does bother me is not being able to see her every day – texting is not the same thing and it sucks ass when I can’t smell her apple shampoo or touch her soft skin. I would love for her to move here and let me take care of her but I don’t dare even suggest it – I know her pride won’t allow for that so until I can figure something else out, I’ll wait. Our relationship isn’t to the point where I can ask her to move in or marry me – at least, I don’t think it is although I’m ready. I’ll take her for a lifetime right now on the spot if she’ll have me.
Where do I sign?
The fact that she is still there and I’m here tells me that she isn’t there yet, so I’ll wait. What choice do I have? Until Sophia is ready to move forward, there is nothing I can do but go with the way things are and wait for the time she is ready. Until then, I’ll enjoy every minute I get to spend with her and continue falling further in love with her.
If that is even possible.
Despite my protestations to the contrary because of the cost, Hayes purchases a charter to let Bridget and I return home for Christmas. He is staying behind, not wanting to intrude and for the first time in our lives, Bridge and I fly as the actual guests on the plane instead of tag-alongs. Fairly sure our inflated egos is what gets us home instead of the actual plane.
Mom cries when she sees us and I’m stunned at how much everyone seems to have grown in the few short months since I was last here – gotta love puberty. Kaleb is excited to introduce Bridge and I to his bear, “Axel” who has just as much aggressive attitude as our brother does – they’re a perfect pair. Kaiden is still waiting anxiously for his, who could arrive at any time – or not at all. With one human parent, our siblings might not be shifters at all and we won’t know until their first shift simply does or doesn’t happen.
Only time will tell.
“Hey Bridge, can I talk to you for a minute?” I ask my sister, trying to convey with my eyes that I need her in private. The kitchen is noisy and rambunctious with all seven of us eating breakfast at the same time and I couldn’t love it more – I miss my family terribly when I’m away, as much as I enjoy being on my own.
Bridget and I excuse ourselves to the bedroom we share with our baby sister Bella – the house is small – three bedrooms and one and a half tiny bathrooms – with all five kids sharing one bath and all of us using one shower. It made life interesting growing up but it was all we knew so we made the best of it – I’m sure everyone was, to some degree, secretly thrilled when Bridge and I moved out.
Two less in the bathroom queue.
Once we got older, Bridget gave up her spot on the top bunk and we moved Bella up there instead. The boys got the other bedroom with Mom and Dad in the master – it’s tight but it works. We live in the Saskatchewan woods – as long as we have a warm roof over our heads and food on the table, we couldn’t ask for more. For now, we both sit on my single bed as she waits for me to talk to her about what is bothering me. Bridget knows everything about Hayes – everything. There is nothing I don’t tell my sister, including the fact that Hayes and I were intimate – I have no secrets from her.
Except this one.