The campus coffee shop was as busy as always the next morning. Nicole and Waverly had fallen into rhythm after the first month of being roommates where, every time they went to the shop together, one of them would buy the coffee and the other would go find a table for them to share. They alternated who would pay and who would get the table after every visit (Waverly always made a note in her phone in case Nicole forgot, which was rare).
Waverly was ready to pay for the two of them when they went to discuss Nicole's marriage proposal since Nicole payed last time, but the redhead insisted that Waverly go find the table instead. She was the one that invited her to go get coffee, so it'd be rude of her to make Waverly pay. Plus, she looked exhausted from whatever it was she was doing with Champ the night before.
"You want your usual, yeah?" Nicole asked to clarify.
Nicole nodded and held the door open for her roommate, who left to look for a table as soon as she entered. It wasn't surprising to see how long the line was to order since it was a Friday morning. There were at least six people in front of her and just as many waiting to receive their drinks. She was actually glad the wait was so long since it’d give her time to explain what she’d meant when she asked her roommate to marry her.
She hadn’t exactly told Waverly about her family’s financial struggle yet. Waverly knew she came from a small town in South Carolina, but she didn’t know that Nicole’s family lived in her grandparents’ basement for a vast majority of her childhood. It was a miracle she was even able to attend college, getting just enough scholarships so that she wouldn’t have too much debt when she started her own life. Now her father was without a job and the amount of money they were able to supply her with was dwindling.
Waverly was struggling financially as well since it was just her and Wynonna. She had gotten a slew of academic scholarship offers, and any college would have been lucky to have one of the world’s smartest women on their campus, but Wynonna was constantly in and out of jobs. Since Wynonna and Dolls had gotten together, Dolls had been more than willing to help the two sisters pay for Waverly to go to college. Having a little extra financial aid wouldn’t hurt her either.
“I’ll take the next in line!” one of the cashiers announced and Nicole hadn’t even realized she was next to order.
“I need a caramel macchiato, a chai tea latte, and two plain bagels,” Nicole ordered.
“That’ll be ten dollars and thirty four cents.”
Nicole pulled her wallet and took out eleven dollars, telling the cashier to keep the change.
Her order was ready a few minutes later, and she took it to a small table in the back corner of the shop, where Waverly was waiting for her. There was something about the way the sunlight shined through the window onto her waiting roommate that took her breath away. Waverly was pretty, really pretty, but it didn’t mean anything. She was gay, not blind. Waverly being pretty was just another plus that came with them possibly getting married.
She set the chai latte down in front of Waverly and pulled one of the bagels from the paper bag she held, placing it on a napkin for her.
“You didn’t have to get me a bagel."
Nicole smiled and sat down at the table.
“I wanted to. You haven’t had breakfast yet and it’d be rude of me if I just got one for myself.”
“That’s really sweet, thank you.”
Waverly took one of the small cream cheese packages and started putting the spread on her bagel.
“You gonna tell me why you asked me to marry you at one AM on a Thursday while you were high with my sister?”
“Oh, yeah, that…” She took a sip of her coffee and continued. “I’m in a really tight spot financially and I might not be able to attend college next year. So, I did some research and you get extra aid if you’re married to someone.”
Waverly nodded and motioned for Nicole to continue.
“I wasn’t exactly sure who to marry, or who I’d want to marry, for this until Wynonna mentioned something about you guys struggling too. I figured that since we’re roommates, and really good friends, that you’d be the one I wanted to marry.”
There were a few moments of silence before Waverly set her bagel down and answered Nicole.
“Nicole, I would love to marry you and help you out, but I’m dating Champ and that’d kinda be like cheating on him.”
“That’s the good part, though! This isn’t going to be a permanent marriage, obviously, so it’ll give us a reason to divorce after we graduate.”
There was another pause in conversation as Waverly considered her options. On one hand, she would be getting more financial aid, but she’d also be cheating on Champ. Of course, being legally married to your roommate isn’t exactly the worst way to cheat, especially since it was just Nicole.
“Give me a few days to think about it.”
They sat there for a little while longer to finish their coffee and bagels, changing the subject to their classes. If Waverly was being honest with herself, she would say it was better than any date Champ had taken her on. Maybe getting married to Nicole would be good for her.