“Thanks again for meeting me here,” The albino woman smiled as she took her seat across from her.
“Oh I’ve been looking forward to this all week,” the other woman grinned as she handed her date her cup of coffee. It was a relief when she had arrived after work to find that her date had followed the dress code they agreed on. Casual, as you are, no pressure to dress up as anything other than who you are, truth on your sleeve. As single mothers they had agreed that neither of them had the time to dress themselves up as any different, nor the time to decipher someone who did.
“Honestly? Between work and my kids I don’t know how I’d get by without coffee,”
“Oh trust me I know how that is,” she chuckled.
“Yeah well, I think Hal and Emma are still adjusting to everything. I’m still...I feel like I’m still just finding my footing with this whole single mom thing,” The divorce had been historic. Literally. Her lawyer told her in confidence that he had never seen a judge recommend that pantiff parent in question take custody of the defendant’s other unrelated child as well due to the standing investigation on reports of child abuse/neglect. She had been more than happy to take little Emma in of course, but she still couldn’t help but feel unsure of herself. She had only met the per child a handful of times before the paperwork was ordered, and Hal was LITERALLY her baby.
“I’m sure you’re a fine mother, half of that battle is accepting it,” The sincerity in her voice seemed as though it could tame wild horses, bring full stampedes to a standstill. Obviously, a very good mother herself. Her breath caught in her throat, before she scrambled to end the awkward pause and pull out her cell phone.
“Feels like just yesterday he was in diapers, and now he’s getting ready for high school”
“Cute kid,” she commented as she took the phone in her hands.“Yeah, the high school transition is always a big deal, here--” The other woman handed her her phone, pulled up to a photo of two boys, a larger brunette and a smaller blonde--both blurry from movement. “They’re both in high school now, can’t believe how grown up they are now.” She idly scrolled from one photo to the next, the boys changing slightly in age and appearance, and sometimes on their own, but seldom holding still. Lots of sports photos. Then suddenly a photo of the brothers plus a third blonde boy.
“How many kids do you have?”
“Alright last box!” it had been a long morning but the truck out front was finally empty and the house was beginning to look and feel more like a home to both women as their things are unpacked.
“I can’t believe we really did it,”
“Well it is still MY house so best behave yourself now,” she teased
“Oh you!” The other woman laughed before moving in to kiss her wife. To kiss her WIFE. To kiss HER wife. The idea alone was still enough to make her grin ear to ear as she rested her head against the nape of HER WIFE’s neck
“Mmm whaddya think? Not too bad right Sal?”
“I think the house is a mess Joy,”
Joy couldn’t hold back her laughter as she spun her wife around “Oh come on, besides you knew that before you agreed to move in,”
“Hmm did I? I suppose I did,” Sal teased before kissing her wife
“Come one, we should go check on the kids”
“God damn it Eli! I do not have time for this today!”
“No! It’s not fair! All you ever do is boss me around! I hate you!” Joy ran a hand over her face in annoyance, mornings were always a hassle but today of all days Eli just had to be in one of his moods.
“Come on Eli! Just put a shirt on” his twin brother David complained, only making Eli angrier and increasing his need to act defiantly
“No! You may feel the need to censor and restrict your body BROTHER, but I am too smart to fall for such propaganda! These outrageous dress codes do nothing but serve to oppress----”
“Here you go mom,” Jack, her oldest, swiftly stood asides her and handed her a shirt from Eli’s room before exchanging a quick kiss on the cheek
“Thanks, have a good day big guy---and drive safe!” she called after him as she forced the shirt over Eli’s head in a huff.
“I will! See ya mom!” Jack called on his way out the door, Joy only caught the faintest glance of red and a soft metallic jangle before she was able to spot her second oldest Adam already out at the old truck with Jack. She could only shake her head. Funny kid.
“Now I BETTER not get any phone calls today about ANYONE breaking dress code, UNDERSTOOD?”
Eli just folded his arms and rolled his eyes. Knowing him, he’d find some other rule to break.
“Good morning mother, brothers Elliot and David, we best not miss the bus,” and there was George. When the door finally closed for the last time Joy allowed herself a quiet moment and a sigh of relief. She managed to get all her boys ready and off to school. The morning was finally over.
By the time she left for her date at the coffee shop she was already completely disheveled, by normal standards at least. Her sweatshirt, tied back and unkempt hair, and dark bags under her eyes would be considered by some off putting, good thing she was going out with another single mom.