I have already made my opinions on summaries known.
“At last, my love has come along. My lonely days are over…” Gerard sang.
“Oh. Etta James. ‘At Last’. Kinda nice, huh?”
“Yeah, kinda nice. It’s kinda nice that you’re a romance nerd too. It makes me happy.” Egan looked down and bit her lip at this. Gerard just laughed at being called a ‘romance nerd’.
They were sitting on Egan’s bed, just…talking. After Egan had gone through her episode at Gerard’s proclamation of love and then proclaimed her love as well, they had sat in silence for a while. Absorbing.
Proclamations of love are big stuff.
So now they were sitting and talking and not quite believing their luck at where they were and what they were doing. It was no longer dark outside. They had been up all night. The wall of windows and sometimes mirrors was now allowing a good amount of sun to look about inside, falling on table tops and tripping across the bed. The light floors shone. There was a sort of glow around the room this early in the morning. Egan had never been awake to see it until now. Gerard’s eyes, the green and brown-gold that looked lit up from the inside, added to the feeling of being in a sunny clearing somewhere in a warm forest.
She was lost in a hazy day dream now, leaning against his chest, not even listening to the words as he spoke, just feeling very safe and warm surrounded by the deep, thrumming rumble of his voice and the reassuring beat of his heart. He had such comfortable heat coming from him.
“…What do you think?”
“Hmm?” She sat up. She was caught. She had no idea what he’d been saying.
“Have you heard a thing I’ve said?” The look on her face said it all. Gerard sighed. “Tell me, what is it that has distracted you to such an extent?”
“You kept looking me in the eye.” She said, and blushed.
“Tell me your greatest wish.” She commanded of Gerard as they sat at the island. Just like the first morning, Egan ate Corn Flakes and Gerard had a bagel with cream cheese. He chewed as he thought it over.
“I’m not sure.” He finally answered.
“Well that was a bit of an anticlimax.”
“What do you mean?”
“’I don’t know’? Seriously? You’ve had all your life to pick a greatest wish and you still don’t have one?”
“I don’t really have anything to wish for currently. I have a home, health, family, a career doing one of the things I love most, and someone to love. I’m not wanting of anything.”
“Wishes aren’t made because your life is wanting of something, Gerard,” she said, stating what she felt was obvious,” Wishes are selfish, fantastical, unrealistic dreams that you save up in your heart. They will probably never come true, but you’re loathe to let them go anyway because they are simply too dear to ever leave behind. I can’t believe you didn’t know that.” She scoffed.
“Well pardon me,” he murmured around a bite of bagel,” I didn’t realize you were such an expert on the subject. If I had known I had a bona fide dream consultant sitting right across from me, I would have given it some more thought. Now, as the All Knowing Dreamer, I’m sure you have an excellent one to share.”
“I’ve already told you mine,” she accompanied these words with a little side-to-side head action,” You just weren’t listening, I suppose.”
“And what was this great dream that I seem to have forgotten?”
“Remember in the hospital? With the babies? I said I wanted one too. That’s my greatest dream.”
“And you know I can’t have one.”
“No, I don’t know that. But I know you think of it that way, and I know I can see your point of view very clearly. It’s similar to my own regarding the possibility of children for me.”
“Our opinions differ.”
“As they often do.”
“We fight a lot.”
Egan swirled her spoon around her cereal bowl, considering. “Are we gonna be okay? Are we gonna be able to fight and bounce back and still be us? Whatever ‘us’ is? Because I like us right now, and I’d rather keep us as us for now.”
“If I understand what you are so convolutedly saying, then my response is I hope so.”
“But you don’t know.” She felt unsatisfied with his uncertainty.
“Neither do you, it seems.” He pointed out.
“I think we’ll be fine. I think fighting is kind of how we get along sometimes.”
“Personally, I’m all in favor of talking for getting along. I realize it’s an unconventional approach, but I think we can make it work.” he remarked sarcastically.
“Aw, Come on darlin’. You don’t like a good lover’s quarrel?”
“I’m curious, how did we end up on this subject?”
“Not a clue. Um…we were talking about dreams and babies and then after that I’m lost.”
“Let’s go back to those topics.”
“So my greatest dream, is it?” She nodded and he leaned back a little, careful not to tip the stool backwards. “To……to find the person who is the perfect, absolute right person for me and to stay with them.”
She was looking at him and there was a look in her eyes like somewhere deep inside her something ached. She nodded again and took a huge spoonful of Corn Flakes. “Sounds like a plan to me.” She said once she’d finished chewing. “All you have to do is find that someone.”
“Maybe I’ve found that someone.”
“Maybe you’re that someone.”
“I suppose, hypothetically, I could be that someone.”
“Maybe you’re not that someone.”
“I believe that is very likely.”
“You think you and I are wrong for each other.” He didn't ask, he stated.
“I think you and I are very compatible. I'm just not an advocate of rushing.” She stated back.
“Not true. You rush everything.”
“Well not this. I like this. Rushing would invariably damage this beyond repair. I vote we not consider such things as whether I am the ‘one’ for you and you I just yet.”
“I respect your willingness to be careful in order to preserve something you hold dear, but I think for something to be real, you can’t worry about preserving and keeping safe and not rushing. If you have to worry and fuss over a relationship just to keep it together, it’s not there, the life of it isn’t there. I am an advocate of rushing, if that’s what is called for, if that’s what we’re willing and wanting and ready to do. I say we speak of possibilities and how far this could go and be open and up front right now. And if things change, we should be open about that too. If today you decide I’m the one you’re going to marry and tomorrow you wish to have never laid eyes on me, I will in no way hold it against you. I just think that from the very get go and from then on, we should always know where we stand and what we are.”
“You like your options laid out before you. To plan an escape route if things go sour, I assume?”
“I like to know the purpose behind things. I don’t wish to be kept in the dark.” There was what some might call a silent face-off. Egan’s eyes met Gerard’s and stayed there, metering out his sincerity as he judged how ready to take a risk she was.
“Fine,” she said, laying her hands palm up on the table and leaning back,” We’ll do all in. First up, I will never decide you’re the one I’m going to marry, so no worries about me leaving you at the altar.” Gerard tried to hide it, but he looked a little stricken, so she rushed on. “I’m not ever going to marry.” she explained. He looked less hurt at this statement.
“That’s a shame. I plan on marrying the girl I love.”
“That’s funny, you said you love me.”
“Then I guess I plan on marrying you.”
“Unless something about how you feel changes.”
“Of course. I marry for love alone.”
“And I don’t plan on marrying at all.”
“Unless something about how you feel changes.” How low he sunk, quoting her to her!
“No one knows the future, not even you little girl. Given two years, I might have you wed and knocked up.”
“You say you might, but you won’t.” she countered, smiling.
“I have confidence. I am masterful when it comes to persuasion.” He said, beaming back.
“I’m willing to bet you can’t beat me.”
“I’d take that bet.”
“You’d lose that bet.”
“It’s a sure thing.”
“Oh, I don’t believe in a sure thing.”
“What if I told you we were a sure thing?”
“Then I’d say you’d just made me a believer.”
“I figured I could.”
“Now tell me this. Why are you so intent on remaining unwed?”
“It’s just not something I wanna do. I don’t accept free rides, I don’t accept charity or people doing things for me—I made an exception in your case—and the idea of someone committing to support me until we die or get a divorce does not in any way appeal to me. I asked if you wanted everything up front so you could plan escape routes because that’s what I would do. I’m not willing to tie myself down and bind myself to someone. I have to be able to walk away if I need to. I need to always know there’s a trapdoor somewhere.”
“I bet I can change your mind.”
“We already made that bet.”
“So we did. And you’re going to lose.”
Author's Note: Already bandying about terms like 'marriage'. How very fast these modern relationships move. I'd love to hear your input, and also I'd like to put it to a vote whether the sound of little feet might be in the future somewhere. Of course if I don't like the answer, I might just ignore it, but as long as you've got the option of democracy you should excercise it. So go weigh in and tell me all about your opinions.