Friday, July 04, 2014
“Everything looks exactly the same.”
“Even the food in our refrigerator.”
“It’s eerie,” Noa replied to Morrow, who was unpacking the twins’ stroller in the foyer of their apartment.
“It’s Homestead,” Dr. Tom reminded them, setting the bags of party favors on the dining table. “Hence the Welcome party for us refugees.”
“They want you to feel at home wherever you go,” Delta said, as she helped Morrow lift his sleeping three-month old infants out of their seats. “Especially in Naboombu, the community populated by the universally displaced.”
As Noa watched Morrow carry both babies down the hall to their room, she told Delta, “I don't know what I’m going to do with myself on Monday morning.”
“Same here,” Dr. Tom chimed in, bringing the rest of the tchotchkes inside.
“Without the other Associates,” Noa continued, “it feels like Morrow and I are missing six phantom limbs.”
“Tom’s going back to work next week at the hospital,” Delta announced, “but Noa, you and Morrow are both technically on family leave for how many more months?”
“Nine,” Noa grumbled.
“That will take you through the beginning of next year,” Delta said. “So relax. Settle in. Take care of your tiny children. You’ve been through a lot.”
Morrow returned to the living area and put his arm around Noa. “You in particular.”
“I’m glad you’re here with us,” Noa told Dr. Tom and Delta, as they headed for the door.
With a goodnight hug, Dr. Tom replied, “We’re all in this together.”
“For the next five years,” Noa said with a sigh.
“They’re poly. Well, she is. He's not.”
Morrow climbed onto the king size bed next to Noa. “So Delta dates other people, and Dr. Tom doesn’t?”
Wearing an oversized t-shirt that came down to her knees, Noa made room for him on the large mattress. “She's not seeing anyone else at the moment.”
“If it works for them.” He reclined onto the one pillow remaining on his side of the bed.
Noa turned to her left to confirm that Apple and Lodge were asleep in their nearby cribs. Then she noticed that her husband, on her right, wearing his glasses and a pair of plaid boxers, was smiling at the ceiling.
“Why are you happy?” she asked, incredulous.
“Because I’m with you.
“I’m still in shock. Aren’t you angry? Scared? Confused?”
“I’m with my family.” He clasped Noa’s quaking hand. “We’re safe. That’s what matters.”
She squeezed back. “Safe.”