Baby, hold on

Autumn 3036. Sophie Beana is 29, Michael Beana is 33, Vincent and Liv Beana are 2
Last update: Summer 3034

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Whoever said that you can’t buy happiness, Sophie has decided lately, has never tried raising a family with a miminal bugdet.

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Sure, they’re not starving. They managed to get a loan to buy a house in a good neighbourhood after all, so she’s fully aware that many people are much worse off.

She’s not one to flaunt her problems in order to get sympathies, either so nobody knows that they’re really, really tight on money for the time being. Between supporting Michael’s education and her own career, they hardly have anything to spare. Being a PhD in History isn’t exactly a gateway to the riches and Michael definitely didn’t want to become a nurse in order to be wealthy.

They’ve both chosen lines of work that they are passionate about and Sophie wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s just that it’s hard, sometimes.

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To get any kind of peace and quiet required to write the textbooks she’s contracted for, she has taken to heading downtown with a colleague to spend the day at the library or the faculty, writing and doing research.

So Michael is at home during the days.

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He tells her the twins behave pretty well on his shifts with them, as long as he entertains them regularly.

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Liv, especially, is a cranky girl unless she’s showered in attention and pushed towards various games and toys. She has a hard time playing alone, unlike her brother.

Michael claims he had been the same way as a boy, causing his parents some mild unrest with his tantrums whenever he couldn’t figure out what to do next and wanted them to come up with a game for him.

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Perhaps that’s why he’s not too annoyed whenever Liv starts crying or shouting. If she’s perfectly honest with herself, Sophie finds it terribly taxing and she really has to put all of her patience to good use dealing with her daughter’s temper sometimes.

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Luckily, she’s also very sweet when she’s not bored. It makes up for her less agreeable traits, by far.

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On a typical day, if they’re lucky, Sophie and Michael has one or two hours together in the afternoons before it’s time for Michael to get to the hospital for his night shift. He’s been temping there for years and finally landed a secure job position as a practical nurse, so it’s all very good and gives them more stability than before.

Still, it also means he’s away when Sophie is at home.

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She likes their routines in the evenings, it’s no problem there. She serves the dinner, the twins eat and bathe and then they play some more before it’s time for bed.

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She’s glad Vincent is always up for playing with his sister, because it keeps her entertained and it brings some peace to the house with both of them at the same spot where Sophie can see them.

Some night she works on articles for the academic press and occasionally also for History Weekly, which is a rather famous publication that has asked for some “light-hearted columns about historical events” – not her forte, but it does earn them some extra money.

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But mostly she wants to spend the nights with her children, money be damned. They’re fun to be around at the moment, always exploring new things and developing brand new skills at a high speed.

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She also tries to hang out with friends, afraid to disappear completely into the family bubble of diapers and baby food.

Sharlene regularly comes over to watch a game or a movie and they both know it’s just a convenient excuse to talk for a couple of hours.

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At the moment she’s talking a lot about her somewhat unexpected engagement. Or maybe it hadn’t been unexpected to her and Karl, but to everyone else, it has always seemed like Karl Krois wouldn’t be the type of guy to tie the knot.

Then again, he’s way more likely to get married than Ed has ever been and look at Ed now. Sophie still finds it hard to believe at times, that her ex-boyfriend who wanted to be free and found relationships stifling, now has a wife and a daughter.

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They’re not having a big wedding, Sharlene assures her a few times. It seems like she might want one, but knows it’s unthinkable to get Karl to agree to it, so she’s settled for something more realistic. Then, of course, it’s always about the money, too.

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It’s going to be a fun event, nonetheless, and Sophie feels excited for her friend.

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That same evening, though, she feels something else, too.

Emptiness. Not the overwhelming kind, but the quiet, nagging kind that sits somewhere in your chest and reminds you every now and then about how alone you are. Or how alone you feel, even if you have someone who understands you like no one else.

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“I can’t cope with this for much longer,” she tells Michael the following night. He has the weekend off and they spend their Saturday night talking, something they barely have time to do during the weeks. “Not seeing you for more than a few hours a week.”

“I know.” He looks at her. “It bothers me, too.”

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“So what do we do?”

He’s silent for a while, thinking. “There’s a job opening at a different ward,” he says eventually. “It’s a day schedule and I think it would work much better for us.”

Sophie smiles, as though he’s just told her they’re going to fly to the moon together for next year’s summer holidays.

“That sounds wonderful.”

“I’ll let them know I’m interested,” Michael says.

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And for the first time in way too long, they take some time to just enjoy each other’s company alone, with the kids sleeping soundly in the next room.

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* Last post for this round, oh my! 

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2 Responses to Baby, hold on

  1. Carla says:

    Aw, I hope Michael can get that job! A “two ships passing in the night” kind of thing can rarely bode well for a relationship. It would be wonderful if he and Sophie could get some more time together.

    The twins are so adorable! I can’t wait to see what they look like when they’re older.

  2. maisie says:

    That will be great if he can get a day shift. I have several couples that are in the same situation, young children, opposite shifts, and it is taxing on their personal relationship together. The twins are adorable, I was almost hoping they were having another one!

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