Then, after Konrad and Thomas she used to consider love a trite cliché, a waste of her time and emotional investment.
Now she’s not sure about definitions any more but she doesn’t care very much about it, either.
All she knows is that she’s ridiculously in love. In a way that makes her think about Konrad, because it’s similar to that wild rush of teenage hormones combined with the thrill of your very first mutual love, spinning around in your head until you can’t even think straight.
They moved in together a few months ago despite good intentions of taking it nice and slow and she hasn’t regretted it once.
Even so, it frightens her that he’s so damn uncomplicated. She’s never been good at uncomplicated.
He tells her he wants them to get married at some point and ideally have “a couple of kids” and when she makes a startled face at that he merely grins and adds that she can be the judge of when and how many, as though these are just simple decisions that in no way make him fret or worry. The only thing he claims to have strong feelings about is their choice of last name – he wants her to change her name, wants to honour his parents by carrying on the Albee line.
It’s not something she’d have considered romantic before, having a detailed discussion about these things.
He proposes to her at the movie theatre, much in the same vein he does everything else – casually, sincerely. When she frowns at the spot he’s picked he explains that he’s carried the ring for weeks, waiting for a right moment.
“And you were so lovely tonight,” he says simply.
It’s still a bit weird for Martha to regularly hang out with Louise, considering the fact that she used to date Martha’s little brother back in high school. But that’s not exactly a topic they usually cover, so she doesn’t have to think about it too much.
She really likes Louise, too. She’s easy to talk to even if she’s a bit reserved – the pay-off is that once you get her to open up she’s very clever and aware of things around her. Martha considers asking her to be a bridesmaid if they decide on having a traditional wedding set-up.
It’s a good time to start saving up for a wedding, she realizes and feels surprisingly excited at the thought of having that whole thing. In some ways it would feel like she’d take back something, walking down that aisle with Addy. She’s messed up a lot of things in her past but this, she promises herself, this will not be one of those things.
Addy got her a laptop for Christmas and ever since, she’s been even more approving of him than usual.
Of course they have their disagreements and it’s not the easiest thing in the world to try and explain to a fourteen year old why she can’t do this or that. Not usually Addy’s task either but sometimes life with a teenager demands that you can step in and put your foot down.
Martha can’t help but worry a little about her daughter. She’s not in any kind of trouble but she’s just so much of a teenager, in every little way, and Martha is still young enough to remember that those were awful, harsh years.
She’s still very close with her cousin Rebecca and with Albin, which has created somewhat of a love triangle between them. From what Martha can tell, Elise is the odd man out and it’s not that strange either.
Martha may be biased but she’s never been one of those mums, those who can’t see their own kids in a somewhat realistic way. Elise and Albin have very little in common and she hopes, even though it would break Elise’s heart momentarily, that he doesn’t intend to go anywhere with her.
“Give it a little time,” Martha says and puts an arm around her daughter’s shoulder.
Martha ages about twenty years when she hears herself tell Elise to bring him home after school so she can meet him in person and then, when they sit down to eat a sandwich, she ages even further as she realises that no, she really doesn’t care much for this Robi.
Konrad laughs for a good five minutes when she tells him, then he gives her a warm welcome to the definitely grown-up crowd. Where, all things considered, it might not be so bad to find oneself.
* Martha and Addison are animals, I swear. If she hadn’t been on the pill, they’d have had several kids during this play session, for sure. 😀 I’m very excited to see what possible future babies might look like though, but I have patience. I think.
* No date set for the wedding either, but I want to squeeze it in during this round at least.