2.4 – Failed

11-28-19_5:50:24 PM.png

Get out of bed. You’re turning into your husband.

That was a horrible thought. But at least the first part was correct, because I had to get out of bed, get Farrah ready for preschool and Eli ready for school, while Lachlan slept. As usual, these days.

11-28-19_5:52:58 PM.png

I’d let him rest. I heard him pacing and muttering last night, but I can go to sleep straight through it nowadays.

11-28-19_5:54:56 PM.png

I just wanted today to be a good day. I mentally crossed my fingers and hoped that Lachlan gets an interview back and finishes some job applications and that Elias is happy and follows his routine without any backtalk. I thought about Dianne and Brice and how I wished they’d have a half-decent day so I wouldn’t go to bed thinking about the state of my best friend’s marriage on top of everything else. I just want everyone to be OK. I love them so much…

11-28-19_5:55:15 PM.png

And you have failed them.

Not…yet. And I have my own life to worry about. I’m an important person with my own needs too, as my old therapist told me. But this is my family…they’re the most valuable people to me! I don’t know most of who I’d be without them.

11-28-19_5:55:56 PM.pngbw11-28-19_6:02:09 PM.jpgbw11-28-19_5:58:30 PM.jpg

I still can’t make it better. I can’t make Elias or Lachlan happy. I can’t even stop Farrah’s tantrums half the time. All I’m good at doing right now is running the Lotus Flower…but that was never my only goal in life. I don’t want to be absent from my family, I just want them to feel better…wouldn’t it be so much easier if you just left them alone? You’re no good anyway.

11-28-19_5:57:13 PM.png

Shaking my head at the horrible thought, as if that would make it leave, I went to go wake my son.

11-28-19_6:14:03 PM.jpg

When I checked my phone between classes, I had three missed calls from Eli’s school. What the hell could that be?

11-28-19_6:15:39 PM.jpg

“This is Sarai Hayes, correct?”

“Speaking, what is the problem?”

“Your son has missed nearly one-quarter of his class periods since school started. Obviously this is very serious and we’d like to see you tonight at-”

11-28-19_6:14:34 PM.jpg

I froze. Eli was missing school? But Lachlan or I had dropped him at the gates every day since school started! He’d go in – we saw it! Annoyance bubbled up inside me – why do you have to cause so much trouble, Eli, this isn’t what I wanted!

11-28-19_6:14:47 PM.jpg

I wanted a kid…whatever that may bring. It’s brought this, I suppose. My nails dug into my palm and I took several breaths.

11-28-19_6:15:17 PM.jpg

“I’m sorry to hear that. We will of course be speaking with him about this behaviour.” I robotically managed. “Call my husband about the meeting.” I told her. “I’m very busy today.”

“Ah…right…your husband.” said the woman in an awkward tone. “I thought…right.” This wasn’t the first time I’d been mistaken for a single mother. Thanks, Lachlan, and your inability to just name the kid normally.

11-28-19_6:15:30 PM.jpg

“Yes. You have his details. Call him.”

11-28-19_6:16:20 PM.jpg

Lachlan can deal with this. He doesn’t deal with anything else anyway!

…Apart from depression over losing his job. I’m an awful wife – hell, a straight-up fucking vile person – for thinking that way. Besides, he started taking medication again and got therapy lined up for the next couple months. Yet I still kept on resenting him up until now. What’s wrong with me?

You know exactly what…

11-28-19_6:16:54 PM.jpg11-28-19_6:17:40 PM.jpg

I’ve known for years that self-destructively bathing in the memories of my teens and early twenties is 100% a shitty idea…yet throughout the day, I kept on doing it.

11-28-19_6:27:57 PM.jpg

Lachlan stopped me before I opened Eli’s door. “He’s doing some writing. He started yelling and crying and wouldn’t tell me anything. I think…we should let him cool off. Have a proper talk this weekend.” I could deal with that; it was already Thursday night.

11-28-19_6:28:34 PM.jpg

He set Farrah down and she made for her dollhouse. We headed to the bedroom to talk.

11-28-19_6:32:12 PM.jpg

“How was the meeting?” I asked.

11-28-19_6:33:09 PM.jpg

“God…they ranted on and on like he was some kind of malicious hell-raiser, doing this all for shits and giggles! But that’s not our Eli, sunshine…it can’t be.”

11-28-19_6:33:34 PM.jpg

I nodded my agreement. “I don’t think it is either. There’s something else going on. Maybe he needs another therapist…Jay’s great but he just focuses on his ADHD…”

11-28-19_6:32:12 PM.jpg

“I mentioned him seeing someone else. Big mistake.” Lachlan sighed and buried his face in his hand. “He said that he doesn’t like seeing the doctor and that he won’t go to another. It really set him off – what did I do wrong?”

11-28-19_6:34:36 PM

His voice was almost a whimper, and he was collapsing against me. I could tell he just didn’t have it in him to talk anymore. Maybe I should have given my classes to Shannon and not let my depressed husband deal with our angry, truanting son.

11-28-19_6:35:28 PM.jpg11-28-19_6:39:31 PM.jpg

Lachlan went straight to bed after taking his pill. He’d at least made some dinner, and there was a plate for me already in the microwave. So thoughtful…and all my thoughts about him had been bitchy and cruel today. My stomach squirmed in guilt…awful, you’re awful.

11-28-19_6:41:49 PM.jpg

Before going to bed myself, I checked my emails. It was the usual stuff – bank emails, work stuff, mailing lists I’d accidentally ended up on, random family news.

And something from a sender not in my contacts. A Nolan…Nolan Fox.

11-28-19_6:42:25 PM.jpg


It felt like my heart fell right out of my chest there and then. A tear leaked out of my eye. My first son, the precious baby I gave up for both our sakes…he wrote to me himself…he’d be almost seventeen now. It couldn’t be anyone else…I don’t know anyone else with that name!

11-28-19_6:44:45 PM.jpg

My mind filled up with awful scenarios. I made a mistake choosing Darren and Lela and they weren’t good to him. Or he wanted to chew me out for giving him away like nothing (although at the time he was everything…and has stayed in my thoughts to this day).

11-28-19_6:45:21 PM.jpg

Theorising like this just made me feel worse. All I could do was open the email.

Dear Mrs Hayes,

My name is Nolan Samuel Fox. I’ve known for a while that you are my birth mother. I’m sorry to bother you but my parents said last year that I could write to you myself if I chose to. And I finally decided to reach out. I just want to know more about where I came from.

Mom said you were nice, but that you seemed kinda alone, when you were pregnant with me? Sorry if that’s too much to say to a stranger…but if you were, I hope you’re not now. Hope you’re still nice though!

I know that over the years you read and replied to my mom’s emails, and that you’ve got pictures of me. So I guess you really did care about me – thanks. I also guess that you’d like to know if I’m happy or not – and I really am! My parents have been really great to me – really encouraging and supportive. They love me and I love them a lot…I’ll always see them as my parents. But if you wouldn’t mind it would be nice to get to know you a bit as well.

But I have a question. I hope you don’t mind answering or me asking. I just want to know – why did you give me up?


Nolan Fox

11-28-19_6:46:07 PM.jpg

11-28-19_6:46:12 PM.jpg11-28-19_6:46:30 PM.jpg

Dear Nolan,

This is Sarai. Thank you for reaching out. I’m glad to hear that you have such wonderful parents and that you’re happy. Yes, your mom had it right. I was alone when I had you. I’m not any more.

That has a lot to do with your question, in fact. I’m not really sure how to write it down. But I do want to give you as honest an answer as possible, believe me.

I would like to get to know you as well, but I will speak to your parents first, if that’s alright. Thank you again for your email.



11-28-19_6:46:51 PM.jpg

2.3 – Don’t Wanna

I’m back sooner than I thought! Not sure how regular posts are gonna be but I had some sudden inspiration to get a bit of work done on this story! Hope y’all enjoy!

Also, C/W: Use of ableist slurs towards POV character in this one.

11-27-19_6:44:49 PM.jpg

There’s something wrong with me.

Of course the doctors already told me that last winter – ADHD – but now it’s SOMETHING ELSE wrong. So that’s TWO things wrong with me. At least.

Mom and Dad did everything I wanted this time cos I wrote all those dumb notes to their friends. The toys were pretty cool and I guess I kinda felt bad…

11-27-19_6:49:47 PM.jpg11-27-19_6:53:17 PM.jpg11-27-19_6:53:36 PM.jpg

Anyway then Dad made lasagne and brownies before Mom came home from putting Farrah at Auntie Kaylyn’s. So it was just us! We played loads of games…

11-27-19_6:56:35 PM.jpg

I got to eat loads of food and have soda!

11-27-19_6:54:01 PM.jpg

But it still felt kind of lame because the triplets weren’t there. I’ve known them forever but they’re really smart and I’m just NOT, even if Mom says I am. Whatever. Anyway, the triplets are always busy or maybe they just don’t wanna be around me cos I’m dumb but either way it makes me super lame.

Mom and Dad always taught me to be nice to everyone but all the kids in school just laughed at me. But then the triplets didn’t so I hung out with them for AGES but now I can’t anymore I guess. Boo.

11-27-19_6:55:23 PM.jpg

So I got sad at my new party and I didn’t wanna say anything but I think Mom noticed. She always figures out things like this and talks lots about feelings crap. I thought she was gonna do it but then she didn’t. I bet she does it tomorrow though.

11-27-19_7:09:01 PM.jpg

I don’t wanna have a talk! I just wanna be left alone! I want the triplets to want to hang out with me again! And I want mom and dad to stop fighting with each other! I can hear them downstairs. Farrah’s gonna wake up even though Mom said she needs to sleep lots cos she’s small.

11-27-19_7:10:48 PM

…I guess I can just sit with her until it stops.

11-27-19_7:23:06 PM.jpg

“Dad says we’re moving.” Baxter always talks first.

11-27-19_7:26:27 PM.jpg

“Something to do with Dad’s work.” Sadie said. “So we’re going to live in Riverview and go to school there. Sorry.”

11-27-19_7:27:14 PM.jpg

Flint shrugged. “Eh. It’ll probably be fun. I wanna get out of here anyway. Dad said we should tell you though.”

11-27-19_7:27:45 PM.jpg

“Well…thanks.” I couldn’t even talk right. Like Farrah. Even if the triplets talk about stuff I don’t understand and kinda laugh when I fail my homeworks because I forgot to do it or got distracted and did the wrong thing…I don’t want them to go! Who ELSE is there at school?

11-27-19_7:28:21 PM.jpg

“Anyway,” Sadie started going through Mom and Dad’s bookshelf and I didn’t know what to say! Mom always muttered angry stuff when I let them near it cos they take forever to give back her books. “Did your parents get anything new? I don’t get allowance until next week.”

11-27-19_7:28:52 PM.jpg

“We can’t take those, remember Sadie? Cos we’re gonna leave and we can’t steal Mrs Hayes’ books.” said Baxter.

“Oh.” Sadie frowned and put the book back. “What are we supposed to do then?”

11-27-19_7:31:23 PM.jpg

“I guess we’re gonna go home then.” Flint rifled through the stuff on the TV stand. “Where’s your phone?”

11-27-19_7:31:58 PM.jpg

“Kitchen.” I mumbled. Why can’t I talk right? Am I stupid? “But…you guys don’t have to go! We can play this new game I got – you have to put together a robot and-”

11-27-19_7:32:22 PM.jpg

“I can assemble a real circuit at home.” Baxter interrupted. “We’ll just go. See ya round, Eli.”

But I was NEVER gonna see them again. I just knew it.

11-27-19_8:25:24 PM.jpg11-27-19_8:26:17 PM.jpg

There’s sooooo many things on my stupid noticeboard! Cos I gotta go to school for fifth grade today and it’s the first day. Don’t really wanna go to fifth grade. Four grades is enough.

11-27-19_8:33:50 PM.jpg

Mom just rolled her eyes and gave me a bowl of weird oatmeal. I wanna decorate the table with it like Farrah is but Mom isn’t very happy right now. So I’ll try and eat SOME.

11-27-19_8:29:42 PM.jpg


11-27-19_8:37:44 PM

“Eli…” Crap. There’s the I’m-mom-and-I-ruin-everything voice. “You – well, you don’t have time now.” At least she took away the gross oatmeal. But I had to put my book back and she said I couldn’t take it to school cos I’d just read it in class and not pay attention and forget things like I apparently always do which is what she said. Maybe I do, I dunno.

11-27-19_11:42:19 PM.jpg

“Hey. Spaz. Hey! Are you listening to me?” Casey yelled, waving his hand in my face. I thought he was gonna punch me. It’s so not fair! I WAS listening! I was just thinking as well.

11-27-19_11:43:06 PM.jpg11-27-19_11:45:05 PM.jpg

Liane and Aaron were giggling from across the classroom. The four of us are the ‘problem students’ according to every teacher ever but I’m not a problem on purpose like them! Anyway we all get paired together for work and stuff and it’s BAD.

11-27-19_11:44:27 PM.jpg11-27-19_11:43:59 PM

“Spaz!” Casey shoved me in the shoulder. Mom and Dad gave me a big lecture when I shoved him out of the chair last time so I didn’t do it this time. But I was so mad.

11-27-19_11:45:38 PM.jpg

“Eli’s such a retard.” Liane snickered.

11-27-19_11:46:01 PM.jpg

I hate fifth grade already. Mom said it’s too soon to say that cos it’s only been three days but I definitely hate it! Lots of kids, not just Aaron and Casey and Liane, call me ‘spaz’ and ‘retard’ now. I KNOW those are way worse than ‘weirdo’ or ‘dummy’. Doctor Jay said they shouldn’t be calling me that but what does he do anyway? He’s not here. He can’t make it stop.

11-28-19_12:02:59 AM.jpg11-28-19_12:02:43 AM.jpg

No-one did anyway even before they all told me about this ADHD thingy. The triplets used to just stand there.

11-28-19_12:09:28 AM.jpg11-28-19_12:09:41 AM.jpg11-28-19_12:09:56 AM.jpg11-28-19_12:12:01 AM.jpg

I guess they weren’t very nice friends. I said it to Mom in the summer and she made a huge deal and told me I could make better ones.

11-27-19_11:46:52 PM

None of the other kids want to be ’round me anyway.

11-28-19_12:30:20 AM.jpg

On Thursday I decided I was sick of this CRAP. So after Dad dropped me off I acted like I was gonna go sign in at school but then I RAN down four blocks to the old park. I don’t wanna be in school if everyone’s gonna be mean and my teachers make me work with Aaron or Casey or Liane.

11-28-19_12:32:08 AM.jpg

“Scram, kid.” said some way older boy. Even older than Colton and…Kaylyn’s daughter. I forgot again.

11-28-19_12:34:15 AM.jpg

“Aww.” This girl was COOING like people do to Farrah!

11-28-19_12:32:36 AM.jpg

I scowled. I’m not a baby!…Although I nearly cried last night so maybe I am.

11-28-19_12:36:05 AM.jpg

“How old is this brat? Seven? Eight?”

11-28-19_12:35:49 AM.jpg

“I’m ten!” I protested. I’m not THAT small! Or a brat…that’s Farrah!

11-28-19_12:37:30 AM.jpg11-28-19_12:40:00 AM.jpg

They all started jeering. “Ooh, ten! You’re really long in the tooth, kid!” What does that even mean? I touched my mouth and my teeth were still the right size. What?

11-28-19_12:40:36 AM.jpg11-28-19_12:44:10 AM.jpg

I ignored them and started playing on the monkey bars. They actually started being kinda nice and the girl said I was strong. And nobody called me mean names or made me do work or got annoyed when I didn’t do things in the ‘proper order’ like it says on my noticeboard.

11-28-19_12:44:57 AM.jpg

I decided I would stay there until lunch! PE is in the afternoons and I’m not bad at that and the mean kids pick on the REALLY weak kids instead of me.

11-28-19_12:48:35 AM11-28-19_12:48:52 AM11-28-19_12:49:02 AM

Dad asked me if I had a good day. I actually did…but parents ruin everything so I’m not telling him WHY I did cos I know it’s against the dumb rules. I’m totally going back to the park though!



2.2 – Effort

09-20-19_4:44:39 PM.jpg

It had been hard to keep my brave face on for the entire party. I had to act like our second celebrant wasn’t periodically running off and refusing to talk to anyone or look them in the eye.

09-20-19_4:46:50 PM.jpg

Sarai, calm down, there must be a reason for this, and you will talk to him as if there is one. There were still guests in the hall – Lotus Flower members at that – and besides, I’d always refused to yell at my children. This wasn’t even the worst thing Eli had done – no matter what he did, I wouldn’t break that rule. I swore it to myself years ago.

Lachlan and I had become bonafide experts in ADHD since his diagnosis in January. This wasn’t it. Something else was up. By the time everybody left, I was fuming at the kid. I’d tried so hard to put together some semblance of a celebration for him – I forwent my usual carob and coconut cake in favour of something way too creamy and sweet that I knew he’d like, I invited as many kids as possible…it wasn’t perfect but couldn’t he at least appreciate it!

Maybe I’d been selfish celebrating my own…no, it’s my birthday. I’m a person as well as a mother. It was OK to do this. But I’m still talking to Eli.

09-20-19_4:53:56 PM.jpg

“Elias Carson Hayes.” He was upstairs with one of the new toys he hadn’t even bothered thanking Bill and Charlotte for. “The party is over now.”

09-20-19_4:54:47 PM.jpg

He just gave me the most insolent look and mimed a ‘phew’ action – wiping his forehead with an exaggerated exhale.

09-20-19_4:55:17 PM.jpg

“Don’t look like that. What were you thinking this whole time? You didn’t talk to anyone. You didn’t even thank anyone for your nice gifts. What the hell has gotten into you, Elias?”

09-20-19_4:55:54 PM.jpg

“Maybe I didn’t want the dumb party.” he sneered. I clenched my fists, my nails digging into my palm – do not scream. Do not pull a Clarissa. You’re better than this.

09-20-19_4:56:35 PM.jpg

Taking several deep breaths, I continued. “I tried my best! I know it’s not exactly what you wanted but I did try! I invited some kids your age and I got your favourite cake! I’m sorry the triplets aren’t around for a party.” They got less likeable to me each year. Bart had straight up told me that they didn’t want to go to one of Elias’s parties. So I sucked it up and lied to my own kid. “But I did try, Elias.”

09-20-19_4:59:55 PM.jpg

He shrugged and sat on his bed. I followed. “Didn’t try hard enough.”

“No, Eli. That is not how you are to react to someone – anyone – making an effort for you.”

09-20-19_5:00:56 PM.jpg

“Fine!” he huffed. “Thanks I guess, Mom. Now leave me alone!”

09-20-19_5:00:22 PM.jpg

I didn’t budge an inch. “Why didn’t you like our party, Eli? Anger’s all gone. I’m not mad anymore.” I was, albeit less so, and finding out why Eli was acting out was more important.

“It was your party.” he mumbled. Aha, there’s something.

09-20-19_5:06:16 PM.jpg

“I know it was at first, but we went through this – I made it yours as well.”

09-20-19_5:07:45 PM.jpg09-20-19_5:07:59 PM.jpg09-20-19_5:08:41 PM

“Whatever!” He jumped up and stamped his foot. “You didn’t make it mine right! All the kids were horrible! It wasn’t fun. I did try and talk properly and make you and Dad happy.” he admitted, his voice breaking down into a sob. “But it wasn’t fun and I just got sad.”

09-20-19_5:12:33 PM.jpg

“Come here, Eli.” My heart lurched. I felt like the worst mother ever. “I’m sorry you were sad. I wish you would have said something instead of running off. But you know – if you’re sad you should just tell me instead of giving me attitude, hm? It’s better for both of us.”

“I don’t wanna be a baby.” he muttered.

09-20-19_5:13:12 PM.jpg

“You’re my baby, and I love you very much.” I rocked him from side to side, and he didn’t even try to wiggle out of it like he usually did for the past couple of years.

“Mushy, mom.” he said with a tiny scoff. I just laughed a little.

09-20-19_5:14:40 PM

“How about this?” I suggested. “We have a party of our own – me and you and Dad and maybe the triplets if they aren’t busy.” I already knew they would be. “Iris or Colton can watch Farrah for the night and Dad will make your favourite foods and we can do anything you like.”

09-20-19_5:14:25 PM.jpg

He instantly perked up. “Yes! But if the triplets come…don’t, like, be embarrassing…”

“Us?” I smirked. “Never. But there’s one condition.”

09-20-19_5:15:36 PM.jpg

Rolling his eyes, he sarcastically groaned, “Great!”

09-20-19_5:14:08 PM.jpg

“Look at these great presents!” Everybody had been so generous this year. I was still cringing a little inside because none of them got thanked. They must think I raised a really rude kid or something. “None of the people who gave them to you know why you ran off without saying thank you, so they’re going to wonder why. If you, over the next week, write them all thank you notes, we’ll have that party.”

He sighed. “OK, Mom. I’ll try.”

09-20-19_5:15:49 PM.jpg

“You’ll do it; I know you can.” I assured him. “Maybe we can put a little schedule on the board. There’s only…” I mentally counted. “Five. If you do one per night after all your homework, it’ll be like nothing – and you’ll have another party!”

09-20-19_5:16:16 PM.jpg

“OK.” he agreed. “Thanks Mom. And I’m sorry I got all freaked out.”

09-20-19_5:18:14 PM.jpg

“Thanks, Sarai. I know he liked it, don’t worry about it. I’m sorry about my tearaway kid.” Dianne was on the phone apologising for Caleb, who had spilled several drinks and tore down a set of string lights.

09-20-19_5:18:19 PM.jpg

“It’s alright, I expected this.” I said. “Seriously, don’t worry, Di. We both know that young boys don’t always behave right – look at Eli today!”

“Yeah, but he’s not just being a shit for the sake of it. I could tell he wasn’t too happy today…I really hope he settles. This whole ADHD thing is rough on him, I think.”

09-20-19_5:18:11 PM.jpg

“Yeah…” I sighed. My only plan for my kids is that they live happy lives, but even that simple thing seems quite difficult! “Eli hates being different like that. It’s been really hard. But y’know…hopefully he adjusts.” My son has never been good at taking big changes well. It took him a good couple months for him to even tolerate Farrah.

Of course, now he adores her…I don’t think he’ll ever love ADHD but hopefully he can accept and work through it.

09-20-19_5:18:58 PM.jpg

“Sarai, you’re a great mom, and we can all see how hard you try. It’s gonna be fine.” Dianne assured me. “I gotta go. Brice is leaving on another work trip. Sales conference in Pleasantview. See ya!”

09-20-19_5:27:40 PM.jpg

Now to clean up. I searched the entire downstairs for Lachlan, and when I couldn’t find him there, I went upstairs, even though I was sure he wouldn’t be there.

Except he was there, lying on our bed, facing away from me.

“I’m tired.” he immediately said.

09-20-19_5:33:19 PM.jpg

I shrugged. “So am I. We have to tidy, though.”

“This party was your idea.” he almost snapped. Rage welled inside me. Was he seriously gonna play that card with me? It was my idea but he said he wanted this too!

09-20-19_5:31:18 PM.jpg

“Are you serious, Lachlan?” I cried.

09-20-19_5:31:59 PM.jpg

“OK, I’m sorry. That was really shitty. But…I am just…exhausted. I don’t even feel like I can move. I’ll make it up to you.” He pulled the covers over himself and turned towards his front.

09-20-19_5:33:30 PM.jpg

He did look bad. He had since GreenBox downsized. I had a son sulking in his bedroom and a husband doing much the same one room over. Recently it felt like I was the only one trying in this house, spending my non-working hours holding my whole family up by a thread.

2.1 – Birthday

(Everyone’s ages – Sarai & Lachlan – 40, Elias – 10, Farrah – 3, Dianne – 42, Colton – 14, Caleb – 9, Clarissa – 70, Miles & Adela – 73)

(Also, sorry it’s been two weeks, tbh the reason there hasn’t been updates is because I bought a Switch and got really obsessed with it for a while because I haven’t had a console in so long. But I’m back working on this story now. Hope you enjoy!)

08-28-19_6:57:57 PM.jpg

When I went downstairs Dad was facepalming about something but then pretended like he wasn’t. Maybe he doesn’t want this party either. “Eli!” he said. “If you set the table in five minutes, we’ll let you have two pieces of Mom’s cake, OK?”

08-28-19_6:57:17 PM.jpg

It’s still pretty annoying that they’re so flipping obvious about doing what the doctor told them. I was almost tempted to pretend like I ‘got distracted’ and stop setting the table on purpose! Then I wouldn’t get cake though, and that’s the only good thing about this stupid party.

I’m turning ten and I have to have my party with my mom who’s turning super-old (or forty) anyway and is making me do this dumb party with her! It’s not even my party. It’s super-duper obviously hers but I guess she felt bad that the triplets couldn’t come on my actual birthday in a few days so she made me join even though that’s NOT BETTER. And I don’t really know anyone else.

I just know I’m gonna have to watch Farrah – still more fun than talking to all the boring adults! It’s funny. I remember when she was born I really didn’t want her, but I don’t really mind now. She can be kinda fun.

08-28-19_6:58:26 PM.jpg

“Play!” She can’t even walk right and it always looks like she’ll fall over. Mom and Dad just laugh when I say it and they say the same thing – ‘it’s cos she’s so little, Eli’. She was kicking this cat toy around and squealing.

08-28-19_7:00:56 PM.jpg

What if she falls?

08-28-19_7:03:18 PM.jpg

“Play!” she insisted, when I went to her. I didn’t really wanna say no.

08-28-19_7:02:37 PM.jpg08-28-19_7:03:45 PM.jpg

“Eli…” Uh-oh. She was using the Mom voice. “Why have you put all the cutlery on the floor? Come here, Farrah.” Farrah started crying! Moms just ruin things! Like when she made me stop doing swimming on Thursdays to go to the doctors. But I get to do it once school starts again.

08-28-19_7:11:32 PM.jpg08-28-19_7:10:38 PM.jpg

“Mom, let her play!” I protested. It’s so not fair! It was fun! And it’s apparently my birthday as well and Farrah’s my sister and I’m supposed to be nice to her anyway so why can’t we do fun things together? Someone should look after her cos Mom and Dad don’t even care right now. They’re doing stuff for the party. And I didn’t even mean to get distracted!

08-28-19_7:12:06 PM.jpg

“Sorry, Eli. We need to get ready.” said Mom. “When did she get that dust in her hair? If you’re going to play with your sister, try to keep her clean.”

08-28-19_7:12:24 PM.jpg


08-28-19_7:14:20 PM.jpg

“Now pick all of this up and put it in the sink. Turn the water on and remember – don’t look away. I’ll get Dad to come in and help you but until then – don’t look away.”

08-28-19_7:17:50 PM.jpg

Doctor Jay said they only tell me this super-annoying stuff because I’ve got ADHD. Basically it’s just that I’m too hyper and I don’t get still enough or do the right things. But according to him and my parents I can, but I just have to try. Boring!

08-28-19_7:18:59 PM.jpg

“You haven’t flooded the kitchen, huh son?” Dad mocked me when he came over. I scowled. I was getting so sick of them!

08-28-19_7:20:01 PM.jpg

“I’m not stupid, Dad!” I snapped. “I can listen…sometimes. I just forget things and everything’s boring!”

08-28-19_7:26:15 PM.jpg

He held up his hands. “Whoa, sorry bud. I was just teasing you…thank you for washing all of the cutlery. That’s really helpful. Next time we go out, we’re gonna get you a soda.” Mom hates soda because again – moms don’t like anything that’s fun!

Dad wrote it on one of the sticky notes and put it on the board. The board is super sucky and boring and it’s full of sooo many things I’m supposed to do. The doctor told mom and dad that it would help me remember stuff but all it does is make mom and dad remind me of stuff I would have remembered anyway…maybe I would have.

08-28-19_7:28:16 PM.jpg

“Now go get your stuff out of the hallway. Auntie Dianne’s gonna get here in fifteen minutes.”

“Do I get extra stuff if I do it in fifteen minutes?” I asked. So I was kinda making fun…

“No. Just do it.”

08-28-19_10:02:50 PM.jpg08-28-19_10:03:05 PM.jpg

This has been the worst party ever!

08-28-19_10:30:22 PM.jpg

Random people that I don’t even KNOW keep telling me that I’ve grown lots and stupid sappy stuff. I don’t care what you think! And I know I’ve grown lots since whenever in the Dark Ages you saw me last so don’t TELL ME.

08-28-19_10:07:27 PM.jpg08-28-19_10:09:12 PM.jpg

Caleb and this other kids, Yann, were being really mean and tried to push me off the monkey bars. But that wasn’t very long cos then Mom called all the kids for lunch. Colton and Iris just talked to each other. They’re pretty cool…so they don’t wanna talk to me. NOBODY who’s cool actually does.

08-28-19_10:13:23 PM.jpg08-28-19_10:12:43 PM.jpg08-28-19_10:13:46 PM.jpg

And THEN some other kid (Dani or something) started chatting to Caleb. He stopped being nasty with Yann but then he wouldn’t even talk to me and just talked to Dani the whole time! And everyone else who’s not a grown-up is Farrah and Jacob who are super little anyway. They played together. It’s so not fair. Farrah doesn’t even talk properly and she has a friend here and I…I don’t.

So I was just sat eating lunch in silence apart from when my parents told me to get back to the table even though it was boring.

08-28-19_10:26:41 PM.jpg

Then Mom brought out the cake, which was really good, even though I’m only allowed one bit because I didn’t set the table properly.

“Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to Sarai and Eli!” They all had to rush out MY name. It sounded stupid and it just reminded me that it’s not even my party.

08-28-19_10:29:19 PM.jpg08-28-19_10:18:06 PM.jpg

Me and Mom blew out the candles, and the second I sat down something cold hit my lap.

08-28-19_10:18:58 PM.jpg

“Oops.” Caleb snickered. He’d thrown my drink at me on PURPOSE! Dani and Yann fell about giggling. I wanted to punch them right there and then – I swear I could have.

08-28-19_10:19:46 PM.jpg

“Screw you Caleb!” I yelled out. Some of the adults looked at me so I didn’t say anything else.

“Maybe that wasn’t very nice.” Dani considered as I tried to dry my trousers.

08-28-19_10:20:08 PM.jpg

“W-whatever.” Caleb had this gross cocky look on his face. I wanted to hit him. “He’s just a freak-boy who I could totally beat in soccer even though he’s a whole year older than me AND his mom makes him skip all the practice so he can go to the nuthouse!” he jeered.

08-28-19_10:21:42 PM.jpg

I couldn’t even look at anyone after that. It looked like I PEED myself and it wouldn’t dry! And Dani and Caleb wouldn’t stop laughing. I decided right then that I was just gonna sit by myself and eat my cake when I FINALLY got some and drink the lemonade Auntie Dianne gave me.

I felt so pathetic. I must be really pathetic if this is my birthday.

08-28-19_10:22:28 PM.jpg08-28-19_10:22:55 PM.jpg

Then I realised all my fun gifts were inside waiting to be opened! By ME! “Bye-bye!” I yelled, and I got to run away from the boring adults and mean Dani and Caleb and the dumb party that wasn’t even mine.

Mom and Dad were yelling after me but I didn’t even care. Cos I’m DONE…even though I left my DS outside. Oops.


2.0 – Bad

08-14-19_9:34:49 AM.jpg

Elias’s Weekend News – 3rd March

I can still remember the stupid talk Mommy and Daddy did with me AGES AGO..and now things are even WORSE then I thought it was gonna be! They lied It’s so not fair! And its all FAHRA’s folt anyway! She just crys all the time and I haer it at nit nd can’t sleep

08-14-19_9:34:51 AM.jpg

Mommy said that she was gonna have another baby and I was a bit confused and then they said all this stuff about how they love me but they also love eatch otherr and they want a second baby and it’s gonna be my lil sibbling but I don’ want it

08-14-19_9:34:42 AM.jpg

08-14-19_9:35:41 AM.jpg

“Hey bud.” Lachlan came up behind his son and ruffled his hair. “How are you doing on the homework?” He looked over Elias’s shoulder and tried to make out his large, messy scrawl. Kid’s only six after all, he thought.

08-14-19_9:41:12 AM.jpg

“I’m not done!” Elias cried, covering his workbook with his hand.

08-14-19_9:37:39 AM.jpg

It didn’t matter. Lachlan had seen enough. At least Eli was voluntarily doing homework, but the rest of it worried him. He took the seat next to his son. “Maybe leave it for now, Eli…we should-”

08-14-19_9:38:38 AM.jpg

“I have to.” Eli softly protested. “The triplets are gonna get really good marks and they’re gonna ask me ’bout it and I don’t wanna be bad!” he cried.

08-14-19_9:39:03 AM.jpg

“You’ll never be bad.” Lachlan assured his son, patting him on the shoulder. “You’re trying very hard at this and I know you’ll get a good mark. And your friends aren’t trying to make you feel that way either. They’re just proud of their own marks-”

08-14-19_9:43:24 AM.jpg

“It’s not like that though!” Eli wailed. He jumped up and started to run off. Lachlan immediately followed, pulling his son into a tight hug. “I don’t know how to write or do math good and they can all do both and they think I’m stupid!”

08-14-19_9:43:39 AM.jpg

“They don’t think that. You aren’t. You’re a really smart kid, Eli. And sometimes you can’t write down your ideas as well as the other kids…but that doesn’t make you any less smart. Your mom and I know you’re amazing.”

08-14-19_9:44:06 AM.jpg

“Yeah.” Eli mumbled bitterly. “But you still put Farrah here.”

08-14-19_9:43:53 AM.jpg

“Eli, having another kid doesn’t mean we love you any less – we love you and Farrah equally. I know it’s been a bit hard so far, but things will change. Farrah needs a lot of help right now ‘cos she’s so small, but she’s gonna grow up and we’ll have more time for you. I know we don’t do lots together since she was born but we didn’t stop loving you.”

“Ok.” Eli muttered, staring at the floor.

08-14-19_9:45:05 AM.jpg

“Now,” Lachlan began. “Are you sure that’s what you want to write about? I don’t think it’s making you feel very good.”

08-14-19_9:44:40 AM.jpg

“I don’t know. Nothin’ else has happened anyways.”

08-14-19_9:44:58 AM.jpg

With a sinking feeling, Lachlan realised it was true. Eli’s weekends hadn’t been much fun for the past month. But it was only 1pm on a Sunday. Plenty of time to do something. “Again, I’m sorry, bud. We’ve just been very busy with your sister. But it’s not too late to find something. Maybe we could call your Auntie Dianne?”

08-14-19_9:49:39 AM.jpg

“No!” Eli yelled, stomping his foot. “Don’t wanna go there.”

08-14-19_9:45:17 AM.jpg

Lachlan raised an eyebrow. As far as he knew, Elias had been fine staying with Dianne and her boys when both parents had to work. “Are you sure?”

08-14-19_9:51:09 AM.jpg

“No!” his son insisted.

08-14-19_9:45:20 AM.jpg

“…Oh, OK. How about we ring the triplets’ mom?”

08-14-19_9:52:20 AM.jpg

Eli shook his head and picked up the notebook. “It’s OK. I’ll just do the writing. Upstairs.”

“Hang on…is that a new notebook?”

“Yeah.” Eli quietly admitted, refusing to look his father in the eye. “Lost the other one.”

08-14-19_9:52:55 AM.jpg

“Don’t you need that?”

“No.” Eli answered almost immediately. Lachlan resolved to talk to his son’s teacher about that one. Eli lost everything, it seemed. The problem was only getting worse.

08-14-19_9:53:44 AM.jpg08-14-19_9:55:24 AM.jpg

08-14-19_9:59:24 AM.jpg

“I just saw Eli running past here…he looks so upset, Lach.”08-14-19_9:59:54 AM.jpg

Lachlan gave a heavy sigh. “He is, sunshine. He’s written all this stuff about how he hates Farrah and we lied to him about what it was gonna be like.”

08-14-19_10:01:13 AM.jpg

Sarai looked stricken. “Oh…have we done something wrong? I tried so hard to explain it right…but he’s still so young!”

“He’s having a hard time with Farrah. He’s so upset he won’t let me call Dianne, or Bart. He doesn’t wanna see other kids right now, I guess.”

08-14-19_10:01:13 AM.jpg

“Well…Colton’s so much older. And from what I’ve seen Caleb can be a bit loud for our Eli. And he really doesn’t have much in common with those tiny geniuses!” she replied, shaking her head at the mention of the Freeman triplets.

08-14-19_10:01:30 AM.jpg

“He normally likes them…” Lachlan considered. “I guess six-year olds are pretty changeable, so-” He cut himself off when he saw his wife’s tears. “It’ll be ok, ‘Rai. He’ll get used to Farrah-”

08-14-19_10:05:50 AM.jpg

“What if he…he doesn’t think he’s good enough to be with his cousins and the triplets?” Sarai whimpered.

08-14-19_10:06:38 AM.jpg

“The thought crossed my mind as well.” Lachlan admitted. “But I think we’re projecting. He’s a happy kid most of the time. I think he’s just adjusting.”

08-14-19_10:07:20 AM.jpg

“He better be. He can’t grow up feeling like we did.” Sarai wiped her eyes. “But I think you’re right, it’s just – stupid hormones.”

“It’s not like you had a baby a month ago.” Lachlan joked.

“Maybe we can put him in sports.” Sarai suggested. “I know Di already takes Colt and Caleb. She wouldn’t have to watch him for the whole evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays…”

08-14-19_10:08:10 AM.jpg

“It’ll focus him too hopefully, the kid never remembers what he’s doing! I don’t know who taught him to use the microwave but I’m getting sick of opening it to see cups of forgotten milk or old chicken nuggets!” Lachlan exclaimed. Sarai giggled.

08-14-19_10:08:24 AM.jpg

“Yes, I think we’re doing what we should be, with him.” she considered, sighing. “I just hope it’s enough.”


1.34 – Letter

Hi Mom,

08-01-19_2:39:44 PM.jpg07-28-19_11:42:02 AM.jpg

I found the old letter during the move. Believe it or not, it’s a move of progress, not me running away from someone yet again – I’m moving a little way out of the city. Not quite suburbia, but somewhere a little quieter. And closer to my workplace…

07-28-19_12:16:18 PM.jpg

A lot has changed since the last letter. I still don’t know if I believe you can read this, but I want to write it down anyway. I’m pretty anxious right  now so it’ll be nice to remind myself of how far I’ve come.

07-29-19_1:10:01 PM.jpg

I got married over a year ago, to a man named Lachlan Waterman. I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that from my last letter – me, afraid of love and in absolute hatred with herself. However, I got past that in a lot of ways and…I’m married now! I’m really happy with him, honestly. Lachlan is an amazing man and husband. I adore him, and we treat each other well. 

07-29-19_1:14:41 PM.jpg

I also started my own business with a friend. The Lotus Flower yoga studio is doing better than ever! And yes – I’ve met and made real friends as well as meeting my husband. I’m not alone anymore, Mom.

07-28-19_10:46:02 AM07-28-19_10:48:06 AM07-28-19_10:54:07 AM

But the real reason I wanted to write again is because I’m pregnant again. Finding out was a nice birthday present for my Lachlan. And guess what – the baby’s going to be a Hayes, like you and me! I won’t get into it but Lachlan doesn’t want the baby to be a Waterman for various reasons. He and I are overjoyed but…when I found out it got me thinking about the past. I’m so excited yet so much of the self-doubt that pours out of the old letter is setting back in. It was nearly seven years ago now, and I was so sure I couldn’t do this. And now? I’m still pretty sure at times that I can’t do this. But I’m working on it.

07-28-19_12:04:36 PM1
August 26th – 1st day of 1st grade!

I ended up having the first baby, by the way. His name is Nolan Samuel Fox. Yes, Fox. I gave him up to an older couple with a wealthy income and nice house in Willow Creek.I get emails from his true mother, Lela, every so often. He’s six now, and I have no doubt that I made the right decision. I don’t think I could have done everything I did and grown and changed as much as I have with a baby in tow.

07-28-19_12:16:34 PM.jpg

Not that I’m disparaging single parents at all, obviously! I know where I came from…and I’m grateful you kept me. I still sometimes think about how sad it is that you couldn’t follow your dreams or get married to someone who deserved you or see me grow up – maybe I would have grown up different…but there’s no point dwelling on the past, I guess.

07-28-19_10:57:09 AM.jpg

So onto the present and future – things are different for me now. For one thing, I – we – planned this one. There’s the money to raise a kid, and the father’s obviously in the picture. But I was – and still am – so scared. I don’t know the first thing about being a mother.

07-28-19_11:35:15 AM.jpg07-28-19_11:36:32 AM.jpg07-28-19_11:36:56 AM.jpg07-28-19_12:21:24 PM.jpg

But then Dianne – yes, that Dianne, she’s my best friend now – I’m sure you’re happy – she said that nobody knows how to parent, and that every mother she knows doubted themselves at some point. Including herself – she had a baby as well! Colton is three now! She and another friend, Kaylyn, have been bringing their kids round for practice. Aunt Adela gave me some of her old parenting books and a few helpful tips. I’ve realised I had a lot of support extending beyond my husband – and I think I can do this.

07-28-19_12:16:46 PM.jpg

Then I found the old letter –  I’ve changed since I was pregnant the first time. That girl wasn’t ready to take care of anyone, but I’m different now, Mom. You’d be happy about that, by the way. I’m not just different. I’m a better Sarai. So maybe…but I’m still not sure. Sometimes this all feels like a mistake.

I haven’t told Clarissa. I still remember how she screamed at me when she saw me pregnant the last time. And I know she wouldn’t react like that this time because the circumstances are different…but I just can’t face it. I guess I’m just a coward. I still say shit like that. Old habits die hard…but this one’s pretty dormant now. I know you’d like that.

Anyway. This has just been a pretty relaxing writing exercise, because I don’t think you can see it…it’s nice to imagine though. But I do feel better, so thanks.

07-28-19_12:17:03 PM.jpg

I can smell Lachlan’s teriyaki salmon cooking, and I need to go thank my wonderful husband. Might eat more than my share but I think it’s pregnant woman’s rights! This man’s child is inside me and it can get pretty uncomfortable…so I’m gonna eat his delicious food!

I love you so much, Mom.

Your happy, loving daughter, Sarai.

07-28-19_12:18:28 PM.jpg07-28-19_12:18:52 PM.jpg

1.33 – No Objections

07-27-19_6:11:15 PM.jpg

Lachlan didn’t want a big wedding with the formality and the massive expense of it all. Mainly because he didn’t see the point, but also because word got back to the Watermans somehow. I guess he’d told some of his high school or college friends and the news just travelled. He knew they’d muscle in and turn it into something ridiculous, expensive and impersonal that we wouldn’t even want. Having met them one Thanksgiving, I was inclined to agree.

07-27-19_6:11:41 PM.jpg

I was never that little girl who dreamed of her wedding day. In fact, I didn’t even think about weddings until that day I saw those rings on the computer screen. I didn’t mind at all, and given my busy schedule, decided that a small wedding would be best.

07-27-19_6:12:43 PM.jpg

Besides, I couldn’t imagine saying everything I wanted to say in front of so many people. The very thought made me anxious.

07-27-19_6:14:19 PM.jpg

It was decided that we were going to hold a tiny ceremony, practically an elopement, at Myshuno Meadows, under the same beautiful dusk that he’d proposed under. It’s been only two months since then, and the wedding’s Friday. The guest list was limited to Dianne and Kaylyn on my side, and Dax and his husband Jaron for Lachlan. Our honeymoon would take place in September – we’d planned to head to Sulani. The weather would be as good, but the prices cheaper.

07-27-19_6:50:43 PM.jpg07-27-19_6:53:49 PM07-27-19_6:55:01 PM

With encouragement from Lachlan and Dianne, I told Uncle Miles, Aunt Adela, and Michael of our plans.

07-27-19_6:55:19 PM.jpg

“I can accept that.” Miles said. “It would have been nice to see you get married, Sarai, but it’s your choice.” For a second, my stomach lurched with that familiar guilt; my brain screaming that I was making a terrible, selfish choice. It’s also for you and Lachlan, your future husband and the man you love, we kind of have to be the most important thing here.

07-27-19_6:56:42 PM.jpg

“But,” Adela added. “Perhaps we could host a meal or something – a barbecue! Just something small, to celebrate you two getting hitched!” she exclaimed, clasping her hands together and beaming.

07-27-19_6:55:53 PM

“Thank you,” Lachlan said, gratefully lowering his head. “That’s very kind of you two.”

07-27-19_6:57:20 PM

“What can we bring?” I asked.

07-27-19_6:57:42 PM.jpg

“Nothing!” Adela exclaimed. “If you think that you two are bringing anything, think again!” And we all laughed.

07-27-19_7:24:47 PM.jpg

“Sarai, my amazing, beautiful sunshine, you have brought so much light into my life, by being kind, warm and caring. You’re one of the strongest people I know. I love you, and I can’t wait to start our lives as husband and wife.”

07-27-19_7:28:14 PM.jpg

“Lachlan, angel…I don’t know what to say, apart from…from the day I met you, you have been caring, understanding and loving. You have been my rock. You’re resilient and intelligent and I couldn’t be a luckier woman. I love you so much.”

07-27-19_7:24:26 PM.jpg

Tears pricked the back of my eyes. Why am I crying?

07-27-19_7:29:50 PM.jpg

It’s because I’m absolutely on cloud nine right now, isn’t it?

07-27-19_7:32:33 PM.jpg07-27-19_7:33:48 PM.jpg

07-27-19_7:18:18 PM1
Wedding day!

07-27-19_7:50:59 PM.jpg

When Lachlan and I walked into the garden, we were greeted by a smattering of applause. They all looked so happy for us.

07-27-19_7:51:45 PM.jpg

“Hope it all went well…no objections, I hope!” Miles joked.

07-27-19_7:51:14 PM.jpg

“I was actually completely against my best friend marrying the man she loves.” Dianne deadpanned. “Ow, Colt, hold still! Mike, could you – I need to give Sarai a hug!” She shoved Colton into her brother’s arms and dashed over to wrap me in a bone-crushing embrace.

07-27-19_7:55:17 PM.jpg07-27-19_7:58:05 PM.jpg07-27-19_7:59:12 PM.jpg07-27-19_7:59:38 PM.jpg07-27-19_8:00:23 PM.jpg07-27-19_8:02:23 PM.jpg

Everyone else offered me their congratulations. Miles fired up the barbecue and everyone started chatting and eating and just generally having a good time. They’d picked excellent food and the weather was gorgeous.

07-27-19_8:03:59 PM.jpg07-27-19_8:04:38 PM.jpg

I was halfway through a burger when the doorbell rang. Adela immediately ran to get it, quickly returning with whoever it was. I could hear their footsteps in the hallway. Something about the clack-clack-clack of what sounded like high heels was ominously familiar…

07-27-19_8:05:54 PM.jpg

“It’s your sister, Miles.” Adela informed us all. A hush fell over the party.

07-27-19_8:07:30 PM.jpg

There she was. It’s been..five years. Five years since I saw this woman in person. The woman who raised me. She never even met Lachlan, and I’d liked it that way.

07-27-19_8:07:51 PM.jpg

“Did you not expect me?” she asked.

07-27-19_8:09:04 PM.jpg

“Well…I didn’t think…” Miles began awkwardly.

07-27-19_11:04:31 PM.jpg

She sat down. “It’s a family celebration, isn’t it? Hello, Dianne – what a sweet little boy, he’s growing up really well.”

07-27-19_11:05:30 PM.jpg

Dianne nodded and gave a wavering smile. I noticed her worriedly eye Colton and scoop him up into her arms. Good call. “Yeah, Aunt Clarissa. He’s wonderful.” Despite her complaints about his behaviour, her face lit up when she said it.

07-27-19_11:05:48 PM.jpg

“Look, we didn’t think you’d want to come.” Adela finally said. “Sorry, Clarissa. We were surprised is all, feel free to grab something to eat.”

07-27-19_11:06:44 PM.jpg

“I’ve eaten,” she said. “I wasn’t planning to stay long, I’ve got lots of work to do, and then a conference call.” On a Sunday? “Sarai? Can I speak to you?”

07-27-19_11:07:41 PM.jpg07-27-19_11:08:21 PM.jpg

I froze. Clarissa – the one person who has consistently been better at making me feel shit about myself than well, me. What was she going to say? My leg shook, my toes tapping against the ground.

07-27-19_11:08:55 PM.jpg

“You don’t have to.” Lachlan whispered, squeezing my hand under the table.

07-27-19_11:09:47 PM.jpg

I took several deep breaths, willing myself to hold it together. After all, I spent years unlearning every idea of myself that Clarissa helped me instil within myself. One conversation cannot undo all of that. It can’t. Otherwise what are you worth?

“Fine.” I said with a biting tone. “Let’s talk. The living room should be free.”

07-27-19_11:10:48 PM.jpg07-27-19_11:11:29 PM.jpg07-27-19_11:11:56 PM.jpg07-27-19_11:12:28 PM.jpg

Lachlan and Dianne gave me incredulous, frightened looks. I nodded at them, showing that ‘I got this’ – even though I really wasn’t sure if I did or not.

07-27-19_11:13:23 PM.jpg07-27-19_11:14:17 PM.jpg

Clarissa huffed and led me out of the room. When we got to the couches, she directed me to sit across from her. Like an interview – fuck that. We’re both adults talking about our lives. I sat next to her instead.

07-27-19_11:16:10 PM.jpg

“Why did you get married so suddenly?” she asked. “I hear nothing and out of the blue – Miles tells me that he can’t come to help me with my furnace this week because he’s hosting a celebration for your…marriage.” She screwed up her face like it was an ugly word. Maybe it was to her, because she’d never come close to that her entire life.

07-27-19_11:16:30 PM.jpg

“It wasn’t sudden. We’ve known each other for years. We became friends after he showed me around a property and-”

07-27-19_11:17:11 PM.jpg

“A property? Did you finally buy a place to live?”

07-27-19_11:18:31 PM.jpg

“Might buy it. I’m still renting with Lachlan but we’ll find somewhere. No, that property was for my business, which I own and run myself.” I couldn’t help adding a little boastful edge onto that. Fuck you for saying that I’d never amount to anything, that I was stupid and threw away all my opportunities and chances. I did NOT.

…I think you almost did, Clarissa. Who’s left in your life?

07-27-19_11:19:11 PM.jpg

“-Well.” She looked slightly stunned. “Congratulations, I suppose. Rather volatile to put all of your eggs in that basket, but if you’re happy…”

“I am.”

07-27-19_11:21:00 PM.jpg

“I guess Kendra would have been happy with you too.”

07-27-19_11:20:04 PM

It was funny. All my life she told me I never would have been enough for my mother. And I always wanted it to not be true, and I wanted to hear it from Clarissa. Now that I finally had…it didn’t matter.

07-27-19_11:21:51 PM.jpg

My thoughts were interrupted by a tapping on my shoulder. “I don’t think I’m wanted.” Clarissa. actually sounded rather crestfallen, and uncharacteristically soft. “I’ll leave you with this. I suppose you and your husband’ll want children someday, and they should know their family history.” It was a picture of her, my mother, and Uncle Miles, when they were young.

07-27-19_11:39:44 PM1
Miles, Kendra (19) and I.

07-27-19_11:22:43 PM.jpg07-27-19_11:23:32 PM.jpg

“Thanks.” This might be the last time I’ll ever see her. There had been no apology, no acknowledgement of the way she treated me. She still hadn’t given me the chance to confront her – she steamrolled the conversation as always. Never change, Clarissa, I sarcastically thought.

07-27-19_11:23:36 PM.jpg

Why would I fucking bother with her anyway?

“What are you doing?”

“Emailing my parents. The rest of them can find out through them, they’ll be complaining for a while.”

“But I thought-”

“I know what I said. But I changed my mind. What can they do anyway?” he said with a crooked grin.

1.32 – So Lucky

07-25-19_7:37:39 PM.jpg

Who would have thought I’d end up here? Nobody, least of all me.

07-25-19_7:38:03 PM

It was surprisingly enjoyable to play homemaker, though I know I’d get bored of doing that for real. And I’d start feeling guilty for not having a job…if Clarissa taught me one good lesson, it’s that I should be financially self-sufficient. I wouldn’t give up the studio for this in a million years. But on Wednesday and weekend nights, when I have easier days, I can relax and pretend.

It’s been almost three months since Lachlan and I moved in together. Two years since we started dating. Nabila’s friend took over the rest of my lease, and now Lachlan and I are renting his original apartment.

07-25-19_7:38:28 PM.jpg

It was scary at first. I thought he’d get tired of me if we were around each other so much. Then I found out he was thinking the same and we just had to laugh at ourselves. Laughing’s a good way to tell all of those horrible little insecurities to just fuck off.

07-25-19_7:43:43 PM.jpg

Making sure to be quiet, I walked into our shared home office with a plate of fish and chips – adapted to be healthier by yours truly. “How’s it going?” Lachlan had a lot of paperwork due. I’d been bringing him meals in here all week.

07-25-19_7:48:25 PM.jpg

“I’m actually almost finished.” he said. I went up behind him and rested my head on his shoulder, quickly kissing him on the cheek.


07-25-19_7:51:19 PM.jpg

I immediately released him once I saw what was on one side of the monitor.

Rings. Loads and loads of rings, with the name of some jewellery shop in the browser bar.

07-25-19_7:54:04 PM.jpg

Oh God…he can’t.

“I need to fix some schedules, I’ll be in the bedroom.” I said, rushing out of the room.

07-25-19_7:56:09 PM.jpg

He didn’t seem to notice that I had noticed, or even register my shock. “OK, sunshine. I’ll come keep you company when I’m done.”

07-25-19_7:55:30 PM.jpg07-25-19_7:57:56 PM.jpg

The schedules were a lie. I shouldn’t lie to him. What am I doing? Liar! He can’t marry you!

You will tell him the truth when he comes in to keep you company while you ‘work on your schedules’.

07-25-19_8:01:13 PM.jpg

When I saw those rings, I itched to remind him of everything – my previous inability to form relationships, my sexual history, the often overwhelming sense that I’m a disappointing, bad person.

07-25-19_8:01:39 PM.jpg

This man loves me despite all the shit I’ve done and how broken I was, and still am sometimes…

07-25-19_8:03:02 PM.jpg

Something more dawned on me.

Lachlan’s had his struggles, but I love him no matter what. He’s not always perfect – though pretty damn close – but I still love him. To me, he’s amazing.

07-25-19_8:03:24 PM.jpg

I guess to him I am to. Maybe our past struggles don’t make us any less loveable or marriageable – well, Lachlan’s definitely didn’t.

And to him, neither did yours.

He came into the bedroom just five minutes later; obviously having actually realised something was up. I should have clocked that on my way out of the office. The loving concern on his face made me fall for him all over again, for what felt like the millionth time.

07-25-19_8:04:53 PM.jpg

“Did I do something wrong?”

07-25-19_8:05:38 PM.jpg

“…I did all my schedules.” I admitted. “Sorry I ran away, and lied. I just…I saw…”

07-25-19_8:06:04 PM.jpg

His face fell. “Dammit – but don’t feel pressured or scared, please, it’s just an idea. For now. To be honest, I can see it happening, Sarai…see myself marrying you. It’s something I truly want.”

07-25-19_8:06:58 PM.jpg

“I just…I never thought I’d get married.” I told him, sighing. I’d never believed that anybody would stick around long enough to do so, let alone actively want to. Sometimes it was still hard to believe.

07-25-19_8:08:43 PM.jpg

“Neither did I…but then I started dating you.”

I could have protested and brought up all the bullshit in my past. Honestly, I was tempted. However, looking into Lachlan’s eyes, the words died on my tongue. Images of a possible future flooded my brain, and I felt myself smiling.

07-25-19_8:08:57 PM.jpg

I didn’t need to say anything. I think he could tell by the look on my face. But I made sure he knew it. “I love you. So much. And I think I know what my answer would be.”

07-27-19_11:51:57 AM.jpg07-27-19_11:47:41 AM.jpg07-27-19_11:48:10 AM.jpg

07-27-19_12:53:19 PM.jpg“Hey, squirt.” I greeted Dianne’s son, Colton, who was determinedly mashing at his peas.

07-27-19_12:53:48 PM.jpg

“Ra-ra!” he yelled, still unable to pronounce my name. A few flecks of mush hit me in the eye.

07-27-19_1:13:20 PM.jpg07-27-19_1:00:47 PM.jpg

“You better eat those,” Dianne chastised gently, ruffling his hair. “Anyway. Michael’s coming up as well, if you don’t mind. He and Amy had a massive fight and he’s bummed as hell. I invited him out of pity.”

“Oh shit.” I winced. That might make my news go down a little less well…dammit, I refuse to feel guilty for this! I got engaged to the person who I’m 99.9% sure is the One. Michael can handle it.

07-27-19_1:01:02 PM.jpg

Selfish…people get married all the time. Why do you wanna brag about it?

I wouldn’t sound too gleeful – it was just sharing news. It’s fine! I’m not bad for this.

07-27-19_1:05:04 PM.jpg

“Hi, Michael.” It had been too long. “How is everything? You alright?” I asked.

07-27-19_1:07:46 PM.jpg

He raised an eyebrow. “Did she tell you?” Turning to Dianne, he folded his arms and groaned, “Come on, Di! It’s not that bad, why’d you make it like…a thing?

07-27-19_1:08:11 PM.jpg

“Ok, little bro.” Dianne smirked. “Colt, come on!” she complained as he started throwing handfuls of squashed peas onto the table.

07-27-19_1:08:38 PM.jpg

“Want nugge’s!” he yelled.

07-27-19_1:12:57 PM.jpg

Dianne buried her face in her hand. “He said he didn’t want those when I started making lunch. I’m tired of this sh – stuff.” she hastily amended. “Never mind. Pretty sure you two can guess where I’m at, so how about you?”

07-27-19_1:14:05 PM.jpg

Catching sight of the plate of chicken nuggets on the side of the counter, I wordlessly got up to heat them.

“I got passed up for a promotion – and yeah, I am in a pretty big fight with Amy.”

07-27-19_1:14:31 PM.jpg

Dianne gave a sympathetic little hiss. “Damn, Mike. That’s really tough. But you work really hard, I’m sure you’ll get up there one day…and if Amy isn’t right for you, someone is.”

07-27-19_1:20:08 PM.jpg

“I know…” Michael muttered. “It just sucks right now. I’m pushing through it, though.”

07-27-19_1:15:19 PM.jpg

“That’s what you’ve gotta do.” I reflected. “Just remind yourself that things start looking up, and that feeling like shit doesn’t have to last forever.”

“Yeah…don’t hate me for saying this, but I’m amazed you came out of all of that shit when you were younger…like this.”

07-27-19_1:15:40 PM.jpg07-27-19_1:21:29 PM.jpg

I smiled and shook my head. “I guess you’re right. Sometimes I can’t believe it myself. Speaking of that…” I stuck out my left hand. “So Lachlan proposed last night.”

07-27-19_1:21:49 PM.jpg

Dianne gasped. “I knew he’d make an honest woman out of you! OK, we have to start planning immediately!”

07-27-19_1:22:09 PM.jpg

“Congrats, cuz. I’m really happy for you.” And despite what was going on in Michael’s life, he truly looked it. How did I get so lucky to have such supportive people around me?

07-27-19_1:23:45 PM.jpg

“Siny!” Colton shrieked, pointing at the ring. All three of us adults couldn’t help laughing a little at that. He was being a pain in the ass today, but still so cute!

07-27-19_1:24:54 PM.jpg07-27-19_1:24:08 PM

“Don’t go catching baby fever, Sarai.” said Dianne. Then she stiffened and awkwardly recoiled. “I mean…sorry.”

07-27-19_1:25:16 PM.jpg

“It’s fine…but I think you may be a little too late for that warning.”

07-27-19_1:25:45 PM.jpg

1.31 – My Sunshine

(A couple NSFW screenshots)

07-23-19_9:16:13 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:16:26 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:40:19 PM.jpg07-23-19_8:38:39 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:10:56 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:06:42 PM07-23-19_9:09:25 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:04:02 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:04:53 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:09:46 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:01:15 PM07-23-19_9:02:17 PM07-23-19_9:22:55 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:13:05 PM07-23-19_9:13:28 PM07-23-19_9:30:14 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:30:28 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:34:58 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:35:47 PM07-23-19_9:45:06 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:16:55 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:17:29 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:36:26 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:48:14 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:49:32 PM.jpg07-23-19_9:52:17 PM.jpg07-23-19_10:25:42 PM.jpg07-23-19_8:46:47 PM.jpg07-23-19_8:52:57 PM.jpg07-23-19_8:55:30 PM07-23-19_10:51:37 PM.jpg

07-24-19_9:50:37 PM.jpg

“What’s eating you, sunshine?”

07-24-19_9:51:57 PM.jpg

I put down my phone and turned to face my boyfriend of almost a year. “Are you being sarcastic?”

07-24-19_9:53:25 PM.jpg

Lachlan reared back and held up his hands. “No! I call you sunshine because you light up my life. But fine. I am asking you this because I noticed you…something appears to be up.”

07-24-19_9:54:01 PM.jpg

Despite the news, I couldn’t help briefly smiling. He’s so sweet. I’m lucky to have him. Without Lachlan, there wouldn’t be an amazing-smelling dinner cooking in the oven, for one thing. “You’re cheesy. And it’s nothing, it’s just…Dianne cancelled lunch. Again. I haven’t seen her in months.” I complained like a child. She’d just had Colton so of course she’d have less time for me.

And you’re pouting about it like a whiny little brat. What’s wrong with you? Be happy for your friend! Isn’t this what you were like when Alexis moved out? Your friends are gonna move on without you…and truly leave you if you don’t start being happy with-

07-24-19_9:55:02 PM.jpg

“Earth to Sarai?”

“Oh.” Now I can’t even pay attention to my loving boyfriend. “Sorry.”

07-24-19_9:56:01 PM.jpg

“I know it sucks.” he said. “But we gotta remember that when life circumstances take our friends a little further away from us, it doesn’t mean they’re leaving for good? I remember you were a proponent of that a couple months ago.” He gave a crooked smile. It had been pretty hard for him, and consequently me, when his closest friend here, Dax, and his husband moved away.

07-24-19_9:58:49 PM.jpg

“I do know that.” I huffed. “It just…it sucks. She already cancelled once. And she won’t let me come over to the house, says it’s too messy. I don’t care about that!”

“She must be really overwhelmed I guess…”

07-24-19_9:56:50 PM.jpg

I tried not to read his tone as accusatory. That’s clearly not what he was going for. Bad person…he thinks you’re a bad person, you are a-

I forced myself to shut the voice up.

07-24-19_9:59:54 PM.jpg

“So maybe talk to your aunt and uncle, see if you guys can help her out a bit.”

07-24-19_9:54:01 PM

“She won’t want – maybe I could help her hire a cleaning service or something. Maybe she’d be OK with that.” I sighed. “It’s still a bit shit that she can’t do lunch. But,” I took a deep breath. “She’s still there. I’ll be fine.”

07-24-19_10:00:57 PM.jpg

“Yeah you will.” Lachlan stood up and pulled me towards him. After his little talk I felt kinda OK. I rested my head on his shoulder and smiled…cos I think we make a pretty good team.

07-24-19_10:39:46 PM.jpg

My good mood took a dip the second I walked into Lachlan’s apartment. Something was definitely up. Silently praying that he wasn’t getting depressed again – not that I’d mind, I just didn’t want the man I love to go through that again.

“Oh – Sarai. Hi.”

07-24-19_10:40:47 PM.jpg

I smiled. “I guess I’m sunshine today.” – I gently dropped onto the couch beside him, stroking his back.

07-24-19_10:42:02 PM.jpg

“You’re always my sunshine.” The corner of his mouth lifted slightly upwards.

“Glad to hear it. Do you wanna talk, or shall we leave this one?”

07-24-19_10:43:36 PM.jpg

“It’s nothing – OK, fine. It’s something. My parents are in town for some conference and they tried to ambush me at work. Luckily I was leaving for two consecutive viewings, and then they had a bunch of meetings to get to. What a shame that our schedules didn’t align more closely.” he sarcastically finished.

07-24-19_10:46:27 PM.jpg

“At least it wasn’t too long an interaction.” I tried to offer an optimistic spin on the situation. We’d found that helped.

07-24-19_10:45:33 PM.jpg

“Yeah, still too long.” He’s just irritated, it’s not a personal jab at your advice. “Anyway, it was the usual BS – why do I still work at that ‘new-build environmental crap’, why don’t I have a promotion or more money, why don’t I come home and work for them, am I still cooking? They could get me people for that!” he angrily mocked, his voice steadily rising in volume throughout the whole tirade. “Never mind that I’d rather be the fucking janitor for GreenBox instead of putting one foot into Waterman Casinos.”

07-24-19_10:46:58 PM.jpg

“Exactly. You made your own path, and they sound like pretty controlling people, so of course they don’t like it.”

07-24-19_10:47:30 PM.jpg

“The thing is, I know this crap. I mean, it’s not-” I nodded to show that I understood what he meant. “But there’s always that stupid little voice going off in the back of my mind telling me that they’re right and that everything I’ve done was a crapshoot and I’m…a failure.” His voice cracked on that last word. “I’m glad you’re here. I worked myself up into a right state.” He attempted a laugh, but it came out limp and bitter.

07-24-19_10:48:57 PM

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” I assured him.

07-24-19_10:11:39 PM.jpg

“I have news!” Kaylyn shrieked, bursting into the office.

“Jesus!” I nearly knocked the laptop onto the floor in surprise. “Does nobody know how to knock?”

07-24-19_10:13:26 PM.jpg

“Sorry, sorry, I’m just really excited, really happy – like I said, hon, I’ve got news!”

“Oh…what is it?” I asked.

07-24-19_10:12:55 PM.jpg

“I’m pregnant!”

07-24-19_10:22:11 PM.jpg

I didn’t expect that. “Th-that’s great!” I stuttered out, trying to smile. Internally, my mind was racing. Would it be like when this place first opened and I did everything because I made myself, except this time it would be out of necessity? Was Kaylyn going to have as hard a time adjusting to motherhood as Dianne did, and drop out of my life for months?

07-24-19_10:22:45 PM.jpg

“You’re not – I’m sorry -” Kaylyn tripped over her words. I knew what she was getting at. Even after all these years my heart slightly tugged when I thought of Nolan.

07-24-19_10:23:26 PM.jpg

“It’s not that.” I assured her. “I’ve moved past it. I was just thinking about…well this place. It’ll be a lot-”

07-24-19_10:14:48 PM

“I thought of it the second we started trying! I’ll hire someone to do the reception work, so Ann can focus on helping you with management. She knows the place really well. I have it handled, Sarai – you know I wouldn’t leave you hanging.” Her tone was serious.

07-24-19_10:24:45 PM.jpg

“Thank you.” I gripped her hand for a second. “I’m really happy for you and Vaughn, I was just – surprised! I never knew you guys wanted a kid.”

“We’ve been considering it for a long time…and finally took the plunge.” Kaylyn said. “I found out a month ago – and I couldn’t be happier, seriously.”

07-24-19_10:25:45 PM.jpg07-24-19_10:27:14 PM.jpg

I gave her a hug and she left me to scheduling. Cognitively I was truly happy for her – she was so elated and I care about her, why wouldn’t I be? But I felt empty and alone. Even though we’re still friends.

You’re just whining because both of your friends went off to have their own families and your selfish ass can’t deal.

07-24-19_10:27:22 PM.jpg

Or maybe I just miss the way things used to be between us. Besides, I know that I have never once acted like both of my closest friends getting pregnant and going off to focus on that was an attack on me. Maybe I’m in the clear here.

There’s nothing wrong with missing someone.

Plus, I still have Lachlan and the studio and a few other people I know. My life is full of so many wonderful things…things I’m still not sure I deserve, given all the shit I’ve done…

07-24-19_10:27:57 PM.jpg

What would Lachlan do about this? After Dax moved away, he got closer to some of the people at work. Uriah and Owen and Delia are all really nice.

07-24-19_10:29:40 PM.jpg

Then there’s the roommate I used to have…I don’t see Alexis nearly enough since she moved out. And I remember mentioning lack of desire to have a child…

07-24-19_10:58:18 PM.jpg

“Hey, it’s me…it’s Sarai. I know it’s been a while. I’m sorry. Things have been crazy. Do you wanna see Maybelle Goes Away or something?”

07-24-19_10:56:56 PM.jpg

“Fuck yeah! Emma hates horror, she’ll love it if you take me out instead.” Alexis joked. “Let’s do it. And we can grab a meal on one end of it. It’ll be nice to catch up.”

1.30 – Held

07-23-19_11:13:18 AM.jpg07-23-19_11:14:05 AM.jpg07-23-19_11:04:41 AM.jpg07-23-19_11:03:24 AM.jpg07-23-19_11:04:22 AM.jpg

It had been two weeks since Lachlan had asked me out. There had been three proper dates. And I was walking on air…apart from the insecurities that wanted to get in my way. But I wouldn’t let them. He likes me. I like him. Don’t overthink it.

07-23-19_11:22:23 AM.jpg

And I had the weekend off. I was already thinking about stuff I wanted to do with him. Maybe we could go to the museum – there was a new modernist exhibition on. Or maybe he’d want to cook for me again. Last Sunday he’d surprised me with a large pot of lentil stew.

07-23-19_12:24:37 PM.jpg07-23-19_12:25:05 PM.jpg

“I mean…I can take it back.” he’d said, when I stood there unable to say anything. “It’s just…you said last night that you were gonna be really busy this week and wouldn’t have time to do anything so I thought-”

07-23-19_12:26:53 PM.jpg07-23-19_12:27:39 PM.jpg

“It’s perfect!” I’d exclaimed, flinging myself into his arms. I really meant it. He was the sweetest man alive and I knew I didn’t deserve him. Who would be this thoughtful?

Lachlan, that’s who.

07-23-19_11:22:44 AM.jpg

You’re so fucking lucky…out of all the people, why did he pick you?

07-23-19_11:22:57 AM.jpg

He likes me. I’ve been nice to him. I have. It’s not so implausible…

07-23-19_12:06:20 PM.jpg

“I’m just gonna say…I feel really lucky, Lach.”

I swear I heard him mutter something about being really lucky…why? I’m the lucky one. He’s the one who’s gonna have to put up with me and my crazy work hours and stressy bullshit.

We were on his couch watching movies. Really just watching movies. Dianne had given me a pass on Simchanted this week, but she had a good laugh when I went round to see her new place – Brice’s place – and told her of my plans with Lachlan.

07-23-19_12:15:07 PM.jpg

“You’re so cute.” she’d said. “I’m not trying to be bitchy or anything but you know enough to know that it isn’t just gonna be movies.”

07-23-19_12:18:06 PM.jpg

I flushed. “I’m not like that anymore!” I protested.

07-23-19_12:17:41 PM.jpg

“Slut-shaming yourself is getting really old, Sarai. And you two have known each other for aaaages. Also, just gonna say, Lachlan is fine. Hit that.”

07-23-19_12:18:58 PM.jpg

“Dianne!” I shrieked, as she burst into more peals of laughter.

07-23-19_12:17:37 PM.jpg

“Ha, you’re easy to wind up. Oh, I kind of miss being a single woman…”

07-23-19_12:03:27 PM.jpg

“What are you thinking about?”

I blushed and looked away. I wasn’t going to tell Lachlan about this. What if he did already want to have sex with me? I never went this slow before, but I was changing my approach to men and relationships…what if holding back was gonna make me lose him?

Be honest, came Alessandra’s voice in my head. You’ll never find the answers trying to analyse it in your head.

07-23-19_12:06:36 PM.jpg

I shifted off him.

“You don’t think…this is…too slow?” I questioned, cringing slightly.


“I mean…we…”

07-23-19_12:06:26 PM.jpg

“I like the way things are.” Lachlan reassured me. “Do you not? Because I’ll-”

“I do!” I hurriedly protested. He placed an arm around me and squeezing me tight, “Honestly. I’m happy, Lachlan. I’m so glad you asked me out.”

He lifted me back into his lap and looked straight into my eyes.

07-23-19_12:04:29 PM.jpg

“I’ll tell you something…when the kind, beautiful woman I’d just leased a property to gave me a reminder of where the past is in the lobby of that restaurant, I could have kissed her right there. It’s been over a year since then, hasn’t it?”

“I didn’t realise you…” He’d liked me all along? Even before I properly knew his history, and how to help him? I’d been enough without that connection? Impossible…but he wouldn’t lie to me. I know he wouldn’t.

“Yeah. Took a while for me to grow some balls, huh?” he laughed. “My point is…I’ve waited this long; I can wait longer.”

07-23-19_12:04:54 PM.jpg

“OK.” I sighed in relief and rested my head on his shoulder.

07-23-19_12:05:23 PM.jpg

I woke up an hour later having used him as a pillow. “Evening.” he said. Just that word sent happy shivers down my spine. It felt so good to be held like that…but not just because I was being held. It was good because it’s Lachlan.

07-23-19_11:40:32 AM.jpg07-23-19_11:40:19 AM.jpg

“Sarai, you are absolutely glowing today!” Ann exclaimed when I walked past the desk on Monday. “Good weekend?”

07-23-19_11:40:47 AM.jpg

“Yeah.” I replied, with a smile. Despite the early hour, there was definitely a bounce in my step.

It had been. I’d actually gotten one off because Cherie and Kaylyn wanted to run a meditation thing. Apparently it had gone well for them, but I’d guess that my weekend was even better.

07-23-19_12:32:35 PM.jpg

I’ve gone through it so many times. I know what I’m going to say. It’s been a month and a half. I asked Dianne and looked shit up online. This is fine. I’m not being weird…not completely weird.

07-23-19_12:32:55 PM.jpg

My stomach roiled and churned in fear. It’s such a difficult conversation to have…but I need to have it. I’m chasing my happiness. And I’m allowed to do so, I reminded myself.

07-23-19_12:33:55 PM.jpg

“What is it, Sarai?” Lachlan asked once I opened the door. “Decided to flick me already?” he joked with a grimace, though pain was evident on his face.

07-23-19_12:34:45 PM.jpg

“What? No!” I almost snapped. “Uh…sorry if it sounded that way. I wanna talk…about this.” I gestured between us.

07-23-19_12:35:11 PM.jpg

He relaxed. “Oh. I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions and saying that. It was shitty of me.”

07-23-19_12:38:09 PM.jpg

“It’s alright. I still…I just wanna say-” Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck, here goes nothing. “I was wondering if you want to make things official. Be my boyfriend?”

07-23-19_12:38:29 PM.jpg

“Damn, that’s way better than what I thought – again, I’m sorry for that! Yes, absolutely yes!” he exclaimed. His smile was infectious, and I started to beam as well.

07-23-19_12:41:37 PM.jpg07-23-19_12:41:41 PM.jpg07-23-19_12:43:51 PM.jpg07-23-19_12:45:42 PM.jpg

Then my face fell when I remembered the rest of my little rehearsed spiel.

Of course he noticed. He’s always been so good at picking up on my moods and what I’m thinking. “We’re cut from the same cloth,” he’d said last week.

Sad, but true.

07-23-19_12:46:29 PM.jpg

“What else, Sarai?”

“But I need to tell you…I haven’t had a real relationship before. Of course I’ve dated.” Lots of dates. So many that you never let get anywhere. But I was doing so now. And maybe if I had I wouldn’t be with this amazing man next to me. “But never like…a long-term boyfriend. I was always too-” Memories of the stinging hatred and disgust I felt towards myself played over in my head, reminding me of the misery I caused myself. “Too scared. I was scared. But I think it’s something you should know.”

07-23-19_12:46:59 PM.jpg

He shrugged. “It’s awful you felt that way. But you don’t anymore – that’s important. And as I’ve said to you before, whatever is in the past is there. I like you now. And look, now you do have a boyfriend.” he joked.

07-23-19_12:47:14 PM.jpg

“I know! And I couldn’t be happier! But I might be…really bad at it. This relationship thing.” Are you trying to ruin this, I shouted at myself.

07-23-19_12:49:08 PM.jpg

“Sarai, my past relationships have been no picnic, let me tell you that. A shitty attitude and depression kinda does it. And it’s been a couple years since I had one. So my history ain’t great either – let’s face it together.” He took my hand. “I’ll tell you this – it’s not going to be perfect.”

07-23-19_12:49:55 PM

“I know. But…it’s you.” I whispered. Even though it was cheesy.

“And it’s you too, Sarai. This’ll be enough for us. More than enough.”

07-23-19_12:50:48 PM.jpg07-23-19_12:50:15 PM.jpg