Meli woke in a fright after hearing a loud clap of thunder. She and Violeta had only been living with Jazmín and Flor for about two weeks and she was still adjusting to having a quiet space to herself. She was used to the orphanage, where there was constant sound and someone checking in on them all throughout the night. She had mentioned it to Violeta, which lead to Jazmín bringing her a small radio one night before bed.
”Hopefully this will help you sleep a little better and feel more comfortable. And if you need me or your Mamita, we are right down the hall. Okay?”
Meli had nodded before hugging Jazmín. The couple did everything they could to make sure both girls adjusted comfortably to their new home. They had also given Meli fairy lights that now framed her bed. She quickly turned them on, illuminating the space. She laid back down, holding a small teddy bear to her chest.
Lightning filled the room as she tried to go back to sleep. She ignored it, comforted by the radio and the fairy lights. She was almost asleep when she noticed the lights flicker and her radio go out. Thunder struck again and she quickly jumped out of bed. She tiptoed down the hall and stood outside her mothers’ bedroom. She had only been in there a couple of times. Mostly when Flor would help her with her hair in the morning before school while Jazmín got ready for work.
She knocked quietly and waited. It went unnoticed, her mothers sound asleep on the other side. She waited a minute before slowly opening the door. She turned the corner to see that Jazmín was on her side, Flor’s arms wrapped around her waist, holding her tightly. Meli jumped again at the storm and practically ran to the side of the bed, going straight to the face she could see.
“Mama,” she whispered.
Flor moved onto her back, with a sigh. Meli waited before reaching forward. She lightly tapped Jazmín’s shoulder. Jazmín took a deep inhale and opened her eyes wide. Her guard was high as she sat up and looked around the room. She came to ease when she saw the small round face of Meli. Even Jazmín and Flor were still adjusting to their new responsibility as parents.
Jazmín exhaled, laying back down. “Meli,” she mumbled.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“No. No. Are you okay? Did you have a bad dream?”
Meli shook her head no when the thunder roared yet again. Jazmín watched as Meli’s body tensed with panic.
“Hey, come here.”
Jazmín scooted to create enough space for the child. Meli quickly climbed into their bed when Flor groaned.
“Jaz, stop moving. I have to get up early tomorrow,” She complained.
“We have a guest.”
“What?” Flor asked, making a small “hm” sound from a tic. She looked over Jazmín’s shoulder. “Meli! hm. What are you doing here?”
“She’s a little afraid of the storm, I think,” Jazmín answered for her.
“Come here,” Flor whispered with another tic.
Meli climbed over Jazmín, who scooted back into her original spot. Flor wrapped her arms around the small child.
“Don’t be afraid of this silly storm. hm. It will pass. Okay?”
Meli nodded against Flor’s chest, closing her eyes. Jazmín reached out to push Flor’s hair away from her shoulder and caressed her cheek with the back of her hand, calming Flor’s tics. Jazmín wrapped her arm passed Meli to rest against Flor and kissed the back of Meli’s hair.
More thunder came and Meli’s grip tightened around Flor. “Shh. It’s okay. I’ve got you,” Flor whispered. “Nothing bad will happen when you’re with us.”
A smile spread across Jazmín’s face as her eyes began to well.
“Motherhood really does suit you,” she whispered.
Flor grinned at Jazmín before giving her attention back to the small child.
Jazmín shifted forward placing a light kiss against Flor’s lips. As she pulled away, Flor pulled her in for another peck. They were interrupted from a sound in the hallway.
“Meli,” Violeta whispered, harshly. A few more steps were heard. “Meli?!”
“She’s in here,” Jazmín answered.
Violeta appeared around the entrance way. She stood there nervously, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. Jazmín smiled.
“You can come inside.”
“No. No. I’m okay. When I heard the storm, I wanted to comfort Meli, but she wasn’t in her room so now that I know she’s in here, I just wanted to tell you that she doesn’t like storms.” Violeta said, stepping through the entrance way.
Jazmín smiled. “We figured that one out.”
“Yeah the thunder woke me up and I knew Meli wouldn’t like it, but um,” Violeta paused, playing with her hands, “I’m glad she’s okay and is here with you.”
“Are you also scared of the storm?”
“I mean they’re not my favorite, but I was clearly more worried about Meli.”
“Yes. Of course.” There was another awkward pause. Violeta continued fumbling with her hands, looking at her feet. Jazmín could only imagine what was going on in this fourteen year old’s mind. How difficult it must have been to lose her parents not long after Meli was born and having to be separated from her once she became a teenager. And now she was adjusting to a new family and a new home.
“Hey.” Violeta looked up. “Come on,” Jazmín said, lifting the comforter. Violeta quickly came to the bed as Jazmín made room.
“Can I stay here with you guys?”
Jazmín smiled toward Flor, waiting for an answer. Flor looked down at Meli and then up at Violeta. “Parents, children sleep over?”
“Absolutely,” Jazmín answered, opening her arms to Violeta. Violeta scooted closer, resting against her. “Are you okay?”
Violeta nodded. “Yes, Mama.”
Jazmín’s smile only grew as she heard herself being referred to as ‘mama’. Granted she had heard it almost every day since the two girls moved in with them, but it was a title she had longed for, for so many years. She ran her fingers through Violeta’s hair, humming a song for the girls.
“It suits you too,” Flor said, listening to her sing.
Jazmín’s eyes watered as she looked at Flor. She glanced down at her children, both falling asleep after feeling safe in their parent’s arms.
“I love you,” Jazmín whispered.
“I love you too.”
“Peck of the old couple?”
Flor laughed a little, leaning over Meli to kiss her wife. She settled back down, kissing Meli’s forehead. Jazmín did the same to Violeta, both children now sound asleep.
“Good night,” Flor whispered.
“Good night, mi Amor.”
The sun was now shining through the bedroom window. Meli blinked her eyes open as everyone remained asleep. Flor’s arm was around her waist, but her hand rested against Jazmin’s torso. She looked up to see Jazmín was laying on her back, one arm snug around Violeta and the other above her head reaching out to Flor. Violeta was snug against Jazmín’s side.
Meli sat up slowly, trying not to disturb anyone. She looked around herself and smiled. Jazmín sighed and stretched her arms with a slight groan. She opened her eyes to see Meli looking back at her.
“Beun día,” she whispered, her voice scratchy with sleep.
“Buen día,” Meli answered.
“Did you sleep okay?”
“Once I came in here, I did.”
“Good. Please don’t tell me you’re ready to start your day.”
Meli shook her head no, laying down. Jazmín wrapped her arm around Meli’s shoulders as Meli settled against Jasmín’s other side. They both fell back asleep quickly.
Flor’s head popped off her pillow to see the two young girls wrapped in their mother’s arms. She smiled at the image and grabbed her phone. She made sure the sound was off before getting out of bed and snapping a quick picture of her family. She felt her heart warm.
“Pichi, come back to bed,” Jazmín whispered.
“I need your scent to go to sleep so come back to bed.”
Flor smiled before climbing back in, kissing Jazmín’s cheek.
“I do have to get going, you know. Estrella sisters breakfast.”
“Be late and stay with me and your daughters.”
Jazmín’s eyes weren’t open and she was almost hard to understand with how much sleep was in her voice. She hugged her daughters close to her and Flor just smiled. She kissed Jazmín’s forehead.
“Five more minutes.”
Flor was late to breakfast that morning, but when she showed her sisters the picture of Jazmín with the girls, they collectively awed. This led to Lucía showing pictures of the babies and Virginia’s first sonogram. Carla tried her best to not be jealous, but everyone could tell it was lingering. Miranda wrapped her arm around Carla.
“One day,” Miranda whispered.
“When you’re ready.”
Carla rolled her eyes.
“Okay when a man loves a woman-“ Carla smacked her arm, only causing Miranda to laugh harder. Virginia joined in on the laughter. Lucía rolled her eyes, ignoring how much Carla was pouting.
Flor was looking at her phone as she had just received a text from Jazmín. It was a picture of her wife and her two daughters with a text that read “Buen día, Mamita!”. They were all smiling for the camera, clearly still in bed. Her phone was then flooded with a few more pictures: all of them making funny faces, one of them laughing and then one of just the girls sitting next to each other still laughing.
Her phone dinged again with an audio message. She quietly listened to it. It was Jazmín’s voice. “Come home soon, mi Amor!” Violeta and Meli laughing in the background.
Flor texted a quick reply, saying she’d be home in a little bit. She smiled once more at the pictures of her family before laying her phone down and catching up with her sisters.