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It's All About Timing

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Tammy opened the door and greeted Debbie and Lou with a huge smile. “Happy Easter!”

 

“Happy Easter, Tammy.” Debbie smiled.

 

“Here, these are for you.” Lou hands her the most beautiful Easter bouquet she’s ever seen.

 

“Oh my god these are amazing, come in, come in!” Tammy ushers them in. “How’s business, Lou?”

 

After the Spring Formal the parents and teachers alike had absolutely fallen in love with Lou’s arrangements.

 

“It’s good. I was surprised with the response after the Spring Formal to be perfectly honest.”

 

“Debbie, she’s being modest, isn’t she? Because honestly you’ve got enough talent to put every other flower shop in town out of business.”

 

“I’ve told her a million times, but she won’t bother to listen.”

 

“Really, though, Lou. If you’re ever looking to get more business let me know. I know a lot of people and a whole network of event organizers that could have you booked through Valentine’s Day.”

 

“No, we’re going away for Valentine’s Day.” Debbie says chewing on a carrot stick.

 

“Oh, lucky you. Where to?”

 

“The Swiss Alps.”

 

“Wanna trade lives?” Tammy jokes.

 


 

They’re both lying on Lou’s couch, limbs all tangled, Debbie’s doing a crosswords puzzle and Lou is rubbing her feet.

 

“Do you know any good realtors?”

 

Debbie puts her book down and slides her glasses onto her head. “Is that supposed to be funny?”

 

Lou smiles at her. “I’m serious.”

 

“What are you getting at, Miller?” Debbie playfully smacks her with her foot.

 

“I’ve just been thinking recently that maybe this apartment doesn’t have enough space for me. Thought maybe a house would be better. Now that I’m a grown up and all.”

 

Debbie sits up and crosses her legs on the couch. “You’re serious.”

 

Lou nods.

 

“I can help you with whatever you need. What are you looking for?”

 

“Three, maybe four bedrooms. At least two bathrooms. Two stories, maybe a backyard.”

 

“Are you looking to start a garden?” Debbie jokes. “What do you need such a big house for? Are you gonna turn the extra rooms into walk-in closets? Lord knows you’ve got enough clothes to fill that many closets.”

 

Lou smiles. “I was thinking maybe you’d like to come live with me.”

 

Debbie cocks her head slightly, “are you serious?”

 

Lou nods.

 

And with the biggest smile Lou has ever seen Debbie advances on her and says yes a bunch of times as she kisses her.

 


 

Lou places the paper plates and other utensils on the tables in her and Debbie’s backyard.

 

“Tammy says she’s bringing sides and dessert. And drinks. And the food. It almost feels like she doesn’t trust my cooking.”

 

“That’s not true, babe. She let you make the sangria.”

 

You made the sangria.”

 

“You look cute when you pout.”

 

“Are you even allowed to be celebrating the Fourth of July? Aren’t you still loyal to The Queen. ” The last word Debbie said with the most ridiculous accent.

 

“Yeah, I forgot to mention that I’m here on a top secret mission as a spy two hundred plus years after the war ended.”

 

“I want to make a “the Australian is coming, the Australian is coming” joke, but it’s not ready yet.”

 

Lou gets up and walks towards the sliding door that leads to the kitchen.

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“If you’re gonna keep making those jokes, then I’m gonna need a stiff drink.”

 

Debbie smiles. “I’m hilarious and you know it.”

 


 

It was a little after 7 am on Christmas morning. The house was as quiet as it could possibly be. The snow was falling softly and steadily outside. Lou was outside on the curb.

 

“Thanks for keeping it at your place.”

 

“Yeah, sure no problem.” Constance smiled. “Sick house!”

 

“We’ll be sure to have you over sometime. Merry Christmas, Constance.”

 

“You too, Lou.”

 


 

Lou nearly tip-toed back into the house hoping the surprise wouldn’t get ruined. She quietly got back in bed and put down the gift between her and Debbie. As if on cue Debbie senses her back in bed and turns around, eyes still shut.

 

“Mm, Merry Christmas, babe.”

 

“Merry Christmas to you too.”

 

Not even a minute later Debbie felt a tongue on her eye. “Lou, I’m all for trying new stuff with you, but licking my eye isn’t hot or sexy.” When Debbie opened her eyes she realized that it wasn’t Lou that had licked her, it was their new puppy.

 

Debbie’s eyes shoot open completely and she gasps. Taking that as a sign that it’s play time the puppy pounces on Debbie’s head and Lou laughs.

 

“Is this for real? He’s ours? We have a dog?!”

 

Lou nods, happy that her surprise worked out. “Do you remember him?”

 

Debbie picks up the puppy and cradles him like a baby. He immediately starts chewing her hair. “Is he…..is it the same one from the shelter we saw a few weeks ago?!”

 

“Same guy.” Lou watches the pure, concentrated happiness practically ooze out of Debbie’s pores. “He needs a name.”

 

Debbie looks at the Dalmation puppy in her bed playing with the string to Lou’s robe. She notices he has a particularly big black spot over his right eye and thinks to herself about how it looks like a boxer with a black eye.”

 

“How about Rocky?”

 

“I like that. Rocky.”

 

“Are we gonna hyphenate? Is it gonna be Ocean-Miller or Miller-Ocean.”

 

“Deb, he’s a dog. He licks his own balls. He won’t care if he even has a last name.”

 

“Ok. Ocean-Miller it is.”

 


 

Two years. That’s how long Debbie and Lou had been together. In that time they’d faced hardships and very happy times in their relationship. Lou had decided at least a month before the anniversary of their first real date that she was going to do it. She had never been more certain of anything in her life.

 

When they got out of the car Debbie recognized the place instantly. “The planetarium. Wow, it’s been a really long time since we’ve been here.”

 

Lou went through the trouble of recreating their first date down to the last detail. “Do you remember the first time we came here?”

 

Lou feels her nod as they’re both almost occupying the same space while sitting so close together.

 

“Well, I didn’t know it then, but I wanted to ask you something now that we’re here again.”

 

“Sure ok. Debbie leans forward to pour them wine. When she turns back around to give Lou her glass she sees her hand extended and something small but shiny in her hand. Something that catches the light just right.

 

Debbie looks up at her. “Lou….”

 

“That’s not exactly an answer….” Lou jokes to soothe her own nervousness.

 

“Lou!” Debbie starts laughing uncontrollably.

 

“What? What’s wrong?”

 

Debbie starts digging through her purse and finally pulls something out. She extends her hand and in it Lou can see something small but shiny. Something that catches the light just right.

 

“You’re joking.” Lou begins to laugh suddenly not nervous anymore.

 

Lou grabs her left hand and let’s the ring hover just over her finger and gives her one last look. Debbie is crying and smiling and nodding vigorously.

 

Debbie does the same and Lou nods giving her silent acceptance, not trusting her voice at the moment.

 

Together under seemingly all the stars in the universe Lou and Debbie promise each other with a kiss that they’re going to fiercely love each other, like only they can, for as long as they both shall live.

 

The End.