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Natalia leaned back on the couch and closed her eyes. It was agony, but she thought about Olivia; Olivia’s hair, Olivia’s eyes, Olivia’s easy smile.  Natalia groaned as the thought of kissing that smile sent warmth coursing through her. This can’t be, she thought. This feeling, these feelings I have, it can’t happen.  Not because she had anything against gay people, but because other people do.  I love them both, she had told Phillip, but she’d told him something else as well.  I want Emma’s childhood to be as uncomplicated as possible.  Natalia knew, that having ‘two mommies’ was not an uncomplicated situation.  In fact, it was very, very complicated for everyone involved, including Emma.
She wasn’t running from her feelings.  She knew who she loved, who she would always love, Olivia and Emma.  For them, she vowed, she could, and would, do anything.  It would hurt, all of them at first, but Natalia felt this was best for everyone.  It would make Emma’s childhood as close to normal and uncomplicated as it would get with Phillip Spaulding as a father and Olivia Spencer… wonderful, beautiful, loving Olivia… as a mother.   She took a moment to think of her friend.  Yes, she thought.  That’s it… Olivia is my friend.  I can do this and she can have a good life with her daughter, and maybe find someone… Shaking that thought out of her head, Natalia jumped from the couch and grabbed her coat.  She walked down the driveway of the farmhouse with determined strides.  I can do this, for Olivia…for Emma.
She found Frank in his office at the police station and didn’t even say hello when he looked up.  “Yes.”  She said, and felt her heart darken as his face lit up. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
He rounded the desk and hugged her tightly, not even bothering to wipe away his tears of joy. “You’ve made me so happy.” 
Natalia’s tears landed on his shoulder, making him think she was happy too.  Which of course was a lie, but Natalia thought. What difference does one more lie make now?  It was what she had to look forward to, a future full of lies.  But Emma will not be touched by the feelings Olivia and I have for each other, she thought and anything she could do to make her little… Olivia’s, little girl’s life better, easier, was what she was going to do.  She felt Frank’s lips on hers and closed her eyes.
No matter what.

Posted online 3/17/2009