"Hey, honey." Tara strides into the room, placing her briefcase on the living room table and undoing the buttons on her coat.
Willow watches her wife collapse onto the sofa and shut her eyes. "Tare?" She walks over to the sofa.
The blonde opens her eyes to see Willow leaning over her. "Yes? What did..." The words are cut off with a moist, slow kiss. "Wow, you..." The kiss deepened. "Thanks, Wi..." She feels her partner search for her tongue and gives up on speech.
"How was your day?" Willow asks. She licks her lips with satisfaction.
Tara stretches her arms out behind her. "Tiring." She gestures for Willow to lie beside her, and snuggles against her wife's shoulder. "I had a bit of a weird phone call today."
Willow raises her eyebrows. "Weird in what sort of way?" She frowns. "Like that Senator that once called you to ask you out? Because I don't like that variety of weird."
"No, not like that." Tara sits up and covers them with their mohair blanket. She hesitates, not sure exactly how to proceed.
"Tara?" Willow looks curiously at the blonde.
"Remember how I told you I was interviewing a teenager for that feature I had to write about California?"
"She called today and asked me not to publish her name or any reference to her in the article. I thought that was strange, especially since she'd seemed so excited about seeing her name in our paper."
"Baby, maybe she changed her mind. She could be shy or something." Willow smiles. "Or maybe she doesn't want her feminist past to come back and haunt her in her later years."
"No." Tara shakes her head slowly. Her eyes travel the ceiling, exploring the patterns of peeling paint, and she wonders why she never noticed it before. "She's not like that."
Willow strokes Tara's arm lightly. "I'm sure she has a good reason. Why don't you give her a call tomorrow and ask? Otherwise you're going to worry about it."
Tara nods. "You're right. I was going to ask her on the phone today but I thought it was out of place."
"The worst she can say is that it's none of your business. I think she might be flattered that you care enough to find out what's happening." Willow kisses her wife on the cheek. "Don't stress too much about it."
"Okay. How was your day, sweetie?"
Willow smiles. "Just great."
Tara studies her wife suspiciously. "What did you get up to?" She looks around the living room expecting to see polished floorboards, dusted shelves and freshly painted walls.
The house seems to be the same. She furrows her brow and walks into the kitchen. The dishes haven't been dried, the box of cereal from breakfast is still on the counter and the floor is decidedly unwashed.
She looks curiously at her wife.
Willow starts to laugh. "Oy! You assumed that I cleaned for you?"
Tara shrugs, looking sheepish. "Well, what else is there to do here?" She sees Willow glance guiltily at her laptop. "Ohh, I see." She reaches down and picks up the laptop. "Let's see what Mrs Rosenberg did today when she was unaccompanied."
"Taraaaa," Willow pleads.
Tara opens the laptop, moves the cursor so the screen saver disappears, and peers at the screen. A deep chuckle rises from her throat as she reads the website.
"The joy of sex during pregnancy." She notices that Willow has a word document open where she's pasted tips and 'unusual ideas' to make sex with a pregnant woman safe and fun.
Willow wraps her arms around her wife and grins. "I thought it could be useful."
It took me a week to work up the courage to call Lisa.
Willow and I met for lunch in a trendy cafe near my work. We chose window seats and gazed at the water as we ate.
Willow surprised me by ordering an exotic sounding salad, and rye-bread with avocado. Usually she goes for the most typical, traditional dishes, like chicken and potatoes.
She noticed that I was examining her lunch and stared defiantly at me. "I'm eating for two," she explained.
When we were done, I stood up. "Will, it was my idea to meet you for lunch so I'm going to pay."
"Okay, you pay," Willow said easily, handing over her wallet.
After I'd driven her home I returned to work. I didn't have much to do that afternoon and everyone was getting ready to go home for the weekend.
Stuck to my desk was a post-it note on which I had written Lisa's contact details. My lips felt dry, no matter how much I licked them or drank water.
My co-worker, Nancy, smiled at me as she left. "Have a good one, Tara."
I waved at her and the others and promised to leave soon after, then picked up the phone and dialled Lisa's home phone number.
The number rang out. I tried again a couple of times; altogether it must have been about 30 rings.
Finally I called her cell. She picked up after a few rings. My number must have been programmed into her phone because she answered with "oh, hey Tara."
"Lisa, hi... I've been trying to get through to you." I regretted my words immediately and wished I had been more low-key. I didn't want to freak the girl out.
"What's up?" She sounded surprised to hear from me, and I didn't blame her.
"Oh, I just wanted to know more about your decision not to be in the article after all. I mean, it's your choice, of course, but I was confused. You were a really interesting person to interview."
There was a long pause. "Tara, do you mind if we talk about it another time? I can't really talk right now."
"That's fine. When do you want to talk?"
The girl calculated in her mind. "How about we meet at your office on Monday, before school? Would 7am be okay?"
I shrugged. My job had me waking up all around the clock, so the early start didn't faze me. "Not a problem. I'll see you then. Have a good weekend, Lisa."
"Thank you. Oh, and Tara? Thanks for calling."