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Punishment 13

I did it. I actually passed my finals. Now I can go on to get my bachelor's! Holy shit! I actually passed! The very first thing I do is rush to find Nicole and ask if she passed, too. When she tells me she did -with this dumbstruck look on her face- we throw our notes on the floor and hug each other and shout "fuck yeah". Then I call Kate and ask permission if I can bring Nicole over to celebrate, and I'm glad that she gives it. We head home and bust out the booze and dance and party and God, I'm so on top of the world!

The next morning, I wanna die.
"Kate, my head hurts," I whine.
"Mine, too," Nicole adds.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming, sweet-peas," Kate coos softly, God bless her, returning to the living room with cold washclothes. She kneels down in-between me on the couch and Nicole on the floor and gently wipes the washclothes over our faces. Ah, it feels good.
"You two are gonna be a joy for the whole day, aren't you?" she chuckles. Nicole and I just grumble. "Yeah. Don't worry. I'm gonna take care a' ya."
She skims her fingers across my cheek, and even though I feel like shit, I lean into her touch. We drank so much last night, I didn't even pay attention. And I didn't pay attention and see that Kate was drinking way less than us. "Designated drinker", she called herself at one point I think. Buzzed enough to party, sober enough not to suffer a hangover in the morning. God, Nicole and I were trashed. Kate must have had her hands full with us.
"Ugh, 'm gonna-" Nicole starts, her face turning pale. Kate immediately pulls a bucket over and helps her sit up just in time for her to be sick.
"I've got ya, sweetie. Let it all out. Good girl," she murmurs soothingly, rubbing large circles against her back. "Maybe you two should cut back on the binge drinking, huh?"
"Like that's gonna happen," I grin.
"Don't make me spank you," she threatens.
I just smile even wider. "Promise?"
"You still drunk?" she smirks, using a washcloth to clean Nicole's mouth. I love how much she takes care of us.
"I don' ever wanna drink again," Nicole whines.
"Oh, wait 'till you get your Bachelor's of Arts and then you can celebrate again!" Kate laughs, kissing her cheek. Then she pulls herself up to kiss my cheek, too. "And you, when you get your Master's of Nursing, my sexy little nurse."
"Why don't you just get a Bachelor's?" Nicole asks.
"'Cause I wanna do more than just check for strep throats and shit," I moan. "I wanna do more than that."
Kate smiles and kisses my forehead. "My smart girl."
"Ugh, you two are disgusting," my friend mutters, rubbing her head.
"Oh, wait 'till I see you and Damian, babe," Kate smirks. "Everyone's gonna think you two are disgusting, too."
"Is he gonna praise me and kiss me and snuggle with me in front of everyone?"
"Depends on what you guys talk about. If that's something you don't want him to do, he should respect that."
Nicole sighs and rubs her eyes. "Yeah. He's really sweet. He keeps talking about taking it slow."
"That's a good thing, isn't it?" I ask. "It means he wants to stay with you for a long time."
My friend shrugs her shoulders. "I don't know. 've never had a relationship that lasted longer than a few weeks, so this is new to me."
"As long as you talk to each other and stay honest, things can work out," Kate tells her. "Now, who wants some toast?" We both groan at the thought of food.

A couple of days later, Kate and I go grocery shopping. Everything starts out fine: we've got our cart and we're getting what we need while convincing each other what we don't need. We're joking and poking fun at each other, and Kate sneaks a kiss when I get the bread.
"Mommy, are those girls dating?" a little girl asks her mother.
Kate is focussed on looking over the rest of our list, but I can't help but listen as the mother replies, "Y-Yes, honey, they are."
"I thought only girls and boys date."
I swallow nervously, waiting for what the mother will say to that. "That's not true. Boys can date other boys. And girls can date other girls. They're just as in love as mommy and daddy."
"So, will they get married?"
"Well, that's up to them."
"Will they have kids?"
"That's also up to them. They have the same choice as everyone else."
I can't keep the smile off my face. It's been so long since I've never heard a parent tell their child so simply and naturally that it's all right to love people of the same sex. I wonder how the girl will grow up knowing that it's ok? Maybe she likes girls and doesn't know it. Or she'll be a wonderful ally.
Kate and I head to the checkout, and there are magazines everywhere. I usually just glance over the covers and roll my eyes at the ridiculous news, but one cover catches my eye. The bridal magazine. "Will they get married?" "Well, that's up to them." I'll admit, I've fantasized about my wedding since I was a little girl. When I hit high school, I stopped because I thought no one would ever love me. But since I started dating Kate, my fantasies have come back. Does Kate want to get married? To me? Would she want that? We've been together for nearly two years. Maybe it's too quick to get married. But still, thoughts of Kate and I in puffy white dresses as we exchange rings and vows to be together forever...it sounds really nice.
And kids...I don't know. I've never imagined myself as a mother. I know I'm gonna be a nurse, but that doesn't always involve children, and I haven't had much experience babysitting or being around younger family members. Kate is a total natural. One time we went out to the park, a little boy got separated from his mother on the trail and she managed to calm him down and keep him entertained until his mother found him.
When we get in the car, Kate notices my silence. "What's wrong, baby?"
I look out the window. "Do you...wanna get married one day?"
She's quiet for what feels like hours. "One day," she says softly. "But...baby, we don't have to rush anything. There's no time limit on anything. We've only been together for a little over two years."
"But you do wanna get married one day?" I ask, turning to her.
She reaches over and rubs my cheek, not smiling. "Why are you asking me?"
My cheeks flush at her question. Because I don't have a good answer. "I love you? I want us to be together forever? I want to call myself your wife and live together until we grow old and have lots of kids and grandkids. I just..." I slow down when I realize I'm babbling. "I'm sorry."
She continues to rub my cheek, now a little smile on her face. "Don't be sorry, sweetheart. "Thank you for being honest with me and wanting to talk about it. But like I said, we don't have a time limit. We can talk more about it as our relationship continues. I'm not ready to get married...but when I am, you can bet that I'll ask you in the cheesiest way possible," she smirks.
I can't help but smile, too. "I'll hold you to it!"
"I know you will!"

Later that night, Kate makes love to me without any of our toys, just her mouth and her hands. She touches and kisses me in ways that have me seeing stars. I don't know how she can still make me tremble like this. Love? Adoration? Or just damn good sex. All I know, is that I'm going to spend the rest of my life with this woman, and I won't ever regret being such stupid enough to ding-dong-ditch.
last chapter, didn't wanna go any further than this. I love where it ends here, with the idea of them getting married in their own time
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June 12, 2016
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