So, Easter Lily and Jarrett have decided that it’s high time they get their own place. With the income from both of their jobs they were able to afford a beautiful house not far from us. We’re all really excited for them!
With Easter pregnant and expecting her second wave of multiples any day now, the gang has been busting butt to get her family packed up and moved into their new place. It was mostly finished, but Ede was coordinating the last bits of item roundup.
The mailman caught Ede as she was returning from carrying a load of stuff out to the curb for the movers.
“Leaving so soon?” he asked, noticing the piles.
“Well, we have been here for 5 generations,” Ede answered impishly, “gets a bit boring.”
“But no,” she went on, “My sister and her family just got their own place nearby.”
If she didn’t know better, Ede would almost swear that he looked worried for a second there. But he was just his normal amused calm now, and she figured she’d imagined the whole thing. Probably had.
“You should meet me later,” he said abruptly.
“O.. kay?” she said, still privately stewing in self-doubt. “Where?”
“Rabbit’s,” he said. “Just whenever you’re done here. No pressure.”
Ede was in pretty good physical shape, but it’d been a while since she’d used her upper body muscles for heavy lifting. She was sore and smelly by the time they were done getting everything moved.
It was all worth it, though, when she and Coop got to visit that afternoon and see how happy Easter and her family were in their new home!
The furnishings were kind of sparse, but addressing that would be part of the fun – making a new home really feel like your own was one of those “joys of life” things.
The kids had a huge playroom upstairs.
Easter had a little easel nook so she could paint while enjoying the view from the 2nd story.
And Jarrett had insisted on buying a piano for the front room. Elicanto had just discovered music before they moved out, and he wanted to continue to encourage his creativity.
Even better than seeing her big sis happy was getting back to her own house and finding it open, and empty, and quiet for once.
Ede soaked in the tub for what felt like hours, with nary a care in the world.
But then she remembered that she was supposed to be meeting the mailman tonight.
Even though she wore the same thing she always wore, and did her hair and makeup the same way she always did, it took Ede a stupid amount of time to get ready for what was probably nothing. Just a casual whatever. Certainly not a date. And, even if it were a date, she’d been on so many of those in her life that there really was no excuse at all to be freaking out like this.
Ede was in a mood by the time she got to Rabbit’s Teahouse. She’d gone through every “what does it mean” scenario in her head on the way over, including some very outlandish variations involving zombies and alien abduction, and arrived in a kind of goofy, awkward headspace.
He looked really good sitting there. Confident, relaxed. Two things that Ede used to be all the time, before her dad died and her perfect programming got knocked off kilter.
Ede was battling a strong flight response. She wanted to bolt, to get the hell out of there and be alone again where things made sense. But it was a bit too late for that. He’d already seen her.
The mailman seemed to find her nervousness quite amusing.
“Hello Edelweiss,” he smirked. “Are you ready for this?”
“Welp!” Ede barked, “I don’t know, but I’ll sure give it the ol’ college try!”
Ugh. She felt like such a dork. It was like someone else was controlling her mouth. And her arms.
But he just laughed, and said, “Okay then! Shall we?”
“We’re not going inside?” Ede asked nervously.
“Nah. I had something else in mind. You hungry?”
Ede didn’t actually know the answer to this question. What is this “hungry” he speaks of? She froze and tried to re-establish the link between her brain and the rest of her body. Hungry.. what does that feel like.. aching, emptiness.. check. Yes, I do believe I might be!
“I don’t know,” she answered.
Ugh, what? No. Get ahold of yourself, Ede!
Rather than prolong her discomfort, the mailman did the gentlemanly thing again and let the conversation die. In a calm and reassuring gesture, he carefully, loosely, took Ede’s hands and turned her towards their destination. Words not necessary.
Ede remained very tense as they walked, but she lightened up once she realized where they were going.
“The park!” Ede called out as they approached, a little more excitedly than she meant to.
“Yeah,” he smiled. “You seem much more comfortable when you’re outside.”
“I am,” Ede laughed. Then, in a half-whisper, “I’m not actually that fond of people.”
“Oh? I hadn’t noticed,” he lied, grinning.
Being here surrounded by flowers and trees at this particular hour, when the light was changing from the day’s whites and yellows to the night’s reds and purples, was just magical. As they trotted over to the picnic tables, Ede became her regular animated self again, babbling about all kinds of things.
She felt really comfortable and just good being here. Gorgeous setting, great conversation, pleasant company.
The mailman just watched her, nodding and responding along to her choice of subjects, simply enjoying her presence. When there was a lull in the conversation, he offered a topic of his own interest. But mostly he just listened to her express herself.
They really clicked, and their green bar grew ever fuller, breaching the “good friends” mark.
Ede felt that she was completely inside of her own body again, and she realized something: she really was hungry! Luckily, there’d been a number of folks cooking up various delectables on the grill and silently plopping down plates in front of the two of them as they talked. Ede grabbed a wrap-looking thing and took a big bite.
As the mystery food rolled around on her tongue, Ede imagined she might be experiencing heaven, if such a place existed.
“I don’t know what we’re eating,” she said, “but it’s plumming good!”
The mailman almost choked then. Ede’s little bursts of blunt honesty tended to catch him off guard and crack him up, and laughing while eating was problematic.
“Are you okay?!” Ede said in a panic, eyes wide.
“Yeah, yeah!” he assured her, waving her concern away while still laughing through his coughs.
It was getting late. The sunny days in Oasis Springs are a bit deceptive; it gets right chilly once darkness falls. Probably time to call it a night.
“Shall I run you home?” he asked.
“Let’s just walk this time,” she smiled. “I’m not in any hurry.”