Week 30: Maddox & Avery
(Maddox takes Avery on a photography trip)
“Babe, what are you doing?” Maddox asked her wife.
“Checking the stock.”
“Avery, we’re in the middle of the jungle. How are you even getting the Internet?”
“I have a really great cell phone plan,” Avery tossed back before she looked over at Maddox. “I paid for a special thing.”
“A special thing?”
“Maddox, the company just went public. I have to keep an eye on things while we’re here.”
“We’re in the rainforest, and you’re checking your stock price? I thought you were actually going to take time off and be here with me.”
“I am here with you,” Avery replied, locked her phone, and tossed it aside on top of her sleeping bag. “But, Mad, I’m kind of an indoor girl. I think you know that about me. I like tech and air conditioning. Does that make me a diva? Have I turned into Jessica somehow?”
Maddox laughed and finished repacking her camera gear for the night.
“No, you are not like Jessica,” she said of her ex-girlfriend. “But you said you wanted to come on one of my National Geographic trips. This was the first one, and you agreed. Just listen, Avery: there are a million sounds outside this tent. It’s a whole ecosystem of microorganisms all the way up to apex predators. Isn’t that cool?”
“Apex predators, and we’re in a canvas tent? No, babe. Not cool. Terrifying.” Avery smiled over at her wife. “But I love you, and I’ve missed you in the run-up to us going public. So, I’m sorry, and I’m done checking the stock and everything else. I’m here now.”
“Really? You promise?”
“Good. Come snuggle me,” Maddox said and lay down on top of her sleeping bag.
“It’s like a hundred degrees with eight thousand percent humidity here. I’ll burn up if I snuggle you.”
“Too bad.” Maddox held out her arm. “And you get used to the heat.”
Avery moved into her wife and rested her head on Maddox’s chest.
“You love this, don’t you? Being out in the middle of nowhere with scary nature.”
“It’s not always scary. And, yeah, I do.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t have come. I’m complaining a lot. I don’t want to ruin this for you.”
“You’re not.” Maddox kissed Avery’s forehead. “I love that you’re here.”
“Really? What would you be doing right now if I wasn’t?” Avery ran her hand over Maddox’s stomach under her white tank top.
“This. Well, not with my arm around you, obviously. At nighttime, I’m usually in my tent, or whatever I’m staying in, and I just kind of decompress thinking about the day I’ve had in pictures and the adventure I got to go on. I listen to the crickets, or whatever else I can hear outside, and try to get some sleep. I think about you, too, though.”
“Every night,” Maddox replied. “I’d think about how much I love what I do, but that I also wish I was at home, lying next to you in our bed, staring up at our ceiling with you on my chest like this. That helps me fall asleep.”
“I’m here now. Can you fall asleep better tonight?”
“I always sleep better when you’re next to me.”
Avery kissed Maddox’s collarbone and said, “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”