Disclaimers: This was inspired by the Picture in the Intrepid Challenge. There is a loving same sex relationship and a very strong likeness of a couple of ladies we all know and love. Please enjoy, RiJ
Tara waited anxiously for her best friend to arrive from Cambodia. She hadn’t seen her for over a year and she had missed her terribly. The phone call that Maria had made to tell her what time to pick her up had been very muffled. Whole chunks of words didn’t make it across the wire but she got the flight number and time Maria would arrive at LAX and she was waiting at the gate very excited.
Maria was with the Red Cross; she was returning from her very first field assignment. The two college roommates had been inseparable till Maria got asked if she’d like to do this plumb assignment. Maria was very hesitant to leave her beloved friend but Tara insisted she go, knowing how much Maria wanted to.
The plane landed and a huge mass of humanity poured out of the gate door into the reception area. Tara was having a trouble seeing over the crowed but she knew how tall her best friend was she was pretty sure she would be able to see her. When she finally did her eyes grew huge from pure shock. Her expression went from delighted to stunned in seconds. The tall young brunette had a baby cradled in each arm and a huge diaper bag slung to her back.
“Tara!” Called Maria very happy to see her friend, her face was lit up by pure happiness.
Tara swallowed a couple of times and stuttered, “Hi…um…”
“I’m sorry I was trying to tell you when I called but the phone line kept going nuts. Aren’t the twins beautiful? I’ve adopted them…”
Maria was suddenly unsure and upset but she knew they were in a public place. She had her Dad’s Ambassador’s Club pass for the private lounge so she said, “Let’s go to the Ambassador Club and settle the girls first then we can talk, ok?”
Tara nodded and silently followed Maria to private lounge area. Once they got in Maria headed for a big couch. She settled the girls on each side of her with a pillow as a bumper so the toddler would be safe from falling off the edge. Then she looked up at the completely overwhelmed Tara and gestured with her head that she should sit down at the other end of the long couch.
Tara was impressed at how Maria had handled the babies; she was gentle and loving but very firm… They loved her dearly. She had the beautiful little girls complete love and trust. It was obvious that Maria returned it in full; she had complete control but she very gentle and tender. Tara sat down and smiled at the beautiful twin Cambodian girls. The little girl next to her smiled back and tried to crawl out of Maria’s firm grasp to crawl onto Tara’s lap.
“No Sweetheart, stay here with Mommy for a minute.” She looked at her friend sadly and said, “It’s ok, Tara. You can drop us at my folk’s place. I understand this is quite a bombshell and…”
“It’s not that. I…why couldn’t you just tell me? Why didn’t you write me about them? I …”
“I tried to several times I just…Do remember when we would obsessively watch M.A.S.H.?”
Upset and confused by the change of subject Tara just nodded.
“Well do you remember the one where they found a baby that was half Korean and half American?
Tara nodded but still didn’t see where Maria was going.
“They feel the same way in Cambodia. I was working in a small village and my assignment was to help with a water well. I found these two angels behind our garbage dump like they were trash or something. So I tried to find their mother, but the doctor in our unit explained that she left them to die rather then face the humiliation of tainting her families blood with foreign blood.” Tears fell from Maria’s eyes as she cuddled both girls closer kissing each on the cheek. “Its horrible what they do to mixed children, boys are killed out right and girls are either killed or sold as slaves for prostitution. So I sent a telegram to my folks asking for help. I was going to write you…telegram you…I started to so many times but I felt like…”
“I wouldn’t care! I wouldn’t want to help you!” spouted Tara, who stood up suddenly angrier then she had ever been.
“No!” Maria looked at the few people in the lounge they glanced at them but didn’t seem to be calling security. “Calm down please, Tara I didn’t want to burden you…”
“I thought I was suppose to be your best friend…”
“You are, shhh, please sit down. Calm down. Please. I can’t leave the twins.”
Tara nodded glumly and sat back down she was fuming mad her arms were crossed and she looked like she was about to burst into tears.
“Tara you are my best friend. I just didn’t want to bother you with…”
“Why? Am I so damn heartless?”
Maria didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t expected such a strong reaction from her dearest friend. She thought she would be surprised and a bit disappointed but this deep hurt was shocking to her. Tara was emotional and the twins were reacting they were getting upset too.
“Please Tara, please calm down. I would never ever think that. You are and you will always be my very best friend. I love you very dearly and I missed you dreadfully. I just love these little ones too. I guess I didn’t think you would want a roommate with twins. The are adorable but they can cause a lot of trouble.”
Tara was leaning back against the couch her eyes were closed and there was a stream of tears pouring from the eyes. Very worried Maria said quietly, “Please Tara, say something.”
With out opening her eyes Tara whispered, “I love you dearly too. I’ve missed you so much. I don’t want to lose you as friend or a roommate. You’re a twin and I’m a twin, so I do understand what it means. I just don’t understand why you couldn’t tell me.” Tara opened her eyes and met tear-filled blue ones. Then she looked at the two very lively babies and for the first time since she saw Maria and the girls she smiled. “They are very beautiful. I wouldn’t mind welcoming them into our home. I have no knowledge of babies though. I wouldn’t have an idea how to help you.”
“Yes they are beautiful but they are trouble too. They will cause utter chaos.”
“That’s ok, I just don’t want to do something stupid.”
“You wouldn’t, Tai wants to come over and say hi very badly, can she?” Asked Maria with a tender smile.
The blonde held out her hands and Maria let the baby crawl over to her. Tai crawled right into Tara’s arms and kissed her on the chin. Tara smiled softly and kissed her back on the top of her head. This gave the little one the idea that it would be fun to explore this ones face so that’s what she began to do with her tiny hands.
Maria had tears of joy now and she said in throaty voice, “She loves you already. So does LiLi but she is a bit more reserved. Aren’t you baby?” She cuddled her cheek against the other baby. Then she looked up at Tara and watched Tai trying to put her fingers into Tara’s mouth and asked quietly, “What do you think?”
Tara was gently trying to guide the hands away from her mouth and her eyes as she replied with an amused grin, “I think they are wonderful. I fully understand everything you did except not telling me.”
Maria reached over and gently brushed blonde hair out of beloved green eyes that she had missed so much. “I remembered what you said about your sisters’ baby. How he scares you ‘cause you’re afraid that you’d be a bad Mom. I know that isn’t true at all but I also know how stubborn you are and at first I wasn’t even going to keep them. I was only going to be their foster mother till I could find a home for them. I tried their home village and then a few of the cities. The race mixing prejudice is very dominant there. It was explained that it is something that is true through out Asia. I couldn’t allow anything to happen to these angels so…” Maria moved closer to Tara so she was close to all her dear ones then she struggled on, “So I sent the telegram to my folks who I knew would be very compassionate. They contacted the International Red Cross and sponsored me. Um… Tara are you sure you’d want us to move in. As much as I want to and I do very much. I do know that two infants will be a lot of very hard work. You’re a very pretty young woman this could cramp your style…”
Tara’s eyes snapped open, she had been nuzzling Tai and listening to Maria’s story. “Is that why? You thought it would hurt my social life?” Her voice was quiet but Maria could hear the pain.
Maria reached out with her free hand again and dried Tara’s tears, “No, I just don’t want you to feel this was forced on you. I don’t want to do anything to hurt you. I never thought you’d react like this. I want to move back in with you very much. You don’t know how hard it’s been this past year. I missed having some one I could talk to, someone I was comfortable with. Your friendship is the only real one I’d ever had. I’m closer to you than my own twin.”
Tara nodded leaning back her head on Maria’s free shoulder and cuddling little Tai in her arms. LiLi was sleeping in Maria’s and her head lowered down on top of Tara’s. “I know Maria, me too. I had my family and friends all around me but I had this big vacant hole were you usually are. I missed you and needed you…I…”
Her eyes met Maria’s and the tall woman smiled, “Why don’t take the kids home and have a private talk.”
“Do you mean home as in your moving back in with me?”
“I mean that I think this the beginning of one beautiful family unit. Um, that is if you want that?”
Tara’s smile this time lit up her whole face, “Very much.”
“Good, you take Tai and I’ll take LiLi, Ok?”
Tara nodded, she got up with the now sleeping infant in her arms and helped Maria get the luggage and go home.
*** *** **** ****
Twins On Board, was the legend on back of Tara’s SUV. It was one of the concessions she made to having a family; trading her small compact car for what she called the monster . They had created a website for foreign adoptions and they sold Tara’s artwork through the Ebay and some art sites on line. This gave them both the freedom to be full-time stay-at-home parents.
That first night Maria had set up the guestroom for the babies with a crib that her parents had brought over to Tara’s as soon as they heard their daughter and Grandchildren were home. After they kissed the girls they went into the living room to talk. Maria’s folks had left right away knowing that Maria was tired from the long trip but Maria wanted to get some things understood with Tara.
Loving blue eyes seared into very nervous green. Maria gently took Tara’s hand and said softly, “I have very deep feelings for you Tara…I…your….um…”
Tara wasn’t looking at her now she was staring down into her lap; “I missed you so much. I have very deep feeling for you too, but you’re so sophisticated. You always were and I’m…”
“Smart, funny, compassionate and very beautiful. You’re my best friend, the only person I can really trust and talk to… Tara I love you dearly.”
Tara slowly looked up at Maria through her eyelashes, “But how …I mean why…”
“I’m deeply in love with you, Sweetheart. I have always been, I was very shy about it cause we were both so young and inexperienced. But being so far away from you it was really driven home to me. I love you deeply and completely and I never, ever want to be away from you again.”
“Yes. How do you feel?”
“I have been head over heals in love with you from the time we moved into the dorm together our first year. I never said anything because I didn’t know how you felt and I didn’t want to lose you as a friend. Then when you were away…the only thing that kept me going was the cards and gifts you sent me. I missed you so much. I never want you to go away again either. I’m just scared I will let you down now with the girls...”
Maria moved closer pulling Tara onto her lap and hugging her close. She kissed her cheek and whispered, “You will never let me down. I love you. You mean everything to me. Did you see how the girls took to you? They already think of you as their Mommy too.”
“I hope so cause you mean everything to me too.”
“Tara may I…could I kiss you please?”
The smaller woman nodded, Maria gently kissed her love till they were both deeply connected. They explored each other deeply till tiny little sets of lungs were exercised in another room. Maria pulled back with an ironic smile on her face. “That my beautiful one, is the price of parenthood.”
“As long you’re with me, I’ll gladly pay it.”
Maria kissed Tara’s nose and said, “You’re so adorable. Come on lets go see what our munchkins want.”
*** *** *** ***
Maria came out carrying LiLi and Tara followed close behind carrying Tai. They gently put them in their car seats and then got into the car to go to a very important hearing at the County Court House. Tara and Maria were both all dressed up; they were dressed in very sophisticated outfits that made them look both professional and beautiful. Tara drove staring straight ahead as Maria tried to think of way to ease her obvious nerves.
“Tara…Love, no matter what the Judge decides, you are their mother too.”
“Sweetheart, it will be ok. I promise.”
“If the Judge goes against me I will feel like I let you all down.”
“You will never let us down the Judge will, but not you. We were investigated and I saw the reports they thought you were wonderful with the girls. Our home got top marks in everything. And no matter what the babies love and adore you and so do I.”
“I know that, but what if the Judge…”
“If he doesn’t see how fantastic you are he is an idiot.”
“I hope he’s not,” Said Tara with a sigh as she signaled to turn into the parking lot of the Courthouse.
*** **** ***** ****
Blue eyes twinkled into delighted green as the put the twins to bed that night. Then each mother bent down to gently kiss the girls goodnight.
Maria put her arm around Tara’s shoulders as they quietly went into the livingroom. Then she said quietly said, “Well I think we need to change the sign on our car to Family On Board.”
“I am just so relieved.”
“I told you my love, even if they legally didn’t name you the girl’s mother you are their Mommy too.”
“I knew that…I am just very glad they approved of me.”
“As long as Tai, LiLi and I love and adore you who cares what the stupid court thinks. We only did this so the girls will always have one of us to legally watch over them but in our home we are both their Mommies. To me that all that matters as long as you and girls are happy then I am.”
“Then that’s all I care about.” Maria then pulled her love on to her lap and kissed her passionately.
The EndReturn to the Academy