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One Condition

By Kei Angelus

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1

“Oh, come on.”

“It’s freezing, honey. I want to go home.”

“But, Pookie…”

“And since when did you start calling me that?” said the lawyer, dropping the cables she had fought with for one day long.

“Why? You hate it?” the artist pouted, totally ignoring the question.

Joanne thought for a second and decided not to push the topic further, at least not this time. It had been a long day and stage-managing had drained her energy twice a difficult trial. “I can never be a theater-person,” she thought to herself.

“What is it, baby?” Maureen whined.

“No, it’s nothing,” Joanne said as she packed the cables. “You can go with your friends, honey.”

Maureen narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “What is it? You’re pushing me away?” she said dramatically, craving for the attention she was now not getting from her lover.

Joanne sighed in defeat, leaving the cases to make an eye contact with her girlfriend. She was ready to reason with her business tone, but the intention completely vanished the moment she met those eyes. She cursed silently. It was impossible to win this kind of argument with Maureen. “No, Maureen, you know I’m not,” she said instead after a deep breath. She was just too tired to argue anyway, so she put her hands on Maureen’s waist and pulled her closer.

Maureen smiled in response and leaned in to give a kiss. “I know,” she responded before their lips touched. And that was just typical.

“Well, go have fun. I still have the speakers and mixer to pack,” Joanne said when their lips parted, glancing at the boxes behind her. Being tired didn’t stop her from noticing the glint in her girlfriend’s eyes. She knew Maureen was up to something.

“You know, Mark would definitely be there,” Maureen teased, raising her eyebrows in a very dramatic way, her eyes narrowed.

“I know,” Joanne raised her eyebrows too and suddenly turned so business-like with her nod, knowing that her girlfriend was just trying to make her jealous.

"Ugh,” Maureen groaned, rolling her eyes, knowing that her plan to take her girlfriend with her had failed. Now she wondered what Mark and Joanne had shared when Mark had come to fix her equipment. “Oh, come on, Pookie,” she whined again. She changed her plan and pulled Joanne’s arm, yanking it like a five year old, getting back to the classic way.

“Oh, Maureen,” Joanne took the arm yanking hers, ignoring the chills the new nickname had sent to her spine. “As your substitute production manager, I still have those mixer and speakers to pack and that lamp to return this morning, which I hope is not broken, or I can’t even imagine how much we have to pay for the damage,” Joanne pointed to the lamp she had controlled during the protest, which had been hit by a massive brick. “I’m just glad all of these TVs are safe. You didn’t know how panicked I was when they started hitting each other.”

They both stared at how the now empty performance space had turned into a complete mess. “How about I help you pack and we go to Life Café together?” Maureen asked after several seconds, as if Joanne hadn’t told her that she just wanted to go home.

Joanne didn’t answer, her mouth hung open. After a second, she finally regained her composure and raised her eyebrows. She put her hands on her hip and looked at the woman in front of her.

“Oh, come on,” Maureen swayed her hip, obviously flirting. She started to put her hand on Joanne’s shoulder and slid it down to her waist to pull her closer. Joanne rolled her eyes, but didn’t resist. At this point, she knew she would lose anyway. She just knew how she couldn’t resist those eyes. And without permission, Maureen kissed her again, now deeper than the previous one. As Joanne kissed Maureen back, a thought crossed her mind.

When their lips parted, Joanne said, “Okay.” Maureen’s smile didn’t stay long and her face tensed when the lawyer added, “But with one condition.” Joanne put her finger right in front of Maureen’s face.

Joanne could almost hear Maureen gulp. Knowing that she had already won and her girlfriend had already fallen into her trap, Joanne continued, “You will have a proper—no, a big dinner tonight.”

Maureen opened her mouth to protest, but Joanne put her finger in Maureen’s lips and cut her off, “No. You won’t throw up.”

As Maureen lost her words and couldn’t find any excuse to argue, Joanne grinned in victory and kissed her girlfriend again, forgetting for a second that she still have those equipment freezing while waiting to be packed.

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