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THANKS: To flying_peanuts for the beta.
Worth the Wait
I didn't know that Jo snored. It's the kind of information I'd expect to have to gradually learn about a new lover, but Jo isn't just any old date. I slept only feet away from her for most of my adolescence, and beyond, and I don't remember ever hearing a noise resembling a diesel engine issuing from her throat. I'll make an appointment for her to see a specialist on Monday. There is no way I can sleep with that kind of noise continually in my ear.
Yes, that's right. I, Blair Warner, am sleeping with the Bronx's answer to elegance. It would be humiliating if I wasn't so head over heels in love which, in itself, is humiliation enough. Just think: me, an heiress with more class and poise than the entire state of Connecticut, saddled with a rough talking social worker from the wrong side of the wrong side of the tracks. It sounds like one of Nat's early efforts at romantic fiction - one of the rejected efforts.
It's been a month. Thirty days of waking up to a confused looking Jo and thirty nights of falling asleep to her rapidly calming heart. I don't think either of us can quite believe it. All throughout our time at Eastland and, later, at Langely, we spent all our efforts in trying to annoy the heck out of each other and only succeeded in forging a bond that has lasted over twenty years.
Of course that also means it took us twenty years to get from frenemies to lovers but, in hindsight, I'd say the interval was worth it. The people we were back then wouldn't have appreciated the kind of relationship we have now. There would have been too much fear and denial, from both of us, for things to have progressed smoothly, but now, to both our surprise, things just happened.
If I could go back to that night I'd probably want moonlight, candles and a declaration of undying love but, at the time, headlights, the smell of grease and an argument about a missing spare tyre were good enough. Not that I'd ever tell my friends the real story: A teeth clinking, Dior ruining grope on the side of a road in Delaware, of all places, is not something I ever want to admit. I'll keep the details to myself and pray Jo is her usual taciturn self and will let everyone assume the lengths to which she went to win me over.
I told my parent after our fourth night together. Jo thought I was rushing things, but I knew this was it from the moment we kissed. My parents, naturally, threw a fit. It wasn't so much the female aspect, although they hated that with a vengeance, or even the Jo effect - for some reason my parents are very fond of her - but that I called off my engagement to Clifton Wainwright III to run off and play house with a working class social worker from the Bronx. Snobbery, pure and simple, and something for which I can't really fault them. I mean, I am Blair Warner, and I do deserve better.
My parents and I did agree on one thing; we're all happy that the 'homophobic assholes in government,' Jo's words, haven't passed gay marriages. Jo would probably blow a gasket if I said that to her face but, really, can you see me lumbered with a name like Polniaczek? Half the maître d's in Manhattan wouldn't be able to spell it, so there would go my chances at a good table at L'Roche, not to mention having to perfect a new signature. So there will be no wedding - although I would look simply divine in white - but, other than that, everything is perfect.
Mrs. G and Beverly-Ann have developed an odd form of sibling rivalry, as each declares herself the instigator of our happy union. Nat didn't believe us, at first, until we provided evidence: I became somewhat incensed at being called a liar, however nicely put, and promptly laid a resounding kiss on Jo's lips. It was only after we heard the 'thunk' that we realised Mr. Polniaczek had arrived; Tootie simply rolled her eyes and pretended she knew all along and Mr. Polniaczek, once he'd regained consciousness, gave us his blessing, as did his ex-wife.
Truthfully, I expected everyone to be more shocked. I know I had been once the euphoria of that first kiss began to fade; as for Jo, I don't think she's come to terms with it yet. It's not that she's not happy to be with me - that goes without saying, naturally - but she has that look on her face, the one that means she's waiting for the other shoe to drop. It will no doubt pass, in a year or two, but in the meantime I'm enjoying having her a little off-kilter.
The princess and the grease monkey. Who would have thought?
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