Written by Isa Bedigian

The next day, more relationships start to come back together as Griffin returns to the Bay Area & the pressure of change is starting to get to Claudia.

It was three am. Julia was tossing & turning in bed again. She's been throwing up all day & her back was killing her.
"I cannot believe my mother willing did this four times, then did it a fifth," she remarked. Just as she was finally drifting off, the phone rang.
"Hello?" she answered, trying to sound sleepy since she was wide awake.
"Griffin," she wanted to SCREAM @ him for not calling, to cry & say how much she missed him & to get all mushy & say how much she loved him. Instead, she remained cold. She thought that would be best.
"How are you?"
She almost said sick. "Tired, I've been studdying alot lately."
"That's good, I guess. I'm in Michigan."
"What are you doing in Michigan?"
"One of my buds from that Allen Wood place, Mark, lives up here. He invited me to stay with him, so I am."
She put on a disinterested voice. "Where in Michigan?"
"Sterling Heights, I think. Yeah, that's where it is, he just said."
"He's in the room?"
"'Cept for the John, it is one room."
"Oh." she tried to hide the fact that she was worried sick about him. "My classes are going good, thanks for asking."
"I miss you Jule."
"I talked to Bailey earlier today. He said I can crash with him & Sarah for awhile, so I'm coming back down tomorrow."
"Can I see you?"
"Yeah, I'm still gonna be here, I mean, @ school..."
"I can drive up there. Tomorrow night, around seven?"
"K, I gotta go I'm runnin' Mark's bill up. I love you."
"I love you too." Julia said as if on autopilot. She didn't meant to say it. She really didn't want to say it. But her heart took over, as usual.

"You told him he could stay here?" Sarah threw a dish towel into a sink & walked into the living room to pout on the couch.
"What? What's wrong?" He followed her & sat on the floor in front of her.
"Bailey, we both live here. We both work to pay rent. There are two rooms & we each have one."
"Yeah, but you stay in my room everynight, & your room is bigger, you onlee stay in my room for the bigger bed. We'll just switch beds."
"And if there's something we don't have room for, we'll just put it in the basement @ the house. K?"
She looked into his sweet blue eyes. She couldn't tell him no. Not now, after he'd already told Griffin & everything. "All right, but if he snores louder than you do--"
"I know, he's out."

"Griffin, is this the husband guy?" Aimee asked. She & Julia were walking from their psyche class to the cafeteria.
"He's not a husband guy, he's my husband."
"Oh whatever. So are you gonna see him?"
"He's coming by to see me @ seven."
Aimee laughed. "I won't bother asking you to come to a reading with me tonight."
"Oh come on. We're just gonna talk."
"I wouldn't believe that even if you weren't married." she put her arm around Julia's shoulders & shook her a little. "You can loosen up, it's okay, this is me."
"I don't plan on having anything but a meaningful conversation with him about our future."
"If you say so. Wanna go get drunk first? It'll make it easier."
Julia instantly thought of her baby. "No, I have some studdying I wanna get done."
"Perfect Julia. Did anyone ever call you that?"
She smirked. "You'd be surprised."
" never did say if you want to stay with Mr. Loner."
"Of course I wanna stay with him!" Julia held the cafeteria door open & they entered. Two gorgeous guys passed them on their way to get on line.
"Honestly, with all these cute guys around, I don't get it. If I didn't know better I'd say you're pregnant."
If Julia had been holding a tray, she would have dropped it. "That's the craziest thing I've ever heard."
"Stranger things have happened. Besides, what would it matter? You're married."

"So he's here? He's like back?" Charlie asked. He's stopped by Salingers' for lunch & Bailey had filled him in on the Griffin situation.
"You should see him. He like, grew up. The bangs are gone, his hair's longer, I think his clothes mighta been clean."
"He wants her back." Charlie didn't seem too happy about it.
"Yeah, I didn't really think they were all that apart you know? I mean, they were seperated, so to speak, but not really apart."
"I never really liked him Bay."
"I know, neither did I, but he's grown on me. And, I think we've always had this bond thing. You know, 'cause of Jill."
Charlie nodded.
"So I'm thinking whatever happens, we gotta be nice to him."
Charlie didn't answer.
"I'll try, but if he cheats on her again I'm gonna kill him."

Julia threw a black sweater onto her bed in frustration. She'd been trying to find the perfect outfit to wear to meet Griffin, but what do you wear to meet your husband when you want to punch him for leaving, kiss him because you're so glad to have him back, & hold him because you're scared because you're pregnant?? She glanced @ her clock. 6:21. She realised she didn't have time to be picky & threw a purple sweater on with a black skirt & left it @ that. She checked her hair, added a dab of lipstick & sat on the bed to wait. She wondered what it would be like to see him again, touch him, kiss him. Make love to him.
NO! she shouted inside her head. God, where had that come from? She refused to let Aimee be right about their plans for the evening.
"We already got into enough trouble doing that anyway," she told herself.

Claudia peeked into Daphne's room. She was asleep with the TV on & Sarah was nowhere to be found. She quietly went down the stairs to avoid waking Daphne & walked into the kitchen. There was Sarah, sitting @ the table next to Owen, making mummy toys out of Play-Doh.
"Uh, Sarah, can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure, what's up?"
"Not in mixed company."
Sarah glanced down @ Owen. He seemed perfectly content to play on his own for a minute. Sarah put down the red glop she'd been mashing in her hands & walked into the dining room with Claudia.
"What's up?"
"This whole Charlie & Kirsten thing. I was just wondering if Bailey had said anything to you about it."
"Just that they eat @ the restaurant alot. Why?"
"I don't know, I was just thinking how they would already be married for two years by now. And they might have kids....and....."
"It's just so unfair! I mean, Daphne is up there pregnant with this child she doesn't even want....."
Sarah tuned Claudia out & felt a pang in her stomach. She too, was bothered by the fact that Daphne treated the baby as though it were a sweater you loan to a friend. She also knew that Claudia was unaware that Kirsten couldn't have children, but that made Claudia's point seem all the more meaningful.
"....And Griffin is...hopefully with Julia now...and I just......I'm going nuts Sarah. The whole thing with going away to school, & with Jamie, & the lives of the people around me--"
"Claudia, you asked me for advice, do you mind if I give it now?"
"No, sorry."
"It's okay. I think the best thing for you to do is to concentrate on Claudia. Don't worry about anyone else or what anyone else wants." Sarah wished there was someone to tell her the same things she was telling Claudia. "You have to be happy before anyone else can."
"I guess you're right. Thanks Sarah." Claudia gave her a hug & then ran upstairs to her room to practice the violin, which woke up Daphne.
"Sarah! Would you bring me a glass of water?"
"Sometimes, I feel like Cinderella," she muttered as she let the water run cool.

It was around midnight. The dorm was quiet, & so were Julia & Griffin. They were lying in each others arms in her small bed. He was asleep with his arm around her waist, but she lie awake thinking. Aimee had been right. They hadn't talked the night away. Sure, they talked, but not until they'd had a romp in the sack. They'd sat up & ordered pizza & really discussed their future. Griffin was totally honest with her about what he wanted. She, on the other hand, didn't exactly tell him anything, other than the fact that she needed time, like the summer, to sort things out. She hadn't told him about the baby. It wasn't the right time yet, she'd decided. She wanted to wait until they'd made a decision about their marriage. He'd told her he wanted her to move back into the shed with him until he could get enough money together for an apartment. He'd already gotten a job, working the graveyard shift @ a twenty-four hour bike shop.
"Crappy hours," he'd commented. "But it's the best money & it's a good time to think."
Julia hadn't asked what he planned on thinking about all those late nights. She wanted to make an effort to make her marriage work. He'd come there with a plan to iron out all the kinks, but those plans were for a twosome, & Julia knew that it wouldn't be long before their twosome became a threesome.

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