“Absolutely,” Georgia breathes. “When do you start?”

“I haven’t applied yet,” I say. “That’s what those papers are; I had to get academic records, and I’ve had to write up some essays. I’ve done it all by hand, so far, but I can type everything up now that we have a computer.”

“You could have just used my laptop,” Georgia points out.

“I didn’t decide to do this until after I got the computer,” I say with a shrug. “Finally getting a good computer felt a little like a sign. With a computer, I can do the units and assessments. Anyway, I’m still not sure, financially it’s going to put a huge burden on us…”

“I’ll help,” Georgia says immediately. She puts a hand up to silence me before I can protest. “No, you’re not arguing this one, Ethan. This is your future we’re talking about. Besides, you owe me, considering you tried to control my future, remember?”

I wince. Right, Georgia still isn’t letting that go.

“This is different,” I say.

“Then borrow the money, and you can pay me back when you’re making more money as an architect,” Georgia challenges. “I’m not letting this go, Ethan. This is important. If this is what you really want, then I want to make this happen. The future is important.”

“The future?” Lily asks brightly from the door.

Georgia and I turn around. Lily has crept up on us, holding her silenced console. Likely she’s come to see if I’m ready to set up the computer. She’s beaming at the two of us, looking highly excited.

“Are you talking about the future?” Lily asks enthusiastically. “Does that mean you’re finally going to get married?”

I choke. Georgia breathes in sharply.

“Lils?” I say when I’ve got my own breathing under control. “Georgia and I have only been together for a few months. We’re not ready to think about marriage.”

Lily gives us an unimpressed look.

“You guys should have gotten married years ago,” she sniffs.

Then she flounces away. Georgia and I stare at each other, incredulous.

Georgia breaks first. She starts giggling softly. Then a snort escapes me. Before we know it, we’re both laughing. I shouldn’t be surprised that my daughter, the one who has watched Georgia and I for so long, would say such a thing. Because she’s not wrong. We might be officially in a relationship now, but we’ve been together forever, at this point.

Georgia controls herself first, and she smirks.

“I’m going to Washington next week,” she says. “Want to ask me when I come back?”

“I’ll order the roses and violins,” I say, amused.

Part of me is only half joking. Now that Lily has brought it up, I can’t help but imagine what it would be like to be married to Georgia. I smile and lean over to kiss her.

“I love you,” I say.

She smiles and curls her arm around mine.

“I love you, too.”

Then she pushes me toward the living room.

“You better go help your daughter with the computer,” she tells me.

I laugh and walk away, throwing Georgia a wink over my shoulder. She grins back at me, and my heart rises. Yes, I can definitely see myself marrying this beautiful, perfect woman.

Not yet, though. For Georgia, it will have to be perfect. And then…

Then we can spend the rest of our lives together.