“When do you get home on Friday?” I asked against her mouth.
I stepped back, rubbing my eyes. “Wait. Where are you going this trip?”
Laughing again, she stretched to kiss my jaw. “Berkeley.” She pecked me one more time and then stepped back. “My cab is outside. I’ll call when I get there.”
“You’re being awfully quiet over there.”
Jensen’s voice pulled me out of my thoughts and I blinked up at him across the table. He was down in the city from Boston, and we had joined Max and Bennett for a late lunch at Le Bernardin.
“Just wondering how things are going for Hanna,” I said. “She’s giving her job talk right now.” I tilted my wrist, looking at my watch, and corrected, “No, she finished about an hour ago.” Picking up my phone, I registered that she hadn’t even texted to let me know she’d landed safely.
“What did she say?” Bennett asked, misinterpreting my attention to my phone.
“Oh, just . . .” I waved him off, shaking my head. “No updates yet. I’m sure it went great.”
“I’m sure they’re already begging her to accept an offer,” Max said, smiling reassuringly. Out of the three of them, he watched me the most closely today, having heard both Hanna and I occasionally ramble about the job hunt, the idea of moving, the idea of staying, what our lives might look like a few months down the road.
Max certainly didn’t want us to move, but he didn’t seem all that concerned about it, either. I really could do my job from anywhere, though some cities would be easier than others.
“She doesn’t believe me when I say the choice is going to be hers,” I told them.
“Well,” Jensen said, “where do you think she’ll end up?”
“And when are you guys planning to move?” Bennett asked.
“Well, we may not be—”
Bennett waved me off. “I mean, when is she hoping to start? Wherever that may be.”
“Probably next fall. Though some schools seem to want her to start in the winter term.”
“It’s October,” he repeated, “and some places want her to start in January, and you don’t have a sense of where you might be going?”
“She hasn’t visited everywhere yet.” The explanation sounded lame even to my own ears, but it’s the one she gave me again and again.
My friends nodded as if it all made sense, and thankfully Jensen changed the subject, but I tuned out after a few bits of exchange regarding a merger of two large pharmaceutical companies.
Hanna and I had been so focused on the wedding and then the idea of her career beginning that we hadn’t actually discussed the how.
Everything felt too hectic, and the Let’s figure it out after the wedding motto had been an easy way to put off any actual decision making.
Here we were, married, in love, and on the verge of changing nearly everything about our day-to-day lives. And we still had no idea at all how it was going to look.
I pulled a beer from the fridge, popping the cap off with a satisfying hiss.
“You’re not drinking my cream soda, are you?” Hanna asked on the other end of the line.
“Do you really think I would steal your cream soda?” I volleyed back, settling on the couch. “I may be new to this, but I know how marriage works.”
“You know,” I told her, missing the heat of her body next to me on the couch, “even if you finish it, you can get another.”
Growling, I said, “I know this about you.”
“Will.” The single syllable was a quiet plea, a gunshot at the beginning of a race.
I draped my arm across my face, working to not get distracted by phone sex. “Let’s play in a minute. Tell me about your day.”
She let out a prolonged exhale and then started. “Welllllll. Let’s see. I think my talk went well. There was a lot of great discussion. And I like the lab space they’ve suggested.”
Shifting my arm away, I stared up at the ceiling. “Hanna?”
“Are you at all excited about this process?”
“It’s just not like you to be so tight-lipped about it.”
Sighing, she said, “I’m trying to be contained.”
I could practically see her helpless shrug. “I’m trying to keep my moment-to-moment opinions in check right now. I figured we would talk about it after we have all the information.”
“Yes, you mentioned that, but I’d still prefer to be processing it together as we go,” I told her. “I mean, I know you had to take all day Sunday to think, Hanna, but it’s not like you really told me much of what you were thinking about, other than being annoyed with me. It’s a big move.” I paused, then added, “For both of us.”
“Max reminded me to worry about the job, not the location,” she said. “I mean, you can work from anywhere.”
I sat up, transitioning quickly from relaxed conversation to irritation. “Oh, Max said this?”