* * *
When Mattie pulled up to the house, Simon was waiting for her on the front porch.
“Mattie, what happened?
“What are you doing here?”
“You’re soaking wet.”
“I’m going in to change.”
Mattie left Simon on the porch, ran upstairs to the bedroom and tore off her wet clothes. She was shivering, and not just from hypothermia. As she dressed in sweatpants, a hoodie, wool socks and sneakers she tried to calm down, but what was the point. Weak and wounded, her heart was about to go to war once more. What chance did she have?
Simon was sitting on the steps. The clouds had cleared, the sun had disappeared below the horizon and the sky was trending orange to umber, flecked with crows flying home to their communal roosts. Mattie pulled her hoodie up over her wet hair and sat down beside him.
“Shouldn’t you be at the victory party?”
“I quit.” Simon continued to stare at the sunset.
“You said working with Wendy Walters was what you wanted to do? The two of you would change the system from within.”
“I’m not saying I won’t keep working for Indigenous people, but this was a mistake.”
“For a lot of reasons, but mostly because I want to be here with you.”
“Wendy’s not keeping you company?”
“It’s not like that.”
“Bullshit, Simon. The entire nation can see she’s ready, willing and able, and I’m not talking about becoming Prime Minister.”
“Okay, you’re right. But it’s not like that for me. It never was.”
“Maybe you can file a sexual harassment complaint.”
Simon stood up. “It was a mistake, Mattie, but I had to try. I don’t blame you for being angry, but you said you understood.”
“Look, I’m not going to–”
“Sit down, Simon.”
“What are you going to do now?” Mattie said.
“Find some land and build us a house.”
“Just pick up where we left off?”
“Sounds good to me.”
Mattie leaned against him. “Me too.”
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