Three of Hearts (1.3)

Summer loved her life.

From her attentive boyfriend, her stable job, to her bundle of joy, she loved everything about her life. They were even able to keep the house after Liberty moved out, though Summer had initially wanted her to stay. The idea of the kids growing up in the same house had been a beguiling one, but Liberty had insisted that she wanted to strike out on her own.

That was one thing Summer was unhappy with. She missed being able to simply go into Liberty’s room to chat with her, their late night movie nights, their long talks. She missed living with her best friend.

It had been while they were both pregnant that Liberty had made her decision, a swift one and one that still bothered Summer when she thought about it. It wasn’t like they weren’t still friends, or like they weren’t best friends, but they’d drifted a small amount when Liberty moved out.

However, Summer knew that Liberty was doing what she wanted, and that was all that she could ask. Plus, being an auntie to little Robyn was a great joy. Robyn looked like a little carbon copy of Liberty, almost, and she and Gideon were good friends too, just as she and Liberty were. It warmed Summer’s heart to see the two of them play together.

And with Robyn’s dad firmly out of the picture (according to Liberty), Summer felt that she and Travis had to step up and do what they could to help their friend.

On that note, she picked her phone up and called Liberty’s number. Liberty picked up after a couple of rings, and Summer smiled as she heard the nervous little ‘Hello?’

Some things never changed.

“Liberty! Hey!” She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “Just wanted to chat.” A thought crossed her mind. “Oh, did Alice tell you about the Teddy Bear’s Picnic the daycare is planning? They want to run it by us first, but they want all the kids to bring in their teddies and have a tea party. It’s going to be adorable.”

“No, she didn’t mention it…” Liberty sighed. “Thanks, Summer.”

“Oh, no problem! Gideon doesn’t know yet, but I bet he’ll be stoked. He always is!” She laughed. “How are you doing?”

“Ah, just been catching up with some of my old friends from San Myshuno.” Liberty sounded down. “I guess I hadn’t thought about it, really, but I don’t think I’ll be going to GeekCon any time soon.”

Summer made a sympathetic noise. “I suppose it would be difficult. I mean, if you really wanted to go, I’m sure me and Travis could watch Robyn for the weekend…”

“N-No.” Liberty sighed again. “Summer, it’s okay. I would hate being away from her, and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much without her. It’s just…I feel like things are so different now, but it almost feels like they changed overnight.” She sounded more than a little upset now. “Besides, I wouldn’t want to put you to the trouble.”

“Well, you know I’m here for you when you need me!” Summer smiled warmly. “But, hey, that’s given me an idea. Why don’t we all go on holiday together this year? I’m sure the kids would love it!”

“That…actually sounds perfect.” Liberty sounded a little brighter. “Where were you thinking?”

“Well, my godmother has a lodge. I’m sure the kids would love it there – it’s in Komorebi, and it has all sorts of fun things. She’s always said I can come over whenever, and the two of you won’t be too much extra luggage!” Summer laughed again. “We’ll sort it all out, don’t you worry. We all deserve a break!”

“Are you sure?” Liberty sounded awed. “I mean, that sounds…amazing.”

“Of course I’m sure!” Summer smiled. “Now, you just relax, Liberty. Everything’s going to be fine! Bye!” She blew a kiss down the phone and hung up.

Thinking about the lodge took her back to when her godmother would invite her to stay at their house, and take them to visit the lodge to greet the guests there. She would have been around sixteen at the time, and she could remember sitting around the kotatsu with her ‘cousins’, the daughters of her godmother.

Emi was the cool, older cousin she loved to hang out with – a willowy gothic girl with a dry sense of humour. She gave Summer old magazines, make up tips, little pieces of jewellery, and seemed glad to have someone her own age to hang around.

However, Nanami, her sister, often tried to intrude on their conversations when she felt left out. Summer recalled with a pang of guilt that Nanami had often been left out of things, though both she and Emi had ignored that fact.

She wondered if their house still looked the same. She knew that Emi had upped sticks and moved to San Myshuno, following her artist’s dream, but she didn’t know about Nanami, who must be a teenager herself by now. She’d always promised Misaki, her godmother, that she would bring Gideon to visit her, but with one thing and another it had never happened.

Well, now was the time. She, Liberty, Travis, and the children would go and visit them, and have a lovely holiday. Perhaps she could even reconnect with her cousins, if they were over at the same time.

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