“Why do you want to move to Melbourne?” He asks from across the room, in the kitchen, while I sit on the couch, my eyes on the floor. I can’t look at him.
“Because I don’t want to live in Adelaide my whole life,” I reply, head down.
He tuts at this, as though unsatisfied with my response, even though he has said the same thing a hundred times since I’ve known him.
“Cass,” he says my name in a tone begging me for more, before he repeats, “Why do you want to move to Melbourne?”
He knows why. I don’t understand the purpose of him asking questions he already knows the answers to.
Because I love you and I want to spend my life with you. Because I can’t forget how much we went through to be together.
But there’s the feminist in me who can’t say this. The young girl who can hear her mother’s voice, and her grandmother’s, too: Don’t do anything for a man.
(And then they wonder why I don’t want kids.)
He’s sitting next to me now, moved to bridge the distance between us. I can see his abortive attempts to touch me through the corner of my eye; my gaze is still averted. I hear him sigh.
“Why won’t you trust me to take care of you?”
“Because that’s not me,” I reply. I don’t need to be taken care of. But I do.
“You don’t have to come with me,” he whispers, and the words break both our hearts.
“I’m scared,” I admit. I’m scared because I haven’t found a job yet, and while I know we can survive on one wage for a while, and I know I can apply for retail or call centres, or even deliver pizzas, I’m scared because I don’t want to.
“Me too,” he agrees, and his fingers find my own.
I look at him then, and I can see that he is. Not of what comes next, but of losing me.
Don’t do anything for a man.
You’re right, Grandma. I’m not doing it for him.
Why are you moving to Melbourne?
“I’m moving,” I finally answer him, “Because I want an adventure, and I want to do it with you.”
He smiles then and pulls me in before kissing my forehead. “We’ll be okay,” he assures me, and I know that we will.
Sometimes to take two steps forward you have to take one step back.
Cass and Steve are moving interstate to Melbourne, and Cass is being a massive pain in Steve’s ass throughout the entire process, who is genuinely being patient and supportive, and maybe a little bit of a know-it-all.
But nothing that is good for you is ever easy.
Wish us luck.