Round 33: March 2037 (Autumn)
Narrated by Malcolm Novak
The ultimate plan is to buy a house together but we’ve been here six months now and haven’t really done anything to try to reach that goal.
We still talk about it but it’s probably not going to happen for another year or so.
When we do buy a house, I’d love to stay in this area. It’s not quite as isolated as Hope’s dad makes it out to be. Sure, our closest neighbours are farms but it’s not like we have no neighbours at all.
Where we live, we’re so close to the hospital and with a stressful job like mine, the last thing you want is a long commute on top of it.
I work in the emergency room, which means there’s always something different happening. We get a lot of elderly patients coming in after falls at home. Sometimes we admit them and keep them for observation or further treatment, sometimes we treat them and send them home.
Worried parents with little kids are a common sight too, especially on the night shifts. It’s often something that can be treated at home, like mild croup, but new parents don’t tend to know that.
It all keeps me pretty busy and I really hang out for my dinner break on those nights.
Hope is always talking about the day when I won’t have to do night shifts any more but I don’t really think that’s in the cards.
I keep explaining to her that it’s just part of the job. We both need to get used to it.
Hope’s never complained about the late nights, at least. If I’m at work on weekend nights, which is the case more often than not, she’ll usually have Julia over for a girls’ night.
They’ve been best friends since kindergarten and they’re never short of things to talk about.
Julia has just moved in with her boyfriend, Sam, so I guess they spend a lot of time talking about that. To be honest though, I don't really have a clue what they talk about.
I’m not so keen on Julia, so I’m happy for them to do most of their socialising when I’m not around. Now that Hope and I are living together though, it’s hard for me to avoid Julia completely.
Hope would love it if Julia and I became friends but I think the most she can hope for is civility. Julia's been quite calm of late, but I still don't trust her to not go nuts again.
Living with Hope has been an adjustment for me. She has quite a few annoying habits that I had no idea about previously, like try to listen in on any phone call I make or receive.
And the cleaning! I knew she was a neat freak but I didn’t realise she’d make me clean and then do it all over again herself when it wasn’t done “right”.
Hope tells me I have plenty of irritating habits as well and that they’re much more disgusting than hers. But I doubt that’s true.
I guess whatever my disgusting habits are, she’s willing to put up with them because it doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere.
We feel pretty permanent already, at least to me, but I know Hope is waiting on that proposal. She spends most of her time online looking at wedding websites.
I think she thinks she’s being subtle because she’s not flat-out nagging me about it any more but the meaningful looks every time I pass by the computer make it pretty obvious.
I want to get married too but I thought getting ourselves settled in our own house first would be the best plan. But lately, I’ve been thinking a compromise might be even better. Get engaged now, have a long engagement while looking for a house and then get married.
I ran the idea by Hope while we were out at lunch one day, just to see what she’d think.
I wasn’t sure what how she’d feel about the “long engagement” part but she actually didn’t mind the sound of that at all. Just knowing we were definitely on the path to getting married is good enough for her.
She did make sure to mention that she still wants a ring and a proper proposal.
I never even considered that I’d have a chance of getting out of that anyway. Not with Hope!
I chose a pretty nice spot, if I do say so myself. Hope was impressed, at least. She's been asking me to take her to Greenpoint Gardens for a while now.
All of Hope’s nagging and hinting about marriage over the last few years meant I wasn’t too nervous; I knew she would say yes.
I knew it was coming but it took a while for Hope to say anything. She was too busy admiring the ring on her finger.
Finally though, the words came and we were engaged!
Hope is really excited. I keep having to remind her about how we agreed on a long engagement.
She’s been planning our imaginary wedding for a couple of years now, so she’s raring to get started with the real one.
We’re still going to hold off on starting the planning for a year or so but we decided we’d tell the parents about it anyway.
There didn’t seem much point in keeping it quiet. We knew everyone would be happy for us, so why not just share?
My grandparents are pretty thrilled as well. I’ll be the third of their grandchildren to get married and they’re so pleased at the prospect of being around to see that.
Grandpa made sure to tell Hope that he’d also like another great-grandchild before he dies. He’s got two already and is expecting another two.
If there’s anything Hope wants more than to get married, it’s having a baby, so she had zero problem making that promise.
Adrienne and Amar were at my parents’ place too and Grandma didn’t waste any time asking Adrienne if she was ever going to follow in her little brother’s footsteps.
I hate being referred to as her “little” brother but I do so enjoy seeing her squirm a little!
Hope and I have a busy couple of years ahead, with house hunting and then wedding planning and I’m not exactly sure how I’ll handle it on top of such a demanding job. But I’m just going to go with and hope we figure it out.
- Title is from Protection by Ben Folds.
- I’ve decided I have enough doctors now that I can have them specialise, so I’ve assigned Malcolm to the emergency room. I’ll decide for the other doctors later but the OB-GYN is likely to be Cara.
- Malcolm is friends with Julia's ex, Jack Benton, so he would have heard all about Julia, if he didn't witness it himself.
- I was going to hold off on these two getting engaged but I don’t know how long Hope would really be willing to wait! And Malcolm rolled a want to marry Hope, so I think they’re finally on the same page. I do want them in their own house first though, so it won’t happen until probably next round.