Squire’s Isle Created by Geonn Cannon

Squire’s Isle Birthdays – March 21, Miranda Powell: In a Strange Land

Nadine woke to Noise. She had to give it a capital letter, had to personify it as a beast that existed outside the walls of her current cell. And it was a cell. Tiny, cramped, awkward. Horns were honking and sirens were blaring. She pulled the pillow from under her head and smothered herself with it. Next to her Miranda stirred, rolling over without sacrificing contact with the mattress. “Mm. Morning.”


“What? I can’t hear you.”


Miranda lifted the pillow. “Good morning, Dean.”


“What? I can’t hear you.”


“Goof.” She kissed Nadine’s cheek. “It’s a little different from waking up on Squire’s Isle, huh?”


“A little different?” She sat up and looked toward the window. “Are you sure it’s not World War Three out there?”


Miranda pushed herself up as well and pulled Nadine to her. Nadine tucked against Miranda’s chest and allowed her wife to cradle her. “No, this is pretty normal. I remember this from the old days.”


“Back when you were just a baby, studying at NYU? Getting your BA? Looking for a little T and A?”


Miranda grinned and stroked Nadine’s arm. “Yeah, something like that. Seems like a thousand years ago. Going to stay in Manhattan my whole life, never settle down. God. The idea of being married on a tiny little island would have scared me to death. I’m glad I’m not that little girl anymore.”


“Me too.” Nadine lifted her head to kiss her. After a few breathless moments they parted and Miranda stroked Nadine’s cheek. Nadine kissed the meaty part of her palm. “I know I promised I wouldn’t say this, but just once? On the day?”


“I guess. If you must.”


“Happy birthday, my sweet wife. I’m so glad you were born.” She kissed Miranda again. “I would hate this world if you weren’t in it.”


Miranda grinned. “That wasn’t as bad as I feared.”


Nadine curled against her chest again. “When are we supposed to meet up with this college friend of yours?”


“Noon. We have time.”


“I have absolutely no idea what time it is right now. The sun is up, but I feel like I need five more hours of sleep.”


Miranda kissed the top of Nadine’s head. “That’s because you always sleep in. Plus the three hour difference means that it’s just after five to us.”




“Yuck,” Miranda agreed. “Come on. A shower will wake you up, and then you’ll be chipper and gleeful so I can show you off to Kim.”


Nadine reluctantly peeled herself away from Miranda. She’d left a glass of water on the nightstand, and she drained it before she kicked the blankets away. She tugged at her pajamas as she stood and stumbled groggily to the bathroom.


“I’m going to call home and make sure everything’s okay. Anything you want me to say from you?”


“No,” Nadine half-grunted and half-yawned as she turned on the bathroom light. She left the door open a crack, and Miranda heard the water start running as she dialed. They flew in the night before, and they would get back to the island on Easter Sunday. The purpose of their trip was ostensibly to visit an old friend Miranda had recently become reacquainted with, but it was also an opportunity for them to celebrate Miranda’s birthday for the first time since they became a couple. Miranda had always hated her birthday, and it was even worse now that she was with someone seven years her junior. She didn’t like shining a light on the age difference.


But as much as she hated birthdays, Nadine loved them. She always felt bad when the day passed with just a small, nondescript box left on the coffee table. This year she would celebrate for Nadine’s sake.






“Randy!” The woman on the other end of the line laughed. “Did you make it in okay?”


Miranda smiled. “Yeah, we’re both here. I just wanted to make sure everything was set up for tonight.”


“Yep. It won’t be the biggest party in the world, but the booth will have bunting and streamers and balloons… it’s going to look like a circus exploded in one corner of the restaurant.”


“Excellent. Thanks for doing all of this for me.”


“No, it’s fun. I don’t think I’ve ever had a birthday girl plan her own party as a surprise to her wife.”


Miranda chuckled and looked to make sure Nadine wasn’t coming. “I’ve made such a huge deal over the past few years over not wanting anything special, but I know it kills her not to do anything. I think I’m finally ready to let her shoot the works. This is my way of telling her she can do whatever she wants next year.”


“I think it’s sweet. And I’m happy to be your decoy.”


“Well, I did come out here to see you. That just wasn’t the full extent of my intentions. I’ll see you at noon.”


“See you then. I cannot wait to meet the woman who got you to settle down. She must be pretty damn special.”


Miranda looked at the bathroom door. The woman who got her to not only accept small-town life but embrace it with her whole heart, who made getting married seem like a normal evolution rather than a scary commitment, who got her to celebrate her birthday.


“She’s magical, Kim. I can’t wait to introduce her to you.”


“I’ll text later when I know everything is set.”


“Thanks. See you then.”


She hung up and got out of bed, taking off her pajamas before she joined Nadine in the shower. Nadine hunched her shoulders and Miranda gathered water in her palms to gently massage her. Nadine scooted back until her hips were flush against Miranda’s, tilting her head to the side so Miranda could kiss her neck and nibble her earlobe.


“Mm. That feels good.”


Miranda slid her hands over Nadine’s sides, then up to her breasts. Nadine hissed through her teeth and pressed back against Miranda.


“And that feels great…”


“I thought you’d like that.”


“You know me so well.” She sighed. “I wish you would let me do something for your birthday. It doesn’t even have to be a party. Just a cupcake with a candle in it. Something to show you how much you mean to me.”


Miranda sighed. “Honey…”


“I know. I won’t bug you about it all day, I swear. I just want you to know I haven’t given up on you.”


Miranda turned Nadine’s head with two fingers and took the shampoo off the shelf. She rubbed her hands together to work up the lather and then began to wash her wife’s hair.


“You really think you’ll wear me down, huh?”


“I know I will. It’s just a matter of time.”


Miranda smiled, confident Nadine couldn’t see the mischievous twinkle in her eye. “I don’t know. I can be pretty stubborn.”


“And I can be persuasive.”


“Well, then. Let the best woman win. If I have a birthday party today, I will concede my defeat in the face of an overwhelming adversary.”


“Gee, thanks. We’re in New York and we have plans with your school chum. But next year? Next year you’d better watch out, missy.”


Miranda chuckled under her breath as she guided Nadine under the faucet to rinse out the shampoo. “I consider myself duly warned. But I’m a worthy opponent.”


“Don’t count me out yet. The day is young.”


“May the best woman win.”


She ran her hands down Nadine’s back, eager to see Nadine’s face when Kim escorted them into the restaurant. It took her a while, but she was starting to understand that parties, and the throwing of parties, wasn’t entirely about the person being honored. Parties were a tool that people could use to demonstrate how they felt for the honoree. She was touched that after all these years Nadine was still so determined to throw her a nice fete. And it would be worth suffering through a party just to see how happy it made Nadine.


Now all she had to do was get through the day without spilling the beans. And once Nadine had permission to go all out, she could only imagine what she would plan for next year.


Miranda turned around so Nadine could wash her hair. For the first time since she was a little girl, she couldn’t wait for her next birthday.

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