“Because that’s where Breaking Boundaries is right now. They’re in Brazil.” She set the shorts down on the pale green comforter and looked at me like I’d lost my fool mind over here.
“But you…” I shook my head. “You said you shouldn’t have gotten your hopes up for the internship you wanted, but you got the one in-city.” My mind scrambled, trying to find all the missing pieces to the puzzle I hadn’t been aware we were even putting together.
“Right. The other guy got the Brazil slot months before I even applied. I don’t understand why you’re so surprised.”
“Because you never told me the other option was Brazil!” I put my hands on top of my head and took measured breaths. “In-city, Liberty. You acted like the other option was just in another city, not another country!”
Her shoulders squared. “Well, I guess you could have just done what I do when I want to know more about your work and google.”
“Are you serious right now?” She’d just thrown my own words back at me. This was…I didn’t have words. I couldn’t find them. Feelings? Oh, I had plenty of those, all which started with absolute disbelief.
She slumped, taking a seat on the end of the bed. “No. Sorry. Are you sure I never told you that the internship was in Brazil?”
“Positive. You think I’d forget something like that?” What the hell did this mean?
“I told you I wanted to work with my mom.”
“Yeah, but never in the same sentence that had anything to do with your internship.” I moved one foot at a time until I was close enough to the dresser to sit at the edge of it.
“I told you she was disappointed that I didn’t get it!” She gripped the comforter in both hands.
“Lib, I told you my mom was disappointed that we didn’t make it to Super Bowl fifty-four, but the woman doesn’t live in Florida.” How the fuck had I been so spectacularly blind?
“Okay, okay, okay,” she chanted, rocking slightly as her gaze darted back and forth. She was in her thinking phase. “Well, I’ve got nothing.”
“Me, either.” The dresser bit into the back of my thighs, but I welcomed the slight sting. It kept me grounded in reality. Let me know this was really happening and not just one of my more fucked up dreams. “So, let’s talk about this like the rational adults we are.”
See? Look at me not flying off the handle and going broody when shit wasn’t going my way.
“Okay. Let’s try this all over.” She swallowed and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. The rest was piled on her head in one of those knots I loved to watch her twist. Then she met my gaze. The excitement was still there, but it was banked behind something that looked a hell of a lot like wariness. “Nixon, I got accepted for my dream internship.” A wide smile spread across her face. “It’s with Breaking Boundaries, which is a medical organization dedicated to bringing world-class health care to areas decimated by war or stricken with poverty. Spending my internship in this remote part of Brazil will give me priceless research for my dissertation as well as allow me to bring mental health care where it’s desperately needed.”
“So, you’re taking the internship.” I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth. Where the hell was my prized control? My stone-hard heart? That belongs to her, you dumbass. You handed it over on a silver platter.
She glanced back at the backpack before raising her brows. “Well. Yes. My plane leaves first thing in the morning.”
My jaw locked. How the hell was I supposed to stand here and even remotely think this was okay?
Her eyes widened, and she stood. “Nixon, it’s not as bad as what you’re thinking. The location is accessible by boat. It only takes two days to get there, and it’s not like it’s in a war zone or anything. It’s just a remote site—”
“Not in a war zone? Is that supposed to make me feel better?” I snapped.
“Yes.” She nodded once. “Look, I know you worry, but I’ll be fine.”
“Liberty, it’s not just you!” I gestured to her belly, where our daughter was currently safe and warm and growing perfectly, according to the doctors. “You’re what? Three weeks away from entering the third trimester?”
“Four. And so what? I can still fly.” She cradled her belly protectively. “Didn’t you hear the first part of what I said? Breaking Boundaries brings world-class healthcare. You don’t think they can handle delivering a baby?”
My heart hit the fucking floor. A second passed, then two, before I could manage to draw a breath. “Are you telling me that you want our daughter to be born in Brazil?”
She drew back slightly. “Why not? I think she might even have dual citizenship when she’s born,” she mused, her forehead crinkling.