Chapter 10

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After we finish with dinner, I tell Henry what I talked about with his mom as we get ready for bed. I finish my summary by saying, "She wants us to bond and she said that I can start picking the interior pieces for home."

"Shopping," trying to wrap his head around the concept. He sits on the mattress beside me and I feel it sink beneath his added weight. "I know she means well, but I don't know what's she's thinking. We don't even have a house to ourselves yet."

"I know, but your mom wants us to start planning."

"Where are we going to put anything you two buy?"

"You're not coming with us?"

He shakes his head.

"Oh." The prospect of preparing for our life separate from his family without him is a lonely one. "And I don't know where we'll put our purchases, but I'm sure your mother has something planned."

He sighs. "All right. It's clear you'll be going ahead with this half-baked plan no matter what I say. I'll give you a list of things I want and don't want. I trust you can handle the rest. Just please don't make it too extravagant. Even this place is a little too much. I want our home to look sleek and functional."

"No frills, got it. Do you even know how big our home will be?"

"No, but I can ask Father to show us blueprints in the morning. He hired an architect the morning we were Matched, and the woman has been waiting for us to contact her. We can hold a meaning in my father's office before breakfast."

He walks over to his own side and slides under the covers. I follow his example, and he turns off the light.

*

The next morning, Henry waitsfor me before going down to meet his father. Together, with his hand on the small of my back, weenter the presidential office. Both of his parents are seated on one couch,with their backs to the grand desk. We take the other couch across from them. Inotice a communication box sitting on the coffee table between us    

My father-in-law pulls out a small pair of metal plates. He pulls them apart and taps a button on one of the plates. Between the two ends, a strand of blue electricity arcs between the two. More lines appear until a three-dimensional, holographic design of a large house that looks only slightly smaller than the mansion. selects the top floor and moves it aside so we can see the lower one better.

He then moves the floor plan across the table to us and taps the communication box twice. A hologram of a woman in a malachite green suite appears.

"Mr. President," she greets. "Have you looked over the designs I sent last night?"

"Yes," he says. "My son and his Match are here to go over their opinions and preferences."

She turns around and faces us. "My name is Amanda Long. It's a pleasure to meet you. What would you like to change?"

I don't say anything at first, but Henry squeezes my hand in silent encouragement. "I love the layout, but the size is a little intimidating for me. I was wondering if you could make the total space a bit more compact than it currently is?"

Mrs. Clark says, "You'll need it for later, when you have children."

I feel myself blush and can't turn away to hide my embarrassment. If I turn from Henry, the architect and his parents will see, and if I turn from them, my Match will know that I'm still uncomfortable with that topic. I swallow, knowing I should probably bring up the subject again soon—possibly tonight.

"It's good to plan ahead," his mother continues, in spite of my mortification. "In the mean time, you can use those extra rooms to entertain or for storage. That's what your father and I did when we we first moved in here."

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