12 - Someone Else's Memories

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Nat had hoped they could spend the day together, even if it was only to watch some TV, but Liz left the house in the early afternoon to help chaperone a birthday party for one of Liam's kindergarten classmates.

"He's five. Does it really matter that much whether he goes to a birthday party or not? How strong of a friendship can a five-year-old have?"

"It's not about Liam going to the party, so much as it's about making an appearance with the other moms, helping shoulder the load. Watching that many kids is like herding kittens, you need to recruit helpers."

"He's got a dad," Nat protested. "Make him do it."

Liz wrinkled her nose, making a pained face. "If I could, hon, I would. Trust me. The last thing I want to do is spend my day at Pizza Rockets watching kids wipe their snot on things, but..." she sighed, trailed off. She had the look on her face, the one that she got when she barely managed to stop herself from saying 'It's a mom thing.' She swallowed, looking away to break eye contact, suddenly busy with unloading the dishwasher. "Anyway. I forgot I'd agreed to it weeks ago. I'm sorry I didn't tell you, I just remembered right now when my phone started buzzing with the notification."

"I still can't see why Kyle can't go."

Liz gave her an exasperated look, like there was no point in trying to explain. And, indeed, she didn't — just leaned in for a kiss, brushing her thumb along her cheek and the line of her jaw. "I won't be gone long. I'll bring you back some pizza and cake. Snot-free, I promise."

And so she had gone, and Nat was left alone with the cat and a box of someone else's memories. 

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