With 750,000 square meters of space, the word ‘town’ fits the Redmond campus better than, well, the word ‘campus’. It has its own mall, a soccer field and even a volleyball court for god’s sake. It would have impressed Tobias if only his mind was paying attention to where he is because as far as he is concerned he’s still in Ballard at that coffee bar with Tris.
“You want to hear the story about how Maggie got her own bedroom at Caleb’s apartment?” Tris asked after a sip from her drink.
“Sure, of course.” He remembers smiling to encourage her and he remembers her smiling back, the same smile she used to give him. It still makes his stomach go a-flutter thinking about it now.
“Christmas 2009, we went to St. Louis with Mom and Dad to visit Caleb. He just moved then. The place was nothing unusual, two bedrooms and a bath. It’s got that whole open-plan thing going for it so it looked bigger than it actually is.”
“It’s smart use of small spaces,” Tobias commented.
“Yeah,” Tris agreed. “Anyway, it was all white walls when Caleb moved in. He gave Mom and Dad his room, then the other room to me and Maggie. He slept on the couch for the whole duration of our stay.”
“How many days?”
“Three days. Christmas fell on a Friday that year so we spent the whole weekend with him,” she answered. “We had Christmas dinner early because Maggie was tired from our flight. By 8, we were already done. Maggie immediately fell asleep after that. She wouldn’t even budge when I tried to wake her up at midnight so she could open her gifts.” Tris smiled and shook her head, and Tobias can’t help but notice her eyes – the color of the sky above fields of golden wheat. They remind him of freedom, of endless possibilities.
“When I woke up though, she wasn’t beside me anymore. She got up. I saw her sitting on the floor from across the bed with my lipstick on her left hand and a marker on her right drawing. So I called her to make her stop. You know what she did? She just grinned and said ‘Look, Mommy’ then shows me her work on the wall,” Tris laughed and he laughed with her. This is also his daughter they are talking about after all, and hearing Tris talk about her makes him want to meet Maggie even more. “You could imagine how nervous I was when I told Caleb about it. I mean, he just moved in and we already messed up one of the rooms. ”
“What did Caleb say?”