Marley Chapman
Not seeking a breadwinner per se, but... something like that
Mon Jun 3, 2019 21:26

On one hand, despite it happening a couple months ago, Marley remained ever so slightly annoyed that Nolan had like spontaneously taken control of AgriClub without even telling her and Leo about it first. If she was being really honest with herself, she knew Nolan was the best candidate for the role, even if you ignored the part where he literally grew up on a farm (or a ranch, same diff) and just worked off a process of elimination. None of the younger students had taken to it with enough passion, except Kit who was incredibly passionate and also incredibly at risk of accidentally killing everything green. (The thought had crossed Marley’s mind with nothing but friendly affection for her fellow Lyra. Kit’s entire Kitness was great, if difficult to work around sometimes, such as when she was trying to choreograph tag-teaming the Bludgers.) But anyways, that ruled out the younger members of the club. Leo would also be out, because he had never shown an interest in any kind of leadership. And she could rule herself out, too, because even though there wasn’t a musical this year, she had a thousand and five commitments already and wouldn’t have been able to give AgriClub her full attention like it deserved. But the least Nolan could’ve done was talked it over with them. Like the main reason why she was still ever so slightly annoyed was because if he’d just told her in advance he was planning to take over, she could’ve scripted a more morals-centric introduction for him that wasn’t basically just “hi we grow plants let’s dig”. S i g h.

On the other hand, in addition to her thousand and five pre-existing commitments, she also had a baby literally in her hands - well, okay, right now he was in her lap, but y’know - and that was adding a lot more work to her days. It helped that the entire group of older students were dealing with the same baby assignment together, because it meant that although neither Marley nor her somewhat-randomly-generated partner, Yazmin, had any personal experience looking after babies, she had a lot of choices for people to ask for advice and help when she was feeling stuck. The fact she’d wound up partnered with Yazmin had also helped, because even though working together was a bit awkward at the start (Yazmin obviously had a different standpoint because of her religion, so Marley couldn’t really hold some of her early comments against her, but she also couldn’t really hold her tongue when faced with opinions about how the school administration shouldn’t have mixed genders for class instruction and should have mixed genders in the mock parenting pairings) they had quickly figured out that their class schedules had enough difference that they were able to trade off baby duties so that neither of them had to look after a baby in class for the majority of the time. But through those pieces that were helpful, Marley was still feeling a level of stress that she wasn’t used to. She had expected to find the assignment fun, and she actually was, but she wasn’t enjoying the anxiety that came with it. If the point of this assignment was to educate them on why not to become a teen mum, well, that lesson had been learned like a week in.

At least Sepanta wasn’t the most needy baby. Marley had seen, or more accurately heard, the noises coming from some of her classmates’ temporary children, and the fact that their dark-skinned baby doll could fall asleep on her lap in the middle of the Diner during a noisy lunchtime seemed nothing short of a miracle in comparison. The way that some of the nearby students were looking at her and Sepanta, they seemed to agree… or maybe they were just judging her choice to sit cross-legged on her chair with him lying between her knees. It probably wasn’t the standard position for cradling a baby, but hey, she needed both hands to hold her bowl and spoon, and so far it was working out fine. She hadn’t spilled a single drop of her French onion soup - hadn’t even lost a stretched-out strand of melted cheese.

Alas, the best accompaniment with roasted French onion was French bread, and she strongly doubted her ability to lean far enough forward to reach the plate of bread on the table without scalding her ‘son’ with hot soup. Debating her options, Marley noticed another student walking sort of in her direction, and flashed a wide beckoning smile as soon as they made eye contact. “Hey, d’you mind giving a hand?” she called, voice pitched softer than normal to accommodate the sleeping baby doll in her lap. “Are you able to pass me a slice from that plate of bread? I’m dying for some to finish off this soup, but I don’t wanna jostle Sepanta and wake him up. Sepanta’s my baby,” she clarified with a nod down to her lap, just in case the other student wasn’t familiar with that name. She hadn’t originally been completely sure how she felt about the name Yazmin had proposed, but she also wasn’t one to talk about strange names (like, no matter how many times her mum had denied it, she was still pretty convinced Mum had just named her after her Harley motorcycle) so she’d rolled with it, and it had grown on her, enough that she’d charmed the embroidered cat on his baby onesie to look more like a panther and twitch its tail across the pale yellow fabric. (Yazmin hadn’t seemed completely sure about Marley’s connection between the name Sepanta and Panther, but maybe it would grow on her too.)

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