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Call On Me

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She couldn’t go back to jello molds.

Midge simply isn’t that woman anymore, a part of her thinks she never was. Never mind that she used to smile, was even content back then, Midge has proven to herself to be consummate actress. At least when it counts.

The thing is she doesn’t think she’s meant to be a mother, not really. Oh, don’t get her wrong she loves her children, but she had them because that’s what people do. That’s what women do.

They get married, become a wife. Have children, become a mother. That’s how it works.

Except Midge wants more than that. Has for a while now. More importantly she has a chance at something more. A real shot at it.

So no, she can’t go back to jello molds.

God, she wonders what it says about her that Lenny saw that in her before she did.

What does it say that besides maybe Susie, he was the only one to see that and think it was okay?

Her parents disapproval flashes through her mind, the down right disappointment that no she won’t be getting married again after all. Her mother might just have a heart-attack.

But it’s her life, and Midge wants more. 

She can’t go back to pretending to be something she’s not. She can’t be a wife. At least not right now, not when she said yes to a six month tour without once thinking about her fiancée.

Somehow acknowledging it all weighs her down feeling a lot like grief, it’s as if a part of her’s been lowered six feet deep. 

If she’s smart about it she can turn this whole crisis of self into a joke. Tragedy and comedy go hand in hand after all.

Part of her wants to ignore it all and just get drunk with Lenny after his playdate, but his song, the one that’s brought this revelation on hits too close to home.

It’s with these thoughts running through her mind that she goes to Joel. For one night of not having to care that everything is changed forever. For a proper goodbye to who Midge used to be, and for better or worse Joel was a big part of the old Midge.

For tonight she doesn’t have to feel completely alone.

He’ll always be there sure, they have kids together after all, but he isn’t the center of her world anymore.

In the morning she sneaks out before he wakes. It’s for the best, leave it on a good note.

Then she doesn’t think too hard on the men in her life, or lack of, for a while. She goes on tour and opens for Shy. She, Midge Maisel opens for Shy Baldwin. Who would have ever thought.

The crowd laughs, and laughs. It’s the sound of her dreams these days. The laughter carries her through the lonely nights. 

Midge isn’t good with being lonely. It’s not in her nature. Even if it was her choice this time.

But every now and then the laughter isn’t enough to drown out the loneliness. The thing is Loneliness is a trap, one she falls for time and time again.

Midge picks up the phone and calls Joel.

Joel comes, and Joel leaves.

None of this is really a surprise.

It is however a mistake, but at least she can laugh about it. Laugh at herself for. Something Joel’s still yet to learn to do.

So Joel leaves angry, Midge gets back up and makes people laugh.

The laughs carry her through the nights, even when her dreams are fill with a man in a black suit singing about being all alone.

Then Lenny is there, as if thought alone summoned him into being.

Lenny is there and for once someone else is making her laugh. It’s a nice turn about when it’s him.

She’s always found him fucking hilarious.

They tease the poor t.v. host, it feels natural sitting next to him, pretending to be his somebody.

“Come on, I believe I said something about feeding you. That is if you haven’t completely filled up already.” He sends an arch look her way, eyes darting from the pastries to her.

”It might be a tight squeeze, but I like feeling stuffed.”

Lenny shakes his head, ”Too easy.”

”No clue what you mean.” Her tone all innocence.

A familiar smirk appears on his face, “Sure, sure.”

Lenny takes her hand in his, like it’s nothing new, and off they go.

The club is ridiculous, she laughs the moment they step inside and turns to share her incredulous amusement with Lenny only to find him already looking at her. Pleased by her amusement.

Then somehow they’re dancing and there is nothing funny about it.

She doesn’t feel lonely with him near. 

Midge hopes he feels the same, doesn’t ask though, she’s been vulnerable enough with him just swaying in his arms.

It’s a good night. One that if there was any justice in the world, would never end.

But if you learn anything in the world being Jewish it’s that there’s a lack of justice in the world.

The night winds down against her personal wishes. With every step they take the night draws closer to a close.

He stops in front of his door, the one that’s supposed to say thirteen not three and she thinks, ’Already? I thought we’d have more time to-’ 

She pushes the thought down, the night had to end at some point.

It was good to see him again though.

It’s always good to see him.

”Not tonight.”

”That almost sounds like a promise for a next time.”

Midge can’t fight the smile that takes up face anymore than she can’t fight off the way her arms move with out her consent. Hands gently grabbing his shirt collar to pull him down to her level. 

Then she kisses him, it’s nothing like kissing Joel or Benjamin. 

There’s no act here, no pretense. 

It’s saying Hello, I want you, I’ve missed you, and Just not yet, all at once.

When she pulls back, no more than inch, she notices for the first time he’s got a hand on her waist while the other cups her jaw.

Lenny’s eyes are lidded but she can still see how they’re lit up. “Now that was definitely a promise of a next time.”

With a laugh Midge fully pulls herself away from his embrace, begins walking backwards and away. 

She’s not worried though, they always manage to find each other somehow.

”It was.”