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Home: The Toast

Also by Victoria Baritz and Sulagna Misra: If Chris Evans Were Your Boyfriend.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you would emerge from each make-out session like you’d been through a bloody war on account of all the lipstick. A sexy bloody war.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d never get caught in another “listening to a man” nodding trap again. “Excuse me, she has someone more important to talk to,” she’d say as she whisked you away.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, the two of you would be the kind of carefree hostesses who wouldn’t mind if there were a little dust on the windowsills and some magazines left on the couch. The conversation would be so good, no one would even notice.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, she’d support you when you decide to boycott the wedding-industrial complex. “They’re registered at Williams-Sonoma!” you’d fume. “They know I have student loans!” “I’m sure you don’t have to get them something expensive,” Hayley would reassure you. “What if I just don’t go?” you’d ask, looking for her permission. But she would agree to go with you as your date and help you with a thoughtful homemade gift.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you would tell her about your frustrating workplace politics and she’d go, “Well, they sound like a bunch of absolute fools.” And then she would tell you exactly how to enact some Matilda-like revenge and loan you her welding tools to mess with their office chairs.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d both play a lot of practical jokes on each other. It would be considered almost normal in your house for doorknobs to come off in your hand, light-switches to turn on lamps in other rooms, and the DVR to only record hours of The Barefoot Contessa. When she had to leave town for work, Hayley would change the sound of your alarm to the mewling of stray cats.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, she would be the queen of Snapchat, and only you would know. She’d send you pictures of her making ridiculous faces when she’s off on long tours. Click: a selfie of her frowning in front of Starry Night. Click: one with her cross-eyed with James D’Arcy. Click: an angry cry face throughout the PR circuit.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d make her promise not to make a weird carbon copy of you if you ever lost each other. “I mean it,” you’d say. “Of course! I would never,” she’d say. “Hayley, you’re smiling! I can see you smiling!”

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, she’d be really enthusiastic about couples Halloween costumes. Thelma and Louise. Daria and Jane. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d slip your arms into each other’s jackets and around each other to fend off the London fog.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, one day she’d come home with a cotton candy machine. “The studio was selling old props, and I’ve always wanted one of these!” she’d say. “What are we going to do with it?” you would ask. “Make candy floss!” she answers, like you are a little bit dense. It would soon become a fixture of backyard barbecues and holiday celebrations. On the hottest day of the year you’d set it up on the sidewalk, to the delight of neighborhood children.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d watch Band of Brothers and debate which one you’d’ve dated way back then. “Buck Compton?” you’d say. “Ooh, he’s played by Neal. Neal is lovely,” she would say. “No, not the actor,” you would tell her, but no matter how many times you explain the game to her, she would always get off track (“He’s the one who got shot in the ass in real life“). Meanwhile, you’d agree that the cipher Doc would be good with his hands, and while Webster is really handsome he seems boring as heck. You’d tease her about her love for Damien Lewis: “He’s basically a ginger Cap!” “And Ron Livingston’s basically a divorced Bucky,” she counters, raising a sharp eyebrow. “Your point?” “Maybe I just would’ve dated Nancy Wake instead,” you demur, a wicked smile on your face, “since she’s basically a BAMFier version of Peggy.”

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d spend rainy days trying to learn the choreography in Beyonce videos. You’d roll back the carpet in the living room and watch Love on Top and 7/11 dozens of times. You’d never quite get it right, but it would mainly be an excuse to around the house in hoodies and underwear.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d take spontaneous road trips all the time. You would take her to pick strawberries, and she would take you exploring in old abandoned buildings and ghost towns. “I just like looking for the clues people leave behind,” she’d tell you.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you’d never feel scared to walk home at night. Hayley Atwell would remind you a million times that stage combat is nothing like the real thing, and that she is not actually trained in hand-to-hand combat of any kind. “Really, it’s all choreographed. It’s more like dancing!” she’d tell you, a little exasperated. But as you watch her walk away, shoulders back, head held high, you wouldn’t be able to imagine anyone being dumb enough to mess with her.

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you would love holding hands with her. She has soft hands, but a good grip, the kind that would quell the worries in your chest. Sure, the worries would still be there. But they’d be quieter, background static to the beautiful music that is your life with Hayley Atwell.

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Cross-platform and -country friends, Victoria Baritz and Sulagna Misra met through Tumblr when writing about Chris Evans. They are open to sharing him on alternate days. Check them out on Twitter at @topsy_tori and @sulagnamisra.

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