Part IV: Mama, Meet My Crush
I got away from the upstairs corridor fast, all the yelling bothering me. I felt a hand grab my arm and turned to see my mama.
“Are you okay Dúlla?” she asked. I nodded, possibly a bit too fast, and then felt hot tears. “Honey,” she whispered, pulling me in for a tight hug. I sniffled quietly for a moment before pulling away.
“There’s someone I need to introduce to you, they’ve basically become my best friend since I got here,” I laughed nervously.
“Of course. Your father can handle the conservatives upstairs better than me anyway,” she sighed. I imagined he was working his mojo to calm people down. Eventually I found Allison hiding in the conservatory with their young brother.
“Hey, what happened?” Allison asked.
“Long story, I’ll explain later,” I laughed nervously. They would probably be the only one I might tell the truth regarding what Allen did.
“Mama, this is Allison and their young brother Tyrone,” I said, introducing them.
“You’re the one with cool mind reading powers, right? I’m thinking of a number between 1-20, what is it?” Tyrone jumped in.
“Tyrone!” Allison yelled. I chuckled, waving a hand to tell them it was okay.
“I don’t really make a habit of mind reading,” I said.
“Why not? It must be useful to be able to tell when people are lying and stuff,” he replied, frowning.
“It’s intrusive. Our minds are the last place we can be truly private,” I explained. He considered my words for a moment before nodding.
“I get it,” he said. “Is dinner ready yet?” he asked, turning to Allison.
“Caroline said it would be an hour,” they replied. “Why don’t you go into the pool? Ahti’s family are out there if you have any issues.
“Yes!” he said, running off to go swimming.
“How old is he?” Mama asked with a small laugh.
“Eleven,” Allison answered. “I’m really sorry, he’s usually less…”
“Obtrusive?” I supplied, making them laugh.
“I think all the new faces and being in the hero school has made him very excitable,” they nodded.
“It’s fine,” I shrugged.
“I’m led to believe you’re Sage’s best friend here. I’m glad you’re taking care of each other,” Mama said, smiling at us both. She cocked an eyebrow at me and I realised she knew I had a crush on Allison. I felt my cheeks flush and I decided to change the subject before Allison could notice.
“Let’s go outside too, it’s too nice a day to hide inside. Also it’s getting kinda crowded.” Everyone agreed. Mama didn’t stay with us long, her phone vibrating with a text.
“I gotta go find your papa but I’ll find you before dinner,” she said, dropping a kiss on my forehead. I waved her goodbye and glanced at Allison who was watching me.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing,” they said, looking away awkwardly.
“Oh, right. Upstairs…erm…” I hesitated. “I know you wouldn’t say, but I need you to promise this stays between us.”
“Of course,” Allison said. I nodded, wondering how best to explain what happened. I sighed and decided to start at the beginning. How Allen had walked in clearly bothered by something, then demanded I dressed masculine. How it escalated, in part because of me. I told her Jaeger walked in and punched him and that was when things really went bad because Caroline was worried his powers would put everyone at risk.
“There’s one other thing,” I said when I finished and gulped down a breath. “Right before Jaeger punched him… Allen, he, well. He kissed me.” Allisons eyes widened, their lips parting.
“Are you okay?” they asked.
“Yeah, yeah,” I nodded quickly. “Just a bit shook. I don’t know what’s going on with Allen and I want to help him. But also kinda nervous to be around him right now. Would it be okay if I crashed on your bedroom floor for a few nights?” I asked.
“Absolutely,” they said without a moment’s hesitation. I thanked them and sighed, leaning against the outside wall.
“I can’t believe my first real kiss was with Allen of all people. I’m so owed a re-do,” I laughed. I spotted Sanjay in the leaving and excused myself.
“Hey, have you seen Jaeger?” I asked.
“No, have you? I’m looking for him,” Sanjay explained.
“Dammit. When I see him I’m giving him a piece of my mind,” I muttered. I checked no one was listening before filling Sanjay in on the editing version of events. The kiss/strip free version because that was far too embarrassing to talk about. I left Sanjay to his search as Caroline called for dinner.