Part III: Not How Love Works
A few days later, Sage and I were working on our history presentation, having settled for an exposé on Bayard Rustin, when the doorbell rang. We left my room and went into the common room where Mr. Martin was now standing.
He announced his intention for a surprise inspection and we gave him a tour of the house. He seemed satisfied save for Sage, Allen, Yikaru and Amber’s room which were absolute messes. It was a good thing Sage typically hung out in mine, otherwise I might have lost it a few times…
Once the inspection was over, Mr. Martin opened the door and let an army’s worth of people inside, including my dad, Tyrone and Sheila.
“Allison!” Tyrone said, running toward me.
He nodded and I wrapped my arms around his frame, squeezing tight. Next up was Sheila.
“Hey.” She said, suggestively.
Her hands found their way to my hips and she brought me closer. I met her halfway, our lips meeting. In the moment I didn’t think about anything else, wrapping my arms on both sides of her neck and letting our mouths do their things, just focusing on the feelings of it; the softness of her lips, the taste of her lip gloss, her perfume coming to my nose, the way her tongue slipped past my lips.
“Would you like some space?” My dad teased and I broke away. “We’re here for the weekend, I’m sure we can give you tonight to yourselves.” He turned around and took a step away as a joke.
“Noooo!” I grabbed his arm and brought him closer. “Nobody’s leaving!”
“Fine, fine.” He said with a chuckle. “How have you been?”
“Really well. The classes are hard but I’ve been dealing with everything. It really helps that my friend Sage’s been giving me boosts to help deal with my fibro.” If it hadn’t been for them, I would have had broken down a few times in the aftermath of bad days and physical classes.
“Sage again.” My dad mused. “You talk about them a lot.”
“They’re great.” I answered, blushing. “You know, I heard you might be seeing someone.” I nudged him, diverting the conversation away.
“Of course you have.” My dad said with a smile, he put a hand on my and Tyone’s shoulders. “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it in case it didn’t pan out, but I’ve been seeing David Warshavsky.”
“David’s nice.” I said with a smile.
Mr. Warshavsky was a member of our synagogue, pretty much in the same situation as my father; single father, widower, bisexual. I’d known him since I’d been a tween as he oversaw the queer youth group activities at Shul.
“We’ve been on two dates, and they’ve gone pretty well.”
“I’m happy for you.” I said, wrapping my arms around him. “You deserve to be happy.”
“Oh my god, oh my god…” Tyrone muttered, flapping his hands happily. I turned toward him and noticed he was staring at Ahti and their family. “Look at the Itharii, they’re so pretty.”
“That they are. Want to meet Ahti? I’ll introduce you.”
“Oh my god, yes.”
I guided them to Ahti’s family, dad and Sheila following us. Ahti’s little family were already undressing, having claimed the hot tub for themselves, which was fairly unsurprising considering how Itharii were very much aquatic.
“Hello Allison!” They answered, jovial as always.
“This is my little brother Tyrone. Tyrone, that’s my classmate Ahti.”
“Hi, hello, eh.” Tyrone muttered. “It’s really nice to meet you.” He flapped his hands a bit and that had Ahti let out a few wuns, also flapping their hands. Tyrone said a few words in Ibariat and Ahti was overjoyed, answering them in their native language, evidently introducing their clutchmate.
Seeing Tyrone all happy and gushy over Ahti and Kulaat was all kinds of cute. We knew he loved Itharii and not just in a platonic or intellectual sense and it was adorable. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Sage leave their parents and head upstairs.
“I’ll be right back.” I muttered.
I followed Sage upstairs and ended up in front of their room to which they had closed the door. I knocked on it and waited.
“Come in.” Sage answered and I slipped through.
“Tyrone’s being a bit gushy about the Itharii, figured I had a moment to see you.” I said, sitting on their bed and staring at them doing my best to ignore the clutter as to not burn everything down. Still I couldn’t stop myself from folding a few pieces of clothing within hand’s reach… Sage’s room was like my own personal OCD hell.
“Oh, right,” They said. “Your little brother.”
“Yeah, how are your parents?”
“Okay, gushing about their new boyfriend.” They said, with a laugh. I just froze. Their boyfriend? “Oh, I must’ve never explained. My parents are polyamorous. Their relationship is open so they see other people, although they prefer to see people together.”
Seeing someone together? The idea was just so alien to my brain… If you really loved someone how could you want anyone else…? That’s how love’s supposed to work; you found the right one and spent your life with them… But I could never do that, someone else would always catch my attention…
“Err, earth to Allison – everything okay?” Sage said, drawing me out of my somber thoughts.
“Yeah. I just er, need to go back downstairs a sec,” I muttered before getting up.
“Oh, wait,” Sage said, making me stop midway to the door. “Your, erm, your girlfriend seems really nice,”
“It’s … complicated,” I answered… “Sheila and I used to be together, and then we weren’t, but I guess there’s still something there.”
“Hey, you don’t need to explain it to me. As long as you’re happy you should do whatever you want.”
How was I supposed to be happy? Sheila loved me and I loved her but apparently not enough to be happy with her…
“Oh, hey,” Allen said coming in. “Sorry, was I interrupting?”
“It’s fine,” Sage said.
“Yeah, I better head downstairs.” I said, leaving the room.
I went downstairs and joined up with my dad, Tyrone and Sheila again.
“You okay, babe?” She asked in a low tone.
I nodded quietly.
“So, when do I get to meet that Enby you like?”
“Why don’t we grab a seat? Conservatory’s free.”
“What about Tyrone?” I asked, looking at them.
“He can surely spend a few minutes on his big sib.” My dad said, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Come on kiddo. You’ll have plenty of time to talk to Ahti later.”
Tyrone seemed a little disappointed but he followed us to the sun room where we took a seat amidst the massive comfortable couches.