“Hey are you on your own?” Blue asks as Gervais comes in.
“Yeah. Roe and I needed to do lawyer stuff and things so we came back together.” Gervais says.
“That’s cool. You okay? Everything okay?” Blue asks.
“Yeah I had to get a handle on things without you. Since we stopped being us.” Gervais says.
“I would have come if you asked.” Blue says.
“I’m meant to be giving you space.” Gervais says.
“You are but I am still me and if you need me for lawyer stuff or whatever I’d be there. I know you wouldn’t take advantage.” Blue says.
“Thanks.” Gervais says.
“You want to bake with me today?” Blue asks.
“How is that giving you space?” Gervais asks.
“Okay don’t judge, I fucked Spence and DeShawn, separately. Different days. Now Spence and George are fucking and Dylan is back and its so awkward and I want to bake but I don’t want to be alone.” Blue says.
“I have a cooler of food for you here of course I want to fucking bake with you. Babe I am not the one who wants space.” Gervais says.
“Gimme, gimme.” Blue says taking it from Gervais.
“Let me go stash the rest of my stuff then I’ll join you. It should all be okay but its been in there a while so be careful.” Gervais says.
“You okay?” Blue asks.
“Yes, I’m happy you seem happy. It’s a nice change.” Gervais says.
The two have another truce day and fill the freezer with treats and make a great cheesecake.
“So what happened after I left?” Blue asks.
“Bea blew up at momma and she and Robin were a bit off and on. It was crazy and I was glad to get out of there.” Gervais says.
“I don’t like Bea much. Is that bad?” Blue asks.
“I don’t like her much either. You two had been hanging out loads and she hung you out to dry the minute you arrived. She knew you needed to talk to momma and she made sure it didn’t happen. I mean momma should have made real time for you but Bea should have helped facilitate that.” Gervais says.
“She called us sexual predators. She called you, the rape victim a predator.” Blue says laughing.
“She did. Fuck her. Momma told her she had to volunteer a few hours a week at a LGBTQ charity or shelter or for a month in the summer.” Gervais says.
“Her hoop for school money?” Blue asks.
“Yeah, I mean its not so bad right? As conditions go it was okay. And she went off on one about Clara being controlling and a bitch and she would rather get loans.” Gervais says.
“She’s a total fucking homophobe.” Blue says.
“Right. I mean I thought of the two of them Chris would be the one to go off on one over the hoops but he won’t have any issue with it at all.” Gervais says.
“Yeah he did all that stuff last year and Bea said he has volunteered at an animal shelter since he was old enough. Momma will be happy with that.” Blue says.
“Right. Robin spent hours calming her down. Momma is controlling with you, she is, but this was such a simple request. It would have been a nice gesture you know.” Gervais says.
“That Chris?” Blue asks as Gervais phone rings.
“Yeah, so good to have service. I need to take it.” Gervais says.
“I know. It’s fine. Thanks for today.” Blue says and starts to clean everything up and deals with hiding the leftovers. He looks round and decides to clean the whole place.
“Did I do too many of your chores this break that you need some for yourself.” Gervais laughs coming out.
“It needed doing.” Blue says.
“Okay Chris is coming back up tomorrow and his parents have asked us both to lunch. I said I would ask you.” Gervais says.
“I’d love to.” Blue says.
“Good. I need you to hold my hand meeting the parents.” Gervais says.
“Parents love you.” Blue says.
“Just not my own.” Gervais says.
“Snap.” Blue laughs.
Blue carefully boxes up some cookies the next day and he and Gervais nervously go and meet Chris, Lana and Paul.
“I have so many questions but you totally need to get to know Gervais. I’d hate to dominate this.” Blue says after they get through the usual small talk and order their food.
“I am totally going to ask the questions that Blue wants to ask.” Gervais says and they all laugh.
“We know you’re going to have good and hard questions. Don’t hold back.” Lana says.
“Chris I know you and Bea struggle to get along at times. Is she homophobic?” Blue asks surprising everyone.
“I don’t think so. Why?” Chris asks confused.
“So we were having dinner the other night and talking about our rooming options for next year. Robin’s mom and momma are looking at buying places for us and we were saying it was too awkward for me and Gervais to share a place. For us and you wouldn’t like it.” Blue says.
“And Bea said you’d be jealous and so Andy and Spence asked if she’d be jealous because Robin has fooled around with us.” Gervais says.
“And she went off on one and called us disgusting predators.” Blue says.
“And we’re not, anything with Robin was instigated by him and we always check like a million times that everything is okay.” Gervais says.
“Shit we’re doing the meet the boyfriend’s parent thing and we’re talking sex and insulting their daughter.” Blue says and Gervais sits like a goldfish.
“Oh you have just made mom’s day.” Chris says.
“We like to be open in our house. I want the kids to come to me for anything.” Lana says.
“And you two being so open is a gift.” Paul says.
“And to answer Bea had a religious stage a few years ago, being Bea she went full in to a charismatic evangelical church, the local moderate one wasn’t an option apparently. She didn’t last long, they were very sexist and Bea is never going to be a subservient wife. But maybe some of the teaching on homosexuality stuck.” Lana says.
“But she’s never said anything to me.” Chris says.
“Just us.” Blue shrugs.
“The sibling rivalry with Bea and Kit goes way back. Long before Kit was out or even knew himself.” Lana says.
“Bea has no doubt told you that Kit is the favorite and we hate her and never support her.” Paul says and the guys nod.
“We love our kids equally. Bea is very type A needs to win everything, be perfect at everything and she’s so smart that most things come easy to her. So to stop Kit feeling bad we would direct him to things his sister didn’t have an interest in and we would give him a lot of encouragement.” Lana says.
“You’re making me sound slow.” Chris says.
“Oh baby you know you’re not, you are very, very smart it’s just Bea is smarter making your best look average when it isn’t.” Lana says.
“These two always battled for attention and so seeing Chris praised for something would make Bea take up whatever it was and do better to get the praise that Kit got. So we stopped praising her when she did well in one of Kit’s things. It was our way of discouraging her and letting Kit have places to shine. It worked in that it brought Kit’s confidence up but Bea always saw it as us favoring Kit. We treated them equally. If Kit went after one of Bea’s hobbies we’d not be that supportive. It is very hard to balance twins.” Paul says.
“That’s what you did? That’s why she thinks it only counts when I do something?” Chris asks with snort.
“Why did you go for child support? I mean I hope to have kids one day and what Clara did, well there is no bigger gift. Why skip the adoptions and go for her money. She was a single mom.” Gervais asks going for the jugular.
“The adoption was too expensive. I got the paperwork done for Blue easily no hassle which is my biggest regret. I went to do the adoption and even though it was a private adoption and Lana was my wife they wanted to do all these studies and everything was going to cost money that we just didn’t have. We were both suffering mentally because of losing you and I couldn’t put Lana through the scrutiny and stress. We could have lost them and so I skipped it.” Pauls says holding up his hands and Chris looks at him confused.
“You never told it like that before.” Chris says.
“I wanted your mother to look like a victim and not us both sound like failures for not being able to afford it.” Paul says.
“As Paul said we both suffered mentally losing you. Paul struggled to hold down a job and then Kit got meningitis and the hospital bills spiraled. Insurance wouldn’t cover it all. We went to my parents but my sister had just had a baby and they no longer saw my kids as real grandchildren. We turned to Clara to ask for help with the medical bills. She suggested maintenance.” Lana says.
“That is really not how you told the story.” Chris says.
“No, we didn’t want you to think it was your fault.” Paul says.
“You made it sound like you chased Clara for money. You are really fucking with me. Does Bea know any of this?” Chris asks.
“Not yet, unless Clara has told her.” Lana says.
“You sound a whole lot nicer than I thought. Thanks for being open.” Blue says.
“Anyone for dessert?” Chris asks looking at the menu.
“We made cheesecake yesterday and there is lots left. Come to ours and have some with coffee.” Gervais says.
“I brought you some more cookies too.” Blue says handing Paul the box.
“You have to come. Blue and I might not get along but I love his cheesecake.” Chris says.
“Sounds like a plan.” Paul says with a smile.
The questions back at the suite are a lot simpler and even Chris seems to relax.
“This has been wonderful. I hope we can see you again soon.” Lana says hugging Blue.
“I’d love to.” Blue says.
“That went better.” Gervais says once they’re gone.
“You passed the parent test. And have you really fucked Robin?” Chris asks.
“No just messed around.” Gervais says.
“I kind of get you two now. You are super protective of each other. I am sorry for the shit that went down before.” Chris says.
“Can we start over? Your sister really colored my view of you and you are with Gervais and we never gave each other a chance. I’ve told Gervais I want space but if you and I could be friends then Gervais and I can stay friends. And quite frankly Gervais and I need each other.” Blue says.
“That is true. I am much happier when I have Blue in my life.” Gervais says.
“And you can trust me.” Blue lies.
“Let’s give it a go. Bea told me Clara has told her she has to get loans. Is it true? Am I fucked?” Chris asks.
“Your sister is so creative with the truth.” Gervais says and tells the story.
“So I just need to volunteer some and she’ll pay. I do that anyway.” Chris says.
“I told Clara all the stuff you did last year. She was just specific with where Bea had to do hers because of that incident over Robin.” Gervais says.
“I’m glad you hid that part from my parents. My sister showed her true colors. I just can’t any more with her.” Chris says shaking his head.
“Hey don’t write her off because of what we say.” Blue says.
“Yeah it might have been that Clara was being too controlling. She has form.” Gervais says.
“I’m going to swim off that lunch. Leave you two to get reacquainted.” Blue smiles unhappy he’s back to being the only single guy.
“Blue thanks for the clean slate and thanks for today. I know my mom isn’t related to you at all and you don’t owe her anything but she sees you as her son too and today would have meant the world to her.” Chris says.
“Just no more setting me up.” Blue smiles.
“For sure.” Chris lies.
It is far too cold to use the roof so Blue heads to the main fitness center for a swim. Blue swims long and hard, getting out the knots of the long car journey and all the tension. He lets his mind clear and just swims and swims.
On his way out he walks past an empty studio and can’t resist slipping off his jacket and stretching.
He starts to push himself through his normal yoga routine and on to more complex poses. He loves being in the clean quiet room, being able to use the mirrors to correct himself and he gets lost in the movements or a couple of hours.
“Wow, what class do you go to?” A woman leaning in the doorway asks when he looks up.
Blue quickly explains about the classes he teaches at Cheryls.
“I’ve heard of your class, I’ve tried to get in to the advance session but it’s been sold out. I can’t believe you’re so young. Are you qualified to teach?” She asks.
“I’ve been doing yoga my entire life, from momma doing prenatal classes, through to me teaching now. There is a retreat near my home and as soon as I was old enough I was certified I had more than enough hours.” Blue explains.
“I wasn’t trying to catch you out. You have an amazing reputation.” She says.
“Come by on Thursday I’ll save you a place. What’s your name?” Blue asks.
“Willow, its actually Peaceful Willow but that’s too much for me.” Willow says.
“I’m Blue, Blue Sky Cloudy Day.” Blue grins.
“Oh boy, were you raised in a commune too?” Willow asks.
“No, well actually I was born in one but I have no memory of it.” Blue says.
“Want to go for dinner? I know a great vegan Thai place.” Willow says.
“For sure. I am starving I was swimming for ages before my stretch.” Blue says grabbing his things.
“Are you vegan?” Willow asks when they sit down.
“No, I eat fish and dairy. How about you?” Blue asks.
“Same. I used to sneak meat at friends birthdays but once I got to college and had the freedom to eat what I wanted, well eating real ice cream stuck but hamburgers were not my thing.” Willow says.
“I love ice cream. Before college I only ate the fish I caught and shellfish I gathered other than the occasional can of tuna but now I love lobster and oysters too. Love them.” Blue grins.
“I love sushi. My mom would die if she knew I’d had live sea urchin.” Willow laughs.
“I dated a vegan guy last year and he was always on at me to give up fish but I don’t want to. It’s not like I have it all the time.” Blue says.
“So you’re gay?” Willow asks.
“Yeah. I’m single right now, just got out of something bad. How about you?” Blue asks.
“I’m gay too. Single. No interest in anything long term. I am going to finish my masters and I am planning to do the whole teach English overseas for a while and then think about dealing with real life.” Willow says.
“That’s cool. I’m a sophomore and I really want a boyfriend but right now I am prepared to wait for the right one and so am figuring I’ll be single for a while. I got my heart smashed last summer and I’m not really over it, I need to take my time and have fun while I heal. I am so glad you’re a lesbian, I worried for a second this was a date and I’d disappointed you.” Blue says.
“I was glad you brought it up. I couldn’t tell. My gaydar is usually pretty spot on but you’re like some of the straight guys I grew up with. Sometimes us hippy kids defy expectations.” Willow says.
“How did you cope with going from the commune to college?” Blue asks.
“It wasn’t so bad. I mean I lived in a city and I went to regular high school.” Willow says.
“My school had 50 to 70 kids on roll, not for the high school but from 5 to 18. So to go from living where everyone knows me to somewhere I’m a face in the crowd has been hard. I struggled a lot, which is why I teach my class. Cheryl is a good friend of my mommas and being around her and her son and their friends gave me that community feel.” Blue says.
“There should be a club at school, survivors of homeschooling, communes and other alternate upbringings.” Willow laughs.
“I would so be up for that.” Blue laughs.
‘”Cheryl does the best risotto in the whole city. Believe me I have tried so many.” Willow laughs.
‘I sometimes get tempted to try one elsewhere, where it will have been made with chicken stock but I chicken out. This place is great. I can’t believe I’ve not been here.” Blue says.
They talk about where they have eaten and move the conversation to books and movies. It is like a really great first date and Blue cannot believe his luck that a chance meeting has found him a friend. It is so nice to talk with someone who doesn’t know his drama.
“I had so much fun. Please come to my class Thursday. I’d love to come to the hot class you go to. I never tried it. Unless you count an indoor session at the retreat with the fires blazing but that is more accident than design.” Blue laughs.
“Come tomorrow, its early 7 start. It’s still quiet while people are off.” Willow says.
“Deal.” Blue says and they make arrangements.