Claudia
Ready to explore?
Wed Aug 8, 2018 16:23
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Marley seemed relieved; Claudia wondered why. Did it have more to do with absence of rejection, and with it the need to find another partner, in addition to any negative emotions experienced, or to do with acceptance; did Marley especially want to talk to Claudia and had intentionally singled her out for a specific reason? Claudia was comforted again by neither of them having their wands, and by the necessity to pause conversation and move to a different cubicle every ten minutes. Even a brief break could be beneficial, if their previous arguments were anything to go by. Yet they didn’t seem to be arguing instantly, which Claudia believed was a good omen. Marley even smiled at Claudia’s confession regarding her unsurprising complete lack of camping experience.

As her partner began to reminisce anecdotally about a tent her mother had previously possessed, she took off her robes. Claudia followed suit, as no matter how she considered their task, there was an inevitably physical element. She had not expected this from the succinct announcement that such a class existed, and her dress was fitted on the bodice, with capped sleeves, a round, collared neckline and a skirt that flowed from her waist to her calves. It would certainly restrict her movement, as well as probably pick up every speck of dirt, being pale cream in color, but at least she looked respectable. Unlike Marley who, sweet Merlin, had her underwear on show. Not as much as Kaye, thank goodness, but Claudia still felt that visible undergarments were wildly inappropriate, even - or perhaps especially - if they were vibrant hues. Claudia turned away, pleased of an excuse to cease looking at Marley as she began to walk around the tent, searching for indicators of how it might best be dismantled.

There was no point in pretending there weren’t things that needed to be said between them, however. Bringing Teal into the conversation early was, by Claudia’s estimation, they best way to establish how she and Marley currently understood each other. Besides, she had been wondering how Marley was faring, and she did hope the Lyra was okay. It would be unfeeling to pretend as though the relationship that had effectively ended their friendship had never existed, let alone recently terminated. Unfortunately, it didn’t look as though Marley shared this opinion, at least not initially. Then she began to answer, expressing more emotion in her physical reactions than her words. Claudia instantly felt more uncomfortable: she had not been expecting so honest or raw a response. A simple ‘I’m fine’ or ‘Not exactly,’ would have sufficed. She certainly had not intended to make Marley cry (though it wouldn’t be the first time).

“And I guess you probably don’t actually wanna hear about this, hey?” Marley said as Claudia completed her circuit around the tent, to stand closer again to her partner. “I know you didn’t exactly approve of us dating in the first place.”

The smallest flicker of surprise might have been traceable as Claudia’s eyebrows twitched momentarily upwards, her expression otherwise intentionally neutral. She had said many things to Marley that she could not take back, and she had executed some questionable actions against her friend in less recent history (such as separating her from Connor and dating him herself without telling her), but she had never expressed the view that she did not approve of her dating Teal. With so little moral highground free for her to walk, Claudia felt beyond reproach in defending this point. “I didn’t say that,” she said carefully, glancing at Marley before looking back away to the polished toes of her boots. “I said I felt uncomfortable,” she corrected, “the same way I feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar cafe, or wearing a bathing suit in public.” It wasn’t the same cause, but it was the same feeling of not belonging, of being vulnerable to scrutiny or judgment.

“I said I didn’t understand,” Claudia added, “but that’s…” It wasn’t so true any more. She didn’t completely understand why Marley would choose to date a girl instead of a boy, but she did understand that she could be attracted to Teal, and Teal had asked her on a date, and perhaps that’s all there was to it. “That’s not my place,” she said, able to admit that much. “I could have supported you without understanding you,” she allowed. Of course Marley could also have made an effort to explain to Claudia rather than declaring it to be none of her business, but there’s no guarantee the eventual outcome of that argument would have been any different.

  • And some is unknown territory - Marley, Tue Aug 7 22:46
    As soon as the word ‘okay’ had finished, she exhaled in a short sigh, forgetting for a moment not to be too obvious about her relief. She couldn’t help it. Although logically it wouldn’t make sense... more
    • Ready to explore? - Claudia, Wed Aug 8 16:23
      • Sure! I think. Maybe. Too late. - Marley, Thu Aug 16 15:31
        “I didn’t say that.” She had spotted the quirk of Claudia’s eyebrows, but her automatic assumption was that it was just a reaction to being called out. She definitely hadn’t expected the other girl... more
        • It started well - Claudia, Fri Aug 17 16:57
          Marley was infuriating. Claudia hadn’t been expecting anything much when she acknowledged she could have set aside her own reservations to blindly rejoice in Marley’s happiness, so receiving an... more
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