Sure! I think. Maybe. Too late.
Thu Aug 16, 2018 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 to counter her. And like, okay, to be fair, maybe Claudia hadn’t said she disapproved, exactly. Marley knew better than to think that she could remember everything her former best friend had said to her (she couldn’t even remember every single thing she said so how could she possibly keep track of everything she heard?) but still she did know that disapproval was what she’d gotten out of it. ‘Cause it sure hadn’t been approval or support or even interest in what she had shared about their date, and walking away knowing that someone she cared about so much didn’t care for her own happiness back sure felt like she had done something worth being disapproved of, even though she totally hadn’t, and it wasn’t anyone’s place to disapprove of who she was friends or more with, and also despite the fact that apparently she hadn’t been (wasn’t) happy in the end. That was in the end, while Claudia’s reaction had come in the moment.

It was sort of ironic that Claudia was now emphasizing how she actually said she was uncomfortable, since this was making Marley feel uncomfortable now, as if she was having her own feelings less validated just because the other girl was convinced she hadn’t said anything to make her disapproval obvious her seem disapproving. Her examples didn’t make sense, either. Of course Marley didn’t get the cafe example at all to start with - maybe she had been uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations as a little kid, but that was way behind her now. Something about living on the road and plunking down temporary roots in a new community every couple weeks had fixed that discomfort pretty quick - but the swimsuit example, she could relate to, although she couldn’t connect it to the conversation at hand. Being dressed inappropriately might make you feel embarrassed, or ashamed, or not worthy of whatever the situation was, like how Marley felt like she had to rethink not wearing her robes around the school now that she was Prefect. But her dating Teal shouldn’t have made Claudia embarrassed. That was just dumb. It wasn’t like she’d dragged over Teal by the hand to announce it; they’d just been chatting in the library and then Claudia blew up at her!

(Yeah, she recognized that using the expression ‘blew up’ was an exaggeration. It had been more like a slow steaming and high-pitched kettle whistle that just kept going more out of tune until neither of them could take it anymore. But describing that hot-air-pressure sensation without using the expression ‘blew up’ was too hard to keep pace with her internal commentary running parallel to Claudia’s words.)

Getting a bit restless the more she listened, not that she didn’t appreciate Claudia talking to her more about this but she didn’t know how to react while the blonde was talking and she didn’t know what to do with her hands and they were just hanging there uselessly, Marley reached up to push the weight of her kinky dark hair off the back of her neck and considered suggesting at the next possible moment that they keep talking except work on the tent at the same time since, like, they had a time limit. Except wait. Claudia had just… Well it wasn’t an apology, but it wasn’t not an apology, and if nothing else it was an expression of her mistake in how she’d reacted to Marley sharing that she was Not Straight, and oh. This was actually really comparable to how Claudia hadn’t said she disapproved but also had. She hadn’t apologized, but also just did. Huh.

And now there was a natural pause and she could suggest the tent thing again, but Marley wasn’t too invested in that any more. Regardless of the couple years they’d spent out of touch as friends, they had enough history that it was obvious Marley was the more direct out of the two of them (and really, even an outside observer probably didn’t need history with them to tell that). If Claudia couldn’t apologize in words, at least she could try.

“Thanks for... saying that,” she began, somewhat hesitantly, and carefully moved on to the rest of the sentence: “and I’m sorry if it seemed like I was accusing you of saying you disapproved. It’s just - that’s what it felt like, you know?” Marley looked at her directly, trying to catch her gaze, although she found she couldn’t hold it anyways as she went full steam ahead, her eyes wandering to do a fuzzy-focus on the tent in front of her. “I’d told you something I was really happy about, and instead of being happy that I was happy, you were criticizing and asking all these big questions and going on about female roles and marriage and like. It was just a date. It could just be happy, it didn’t need to be a big deal. And I guess…” She wavered on whether or not to add more before continuing with another sigh. “I thought I knew you so well, and I didn’t wanna think that you could actually believe homosexuality wasn’t right, because then what about me? Us?”

She didn’t have tons of experience with homophobia - mainly at RMI, actually, which was gross, this was a great school and they were supposed to be woke students in solidarity with each other, not stuck in ye olde Amurrica, ugh - but she had enough memories of how her grandparents had reacted to Dad inviting his boyfriend Jaime over for supper to know that she couldn’t stay friends with a person who was homophobic. Her grandparents had calmed down, eventually, but by then Dad and Jaime had broken up and that was just upsetting. If people broke up, it should be for a legitimate reason, not pressure from or because of other people. Like, she hadn’t broken up with Teal because Teal’s family didn’t know her, it was all because Teal refused to let them know her and couldn’t explain why. Not that she’d given her a chance to explain herself, not really… Marley shovelled a mental snowbank on top of that thought to stop it getting any farther and glanced back at Claudia. “I know it’s not productive to go over all this again, and really I just wanted to say thanks for recognizing that you didn’t - handle it the best way.” She’d almost said ‘didn’t handle it like a real friend’, but that probably wouldn’t help to point out.

  • Ready to explore? - Claudia, Wed Aug 8 16:23
    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... more
    • Sure! I think. Maybe. Too late. - Marley, Thu Aug 16 15:31
      • 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
        • And keeps dragging on - Marley, Thu Aug 23 20:39
          It’d probably be super presumptive to say that she had been expecting a “you’re welcome” or even a “thanks for noticing”, because Claudia had never been the type of person to acknowledge the more... more
          • We could abandon it - Claudia, Fri Aug 24 09:28
            It felt as though the two of them were incapable of speaking to each other without arguing. Even when they had been friends, they had argued substantially more often than Claudia would consider... more
            • I'm not good at giving up - Marley, Mon Sep 3 22:53
              Ears still ringing (or maybe scratching was a better way to describe it) from the sandpapery alarm, she accepted her robes back from Claudia, noticing as she did so that her hand was shaking a bit.... more
              • Then I have a new challenge for you - Claudia, Thu Sep 6 15:49
                Marley was measurably more enthusiastic about this next task than Claudia. The paler girl stood towards a back corner of the cubicle, out of the way of its practical assignment, and wordlessly... more
                • If at first you don't succeed... - Marley, Tue Sep 11 21:54
                  Quickly recovering from the surprise of Claudia requesting to help with the tire repair, Marley bobbed her head, long-ish curls bouncing along with her. “Oh my gosh, yeah, of course.” Laying the... more
                  • Give up and go home? - Claudia, Wed Sep 12 15:48
                    Manual labor was not something to which Claudia was accustomed. Potions and Magizoobotany had both required her to engage in some unpleasant physical tasks on occasion, but Claudia had not continued... more
                    • Yup, that's how the saying goes - Marley, Fri Sep 14 23:52
                      There was a moment where she felt a little guilty for her hesitation in admitting she hadn’t forgiven Claudia for her actions against Holland. Well, specifically, not guilty in the fact itself,... more
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