Maybe we should try a different shape instead
Tue Feb 6, 2018 22:35

Claudia answered that she hadn’t been dating anyone, and Marley hummed in acknowledgement, giving a sort of half-nod. She wasn’t entirely sure why she had nodded, though. Nods were normally an agreeing, positive body language, but it wasn’t like Claudia needed her agreement about not dating. Dating could be fun, and not dating could be fun as well, because no one was friends only with people they were dating and so you would never really be lonely - there would always be someone you could hang out with and enjoy being together and stuff. Maybe she had nodded just as a general support, she decided. Like, whether or not Claudia was dating anyone was totally her own choice, duh, but either way, Marley would support her. Also duh.

Even if she hadn’t reached a satisfactory conclusion, she wouldn’t have been left wondering for very much longer, because Claudia was talking again and saying that she was… confused? What was there to be confused about? Had she also been wondering why Marley had nodded? Yeah, that was probably it. Her best friend came from a fancy Pureblood family and she was pretty formal sometimes - well, most of the time - and she wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were Actual Rules about nodding etiquette. Marley was aware of rules about interrupting, however, because that was a widespread social etiquette that didn’t require her to be from a particular type of family. The only time anyone interrupted anyone else in the Chapman/Allen households was when they were shouting over each other while cheering on the curling leagues, and not even Marley participated in that (although that was less because interrupting was rude and more because curling was boring). All that said, she refrained from immediately explaining her guess about why she had nodded and waited very patiently for Claudia to finish talking.

And that was a good thing, because Claudia wasn’t talking about nodding at all. The reason she was confused was - because Marley and Teal had gone on a date? Oh, nope, now she was adding in a new word. Uncomfortable.

That made Marley feel uncomfortable, and a little tight inside. Not tight like when you felt like you were gonna start crying or yelling or anything like that. Just tight like… like when you didn’t know what you were gonna do and you didn’t want to have to decide, either, because something was Different and what did it mean? But she had to start somewhere and, frowning now, Marley leaned forward to rest her chin on one hand, fingertips curling in her hair.

“It makes you uncomfortable?” she repeated, trying to hold on to some slippery hope that she had just misheard Claudia. “Because Teal’s a girl?” Now the tightness was crawling up into her chest, making her lungs feel heavy and the air flopping around inside like it wasn’t air at all. “But… why? Like, there’s no rule that we can only date boys. That’d be unfair. Not just to other girls, and people who are aren’t a girl or a boy, but also to me,” she pointed out, hoping that she could make Claudia understand (and also hoping that this hope would be less slippery). “I mean, all of the boys I used to wanna date were jerks. Can you imagine if I started to date someone and then found out they were racist? It’d be awful. And I wouldn’t be safe.” Literally every day there was news about white-on-black violence, and she hadn’t used to think about it this much, and Marley didn’t consider herself properly black but she was definitely more black than not. “And that could happen if I was dating a boy or a girl or neither, of course, but on the other side, I could instead date someone who actually likes me and is a real friend and makes me happy. Isn’t that most important? Even more important than gender?”

This was feeling a lot like their conversation in Cultural Studies that one time about magical people marrying Muggles and if that was a good thing etcetera. Except, unlike that, where she didn’t totally change Claudia’s mind but still left feeling like she’d explained herself and her own family well enough that Claudia still liked her, the uncomfortable tightness inside of her was giving Marley the impression that this conversation could go very… differently. If she couldn’t change Claudia’s mind about this, then Claudia really might not like her anymore. And she might not be able to like Claudia, either. There was too much pressure to fix it. She waited for Claudia’s response, much less patiently this time, and much more anxiously.

  • Stir anitclockwise and find out - Claudia, Sun Feb 4 14:45
    Marley supplied both possible answers to Claudia’s inquiry about her relationship with Teal, which was the only circumstance under which Claudia would welcome further details; Marley proceeded to... more
    • Maybe we should try a different shape instead - Marley, Tue Feb 6 22:35
      • This isn't a shape, it's a mess - Claudia, Wed Feb 7 07:11
        Claudia didn’t realize she had been holding her breath until Marley spoke, and the paler girl felt her chest tighten; she reminded herself to breathe and that helped lessen her physical discomfort.... more
        • Just a minor maze - Marley, Sat Feb 10 01:26
          Unrestricted? Marley seized on the word, feeling her hopes rise a little stronger. If Claudia thought that ‘her’ culture (whatever that was; coming from a mixed Mediterranean and South American and... more
          • Show me to the exit - Claudia, Sat Feb 10 07:59
            She didn’t know. How could a person not know if they were attracted to someone? Claudia would concede she was hardly an expert on the matter, but she thought she understood attraction. She had even... more
            • Oh no. Claudia’s answer was actually a non-answer, and she didn’t want to assume that a non-answer meant a no but it definitely wasn’t a yes either and that made it seem like Marley was gonna have to ... more
              • This is a one-way street - Claudia, Sun Feb 11 06:06
                Marley was frowning still, and the expression looked so out of place on her usually cheerful friend that Claudia felt bad for causing it. Yet she also felt - much as she had in previous conversations ... more
                • With a dead end - Marley, Sun Feb 11 12:01
                  “Marley, I’m trying.” She wanted to say something - anything - in response to that, but there were too many options. She could retort with a ‘not very well’, to point out how Claudia was disrupting... more
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