No second chances?
Tue Jun 12, 2018 16:55

Claudia waited nervously for Holland to react. She didn’t think they would cause a scene here on Pearl Street, which was partly what had driven Claudia to have this conversation right here and now, but she was not completely convinced of her safety; she knew Holland could do wandless and nonverbal magic. So far, however, all seemed to be in order. They thanked her for the apology, which was unsurprising, as they had thanked her for the initial apology she’d made several months ago, too, and that had been far less sincere. “I’m glad you get that now, even if you don’t understand me. It sounds like the essay helped.”

She exhaled and regarded Holland cautiously. It was Professor McKindy who had helped Claudia to understand that mind magic was unethical, not to mention dangerous, but Professor Blair who had - eventually - made Claudia realize she did not understand Holland. It did not seem important to draw this distinction, however. The fact that she did not understand them was the most salient point as far as Claudia was concerned “There are things that - that are clearer to me now than they were,” she said carefully. She did not want to disregard the part Holland had played in their disagreement, but neither was she blaming them.

“When I - when it wasn’t relevant to me, I did not have a problem accepting you.” She thought they would agree with her assessment. Holland had been nice to Claudia when she had started in first year, and it had been comforting having older students to look up to as she adjusted to life away from home. “I never thought of you as having a binary gender and your identity was not my concern.” She swallowed, brown eyes focusing on the table top, passers by, Holland’s drink - anything but the seventh year. It Claudia’s opinion, that was no longer the case: Holland’s identity did affect her, now.

“When it became my concern - and please don’t argue about it being none of my business,” Claudia sped up temporarily to avoid unnecessary interruption, “I think we can both agree you have considerably affected my experiences over the past few months - I was not prepared to understand. I don’t understand you,” she reiterated, feeling that the context made her declaration more comprehensible the second time around. “I only wanted to blame you, and by believing you to be backwards, it made it easier to forget that I like you.” Her anger and resentment had allowed her to form new opinions; existing subconscious prejudices had warped and mutated to become rejections of anything that did not conform to Claudia’s rigid understanding of her own environment. “I’m also sorry for how it - I didn’t mean to make you feel that way about yourself,” she said anxiously, twisting her fingers in her lap. If they had not been insulting everything about Claudia’s person she would not have been tempted to retaliate, but Holland had only been defending their position as Claudia had defended her own. She had forgiven them, and acknowledged that her own actions demanded an apology.

“I don’t expect you to want to talk to me.” Plenty of other people didn’t want to talk to Claudia, but none of them were likely to spend any great amount of time with her over the summer and potentially beyond. Holland could very well continue to be present in Claudia’s life, and they had a reasonable excuse not like her. “I don’t approve of your relationship with Danny,” Claudia clarified unnecessarily, “but I can tell you both like each other a lot.” She did not sound happy about this; in fact it was a great pain for her to admit it. “So,” she sighed heavily, “if you ever have the patience to tell me, I would like to understand. It seems… advisable to try getting along.”

  • It only knocks once - Holland Keene, Tue Jun 12 16:21
    With seventh year winding down, Holland had gone to Pearl Street for what they suspected would be the last trip there before they were an RMI alum. (Monty and Bryony Keene were going to take... more
    • No second chances? - Claudia, Tue Jun 12 16:55
      • I might make an exception - Holland, Wed Jun 13 15:36
        Despite wanting to interject something several times, Holland managed to remain silent throughout Claudia’s explanation. They wouldn’t have argued that their identity was completely irrelevant to... more
        • Now I feel special - Claudia, Thu Jun 14 06:23
          Holland had allowed Claudia to get through the things that she wanted to say to them, which was ideal because otherwise she might have forgotten parts or become sidetracked by less relevant debates,... more
          • But no third chances - Holland, Thu Jun 14 12:05
            Holland had thought Claudia would demurely defer the offer for answers. Instead, they were pleasantly surprised by her unleashing a barrage of questions. It was as though she had been saving them up... more
            • Duly noted - Claudia, Thu Jun 14 16:11
              If she had realized Holland would start to answer her questions right there and then, Claudia would not have asked them: she was only intending to give them an idea of the things she was pondering,... more
              • I don’t think you’ll need one - Holland, Fri Jun 15 01:45
                Claudia probably didn’t know that she had brought up a point of contention in the trans community. Trans people were often expected to perform hyperfemininity or hypermasculinity to “prove” that they ... more
                • “Not letting society dictate how gender should be expressed and experienced is a good ideal, and it’s worth striving for,” Holland said. Until this year Claudia had not given much, if any, thought to ... more
                  • Can I guesstimate them? - Holland, Sat Jun 16 01:10
                    “You don’t get to choose the society you’re born into, but you still have choices about how you participate in that society,” Holland said patiently. “If you attend a ball with your family, you can... more
                    • How are you at divination? - Claudia, Sat Jun 16 15:47
                      Holland breezed over agreeing that you could be born into a society, but Claudia didn’t miss it (in fact she considered that it would be easier to discuss things with them if they just allowed her to ... more
                      • I dropped it - Holland, Mon Jun 18 15:17
                        “ Or it’s a quick way to become unpopular and ostracized. ” Holland had nothing reassuring to tell Claudia about that. Yes, that was a possibility, maybe even the most likely outcome, even in this... more
                        • That's why you didn't see this coming - Claudia, Tue Jun 19 15:41
                          Claudia didn’t see how her current community could thrive on equality in the proportions Holland was advocating. She was confident there were many social prejudices that did not apply to her... more
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