Whale I'll try
Thu Jan 4, 2018 16:25

When Holland talked, they never sounded condescending or patronizing, even when they were telling Claudia something new (as happened often, because they mostly talked about make-up, and Claudia had known next to nothing when they began discussing the topic at the start of the year) or disagreeing with a viewpoint. They were calm and courteous, and that was a large part of why Claudia liked them. Their voice was rhythmic, and pleasant to hear, aside from when they squashed their vowels in a weird way because they had a regional accent they had either tried unsuccessfully, or hadn’t even tried, to abandon. Perhaps these reasons were why it was easy to listen to Holland.

Holland said that people could be interested in more than one gender. Claudia reopened her eyes, even though Holland was using a sponge on her cheekbones, and she preferred her eyes to be closed when something was near them. People could be interested in more than one gender? That seemed like such an unlikely scenario. Considering same-gendered couples was bewildering enough, but if they had the choice to be attracted to someone of the opposite gender, then why in Merlin’s name would they choose otherwise? Yet she had no reason at all not to believe Holland. What possible motive would they have for fabricating something like that? When it came to unsavory topics, such as those surrounding gender and romantic relationships. Claudia claimed negligible knowledge compared to Holland - thank Merlin - but nevertheless she was baffled by the notion of picking and choosing a partner from the entire spectrum of the human race.

Claudia had barely started to wrap her head around that revelation when Holland steamrollered her consciousness with two further words. Marissa is.

It sounded like Holland was accusing Marissa Kendrick - her brother’s inappropriate girlfriend - of being interested in more than one gender of person. Of being capable of being attracted to males or females in equal capacity, as if that were a normal and acceptable practise. Holland wouldn’t say such things about their friend, surely, if it wasn’t true. And if Holland knew, then Danny probably knew, and that made their already-abhorrent relationship even more perverted.

She opened her mouth to express that perhaps some open-minded professional had managed to formulate a potion or charm or something to fix these backwards compulsions, but no words came forth when Holland added, ”And so am I.” Mouth still open, Claudia stared. Again, she had never really considered Holland in terms of relationships with others - she tried her hardest to avoid the RMI gossip mill wherever possible - and she couldn’t tell whether she was more surprised by the concept of Holland being attracted to either gender, or that she didn’t feel so repulsed by Holland’s admission as she had by them revealing the same about Marissa. Perhaps it was simply that Holland wasn’t dating her brother, or it could be that Claudia was so used to considering Holland in their own little bubble of Holland-ness that having a given rule to apply was a different scenario to expecting one rule and having it contradicted.

After a couple of seconds, Claudia closed her mouth tightly. Her thoughts were now a swirling mass of confusion, panic and repulsion, which was making it both very easy to sit still (she didn’t have to focus on anything if she wasn’t doing anything) and absolutely impossible, as her flight response rallied against the forces compelling her to stay.

Now Holland was talking about Marley again, and comfort zones, and being supportive. The words were logical, forming compelling arguments, but it was just so against everything Claudia had ever known that she couldn’t accept them. “That’s sort of what you’re going for with this makeover, right?”

“I’m not going to start dating girls,” Claudia countered, her hushed voice sounding alarmed, her expression hurt by Holland’s attempts to turn Claudia’s very personal journey into something to benefit her friend. “One can’t -” she mimicked Holland’s use of the pronoun - “go about accepting everything that comes along just to keep other people happy. I can’t maintain my relationship with Connor because I cannot condone his recent behavior,” she countered. “I can’t maintain my friendship with Marley because I cannot condone hers.”

  • I’m sure you can dolfind one - Holland, Thu Jan 4 13:21
    Holland, admittedly, had had similar thoughts related to Marley’s date with Teal. The younger Lyra had said that she liked Teal but wasn’t sure whether she like-liked her, but regardless that boys... more
    • Whale I'll try - Claudia, Thu Jan 4 16:25
      • You otter come up with something - Holland, Thu Jan 4 22:21
        Holland hadn’t meant to break Claudia by introducing her to the concept of plurisexuality, but it seemed for a moment that they had. How could Claudia be a teenager and not know that people could be... more
        • It's making me crabby - Claudia, Fri Jan 5 04:48
          Closing her eyes and saying nothing while Holland continued to apply her make-up was very soothing for Claudia. It had been an especially tumultuous second part of the year, and perhaps she’d been... more
          • We need to re-grouper - Holland, Fri Jan 5 10:36
            “It might,” Holland agreed. There was some risk of pain attached to doing most things, and that didn’t make those things not worth doing. Marley’s intentions weren’t to hurt Teal; Holland had always... more
            • Play a different tuna - Claudia, Sun Jan 7 13:38
              Risk was a very personal concept. Claudia was taking a risk today with her statement dress and make up, but the risk was low: most people probably wouldn’t notice the change in her look, and of the... more
              • Don’t mind my carping - Holland, Mon Jan 8 06:44
                Holland chose the red lipstick—if you wanted to make a statement, why speak quietly?—and offered it to Claudia to apply. She had the lighted wall-mounted mirror to use in guiding her application of... more
                • Holland handed Claudia a red lipstick. It wasn’t a shade she would have chosen for herself, but Claudia trusted Holland’s judgment on make-up, if nothing else. She took it and turned to the mirror,... more
Click here to receive daily updates