“Liam. Get up mom wants you down right now.” that was my older sister Tess pulling a pillow from over my face.
I groaned, rolling on my bed carelessly from the afternoon nap.
“Should I call him and let him know of your impossibility?” she threatened.
Getting up in a sitting position I looked her in the eye with drawn up disbelief. “You wouldn’t?”
She placed one hand on her hip and purposefully flipped her perfect blonde ponytail to the left, looked down to connect with my eyes and said “Just come on down for dinner please. You’re leaving in an hour. Do this for mom.”
The image of mom standing over the stove holding a spatula, in a lily dress, crying from what she claimed to be the effect of onions last week flashed before me. I immediately groaned from lethargy and the desperate need to save her anymore trouble from my Father over me. Sliding off the bed with unease I threw on a denim jacket on top of my mustard hoodie. Then led Tess by her shoulders out of my room heading straight to the dining room.
“Finally! You’ve decided to grace us with your holy presence, my own son everyone.” My father sarcastically announced to exactly two members of our family. The announcement was completely unnecessary but because he knew it would hurt me he revelled pride in himself for that. I stole a single glance at him, he was seated on the heads seat of the Chinese import, long oak made dining table. Face buried in a newspaper with only his grey shiny hair showing over the weekly Financial Gazette.
Mom approached the table with a fruit infused spring water jar and sweetly said. “Ah ah. He’s my son” a pride filled smile shining across her perfectly made up face. Revealing pearly white teeth against a smile she said swore made dad fall in love with her at first sight.
My Father loudly flipped to the next page of his paper mumbling to himself but more in an impudence response to mom. “Because of your genes, I’m raising a bottom gay.”
Mom carefully chided him, “Barron. Stop.’”
He put his paper down facing her from under his spectacles and vehemently said. “Ella, I saw him myself.”
I was about to get up to leave the table and Tess must’ve known as she’d always known how to read me well. Better than all my two peers combined. Maybe this was because we'd grown up drinking from the same tap, getting beat by the same belt at dad’s hand. Maybe it’s because we had the same blood running through our veins. Whatever it was, my older sister knew me best and I appreciated her for that. She placed a strong hold on my knee from under the table and managed a calm retort back to him. “All that education dad and you still don’t know the difference between heavy petting and sex.”
Tess was only like three years older than me and looked like the female version of me that I admired for so many qualities. Qualities that included how she was always so composed and direct with imposing male figures, like our Father. I suppose the fact that she’d been the one to inherit all of our Father’s short flaring temper helped. So I wasn’t really shocked to hear her disrespect him like that.
“I saw him!” his voice held deeply to a defensive tone as he threw his paper down on the table hard. The motion done so harshly he accidentally knocked his elbow on the oak made furniture enough to hurt himself.
A scoff escaped my lips. I hating my Father for the exaggeration and hated the scene that had now become a regular in our house. Ever since he had walked in on Jeremy my stupid ex boyfriend Jeremy trying to force a kiss on me over a year ago! that was when he was still trying to get back together with me.
“You saw what, a couple kissing on the bed with their clothes on but since they’re gay the one under the other is the bottom is that it Barron?”
My heart clenched at my mom's notion too but I didn't say anything.
Tess's voice calmed to ask, "Even if he was bottoming, what can't you handle? You do understand your son is gay right?"
At my sister's reasoning a film of tears burned my eyes but I blinked them away before my Father could see.
“Don’t make it sound like I’m some homophobe Tess.” He redirected his gaze to convince me then finished “because I’m not.” Using his thumb and middle finger to massage his temples as mom put a plate in front of him he continued “But would it have killed him to be the one on top because…”
Mom cut him off “Barron that’s enough!!”
“I agree with mom. Barron that’s enough.” Tess mumbled against her filled fork and now it was my turn to place a strong hold on her knee. Mom threw her a death glare sending her to chew in silence through the rest of the dinner.
Sometimes mom liked to cater to everyone herself. Which is how I’d found myself in the kitchen helping her with the dishes. Her diamond studs shone brightly when caught in the light and I was defending my nonexistent love-life and talking her ear off on how I couldn’t wait to be a senior prefect at school. Footsteps sounded by the door and we both looked at each other knowingly. Swiftly I threw the dish towel at her and ran across the kitchen for the fridge almost on cue as dad’s presence became visible through the doorway. He had that hard definitive squint of his eyes drawn on his face as he seemed to scan mine and mom’s postures. He turned back to me and spoke. “What did I tell you about the kitchen son?”
As usual where he was pressing on me, my mouth became dry and all confidence in my vocabulary flew out the moment I met eyes with him. I opened my mouth and no words left my lips.
He drove his scowl to mom flaring one arm in the air. “This is only encouraging him to fool himself. He’ll sure be a sissy now. A woman! Ella, is that what you want? For us to be footing his sex transition bills? No son of mine will…”
Tess entered the kitchen and cut his raging off. “We’re late, let’s go Liam.”
Riding shotgun in my sister's Mercedes who had volunteered to drive me back to boarding school. “Liam?”
I hummed in response not bothering to look up from my phone.
"I never asked before. But were you having sex with Jeremy? Like, are you sexually active?"
“You decide to ask that now?” turning the screen of phone off I faced her.
“I guess I’ve never thought you’d think about sex . You're like sixteen and I guess in my eyes you'll forever be six. So it never even occurred to me that you'd want to fuck or be drilled by anyone." she peered at me sideways. Blue eyes twinkling playfully and gasped in a shock full of humor. "Oh fucking hell. You are having sex! or at least you were."
“No crude little madam. I'm like seventeen and that fun ship hasn’t taken off yet.”
She slapped her perfectly manicured hand over her mouth. Muffling an annoying shriek she was too old to give. “No way. No way! You dated the Polo captain for two years and you didn’t tap that?” she asked in disbelief. "But he was like so hot."
I laughed and confided in her. "He certainly wanted to but I just wasn't ready. Good thing too because he ended up cheating on me with multiple people."
We fistbumped on it.
After a beat she switched off the bluetooth and began to say, "Well, whatever the case you’re a senior now and I want to be the one to lecture you about sexual health. HIV, STDs, PrEp, how the descendants of Adam will embarrass you." On and on she went with the sex education I didn't take lightly. An hour later we arrived at St.John’s Preparatory College where we parked with ease.
On exiting the car she helped me give the school security my luggage and hung her bony arm under mine. Then poked her bony finger on my chest
“So you've been single a while. Are you still hung up on him?”
"It's a year, I'm completely over him."
"Hmm." looking up at me from behind her cat shaped spectacles that she wore more for intimidation than her eyes she pushed for an answer. "So any crushes?"
I smiled at her and knew it wouldn’t help to fib, so I simply rolled my eyes. By then we were nearing the reception area where my luggage was scanned for drugs and whatever else they didn’t approve of on school grounds. Thanks to the senior stream from last year that infamously smuggled molly and weed into the hostels.
Tess released her arm from mine and went over to talk to the receptionist. She managed to inquire everything a parent would need to know using some files on her tablet as a reference. She asked about everything no, actually she intimidated the administration into revealing plenty other information I’m sure they weren’t at liberty to tell us.
Eventually we were given a key and ushered up to the familiar gates. Of one of the four male dormitories, I'd been moved to. After helping me pack up all my items away Tess kissed me on the cheek. “Goodnight. I’ll see you next weekend. Love you.”
“Love you too, no drinking behind the wheel k”
And just like that, with a dismissive wave and an exaggerated hair flip she left me safely put.
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