Hey! I edited this chapter, quite heavily… Sorry, but it was brought to my attention that there were multiple errors and places where scenes just sort of cut off, or never ended. That's what you get when you post something at five in the morning! After adding some paragraphs, hopefully, things are a bit less confusing now…

Chapter 17

My hand was on the latch to the bathroom stall ready to open the door and leave when I heard a group of rowdy girls come into the bathroom. For some reason, instinct told me to stay put, stay quiet. Taking a step away from the stall's door, back toward the toilet, I waited.

"I think your make-up looks fine today." Said one girl.

Another girl strode over to the mirror. "You think so? I think I should have worn less eye shadow."

I froze, knowing that voice all too well.

"Noo. You look really good." The other girl said. She paused, considering before she added, "I think you're doing way better now that you've ditched that dyke. I mean seriously. I always wondered why you hung out with her in the first place."

Anastacia laughed, "Why do you think? Before I knew she was a dyke, I used her for all she was worth. It was easy."

They laughed, and after a few moments, it intensified.

"Oh my god Anastacia, what are you doing?" Another girl asked.

Anastacia laughed again, "I'm creating art."

After a few seconds of silence, the girls started laughing again. "Oh my god!"

"Oh, it's so true!"

After a few more moments of their laughter, they all checked themselves in the mirror again, and left.

I stood in the stall a few moments longer until, finally, I unlatched the door and stepped out, taking a look at the gift Anastacia had left for me on the bathroom mirror.

Written hurriedly with a permanent marker, it read, "Conari Djantir eats dyke pussy." I looked at the poorly illustrated cartoon of myself sucking on Brent's crotch, a speech bubble making me say, "It tastes like tacos!"

I felt sick. I tried to rub away the image, but the permanent marker had already dried. I felt like crying. I felt like beating the shit out of Anastacia. What could I do at this point? I simply clutched my bag and left the bathroom.


Pulling up into the expansive driveway, I glanced nervously –again- over at the sullen looking girl with her boot on the dashboard, slowly playing with her lip ring and staring straight out in front of her. I smiled weakly, trying to catch her eye.

Brent just continued to stare out. This was the first time she'd been back to this place since the incident happened, and in response, she had retreated into a silence that made the rest of us feel awkward. Turning off the car, I slowly got out and waited for Brent to do the same. Amy and Sora followed behind closely.

I approached Misao's front door and stared at it, hesitating, before knocking on it. Taking a small step back, I mentally prepared myself to break up any arguments, or even physical fighting that may break out between the two ex's.' They had agreed to a truce, but who knew how permanent something like that could be with people like Brent and Misao.

A boy a little younger than Amy pulled open the door, slowly chewing on some light colored strip of dried meat. He looked at us boredly for a few moments before turning to Amy and saying softly, "Hey baby, you want to come up to my room for a bit so I can show you a good time?"

My mouth fell open.

I didn't even notice as Brent brushed past me and slapped the kid upside the head in one quick smooth motion. Assuming he was Misao's little brother, I felt as though the gates of hell would break loose even before we got inside. After all, no matter what culture you're coming from, it is considered rude to attack the children of the people who are letting you into their home as guests.

Brent growled, "Taka, you never learn do you?" And with that, she grabbed Amy's hand and stepped into the house. I slowly followed behind trying to ignore the soft hisses of pain Taka was making.

Misao emerged from her room before we reached it, took one look at Brent, then turned to me. "Let's go to the sewing room where there's more space." She turned a corner and led us into a room I had never been in before. It contained a large worktable and a large desk where a single sewing machine stood. Obviously, this was Misao's domain, because there was a rack where many odd costumes and clothes hung, and everywhere on the walls there were posters of Miyavi in his various outfits. I turned to one, and gasped, "What the hell? He's a clown now?"

Misao grinned, "An attractive clown."

I stared at it some more, becoming a little creeped out. "He's wearing the white make up and a red foam nose and everything."

Brent chuckled and took a seat.

Misao flicked an annoyed glance at her as if she'd said something to piss her off, then continued talking to me. "I love Miyavi's smile…"

Brent cut in, "Only you would be able to love a fucked up chink, Misao."

I tensed up. Sora and Amy seemed to be doing the same. But Misao just moved to a drawer, smiling a bit as she dug through its contents, "Same to you, rug muncher."

I was afraid Brent would retort with something scathing, something that was meant to really hurt Misao. Haha. You think I ever loved you? But Brent just brushed a bit of hair out of her eyes and took a seat at the worktable. "Oh, I smacked Taka again. Hope you don't mind."

Misao pulled out a measuring tape, "He asks for it. I think he even likes it."

Brent sighed, and there was a hint of laughter in her voice, "That kid never changes."

I was shocked. The two of them were getting along like old buddies. They seemed relatively comfortable with each other as Misao began to show Amy what her dress would look like, giving her fabric samples, and showing her possible options of the finished gown. Amy seemed rattled –her face was alight with red, and she was stuttering, acting as if it was overwhelming to have such care and customization all for her. Misao was smiling too, a soft smile, and I could tell then that she was enjoying herself whether she wanted to admit it or not.

Misao pulled out the measuring tape and passed Sora a piece of paper and a pencil, "You gotta help me take down her measurements."

Sora nodded, grateful that she could be somewhat useful in the creation of Amy's prom dress.

Brent snorted, tossing her heavy boot on the table, "Amy is a stick. All you have to do is take one measurement anywhere on her torso and you got the whole thing."

I smacked Brent. "Be nice."

Misao stood up, guiding Amy to do the same, "Here, put your arms out like this." She held her arms out straight from her sides, and waited until Amy did the same thing to start her measurements. She paused, "Waist; twenty four inches."

Sora jotted it down carefully as Misao mumbled. "Christ, you're skinny."

Amy blushed and said nothing.

As I was standing there, watching them, I noticed Brent silently watching Misao as she worked. She seemed lost in thought, the expression in her eyes giving off the impression that she was somewhere else. I watched her, feeling curious as to what was going through her head with her eyes on her former lover, and not being able to help feeling the tiniest pang of jealousy. Brent suddenly turned to me, noticing me watching her, and grinned a little.

I blushed, baffled, and looked away—which was a mistake, as that seemed to be the catalyst for Brent to toy with me. She got up from her chair while Misao was still taking off readings, and approached me.

"Lower torso, twenty five and a half inches." Misao murmured.

Brent wrapped an arm around my lower waist, successfully resting her hand on my ass. I gasped as she purred, "I'll bet you're bigger than twenty five and a half inches…" Then she placed her other hand up my back, slowly and possessively pulling me against her. "How have you been, my little love fairy?"

I felt a little flustered. Having my sister in the room and witnessing my newfound lesbian-ness was one thing. But what really made me tense up was Misao, who had turned to glare at us. I whispered, "Brent, please…"

Brent huffed in protest, but she backed off—a little. She still stood dangerously close to me, ready to lunge at me at any time. It wasn't that I didn't like Brent that close—just being that close was doing unimaginable things to me—it was that Misao had told me explicitly not to allow Brent to flirt around with me right in front of her. Of course, that was before she came out and told me that it was all a lie anyhow, but to be sure…

Sora groaned a little, "I forgot to eat lunch. After this, do you guys think we could go and get something to eat?"

Misao snorted, "We aren't nearly close to being done for today, tubby."

Sora hissed, but I cut her off before she could say anything that would cause Misao to attack her, "Hey, do you have any snacks or anything to tied us over for now?"

Misao nodded, smiling because she'd gotten Sora's temper up. "Yeah, just go into the kitchen to get something from my mom."

Brent raised her hand, "O-Oh! I volunteer! It's been forever since I saw that old she-Jap."

I watched her go, still not quite used to the racial slurs Misao and Brent could easily throw around each other. Misao sighed, reigning in my attention, "If you want, you and Brent can take off. I don't need either of your guy's help for this."

I was a bit uneasy. From the way she was standing their, face slightly pinched, I could tell that Misao was trying to hide upset feelings. I tilted my head a little. "You don't want Brent here?"

She paused. Not really caring that Amy and Sora were hearing this, she replied, "I thought I told you that I don't like it when you two do that sort of stuff in front of me."

Hesitating, I realized that I wanted to confront her about that time I had confessed at the playground to her. I wanted to know exactly what she was feeling. But instead, all I could say was "I'm sorry. I don't want to make you uncomfortable. All I want is, if it's at all possible, for you and Brent to become friends again."

Misao paused a little, then laughed quietly, "If she keeps up like that... Muri dai yo. Muri."

I glanced to Sora and Amy briefly before asking, "What does that mean?"


Brent came in at that moment with a tray of various snacks, all of which looked delicious. Loudly, she proclaimed, "Okay, her ma gave us some turkah turkah booka wooka ching chong ding kim yao fat."

I watched Misao roll her eyes and continue working. Then I decided to try some, but hesitated before asking, "Say, Misao, what are these hexagon things?"

She turned and looked at what I was pointing to briefly before explaining, "Those are filled with chocolate. They used to be my favorite when I was a kid."

I took one and ate it, a little surprised, but soon the chocolate filled my mouth, and I hummed. "Oh, this is actually good!"

Misao seemed pleased, "Good. You'll have to get used to a lot of Japanese things since we're going there together."

Brent snapped her head up, "What?"

I froze. I had forgotten the fact that the trip to Japan Misao and I were going to take that summer had not yet been discussed with Brent. "Well, yes. She invited me to go. And I accepted." I kept from making eye contact with her.

She paused, letting the anger seethe a little before saying, "But it's Misao."

Misao was carefully ignoring Brent, trying to stay focused on what she was doing to Amy. Even so, anyone could tell that she was getting more and more angered at Brent's reaction.

"Brent, I happen to like Misao." I said quickly. "And don't you trust me?"

Misao said, trying to keep her voice mild, "Didn't I tell you that if you dated Brent she'd be terribly possessive of you?"

Brent just paced the length of the room, growling, "I don't trust Misao."

Misao finally snapped, "Stop talking like I'm not in the room!"

But Brent ignored her. "I don't want you to go, Cori."

I felt awkward and unsure what to do. I truly did want to go to Japan, but Brent's jealously made it apparent that she would be the final hurdle. After a few moments of me being silent, Brent snarled, "And have you already forgotten what I told you about her? That she was in the crazy house for a year?"

I felt a pang of shock and pain deep in my belly. I hadn't thought of that for months, and it felt like a low blow, even for someone like Brent. I looked to Misao, who had already turned her back toward us and continued to work. But judging from the look on Amy's face, who only had to look up to see Misao's expression, she wasn't doing too well. I shot a stunned glance to Brent, who suddenly seemed regretful, but silent.

The room felt heavy, as though at any moment a dam was going to break open and wash all of us away. Brent felt it. Sora and Amy felt it. I shook with the tension. I drew in a breath to say something, anything, to get this feeling to go away.

Brent cut me off, "I'm going to head out. I think Misao can handle the work on her own. Conari, would you mind dropping her off later on?"

I nervously shook my head.

Without another word, Brent slipped out of the room and shut the door behind her.

I was left with a shaking Misao and a nervous Sora and Amy. Misao silently withdrew from Amy and began for the door. My mouth dropped open. She wasn't going after Brent, was she? I stood there, frozen with unease as Sora and Amy watched me, trying to gather any hints for what to do next.

What the hell was I supposed to do? Misao and Brent were their own powerhouses of anger, grief and passion. All I could do was sit by and watch.

A few minutes later, Misao came into the room, her face reddened from absorbing tears. "Alright, that didn't go as well as it could have, did it? Why don't we try again another day, Amy. I already have enough information to start the mock-up."

Easy as that. How did these people make such huge emotional leaps?

I nodded, "We'll head out then." I grabbed Sora and practically shoved her out the door. Amy observed this and was smart enough to know that we weren't going to stay a moment longer, then ran out after her. I hesitated a bit, watching Misao.

She looked up at me, smiling softly. "Conari, don't worry, alright?"

I just nodded, and left.

Was what I did right? Should I have stayed and talked to her? Should I have made Brent return and act as mediator between the two? Sometimes we look back on certain events in our lives wondering, if we had chosen a different course of action, would things have turned out differently? This was one of those times for me.


School was getting no better. Still in all my classes, except, of course, the science class Brent and I had together, I was hearing whispers about myself. The sound of dirty, snide remarks began to reach me in the hallway as easy as currents on the wind. No longer did anyone even bother to try buffering their attacks. It had turned into a knife edged free-for-all.

I took Brent into the bathroom and showed her the permanent marker image of her and myself that Anastacia had drawn on the mirror; the image of myself sucking on Brent's supposedly taco-flavored crotch.

After a few long moments of silence, Brent sort of covered her mouth, and, to my horrified surprise, laughed.

"What is so funny about this?" I shouted, outraged.

She cleared her throat, trying not to choke. I guess I have to give her credit for trying, though it was a feeble attempt, to stop her chuckling. "I know you're upset. I can read your thoughts. But…mm… But how can you not think this is funny?"

I looked at it again, and felt sick.

Brent sighed, putting laughter away. "Ah, calm down baby. We'll be getting Anastacia back for this. No worries."

No worries? She shouldn't say things like that so lightly. I wasn't sure if this comforted me or not. I wanted to scold Brent, to tell her not to get into trouble and end up getting expelled. I wanted to tell her to think about her sister, to think about finishing high school strong. To stay and keep me company, to help me stay safe. That was how selfish I was. But all that came out was a weak whimper. Ugh. It was disgusting to have Brent look at me with sympathetic eyes, and wrap her arms around me because I had suddenly found myself crying.

She murmured, rocking me a little, "The stress is getting to you, huh?"

I sniffled, feeling embarrassed. "It shouldn't even matter anymore. The year is so close to being over."

Brent shook her head a little, "But that doesn't make these final days any less important. …Just hang in there, kiddo."

Just hang in there? Did Brent know that everyday I would get a note in my locker containing empty warnings or cutting remarks or crudely drawn pictures? Did she know that the kids in my creative writing class would murmur things about me, not even caring if I heard it or not? Did she know about the looks, the jeers, the shoving I would receive just walking to class? Did she know about the numerous times that I would call Misao with my stories, letting her fill me with sympathy and support and regret? I was nearly at my breaking point, and Brent was unaware, oblivious.

Instead of saying anything, I just nodded my head.

Brent pulled me into a hug, nuzzling her nose gently into my neck. She held me like that, letting me weep in the middle of the girl's bathroom. Why did I let her? We were standing out in the open. We were just begging the group of girls who walked in at that moment to see us this way.

They paused for a moment before one said, mortified, "Oh my god! The dykes are in here making out!"

Another girl said, "I am never using this bathroom again. I'm going to catch lesbo germs!"

They stood there laughing, disgusted.

Brent snapped her head up. I could feel her malicious smile against my neck, "My. You know, we were being nice by going in here, but obviously you want to see us in action. It's really no problem. I understand how much of a voyeur you all are…" She stepped away from me, and walked toward them. They took a few steps back, but Brent was a little quicker. She purred as she caught the nearest one, holding the girl's face tightly in her hands, saying darkly, "Wouldn't you like to come over to my side? I know you're all secretly dykes." She looked at the other girls. "Dykes can always sense other dykes around. There's no one here but us." Brent looked at the girl she held and moved forward as if to kiss her. I don't know if the girl really was interested in other girls, or if Brent looked that much like a boy, but she seemed too stunned to move. Her eyes were smoky. Just as their lips were about to touch, the girl's friends gasped in horror, effectively snapping her out of it. She wailed and pulled away.

Brent laughed as they made a hasty exit, shouting back, "You disgusting lesbo! Rot in hell!"

She turned back to me, her expression changing slightly. She could tell that her game had cheered me up a little. For some reason, this made her blush.

I was so happy that I could make Brent blush.

I would be brave, I told her silently. I wondered if it was true that she could read my thoughts. I would try my best, so please don't get expelled on my behalf.

I sat at Misao's house, staring at Amy as she tried on the first fitting of her dress. It was a unique dress, gorgeous in design. It layered the right amount of fullness and length that didn't overtake Amy's petite figure while still offering some dimension and drama. It was the perfect dress, and Amy couldn't have seemed happier at that moment. I don't think I've ever seen her smile quite that much, not even now.

"Amy!" Sora exclaimed, jumping up to get a good look at her all around, "I had no idea you looked so stunning in deep green-"

"-Actually a compellation of greens-" Misao added.

"-It suits you so well! You look really, really beautiful!"

I watched Amy twirl around, saw the hints of reds, blacks and grays carefully woven into the fabric. I smiled, even as I looked over in the vacant chair in the corner of the room.

Brent had tried to return to the fitting sessions with her sister after the first tumultuous one, but only two more sessions of nerves, friction and tension had her apologizing to Amy, and sending her off with Sora and me. Misao had reacted to Brent suddenly not showing up with us, but I couldn't understand the expression that flickered across her face. She returned to acting normal, as if Brent never existed in the first place. That was last week.

Now, Amy was ready to go to the prom, clothed in the finest dress I'd ever seen on a person. I looked to Misao, and as she watched Amy in her dress with a scrutinizing eye, I realized that she hadn't said a word to me about my plans for prom. She hadn't asked about what I was going to wear, where was going to get my hair done, how I was going to get there…or whom I was going with. I was selfish enough to wonder why she wouldn't even pretend to care. For some reason, I wanted her to acknowledge it. I wanted her to acknowledge it and heal so that they could go back to being friends again.

After Misao pinned a few more places on the dress here and there for finishing touches, I told Amy and Sora to go out to the car. Misao seemed a bit annoyed, but amused, when I blocked the door as she tried to leave.

"Is this your way of saying you want to make out in private?" She smiled.

I laughed sarcastically, "Right."

She shrugged, "You can't blame a girl for trying."

I looked away. She was in neutral mode. She wasn't doing anything to try repairing her relationship with Brent, or me. I knew there was damage done, and I knew that it was a wound that wasn't healing. But something inside Misao made her stay in neutral, which meant I had to be the one to make a move. "You could try harder."

Misao perked a fine, pierced, eyebrow. "What? You'll let me make out with you then?"

I shook my head, flustered now. "Brent. Why aren't you trying to do anything to get on good terms with her? This is your chance, you know."

Misao put her sewing materials down, resigned to the talk. "That's sneaky of you. You think just by bringing Brent here we'll automatically become friends again?"

I looked away, feeling a little shameful.

"Have you seen her back?" She murmured so low that I had to lean in to hear her.

I thought about it a moment. During those times when Brent and I would be kissing each other, holding each other, she nearly always got a view of whatever body part she wanted to see, except, of course, that place between my legs. However, whenever I wanted to lift her shirt, or tug down her baggy pants, she would always scold me teasingly, and divert my attention. Was there something she, too, wasn't ready to let me see yet?

Softly enough to break my thoughts, "There is a green lantern on her back that belongs to me."

I looked at her, unsure what to say.

She continued, "When we were together, we thought our relationship was invincible. We had been through a lot, not including whatever happened at school. There is a whole other side to Brent that you've been lucky to not meet. She used to be more brutal to everyone, to me, her mom, even her sister. She was hooked on acid. Finally, one day, I made her stop.

I knew that the pause Misao gave meant that she wasn't telling me everything.

"So to commemorate her quitting acid and our being together for a year and a half, she gave me a lantern on her back. It has my name written on it."

I remember feeling as though the walls were slowly moving toward me, silently tipping onto my head, smashing my brains everywhere. I remember the look of pity in Misao's eyes as I clutched for air, gasping for breath, feeling the thick darkness overtake me like a wave.

"You two were meant to be together."

Misao paused for a very long time, so long that I had forgotten a time when silence didn't exist. "Just go home, Conari."

I picked up, and left.


As I sat in front of my computer, I prayed that my hunched back and shaking hands wouldn't give me away to anyone who was looking. Even though this was in the seclusion of my room, I still felt as though I had limited privacy, and must take every step necessary to prevent myself from being caught.

So what? I thought stubbornly. After recovering from the blow Misao had delt me, I decided to turn up my determination instead of giving up. So what if Brent had a permanent tattoo on her back for Misao? I would overtake Misao's importance to Brent. I would be the best girlfriend I could humanly be, in bed and out, so that her whole back would eventually be covered with a portrait of my face. Misao's lantern would only become a blemish on my perfect sized dimples.

I was going to do research, I decided. Perhaps there really isn't all that much to be afraid of. Prom was fast approaching, and I knew Brent was planning something big. Every time something made her even think of prom she would drop hints that practically screamed she was planning something. But what did people like her do to plan for such things? I imagined Brent as an obsessed sex-fiend. Whenever there was opportunity, it seemed she always took it, much to the surprise and indignation of the one on the receiving end. And when Brent focused her attentions, her lusts, her sensuality on a person, they were left at her mercy. I still could remember times when just feeling her breath against me sent shivers of pleasure. If that is how Brent is during a fit of spontaneity, what the hell was she going to do when she had things planned?

So I had to do research. I had to know something, anything, so that I wouldn't be completely blindsided and left defenseless to her. The hard part was doing it in secret.

I remembered that a back-up plan would be needed in case anyone entered and saw what I was looking at. I opened another window and typed "sunshine" into the search field. Now I had an easy escape route—close one window, and simply click on the innocent one left open. Yes, that would do well.

Slowly, slowly, I typed the words into Google image search. I silently mouthed them to myself, "lesbian sex." I jerked at the sudden noise behind me, twisting around to watch my door when I heard someone pass by it in the hallway. After waiting there, staring for at least ten minutes to make absolutely sure no one was listening, I gathered my courage, turned back around, and hit the search button.

Immediately, I could feel the blood gushing into my face. There, right before me, were several images of very pretty young white women having at it with each other. I curled my legs up to my chest, just staring in wonder. I thought in a daze, So this is what it's like? Lesbians mouthing each other's shaven bald pussies, lesbians in complicated positions, lesbians shoving brightly colored dildos into each other, lesbians two or three or four together, lesbians putting their fists into each other's asses, lesbian orgies outside in the sunset. It was overwhelming. Never before had I allowed myself to actually go forward and see how others interpreted how the act itself was done. Of course I had imagined before what it would be like, what it might look like in my mind, but this… This was something I really didn't expect.

I ended up sitting there for a long while, feeling a mixture of anxiety and lewdness and as I tried my best to study the images. Slowly, it sank in; the kind of stuff in this porn is the kind of stuff Brent must be planning. I bit my lip, wondering how I would deal with it. I didn't even bother to click on any of them; the thumbnails provided enough detail for me to grasp what was happening. And frankly, I was afraid to see any more, because seeing them made me squirm to think that I might soon be in those positions.

My door opened. My hand jerked over the mouse, scrambling to close the forsaken window as they drew closer. Quickly, I opened the sunshine window, and stared at it as my mind raced frantically. Whoever had entered was being silent as they stood there. Was it too late? Had whoever invaded my space already seen it?

Sora stood at my shoulder, and waited for me to turn and look at her. I turned eventually; acting surprised to see her standing there as if my panicked actions hadn't already given it away. "Oh. Where did you come from?" Did my voice tremor?

She gave me an odd look, stared at what I was looking at for a moment, and sort of smiled. "Were you looking at porn?"

I winced. "What?"

She pointed to the screen, at the pictures of what Google referred to as sunshine. "Isn't it a little too innocent that you'd be looking at pictures like this? That's a terrible safety window."

I was baffled. "You sound like you're a pro at it."

Sora blushed a little, looked away, and smiled.

I slowly closed the window. Was everyone more advanced when it came to sex then me? Even this young girl whose mother tried to shelter her from such things knew more about safety windows than me.

I felt a little left out.

"What did you barge into my room to come talk about?" It took a lot to get the growl to stay out of my voice.

"Oh, um, well, I heard downstairs dad talking to someone on the phone. He was talking kinda strangely, like he didn't want anyone to hear. Then I heard him say your mother's name…"

"What?" I was shocked. Who was he talking to that her name would be brought up? He was so sensitive about speaking it even to me. "Did he say anything else?"

Sora crossed her chubby arms, "He said that in a week, he'd meet the person at the airport. Do you think he's having an affair?"

I turned back to the computer, thinking about it. "Thanks for letting me know."

"You're welcome. You may continue looking up porn now." She laughed a little and exited my room while I was left gritting my teeth. I have no privacy. None at all.


My father was waiting for me as I emerged from the bathroom one morning. He seemed a bit on edge, his face tightened more than usual. He put an arm on the doorframe to prevent me from slipping past him. I looked up at him, slightly wary. I always felt a bit wary around him these days. It was bad enough that I had recently come out as being, at the very least, bisexual. Now people were beginning to call and harass my house more and more and it wasn't only myself who was feeling the repercussions of that.

My father kept his voice low, as if trying to prevent what was said from being heard by anyone else. "Your aunt has contacted me, Conni."

I froze. The only aunt on my father's side was an older woman who still lived in Minnesota. He would never make it such a point to tell me that she had contacted me, which meant… "Are you saying aunt Deepa called?"

He slowly nodded, and continued quietly, "She called me the other night from India. She's planning on coming to the states to visit you in a few weeks."

Now I understood why my father was keeping his voice down. Aunt Deepa and my other relatives in India were nearly an unspoken taboo. Georgia, my father's wife, was an obstinate bull headed woman who became distressed at the slightest bit of outside culture. This is why we live in such a reclusive, rich, white community. And when Georgia was distressed, we were all distressed.

I slowly pulled the towel away from my hair, "So… what does this mean? What are we going to do?"

My father rubbed a hand over his chin, "Looks like we have her as a guest for a while. She was really insisting on seeing you."

I sighed. I had seen aunt Deepa only twice before in my life. Three times, I suppose, if you count the day I was born. She had flown in to attend my mother's funeral. And then she had come to the little family reunion my father had arranged before he'd gotten remarried. Of course, the two of us had spoken on the phone every so often since then, but from the time my father had married Georgia, the contacts from India slowly faded until we barely talked once a year.

It seemed strange that now, suddenly, Deepa wanted to come visit me.

"What do I say? What do I do? I barely know the woman."

He smiled the tiniest bit at me, "I'm sure you two will figure it out."

I sighed. I was on my own for this one.


Ah! It's been a while...! Thank you to anyone who continues to read this after such a long time with no updates. A lot has happened, but now I feel like I can continue writing this story. Sorry about that! I hope you enjoyed this chapter!