The Y-files [GL]
There are plenty of sandwich bars in Belgium where you can get a quick lunch. They sell small baguettes filled with different kinds of toppings. When I was in college there used to be huge lines at noon in all the sandwich bars in the area, so personally, I just made and brought my own lunch box.
Criminal records are wiped on the day you become 18. Unless a minor did some hefty crime like a murder and there was a court decision the minor could be judged like an adult. In that case the records remain. This was decided to not let a few small youth digressions be a smudge on someone's complete future for finding work etc.
Chapter 27: Visiting the sick is a work of mercy
When we got out of the police station, it was already well past noon, so we decided to stop for some take out lunch at a local sandwich bar.
I ordered a club sandwich and Anna ordered a spicy tuna sandwich. We also added coffee to our orders. We walked to a nearby park, and sat on a bench while we ate our sandwich.
I did not want to let my mind come to stand still, and start wondering about everything that was happening. I needed to be in my kitchen to think things thoroughly through. I felt that I was reaching my limit of what I could take, so I started talking about the case to distract myself.
“I think we should go to the hospital after this, and go talk to Tina and Elsa, they should know what is happening behind the screens. We need to convince them to support us with Therese and Eve, but we still have to be back at school by 15:30, because we also have an appointment with Valerie.”
Anna looked at her smartphone and said “I think we can just make that, I'll send a message to Ms. Lourdes, so that she knows what we are up to.”
Then Anna looked at me, and said “You became accustomed to this very fast. I had expected you to protest more for having to do this job.”
I wasn't gonna be allowed to repress things, was I? I sighed and answered her honestly.
“I saw the news. They are looking to frame you for what happened to Elsa and Tina, aren’t they? That was all my fault. I went to Ms Lourdes and said we would take care of the bullying. I caused it, so I should fix it.” I started crying. I did not want to cry. I needed to be strong.
Suddenly I felt Anna's warm hug, she was comforting me. Great work Claire. You were gonna help her, and now you are even bothering her with being needy. She released the hug and then she said “None of this is your fault, it is a hole I dug for myself.”
She then explained to me that it was most likely her mother that was behind the framing. The second she noticed Anna had used her function at the police to start something to promote lesbian relationships, would have been reason enough to start interfering, because it would be bad for the family name whether she lived with them or not.
“But I gave them the chance to attack you.” I said.
“If it wasn't this, it would have been the next occasion. Really this game has been going on for a few years now. When my parents heard about my plan for a thesis about the social consequences of lesbian relationships, last year, they passed it off to there friends as me doing some kind of charity for handicapped women. You cannot imagine the hate I got over me from the gay community because of that. My parents have cut ties with me, but they still pull strings to force me into what they think is a respectable occupation for me, so I do not bring shame to them. I lived as a shut-in for a long period in high school because I did not want to have anything to do with the life that was planned out for me.”
I was a bit surprised at that, I always thought shut-ins would be less sociable. But when I thought it over it did make some sense.. How could she otherwise have gotten such vast knowledge on yuri?
“So really you should not feel responsible for this, I really do feel grateful that you wanted to help me. I don't think anyone has ever stood up for me like that, and I certainly would not have expected you to do this, since I forced so much upon you.”
Now it was my turn to blush. Why was I even helping the person who tried to frame me? It could have been the ideal moment to rid myself of this situation, and just join the blame Anna crew. The thought of letting Anna take the fall, gave me piercing jabs in my chest area. I would never stoop so low. We started off on the wrong foot, that is true, but in the meantime, I clearly considered Anna as a dear friend. Otherwise the thought of seeing her get hurt wouldn’t have such an effect on me.
“Don’t think I have forgiven you for that yet! It’s just that I hate political games like this. So no matter who is behind it, it doesn’t change a thing. I already decided that I would fix this mess and protect you. I am not the type that goes back on her own word.”
Anna gave me another hug, I think this time, it was to prevent me seeing her though. Because I could feel her sobs. So I gently caressed her hair.
After that she took off her glasses and cleaned her eyes with her handkerchief.
“Let's go to the hospital.” she said in a determined voice.
After a short drive we arrived at the hospital. I went to the flower shop, so that we would not arrive with empty hands. After looking some things up on my smartphone, I chose a bouquet of bright and cheery daisies. They mean “get well soon” in the flower language. Since Tina's family ran a flower shop I did not dare to pick out random flowers, and send out who knows which message... Afterwards we got directions at the counter, and went up to Elsa and Tina's room.
When we arrived Elsa was already packing to leave. She looked surprised to see us. Tina looked tired, but gave us a little wave. I handed Elsa the flowers and said it was for the both of them. “Ah get well daisies, thank you so much” Tina said. She looked genuinely happy. Score Claire. I did a little fist pump in my head. We needed them in the best mood possible, after all. Elsa put the flowers in a vase and put them in a place where Tina could see them without much effort.
“We won't stay long, we just came to inform the two of you, what we have been doing about this incident. But first things first, tell me how you guys are doing?”
They told me what I basically already knew. Elsa would go back to school tomorrow, and Tina would be out for the week. All things considered they were lucky there had been no fractures or internal bleedings.
Then, Anna and I explained to them everything that had happened, (omitting the part of using éclairs) and our deal with Eve and Therese.
Tina and Elsa seemed not very happy, that they were getting off almost Scot free. Well the perpetrators were under 18, and no real damage was done, so they were unlikely to get any real punishment since they were first time offenders, and even if they were not, their record would be wiped the day they became 18. I asked Elsa what she would propose as an amicable solution. The second those words left my mouth, I could see I walked right in Elsa’s trap. I had led my guard down. Elsa had been clearly waiting for this chance and answered. “I want me and Tina to be poster girls too.”
That girl. Since we had been on friendly terms for a few days and buried the hatchet, I forgot that she looked cute and innocent, but in reality, she could be a real shark. A shark that always tries to get what she wants. Well, it was not like I really cared in this case, it would only divert more attention away from my yuri Jeanne D’Arc escapades, so I said “You've got a deal, but it would mean that the two of you have to work together with Therese and Eve.”
Tina answered: “That will depend on their apology won't it? If we accept it, working together should not be a problem, should it? I know my girlfriend would be happy if she could make up with her old friends. So it is not like we are not open to it.” Elsa blushed at those sugary lines and took Tina's hand. And added “There you have it. The ball is in their camp.”
Well I guess this is the best we could have hoped for. We would have to explain it to Ms. Lourdes. But it was a step toward solving this mess.
Anna was wiping away a tear. I thought it was from that little yuri moment between Elsa and Tina. But then she said “With four of them, they could form a yuri idol group! I cannot believe this is happening in real life!”
A lot of special alarms and flags were being triggered in the back of my head. I felt this was going to be troublesome, and time consuming again, but Anna looked so happy, and so did Elsa and Tina, and keeping them happy was what we set out to do. So I decided to give up and just go with the flow. Trying to control the mess we were in had taken all my energy. I had no energy left to fight Anna's crazy ideas at the moment. A yuri idol formation. How bad could that be? I mean it was them doing it. It had nothing to do with me. I would be having fun in my kitchen while they were practicing their routines.
We decided to take our leave. We gave them both a kiss on the cheek, and wished Tina to get well soon.
On the way to the car, Anna called Ms Lourdes. Anna explained our bargain with the victims, and told Ms. Lourdes that we were coming to the school right now. Ms. Lourdes asked to visit her before doing anything else.