The Y-files [GL]
When we arrived back at the North station, it was time to say our goodbyes. Mia ruffled my hair and Valerie then gave me a little pat on my butt to send me away. I smiled at her and scurried off. I was truly amazed by how sweet and protective she had become. It was hard to believe that she used to be a notorious bully. She and Valerie had protected our lives earlier. To me, Mia was a hero, and I would say so to anyone who asked me. As a matter of fact, I will make a point of it, to spread the news that she had saved our lives. Who knows what fate had begotten us, if she and Valerie hadn't been there.
Maura was already being picked up in a fancy limousine, with a scary-looking driver with sunglasses in uniform. Scary or not, I did not want to let her go without saying goodbye. Even if we saw each other tomorrow at school.
I made my way to her and ignored the scary driver, but before I could reach her, the driver had picked me up by the collar of my jumper. “What do we have here? Why are you trying to get to the mistress?”
I struggled and writhed. “Let me go!” I hated it when people stopped me from moving. I noticed Mia and Valerie were making their way here, but it was Maura, who came back out of the car to see what the commotion was about.
“Watch out, ma'am, this person tried to make her way to you!” The driver said.
“What the hell do you think you are doing to my best friend?” Maura said, clearly angry. I waited, but that man was still wasn't releasing me. He started arguing with Maura instead while I just kept hanging in the air. Valerie and Mia had arrived too, they wanted to interrupt, but Maura and her driver kept on arguing. They could not find a way to interfere. Was this the same shy Maura? I was surprised by her vocabulary.
I kept wriggling, and just let myself fall out of my jumper, but he immediately grabbed me back up.
In the end, Maura called her mom, and passed the phone to the man, after a few seconds he stood there apologizing without end. Why did he not just listen to Maura?
Maura started apologizing to me, but I apologized immediately for causing such a scene. Her mother had only recently allowed me to be in contact with Maura, and even if her mother most likely had ulterior motives, I did not want to arrive in a situation where I could no longer talk to Maura. After all, I had had so much fun with her today. While I was talking, Maura suddenly gave me tight hug and kissed my cheek. “Don't ever apologize for something like that. He was wrong and you were right. Nothing should keep us apart.” I was a bit flustered by how dramatic she was making all of this. I felt myself get red because of the close body contact. I thought I had gotten used to all the kisses and stuff here in Belgium, but Maura being so close still made me feel anxious.
Mia and Valerie approached us, Maura gave an intense glare to the driver, to tell him not to interfere again. It seemed he had learned his lesson. I was again surprised by this other commanding side Maura seemed to have. She never showed it to me. The second she looked at me, she turned again into a sweet shy girl. Mia and Valerie put a hand on our heads and asked if we were okay. We had one final group hug, before saying our definite goodbyes.
After that, I ran toward Elodie and Eline. “Ah, so you still know us, once your friends go home.” Elodie joked. I felt a bit guilty for having neglected Elodie all day. I did not want to lose her. Elodie is the closest person to me on this planet. She is like the big sister I never had. I wanted to apologize, but Elodie must have spotted how I took her joke seriously and interrupted me in a more serious tone “I am glad you finally found some friends. We will always be family, you won't lose me because you have friends.” She always said the words I needed to hear. I felt a smile creep on my face and gave her a big hug.
Eline interrupted us with a cough. “Mom is picking us up, apparently we are all spending the evening together at my place.
It must be nice for Eline and Elodie, that their mothers were so close. It made me think about how cowardly my parents were toward Maura's family. What was I thinking? Maura and I were just friends. Eline and Elodie were a couple. This was completely different!
I hoped I would not have to endure too many comments about my parents again. I did not want to be reminded too much of them at the moment. They had sold me out to protect their jobs. I had not yet forgiven them for that, and for all I cared, I was okay with living with aunt Sandra and Elodie for the rest of my high school years without having to see them again.
When Rosa arrived, she greeted us cheerfully, but I thought she came over a bit nervous too. We got into the car and as soon as we were driving, Rosa started talking about my mom and the old days. I rolled my eyes. I really did not want to hear about her.
“I can't believe how much you look like her. It takes me back to my high school years in a flash.”
That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I knew she meant well, and that she only meant my outward appearance, but that comment got me to my boiling point. “My mother and I are nothing alike! Please don't compare me to that... that...” For lack of a better word, I went for “MONSTER!”
Rosa was absolutely shocked by my reaction. “Did something happen?” She asked a bit worried.
“Fien is sorry!” Elodie interfered. “Go on, Fien, apologize. None of this is Rosa's fault. You should not take it out on her.”
I noticed Eline whisper something to her mother, and Rosa nodded understandingly.
Elodie was right. I should have behaved. I felt bad for taking it out on the host of the evening. “I'm sorry.”
“It's already forgiven. If you want, I can have a word with Charlotte. I have set her straight several times back in the day. She can lose track of what is truly important.”
She was being genuinely nice. I wanted the subject of my mother closed, but now, she was talking about her again. “If you think it will help,” I said to close the subject. Rosa nodded to me very determined. “You can count on me. Family should always help each other out.” I did not realize she cared so much about other people's family affairs.
We arrived at their apartment which was not big and not small either. It was a three-room apartment, and even though it wasn't disorderly, every spot in the apartment seemed to be in use. There wasn't a place that seemed to emanate peace.
“You girls go play in Eline's room, while I prepare dinner. Sandra will be here soon.”
When we arrived in Eline's room, I was amazed. All the walls were filled with pictures. I noticed an entire wall dedicated to pictures of Elodie. Eline looked a bit like she was caught. “I'm sorry. I usually put them away when you visit. I hope you're not mad.”
Elodie looked at the pictures and said “Oh, we made all of these together. I have them in an album too at home. No wait there are a few that I did not know existed here. Why did you hide them?”
Eline turned red, clearly embarrassed, and said “Well, we did not know each other yet, when I started taking your picture. I just thought you were really pretty.” I could see that that took a lot from Eline. Elodie got all excited and hugged Eline. Then she said to me “Can you go get something to drink for us from Rosa?”
“Shouldn't Eline do that? She is the host.” Elodie looked at me like I just said the most moronic thing. “Oh, ooooh!” I had to agree with her. Again I spoke before I thought “I had to go to the bathroom anyway. I will knock when I get back.”
I went to the kitchen and offered to help out. I did not want to be a witness again to all that.
It's not like I was a Claire in the kitchen, but with parents that are always working late, you learn something, so you don't have to survive on cup noodles or snacks.
Rosa looked at me questioningly “They did not send you here, just to be by themselves did they?”
How did she know exactly what happened? “It's not like that. I just wanted to give them a moment alone, and I wanted to apologize for earlier.”
Rosa smiled at me. I am sure she was thinking of some memory of my mother. But this time she didn't say it out loud.
“Then us girls will make dinner together,” Rosa said. She let me scale some potatoes, and after that she let me grate them. She was going to make a big rösti. “Simple and festive.” She said while humming.
While we worked Rosa told me some anecdotes about aunt Sandra. She had been quite the character in high school. It was a bit hard to put the person I knew and the person I was hearing stories about together.
When dinner was almost ready, Sandra arrived. “I'm still in time, am I not?” she said completely out of breath.
She spotted me helping in the kitchen and said “Oh, Fien, I did not know you enjoyed cooking. If you want you can help me out too from time to time! Maybe it is time to learn Elodie some stuff around the kitchen too.” By the end, she was mumbling stuff to herself about how she should have taught Elodie more about the household.
When dinner was ready, I went to get Eline and Elodie. I knocked on the door and immediately heard some stumbling. They came out of the room all red. I stopped Elodie before going to the kitchen, and quickly fixed one of her buttons. Eline giggled nervously, while Elodie turned red. She ruffled my hair to get the excitement out of her. I ticked her hands away and ran back to the kitchen.
Rosa and I served the roasted pork with red wine sauce, cauliflower in white sauce, and of course, the rösti that I had helped with. Eline was absolutely amazed at the spread. “What are we celebrating?” she asked.
“Let's eat first. Then we shall talk.” Rosa answered.
Elodie looked questioning at aunt Sandra, but she just got a small wink in return.
We ate and had some small talk during dinner and after we finished. Rosa and Sandra made their announcement and told us that they were going to get married and that they all were going to live together.
So my instinct was right last time. I should learn to trust these instincts more if I ever wanted to be at Claire's level.
“Who asked?” Eline then asked in a really cold tone.
“I did,” Rosa answered, clearly oblivious to Eline's tone. Elodie looked very worried at Eline
“I can't believe you did that. Even after I told you that Elodie and I were together. What do we have to do now? Just break up for the two of you?”
“What do you mean?” Elodie suddenly said in a panicking voice.
“If we become sisters, we can't get married. I know it is not for now, but I cannot be in a relationship with my sister, let alone a relationship where I could never get married.” Eline answered.
I watched this drama unfold before me. I wanted to help, but I had no idea what to do.
“So I have to sacrifice my happiness for yours?” Rosa then bit back. “Do you realize how much I already sacrificed for you?”
“Oh just leave me alone!” Eline ran to her room crying.
Elodie went after her, but came back a few moments later, crying. “She won't let me in. She just locked me out and is ignoring me. What am I going to do? I don't want to lose her.”
Sandra hugged Elodie and tried to comfort her, but Elodie was clearly mad at her too and pushed Sandra away. I could see how much that gesture hurt aunt Sandra, but at the same time, I could see the resolve take shape in aunt Sandra's eyes. “We will get married, no matter how you act.”
The situation was escalating. I did not know what to do, but there was one person that could solve anything yuri related. So I called her.
When she picked up her phone, I said “Claire, we have an emergency Y-file on our hands. I need you here now!”