The music for this chapter: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3zqmf2S4Uol6yAS8gypot9?si=92cbb230dc7f480c
( I will put a copy pastable version in the comments)
While traveling home my mind kept racing. I felt guilty for feeling this way. Lise was back, but I could feel it wasn’t the same. I could feel it and I knew Lise could feel it too. I felt guilty that I was changing. I used to be so focused on Lise and Lise alone, but now so many people I cared for had entered my life. I felt like I was betraying my feelings toward her. I knew she would admonish me for thinking like that, but I could not help it.
The image of Nastya holding me and comforting me popped into my head and I felt my cheeks turn red. “She was just being a good friend. You did nothing wrong.” I told myself even though I felt cracks appear on the floor beneath those words, I chose to ignore them.
Sara getting a girlfriend was a whole other cup of tea. I hoped she would not start avoiding me now. I had heard that happened a lot with girls that got a boyfriend. That they suddenly became preoccupied and forgot about their friends.
When I entered the door at Aunt Christina’s, I could see the look of worry on her face. It was probably still visible that I had been crying. I avoided most of her questions and I could see that Inge was frowning at my responses. She clearly did not believe a word I was saying. To stop the fuss, I told them I was tired and went to my room.
I decided to play some music to straighten my thoughts. Nothing works better than music to straighten the storm that was raging in my mind.
I decided to play Malipiero’s sonata per Violoncello e piano. A piece like a storm with beautiful fluttery passages to mix it up. I felt like the eraticness of the piece came close to how I felt at this moment.
While I played, I could feel the soothing presence of Lise and Rosalinde, and I could feel Lise was in a similar state of mind. She found out she had a twin sister that she would never get to know. It must be another regret for her. I knew how strongly she thought of bonds like that. I remember people thinking we were joined at the hip. But now there was Axelle… who might have had that position if they had been raised together. It is crazy to think about all those what-ifs.
To think that Axelle was now dating Sara. I immediately thought of the kiss we witnessed.
Suddenly my cello shrieked, and I had to focus to bring the song back to what I was playing. “They really got together and did those things? You weren’t just imagining that?” Rosalinde said shocked.
“It was just a kiss, what are you so shocked about?” Lise answered. “You saw our memories. How can you still be so shocked by something like that?”
“I just thought the two of you were perverted. The way you two always put images in my mind…”
“We don’t!” Lise and I shouted at the same time.
I sighed and started to play again bringing my mind back to everything that happened today. What did it even mean to me that Axelle was Lise’s twin? It was not like anything would change about Axelle. The fact that she was dating Sara was a lot more important to me. She was my best friend’s girlfriend now. I just hoped my friendship with Sara would remain.
As if on cue, I got interrupted again, but this time by my phone.
I looked at who was calling me. That could not be many people after all, and most of them were just in the other room.
Speak of the devil.
I picked up and immediately I heard Sara panic.
“Fleure what do I do now? You are the only one I know that has ever been in a similar situation. You have got to help me.”
That brought a smile to my face. She was still the same old Sara. Hearing her like that made my worries disappear. Her panic put me so at ease that I almost forgot that I am not supposed to know what she was talking about.
“What are you on about?” I asked as innocently as I could.
“Axelle and I... We k-k-kissed. We are dating now.”
“Wait. What? Start at the start.” I thank the academy. But I have to admit, if Sara had not been so excited, she might have seen through my acting. I am really bad at bluffing like that. But this time I think I got away with it.
Sara told me the story that I had witnessed from her point of view, and I could hear she was really happy about everything that had happened. I felt a wave of bitterness come over me again. I knew how this happiness felt, but I also knew how it feels to lose that. The excitement with which she was telling the story and the hesitant sound of her voice made me imagine her blushing with steam coming out of her ears. I did my best to put my own feelings on the matter to the side. I should be supportive of her. Sara is my friend, and I should be happy for her. This had nothing to do with me and Lise. I used one of the techniques that Inge taught me to prevent myself from becoming emotional and lashing out. I tried to focus on calming myself while she rattled her story. In the end, she started describing her kisses in such extreme detail that even I started to feel embarrassed.
“And the two of you don’t call that perverted? Hmph!” Rosalinde commented. I facepalmed. Sara and her oversharing habits had stricken again. I knew Rosalinde would not let us hear the end of this one…
Then Sara asked: “So, what do I do now?” I felt like she had already done it. I mean confessing and getting together was already dealt with…
“What do you mean, what do you do now? Now you date her.”
“But I’ve never dated before. What do you even do when you date?”
How would I know… I never got the chance to do anything like that with Lise, but here I was being put on the spot. I did not really like the fact that Sara was surpassing me, so I did my best to sound wise on the matter. She was a bit like my little sister after all, and big sisters should be wise on these matters. At least wiser than the little sister.
“Just hang out together and try to do stuff you both like doing.” I know that sounded generic… I hoped that made sense to her.
“But we were doing that already. Even we do that. Does that mean nothing really changes from being friends? I am pretty sure being a couple must mean you do something more than that…”
“Well, yeah… You do couple stuff, you know.”
“Like kissing.” She agreed.
“Sure, kissing and stuff beyond that…” What did I just say? I got caught in the flow of this conversation.
Suddenly the other side of the line grew silent. I thought I said something wrong. But did I really? Or was she really that naïve and did she really not think through what dating meant? I quickly added some of the generic stuff they always said during sexual education in school.
“Listen, there is no need to hurry these things. You should talk about this stuff with Axelle and take them at your own pace.” I tried measuring the damage I did.
“Oh, I am sorry… I was looking on the computer at what it meant for 2 girls to go beyond kissing and I was a bit shocked… So that is what Axelle is expecting from me…”
“Like I said you should take these things at your own pace and talk them through with her. Only do things you both feel comfortable doing.”
“She’s older than me, so I better put some work into studying up, I do not want her to be disappointed in me. Like this one… How do you even get into that kind of position?”
She was just talking to herself now. It was like she forgot she had me on the phone. At least her panic was over, but I had mixed feelings about this. What was I even doing giving this advice? Did I just put Sara up to sleeping with Axelle? I felt a bit like a pimp. I wanted to put a stop to this.
“No, let her talk. I want to know what she is talking about. Don’t tell me you aren’t curious about what she was looking up.” Lise said excitedly.
“Stop putting imagery in my mind! HMPH!” Rosalinde interjected again. We were still waiting for imagery though…
“Was that all?” After listening to Sara rambling for a little while I decided to let her know I was still here. I could hear Sara’s surprise that I was still on the line when she answered.
“Yes, yes, I knew you were the right person to call. I knew I could count on your vast experience. Thank you so much. I am sure I will be able to surprise Axelle now.”
I feel like she had a wrong image of my relationship with Lise since that ended before it really started.
“Well, I am not sure if I will be able to help you; but you can always call me for advice. That is what friends are for.”
“Yes, I am glad I have a friend like you right now. I cannot imagine having to broach this subject with my mom or Ms. Vanderstuck.”
That idea alone… I could not imagine having to start talking about sex with Aunt Christina or Inge. We both started giggling. We talked some more for a little while about everything and nothing, before ending our call. I often heard of people losing a friend after they got together with someone, but I did not feel like that would be the case with Sara. If anything, I think I might be getting more of these panic calls. It was good to know that she would still be the same old Sara.