It’s been a couple of days since Cairo’s court case; we’ve been hanging out at school a lot more. Kyler has been making fun of me more about us flirting. It’s all in good fun but telling my parents about him still stresses me out. Sure, they are fine with me now but what about after?
“Hey mom, this is a boy I’d like to bang,” I told myself in the mirror. Yea, that is NOT how I’m introducing Cairo to my parents. “How am I going to do this?”
“Do what?” Jude was passing by and must have heard me. “What are you trying to figure out little brother?”
I took a big breath and turned to him. “How do I tell mom and dad about a boy I like?”
Jude’s smile made me relax almost instantly. “Luckily for you, my room is right beside mom and dads. They just so happened to have this exact conversation. Their reaction was ‘we should just treat it like if Jude was coming up to us about a girl he liked.’” He mimicked mom’s voice to the best of his ability, which made me laugh.
“You sound funny when you try and talk like mom.”
Jude just rolled his eyes. “Keep yourself on track, kid.” I continued my chuckle to myself. “They don’t care; it would be the same thing if I brought home a girl.”
“It still makes me nervous about it all.”
He nods. “I feel you, bringing home a girl, would have caused the same amount of craziness. My bringing home my first girlfriend was the worst.”
I blinked at my brother. “How is that helpful? You’re telling me a normal thing was the worst; a gay thing will be worse.”
Jude took a moment to think about his train of thought. “My point is, no matter who you bring home mom and dad are going to act stupid. So bring the guy home and get it over with.”
“You’re not helpful Jude.” I glared at him and walked up to my door. “And any future advice on this topic is not welcome here.” He laughed as I closed the door in his face. I grumbled over to my bed and threw myself onto it.
I stayed there for almost an hour thinking about how to approach this whole situation. I want to hang out with Cairo more, but mom will want to meet him… That is when my phone went off.
Cairo – Hey Abel
Me – Heyyo
Cairo – Have you figured out when we can hang out?
Me – Not yet, mom will want to meet you first…
Cairo – What’s wrong with that?
Me – My mom can be a lot to take in…
Cairo – Try me.
Me – You asked for it.
With all that I got up and made my way downstairs. Mom was busy cleaning up the living room that I’m sure she thoroughly cleaned this morning. “Mom, can I hang out with my friend Cairo?”
She looked up and smiled at me after she saw my face. I couldn’t look at her, and I’m sure my face was crimson. “Of course, when is he coming over?”
“I don’t know… any time better for you?”
“Let’s have him for dinner. He can even stay the night if he’d like.” I didn’t think I could get more anxious, but mom managed. “You two can sleep here in the living room.” Yea, she knows exactly who Cairo is to me.
“Okay, I’ll ask him, thank you.” I quickly made my way out of the living room and upstairs.
Jude was waiting for me at the foot of the stairs, holding back laughter as he saw my face. “Did you rip the band-aid off?”
“Shut up.” I quickly retorted before going up the stairs two steps at a time. I sent Cairo the news.
Me – You’re welcome to come over for dinner and a sleepover if you’d like. We’d be sleeping in the living room.
Cairo – Okay, give me a sec to ask.
Me – kk
Cairo – Judi says it’ll be fine if she talks with your mom.
Me – You’re calling her something that isn’t Mrs. Craven!? That’s awesome
Cairo – She’s starting to get mad when I call her ‘Mrs. Craven’ so I’m forcing myself to say her name. We good on her talking to your mom?
Me – Yea, mom like to talk to everyone’s parents. She will be more than happy.
Cairo – Okay see you in a little bit then
Oh god… what am I getting myself into?
“I’ve got everything ready, so I’m good to go!” I dropped my backpack of stuff by the front door. I skipped back towards Mr. and Mrs. Craven. “When are we going?” I asked with a huge smile on my face.
“You look very excited Cairo.” I nodded furiously towards Judi. “Just remember, you can be walked in on, being in the living room and all.”
I was a tad embarrassed by that comment. “I don’t plan on doing anything we can get in trouble for.” I couldn’t keep eye contact with them knowing what they had on their mind. “Can we head over soon.”
“In a moment.” Judith repositioned herself on the couch. “We wanted to ask you something.”
I stared at them, unsure what they would be asking me. “Okay… what is it?”
“How would you feel if we applied to adopt you?” Mr. Craven spoke crystal clear, but the words still didn’t seem real. “You're the first kid Judi, and I care for deeply.”
Judi took over for him. “We care for all our foster kids, but you’ve made your way into a special place in our hearts. So, if this is something you'd like we intend on pushing forward with it.” She got a little teary eyed. “We lost our son just over ten years ago now. After coming out to us, he told his friends. They and the school weren't as accepting as people are nowadays.
“We lost him and soon after started fostering kids. Your life, while very different has similarities to his. Which is why we'd love it if would give us your blessing to adopt you.”
“Of course, you guys are the best.” I smiled at them before we all came together for a group hug. Imagine me, being a Craven…
It wasn’t long after that we left to go to Abel's. The drive wasn’t that long, small town and all. When we arrived, Mr. Yeager was outside working on his truck. “Good afternoon Mr. Yeager, I’m Cairo.”
He looked up at me and then smiled, with black marks on his face. “It's nice to meet you Cairo; I assume you’re Abel's friend who’s sleeping over?”
“Yes, sir!” I spoke louder than intended. It sounds almost like he doesn’t know the whole thing between Abel and me. Or maybe he's just playing it cool.
“Well, my wife Faith is inside. I’m sure she's expecting you, no need to have too long of a conversation with this grease monkey.” Mr. Craven decided to stay outside because he was a car junky too.
Abel met us at the door, and he opened the door for us. He showed me around his place while parents conversed. Jude gave us this knowing smile as we passed by his room. It made both of us blush.
Once we got into Abel's room, we could have a more private conversation. “I’m surprised we got okays from both sets!” Abel said excitedly.
“Yeah, I would never have thought your parent would say yes,” I replied in agreement. “But they did, and here we are.”
We stood in silence for a moment. “Yea…” Abel blushed. “Would you like to play some PlayStation?"
“He cannot be in charge, Noah!” One of the student council executives commanded me. “You have to convince Ms. Payne to take him off prom.”
Yes, we have a teacher with the same last name as Greyson, no relation though. “You nominated him, and now you want to take it away. Shouldn’t have opened your mouth Lacey, he’s in charge of prom.”
She stomped off upset at my answer. “Oh well,” I said to myself as I shrugged it off and went on my way. Skylar was on my mind before Lacey showed up, I found him with Greyson nearby like usual. “Hey Greyson, could I steal Skylar for a moment?”
“Sure, just make sure to bring him back in one piece.” He chuckled.
I took Skylar over out of earshot of Greyson. “So, I have a weird proposition for you two…”
“And Greyson couldn’t hear this why?”
I let out a sigh. “Because it comes from Kayde.” Skylar gave me a very unimpressed face. “I know it’s not the best way to start this off, but it is what it is.”
“This explains why we’re out of Greyson’s earshot. What does Kayde want?” Skylar’s voice continued to show how unimpressed he was.
“He wants to apologize by paying for you two to go on a date.” I could tell Sky had some problems with it already.
The scowl on his face was enough. “Greyson isn’t going to just agree with this you know?” At least he sounds like he’s on board. “Actually, who knows he’s been rebellious lately. His mom would be totally against it, that may cause Greyson to be okay with it.”
“Yea, what’s up with Greyson lately. He seems irritated all the time.”
Sky groaned. “He’s going on about ‘needing to do things by himself’ and doesn’t quite understand that you can’t do everything by yourself.” This makes sense; I have overheard Skylar complaining about Greyson lately. “No matter how I word it I can’t get the message through to him.”
“He’ll figure it out in time. Think you can convince him for that date though?”
Sky shrugged. “I don’t know; I’ll let you know the results. Talk to you later Noah.”
“Good luck, Sky.” He gave a wave before returning to his boyfriend and continuing their day. Who knows maybe Kayde’s apology will be accepted.
How do I approach Greyson about Kayde paying for a date for us? If I don’t let him know and he finds out he’d be pissed. There’s got to be a way to talk to him about this that isn’t going to get me shot.
“Have you seen my phone?” Greyson was feeling around his bedside table. “I swear I put it down on my table.” It wasn’t it was on his dresser, over five feet away from him.
I grabbed it and touched his hand with it. “You had it on your dresser.”
He smiled at me. “Thank you.” Was that really that hard to say? I guess it’s only when he wants to do something on his own. “You almost ready Sky?”
Greyson’s voice took me back to reality. “Yea, one second.” We were heading over to my place for a bit; his dad was giving us a ride. I grabbed my coat and started following him out.
The ride felt shorter than usual, even though there was minimum talking. Usually, that sort of environment causes this to take longer. Greyson and I went inside, and I remembered what mom had said to me this morning.
“Don’t forget to tell Greyson we're getting new furniture today, so things won't be how he remembers them.” I completely forgot to tell him…
“Greyson!” I called to him as he was heading straight for some boxes. I didn’t catch him in time though. “Boxes…”
He had a really grumbly face. “Thanks.” His sarcasm wasn’t hidden.
Mom came from the kitchen. “Sorry Greyson, Mr. Scott hasn’t gotten home to get rid of the boxes yet.”
“What did you get?” he felt the boxes. “These are pretty big boxes."
Mom gave me a look; I looked away from her. A dead giveaway that I forgot to mention it to him. “We got some new furniture today. Things are mostly the same but differently shaped. Where you could once walk may not be accessible now.”
“I guess Sky must have forgotten to tell me about it.” I could hear the irritation in Greyson’s voice. “Oh well, hope the new stuff is just as comfy.”
Greyson then went through his usual routes throughout the house and found a few spots he’s going to have to look out for. Once he had finished that he joined me in breaking in the new couches. “Sorry I forgot to tell you about the new furniture.”
“It’s fine, just have to be a little more cautious for a bit.” Greyson was still a little grumbly about it.
I decided to try and change the mood. “Remember your first few times here? You made me hold your hand the entire time to make sure you didn’t bump into anything.” I giggled thinking about how far he's come.
He didn’t take what I said as a joke though. “It wasn’t for you to guide me, I liked you, and your hand was nice to hold.” He scowled at me. “I didn’t need help from someone.” The words felt like a knife almost. It felt like he just told me I’m useless to him and expected that to be okay.
I glared at him. “I get you want to be independent, but you don’t need to be like this.” I got up and went straight down to my room. I even made sure to move something to be in his way, just to be like that.
I heard Greyson bump into the side table I moved. It took him a moment longer to get into my room. “What was that all about?”
“You told me that I was useless to you.”
“No, I didn't? You're very important to me.”
I shook my head, knowing he couldn’t see me. “How important I am to you isn’t my point. You’ve been on this tirade of independence but fail to realize there are things you just can't do! Sometimes its fine to ask for help or accept it!” I was letting out all my frustrations out right now… this can't end well.
“All my life someone has held my hand made sure I was alright if I was doing something that usually requires sight. I’m sorry, but I’m tired of people taking care of me. I’m 15, let me start to figure things out. All I want is for people to let me become an adult who doesn’t have to depend on everyone else.” Greyson was just as upset as I was.
I stood up from my bed. “That doesn’t mean you can't accept help from others!!”
“If I keep accepting the help I’ll never become independent. That just how my life works, Skylar!” We were both frustrated with each other and were breathing heavy. I was close to tears honestly. I hated that we were fighting, but I didn’t know what else to do right now. “I’m going to go home,” Greyson said softly.
I reached for him, but he had already gotten out of my reach. “Grey…” and like that he was out of my sight too. I was immobilized, something wasn’t letting me go. I watched him leave and did nothing…
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