The Comfort of the Closet
Take Me to the Moon 5.36
It was a school holiday. Fearghus had just played in the pool, and now was happily cleaning up the kitchen. He was excited because his friends were coming over to play all day.
“Look at me!” Alyse said.
Fearghus looked, but he was not impressed. After all, he was the one who had introduced her to all his other friends, and she was not supposed to be the show-off.
Max, who usually sat very coolly on top the monkey bars, jumped off and began climbing to see if he could do it too.
That was the last straw for Fearghus, who stormed into the kitchen.
“Why all the long faces?’ Ewan asked.
Fiona had gotten a very bad progress report, so she was doing make-up work.
Felicity was down, dreading going back to school.
And Fearghus was feeling left out by his best friend.
“Don’t forget, your mother and I will be gone tonight to that New Year’s Party for Susan’s company,” he told Felicity and Fearghus.
Fearghus was too aggravated with Alyse to go back outside just yet. Max seemed more interested in Alyse than he ever had in Fearghus, and Alyse didn’t even noticed Fearghus felt upset. There was only one thing to do.
Hide out in the closet.
Zoe was taking a home course in charisma. She was almost done with her Friend of the World Aspiration, and just lacked a couple charisma points.
Fiona brought her pancakes and sat down next to her Aunt Zoe.
She had been feeling really discouraged since being rejected by Kyla. Kyla had made it clear that she didn’t want anything to do with her. “Lesbo,” Kyla had said, under her breath as she turned away from Fiona that evening.
Fiona had thought she was safe for a tiny bit of flirting… she had thought they were friends and even if she didn’t like her that way, she thought she would understand.
“Umm, Aunt Zoe,” Fiona started. “How’d you find Uncle Ewan? I mean, how’d you know you loved him?”
Zoe told Fiona how Ewan had been so shy, but so sweet, and so intense, too. Then she looked at Fiona.
“But I don’t think that’s really what you’re wondering about, Fiona,” she said. “I think you’ve been feeling lonely.”
“It’s not easy being different, whether it’s wanting to pursue a non-conventional career, or being a strong introvert in a world of extroverts. There are things, privileges, experiences that people take for granted, that you just may not have.”
Fiona suddenly got up.
“Who says I’m gay,” she said angrily. “Anyway, I think it was just a phase. I’m over it.”
In the other room, Fearghus peered out to see if it was safe to emerge.
Later that evening, Susan and Zoe were chatting at the New Year’s Party.
“Why don’t you go find Ewan,” Susan suggested. “You’ve been distracted all evening.”
She found him on a back balcony overlooking the grounds.
“Ewan, talk to me.”
He turned and fell into her arms.
“I’m so scared.” he confided.
“We are growing old; soon we’ll be really old. And Fearghus is still so young, and sometimes he’s too sensitive, and Felicity… “
Zoe waited for him to go on.
“Felicity has this dream of being a writer, I don’t know. I just want her to be successful, and that kind of career is hard.”
A million rebuttals went through Zoe’s head.
Ewan was always so gloomy, always seeing the dark possibilities.
It was rich. Here was Ewan, a painter, bemoaning his child choosing a creative line of work. And getting older was just part of life.
But Zoe had learned over many years married to Ewan, that rebuttals weren’t going to help change his outlook.
“We’ve got each other,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye, and a swish of her flirty dress.
Ewan kissed her. With all his heart, he hung on to this moment.
“Happy New Year, my love,” he whispered in her ear.
- The kids don’t have to go back to school, because they all have more vacation days than days left in their current lifestage, so it was a school holiday! Fiona’s working on her programming, Felicity’s working on her book, and Fearghus is still working on his social butterfly aspiration.
- Alyse is getting really good on the monkey bars, and she even got Max to play for a bit there (he usually puts his effort into looking cool, it seems.) Fearghus has rolled “jealous,” as his teen trait, so I thought I’d go ahead and give a bit of a sense of that part of his psyche, since the heir poll will be coming up soon.
- Fiona took her pancakes all the way to the other side of the house to eat with her Aunt Zoe, so I figured something was on her mind. She’s been having a tough time finding acceptance, or love, so far.
- Everyone was invited to a party at the big estate in Windenburg, so I had some fun taking pictures of Ewan and Zoe there. Trying to think of why they’d be attending a party there, I thought of Susan Echoweaver, who works for a corporation that might throw a New Year’s party there and invite them.