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When my husband went shopping at our local used bookstore I stayed home with our daughter. I told him I already had too much on my reading list, but the truth was that I wanted a private word.
I plopped down on the couch next to Cassie and stared at her while she surfed on her phone. She kept at it for almost three minutes, pretending like she didn’t notice me making manic eyes. Eventually she put her phone aside.
“Yes, Mom? You were saying?”
“Well, since you asked…” I flipped around and leaned back into her, throwing my feet up over the armrest. “I’ve been in such a mood for gossip, I just don’t know what I’ll do!” I turned to give her my pleading eyes. “Won’t you help a poor soul in need?”
“You want gossip?”
“Yes, but there’s a twist!” I sat up. “That poor soul, the one you refused?” I looked back over my shoulder “All along, she was your mother!”
“I can give you gossip.”
“We used to be so close!”
“I said there’s no problem-“
“Just a little! Please!”
“Mom!” she shouted, then composed herself. “Was there anything particular you were wondering?”
“Again, I hate to intrude, but since you offer…”
I stood up and paced the room, musing to myself. Cassie is high school senior, but bless her heart she has the patience of a saint. She lets her silly mom tease and play, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.
I stopped. “Do you know who Devin’s seeing?”
“‘Devin’ Devin? No, we don’t really talk about that stuff. And anyway, I’m afraid that’s off-limits.”
“Sibling rules. If he told me, it’s in the highest confidence.”
“I think mom rules trump sibling rules.”
“A mother’s love trumps all rules, but every mother wants her kids to look out for each other. Thus mom rule upholds sibling rules. It’s really a ‘can God make a rock that even God can’t move’ conundrum.”
Damn, that’s good. “That make no sense!” I said.
Cassie laughed and climbed up off the couch. She walked back towards the kitchen and I followed, trying to think of better tactics.
Cassie opened the fridge and started sifting. “I was watching this video online… yesterday?” she said. “It was dialect coaches critiquing actor performances in movies. Like, playing historical characters? They were pretty cool. Also, I found more movies I need to watch. But-“
“Do you think Devin’s cute.”
Cassie froze, then turned to face me, her eyebrows hitting her hairline. “Cute? Like, attractive?”
“Like, would you pendik escort date him? I he weren’t your brother.”
She made a face of restrained amusement. “I’ve heard him get lots of compliments before. All my friends think he’s fine, everyone from school was always into him…”
“Yeah, but what about you? Do you think he’s cute?”
She grinned. “Well, he looks kinda like me. So I think he’s ‘super-fine’!”
“If he weren’t your brother, would you date him?”
“If he weren’t your son, would you?”
“If you weren’t?”
“He’s too young.”
“Do you want me to date Devin?”
“Do you want to?”
“If he weren’t my brother?”
“Or if he were?”
Cassie paused. She looked lost for words. “Mom, do you think I have a crush on Devin?”
I paused too. “I think… maybe. Do you?”
“Wow!” She turned, to pace a circle before coming back to throw her hands up again and say “Wow! Mom, what the… What! Why? Why? Seriously, why?!”
“So is that a no?”
“It’s a big NO! How can you even ask that?”
I put up my hands in peace. “Sometimes it seems like you do. It’s no big deal.”
“It’s a pretty big deal.”
“It’s ok if you do.”
“I don’t and it isn’t.”
“But if you did-“
“But I don’t!”
I put my arms on her shoulders. “Cassie, if you tell me you’re not attracted to y-.. to Devin, I’m going to believe you. But I’m trying to tell you: If you ARE attracted to Devin, it’s not a big deal.”
Cassie took the moment. “You don’t think that would be a big deal?”
“No. And it’s very important to me that you understand that.”
Cassie put her own arms on me. “I understand. I just don’t, ok?”
“Ok.” I kissed her forehead and gave her a smile. “Now tell me about your linguists. Did they cover ‘The King’s Speech’?”
Things fell into more comfortable conversation after that. I think she was eager to put the conversation behind us and that was fine with me. So we chatted about this and that until Cassie told me she had to handle something online. I told her I was going to be reading but she could turn on the TV if she wanted, later.
I laid out on the couch and tried to pick at my current novel, but it was a while before I could absorb anything. I wasn’t really convinced that Cassie didn’t have a thing for her older brother, or that there wasn’t more going on, but for now I would have to accept her denials. I hoped it would be sufficient that she had heard me, that maybe one day she maltepe escort might be comfortable enough to open up.
After long I did began to read in earnest, and was thoroughly caught up when Cassie came back to flip through the channels. She put on some sitcom I didn’t know and we just kept like that, sharing the room without any speech.
“Why did you think I liked Devin?”
I looked over at Cassie. She was still watching the TV, very nonchalant. I kept from smiling. “Little things I noticed. Just thought I’d ask.”
She kept watching. “Like what?”
I sat up and started marking my page as I said, “Oh, you know. Million little things, the kind of flirty stuff you see between guys and girls. I thought you took a lot of interest in the things he did, waited for him more than before. If anyone disagreed with him, you always took his side. You know, the little things.”
She just kept watching. “Well, we’re just friends. It’s not a big deal, we just get along, like platonic friends.”
“At one point things seemed a little awkward and I thought something might have happened.”
A long pause. “Like what?”
“I thought maybe you two did something.”
“Like, messed around?”
“Yeah, or something. But I guess that was just a friend thing.”
“I don’t know when you mean, but yeah, I guess.”
For another moment she watched TV and I watched her till she asked, “If we had done something together, you would have been OK with that?”
I shrugged. “Well, I’m weird.”
“Did you ever… were you ever attracted to a family member?”
Finally, she turned to look at me. “Really? Who?”
I just lifted my eyebrows at her.
She turned pale and looked away.
If I had been fishing before, the girl had bit the lure and the hook was deep. Now the fish thrashed on the end of the line as I slowly but steadily worked back towards me. Which looked a lot like my daughter turning every shade of red. Her face was a turmoil of conflict as she wrestled with whatever her next words would be.
“When does dad get home?”
“Mom.” She flipped over and buried her face in a pillow.
“Cassie, just say it.”
“Do we have to talk about this?”
“We already know it. Just say it.”
After another long pause, she really did. “I like Devin.”
“I know, baby.”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“I’m calling the police.”
“I’m kartal escort kidding,” I said, and Cassie started laughing hysterically. Like, literally with hysteria. I stated to worry a little bit before she started breathing deep and subsided to giggles.
“Are you OK?”
“Yeah,” she said. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I guess I’m just…”
“Finally admitting it?”
She smiled and she looked so relieved I wanted to cry.
“Baby, I meant what I said. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. You know you can’t date your brother, but there’s nothing wrong with being attracted to anyone. Sure, it’s strange but…” I trailed off as I noticed a bit of worry creeping into her face. “But if you guys did something together, that’s also not a big deal. Unless you got pregnant.”
“We didn’t have sex!”
She blushed the cutest red I’d seen since she was 12. “But…”
I let myself grin. “But you did some stuff.”
She couldn’t even answer.
“Did you kiss him?”
That was my lead-in question. If she didn’t go as far as kissing…
“I… helped him out.”
Wow. “Hand stuff?”
“OK, so we went to this party, right? This was a while back. And he basically invited me along to be nice, but there was this girl there and I knew he really liked her. And I wanted to be his wing-man, but at the end of the night I didn’t have a ride home so he had to take me and he kinda lost his ‘in’ with this girl. And I felt really bad that I let him down, so when we got home I offered to make it up to him? And he said we shouldn’t but I told him…” She stopped. “Anyway, I… helped him out.”
“What’d you do?”
“I… gave him… I gave him a blowjob.”
“Holy shit!” She winced “How was it?”
She smirked. “It was alright.”
Her shoulders dropped. “It was really hot! I fucking loved it.”
“Hey! Language!” She laughed. “But seriously, did you swallow?”
“It’s a… yeah, I did.” She nodded “I was really sexy about it too. You know, I’ve had sex before, and I’ve done that kind of stuff before. But that time, it was really something.”
“But you and Devin never…”
“No. No that was the only time.”
“We decided we couldn’t let it get that far. That it was a one-time thing, and we were going to try to forget it.”
“If he were up for another… say, ‘encounter’, would you be?”
“I don’t know.” She thought. “Yeah. Fuck, yeah.”
“Well, if you have sex? Condoms.”
I got up and pulled my daughter into a big, thorough hug. “I love you so much, baby. No matter what, ok?”
“Even if I’m a big, old perv?”
“Especially. I admire it.”
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