“I’m serious, that girl is my sister! What happened?!” Sera screamed, bending down to touch her sister gently, not wanting to move her.
“I – I don’t know! She was just sitting there, a little drunk, I guess, but – ”
Sera cut off the bartender in an instant. “Drunk?! Why the hell would you let her drink?”
“Because… she’s twenty-four…which is the legal drinking age…” he replied, confused.
“No she isn’t!” Sera gasped. “Who told you that?”
His eyes grew to the size of saucers. “She did! Her ID said she was born in 2529, I swear! Oh god, we won’t get shut down, right?! I swear on my mom’s life I didn’t know!”
“What? Um, you’ll probably be fine! I’ve gotta call 911, okay?” Sera took a deep breath, staring at her sister’s collapsed body.
If she’s dead… oh my god, if she’s dead? No, she can’t be, right? Shit.
She leaned closer to her sister, letting out a huge sigh of relief as she heard her take a shaky breath.
She’s okay. No – alive. Not okay. Now, 911, right…
“I’m at Marigold’s Lights and my sister just collapsed, I need someone to get over here, please,” Sera said quickly once the operator picked up.
“Yes, the nightclub. I – I think she drank too much. She’s only seventeen…” Sera blinked, brushing her sister’s dyed hair out of her face.
“We’ll get someone there. It’ll be a few minutes, okay?”
“Okay. Um, hurry, please,” Sera sighed.
“Are you sure I won’t get like, fired?!” The bartender whimpered, freaking out. “I just got this job, I can’t lose it! I knew I should’ve just went down to the restaurant, kids don’t try to pull this shit there!”
“No, it’s Va – it’s her fault,” Sera groaned, “it’s her fault. You were just doing your job. She tried to trick you.”
“And it fucking worked, didn’t it?!” He gasped. “Oh my god, I knew she looked too young, but she had the identification… agh, teenagers!”
“You won’t get fired, okay! I’ll vouch for you, now shut up and look for the damn ambulance!” Sera yelled.
He blinked. “Okay, okay!”
“I can’t believe you, Valentina,” Sera muttered to herself, alone in the hospital waiting room. “I actually cannot believe you this time, and I cannot believe I’m actually covering for you!”
Well, I’m also covering for myself. I was the one who asked her to take me, after all! If she dies, it’ll totally be my fault, won’t it? If I hadn’t made her come, nothing would’ve happened.
“Hello? Miss?” Sera heard someone speak, but didn’t register it was addressed to her. The nurse then switched to Greek, figuring that perhaps the redhead in front of her understood that better. “Geia sou, nearē mou.”
This time, Sera did look up. “Uh, yes, sorry… are you talking to me?”
The nurse nodded. “Yes.”
“Oh my god, my sister! Is she going to be okay?”
“Yes, she’ll be fine. But… she was using a fake ID, so there might be stuff to deal with over that – ”
Sera stood up, already starting to walk. “Can I see her?”
“She’s asleep, but yes,” the nurse replied. “Oh, and by the way, your parents are coming, they’ll be here soon.”
Sera stopped short. “Our parents? Who called them?”
The nurse motioned to the waiting room. “Someone noticed you, so they told us who you were and we called them.”
“Someone noticed me?” Sera stared, looking back into the waiting room.
“Yeah, I’m kicking myself for not realizing it earlier. Your mom is a pretty big figure these days, at least in this province, you know.”
“I know… but… never mind. When did they say they were coming?”
“A couple minutes ago, why?”
Sera shook her head. “No reason. Can I see my sister now?”
The nurse nodded, leading her down the bright fluorescent-lit hallway, and opening the door to Room 83, as Sera saw written on the door.
“I’ll leave you to it, then,” the nurse told her, closing the door behind the fifteen-year-old.
I’m dead, Sera instantly thought. I’m so dead. Vali’s gonna be too. We both are, once our moms get here. Oh my god. This is the worst night of my life, and it’s completely my fault. I made it happen. The nurse said it was a few minutes ago that they called, so I still have… thirteen minutes until they actually get here. What do I say? Will they believe me? They’ll think I’m trying to cover for Vali by saying it was my idea, but it actually was! Shit!
Seraphina didn’t curse much in her life, if at all, but the number of profanities she’d said in her head today topped everything she’d ever said or thought before combined, she had no doubt about it. She paced around the room for a few minutes before going up to where Vali was laying, took a deep breath, leaned over, and whispered:
“I’m sorry, Vali. I didn’t know what I was doing and now we’re both gonna pay. I’m so sorry. Lypámai. Lypámai.”
The young girl kept repeating ‘I’m sorry’ in both Greek and English over and over again, wishing it would fix everything. Of course, it didn’t, and when Danica opened the door quietly, the two moms saw their younger daughter crying over their oldest daughter, whispering words they couldn’t hear.
“Seraphina?” Adelaide whispered softly, pushing the door open a bit farther.
Sera instantly bolted up, staring at her moms, still crying.
“I – I’m sorry, I didn’t mean… I don’t know – ”
“It’s okay,” Dani whispered, holding her youngest daughter close. She and her wife still didn’t know all the details, but they did know Valentina would be alright.
“No, it isn’t,” Sera cried, “and it’s my fault, too.”
Adelaide cocked her head. “I highly doubt that.”
“Well, I made her go! I – I asked her to take me!” Sera explained, her voice getting louder as she went on. “I know you won’t believe me cause I don’t do this stuff, but this time I swear I did! I swear!”
“Alright, calm down,” Dani said quietly, taking her daughter over to the sofa they had in the room.
“Tell us what happened,” Adelaide asked, rubbing Sera’s arm gently. “The whole story.”
Sera took a deep breath, looking at her moms. “Ok. Okay. Well… I went to Vali’s room earlier this night, asking her to take me to a nightclub, so she did, and then we kinda parted ways, until I heard a scream and found her… on the floor. Se parakalō, pístepsé me…” (Please believe me…)
“I believe you, but why did you even want to go to a nightclub? It’s not like you, Sera,” Adelaide sighed.
The door opened then, and Dani went to go talk to the nurse while Adelaide stayed with their daughters. She really did believe her youngest daughter, but she had no idea why. It didn’t make sense – Vali was always the one getting into trouble, and sadly, what Vali did didn’t exactly surprise Adelaide in the least. It was Sera that she didn’t understand.
“I – ” Sera started, pausing. “No, it sounds stupid.”
“Nothing’s stupid, Sera,” Adelaide assured her.
Sera shook her head. “This is. Trust me.”
“Try me,” Adelaide replied.
Seraphina squeezed her eyes shut, going over what to say. What do you say? The more she thought about what her plan was, the stupider she thought it sounded. “I went to try and find out who I liked,” she finally whispered.
“What?” Adelaide asked.
Sera nodded. “I know it’s dumb, okay?”
“No… what exactly do you mean?” Adelaide was beginning to have an idea of what her daughter was trying to say, but she wanted her to explain it, to make sure that she didn’t have the wrong idea.
“I’m kinda questioning my sexuality…” Sera said slowly.
Adelaide nodded. “I did too, once. I was in ninth grade when I first realized it, I think.”
Sera gave her mom a small smile. She’d known that her lesbian mom would accept her, and almost everyone did about these things anyway, but Sera still felt weird about it. “Did – did you think you were lesbian at first?”
“No, actually. I had a boyfriend in eighth grade – secretly, of course – so when I began to notice my attraction to girls, I thought that I was bisexual. After another year, and a lot of thought, I realized that I didn’t look at boys the same way I looked at girls. I knew for sure, though, when I was seventeen and I got my first girlfriend. Her name was Georgia, and I had my first kiss with her. It was then that I 100% knew that I could never feel that way about a boy, but I had self-identified as lesbian since sixteen,” Adelaide smiled, remembering what feels like a lifetime ago when she was a teenager.
Sera ran her hand across the sofa, looking at her mom. “It feels weird to think of you with anyone but Mama.”
Adelaide chuckled, nodding. “It is for me, too, in a way.”
Sera looked around the room, her gaze resting on her sister. This whole night was still hard to believe. When she turned back to her mom, though, she was even more surprised about how easily she started talking.
“Well, I guess I’ve thought about it since seventh grade,” Sera admitted. “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know. I still don’t, I don’t think.”
“What do you think you are?” Adelaide asked.
Sera closed her eyes. The words were right there, pulsing in her brain, but she knew that if she said them, it would make it more real. Somehow, though, she did say it. Well, she whispered it. “Aromantic asexual.”
“That’s fully valid, you know?” Adelaide asked, just to make sure. People were very accepting these days, and it really wasn’t a big deal at all to not be straight, but Adelaide didn’t know what her daughter had heard or who she’d heard it from, and there would always be people in the world that didn’t accept it.
“I know,” Sera whispered, “…but I want to feel love.”
Adelaide could feel tears beginning to form in her eyes. It hurt her to see her daughter struggling with accepting herself, and it also threw her back to the time in her own life where she lay in bed wondering if she felt attraction to boys like she did girls. “You do feel love, Sera. You love me and your mama and your siblings and friends. Just because you might not feel romantic love, it doesn’t mean that your life will be any less fulfilling or happy.”
Sera started crying and moved to squeeze her mom tightly. Adelaide stroked her daughter’s hair, letting her own tears fall. “You can still have a life partner, too, and have children. When I was pregnant with your sister, I went to an IVF support group, and one of the moms was aro-ace.”
“She was?” Sera looked up at her mom.
“Yeah,” Adelaide nodded. “She lives with a nice guy that is her life partner and they raised kids together. You can love somebody very much without being romantically or sexually attracted to them.”
Sera nodded slowly, tears still running down the sides of her face. “I’m scared, though.”
“Because I won’t be able to connect with everyone else,” Sera cried, “All everyone wants to talk about is relationships, whether same-sex or opposite-sex. And I won’t be able to relate!”
“It won’t always be like that. Besides, there will be other kids that don’t want to talk about relationships 24/7, I promise,” Adelaide told her.
Sera closed her eyes. “I know. I – I had a friend like that. A really good friend. She was great, but I never could get myself to tell her that I never seemed to like anyone, and we fell out.”
“Ambrosine?” Adelaide remembered Sera’s ex-best friend well. Really well, in fact. She could never forget how happy Sera was when she became friends with Ambrosine.
“Yeah,” Sera nodded. “Ambie.”
“Maybe you should talk to her,” Adelaide suggested.
“I think I should,” Sera whispered, beginning to smile.
Both Sera’s and Adelaide’s attention soon shifted to the bed, where Vali was beginning to wake up.
“Oh my god, where am I?” Vali muttered, looking around, her eyes locking on Sera as best as she could see.
“The hospital,” Adelaide replied quietly.
“What? Why?” Vali stopped, suddenly remembering everything that had happened a couple hours before. “Holy shit.”
“You, um, kinda passed out,” Sera informed her sister. “Why were you drinking?”
“Shut up,” Vali groaned. “I was bored waiting for you. Why the fuck did you call anyone?!”
“I didn’t know if you were like, dying!”
“I don’t caare, now I’m as good as dead. I sure as hell feel like it,” Vali sighed, glancing at her mom. “Don’t start now, please.”
“Oh, I won’t, but you’re gonna get it once you aren’t half-drunk, got it? Seriously, though, a fake ID? You have got to be – ”
“Shut up for now,” Vali muttered, turning back over.
“Fine,” Adelaide replied. She’d be quiet for now, but she was ready to yell at high volume at her oldest daughter the second she could. Vali, though, was ready to scream at Sera for giving them up. She’d have rather had Sera drag her back than get caught.
The two sisters had certainly learned things that night, that’s for sure.
A/N: Somehow, the comments on my last chapter got disabled… I don’t know how to fix it right now, but you can say what you thought of both this chapter and last chapter here, if you’d like.