Feathers From the Sky(9)

By: Posy Roberts

“Come on, Philip. Let’s get your bag to my room.”

I grabbed his suitcase from the front entrance and dragged him back toward my room while my mom started making tea. My siblings were still arguing over which tea would be made first. As soon as the bedroom door was shut and Philip’s bag was set at the foot of my bed, I spun around to apologize to him, but he kissed me first.

“You’re an idiot, you know?” he said into my lips as he kissed me. “I thought you were going to let them know I was coming.”

“I was going to, but at lunch when I was finally going to say something, my dad spilled the beans that they’re selling the house, and I got a little sentimental over that.”

Philip hugged me, tight and long. “Oh, man. Selling an introvert’s house isn’t a good idea. This is your haven.”

I squeezed him back even harder. He did amazing things like that, sifting my mixed-up feelings so there were manageable pieces. “God, I love you.”

“I know. So tell me, how the hell are we going to sleep together in this bed and not give everything away to Corey and Jackson in the middle of the night?”

“What do you mean by that?” I asked, genuinely wondering.

“I don’t think I can be good sleeping that close to you for so many nights in a row. I’m going to end up grinding against you, you realize. Please tell me there’s a place we can go to be alone so I can give you a proper kiss.”

He leaned forward and kissed me again, this time slipping his tongue between my lips. I wanted to lose myself in his kisses, but I also knew Corey or Jackson could walk into the room at any second, and neither one of them would bother to knock because it was their room as much as it was mine.

“We could go on a walk. We could go chop wood. There’s a spot behind the silver maple’s trunk that’s blind to most of the house. I used to sneak a smoke back there when I was a kid.”

“You smoked?”

I pulled a face. “Yeah. That was before the asthma diagnosis.”

“Good thing it was only a puff or two by the woodpile, huh?”

“Good thing.”

“So when’s the news finally going to break?” His face looked almost worried. He was concerned about me.

He knew how scared I was of this. I was afraid of all the usual things: being disowned, hated, no longer loved, treated differently than before. I was also afraid of them saying I was just being the rebellious middle child. I could certainly be rebellious. Heck, I had blue hair, pierced nipples, and I’d been considering getting my frenulum pierced, but I was too chicken to allow anyone to get that close to my dick with a needle. But I’d done those things because I liked them, just like I’d avoided tattoos because I liked being one of the few people my age who had uninked skin.

After telling my parents I was bisexual, I’d overheard them talking late into the night after the rest of us kids had gone to bed. I had even seen Dad open two beers, so I knew they’d been drinking because of me. It probably wasn’t the only time I’d driven them to drink.

“Do you think he’s just trying to be different than the other kids? Do something so he can stand out and be noticed?” my mom had asked.

“I don’t think he’s that invisible here,” Dad had said. “We’ve done a lot to make sure he has a voice, to let him know he’s heard, even if he’d rather go read in his room or go around the neighborhood taking pictures of tree bark, leaves, and birds. We frame his photos and hang them in the living room and family room so everyone can see, even if I only buy cheap frames at the dollar store. We don’t do that with the other kids.”

“The other kids aren’t into photography.”

“They’re into other things. Jessica loves those oil paints.”

“And she claims she’s not done with any works of art yet, so she won’t let me hang them. Not yet.”

“But the bisexual thing….”

“I don’t know, Charles.”

“Is it a phase? Maybe he just thinks he needs to experiment. He’s just rebelling.”

My mom had said something in response to my dad, but she’d also moved her chair at the same time, making an awful sound, so I never heard her response.

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