We were in an awkward silence now; I dared not move or shift of position as we sat in her car, holding each other’s gazes. I was deep in thought, a debate going on in my mind. Should I invite her in and introduce her to my family? No, it was too early but I couldn’t leave Sasha out of my family circle and acquaintances forever.
“What’s wrong Cerice?” she asked, “isn’t your family expecting you?”
I hesitated before answering, “They are but… I’d like you to come with me but at the same time I don’t want them to know and…” I was all over the place; my words didn’t even make sense in my head, much less in Sasha’s head.
She had understood my feelings perfectly. “Cerice, take all the time you need to come out of your shell,” she said softly, “I will be always be by your side when you decide to do so, there is neither fear nor pressure.”
I gave her a quick smile, “Thanks a bunch Sasha, without you I’d be lost.” I leaned in to kiss her, savoring her lips before parting. “See you soon!” I climbed out of the car, toward the fancy restaurant. I entered through the double doors and was received by an amiable waiter behind a checking table.
“Your name, young lady?”
“Clairoux,” I said, looking around me at the opulence of the room.
“Second floor please,” he said, pointing toward a grand staircase, winding its way up to the second story. I smiled at him and thanked him before walking as erected and regal as possible. When I reached the second floor I immediately saw them at the center of the room, sitting next to a window. Nervousness took possession of my body at the thought that they might’ve seen me kissing with Sasha, but that thought quickly subsided when I saw their lively spirits at the sight of me.
I made my way to them and greeted each of them with a hug and quick kiss in the cheek.
“What happened with Oscar?” my mother asked, sounding eager for some teen drama and at the same time concerned.
“He got into a brawl with a classmate,” I answered, sipping from my iced tea. The food was already ordered for us, it smelled delightfully and looked expensive. “He is okay though, we took him back to the dorm.”
“You have another unnamed friend?” my father inquired.
Actually she is my girlfriend, I thought and felt the urge to say that but instead I said, “yeah, a friend of mine. She draws and paints really well.”
Both my parents sighed and looked at me with hurt eyes. “Cerice, dear,” my father said, “I hope you’re not majoring in something art related because you know how we feel about their bohemian and wayward lifestyle. It is never balanced or economically stabled.”
“I thought you had to be happy with what you did,” I said curtly, twirling my fork in the spaghetti. “But don’t worry, I am majoring in Physics.” My parents’ expression softened and went back to their happy mood.
If they thought that about any artist then what would they think of Sasha, I wondered. After half an hour I excused myself to the restroom. It was tiresome to hear them talk about business and social life back in France. On my way to the restroom I accidentally bumped into a tall and pretty woman.
She looked down on my and smiled pleasantly, “I am sorry for that,” she said and stood there blocking my way into the restroom.
“No, it’s not your fault, I should’ve been more careful,” I mumbled, forcing a smile.
“You’re so sweet,” she said, “I can see why Sasha chose you for her girlfriend.”
I was startled by her bold statement; I looked at her again, examining her carefully. “What are you talking about?” Her honey-colored eyes stared blankly back at me and her soft brown hair cascaded down her back.
“She hasn’t told you about me?” she asked innocently, twirling a strand of her hair. “I am Amber, her ex-girlfriend. On my way here I recognized her car, although we didn’t end in good terms I still consider her a good friend,” there seem some fakeness in her voice. “I wanted to drop by to say hi but you two were quite busy. I know the feeling; she has the best lips I’ve ever kissed. I kind of missed that…”
My head felt light and I swayed a bit on my feet. Images of Sasha kissing another woman ran through my head and caused revulsion. I knew Sasha might’ve had many girlfriends before but to meet one was dreadful. “Oh,” was all I managed to say.
“Is that your family? Is she with you?” she asked.
I shook my head slightly, “no, she just dropped me off.”
She noticed my uneasiness. “Let me guess, you’re new right?” she asked with such confidence, “I can see it from afar, you are uncomfortable around me and I think slightly bemused.”
“Yeah, nice to meet you Amber,” I said and hastily stepped around her to shut myself into the bathroom. It pained somewhat, not knowing about Sasha’s past relationships and finding one unexpectedly. The fact that Amber was so free from prejudices make me envious of her, at least she was a proclaimed lesbian and proud of it. I wasn’t so sure if I could be one. I exited the restroom and walked back to the table.
“Cerice, are you all right?” my mother asked, “You look very pale.”
I nodded absentmindedly, “I’m fine mother,” I said softly. Sasha had sent me a text but I wasn’t worthy of reading it. I turned off my mobile and heard the monotonous talk with disinterest.