Bonnie closed the door to her bedroom and leaned against it as she turned to face me. A picture of her four-year old daughter, Lang, and her lifemate, Caron, rattled on the wall. “What’s the issue?” she asked.
“We are three, intelligent women,” I said.
“I know that.”
“You’d think that three, intelligent women would have something more to talk about than the current state of my love life.”
“Calm down, Honor. We were talking about plenty of other things before Caron asked about your pull.”
My stupid pull. It was supposed to be leading me to the one person who would love me as much as Caron loved Bonnie. I understood why my friends felt the need to ask about it, but that didn’t stop me from being pissed off when they did. “I’ve told you and your mate several times that I don’t want to talk about it.”
Bonnie shook her head and gestured wildly around the room. Talking with her hands was a habit she’d had since childhood, and it had only grown more dramatic as we got older. “She was trying to be nice – to express an interest in you. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
“I don’t want her pity.”
“She wasn’t pitying you.”
It took every ounce of self-control I had to stop myself from sighing. “Of course she was. ‘So, Honor, have you felt any pull lately? Any at all?'”
“You’re being a real jerk, Honor. Caron made you dinner and was trying to be nice, and how do you thank her? By pulling me aside and talking about her behind her back?”
“I just don’t want to talk about my pull or my lark, okay?”
Her hands paused, palms facing me. “Fine. You choose the topic of conversation then.”
“And apologize to Caron when we go back.”
“Fine,” I said through gritted teeth. I had been rude. I knew it. And I felt bad about it. Honestly, I did. But Bonnie and Caron didn’t understand. How could they? I didn’t know anyone who really and truly could.
I followed Bonnie back to the dining room, where Caron was pouring a glass of wine. She set it at my place and poured another. Bonnie took it from her and drank. Her eyes darted to me and I cleared my throat.
“Caron, I’m sorry. It was rude of me, taking Bonnie away like that. I know you can’t exactly cook and watch after Lang at the same time.”
Caron smiled, and filling her own glass, said, “It’s fine. Come and sit before it gets cold.”
“Can Honor sit next to me?” Lang asked. She bounced up and down in her seat and patted the chair next to her. Picking up my glass from the opposite side of the table, I made my way to her and plopped down. “Do I get some juice, too, Caron?” Lang asked, pointing to my wine.
“That’s Big Girl juice, honey. You can have some when you’re twenty.” Caron kissed the top of Lang’s head. “Did you turn the screen off when your show was over?” Lang nodded once. Caron gave her a cup of water, then took the seat originally intended for me. Bonnie sat to her right, in front of Lang.
“How was work today, sweetie?” Caron asked Bonnie as she passed around fried pork chops.
“You’ll never believe what my boss said to me…”
I had already heard the story about Bonnie’s boss’s inappropriate comment regarding her time-off request. It wasn’t a great story. “Lang, do you want some mashed potatoes?”
I scooped a spoonful onto her plate and one on mine. “Gravy?” I asked. She bounced again in her seat, reaching for the boat. “Wait – if we do this,” I built up the potatoes into a mound resembling a volcano, “then we can pour the gravy in like lava.” She giggled and made me do the same on my own plate. Of course, after that she didn’t want to eat because the “lava would melt her mouth.” Oops.
We finished eating and Lang was sent to her playroom so the adults could clean up and consume a few more glasses of wine. Their dishwasher was broken, so I was assigned to drying duty.
“I know you don’t like to talk about your lark, Honor, and I’m sorry I brought it up earlier, but I don’t see you as often as Bonnie does. I just wanted to be supportive,” Caron said, handing me a dripping plate. I glared at the dark brown mark on my left wrist. It had grown uglier and uglier to me over the years. The longer it went unfilled, the more I hated it.
“There are no updates to give. I haven’t felt the pull in five years. I don’t think he wants to be found.”
“That’s something I was wondering about. You always refer to your lifemate as a ‘he,’ but have you considered maybe it’s a ‘she?'” Caron asked.
Bonnie gave me a knowing look as I took another wet plate out of Caron’s hands and began wiping. I cleared my throat. “When we were growing up, Bonnie and I would talk about finding our lifemates when we got older.”
“I always knew mine would be a woman,” Bonnie said.
“And I always knew mine would be a man,” I added.
“I think it has something to do with the pull.” Bonnie took the stack of dry plates beside me and shelved them in the cabinets above the sink.
Caron turned off the water. “Yeah, I knew you would be a woman when I found you, too, Bon. But if Honor’s pull has faded now, maybe her assumption was wrong.”
I shrugged. “Maybe, but I don’t really think so.”
“You never know,” Bonnie said. She pulled a fresh bottle of wine out of the pantry and handed it to her partner.
“Let’s talk about something else,” I said, passing my glass to Caron and thanking her for the liberal portion she poured. Caron’s generosity was one of the things I loved about her, but it had taken me a while to warm up to her. When Bonnie found her and they moved to Linhill, I felt abandoned. It wasn’t either’s fault, but Bonnie had always been my person. Until, suddenly, she was Caron’s.