I'm Not Lost

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Sailors sail on all night all day
I'm not lost I'm wandering your way
I know you're waiting
Carry me there

a Tales of Us story...

A Companion Piece to Wandering

The home of Lana Petrova, LMSW…..

Lana walked into the office with three bottles of water. Placing them on her desk in the corner she sat down in the well-worn but still serviceable armchair catty-corner to the long matching couch. The office was more of a family room with pads on easels and art supplies for helpful exercises and just plain away-from-family-chaos for the children she helped.

Nicki was sitting in the middle of the couch; leaving either side to Glenys. She had gotten a bit clingy lately; not a surprise as both girls had retreated a bit into insecurity owing to things at home. Nicki welcomed the attention of Svetlana, the Petrova’s Airedale but with a clap from Lana, the dog licked Nicki’s hand one last time before lying down on a tug at the end of the couch. Lana looked up to see Glenys walk in from the front hall after parking the car. It was only then that Lana noticed both girls were wearing blue jeans and nondescript sweatshirts.

“He’s backed off?” Lana asked as she handed Glenys a bottle of water. The teen sat down and sighed.

“More like… it just feels like everything he told me and Nicki was…” she sighed. Nicki shook her head, folded her arms in an angry self hug and said what Glenys struggled to say.

“Ever since he met Heather, it’s like he’s afraid she’ll run away if her son meets us… you know? US? They moved here five months ago and we haven’t even met them.” Nicki shook her head again.

“Ike and you?”

“Not us or the other us…. Wonder what she and her kid would say if Nicki showed up at Sunday family dinner at Cattle Baron!”

“I could wear the Cowgirl boots I got at Lammies…. Yeeeehaw!” Nicki laughed, but her expression was anything but happy. Lana took a sip from her own water and held the bottle up to urge the girls. Their last session had begun with ten or so minutes of crying that had given Glenys a horrible headache. Nicki nodded in agreement and Lana reached over and handed the last bottle of water.

“I…..know….hydrate,” Glenys said as she took a swig of water.

Nicki had yet to see the endocrinologist and it had taken Dr. Shari a bit of time and energy to get their father to at least allow Glenys to continue with blockers. Little steps. Glenys went to speak but just shook her head as her eyes began to mist up.

“And it’s still like Mommy doesn’t…He put all her pictures away, and….” Nicki sobbed.

“Like she doesn’t matter?” Of course that was it but the girls needed to know someone understood.

“And…..” Glenys’ face grew red; ashamed for no reason other than their father forgetting how proud he had been only months before.”

“It’s like we….Like we don’t exist, Lana,” Glenys gasped

“Do you think he might come by for out next session?”

“I…..” The frustration of months of hiding proved more that Glenys could handle, and she joined her alto sobs to her sister’s mezzo, so to speak as she collapsed into Nicki’s arms. Lana waited a few minutes until the girls’ crying had ebbed.

“I think perhaps it’s time that I invite your father to resume coming with you.” She paused; gauging the sisters’ expressions.

“And I think it’s high time your future step-mom met the real Evans children. Something you might talk more with your support group?” Glenys looked up and nodded weakly while Nicki smiled in relief.”

“Talk it over with your friends and give me a call, but for now?” Lana held up her bottle of water and pointed.

“Drink, please!”

Mosaic LGBTQ Support Group, CommunityWise Resource Centre, Calgary, that evening...

Stream you babble in a rush
Busy river flow and wind
Always ask the lake it knows
Always ask the lake you'll get all the answers

Glenys sat almost out of the circle of chairs. She shrugged through most of the evening and got up quickly without a word. As she headed for the door, Nicki waved to her to return. Glenys shrugged once again before heading to the parking lot. She unlocked the Civic and tilted back the seat; waiting for her sister to socialize. Despite her resolve to talk, she felt ashamed that she added nothing to the talk with her friends.

And despite her resolve not to cry, she turned her head to her left and leaned against the cool glass as she began to tear up. A few minutes later she felt the vibration of a rap on the opposite door glass. Looking around, she expected Nicki’s face but was surprised by the uncomfortable presence of someone else. The tall, awkward, and welcoming face of a friend…. Her girlfriend.

“You…you wanna talk?” Lisa didn’t wait for an answer but instead opened the door and got into the car.

“Nicki said your Dad has been a pill again.” Lisa leaned closer and touched the girl’s face.

“My Mom had been behind me all the way. Daddy, too, long before….”

“He must have been something, Leece….” Glenys sighed.

“Your Dad accepted you once. He’s scared you will scare off his new….” Lisa stopped in mid-sentence. Shaking her head, she continued.

“Oh fuck, Glen…I’m sorry. Nobody can take your Mom’s place. I am so sorry.”

“I know. And I know Dad has found someone who… she’s nice from what he says, but it’s her son…. That he’s afraid Nicki and I will scare them off. “

“I know that’s what he says. But what does your counselor say?”

“We’ve got a family meeting with her and her son at our therapist Lana’s office on Wednesday.” Glenys sighed but Lisa smiled.

“That’s great. My Mom found Lana through the Psychology Today webpage even before we came to Calgary, and she’s such a sweetie. If anybody can help, she can.” Lisa went to continue but the door opened. Nicki patted Lisa on the shoulder and smiled.

“Gotta go." As Lisa got out of the car, Nicki hugged her. Pulling away gently, Lisa smiled through sympathetic tears and whispered.

“You guys are gonna be just fine.” Nicki looked at her askance but relented under the glow of her sister’s girlfriend’s optimism. Lisa walked around to the driver’s side and motioned for Glenys to lower the window.

“I forgot….” She laughed softly and Glenys smiled weakly in return.

“What?” She looked at Lisa in anxious question. Glenys leaned close and spoke.

“Just this…” Lisa leaned closer and kissed Glenys; not long but still a bit lingering before she walked over to her car. Nicki smiled as she got in the car and Glenys smiled back before bursting into tears.

Lana’s office, the following Wednesday….

“Go ahead, Glen. What’s the hardest part about this?” Lana nodded as Glenys turned to Evan.

“I waited so long, Dad. Nicki, too. Mommy knew and you knew too. And now we have to be this all over again?” She pointed to herself and Nicki; dressed in sweat pants and tops.

“Who controls what you wear, Glenys?” Nicki raised her hand as if it was a quiz. Lana nodded and half-smiled while pointing to her sister. Glenys sighed.

“We do.”

“And yet here you are wearing Ike’s clothes. Why?”

“Because Daddy expects it.” Lana nodded.

“And how does that make you feel?”

“It makes me…” Lana held her hand up but spoke gently.

“Tell him, Glenys.”

“Daddy? It hurts that you put all of Mommy’s pictures away.” Evan went to respond and Lana put her hand up in caution to allow the girl to continue

“No. Dad. It feels like…like you’re puttingus away.” Glenys gasped and turned. Evan put his hand on her arm and Nicki yelled.

“No take backs, right Dad?”

“I…..” Evan stammered. Lana put her hand out in encouragement

“Don’t tell me, Evan. Tell them. Tell your children. Your daughters,”

“I’m so sorry…..”

“You’ve said that before,” Nicki stammered.

“I…I know…. I was so wrong. I was so worried about how Heather and her son would think, and I forgot how much you need to know…..” He paused. Alia nodded and urged him to continue.

“I love you. Both you and Glenys. I am so sorry.” He turned from Nicki only to come face to face with his other daughter.

“You called me Glenys…. Daddy?”

“It’s…it’s your name.” He pulled her into an awkward if entirely well-intended hug. Nicki went to get up but sat down until Lana urged her to enter the healing between father and daughters.

After a few minutes Nicki spoke.

“Lana? I thought Heather and her son were coming.”

“Isn’t this what today is about? Dad… what are you going to say when they get here?” Glenys asked.

“They called while you were hugging,” Lana smiled.

“They should be here right about now.” A few moments later the doorbell rang, and in moments Lana walked into the office with Heather Cavanaugh.

“Evan? Won’t you introduce your kids?” Lana smiled; her look evenly mixed between relieved and conspiratorial as the three rose in greeting.

“This is...Heather...." He blushed at her warm smile.

"Heather? These are my….my daughters ....Glenys,” he said using his hand to indicate the older of the two,

“And Nicole ….she… prefers Nicki.” Evan smiled nervously and Glenys sat and began to sob. Almost at the same time, everyone grew quiet as Heather’s child entered the room. Nicki’s eyes widened in recognition; a near match to her father’s look of surprise.

“Evan? Girls?” Heather paused and waited for her child to conclude the introductions. Glenys felt a hand on her cheek and noted a familiar scent.

“Hello. Glenys Roberts? I’m Lisa Cavanaugh. I used to be Liam Cavanaugh.” Nicki giggled but Glenys half –frowned. Lisa continued as she helped her to her feet.

“Guys?" Lisa said as she looked back and forth between her girlfriend and everyone else. Nicki nodded and smiled. Lisa continued; displaing an apologetic half-frown.

"I didn’t realize about Lana and today until the other night, Glen… And then you had to go. I’m sorry, honey.” True to form, Glenys burst into tears, but she was finally at peace and her tears were all happy. Lisa kissed her on the neck and hugged her; all the while repeating a comforting ‘shhhhh.’

Evan stepped closer and nodded in confused but entirely sincere approval. As if to punctuate the session, Lana opened the fridge next to her desk and passed everyone a bottle of water.

And everyone said at once,

“We know….HYDRATE!”

Sailors sail on all night all day
I'm not lost I'm wandering your way
I know you're waiting
Carry me there

Words and Music by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory.
As performed by Alison Goldfrapp

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This story is 1901 words long.