The morning after the medical talk, it's raining and Julie and her mother get breakfast. A bonding mother-daughter moment.
My Life So Far Episode 13: Family discussion
Letters : 8907 Words : 1718
And finally, the first plot point of the novel! If you think that Naturism was the main story, you were wrong. It's the settings. This episode introduces the main plot point. The character arc for our main character. This was planned from the start, before it was even about Naturism!
After the pinball, I walked, almost on clouds, to our cabin, escorted by Carter who made sure Lucy, Mindy and I went to their proper place, in that order.
This meant I had about 45 seconds alone with Carter.
"That was crazy", I told him
"That was indeed crazy. Thank you. Julie. I have no doubt you will make a great adult soon.", he said, smiling.
I looked at him. Was this an insult? Was he genuine? His smile told me that it was genuine, but I wasn't used to compliments from older teenagers.
"You are almost one yourself", I told him.
"Well, I am working up to it, to be honest. But that's all we can do. Take one day at a time, and hope that somehow, we go to bed better than when we woke up."
And that is another rule of cool. The cool person lives in the present, and lives it to the fullest. No anxiety from anticipating the future, not depression from dwelling on the present.
I looked at him.
"And Julie, I am a better man tonight for having met you. I can promise you that"
"No, I am serious"
"The day you will understand it you will start to understand yourself. Until then, I hope you meet someone like you one day. I really do", he said, leaving like he had just wished me good night.
What am I supposed to do with that information? I know that many girls in my class would be swooning over him. He was so handsome according to Mindy, but I didn't see it. Sorry. I guess it's not just boys I don't see, it's teenagers who are almost men, and men.
I stood there until I could no longer see him. Not once did he look back. He just walked on his way, walking cool.
Approaching the door, I was wondering if my parents would be back, but I could hear them talk in the cabin when I approached it.
Hesitant, I knocked. Wouldn't you have?
The last time I shared a room with my parents was when we went camping. No, wait, it was last summer, not the one that just ended, the one before that. We had gone to see grandpa, and stopped at a motel.
Oh My God, I realized. They made an attempt to open my mind to naturism that night. I just recalled. Sly dogs. So, was is like, constant?
It was a road trip, and they just changed on the bed, saying they were too exhausted to wait for the bathroom to change. They recommended I do the same, and I said, like an idiot, that I could simply use the bathroom while they change in the bedroom. It seems reasonable, but I could see disappointment in their face and put it to their shame of not having thought of it.
But it was an opening. An attempt.
Mom opened the door, and welcomed me in.
"It's your cabin too, you know?"
"Hey, I didn't want to interrupt anything"
"You can't catch us changing in our pajama, you know"
I looked at her and she was smiling, only my thoughts were on the test, a year ago, so I burst out laughing.
"Looks like you had a great night so far, kiddo", said my mom.
"Yeah. One of the best of my life so far"
"Should we wait until tomorrow then?", asks my dad
"Wait for what?", I ask worried
"I already decided that, dummy, now she'll want to know what you are talking about"
"I can't read your mind, you know!", he says
"Well, the cat is out of the bag. What is it, do we have to leave early?", I ask
"What? No. Of course not. We are having a blast too, making new friends. Did you like the bike ride?", my mother says, in an attempt to change the subject
"I did, but mom, I am not 6 years old. I can take bad news and not let it ruin my day. Is anyone dying or dead? Are we giving up on naturism? Was there a fight with someone?", I said.
"No, of course not"
"Then, tell it to me straight, I am tired and hope to do more tomorrow before going back to school and clothing"
My dad took the stand.
"First, this is not a talk or a lecture. If you say stop at any point, we stop and can talk about your day, our day or not at all"
"You are scaring me dad"
"You know Robert, right?", my mom said.
"Yeah, him. He is a pediatric endocrinologist ", said my mom
"That's doctor specializing in hormones of kids and teenagers", says my dad
"I am not stupid, I know what that is. One of my friends had thyroid problems"
"Ok, good. We were talking with him about, well our kids, and he was shocked to learn you were 12"
"Why? I am 12"
"Like I said, you can stop at any time"
"What, am I sick or something?", I ask, worried
"No", said my dad, and then, my mother. "No, not at all. You are perfectly healthy. We talked to him, in private by the way, not with Anna"
"She was exchanging recipes with Clara at the time", says my mother
"What did he say?"
"You might, with emphasis on might, have late onset puberty"
I looked at him. Things suddenly made so much sense! My lack of interest in boys, my lack of breasts, how sparse my pubic hair was.
Everything. EVERYTHING made sense
"Now, don't freak out, it might be nothing. You might get your puberty in a week", said my mom
"Don't give her false hope. I might take years", says my dad
"Always a pessimist!", says my mom
"Wait a sec, I am not freaking out. This actually makes a ton of sense", said
"Really?", said my mom
"I don't see boys, I don't have my breasts, I feel like a child. I felt like a freak for my womanhood not turning on and I might have a medical condition! Wait, Is it treatable?"
"Very. But you aren't a freak", says my mom who stands up to hug me.
At that moment, it felt good.
It didn't last long, but I was invited to sit between them. I felt protected, cared for, loved.
"Could it explain my anger?"
They both looked at each other
"I have no idea", said my dad.
"But seeing everyone else growing up and not you could explain it", said my mom
"So what do we do?", I said
"Well, Robert could see you at his office, Tuesday, after school. If you are comfortable having him as a doctor, that is. We can both be there, just one of us, or none of us. If you want another doctor, he will recommend a colleague, but we might wait a few weeks"
"Of course, I want you there. And I am fine with him. It's confidential, right?"
"Fully. Except to us"
"Right because you are my parents"
"Because you are not old enough. But I think it's 14 that you can keep us out. However if you want us not to know, we will respect it, but honestly, we'll be buying any medication"
"I want to talk to him", I decided
"Good. Alone or?"
"No, with both of you, but I would like to talk to him, like, now"
"Yeah. I don't want to wait until Tuesday"
"He will need tests and such", said my mom
"I know that. I just want to know like, in general"
They both look at each other
"We can ask", says my dad
Obviously, I would have googled it on my android smartphone, but look at that, I wouldn't have one for a few years. Google was already a thing, but we didn't have a computer in the cabin.
"I am not sure which cabin it is", said my mom.
"Hey, I know who knows!" I said. "Lucy, and I know where her cabin is!"
"Sugar, we can't just knock on strangers' door that late", said my dad
"And it's ok to knock on Robert's door?"
"It's the same. I am sure they will understand."
So, we walked to Lucy's cabin. I could spot it from their car, a yellow minivan. That's difficult to miss!
Only, we didn't need to knock. Lucy, her parents, Clark and his parents, were sitting about a fire, grilling marshmallows.
"Hey there!", says Anna, jumping out of her seat to go kiss my mom on the cheeks.
"Want to eat marshmallows with us? We just got started"
"Well, I was just wondering if we could borrow Robert for a few minutes"
Anna laughs. "Sorry guys, I don't share my husband with anyone, not even with Lisa", she says, joking. But her breath swells weird, like when uncle Sam had too many beers.
"It's more of a professional call"
"Sure, I suspected it, I'll tell him to come talk to Julie. Will you guys join us while they talk?", says Anna
My mom looked at me, and I nodded. Of course she knew it was for me. He is a pediatric endocrinologist.
"We are nearby if you want us, sugar", said my dad.
"I should be ok.", really, I was.
My father passed his hand in my hair. Wait, that didn't feel weird for once, and wished me good luck.
Robert came soon and asked me if I wanted to take a little walk for some privacy or to go inside. My choice
"A walk would be nice"
"I'll just grab my sandals, my wife and son are always barefoot and I try to look manly with them, but I hate little rocks and it's too dark to see them", he says, winking at me
I smiled. "I'll be right here". I didn't mind the path. Even today, I don't mind being barefoot. It does make my feet dirty, but hey, freedom!
He nodded and went. I saw that my parents received towels from Lisa, but neither took marshmallows. My father, however, had a beer in his hand, from Jake, but I wasn't seeing him drinking it. He actually looked nervous.