Third part of Home. Has nothing to do with the prompt.
Daniel’s sitting in the chair, trying to process what Catherine just told him. She’s leaning on the car, looking at her phone, waiting for him to get out. He shakes his head. I can’t believe it. Is gayness genetic, or something?
He opens the door, and slides out of the car. He picks up his bag, and walks over to Catherine.
She looks up. “Ready?”
He nods. Then, “Wait, no. I’ve got to text someone.”
She nods, and goes back to the phone.
Daniel pulls out his phone.
Daniel: You would not believe where I am right now.
TJ : Where? What happened?
D: Dad found out. Kicked me out.
TJ: Are you serious? Is this my fault?
D: Yes. No, you didn’t do anything.
TJ: So where are you?
D: Do you remember the letter?
TJ: You called her?
D: Don't assume.
TJ: Well, did you?
D: No. Maybe.
TJ: So yes. How is she?
D: She is super awesome, and apparently also Cathy May?
TJ: This is a joke, right?
D: No, I’m serious this time.
TJ: I don’t believe you. You long lost mother is Cathy May?
D: I’ll send photos.
TJ: This doesn't tell me where you are.
D: I’m outside her house.
TJ: Are you serious?
D: She drove me here from Squirrel park.
TJ: What if she kidnaps you?
D: I would love to get kidnapped by Cathy May.
D: I don't think she will. She probably would've already. She wouldn't let me text someone if she was.
TJ: Good point.
D: Also, ten minutes probably isn't long enough to make up a cover story.
D: Did you know she likes girls?
TJ: No, really?
D: Yeah, she just told me.
TJ: Well, I want to meet her. Can you stay alive long enough for that?
D: Don't worry. If she tries to hurt me, I’ll use my awesome ninja skills on her.
TJ: What ninja skills?
D: They're like the skills that I used to seduce you.
TJ: I just spilled my hot chocolate in my sink.
D: What are you even doing right now?
TJ: Working on your gift.
D: Nice. What is it?
TJ: Wouldn't you like to know?
D: Yes, I would. But, I’ll wait.
TJ: Okay. Are we still going to the movies tomorrow?
TJ: Okay. I love you, D.
D: Love you too.
He knows he’s smiling before he even looks up. Catherine’s looking at him with an amused look on her face.
“TJ?” She asks.
He puts his phone in his pocket. “How’d you know?”
“That smile you made.” She says, grinning.
He bites his lip. “ No I wasn’t. Maybe. Probably. Whatever.”
She laughs. “Come on.”
They walk up the front steps, onto the spacious porch. Catherine pulls out a pair of keys, and unlocks the door.
“Are you okay?” She asks, her hand resting on the doorknob.
“Okay. Oh, another warning. Don’t assume any genders.” She says as she pushes open the door.
The first room he can see is the living room. There are two sofas facing each other, one blue and one red. They both have pillows of all different colors. There's a green coffee table in between them with cups of something in them. Two purple armchairs in a corner, with a yellow stool standing in the space between them.
The walls are white, with different paint colors splattered everywhere. There are paintings hung on the wall. Most look like they were done by children.
Two people are cuddling on the red sofa, and one person is on a laptop. Two people are talking in low voices on the armchairs.
When they hear the door, they look up. Daniel hears a chorus of “Hey, Catherine!”
She grins. “Hey, Bell,” She says to the one one the blue sofa, who looks up and grins back.
“Hey Cath. Who’s your friend? Nice to meet you. I’m Bell.’’
Daniel blinks. “Um…”
“This is Daniel. My son.” Catherine announces. “He’s staying here for a while. Daniel, this is Bell. He’s the editor I was telling you about.’’
“Uh, hi?” Daniel says to Bell. Real smooth.
Bell is tall, taller than Catherine, with light skin. He has blond hair that is pulled in a short ponytail at the back of his head. He has on jeans, and a blue sweater.
“I didn't know you had a son,”Bell says.
Catherine shrugs. “I do.”
They go around the room, and Catherine introduces Daniel to everybody.
Al is a quiet, non-binary artist. They have short black hair, and tanned skin. They’re sitting on one of the purple arm chairs, talking to their girlfriend, Nicole.
Nicole is trans, and the opposite of Ash. She’s loud, and energetic. She has light skin, and blonde hair that reaches past her shoulders.
The two on the red sofa are Micheal and Nate.
Micheal has short black hair, and olive skin. His glasses make his sea green eyes bigger. Nate has curly light brown hair, and peach colored skin. They look about thirty, and say they’ve been married for seven years.
Daniel gets along with everyone. He’s always been good at talking to people. He talks to everyone until Catherine shoos him into the kitchen.
The kitchen is about as big as the living room. It has a window seat, two long tables, a big marble counter top, a large oven, a walk in pantry, a tall silver refrigerator, and a large sink.
There are at least eleven people in the kitchen, two at the window seat, three at the counter, and three at each table.
“They’ll introduce themselves later,” Catherine tells him. “They take pizza night way too seriously.”
Daniel’s confused. “Do they all live here?”
Catherine shakes her head. “ No. I don't usually have time for cooking and cleaning during the day, so my team helps out. Part of the paycheck. But really, they're awesome. It’s nice to have help. They're all like family.”
He smiles. Must be nice.
“Oh!” Catherine says, smiling. “Come on.”
She walks through the kitchen, saying hi to people, but not staying to talk long. She brings him through an entryway, into a den.
It's the darkest room so far, but there is light coming through the windows.
It’s a big room, with couches facing a big TV. Someone is sitting on one of the couches, and the look on Catherine’s face is familiar.
That's what I look whenever I see TJ, I bet. He thinks. So this is probably her girlfriend?
“Hey, Riley,” She says softly. The person turns around, and grins.
“Cath! Your back!” They say. “Who’s this?”
Catherine beams. “My son. Remember Blake?”
“So this is Daniel. Hey, I’m Riley.. Your mother's... boyfriend. At the moment.” He says, standing up.
“Yes. Riley’s gender fluid.” Catherine told him.
Riley was shorter than Catherine, but taller than Daniel. He had red hair that was longer on the right side. He had light skin, and blue eyes. He has on sweatpants and a hoodie. He looks about the same age as Catherine.
Daniel nods. “Okay.”
“Hold on a minute, Daniel.” Catherine says.
She walks over to Riley, planting a kiss on his lips. She hugs him, and he whispers something that makes her smile. They talk in whispers, and Daniel pulls out his phone.
D: I’m still alive.
TJ: Lucky me.
D: So...Cathy May is actually Pansexual.
TJ: What happened?
D: Well, she has a gender fluid significant other, so…
TJ: Okay. How is it?
D: You would love this place. I wish you were here.
TJ: Me too. Maybe I can come by some time?
TJ: Can I get her autograph?
D: Ask her when you get here.
TJ: OK. Mom’s calling for dinner.
D: OK. Love you.
TJ: Love you too.
Daniel looks up, and sees Catherine and Riley are sitting on one of the couches, talking. When Catherine sees he’s off his phone, she gets up.
“OK, let's go find you a bedroom and some clothes.”