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I never thought that something like this would even happen. I mean – there are some cheesy, unbelievable romance novels and sitcoms that have some pretty “wacky” situations. But I have never actually heard of or seen anything like the situation I am in right now.

I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just start from where my head is at right now.

“Aww, Liny, you know you can tell me anything.” my mother said, after a long minute of silence.

I had told her that I wanted to tell her something important. But then completely lost all ability to say anything at all.

“I know.” I replied. “But you say that because you assume that I would never say something you disapprove of.”

She laughed in a disquieting sort of way.

“Since your sixteenth birthday you’ve more or less stopped looking for my approval. Why start now?”

“Because this is important.”

“For heaven’s sake girl, if you don’t tell me then I’ll assume you’re pregnant and send you off to live with your grandfather.” mom said in exasperation. She wasn’t a very patient person. Maybe ironic for a radiologist – since she sees patients every day, but still.

“Ok. Mom. You know Sveta? Svetlana, a girl that I go to uni with?”

“Sure. The girl with the Russian name but the Arabic parents.” mom said, frowning in an effort to remember. “I think you said at some point that she was a hacker or something?”

“No. No, she studies programing. Programing students and digital art students work together a lot at school, that’s how we met.”

“But isn’t programing hacking?” mom asked, trying to remember what she saw on the news that one time about that one hacker.

“Don’t worry about it. She’s not a hacker, trust me.” I said, somewhat impatiently. I was not going to go down the rabbit hole of explaining technological terminology to mom right now.

“So what about her?”

“Well. This april she had asked me to join her for a hike. It was pretty lengthy, we walked twenty kilometers in murderous heat. When we came home, we decided to take a shower and watch some movies.”

I stopped there, thinking about how to proceed. But mom didn’t really let me formulate a proper train of thought.

“Oh. So you had Netflix and chill?” she asked, making the connection at the speed of light.

“Well, I have HBO instead of Netflix, but yes. In essence. That’s what happened. Mom. I’m in a pretty serious relationship with another woman.”

I had a weird, mixed feeling of both dropping a massive bomb, but also a feeling that the bomb landed on a soft, fluffy cloud and just fell asleep. Like I was in shock over saying the words out loud.

“Ok, so you say the word ‘relationship’ …” mom said thoughtfully, not looking particularly upset or disturbed by what I had said. “… but does that mean that you are fully lesbian? Or only that you are in a relationship with this girl specifically?”

I had to pause and think about that one. I wasn’t really sure. I wasn’t really sure whether I even knew or not.

“How would I know?” I asked before I could stop myself. “Like … I like her a lot. We hang out and have a lot in common. I mean, all the prerequisites for us being together are there. It’s just that we both … wear bras.”

“Well. Do you find other women sexually attractive?” mom asked, far too casually in my opinion.

“Mom! No. No. All I wanted to tell you …”

“Listen. If you are in love with another woman, that’s perfectly fine. But as your mother, I still would like to know these things. I would ask you similar questions if it was a man you were seeing.” she said simply. “That whole ‘gays are icky’ thing is pretty old, I think. It’s shallow to be upset by what other people are attracted to. Unless it’s nazi memorabilia, I would stay away from that.”

“What …”

“My point is, we’ve never really had this talk. About girls and boys, vaginas and penises. And judging by how worried you were about telling me this, I think that I screwed up. If I had talked to you sooner, you would have known not to worry about telling me this.”

I thought about it. It made sense. My entire life, I’ve always sort of assumed that mom was asexual or something like that. Like sex was her cryptonite. Which obviously makes no sense, since she has two kids. And we didn’t just spawn in our designated rooms one day. I assume.

“Let’s do this.” mom said, as I was still pondering her words and unconsciously making indistinct noises. “Let’s play a game. I will ask you one question about you. And you, if you’d like, can ask a question about me. That way, we’ll know where exactly we stand on everything.”

That sounded like a really freaking scary game, if I was to be honest. But I was now curious enough to go along with it. If worse came to worst I would just not answer or lie.

“Sure.” I said. “But then I will ask first.”

“Alright, but let’s make coffee before anything. We’re sitting here like we’re at a goddamn interview. Want snacks?”

“What snacks do you have?”

“Uhm. Well. Grapes. And bananas. And oranges.” mom said. “I’m Esenyurt Escort light on cash this month, so I had to go with the plant snacks.” she added, a bit apologetically.

“I mean. Everyone loves grapes.”

“That’s so true! A cake. Made out of watermelon flesh, but filled with grapes and raspberries. Just having that in my imagination makes me want to …” she made a violent, crushing gesture. “I would wreck that thing so hard.”

“Mom, you’re going into trendy teen slang a bit too hard.” I criticized. “It’s expected of adults to keep a more … filtered vernacular.”

“Come on! I read facebooks and snapchats!” she exclaimed. “I can be the mom with the mouth.”

“Yes, but what would be way cooler is if you were just mom. You’re great at being just mom.”

There was a short silence.

“That is so sweet.” I finally heard mom say, with her back to me as she was pouring coffee. “But still. Do you use facebooks or anything? It’s surprisingly useful.”

She walked over to the couch – by the way, I had relocated to the couch during our conversation – and handed me my cup of coffee.

“Don’t get off topic.” I said. I was actually eager to ask her my question, now that I’d thought of a good one. “My question is – are you attracted to women? Like, any one woman ever?”

Mom looked surprised at the question. She paused for thought, her eyes looking out the window.

“Yes.” she said finally. “Weird, isn’t it? My question!”

“But wait…”

“Are you sexually attracted to all women, or just Svetlana?”

I sighed and tried to formulate an answer.

“So I think that I kinda have to use the process of elimination. Meaning I have to ask myself the question – am I attracted to men? And the answer is no. I remember actually being in school, wondering why all those trashy girls would hang around Michael, the ‘hot guy’ at our school. He just looked like any ordinary guy to me.

The truth is that I never really liked … anyone. Not sexually, at least. I don’t know. Maybe the problem is that looks just does nothing for me.”

I realized that towards the end there, I had started musing almost to myself and decided to shut up instead.

“Interesting.” mom replied, keeping her poker face. “Your turn.”

“Who was the woman?”

“Who was the woman what?” mom seemed genuinely confused.

“You know. Who was the woman that you were attracted to?”

“Ehm. All the ones that look like Katy Perry.”

“You mean Zoey Disney channel?”

“No, don’t be mean, she’s a nice girl!” mom exclaimed, but then let out a laugh. “But yes. I think – anyone I could beat in a fight I like. Because then I just could beat them into bed.”

“No. Mom, no, that’s bad. Don’t say that.” I covered my mouth with my hand in an almost comical expression of surprise.

“What? It’s my fantasy. I’ll be damned if I let someone walk away in my fantasy just because they’re ‘not feeling well’.” she shrugged.

“You know. Teenagers typically don’t like to talk to their parents about sexuality because they are scared of what they might find. This is a perfect example of what we fear to discover.”

“You know I was just joking.” mom said, smiling. “You really want to know who my first woman that I was attracted to was?”

“Yes. And how old were you?”

Mom was silent, but no longer smiling.

“I see why it was hard for you to talk to me about this.” she finally said. “It’s not not easy for me either.”

“Aww, mom, you know that you can tell me anything.” I replied, putting my hand on her shoulder.

“Yeah, but this gets complicated.” she shook her head. “You asked how old I was at the time. I will tell you who she was, but also keep in mind that I was fourteen at the time.”

I nodded and she went on.

“When I was fourteen, my father had this idea of taking the whole family on a vacation in Italy. So we traveled through Germany and Switzerland, the whole thing took three days, back then not all of the roads were large motorways, so we had to take some side routes as well. And this was pre-smart phone era, so I didn’t have to option to just watch cat videos the whole trip.

Me, mom and your uncle, Enam, were taking turns sitting in the front seat. We would switch at every toilet break. So this time, Enam was sitting in the front and me and my mother were sitting in the back.

And …” mom paused here. She looked at me, but I was merely looking patiently at her, waiting to hear where this was going. “… so it was a rainy day, but pretty nice for us, the passengers. My dad would swear and mutter about the rain and about the terrible driving skills of all the other drivers.

But the rain was so therapeutic that we were starting to fall asleep. My mother fell asleep first. I remember this very clearly. She was wearing a summer dress, it was summer after all and we had been expecting a sunny day.

Under that summer dress she wore no bra. As she fell asleep, her dress crumpled up at her bosom and from the side – through her crumpled, short sleeve – I could see her really Avcılar Escort jolly nice breasts. I’ll never forget them. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.

So. That was the first time I fantasized about a woman. My dear, old mum.”

I only realized that my mouth had been open when I closed it with an audible click of my teeth.

“Wow. Grandma?”

“Yes.” mom laughed. “I’ll remind you that I was both fourteen and it was a really long car drive.”

When mom had initially said that her story was complicated, I had sort of dismissed that. But now I realized that what she was probably wondering was whether or not I had been attracted to her at some point.

And I really, really wanted to just say “No! Never!”. But there was a problem. As I was about to say – “Well mom, I at least want you to know that I’ve never thought of you that way.” – a memory surfaced in my mind. A painful and pleasurable memory all at once. It was a memory of me sitting on the floor, pretending to read something on my phone, all the while I was watching mom as she slept on the couch in nothing but a t-shirt and panties. He butt was hanging off of the edge of the couch. The sunlight seemed to playfully dance across her exposed skin. And I just couldn’t take my eyes away. Looking at that butt was like looking at the mysterious butt of Mona Lisa.

“You’re wondering, aren’t you?” I asked mom finally. “Whether I’ve had a similar ‘moment’?”

“Yes. But if you can’t or won’t tell me, that’s fine. I don’t need to know either way. I just want you to understand, with my little story, that it’s perfectly natural to be attracted to many, many different things. Just stay away from nazi memorabilia.”

“Ok. So we’ll get back to you and grandma, but what’s up with the nazi memorabilia?”

“It was a joke!”

“What kind of a joke is that!?”

“It’s from that damn commercial.” mom laughed. “There is a starving, African kid – no specific country, just ‘Africa’. The country of Africa. The general area of Africa. Anyway, the kid is scrawny and over the footage of that kid, a voice says ‘No one deserves to grow up without a father’. And for some reason, Maria, a co-worker, when that commercial came on, she added to it:

‘No one deserves to grow up without a father. Unless you are Hitler’.

It made me laugh so much. Now I can’t get it out of my head.”

“I’m … glad that orphan in Africa makes you happy.” I said, not really believing the words that were coming out of my mouth.

“Aww, you teenagers are such prudes! In my day, we could talk and laugh about anything! Because everything was terrible! Have you seen the television sets from the nineties and eighties? They are criminally awful. I can’t believe I used to watch them all the time. How could I even tell what was going on?”

We fell silent and just sipped our coffee for a while.

“Life’s weird.” I commented after it became apparent that we weren’t playing the game any more.

“Oh, it gets really weird.” mom agreed. “One of our chiefs of staff left their post last month. Apparently they had been sending weekly emails to the government’s official ‘contact us’ email address with increasingly crazy conspiracy theories about what was going on in the hospital.

Before he left, we had an auditor come and examine the MRI machinery because apparently one of the conspiracy theories that the man had was that the MRI machine was exposed to the internet and all scans were being uploaded to external servers. Apparently his explanation for how it could work in theory was so convincing that they had to send someone to confirm that what he was saying was nonsense.”

“Weird.” I agreed. “There was this one time…” I stopped. I was about to tell her about me thinking of her butt at night while I played with myself. That wouldn’t do. That wouldn’t do at all. I decided to call it quits for today. “There was this one time I had a really nice conversation with my mom about all sorts. But I think I’m gonna go and have a nap.”

“Don’t nap too hard, or you’ll hurt yourself.” mom smiled, and took my empty cup with her to the kitchen.

I shook my head and went to my room.

So I am actually a student, but I live at home. Since I live in Copenhagen, I have the luxury of not requiring to live in any kind of a dorm. Our public transport system is punctual to within two minutes to the mark. In fact, public transport inspectors track lateness of buses. If a bus fails to leave the origin station at its designated time, the bus company gets a fine. If the bus is the late to other stops within a certain window, they also get a fine. There’s a lot of incentive to keep the public transport system running well-oiled in Copenhagen.

I’m not sure why I decided to tell the story from that point. I guess that’s where all of the crazy things had started.

As you can tell, mom and I get along pretty great. The only fight we had in recent memory was about our personal smart phone preference. Mom likes the shiny, Samsung ones. But I have a Blackberry. I like the keyboard and I have no shame.

But from this point onward, I just … couldn’t tear the picture of my mom’s butt out of my head. I know what it sounds like. I don’t like it any more than you do. But this is where we’re at.

When I got to my room I called Sveta to tell her about my mom’s reaction. She had been pretty anxious about it too.

We had both agreed to tell our parents this weekend – this was a sunday by the way.

“So how did she respond?” Sveta asked, after I told her that I had spoken to my mom.

“Really well. Like – it was no big thing to her at all. I think it would be no problem for you to come and visit tomorrow. We can hang and everything.”

“And your dad?”

“Still not living with us. They’ve been separated for years, they don’t do social visits to each other.”

“Yes, but have you told him?”

“No … I don’t know if I should. I don’t know what the point would be. Have you told your parents?”

“I … didn’t find the right opportunity. We had a small problem.”

“What kind of problem?”

“We had a row again. It’s that old argument about ‘computer games’. Like my programing classes are just games to me. My parents are back asswards in their mindset. They don’t even believe in electric cars. I love them. But I also wish I could just tell them to get fucked.”

I’d heard this before. Svetlana’s family was that kind of family that when someone asked you “So how’s your family?” you would answer “Well, you know. You pick your friends, not your family”.

Meaning that most people would never pick this family for anything. They cared a lot about Sveta. But also had no idea what they were doing, or so it seemed to me. In Iraq, her dad had worked as a navigational manager for a local transportation company. Local to Baghdad anyway. And back then, everything was run using paper ledgers and folders, not laptops and smart phones. When the war finally came to Baghdad they moved to Denmark and the “pen and paper” attitude came along with them.

Though they have more or less made themselves at home in Copenhagen, they still seem to be under the impression that programing is just some kind of a fad.

“Listen. Tell them that you will ‘think about it’. And come over to my place. I, at least, support your career choice.” I told her over the phone.

“No, if I leave now it will only get worse tomorrow.”

“So what you’re saying is that you want to stay with me for two days? We can arrange that.”

“No, no. I need to deal with this on my own.”

“You know how sometimes you talk to a person one day and that person is really, really trying to sell an idea to you really hard and really passionately. But then you talk to that person the day after. And for some reason, they seem to be a bit blasé about the whole thing now. Do you know why that happens?”

There was a silence over the phone as she thought over the problem. “Because they found out that it was bullshit?” Sveta asked.

“Well. Ok, maybe. But what I meant was that time changes perspective. I promise you that time is all you need to calm this situation down. It’s always like that. Someone shouts for a while, gets it out of their system. Then, the day after, they are back to normal.”

“Yeah, I guess I know what you mean.” she agreed. “I’ll see if I can sneak out. I’ll call you when I’m nearby.”

“Ok, bye, call soon!”

“Linnea?” I heard mom call me from the hallway. “Svetlana is here to see you.” As she poked her head into my room, she added “She looks like it’s been raining.”

I looked out the window at the sunshine outside, perplexed.

Regardless, I went out to greet her and saw instantly what mom meant. Her eyes were slightly puffy and her makeup, which she had at one point tried to re-apply, was running down her cheeks.

“Your family seem like such a nice bunch.” I said, trying to make a joke.

“Don’t talk to me about them.” she nearly hissed.

“Well … we have grapes and coffee. Come in and make yourself comfortable.” mom said, breaking the ice like a surgeon with a sledgehammer.

I took her hand and led her into my room. There I sat her down on my bed and looked into her eyes.

“Want to talk about it?”

“Not really.”

“Want to … I don’t know, sit and cry for a while?”

“Not really.” she chuckled.

“Man, you’re hard to please. Mom wasn’t kidding about the have grapes. Want some?”

“No.” she said in a tiny voice I hadn’t heard from her before. “I just want to sit here with you for a while.”

Something happened in my heart as she said that. A deeply warm feeling spread through my chest. Something that was either a medical condition or deep, tangible affection.

We both laid down on the bed and looked at the ceiling. We were holding hands, our fingers intertwined. I was on her right and she was on my left.

She smelled of something that I can only describe as warmth. Like how sunlight smells. I snuggled my head close to hers.

And at some point around there – I fell asleep.

The rain was soothingly beating against the windows of the car. I looked around, wondering when we were going to arrive. I was about to open my mouth and ask, but just as I did I noticed that mom was asleep on the seat next to me.

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