Dex spends the summer on his uncle’s boat. It’s like every single year. Only this time, there are places he’d rather be. Like a brownstone in New York or a townhouse in California. Sometimes, he thinks about this nebulous ranch style home in Southern California. He thinks about what he would do if he weren’t so chickenshit scared. Maybe he’d ask Nursey for pointers on how to woo a girl. The shitty part of his mind wonders if he should know how to do that. He was raised to like pink and think that all he was worth was what he was going to put towards making a family someday for a man who mattered. That was, at least until his parents divorced. Then life got easier. His mom opened up more, Dylan was less of an asshole, and it felt like he could finally be himself. There was some odd sense of responsibility he had whenever he thought of his father. It’s why he named himself after him. It’s why he tried to replicate so much of Dylan’s childhood, paying for equipment for a sport he wasn’t really sure about by working odd jobs for his uncles. But the older he got, the longer he was out and away from his father, the less he felt that need. But there was the part of him that hated being bisexual in high school. The part that told him maybe he was just a lesbian and why is he trying so hard to be a gay guy?
He groans as he takes off his binder at the end of the day. This summer he’s saving for his top surgery. Just like last year, and the year before. He’s close, though. Part of him just feels lighter knowing that he’s doing hard work every day for something he wants. He’s got all of his adult life to be soft in an air conditioned office all day. Toiling away at code wearing the same t-shirts for days on end.
He thinks about a nebulous ranch style home in Southern California. He thinks about arepas, telenovelas, and an australian shepherd dog that barks too much. He remembers what Nursey told him when they first started this…polyamory thing.
“You’re under no obligation to date them. As long as you’re chill with me doing it, we’re solid.”
That idea was thrown out the window after a few weeks. Because Chris is nothing but a good guy. And of course he had to be such a good metamour that suddenly Dex had feelings. Which was annoying to admit, but better in the long run.
With Caitlin it was different. It was acknowledging years of internalized transphobia. It was feeling like he couldn’t have this partner because it was like going stealth. Like maybe it was trying to force normality on an already too different life.
He thinks about long brunette hair swaying to Kacey Musgraves in the kitchen. He thinks about the way they work seamlessly in the kitchen. He thinks about how she taught him to love cooking again. Not because he needs to cook, but because he can make something good. Maybe Nursey taught him how to think, and Chris taught him how to love. But Caitlin taught him how to smile.
Dex picks up his phone and dials a number he’s only used once before.
She picks up on the third ring, “Hey, Dex.”
He grins so hard he thinks his teeth will ache in the morning. “Hey. Got a minute to catch up?”
“Yeah, for sure,” she responds excitedly. “Let me find somewhere quiet.”
“Chill.” He groans the second that word leaves his lips. He’s never going to live that down.
She giggles. It reminds him of summer rain, refreshing yet warm. He already knew he was a goner for her. He didn’t know that meant coming up with cheesy metaphors. Nursey would be proud. Maybe he should write them something later to prove he can be romantic.
“Y’know, I really missed you,” Caitlin admits. “I’m glad you called.”
“Yeah,” he hums. “Me too.”