Mom, dad, I can explain
We’ve taken my snow mobile and I drive up the mountain as far as I can. Thord sits behind me. He has his arms tightly wrapped around my waist.
The landscape flashed by. Sometimes it’s a bumpy road and suddenly I find myself to be poetic. Life is also bumpy with its ups and downs.
Finally we’ve come to a halt and I jump off. I give my partner a look. He moves a bit rusty, once off the snow mobile.
“Everything okay? Or did the trip break you?” I cackle. Thord shakes his head and then his feathers.
“It’s fine. From now on, it will get the trickiest. You see that large, rocky formation? Behind that, we can walk again but before that, we’ll either have to climb or..” My friend looks all mysterious now.
“Get to the point,” I snort.
“Or we’ll fly over the formation.” Oh god. Is he serious? I blink and see Thord’s already moving forward. His wings carry him effortless over the snow as I still have to struggle through it. He laughs when he sees me and I point a finger at him.
“Time to climb,” I say.
“I can support you while flying, give you a boost.” Then I watch him take off for the sky for real. It’s mesmerizing to see and I simply gawk as my friend’s wings get bathed in an early sun.
It takes me ten minutes to realize climbing isn’t really an option. In fact, it’s dangerous. Tor would’ve probably laughed at me for being so foolish and going without proper equipment.
Thord cackles but then he takes me by surprise. His arms wrap around me like when we were on the snow mobile. He pulls me off the rock wall and I actually scream. I dangle in the air, carried by my winged partner. Unbelievable!
Thord’s actually stronger than expected and for a moment I forget how high in the sky we are. The landscape from this point of view is astonishing. We make a soft landing on the other side of the rocks. Now I see a small gathering of houses.
“That’s your home?” I ask.
“Yes. That’s home.” Thord smiles as he stares out over his little village. It puts a smile on my face as well.
“So… Your family knows we’re coming, right?”
“Not exactly,” Thord confesses. I thought he somehow contacted them. Apparently not so.
“Don’t worry, Bjørn! This is for the best. If my mother knew you’d come, or any other stranger, she’d freak out days beforehand! This is the best approach.”
“Oh.” I stop walking, suddenly nervous.
“You know what? Stay here and wait. I’ll inform my family right now. It won’t take long. I promise.”
What seems like an eternity, is eventually a solid half hour. Thord finally shows up again and we walk to one of the small cabins.
“You ready?” he chuckles. I nod but internally I might as well scream.
“Good!” he pats me on the shoulder and steps inside first. I follow slowly. The hut is warm and clothed in softness. It really resembles a nest, huh. Makes me curious to Thord’s house.
At the wooden table sits a couple. The woman has long, blond hair. The man has his hair more in that scruffy style as Thord. But unlike my partner, the man has light green colours, almost pastel I’d say. Then I remember what Thord told me: the other men in his family have more vibrant shades in their wings.
Still, I can say without doubt that Thord has the prettiest wings. I won’t say it out loud though.
The man of the pair gives me a short nod while the woman wears a grimace of inner panic. I can relate, sadly enough. I might even dub her expression repulsion.
“Dad, mom. This is my partner. As you may call it, my mate,” Thord starts the conversation. I awkwardly stand next to him, not knowing what to do but nod along and force a smile on my face.
“Would you like to introduce yourself?” Thord turns to me. His eyes reinforce me to say something.
“Hi. Ehm, I’m Bjørn Lægrid. I’m the guy who saved your son after he fell down from the mountain and eh-” I get cut off by Thord’s father.
“And what was your job again?”
“I work at a local gas station which also serves as a small restaurant,” I say. That gives the man a frown. The feathers in his collar stand up. I wonder if I should prepare to leave. The old man turns to Thord.
“Are you sure you shouldn’t find someone eh-”
“Female?” For the first time the woman speaks. She throws a sharp look at me before she stares down her son. Then Thord’s father steps in.
“I thought we talked about this. That shouldn’t be an issue anymore. We have to accept our son’s… different tastes but-”
“Fuck, we’re talking about a human,” the woman cries out and I start feeling very uncomfortable. A side-glance to my partner tells me he’s embarrassed as hell. I guess parents embarrassing you in front of friends is a phenomenon experienced on all ages.
“Mom, please. Dad, I can explain!” Thord interrupts the dispute. He is worried.
“I know you dislike my choices but that’s just how it is. And if you’re not happy with that, then I’ll have to disappoint you because I’m not going to change partner any soon.”
Then Thord grabs me by the shoulder and holds me tight. “I love him. And I hoped you’d be more accepting!” That being said, he drags me out of the house and I kind of get dragged along.
I end up in Thord’s own house. He has closed the door with a key and then we sit in a large nest like bed. It’s pretty comfy.
When Thord finally speaks up, he doesn’t look me in the eyes. “I’m sorry about my family. They can be bigoted at times. My dad seems to be more approachable about the topic but he’s all about status, you know. Male, female, human or one of our own.”
Now I laugh out loud. “Guess my job doesn’t qualify as an acknowledged one, huh!”
“I’m sorry,” Thord says again but I shake my head.
“Then that’s their problem. As you said yourself. I’m glad you choose me over them then.”
“Of course!” Thord looks me in the eyes and then he gives me a quick smooch. “I’m so glad I’ve come to met you, Bjørn. Luck by an accident.”
I smile. “Yep.”
A knock on the door interrupts our time staring in each other’s eyes like a happily sappy couple.
“Who’s there?” Thord yells.
“It’s me.” His father’s voice is heard on the other side of the door. Thord gives me a questioning look and I nod to say it’s okay.
“I’m sorry for my behaviour. And for my wife’s behaviour too.” The old man faces me. He’s even taller than Thord and with his thickly feathered collar and large wings, he’s even more intimidating.
We shake hands and the man grins. I recognize Thord in him.
“I’m really sorry. But I guess I’ll have to get used to my son’s partner. So… with this, nice to meet you, Bjørn.”
“Well, eh, likewise. Don’t worry, you probably won’t see me this far up in the mountains anyway,” I joke, trying to lighten the mood.
The man gives me a strong pat on the shoulder before he awkwardly lets himself out. He and Thord have a quick exchange in words.
“Thanks, dad. For trying.”
“I guess one of us has to do it first.”
“You think mom will turn around?”
“Give her some time. You know how she is.”
We fall back into the softest bed I’ve ever felt. Thord looks at me with those funny, dreamy eyes.
“I’m really sorry about my mother. She’s crazy.”
“It’s alright. I won’t see her much anyway,” I laugh. I close my eyes and sigh.
“You seem to like this bed really much, huh?” Thord grins. I nod.
“Good. I spent a lot of time finding the right pillows and all. One’s nest must always be cosy and snuggly.” Thord seems to be proud and I’m proud of him in turn.
My eyes snap open when I feel a sudden weight on me. It’s my oddball. He is wearing a smug grin. I’m afraid he spend too much time with my brother. I see similar quirks developing.
“I think we should take advantage of tonight,” my lover says.
“Aren’t you up for cuddling?” Thord pouts. I smirk and roll my eyes. Then I move my weight and roll us over so I end up on top of him.
“With you always. Especially in this bed. It seems to be made for it.”