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Shatter Your Illusions of Love

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“I forgot to ask but what is this dinner party for?” Carol asked.

“Um we don't know, Harge said he had something to tell us so we offered to host a little dinner ‘party’ so he could tell us all at once.” Carol still had a confused look on her face even after Abby had finished explaining. “Do you not remember he told us this last week,”

“Not really, but I guess we’ll find out what he wanted to tell us soon,” Carol pointed to her brother walking through the door.

“Hey, how's my favorite 19 year old?” Harge said when he walked in, putting his coat in the closet.

“I’m fine, how is my favorite 35 year old?” Rindy got up and hugged him.

Before he could answer Abby, Celia, and Carol all cut in and said “what do you have to tell us?”

“Well hello to you too, I will tell you all that over dinner so don't worry, and it's nothing bad” he saw Carol’s concerned face which then changed into confusion. “Right now, however, I am going to pour myself a glass of wine,” he started to reach over Carol who proceeded to swat his hand away and hand him the bottle.

“Manners, Harge, please,” Carol teased him, “wait what are we even having for dinner? It smells really good,”

 

“Just some pasta, we wanted something easy but good so Celia and Rindy made it earlier today,” Abby said.

“Should we eat then? Because I, for one, am starving, and I kind of want to tell you what I was, well, planning on telling you,” Harge gave a knowing look to Rindy who smiled widely back. “I’m not telling you guys until we are like, almost done with dinner though,”

“Gotta keep everyone on their toes,” Rindy said.

“Exactly!”

“Wait Rindy do you know?” Carol asked.

“I mean of course I do, Harge is my best friend, and I’m basically his only friend” Rindy rolled her eyes playfully, “In all seriousness though I found out on accident, but, well, you’ll see when he tells you all,”

“That is not fair!” Carol exclaimed.

“Life isn't fair Carol, I thought you would have figured that out by now, being, you know, ancient” Harge joked as he sat down.

Carol’s mouth just hung open while everyone else couldn't stop laughing.

•••

About an hour and a half later everyone had naturally gravitated to the living room and Harge figured that everyone, specifically Carol, would be drunk enough to drastically overreact to what he had to tell them. “Are you guys ready to find out?” Harge looked rather nervous, at least to Carol he did.

“What is it? We all have been dying to know,” Carol set her wine glass down and continued braiding Rindy's hair.

“It’s just us, we're all family,” Abby must have noticed Harge’s nervousness as well.

“You can trust all of us, and no matter what it is we will always be here for you,” Celia repositioned herself in Abby's arms.

“Ok, well here goes nothing. I have kind of been seeing someone… ” Harge said quietly.

Everyone froze processing the information, except Rindy who flased a big grin at him and got up to hug him. Carol was the first to speak. “Im sorry did i hear that correctly? You're seeing someone?”

“Yes, I am. It’s fairly new though but I wanted to tell all of you.”

“Harge thats amazing! I’m so happy for you!” Celia exclaimed.

“We couldn’t be happier for you! We know the past few years haven't been easy for you,” Abby stood up and pulled him into a hug.

“I had a feeling. I knew you seemed happier but I didn't know exactly why. I am happy for you though. So tell us about them!” Carol was excited to hear about the person who was making her brother happy.

Harges face lit up with joy immediately, “Well his name is Derek and he is very handsome.”

“He works in fashion marketing!” Rindy jumped in.

“How do you know that?!?” Carol exclaimed, not mad, just confused.

“I needed someone to talk to about it and she was the only one who knew, and before you get mad at me for not telling you first I didn't mean for her to find out, we ran into each other while Derek and I were on a date, it was an accident.”

“Yeah, it was an accident! I swear, I ran into them while Genevieve and I were getting coffee before class and I asked him who he was with,” Rindys face flushed a deep red and gave a small, almost imperceptible, smile at the mention of Genevieve and Carol wondered if something was going on between them.

“Anyways he is really handsome. Hes taller than me and has salt and pepper hair and just everything about him is perfect.” Harge blushed, uncharacteristically.

Everyone looked happy for him and was all smiles. As Harge was telling them stories about Derek, Carol noticed something different about her brother. He seemed truly happy for the first time since his husband died a few years ago, almost like a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. She loved the way his eyes lit up when he would talk about Derek and the smile that would appear when someone would ask a question about him. She also noticed Rindy glancing down at her phone and smiling a lot. She wondered if it was Genevieve but decided she wouldn't ask in front of everyone.

•••

A few hours later Carol decided she better be getting home if she wanted to get up in time to do anything. As she reluctantly got up from her spot in the corner of the couch Abby said “Leaving already? It's only 11:30, it's not like you have plans tomorrow,”

“Yes, well I am tired and I want my beauty rest, plus I think Celia would agree,” Carol pointed to the redhead asleep in Abby’s lap. When Carol got up to tell everyone goodbye she stopped and whispered in her brother's ear, “I know I haven't met him yet, but he seems good for you. You look really happy.”

Carol made a stop by Rindy's room to tell her goodbye. She knocked on the door, “Can I come in?”

“Yeah it's open,” Carol opened the door to find Rindy reading on her bed.

“I just wanted to say goodbye and I'll see you soon. Also, congratulations on you and Genevieve, how long has that been a thing?” Rindy's mouth hung open and her cheeks were bright red, “You smiled when you said her name when you were explaining how you found out about Harge and Derek, plus you kept looking down at your phone and smiling. I took a lucky guess and it seems like I was right,”

“It has only been a month, and please don't tell anyone, I don't even think anyone knows I’m gay,” Rindy said quietly.

“They have their suspicions about you sexuality, I mean your favorite movie is oceans 8, but I wont tell anyone. And I promise you, when you tell them, they will only be happy for you,” Carol gave Rindy one last hug before walking out to tell Abby goodbye and go home. On the walk home, she thought about calling Therese but decided against it in case she was already asleep.