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It just gets so hard sometimes, be calm

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Isabelle entered the cafe a bit earlier than planned and stepped into the short line. She ordered two lattes, one vanilla and one honey rose. The cafe was a bit crowded so after she collected her dinks she made a beeline an empty booth in the back. She sat down facing the door as her mind began to race.

What if she doesn’t accept me? What if she thinks I just want attention? What if she gets angry? What if…  

Isabelle took a deep breath. It was going to be fine. Her mother had changed immensely in the past few months. She was on better terms with all of her children and striving to be a better parent. She had accepted Alec. She had welcomed Magnus into the family. She even had a permeant LGBTQ+ fiction section at the front of her bookstore.  And even if she hadn’t, since when had Isabelle cared what her mother thought? She was confident in herself and certainly didn’t need her mother’s approval. She hadn’t needed it for 20 years and didn’t plan on placing her self-worth in her mother’s hands now.

Her phone pinged with a text from her mother. Walking in now!

Isabelle’s heart nearly jumped out of her chest. Her eyes flew to the door, and she almost knocked over the drinks in her haste to stand up. 

“Isabelle! My dear, how are you?” Her mother strode across the room and was wrapping her into a hug by the time she had calmed her heart rate.

“Hey, Mom. I went ahead and grabbed you’re normal.”, Isabelle said into her mother’s shoulder.

They both sat down after a moment and she passed her mother the honey rose latte. Isabelle had never seen her mother look so carefree. The ever present frown of her childhood and teen years replaced by an easygoing smile.

“Isabelle, as much as you kids think I don’t know you, I did raise you. No matter how distant I was, I know when something is wrong with one of my kids.”

You just never cared until now. Isabelle thought, then immediately felt bad about it. She was trying to do better at working with her mother through this new period of growth, but the coldness of years past still stung occasionally.

“I wanted to talk to you about something today. Something important.”

“Of course, sweetheart. Is it about the Yin Fen?”

“No, Mom. I’m still doing well with that. No relapses. Its about something different. Something…personal.”

Her mother sat quietly and let her have a moment of silence to gather her thoughts. The small café had mostly emptied out and it had gotten very quiet. The lack of other people calmed Isabelle just a bit. She took a deep breath and steadied her mind.

“Mom, I’m bisexual and dating a woman.” Isabelle didn’t think she had ever said anything faster in her life. She squeezed her eyes shut and then immediately opened them. She wanted to see her mother’s reaction. Years of practice meant she could decipher her mother’s face in a split second. An eyebrow hitch for disappointment. A frown and scrunched nose for anger. A long blink and sigh right before a lecture.

But her mother’s face did none of those things. She furrowed her brow for a moment, then broke into the biggest smile. She pushed herself out of her chair and stepped around the table. She pulled Izzy up out of her chair and wrapped her in a big hug. Her mother squeezed her tight and they rocked back and forth a bit.

“I am so proud of you and I am so glad you told me this.” She pulled away, but kept her hand on Isabelle’s arms, “You are a wonderful daughter. You deserve to be happy with whoever makes you happy.”

Maryse pulled her into another hug and Isabelle did her best to hide her sniffle and hold back her tears. She wiped her eyes when her mother turned her back to walk around the table and back to her seat.

“So, I don’t want to be an overbearing mother, but I am curious who the woman who has captured your heart is?

Isabelle felt her cheeks heat up and looked out the window a bit quicker than necessary. This was the other part of the situation that she wasn’t quite sure how her mother would react, “Its Clary.”

“Oh wow… that’s … actually not very surprising" Maryse smiled at her.

“I’m sorry? Not very surprising?”. Isabelle had expected to hear some combination of Valentine’s daughter and menace to the Clave and maybe even pain in the ass. She knew her girlfriend and how trouble seemed to follow her. She also knew that Clary was a bit of a hothead who had a habit of not thinking things through fully before she either ran headfirst into danger or said something she shouldn’t have. All in all, not everyone’s cup of tea. 

“Well, you two spend almost all of your time together. You took over her training as soon as she arrived. And you two always sit together during family dinners. I’m actually surprised I didn’t connect the dots sooner.”

“Yeah, I guess we are kinda inseparable" Isabelle smiled as she thought about her girlfriend. She and Clary had only been together officially for a month, but it felt like longer in the best way possible. Clary made her feel loved and valued in a way that none of her previous romantic relationships ever had.

She looked back up at her mother and was met with a fond expression.


“I’m just glad to see you happy, sweetheart. You deserve it. And if Clary is responsible for a bit of it then I owe her a very sincere thank you.” Maryse smiled at her as she sipped her coffee.

Isabelle smiled back, “So how are you and Luke?”

They sat like that and talked for over an hour until both of their coffee cups were empty and Maryse had to get back to her bookshop.

They walked out of the coffee shop and Maryse wrapped Isabelle in another hug, “I am so proud of you Isabelle Sophia Lightwood. You are the best daughter a mother could ask for and I am so happy that you have found someone who loves you like you deserve. I love you.”

“Thanks, Mom. I love you too.”, Isabelle gave her mom a final squeeze and let go. As soon as he mom turned the corner she pulled out her phone and sent a text off to Clary. Went great. Headed back, see you in a few minutes.

She hadn’t told anyone else that she was going to come out to her mom today. Its not that she didn’t trust Jace or Alec, its just that she really wasn’t sure how her mom was going to take it. If Maryse took it badly, Isabelle didn't want it to effect the progress Maryse had made with her brothers. If it had gone badly she would’ve kept it to herself and dealt with it, just as she had with Robert’s affair.

They parted ways and Izzy felt lighter than she had all day. Her mother accepted her for who she was and was even happy with her new relationship. Maryse still had a lot to make up for, but she truly was working on herself and her views and Isabelle was grateful to be able to share her life with her mother again. As she began the walk to the Institute she couldn’t help but reflect on the last few months and how much her life had changed for the better. She couldn't wit to get back home and curl up under a blanket with her girlfriend. Clary had mentioned a movie she had been hoping to watch soon so that's what they had planned to do tonight. Isabelle saw the arches of the Institute and began to pick up her pace. 

Yeah, she thought, today was a good day