Throughout our time at Elsewhere, the staff will organize a mandatory event for the first Saturday of every month. The specific activities will be different each time, but the theme is always the same. These events are about trust exercises.
Apparently it’s unhealthy to regard everyone you meet with suspicion and to think that anyone at all might try to hurt you, no matter how innocent or friendly they may seem. (Too many EU graduates ended up having breakdowns in the outside world.)
The point is, once a month everyone gets together to do things like trust falls and such. Of course Siné and I pair up whenever possible and it’s during one of these Saturdays that I start to contemplate why I trust Siné so much.
First of all she’s the very first friend I made here. For a while it was just the two of us united against the craziness of EU. Siné helped me figure out the Rules. She made sure I always remembered to wear iron and set out offerings; to never say ‘thank you’ even though she deserved a hundred ‘thank you’s.
Then I figured out that she wasn’t actually human. She would always hand me my protective jewelry by the leather cords rather than the iron charms. She never got lost in the maze of buildings and hallways. At twilight her irises would shine golden in the corner of my eyes. Little things here and there kept adding up.
The realization scared me at first. Then, after my kidnapping, it just didn’t seem to matter anymore. Siné had proven that she would try to keep me safe even from her own kind.
After five years in the company of the Fae, it’s easy to forget that the outside world still exists. In that amount of time I’ve managed to complete my degrees in Creative Writing and Music Theory, as well as my teaching certification. The previous Music Theory professor vanished a week before finals under somewhat suspicious circumstances (what isn’t suspicious at Elsewhere?) and now that the new semester is about to begin I’ve been hired as his replacement.
Siné and I even managed to find an affordable house close to the University with plenty of space for all of her treasures and the occasional guest. A small gathering of cats has taken to lurking around the house in the month since we’ve moved in, eager for the food we leave out for them. It’s started a rather popular rumor about them being my familiars, which doesn’t exactly help us make friends. (Making friends was already hard enough when anyone could be a threat.)
One of the nicest things about our new house is the privacy. Living in the dorms makes it difficult for Siné to make any significant barriers, and more common methods would have excluded her as well. Now that we finally have a space we can claim true ownership of, we no longer have to rely on the lingering wariness of other Fair Folk to prevent eavesdropping or petty mischief.
I’ve waited nearly four years for this opportunity.
Lounging on our bed with my computer on my lap, I hear Siné’s footsteps coming down the stairs. Shit, I had a plan! The computer gets shut and placed on the floor as I straighten up and smooth out the blankets.
“Honey I’m home!” Siné calls out cheerfully.
“Hey there. I, uh, have something I’d like to talk to ya about.” I can feel myself nervously smiling. This is… important.
She flops onto the bed. “Yeah? What’s up?”
“I’ve been thinkin’ about our relationship and, um, I guess I’d like to, I don’ know… Commit? Or show ya’ how I feel or somethin’?” I pause to breathe, hoping my chest will stop feeling so tight and achy. “What I’m tryin’ ta say is that I wanna tell ya my True Name because I trust you and want ta spend the rest of my life with ya.”
“Oh.” Siné is tearing up and I have to look at the ground before I start to cry too. She continues before I really have a chance to panic. “I would be honored. You’re my favorite human and the only one I’d trust with my True Name. I am Caoilfhoinn.”
I guess it’s too late to prevent tears. At least we’re grinning despite that. “I love you, and my Name is Angelica Williams.”