Eden Comes Out

Primordials #0.1

A shortened version of this story was originally published as part of the Turvy Truth or Dare challenge on Instagram.

I sit on the ancient leather couch, wondering at the alien sense of formality I’m feeling as mom seats herself in her usual recliner opposite me. Her blonde hair is turning white. Have I noticed that before? I’m not sure, but I have noticed that she’s gradually slowing down over the past few years. Not that I’m worried. Our family is nothing is not long-lived. Nana is in her eighties and still gardens every day.

Mom looks me over and smiles. “Okay, so you’ve always been pretty independent,” she begins. “But you’re going to college soon, and we still haven’t done this.”

I narrow my eyes, worried I know what’s coming. “Done what?”

“You know. The Talk. The birds and the bees.”-

“Mom,” I whine. “You don’t need to do this. Pretty sure I know it all, anyway.” Plenty of my friends have already lost their virginity, or at least claim to have. We’ve all got experience dating, and we all had at least some sex education.

She raises one eyebrow. “You… do? Did I miss the endless string of boys you brought home?”

I roll my eyes. “No, it’s—“

She hurries on, talking over me. “Let’s just get through this, Eden. Where to start… how about safe sex?”


She ignores me and plows on, covering topics from the perils of dating to safe sex, consent to STDs to pregnancy. I’ve never embarrassed easily, but this is pushing me close. I focus on a spot on the carpet and resign myself to waiting until she’s done, twirling my hair around one finger and figuring it’s probably time I told someone what I’ve been holding on to for the past few years. Alice, my best friend, already suspects.

When she’s finished, she looks at me, her kind eyes searching me for some sort of reaction. “Does that all make sense? Do you have questions?” I lean forward, my heart thudding against my ribs. Hot needles of anxiety stab me in the gut. It’s not that I expect a poor reaction—not from my mom—but there are many more people in my life, and I’m less sure about some of them. What I’m about to do feels irrevocable. I crack my knuckles in frustration when fifteen seconds of awkward silence has elapsed and I’ve said nothing, then I take a quick breath and blurt, “I kinda think I’m into girls.”

Mom blinks several times and sits back in her chair, considering. She gazes at the ceiling for a moment before her eyes settle on me again. “Oh, Eden… well, with hindsight, I guess maybe I should have suspected!” She laughs and gets up, comes over and wraps me in a hug that I want never to end. “Have you known for long?” I offer a tight-lipped smile. “Couple of years, maybe. I... there was a girl—Molly—when I was fifteen.”

She smiles, her eyes crinkling at the corners. “How about now?”

I shrug and look away. “Nobody right now, no.”

She nods, and suddenly, she’s all business again. “I’m sure much of what I told you is still relevant—except the stuff about pregnancy, obviously—but give me a few hours to do some research, okay? Make sure I didn’t miss anything. Then we can do this again.” She hoists one eyebrow. “Won’t that be fun?”

I laugh, and once she’s left the room, I smile to myself, and sink back into the couch with a contented sigh, savoring the warm feeling in my stomach as it spreads to the rest of me, and wondering how much better the world would be if everyone was as lucky as I am.

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