At their own pace

Lardo knew first. She just did. She knew before they did. She knew Jack too well not to notice the way he looked at Bitty 24/7. Shitty may have noticed too, if he wasn’t drowning on Harvard applications. And dear god she wanted to lock those two in a room to make them talk about their feelings sometimes, but then she reminded herself: they will do it at their own pace. 

Once they came back from the summer break it was even more obvious. Bitty never letting go of his phone, casually dropping Falconers knowledge, the endless Skype calls she could hear muffled through the wall. She was waiting for Bitty to tell her to ask for deets, but she reminded herself: they will do it at their own pace.

And then there was Shitty at the Kegster and she had to step in before he fucked up big time. And then she had to hear him rant for an hour about Jack not trusting him anymore. She tried to drop gender-neutral things that when Jack was ready to tell him about the person he was seeing: he would do it at his own pace. 

Lardo got a cold at 3 am on a Tuesday night from a very stressed out and very sleep deprived Shitty. He was angry-watching commentators go on and on about Jack and Kent’s past when he’d spotted the heart eyes and he had seen them before and that was the way he looked at Bitty and Bitty had always been in love with Jack and now Jack was in a relationship and “omg lards I was a fucking heteronormative asshole”. And she has to calm him down and she says she already knew and she reminds him: they will tell them at their own pace. 

Holster and Ransom find out, as they do so many things, together. It’s very much an accident. They are talking about their friends and getting incredibly drunk on a saturday night and suddenly Ransom starts going off about how Jack keeps leading Bitty on. And “yeah that’s like super mean” and “he keeps coming by and hanging all this time with him” and “he just goes up to his room like whatever” and “they are skyping all the time” and- realization hits them both and they go silent. “Shit. You don’t think-” “Oh my god!” Of course their first reaction is to ask Bitty, but he’s luckily not in the house and Lardo intercepts them as they tripping down the stairs and sits them down and reminds them: they will tell us at their own pace.

So they wait and it is unnerving. They turn the blind eye every time Bitty disappears for a weekend to visit the Falconers with some lame excuse. They turn the blind eye at the long Skype conversations and Jack coming to visit and spending too much time in Bitty’s room… but they can’t turn the blind eye to the stress Bitty is under. He’s breaking right in front of them and they have to tell themselves: he will tell us at his own pace. 

Waiting for Bitty and Jack to be ready and comfortable to tell them is getting to them. They are counting the days. They can’t just watch and not help anymore. Lardo tells them to relax, she’s willing to bet good money on them not waiting until Winter Break to tell them. Shits bets it’s going to be on a weekend when Jack comes to visit. Holster thinks they will wait until spring. Ransom says until the hockey season is over. It helps them wait. They will tell us at their own pace.

And then Bitty is suffering on Jack’s behalf after a game and Lardo can’t properly cheer him up because how much can she say but okay he will tell us at his own pace. 

And then Bitty is not sleeping and Holster has to remind himself he will tell us at his own pace. 

And then Bitty is exhausted and stressed and Ransom, god help him, tries to drop hints that it’s okay if he wants to tell them but god dammit he will tell us at his own pace. 

And then Bitty drops a pie and Shitty gets elbowed on the ribs by Lardo and wants to swallow his own fucking shoe and go upstairs and lengthily apologize to Bitty but fucking he will tell them at his own pace.

And when the brunch invitation comes and Shitty sees Jack’s car parked outside and he wants to scream fucking finally but he keeps it cool and keeps walking on his way to get coffee and Ransom and Holster and Lardo keep making stupid brunch small talk to distract Ransom who almost blurts out the thing twice and they get there and the two stupidly in love love birds look so happy and thank goodness they waited because they look so happy and relieved to tell them… 

And then comes money collecting time because if they let Jack and Bitty know how worried about them they’ve been they might feel bad but hey at least now we can finally talk about it. And Shitty starts reciting this lengthy apology he’s been working on for months but Jack shuts him up with a quiet hug and Shitty cries and Ransom and Holster ask Bitty for deets to make him blush and squirm and Lardo just smiles, because Lardo knew, they would do it at their own pace.

—  Jesús Guillermo, Versos muy sueltos para mi Raquel