70: “This is why I don’t have secrets”

It had been about a week since Iggy and Joey’s joint birthday party, which meant that it had been about a week since Priscilla had witnessed Jacklyn making out with Joey in the bathroom at Joey and Robin’s apartment. Neither Priscilla nor Jacklyn had brought it up yet. Priscilla was beginning to suspect that Jacklyn would never mention it so long as she lived, preferring to pretend nothing had happened at all. Priscilla, on the other hand, had recognized the situation for what it was: an opportunity. Priscilla had been pretending not to know about Jacklyn’s secret romance with Joey for so long and, now that she had witnessed it with her own eyes and Jacklyn had witnessed her witnessing it, Priscilla was going to dredge it all out to the open whether Jacklyn wanted it there or not. Priscilla was looking forward to having no more secrets to keep, but no one was more excited about this than Dick.

“Thank fuck,” he said, relieved, when Priscilla told him and Oscar one night what she was planning on doing. “I keep losing track of what I’m supposed to know and who I’m not supposed to have told. I hate it. This is why I don’t have secrets.”

“You don’t have secrets because you’re not interesting enough to have secrets,” Oscar retorted. “What could you possibly keep secret?”

“Well, I don’t like you,” Dick returned swiftly. “There’s one.”

“That’s not a secret,” Oscar retorted. Dick glared at him. Priscilla merely shook her head.

Priscilla invited Jacklyn out for coffee to bring it up. It was just the two of them in a cafe downtown that had red bricks and smelled like cookies. Priscilla felt slightly bad because she blindsided Jacklyn completed, but not bad enough to do anything differently. She was tired of the charade.

“So I saw you and Joey kissing in his bathroom at his birthday party,” Priscilla announced after they had picked out a table and were sitting comfortable with their coffees. Jacklyn looked up at her from her cell phone, startled.

“Uh…,” she stalled, clearly not sure how to respond. “It was a birthday kiss?”

“One time David gave me a birthday kiss,” Priscilla began to reply. “He kissed me on the cheek and his tongue was, at no point, inside my mouth.”

She shot Jacklyn a wry look, one eyebrow raised dubiously. Jacklyn stared back at her for a moment before sighing deeply.

“I’ve been seeing Joey,” she admitted finally. Priscilla felt better already.

“So it would seem,” she nodded.

“It’s been a few months,” Jacklyn continued. “Only Dick and Melly know.”

Priscilla took a moment to marvel at what a strange pairing Dick and Melly were. They had approximately one thing in common and it was David. Even that was a stretch.

“Okay,” Priscilla nodded. “So this is, like, a thing then?”

Jacklyn frowned a little, fiddling with her coffee mug.

“What do you mean?” She asked.

“Like, you two are a couple?” Priscilla clarified. Jacklyn’s frown increased. Priscilla gathered this meant she had no idea what she and Joey were.

“Well, yeah,” Jacklyn answered eventually. “I mean, we’re together. So yeah, I guess we’re a couple.”

It was not exactly a promising response. Priscilla would be very uncomfortable with that level of uncertainty. It rarely tended to work out favourably. It was precisely what had happened with Jemima and Noel. Now Jemima had pastel green hair and a floundering crafting habit. Noel was apparently fine, though. Priscilla could very easily see a similar thing happening with Joey and Jacklyn. He seemed like the kind of person who was generally unbothered by most things, whereas Jacklyn felt things strongly.

“Are you going to tell everyone else then?” Priscilla asked, choosing not to bring up any of the other points she had in her mind. She didn’t want to scare Jacklyn. She assumed that Jacklyn hadn’t told any of them about Joey in the first place because she was afraid of what they might say. Priscilla understood why she felt that way; she was just barely refraining from saying a whole bunch of things.

“I’m not sure,” Jacklyn said thoughtfully, looking down at her coffee once again. “I think I might wait a bit still. Things have just been going so well so far, you know? I think it’s easier without all the pressure.”

Priscilla had a hard time believing things were going so well, but she kept it to herself so as not to push Jacklyn away.

When Priscilla told Oscar and Dick how things had gone over coffee, Dick was devastated.

“What?!” He cried in disbelief. “No! I still have to keep this fucking secret?! That’s terrible!”

“She says she doesn’t want anyone else to know yet because things have been going so well without the pressure of people knowing,” Priscilla explained, parroting Jacklyn’s reasoning skeptically. Dick frowned and Oscar snorted.

“Do we think that’s actually true?” Oscar asked.

“It absolutely isn’t true,” Dick cut in.

“What do you mean?” Priscilla asked him immediately. Dick sighed deeply, as if simply participating in the conversation was causing him physical pain.

“I so do not want to get into this,” he told Priscilla.

“But you’re going to anyway,” she retorted. He sighed again.

“Well, surely you’ve noticed how she stares at him pathetically whenever their together in a group of people,” he began.

“It’s hard to miss,” Oscar replied. “How she honestly thinks she’s keeping this secret effectively is beyond me.”

“Yeah, well, then you’ve probably also noticed that he gives no shits about anything. Like, she’s always trying to work out a way to sit next to him without being found out, but as soon as she sits down, he’s left and is trying to pour whiskey into someone’s open mouth.”

Priscilla thought about it.

“Jacklyn thinks they’re a couple,” she told Dick after a moment. Dick snorted.

“They are not a couple,” he returned. It was what Priscilla had expected, but it still made her feel awful to have it confirmed.

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