Chapter 2 | Daxten

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Uh... what have I just walked into? There's a guy standing on a toilet seat looking like he's having an orgasm under a wall-mounted air freshener.

      This is the strangest thing I have ever seen and I have no idea what to do. Do I still use the toilet? Should I just go and let him have his pleasures in peace? Now I knew there would be some weirdos around the airport, but this is taking it to a whole new level.

      And he's young too, definitely younger than I am. He has too smooth a face to be older than me – a tiny nose, bright pink lips with flushed cheeks to match. The bags under his eyes are noticeable and ages him up a little.

      So, why is a guy like him getting his kicks out of standing on toilets and sniffing in the scent of lavender from a public bathroom air freshener? I really, really want to ask but... you know what? I'm going to leave it. I do not need the toilet that much and I'm not sure I'm in the mood to get to know colorful characters today. I have a long-haul flight ahead of me and there's nothing I hate more than sitting in one place for too long.

      I don't want to further embarrass the poor guy so I leave. I may have lingered a little longer than I should have but it's over now. I just need to make sure I don't walk into something like that again. No more bathroom breaks until I get on the plane.

      I head back to the coffee shop outside of my gate and return to my sister. She's one of the flight attendants on my upcoming flight and it's going to be the first time I see her in action.

      She is in the middle of applying lipstick when she notices me approaching. 'That was quick.'

      'I walked into something a little... bizarre. Don't ask.'

      Her eyes narrow. 'But I'm so eager to know.'

      'I wouldn't even know how to explain, Leah. I'm just... moving on, has dad called?'

      Leah nods as she puts her lipstick in her bag. 'Yeah, it was a really quick hello and goodbye though.'

      'Then why isn't he answering any of my calls?'

      I pull out my phone from my pocket, hoping to see a missed call, a text, anything with my dad's name on it. But there's nada. No love for me today.

      When I look back at Leah, she has this sort of look that's hard to describe. Pity, maybe? I always have a hard time reading her. It's not through lack of trying; she's my only sibling and I've always looked up to her but knowing what goes on in that head is a mission in itself. We're so close and yet she sometimes makes me feel like we're on different planets.

      'Maybe he's just busy,' she tells me in an unconvincing voice.

      'Do you really believe that?'

      She's trying to avoid my gaze now.

      I know what it is.

      'He's not reacting very well, is he?'

      Leah extends an arm and places her hand on mine. 'Don't be too hard on him; it's just come as a shock. Let him get used to it. He grew up in a different time, remember.'

      'I only told him I'm bisexual, I didn't say I murdered fifteen prostitutes and buried their bodies all around the house.'

      'I get it. I do. You know I support you and I'm always here for you. Always and always, don't ever forget that. Just give him a chance to get his head around it.'

      I look down at my lap. I hate that she's seeing me like this. Usually I wear a tough exterior like impenetrable armor. I'm probably harder to read than my sister is. But it took a lot of guts to allow my family to see beneath that armor, to share the secret that shouldn't have been a secret in the first place. Sharing should unburden the secret keeper, but all this has done is add a suffocating pressure to me as I await judgment.

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