Normal is a dryer setting

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Antonio's POV

I came home after school and was met by mom.

"You okay?  You look like you want to hurl," she asked me with confusion.

"Yeah I'm fine.  Rainbow had an issue. I helped, she kissed me on the cheek," I said stunned.

"And this is a problem why?"

"Because I'm suppose to work with her. Not feel things I'm feeling," I told her.

She looked at me and shook her head.


"Antonio you are so daft," she rolled her eyes and gave me a disapproving look.

"How am I daft?"  I looked at her shocked.

"Because you like this girl. If you didn't you would have helped her. What did you do," she asked me.  So I told her everything that happened. She promptly facepalmed herself.


"Have we taught you nothing?!  You don't walk away from someone like that!  You tell them goodbye before leaving!"  She exclaimed.

"Mom this is not normal," I countered earning a slap upside the head.  "What was that for?!"

"Normal is a dryer setting you doof," she remarked.  I looked at her shocked.  "People need to stop using that word like its important. No one is normal especially you."

Damn that was harsh. Then dad walked in, "What's with the yelling?  The whole neighborhood can hear you."

"Your son is a doof," she told him.

He rolled his eyes and looked at me, "what did you do?"

"Me?!  I didn't do anything," I exclaimed.

"That's not true. He did something nice for Rainbow, kissed her cheek, she kissed his cheek and then left without saying a word," she summed up.

He looked at her then at me, "son your a doof."

"Oh and he said this wasn't normal," she said with an equal exasperated look.

"What's a matter with you?!"  Then he started yelling at me in Italian and finished with, "doof."

"What was I suppose to do?!"

He looked at me, "you're suppose to be a man and treat her with decency and respect. Being a man isn't about sports or any of that crap. It's about doing the right thing no matter what. You were wrong Antonio," he said firmly.

"So, what should I do," I asked him.

"Figure it out. You need to fix this," he told me.

I looked at him. Great. How the hell do I fix something with someone that's doesn't understand social cues?  I had a feeling I was going to need advice on this one.

After talking to Luke, I turned on some music and started moving but I was becoming increasingly frustrated with it. I kept tripping over my feet. 

Dad knocked at my door, "Rain?"

"Yes dad?"

"What are you doing?"

"Learning how to dance.  I understand now why Antonio walked away."

"Why's that hun?"

"Because I don't know how to dance. So, I'm going to learn because guys don't like girls who are clumsy."

"What do you mean?"  He walked into my room and took a seat on my bed.

I walked over to a drawer and pulled out a bunch of magazines. I handed them to him.  He looked at them a bit surprise.

"I picked up some magazines with advice. Most say you should make the guy chase you but I don't like tag. Some say you should wear makeup, but I don't like how it feels. Then it talks about sex and how a guy's tongue feels," I said to him.

"Whoa, I prefer not having a conversation like this with you. I'll let your mom handle it," he said as he looked at me. Then he held up the magazines, "these are garbage."  He walked over and placed them in the trash.

"But how am I going to learn to be sexy and kiss that curls his toes," I asked him.

"Rain, do you like Antonio?"

"I don't know. He lies, but he kissed my cheek. He doesn't know my little pony but brought balloons like Pinky Pie does.  He didn't say bye to me when he left.  Everyone says bye.  I don't know Antonio well enough to know if I like him," I explained.

"Then why are you worrying about all these things with guys," he asked me.

"Isn't that what you're suppose to do when someone kisses your cheek?  They are showing you they like you.  Did I get it wrong?"  I looked at him confused.

"Sometimes but sometimes it's someone being nice," dad explained.

"This is way too complicated," I sighed.

"How so?"

"Everything I read and see on tv, when people hug, kiss, hold hands, it means they like each other. Like you and mom."

"Your mom and me love each other."

"So, then when Antonio held my hand and gave me a kiss on the cheek, that means he loves me," I said happily.

"What?! No!"

I furrowed my brows, "so he doesn't love me?"

Dad rubbed his forehead, "Rain, you have to get to know someone first. He their friend then at some point you fall in love with them."

"Okay, then I will be Antonio's friend and fall in love with him," I said with determination.

Dad facepalmed himself as I looked at him with hopeful determination. This made a lot more sense to me. Why couldn't people just explain this before?

Later on dad told mom about the conversation, "Colton, you didn't?"

"Lia, I was trying to explain things to her."

She looked at him with concern.

"We don't even know if Rain likes him. This is new territory for her and us," he reasoned.

"I just don't want her to get hurt. The kids are already nasty as it is," she sighed.

"Well, sometimes she has to learn even if that means getting hurt. Lia, it sucks but we're not always going to be there to help her. These are things she has to learn," he explained.

"It's just hard not to want to protect her all the time. With Luke and Cole, it was simple but Rain is a whole different ballgame. She has such tender feelings. People don't see it but we do," she said to him.

"I know baby but at some point we have to let her fly. Even the most inexperienced baby bird has to leave the nest sometime. We just need to let her go," he advised her.

While mom wanted to keep me close, dad knew sometimes you have to let me go. It was part of growing up since we al have to grow up sometime.

Rain is going to learn lessons along with Antonio along the way. Some aren't good and some are funny. Get ready because they're all coming.

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