not my intellectual property.


Joan finds them standing in Simon's dorm room, looking around like they're on a foreign planet. She figures that for the Camdens, senior, they probably are-- Adam told her a bit of what Simon told him, and more of what he'd guessed about Simon. She kind of hates the parents standing in front of her.

"Hi," Simon's mom says, and sticks out her hand. "I'm Annie Camden. Simon's mom?"

After a second, Joan shakes it. "I'm Joan," she says finally. "Simon's not here, he has a literature class right now I think."

Annie sits on Simon's bed. "oh?" she says. "What kind?"

"It's--" and then Joan remembers that Simon's taking a course on biblical themes throughout modern western history. The professor is a little outspoken about how the bible isn't real. "I dunno," she says.

"Do you," and Annie glances at her husband. "Do you go to school with Simon?"

Joan sighs, and wishes Adam had come with her, now. "My boyfriend does. I just live on campus with him."

"Oh," Annie says.

There's an akward pause that signals their disapproval. Finally, Simon's dad says, "So how do you know Simon?"

Joan bites down on the impulse to snap at either of them. So far they've been incredibly nice, considering they found some strange girl in their supposedly virginal son's room. "My boyfriend Adam knows him," she says, "they're in a philosophy of art class together."

"That sounds deep," Annie says, and grins. "It's nice to meet some of Simon's friends here, finally," she adds. "it feels," she says quietly, "like we don't know anything about his life here."

Joan stands up, deciding to just wait for Simon outside class. Adam can face these people. "Maybe you don't," she replies, and brushes her hair back angrily. "Maybe he doesn't want you to, either."

The two of them stare at her like she's suddenly an alien with tentacles or something. She hopes Simon won't be upset. Alien people, alien planet; she almost feels sorry for them, except that she knows on Simon's fourteenth birthday he cried because one of the boys he knew prayed to stop someone from being a fag.

"I have to go," Joan says. "Simon won't be back for a while. You might as well go."