Find It Here
Los Angeles, California
Ísarr yawned and stretched as he rolled out of bed and dragged a shirt over his head. Running his hands through sleep-tousled sun-streaked chestnut locks, he tugged them back into the hairtie ever kept on his left wrist. Soon, a haphazard tousled bun sat loosely on the back of his head as he washed his face with warm water and soap, then took a straight razor to his chin and upper lip. Jogging down the stairs, he turned on the kettle and got out his favorite mug—We’re All Stories in the End—before heading over to the CD player and putting on The White Album. As “Dear Prudence” filled the bookstore and Ísarr sang along while making a proper cuppa and it was when he put two slices of bread in the toaster, that he noticed the date on the calendar.
“Today’s the fifth.” His words were soft, and if anyone had been in the room, they’d have barely been audible over the music. “Fuck.”
His heart sank as his mind centered on a time long ago and the toast, momentarily forgotten, popped, startling him back to the present. Spreading orange marmalade on the slices, he placed them on a purple plate and grabbed his mug of tea on the way out to the threadbare wingback that often housed his lean frame. As he set his breakfast down on the table, the phone rang and he jogged over to grab it off the charger, answering, “Y’ello!”
He smiled a little forlornly. “Hey there, Liv. How does the day find you? It seems like forever since we’ve spoken.” Walking back over to plop down in his chair, Ísarr reached out for his tea as he continued, “I remember a time when you and I once couldn’t stand to go a day without three conversations, not including the hour long good mornings and good nights.”
Olivia Wells—now Jones since August 1, when her divorce became final—had been his friend since Ísarr’s freshman year in high school. Back then, she’d been Livvie, but nowadays, she went by Liv or Olivia… and nowadays, she only called once a week if he was lucky.
Everyone always leaves. Lesson I should’ve learned from The Doctor.
Ísarr noticed then that Olivia hadn’t said anything in response to his greeting. “Liv?”
“Ísarr, we need to talk and I’m not sure that I could hold it together for an in person thing, but I need to talk to you.” She took a rattling breath, and he heard a sound over the line he’d not heard in six years: the flick of a lighter and the slight suck of air that meant Olivia Jones was smoking.
“Then talk to me. Tell me what you need to tell me, Liv, but end the torment exploding in my mind, sweet lady.” Ísarr sat up straight, toast forgotten a second time, and sipped his tea.
“When I picked up Lochlan from school yesterday, he asked me why he had two mommies, but didn’t have a daddy. I told him he was special. He said that his teacher informed him that yes, he’d had a daddy, because two women alone could not a baby make. So he asked where he came from.” She sighed heavily, or exhaled smoke, he wasn’t sure which. “So I told him.”
Ísarr paused for a long moment, waiting for her to continue, and when she didn’t, he laughed dryly. “All right, Liv, enlighten me, too, then. Where did you get Lochlan?”
“I can’t believe you’re asking me this! Ís, you’re the only man I’ve ever slept with!” she cried.
His eyes nearly popped out of his skull. “Darlin’, I hate to burst your bubble, but we never slept together. Ever. You were drunk quite a bit during our time at college, and I always got you to your dorm, but Livvie, we never slept together. Ever. I’m not that kind of guy, and I don’t drink so I never was drunk.”
“Ísarr… I’m a lesbian—”
“And I’m your friend, Liv. Nothing more. I’d never take advantage of you, and while you’re a beautiful soul, I’ve never been attracted to you in that way, because I know it’s a lost cause. Now, I love Lochlan to death, he’s a beautiful child, but he doesn’t look a thing like me, and with good reason: I’m not his dad.” He grimaced. “On a more personal note, I can’t have kids. A medical condition from childhood took away any chance of that.”
“Ísarr, I know it was you. I remember—”
“Olivia!” He got to his feet, his jaw tensing. “I have never lied to you, my friend, not once. I wouldn’t start now. I’m sorry that it’s not me that made him, because if I could’ve done it, I would have, but I can’t, so I didn’t. Now stop this conversation now. I’m done speak—”
The line went dead in his ear and when he looked down at the screen, it had her contact information. Furrowing his brow, he sat down in the wingback again, staring at her name as the screen dimmed. “She hung up on me. I can’t believe she hung up on me.”
A text message lit up the screen as the TARDIS sounded in the quiet between tracks from the Fab Four. One line of text from Olivia telling him the connection had been lost on purpose: He’s your son, Ísarr, and if I have to, I’ll take you to court over it.
Setting his jaw, he tossed the phone onto the table and picked up his cold toast. “Try it, Livvie. All you will get is wasted money on a case that’ll get thrown out with a paternity test.”
The TARDIS sounded again, but this time the text was from his sister, Lindsay, and it was in all caps, which meant she was excited: HE’S COMING TO L.A.!!!
Munching quietly, he told the shop, “Well… I guess I might actually get to meet Mr. Marlowe!”