One : Even’s mother
Even is cooking with his mother, keeps checking his brand new watch which seems to have two different sets. Sometimes he wonders if the watch is working well. When he is with Isak the minutes tick normally but when they are apart they seem to extend, go excruciatingly slowly.
“I was thinking we could make a carrot cake for dessert. Do you think Isak will like that?” Even’s mother asks.
“I don’t know if he’s ever had some.” The boy shrugs. He knows Isak will try at least. He is so grateful that his mother wants to please Isak so much. “He focuses on the family dinner rather than the actual food, if you really want to know.” And it is true. Isak didn’t have to tell him. Even noticed after the first couple times they had dinner with his family that his boyfriend enjoyed it a lot even though his father had cooked something weird.
His mother smiles and he resumes his task.
“That’s new!” His mother says her gaze on his hand holding the knife. He frowns at first, then figures it out. She’s not talking about the knife. A private smile stretches his lips.
“It’s from Isak.”
“That’s lovely!” His mother exclaims before she grabs his wrist and starts examining the thin bracelet. “Red’s a good color on you,” she comments.
Now, Even loves to talk with his mother about nothing and everything but he’s grateful that she doesn’t ask about signification and all that. It’s only for he and Isak to know. Like, she doesn’t need to know that Isak chose the color not only because he likes Even in red but also because it matches the pop ring Even gave him for Christmas as an half-joke.
“I’m really happy you found this boy, sweetheart.” His mother says and kisses his temple softly.
Two : Jonas
Jonas is the first one to arrive for the big day. What Even calls the big day and Isak happily repeats. They’re moving in together in a mix of finally and already.
Isak is sorting the mess from under his bed while Jonas is taking care of school books and all the crap on the shelf.
At some point Jonas grabs what seems to be a handful of jewelry catalogues. His eyebrows rise high.
“Uh, Isak?” He calls. For a second he wonders if Isak is thinking about proposing. He shows the catalogues and Isak blushes. Jonas has never seen that, unless it’s Even-related. Jonas’ eyes go wide. Fuck. Is Isak actually going to do that?
“I couldn’t just go to the first store and pick what’s best you know. Couldn’t buy it on the internet either because, then, I wouldn’t know what it actually looked like. So. I took a bunch of these and you don’t want to know how much time I spend on them, man.” Isak explains like it is all so logical and obvious.
“It?” Jonas asks. If his best friend wants to propose to his boyfriend before he’s even turned eighteen, Jonas will support him no matter what his opinion on the matter is.
“The bracelet I got Even for his birthday?” It sounds like a question. “Yeah, you probably didn’t notice, what with the watch from his parents being ten times more obvious.” And then, Isak proceeds to chuckle. Jonas shrugs.
“Do you want to keep that, or not?”
“You’re so gone on him.” Jonas says, hoping the tone of his voice conveying how happy he is for Isak.
Three : Even’s little sister
Since he moved out Even makes a point of coming back to his childhood home regularly to spend time with his sisters. Usually Isak tags along and hangs out with Maja. Even and his parents find hilarious the way Maja, 12, is so enamored with Isak. If she wasn’t so young, Even would worry she’d try to steal his lover.
Today Isak is hanging out with Eskild and Linn. Maja was disappointed when Even arrived alone but he tries not to take it personally and focuses on Elsa who jumped in his arms demanding hugs.
Now he’s lying on the floor of Elsa’s room drawing silly things while she’s coloring next to him.
“Evy?” She tries to catch his attention.
“What does it really mean when someone is your lover?” Her frowns shows how much she’s confused by the concept and Even can’t help but chuckle. She’s adorable.
“Well. For example, Mom and Dad are lovers. Isak is my lover.” He tries.
“Yes but what’s the difference with a friend?”
“Lovers kiss, cuddle. And always want to be together. Like when you’re with your friends you do stuff together, play or whatever. Well when you’re with your lover it doesn’t really matter if you’re doing something interesting or fun or not. You’re just happy to be with them.”
“And you think about them when they’re not with you, because you miss them. But you also think about them when you’re with them because that’s all you can really focus on.”
“How do you do your homework then?” Elsa asks, almost worried.
“I manage. But it’s very difficult sometimes.”
“Do lovers always get married? Like mom and dad?”
“Do you want to marry Isak?”
“I can’t wait.”
“Then why do you wait?” She frowns again.
“That’s a good question. I guess it’s because usually people wait a couple years. Because marriage is big, and you don’t want to do it if you’re not sure.”
“You’re not sure?”
“I am. But that’s not how it works, I guess. Also there are many different ways to show you lover how much you love them.”
Even thinks about it for a second. He’s not going to start on all the (often silly) ways he and Isak shower each other with love and proofs of love. Automatically he starts fiddling with his bracelet and that seems to grab Elsa’s attention.
“That’s pretty. Where did you get it? Can I have one?”
“It’s a gift from Isak.” He answers, hoping she’s not going to ask his boyfriend for one.
“To show you how much he loves you?” She’s curious again.
“Exactly.” Even says and feels warm inside. He can’t wait to get home, tell Isak about this conversation and let himself being wrapped in Isak’s love.
Four : Magnus
Isak is a bit surprised when Even joins them and is only wearing a t-shirt. Just yesterday the weather was nice, everybody had ditched as many layers as possible except Even who was wearing a t-shirt, a hoodie and his jean jacket.
Even is warmly welcomed by the boys, pecks Isak’s lips and they all get going towards the park. Isak grabs Even’s hand in his and asks him about work while walking.
When they get to the park and settle down Isak opens his back-pack and hands out beers to everyone. The conversation flows easily jumping from one thing to another until Magnus interrupts everyone.
“Man! What’s this?” He almost shouts pointing at Even’s beer resulting in the beer being thrown away and Even shaking his hand so hastily Isak worries it might follow the beer can.
“What?” Even asks panicked, while Madhi is saving the beer.
“On your wrist! Since when do you wear jewelry man?”
A laugh explodes out of Jonas and Isak wishes he had a desk he could bang his hand on.
“The fuck man?” Isak says.
“Fuck I thought there was something on me.” Even laughs. ‘I’ve been wearing it for month!”
“Since his birthday,” Jonas clarifies and Even looks at him eyebrows raised high, probably because he wasn’t expecting that Isak might have told him.
“Isak gave it to me for my birthday.” Explains Even.
Magnus proceeds to grab Even's hand and look closely at the bracelet. “Boys! It’s too cute I can’t compete!” He shakes Even’s hand as if to show the others. “These are hearts. Fuck! look! The beads! There’s one with a E in a heart and one the a I in another heart!” He examines the thing furthermore and Even decide to let him be knowing full well that it’s that or tones of questions. “Yeah this is weird though”, he points at the last bead. “I don’t get it.”
“Maybe you don’t get it because it has nothing to do with you?” Isak tries and takes Even’s hand from Magnus hold.
“But it looks like a drop of water, I don’t get it!”
“Mags,” Even interrupts. “This is a personal gift. Its meaning is only for us to know.” He explains calmly hoping Magnus will drop it.
“Ok.” To everyone’s surprise Magnus drops it off and Jonas starts talking about something that couldn’t be less related to the previous subject.
Five : Isak’s mother
Even is beyond nervous but tries to hide it for Isak’s sake. Isak himself is so anxious he’s cleaned the kitchen twice and made the bed four different times until he was satisfied. At some point Even was worried his boyfriend might pass out.
Today, Isak’s mother is coming to visit. They both know that they will probably head out and do something outside because the flat is not fitted to receive someone’s parents, but Isak wanted to show his mother where he lives and she was happy to meet them here. Hence, the fact that Isak wants the flat to be perfectly clean and tidy.
Even offers some tea, when Marianne gets there. She accepts and he gets busy while Isak shows her around. The tea ready, he finds them sitting by the tiny table on the balcony. Even notices how Isak obviously didn’t shy away from his mother’s hand and let’s her holding him in a way. That’s new and he feels bad to interrupt their conversation.
He puts the cups down, two teas and Isak’s sweet coffee he only knows how to make thanks to his job.
“Isak said you like white tea.” Even says as he sits with them.
“I do.” Marianne beams at Isak and Even is so glad they’re rebuilding their relationship.
Even takes his watch off since he doesn’t have work today and doesn’t feel the need to keep track of time. He listen to the conversation, participates a little and waits for his tea to cool down a little.
Isak is telling his mother about their plans for the holidays and Even smiles while sipping on his tea.
“That bracelet is really nice, sweetheart.” Marianne says at some point and Even must have lost track of the conversation, thinking dreamily about the trip he is about to take with is amazing lover.
Next, Isak is taking Even’s hand in his lacing their fingers, saying “that was his birthday present”. Now Isak hasn’t been shy about displaying his affection in front of their friends or even strangers for months but this is the very first time he touches his boyfriend in front of his mother and Even can’t be prouder than he is right now.
Zero : Even
Since Even’s birthday ended up being a weekday, he and Isak decided to wait until Friday to celebrate with friends. When the birthday boy’s mother heard she decided they could have a family celebration and share a nice dinner. She invited Isak herself to make sure the boy knew the whole family wanted him there and went a little overboard when preparing dinner.
Even picked Elsa from school that afternoon and the latter insisted on spending her hard won pocket-money on an ice-cream for her big brother. In February. She said it was important because he always got her one for her own birthday. Which was in August.
Maja had asked if Isak could pick her up, and he did after she not-so-secretly told him it was because she needed help to go to the store to buy Even a present.
It’s a nice evening. Everyone seems happy to celebrate and make new, good memories together. Neither Even nor his parents let themselves think about his last birthday. The food is delicious, including Isak’s attempt at cardamom cupcakes. There are lots of presents and the atmosphere is light and warm.
Before they all go to bed, Isak and Even’s father team up to clean the table and the dishes while Even plays one last game with his sisters.
“You’re really good to him,” Even’s dad tells Isak and when the boy looks up to babble some kind of answer he sees the teary eyes and the warm smile the man gives him. Isak can only nod, overwhelmed.
Later, when Isak and Even disappear into their bubble, the younger boy takes something from his bag.
“I got another present for you.” He says shyly. “I didn’t feel like giving it to you in front of family or friends.”
“Is it a kinky present?” Even giggles. He knows it’s not. Isak hands him she wrapped box and they both sit on Even’s couch.
“What is it?” Even asks.
Isak’s present is by far Even’s favorite. He was definitely not expecting this but it’s wonderful. As soon as Isak has fastened the bracelet at Even’s wrist the birthday boy wrapes his lover in his arms. It’s unexpected but it’s also so Isak to give such a present, meaningful, personal and that demonstrates so much love.