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we are basic lives

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Rosetta is ten when Camille first sees her in pants.

It’s a little surprising. Women can wear pants nowadays, if they want to make a statement, but it’s much more common to see them in skirts and dresses. Girls Rosetta’s age wearing them are rarely seen.

Camille isn’t sure how to bring it up. After they’ve picked flowers for a while, he makes an attempt. “So, little Rosetta, you look nice today…”

Rosetta frowns, and tugs at the side of her pants. “They feel strange.”

“Huh, then why are you wearing them?” he asks.

“...If Ster needed to do something,” Rosetta says, “wouldn’t he feel strange in a skirt?”

That’s a good point. Rosetta is a thoughtful girl who wouldn’t want to make a guy wear women’s clothing, even if they happen to share a body.

“I think Mister Ster is used to it,” Camille says, with a soft chuckle. “And he wouldn’t want you to make yourself uncomfortable, either. But it’s good of you to think of him.”

Rosetta is twelve when she asks Camille over lunch, “Do you like someone?”

Camille nearly chokes on his piece of bread. “Uh- ah- Well, I like you, and Mister Ster, and…”

She shakes her head, serious. “Do you like someone like your parents liked each other?”

Well, if it’s that kind of like, then… “I definitely don’t like anyone as much as that.” His father gave up his whole way of life for the love of his mother. He can hardly imagine being that much in love. “But maybe someday, I’ll like someone that much. It sounds nice.”

“If you like someone that much, will you still come visit me?” she asks.

This answer he doesn’t even have to think about. He grins at her. “Of course. We’ll always be friends.”

Rosetta is fourteen when she says, “A boy told me I was pretty today and tried to hold my hand.”

Rosetta has always been cute, but she’s getting prettier every time Camille sees her. He’s only surprised this hasn’t happened sooner. “And?”

“Ster told him to keep his hands to himself and he ran away.” She frowns. “Should I say I’m sorry?”

“Mister Ster is still really protective of you, isn’t he…?” If he gets a chance, he’ll have to talk to him about people growing up. “Are you sorry about it?”

“Not really,” she says. “He was kind of smelly.”

“If he’s smelly, I’m surprised Mister Ster didn’t do worse to him,” he replies, smiling wide.

“He’s just a boy,” Rosetta says. “Ster isn’t that mean.”

Camille remembers their first meeting and decides to say nothing.

Rosetta is sixteen when she asks, “If I get married, will you come to my wedding?”

Alarmed, Camille starts, “You’re not-”

“I’m not getting married now,” she says. “I’m just thinking about later.”

“...I’m not sure about that. I mean, being in a public place like that… If I have my medicine it should be okay, but if I lose my hat…” He trails off for a moment. “I wouldn’t want to ruin your special day.”

“Camille,” she says, fixing him with a stern look, “you have to come, or it will be ruined anyway.”

That’s that. He’s not sure how he was cowed this easily by a girl nine years younger than him, but in this case, he doesn’t mind.

“Okay. If it’s that important, then I promise I’ll be there.”

Rosetta reaches up and gives him scritches behind one of his ears for that correct answer.