Episode 901: More Than You KnowAfter weaving his way through the crowd dropping off donations for the charity drive, Xavier finally located Tansy near the back of the shelter. He hugged her and said, “I’m proud of you kiddo, as always.”
Tansy grinned happily. “Lots of people came,” she said of the event she’d played a large role in organizing. “I mean,” her grin noticeably dropped. “My friend Enid couldn’t come. She was going to help sort through the coats and the food.”
“I'm sure she wanted to be here,” Xavier said. He hoped the girl did. Tansy talked about Enid a lot. He hated to think how Tansy would end up feeling if her enthusiasm for this other girl wasn’t mutual.
Tansy nodded. “Enid’s apologized like a thousand times and she promised she’ll come help with Christmas Eve dinner here even though she doesn’t celebrate Christmas.”
“I’m glad you’ve found such a nice friend, Tans. Speaking of friends, Lucy’s on her way, she’s held up at school, but she’ll be here. Meantime, what can I do to help?”
“Over here,” a nearby familiar voice called out. “We’re sorting these canned goods, it’s a mountain and growing. We could use more hands.”
Xavier hesitated to volunteer alongside Talia, the woman who had blackmailed him into a relationship, but it occurred to him where he’d be if others like Tansy and her father hadn’t given him a chance.
“Sure,” he said and they worked companionably enough until Talia’s daughter, Molly brought up the subject of a hanukkah present for Tansy’s friend Enid.
Tansy shook her head woefully. “I can’t figure out what to give her.”
“It’s always tough,” Molly said. “You want to find the perfect thing for the person you’re stuck on.”
“I’m not stuck on her,” Tansy insisted, her cheeks growing increasingly red. “She’s my friend. She’s just my friend. I- I have to go check on stuff.” She hurried off.
“Molly,” Talia said. “I thought we’d turned a corner. You don’t tease people about their sexuality. You made it seem like she’s hot for her friend when she isn’t.”
“I wasn’t teasing,” Molly argued, her distress apparent. “I was commiserating. I have to talk to her.” She hurried off, too.
“So,” Talia said to Xavier. “Tansy’s...”
Xavier gave her a stern look.
“None of my business. Unless she wants it to be.”
Xavier nodded, and followed after the girls. Molly meant well, but like her mom, she wasn’t always tactful. His focus on Tansy, he accidentally bumped into someone.
“Sorry,” he said. “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“No problem,” the teenager replied and it was then that Xavier recognized Jesse from the donor wanted posters. “You’re really okay? You’re the kid who was sick, right? So you’re okay?”
It was curt and dismissive, the boy understandably over answering questions about his health, still, that surly teenage thanks, it meant more to Xavier than the kid knew, it confirmed that he wasn’t wrong to go find Tansy, to think he was capable of doing some good for others.