It has been ten years since the Bill of Rights has been passed. In that time, all the non-humans have proven that they were every bit as deserving of rights as the human population of the world. To make this anniversary even more memorable, the first Festival of Diversity is going to take place all over the world.
Erin turned off the TV and snuggled into Andrew. The Festival of Diversity was a big deal, he supposed. Where humans and non-humans were going to come together and enjoy amusement parks and the like for a whole of twenty-four hours, free of charge.
“What do you think?” Asked Erin, Andrew had his eyes closed, but Erin was sure his husband was not asleep.
“I think it is all well and good. Like it should have been from the start,” murmured Andrew, and he yawned. They had done their part for the festival. Andrew, who had taken some drawing lessons, so he could polish his craft outside the effect of the spell, now knew the theory behind what he did. He had offered to host sketching rings for the Ravenna part of the festival.
“Yes, it does give a feeling of goodwill. And we were listed down as human volunteers, so, all the better, right?” Andrew nodded. They didn’t need to get to the festival grounds for another five hours. They were in the bike park and so, the two have decided to drive there but take their bikes too.
“I am excited about the pottery corner,” said Andrew. He was not going to use the spell to make the perfect pottery. For this hobby, he wanted to rely entirely on his ability.
“I hear they will have a skating competition, too,” said Erin. He couldn’t skate to save his life, but he was fairly certain that the event would be exciting.
“And, after, we can go star gazing with the rest and wait for the fireworks,” murmured Andrew, a far away look on his face.
“Do you want to do some Duolingo practice?” They have both long since learned Italian. Erin thought it had more to do with the exposure to the language every time they exited their home, than with the repeat of the sentences, but they were adamant that they used the app. Currently, they were learning German, as they wanted to move to Austria when they learned it.
“I did a thousand points today. Do you want to go out and just have a walk?” Asked Andrew. Erin had not touched the app today, but, he had a streak freeze. If he missed a day, nothing but a dip in his graph would happen.
“Sounds good,” said Erin, untangling himself from around Andrew and standing up. “We can go jogging.”
Andrew grinned. They had gone a long way from those early days when Andrew would leave Erin in the dust every time they jogged.
“But, we have to be careful to come back before we need to go to the festival. So, we can shower,” said Andrew, and he went to rummage in the wardrobe for some better suited clothes.
“Andrew, I have been thinking, do you remember that idea that Daphne told us? About opening our shop?” Andrew nodded. They had both talked about it a lot in that year when they had spoken with Daphne and Adam. Then, they had fallen into a routine and forgotten about it.
“What of it?” Asked Andrew. They had only about ten more years in Ravenna. There was no way they could get a shop running in that time.
“Well, I was thinking how we can take our German language exams in the fall, seeing as we have been learning it for three years. Then, we can move straight to Austria without waiting. To a nice, quiet town in the Alps. I am tired of the constant heat that is plaguing Ravenna,” Andrew grinned.
“And you wanted to go live on a tropical island,” Erin rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and returned the grin.
“Yes, well, I wasn’t thinking straight. Don’t get me wrong, Ravenna is like a dream and I can spend days in its gardens and parks, but, I need a change,” Andrew nodded. He looked around their apartment.
They had both left their mark on it. Andrew had filled the walls with sketches and paintings of Erin, and Erin had bought all the rugs and various knickknacks.
“We can’t leave everything here,” said Andrew as he looked around. All the things were seeped with memories. It just felt wrong to him for them to up and leave their life behind.
“We don’t really have to, do we? We can take everything. And this time, we are buying a house. One with a big back garden,” said Erin, and he took some magazines from the bedside table, and he showed them to Andrew. “I want to grow some of these plants.”
“Those are trees, Erin. We can’t stay long enough to see them give fruit,” countered Andrew. Erin grinned and rolled up his sleeve. “You registered?”
Andrew stared at the black dot that was marking Erin’s pale skin. He went to touch it.
“Wasn’t it too dangerous?” Asked Andrew as he held Erin’s arm.
“I didn’t have a choice. They placed new regulations on selling special food to non-humans. If I didn’t register, I wouldn’t have gotten blood,” Andrew nodded. He was afraid that the world would revert to what it had been. But, worse, as people will know that there were non-humans around now.
“I could have fed you,” Andrew needed for Erin to know that he had his back. Because Andrew was never going to abandon him. No matter what.
“I know. However, I didn’t want to risk you getting a sickness or something from the constant blood loss. Anyway, it is done. Besides, Adam told me that one of the priests exorcised a poltergeist and claimed that it was you. So, it is not like they are still searching for you,” Andrew smiled, looking relieved. That was the best news he had gotten in a while.
“So, the plan is a house with a big garden in which we can stay for as long as we like?” Said Andrew, and he leaned in Erin’s personal space, so he could nuzzle their noses together.
“A home, no more fear, and, maybe, a child?” Asked Erin, sounding hopeful. Andrew nodded. That sounded like a dream. And they could have it all, in this brave new world of theirs.