"We need to talk."
This was what I was greeted with after school from my supposed "romantic partner". Fun openers like that have started wars, I'm pretty sure.
Sighing, she sarcastically told me, "About Papua New Guinea."
"I hear it's a pretty mysterious place." Sarcasm doesn't work on me. I destroy it with extreme prejudice. "Awesome surfing, too. Why, wanna head down there this Summer and shoot the curl?"
"No, I... since when do you surf?"
I smiled big enough to show off my dimples. On purpose. "You just wanna see me in a wetsuit." And, on cue, her entire face turned red as a stop light.
"Cut that out!" she whispered. We hadn't yet made it to her car, and she kept casting wary glances around at all the lingering kids. Makes a girl feel special. "Look, we need to talk about you and me. About the fact that now we're an item."
"Ooh, an 'item'. I always hated that term... makes couples sound like some junk you might have to take out of your shopping basket right before the checkout so you can use the Express Lane."
I stopped walking and turned, sighing. "What? For the love of Mike, what's your damage? As far as I knew, things have been going pretty well."
"They have," Amy hissed as she bolted for the car. She didn't continue until we were both safely within its confines. "But, I m-mean... that was a close call, with Bright."
"You can call off the dogs, Ames. Bright's cool now, we talked it out."
"Yeah, Bright is cool, but you and me aren't." She tucked that ornery strand of hair away again and whispered (even though nobody could hear us through the car doors), "We're still, y'know... homosexuals."
"Homo sapiens, you say?" I cried with mock horror.
"How fourth grade. Anyway, it's... the thing is, there could be another 'Bright Incident' at any time. Mom and Dad could walk in – yours or mine – or what if it was Ephram? God, the last thing I need is him finding out about this and trying to, like, ask me if I needed help shaving my pubes or something crazy."
Ignoring the way her mind unexpectedly leapt to landing strips, I cleared my throat and said, "Uhh... well, there's something I should probably tell you. We're not, uh, as anonymous as you seem to think."
"What do you mean?"
Five minutes later...
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR STUPID HEAD?"
"Amy, calm down," I sighed. "So I flipped a little. I needed somebody outside the situation to listen, and they both helped. Besides, it's not like I told Kayla or Page or somebody who would make a public service announcement before the day was out."
"OOOH, this is so unacceptable!" she burst out, beating her forehead against the steering wheel. "How could you? How could you blab to them without letting me in on it first, without even asking?"
"Ephram and Mrs Feeney? Telling our secret to one person wasn't bad enough, you had to make it a hat trick?"
"Isn't a hat trick three points, not two?"
Amy glared at me. "Maybe we could count Bright as the third."
"That's not fair," I said, feeling a pinprick of anger. "That was nobody's fault, not mine, not yours."
"It was too your fault! I told you I wasn't ready to fool around that much, but you insisted, and of course we were practically naked when he walked in!"
It felt like I had been slapped. She was blaming me for this. She was BLAMING me for us being together. "Okay. Let's really sit down and think about this. Who's fault is it really that we were making out on your parents' couch? Maybe it could be yours."
"I don't see how!"
"You're the one who had to lose her virginity!" I shouted. "You couldn't just let it happen, wait for the right guy! You had to enlist your best girl-friend in your quest to rip yourself open!"
She rolled her eyes. "Oh great, here we go. It's all my fault for being curious."
"Curious, nothing! You were rabid! I had to loan you my dildo, and then when you got cold feet I had to use it on you! I've never felt so obligated toward somebody in my life!"
Cheeks glowing, her voice rose, too. "So that's how our sex life is to you? An obligation?"
"What sex life? We've never had any! I mean, I helped you out once, before we even decided we were all lesbian for each other, and since then you turned into some kind of, of... gun-shy geisha!"
"Honestly, Laynie, I don't think you really wanna have sex with me, anyway," she said in that superior tone Bright had just been griping about so very recently. "All you wanna do is push my buttons and make me look all naïve and stupid."
"Like I really gotta try," I muttered.
She turned those huge eyes on me, now huger than ever. "Seriously? My grades could run rings around yours, and you seriously think I'm stupid?"
"Listen to yourself! Do you sound like you're leading a symposium on cold fusion? Besides, I'm not the one who's been flunking all my classes this year, Little Miss Almost-Dropout!"
There was a long bout of glaring. I went too far. I knew I did, but I couldn't stop it from coming out – she was being so impossible! Even so, I didn't mean to say she was stupid, and I really didn't mean to point out her academic underachievement of late. It was kind of a sore spot not just with her, but between her and her parents. God, I swear I cut myself on my razor-wit almost as much as I cut other people with it.
Amy started the car. "Whatever, I'm taking you home. There you can sit around and be the 'wise one' all you want."
"No, I'll walk home."
"Forget it! You don't get to take the high road and walk all the way home from here, leaving me feeling guilty over being entitled or whatever for having the car!"
Surprised at this half-assed logic (She was forcing me to accept her offer of a ride? Whaaat?), I instead sighed and said, "Can we at least stop listening to Seal? I'm so not feeling him right now."
"You will listen to Seal and you will like it," she growled as she shifted into reverse. "And you will appreciate the heartbreaking beauty that is his third album that nobody else listened to!"
Rolling my eyes, I slouched down in the seat and clammed up for the rest of the trip. The annoying part is, she's right: the album's not so bad. As if I was in any mood to admit that to her.
Hence I came to be alone in my room once more, praying for my meds to kick in... and kicking myself until they do. Damn meds. Damn me.
AUTHORESS'S NOTE: Yes, quite. Depression is fun! This midnight showing of SilverLining is brought to you by the letter "E" for Exhaustion. Don't worry, Soulless, I'm just glad you dropped by. There is plenty more to come in the weeks to follow, but for now I have to sleep.
NEXT: A poem. ...no, actually, I'm quite serious. It's going to be a poem. And there will be no author note specifically to grant it room to breathe (or stink up the room?)