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About lofie

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    My name is Lofie
    I'm a long time lurker turned active member
    I like many things including but not limited to: reading, writing, music, animation, cats, and so on.

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  1. lofie

    Waiting Game

    I'm so fucking impatient i can't stand it today was iight i found out that m did acid in the 70's like a lot of acid So that was interesting it made me like her more we're like two degenerates masquerading as proper people im so excited I'm waiting for chapter 2 of she loves me to go up And I'm almost done fixing chapter 9 i still have to rewrite the ending and when that's done I'll have completed a story a whole story all by myself so excited
  2. lofie

    Number 1

    I feel good today i worked from 10:30 to 1:30 now I'm chilling in bed listening to Spotify ok this is sufficient i have nothing else to say this is a good day p.s. i didn't email z happy bday and the world didn't end i feel small
  3. lofie


    Thanks I will do that.
  4. lofie

    She loves me she loves me not

    Girls are a huge distraction, especially when you have your heart set on becoming a prima ballerina. At least according to Elizabeth McRea. Can Liz get over herself long enough to get the girl? Is it really too late for love?
  5. lofie


    I'm half way through chapter 9 but i have to stop now and do some chores. I just wanted to say i love this story. I love the pace, i love the mood. I love the characters everything. i hate Mr. Templeton though, i am so tempted to skip ahead just to see if Mrs. Templeton divorces his ass. Seriously though this is good story and the characters are so believable and like able. It's really great how you handled Billy's "issues", i can really relate to that and you've done a great job of bringing him to life.
  6. lofie


    Chapter 2 Three years later "And then she had the nerve to make out with her! Right in front of me!" I winced at the shrill voice of the less than sober brunette that I had the displeasure of listening to. Her talking at me just added to the horrible day I was having. What else was new? On the drive over from the city my mother decided to accompany me and give a me lecture on the areas where I needed to improve. Apparently last years end of semester piece was riddled with flaws. Whatever. The moment I got through the door, the vibrating bass provided the backdrop to my burgeoning headache. I spotted Kelsey, somehow, through the throngs of party goers. When I made it over to her, she deposited the brunette in my company and slithered away towards greener pastures. Bitch. "God I just hate her sometimes." Not as much as I hated this conversation. I nodded noncommittally. "So..." the brunette sidled up to me. "How fucked up is your ex?" she drawled in a voice that was clearly meant to be sexy. I almost laughed at her deranged come on. "I don't have an ex, I'm in a committed relationship." Technically true, though my relationship with Chester was platonic, and a front to appease our parents. "Oh." She faltered. "I have to go." I smiled apologetically and walked away from her. I sighed, relieved. I thought getting away from her would have been more difficult than it was. I had only ended up losing twenty minutes of my life that I would never get back. I weaved through the crowd with the intention of finding Kelsey. I had some neck wringing to do. Finding Kelsey was easy enough. Always the perfect hostess, she gravitated towards the kitchen, pouring drinks, greeting people. Everyone at her parties eventually went to the alcohol station, which was always in the kitchen. Kelsey was talking to a small group of five, all of whom I was acquainted with. I milled at the entrance. I wanted to go over there, but I didn't really feel like engaging in the usual tedious pleasantries with people that I only knew because they attended most of Kelsey's parties. I sighed. I was exhausted. I went back into the darkened living room. I didn't feel like being social, which sucked, since I was in the middle of a party where everyone was having fun, except for me. Four hours ago I wanted to be here. I was even looking forward to seeing my old friends again. Of course if I hadn't shown I would never have heard the end of it. I guess a long car ride with a disapproving mother would wipe anyone’s spirits. My headache crawled from the back of my head to my temples. I needed to get out of here. I scanned the room for the narrow staircase that led up to Kelsey’s bedroom. At this point, I was closer to the stairs than I was to the front door. The distance would kill me. Three years later, Kelsey still cordoned of the stairs with caution tape. I just hoped her bedroom door was unlocked. Any bedroom, even her mom's, would be good. A place to lie down would be nice right about now. I knew she wouldn't mind me in there. If it was locked, I could just sit outside the door. It would still be less noisy than downstairs. Once I got myself together, I would leave. I just needed a reprieve. As I got to the top of the stairs, I fumbled for the light switch. I was blinded for a moment. The brightness didn't help the pain, which was escalating at a rate I wasn't exactly prepared for. I was a sufferer of chronic migraines. Usually I suffered in the privacy of my home, and when I did feel one that I knew would be bad, I had a doctors note that excused me from class. I only took pain killers for performances. I had to be careful though - I only needed to numb the pain - not get so high that I couldn't even perform. My legs felt rickety beneath me. I had most of my weight on Kelsey's door when I pushed it open. My world froze as my pain addled brain took a few moments to register the scene I was witnessing. Two bodies separated almost instantaneously when I opened the door. One, I just couldn't get out of my head despite the passage of time. Whitney's dusty brown hair, with its naturally occurring highlights, framed her face like a lion's mane. She had recently began wearing it out, as opposed to up in a messy bun on the top of her head. Despite the frizzness, it looked good. The bun was only for class I guess. I didn't see much, just arms pulling away, but it was obvious that Whitney and Jane were having a tender moment. Fuck. Jane looked guilty and Whitney looked pissed - no doubt at me. I knew I looked bored, it was an expression that was well practised, but the head pain was chipping away at my facade. As it washed over me, I winced and sank down into the plush carpet. I pulled my knees to my chest, and tucked my head between them where the light couldn’t get to me. "Um hey." Jane began tentatively. "We were just-" "Making out" "Talking" Jane and I spoke over each other. "It doesn't have anything to do with her, you don't owe her an explanation." Whitney hissed. My hair had fallen forward, I peaked through the curtain it made over my eyes. Whitney was shooting daggers in my direction. I closed my eyes. A cutlass was chopping my skull open. I rocked back and forth as the pain engulfed me. "What the hell is wrong with her?" Jane’s panic stricken voice seemed so far away. My pain addled brain was swimming in a thick fog. I opened my eyes and winced, the light was so bright. I tried again, the world slowly came into focus. Whitney's blue eyes locked with mine. My neck felt funny, I sat up. I was so drowsy. But the pain was manageable now. She pressed the back of her hand on my forehead. "Hey," she whispered "you fainted. How's your head?" I started to get up. "I'm ok." "Don't...just take it easy." I felt calm, everything was ok now. The pain had subsided. It was still there, but the edge was gone. Whitney got up and walked over to Jane. She pulled her aside and spoke to her in a low voice. Whatever she said calmed Jane down. Whitney came back over to me and gave me her arm. I ignored the fuzzy feeling I got when she helped me up and walked me over to the bed. I sat down. On her way out Jane stopped and gave my other arm a squeeze. "Call me when you get home." I nodded, my mind was starting to clear. Whitney leaned against the wall with her arms crossed, staring at me unabashedly. For the first time in three years, she wasn't angry. Normally this would be something worth mulling over, but I was too tired. I always got worn out after a fainting spell. This doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen when the pain gets really bad. The only person who knew about my headaches, other than my parents, was Whitney. I got my first bad one three years ago. Whitney was sleeping over and we were getting something downstairs. I don't remember what it was...food probably. I ignored the pain then. I didn’t want to ruin the sleepover. Then it got really bad, and all I remember is waking up on the floor with Whitney and my dad standing over me freaking out. My dad insisted that we go to the hospital. I had no say, he offered to drop Whitney home but she insisted on coming with us. Two hours later in the emergency room, a doctor told us that sometimes bad migraines cause people to faint. I was really embarrassed, I made Whitney promise not to tell anyone, and I'm sure she didn't. Now Jane knows. The fear of people knowing seemed so insignificant now. I was absently tracing the flower pattern on Kelsey's sheet, I felt self conscious, feeling her eyes on me "Are you ready?" "For what?" I looked up. "I'm taking you home." She jingled her car keys. Whitney gave me her keys and told me to wait by her jeep while she talked to Kelsey. Her parents had bought her a used yellow jeep wrangler when she turned 16. This would be my first time riding in it. I hopped into the passenger seat. I didn't have to wait long for her. "My dad lives by the-" "It's ok, I know where he lives." When I voiced my surprise she was quick to remind me. "This is a small town, remember? Everybody knows everything about everybody." "Ok." I looked out the window. I knew that, but telling her where I live would fill the inevitable uncomfortable silence. My dad ended up buying a house in Winchester after the first summer we spent here. He wanted to buy the house we had rented our first summer here, but the owner wouldn't sell. He got another place across town in the opposite direction. I wasn't surprised at his sudden interest in living here. We both had fun that first summer. We had gotten closer, and he kept commenting on how nice it was to hear crickets chirping instead of cars honking. We didn't live far from Kelsey's house though. She and Whitney lived around the center of town. Technically everything in town was close together, there wasn't really much of a town. "So, you still get headaches?" It was weird, I got the sense that she was nervous. It was surreal being in her car. I mean we hadn't had a real conversation in a really long time. But we had the same friends - at least in the summer - so we did spend a lot of time around each other. After our falling out, I wanted nothing more than to retreat and just focus on dancing. When I got into the summer program the following year, I attempted to keep to myself, but Kelsey and Jane wouldn't let me forget them. Jane and a few of the other girls I had become close with the previous summer, would stop me after class, preventing me from quietly slipping out. Also, Kelsey would not stop inviting me out, much to Whitney's chagrin. That summer was tense. Kelsey had a barbecue the day before the program started. She invited me. I didn't want to go, but she pressured me into it. I really do like Kelsey. When I got there, Whitney pulled Kelsey aside, and they both spoke in sharp whispers. Whitney stayed for a few minutes, scowling at me the entire time, and then she just left. How we continued to exist in the same space after that remains a mystery. I guess she just began to tolerate me. She did everything she could to stay away from me though, and it was more than obvious to everyone. "Yep." "Still don't know what causes them?" She was trying. "Nope..." The least I could do was try. I wasn't angry at her the way she was with me. I did try to talk to her after we fell out but she didn't want to hear it, so I stopped. I had gotten used to her ignoring me too...we had both gotten used to it. We had fallen into this relationship were she couldn't stand me and she couldn't stand to be near me, but we still technically hung out amicably. "So are you and Jane a thing now?" I could kick myself for asking that, but it was at the top of my head from the moment I had walked in on them. "Like I said, I don't owe you an explanation." There was an edge to her voice. She pulled into my driveway and cut the engine. "Well Jane is a relationship girl..." I couldn't let it go. Maybe I was jealous... probably... well obviously. "What are you trying to say Liz?" She clenched her jaw, looking over at me coolly. "Nothing, just that she can't be one of your flings." "Right. Flings. You would know all about that." She jeered. I blushed. I did have flings. They weren't so much flings as make out sessions at parties. Chester and I had an arrangement. We could do whatever we wanted on the side, as long as we were careful and we didn’t jeopardize our cover. "I'm in a committed relationship." I snapped. "Yeah, with a fag!" I was incensed. "You're such an asshole." I felt around for the door handle. My blood was boiling. It was my fault. I started it but that didn't matter. She hadn't met Chester. None of my friends here had met him. They knew of him and I did openly fool around with other girls. That was no secret. Kelsey's crowd didn't ask questions. I was grateful for that. My headache was coming back. As if reading my mind Whitney apologized. "Sorry, I don't want your headache to come back. But you really piss me off Liz. Do you think I'm some ass who just fucks around with my friends? Don't worry about Jane. Like I've said-" "It's none of my business I know." She sighed. My hands were shaking. They did that when I got headaches. I was having trouble with the seatbelt. She moved over to my seat and leaned over and unsnapped my seatbelt. In the process, her fingers brushed against mine. I inhaled sharply not expecting the spark from her simple touch. Fuck. After all these years she still had that effect on me. Whitney paused, examining me. The way she used to. She was still hovering over me. It happened fast, too fast to tell who started it. We lunged at each other. I fisted her t-shirt, pulling her closer. I shuddered and nipped at her lips. She opened her mouth. Our tongues struggled aggressively for dominance. She bit my bottom lip and I held in a moan. She was so hot. We were both so hot. I whined in protest when her lips moved away from mine. She kissed a path to my neck and bit me, I whimpered. My skin was on fire. I cupped her chin and brought her back to my lips. They needed attention. Her sweet scent filled my nostrils as our tongues danced a glorious duet. She started to pull away and I cradled the back of her head, my fingers engulfed by her soft curly hair. I pressed my lips back onto hers and continued my graphic assault. I couldn't stop even if I wanted to, which I didn't. Somewhere in the midst of things she had climbed on top of me. Her knees were pushing into my hips. Her hands were sliding on my lower back. I wanted more. She pulled away and I let her this time. She gingerly climbed off me and went back over to the driver's seat. We were both heaving. My heart was pounding so loudly I was sure she could hear it. "I think you should go now." She said in a calm, quiet voice. I nodded. I was still catching my breath. "I'm sorry." I felt like apologizing for some reason. I was shaking. I was having trouble pulling myself together, I didn't want her to see how much I wanted her. "Please go." She was firm. Hurt rippled through me. She gripped the steering wheel harder and stared straight ahead. Her face was a stony mask. I got out of the jeep. She drove away. I just stood there, in the middle of the driveway, trying to gather my wits. What the fuck. I rolled out of bed feeling like shit. I had a post headache hangover. I checked my messages before I trudged downstairs for breakfast. Jane wanted to drive me to class. She probably wanted to talk about last night. Bits and pieces of being in Whitney’s car flashed before me. Fuck. Jane and Whitney, I groaned. My dad placed a bowl of my favourite cereal, fruit loops and the milk bottle, before me. “Excited for class.” He boomed in his chipper I’m not going to work today voice. “Not really.” I mumbled. “What!” I knew he heard me, he was baiting me trying to get me to talk. “Yes dad, I'm excited for class.” I tried to bite back my sarcasm. He looked at me thoughtfully. “You know Liz if you need to talk..." I knew where this was going. Lately he was always trying to get me to reveal my feelings through open discussions. I loved my dad, and we were close, but there was a whole side of me that he didn't know - and that was fine by me “Can you give me a ride?” “Aren’t you riding with Jane?” I shook my head. Jane’s mom usually picked up, Leah, Shelby and I. This year Jane had her license. When she offered me a ride this morning I declined. I didn’t really want to see her. We wouldn’t be able to talk anyway, with Leah and Shelby there. I felt guilty, seeing her after what happened in Whitney's car. He looked at the stove clock. “You better hurry or we’re going to be late.” I was counting on it. My dad dropped me off 5 minutes before classes started, by then I knew that most of my classmates would already be there and grouped together. I slipped in the back. Whitney, Jane, Leah and Shelby were sitting in a group on the opposite end of the studio with their backs towards the mirror. I smiled and nodded at the familiar faces as I sat down and began a series of stretches, like many of my classmates. The first day of class wasn’t too intense. The instructor, Miss Vakrushev, had us do ice breakers; say your name and one unusual fact about yourself. I always named a place I've been to. I’ve been all over the world. After that we went through some barre exercises. Starting in two weeks the class would split up in three groups of four, and each group would choreograph their own piece to an assigned music section. We weren’t completely on our own. Our instructor would be present during rehearsals to give advice when advice was warranted. Excited murmurs flowed through the class during the announcement. Imagine the freedom. I got caught up in the enthusiasm. I was already looking around for people who I would like to be paired up with. Jane, Shelby, Leah and Whitney were an obvious group. I couldn’t work with them anyways, but it would be cool working with Jane since we had similar dance styles. Even if I could work with them, one member of the group would have to be excused. I knew Whitney wanted nothing to do with me, so she would willingly find another group. I didn't want to drive her out of the group, but she was so personable that she could join any group and become besties with her group members in a snap. I felt my face flush. Bits and pieces of last night floated before me. Fuck. I still needed to talk to Jane. Sigh. Why is everything so complicated? I told my dad to pick me up five minutes before class ended so that he would be waiting for me, and I could quickly duck out of class. Jane grabbed my arm before I could leave. I cringed when I saw Whitney’s impassive expression as she passed by us. Shelby and Leah walked out to the change room with her. Leah waved at me with a goofy grin even though she was inches away as she passed by. Shelby blew a kiss in my direction. “Why didn’t you come sit with us?” “You guys were talking. I didn’t want to interrupt.” “Is this because of last night?” Jane lowered her voice. I waited, unsure of how to answer, and unsure of what she knew. “Because I promised Whitney I wouldn't tell anyone about your...headaches.” I sighed, relieved. I had forgotten about that. "Walk me out.” She pulled on my arm. Jane was a puller. She was gentle - it’s not like it hurt or anything. It just took me a while to get used to it. It seemed like people in this town were very touchy feely. “My dad’s waiting for me.” I finally spoke up. “Then cancel, I don’t know, tell him something came up.” “I can’t...he's my dad." “Just talk to me for a few minutes.” I relented. We walked in silence to the change room and I waited for her on a bench just outside. If I could help it, I hardly used changerooms. At school if I had dance class in the middle of the day followed by more non dance classes, then of course I had to shower and change. I did change and shower after performances because of the intensity. I mostly avoid change rooms because I hated the musky smell, it made me think of mold. Jane was one of the last ones out. Shelby and Leah stopped and chatted to me as they exited the changeroom. Whitney was with them but she barely cast a glance in my direction. “What’s her problem?” Leah and Shelby looked back in her wake. “You must of pissed her off Liz?” Shelby was one of those people that said exactly what she was thinking at the moment she thought it. “Yeah, probably.” I suddenly felt so ridiculous. Of course I pissed her off. When didn't I? They were going to the pier later with a bunch of people from class. They wanted me to go with them. I just wanted to lay low for a while and give myself some space. I felt like I had had way too much human contact in the last few days. My mom, the party, Whitney, Jane. If I didn't stay home and relax I was sure I would explode. Especially since The past few days had been so drama filled. When I declined they were genuinely disappointed. “Don’t be a stranger.” Shelby's voice floated down the hall. A few minutes later Jane came out of the change room and plopped down beside me. I had already texted my dad to let him know I would be a while. Jane fiddled with the hem of her t-shirt. A nervous habit. I knew what was coming next. “So...last night was weird.” “Yea it was.” I smiled. I felt like I was in the middle of a Dawson's Creek episode. I was starting feel lighter. All this drama was nothing. It would pass and everything would continue on the way it's supposed to. “What’s so funny?” “This is just all so ridiculous. I walk in on you kissing Whitney, I practically pass out because of my headache…” I stopped myself. I almost said too much. “now we’re having this awkward conversation, where you're about to come out to me.” “I am not coming out!” “I see, well you can only stay in the closet for so long.” Jane playfully slapped my arm. “I’m not gay. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I was a little tipsy, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was the one who initiated it. I just wanted to see what all the hype was. There’s always some girl losing her shit over Whitney at every party. Honestly, kissing a girl reaffirmed my love for boys.” She took a deep breath. I nodded, taking it all in. She was right. Girls followed Whitney around like stray puppies. “So you know I don’t want that, to make things weird between us. You know.” “Yea for sure.” My day didn’t feel so gloomy anymore. I spent all morning dreading this conversation, beating myself up for ...my indiscretions, and it was all for nothing. That’s the thing with drama -once you work through it, it’s usually pointless. I tried to keep the drama to a minimum. But Whitney always complicated things for me. “Good.” She smiled. I knew she was relieved. “You should come down to the pier tonight, get to know your classmates.” “Is Whitney going?” It slipped out before I could stop myself. I was embarrassed, I didn’t even want to go, but I wanted to know if she would be there, probably flirting with some cute little thing from class. Jane gave me a long look then smirked. “I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?" She sang. Then she started making kissy noises. I got up in a huff. My dad was waiting. “I gotta go.” “Bye.” She sing-songed. I could still hear her making kisses when I got to the end of the hall. Over the next two weeks I established a nice little routine. I got to class late enough that I didn’t have to sit with Jane and the rest. I slipped out as soon as class was over and made a beeline for my dad’s car. He was waiting for me in the parking lot like my personal getaway car. If he went into work I would take a cab. Every morning Jane or Shelby or Leah texted me to ask if I wanted a ride to school and every morning I said no. I could tell that they were concerned. I wasn’t really around much. A part of me felt bad. I didn’t want them to think I was avoiding them. I just needed space. I missed being alone. At school I was never alone physically. My friends Blair and Irena followed me around between classes, during classes and even after classes. Despite this, I didn't talk to them much. Sometimes I would spend whole days in silence. They didn't notice. They were always squeaking at each other like mice. We hung out because we grew up together. Our mothers were Botox buddies. They didn't know me very well, and I'd known them my whole life. The situation was kind of bizarre, but it was easier that way. I didn't want anyone to get to know me, not since Whitney. Besides, being alone allowed me to work her out of my system. I was sick of always obsessing over her. I didn't care that she pretended I didn't exist. Honestly I was pissed, I didn't think I deserved to be treated the way she did that night in the car. I didn’t know if Whitney told anyone what happened that night. A part of me figured she wouldn't. She could be very private at times, but I was still paranoid. If she did, no one mentioned it. They were still willing to be my friends. I'm sure if Kelsey found out the whole history of Whitney and I, she would side with Whitney and never talk to me again. It took a while for my dad to notice I was spending too much time at home. When he did notice he made several attempts to talk to me about my 'issues', as he liked to call it. I finally decided to call Kelsey, when I caught my dad looking up “how to talk to teenagers” online. It was a Saturday afternoon, and Kelsey was having a barbecue. It was supposed to be a small gathering of friends, at least that's what she told me over the phone. I don’t think Kelsey knew the meaning of small. There were about fifty or so people. A few guys were tossing around a football. There were girls and guys in bathing suits, taking advantage of the backyard pool. The grill was on the deck being manned by some guy that I didn't know. Probably one of Kelsey's boy toys. Now that Kelsey was 17, her parents weren't as strict about the no drinking clause. Loud music was coming from the speakers inside, and the front door was open. Small barbecue my ass. This was a full out party. I went inside and someone jumped on my back and wrapped their hands around my eyes. "Guess who?" Shelby's voice rang in my ear. "Um queen latifah." Shelby giggled as I shook her off. "I'm so glad you came." She brought me back outside. Shelby had waist length blonde hair that people didn't suspect was that long because she always wore it in a bun. Tonight it was free flowing down her back. Her blue eyes crinkled when she smiled, which was all the time. She was a fun loving, free spirit, always acting before thinking. But in class she was all business. We stopped by the big apple tree in the front yard. Jane, Leah and a few girls from class that I wasn't yet acquainted with and an equal number of guys sat in a circle passing around a joint. I stopped drinking and smoking along time ago, so I sat behind Leah and Jane as Shelby squeezed in between two tan adonises with their shirts off. "Hey." Jane squeezed my thigh. "Long time no see." "We missed you babe." Leah gave me a sloppy kiss on the cheek. Leah greeted everyone with kisses because of her Spanish heritage. Her words. I could tell by her big pupils and glassy eyes that she was stoned. I rolled my eyes and exaggerated wiping the spit off my cheek. Jane shifted out of the circle so that she was beside me. "You better not be avoiding me." "I'm not, I just wanted some down time." "This is our last year together." Jane frowned. And leaned her head on my shoulder. "Summer just started, there's still.." "Eight more weeks." "Okay fine." The joint made it's way back to Jane, she reached for it but I passed it along. "I think you're good now." Eventually the group under the tree dispersed when all the joints were smoked. Leah and Shelby were off in separate corners canoodling with guys. Jane and I found Kelsey, she also lamented my absence, and then she went on and on about some guy that she really liked. Actually, it was the guy who was flipping burgers at the grill. He did seem nice. Jane eventually ditched me for some guy she had just met but had a serious crush on. All my friends ended up ditching me for guys, but that was okay. I was having a good time mingling with people I hadn't seen in a year. I was starting to feel hungry so I went over to the grill. Kelsey had her arms around burger boy as he placed a fresh burger on a paper plate in my hands. I grabbed a bottle of water off a table filled with condiments, napkins and various alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. I went back over to the shade of the apple tree. It was seven o'clock, but the sun still lit up the sky. It was a perfect cloud free day. There was a girl under the tree. I had somehow missed that, but now it was more than obvious. She was sketching, in one of those black leather sketchbooks. I didn't recall seeing her all afternoon, in fact I didn't recall ever seeing her at all. I would have remembered her. She had chocolate brown skin and her head was shaved. Not completely bald but closely cropped. She looked up. I guess she felt me staring. "Hey." I took a bite of my burger. She put her sketchbook to the side. "Hey."I took another bite, and assumed she would introduce herself or ask me a question, but she didn't say anything. Surprisingly I didn't feel awkward at all. "I'm Elizabeth, everyone here calls me Liz." I took a swig of my water bottle. "Gwen." She nodded towards the guy at the grill. "That's my ride." "O you're friends with burger boy." "Adam. He's really into your friend." Gwen picked up her sketch pad and opened it up and continued where I presumed she had left off. I took the time to study her. She had small plump lips that were a little down turned and a defined cupids bow. Very kissable lips. Her eyes were brown and large -almost doll like. Her heart shaped face finished off her doll like appearance. She was cute. Really cute. “What?" she asked, without looking up.” “Nothing. I’ve never seen you around before.” I said quickly. “You know everyone here?” “I might not know their name but yea I’ve seen most of them around. I’ve been coming here for the last three summers. There's this ballet intens- program. At Debbie Lee ballet studio.” “Where are you coming from?” She took quick sidelong glances her eyes never leaving the page for too long. “The city, Belleview.” “Must be a good program, to get you to come all the way out to the sticks.” I smiled and moved over a bit so that I was closer to her. I gave her privacy though. I didn’t sneak peeks at her notebook. “It is…” She didn’t say anything so I persisted. “So are you from around here, I’m pretty sure I would have noticed you before, unless you just moved here.” She paused. “I’m from two towns over - Kettleton.” An even smaller town. She didn’t look like a small town girl to me. “Cool.”We both sat in silence for awhile, me trying to figure out a way to revive the conversation, her working on her art. I never really had that problem before. I guess I was assuming that she was gay, though I didn’t have much to go on. Usually by now if a girl was interested I would know. I was starting to think she was straight. “Hey, do you wanna go for a walk?” She closed her sketch book and stood up. She had a leather drawstring backpack that she put her sketch book in before throwing it across one shoulder. There was camera beside her on the ground that I didn’t notice before. It was one of those fancy digital ones that came with a strap. She draped the strap across her chest. She was thin. Not as thin as the girls in my class, but still thin. Her thighs were fuller, and she was wearing tight blue jeans that flared out at the bottom, kind of like bell bottoms. She had on a black shapeless band t-shirt that said Slayer on it. She held her hand out, I took it and she hoisted me up. I felt butterflies. “Where are we going?” “I’m not sure yet.” She really didn’t have a destination in mind. We walked aimlessly in Kelsey’s neighborhood, stopping occasionally to take pictures. Mostly of trees and the sky. It was a little after eight and the clouds were turning a brilliant orange in preparation for the setting of the sun. After about twenty minutes we started talking, mainly just her asking me questions. I told her how I met Kelsey through my dance friends. I explained that this was my last year here and maybe next year when I'm finished school I'll either study ballet in college or work for a company, hopefully part time, while I'm in school. I'd rather work full time at a company but my dad insists I go to college. She kept asking me questions even about mundane things like what music and tv shows I like. I wasn’t really used to talking about myself so much. Despite asking me so many questions she didn't offer up her own answers. Whitney was the only person who was ever so interested in learning about me. Jane and the rest are great, but I was good at steering the conversation away from myself. “Are you single?” She gave me another sidelong glance. She never looked straight at me, always glances when she thought I wasn’t looking. She was nervous. It was endearing. Usually I just say yes, but I felt like being honest, so I told her the truth. “Kinda. I’m dating this guy but it’s really because our parents aren’t down with the whole gay thing.” She nodded. “What’s his name?” “Chester.” “What about you?” A subtle smile appeared on her lips. The entire town sloped downwards towards the lake. A wooden boardwalk circled the lake all the way out to the lighthouse that was on the opposite end. The lighthouse was purely decorative. This was no harbor that accepted ships. The lake was connected to a river. There was a rocky beach that lake goers took into consideration before running into the water. Some of the rocks were sharp, and most of us wore swimming shoes. Occasionally a beer can left over from a gathering of teenagers was left strewn between the rocks. What else was there to do in this town? We started walking along the boardwalk. “I was dating this girl, but we broke up. She lived in the city, Belleville actually, so...it didn’t work out.” Gwen was taller than me by quite a bit. I think she was about 5’9, I was 5’4. I didn’t feel like she was towering over me. “Well that sucks.” “It wasn’t really just the long distance. We grew apart... it wasn’t traumatic or anything. You told me about your boyfriend, are there any girls...” “Nope.” My mind flashed on to Whitney for the first time in two weeks but I shook those thoughts away. I didn't see her at the party and I wasn't looking for her either. Gwen looked down at her watch. "We better get back." The sun had set, it was almost eleven. We walked back, mostly in silence, with Gwen taking the occasional picture. There were still a lot of people at Kelsey's. Actually more people, and a rowdier crowd. Gwen checked her messages. She seemed worried. "What's wrong?" "Nothing, I guess he's still with that goth chick." "Kelsey." "If you need a place to crash..." Maybe I was a little presumptuous, but I was definitely hopeful. My stomach fluttered at the possibility. "That's kind of you but no thanks." She smirked. "I kind of want to go home, but he's my ride. I have to work tomorrow, I have an early start....Can you drive?" "No." I never wanted to drive so badly until now. "Call him and see where he’s at." She dialed his number and when he picked she walked a few steps away from me. It felt good being around her. She seemed uncomplicated. She had a peaceful aura about her. I wanted to get to know her. I was interested. I smiled to myself. I never wanted to get to know anyone I made out with. It had been a while since I felt this way, and I hadn't even made out with her. Completely unheard of. "He's around the corner, and super pissed. I interrupted something, hopefully not sex." She made a face. I smiled. We faced each other kind of awkwardly. "We should hang out again. Can I call you?" She seemed to mull it over for a minute, my stomach flipped in anticipation. "Yea sure." She smiled shyly. We exchanged phones and programmed each others number. "I'll text you." She smiled widely. I stood rooted in place, watching her until she turned the corner.
  7. lofie


    Chapter 1 I felt the stage lights blazing down on me. I wasn’t nervous - I didn’t get nervous. When I was on stage my body knew what to do and just did it. And my mind...where did I go? Some place where time stood still and the only thing that mattered was the music and the moves. There were ten of us crowded together waiting in the wings, and I was leading. I moved the heavy curtain aside. My parents were sitting as far apart from each other as they possibly could, though they both were in the front row. My mother was wearing her usual impassive look where as my dad was happily chatting away to one of my friend's mom. I made eye contact with my mother, I caught the slightest twitch at the corner of her lips, the beginnings of a frown. I let go of the curtain. I closed my eyes and thought of nothing, no steps, just the feeling of flying that was eminent. The freedom that could only be achieved when I let everything go and put it all out there without holding back. Excitement and adrenaline pulsed through all of us like an electric circuit. I felt a slight squeeze on my arm. I turned,Whitney. She smiled and nodded reassuringly. Like the rest of us, she was wearing a white leotard with long sleeves and white tights. Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun. It took half a tub of gel to slick back her curly hair. Her face was awash with glitter. I naturally returned the gesture and waited for my cue. “I can’t believe it’s over!” Jane bellowed over the locker room chatter. Most of the girls verbally voiced their agreement. I was silent, it always took me a few minutes to come out of performance mode. It took awhile for the adrenaline to ooze out of me. “What are you doing later?” Jane asked shaking me out of my reverie. I was still in dance mode, going over the sequence of steps that I would never again perform. She shook out her long black hair. Even after being in a bun for hours her hair remained pin straight. Jane had a broad smooth face, with high cheekbones and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Her bangs were on the long side, so that it was easy to pull them back in a high bun. “ I’m hanging out with Whitney tonight.” I was pulling on a clean white shirt over my bra. I opted not to take a shower since I was going straight home. “Right, of course.” “Of course what?” Whitney chimed in she was across from Jane and I. She was in a semi state of dress and she was digging in her purple duffle bag that was resting on the wooden bench in front of her. “Nothing,” Jane smiled, her small almond shaped eyes became even smaller. “I’m not surprised is all.”I looked over my shoulder at Whitney, she had a towel wrapped around her waist as she pulled on a tank top. I smirked and she rolled her eyes. “You're just jealous.” Whitney was my best friend, it was kind of amazing, atleast I thought so. I never had a best friend before. “Nah I have Shelby. Right, Shelby?” Jane nudged Shelby, the blue eyed blonde who was to the right of her, and was clearly engaged in a conversation with Leah another blonde who could pass as Shelby’s double. Shelby didn’t bother acknowledging Jane,she was too immersed in her conversation with Leah. Whitney snickered, and Jane shook her head jokingly. “Well if you guys get bored of each other we’re all thinking of going down to pier later.” I nodded. I was almost dressed in my street clothes. Whitney had on a pair of tight denim shorts and a black tank top. She stood with her duffle bag over her shoulder and arched a dusty blonde eyebrow, a questioning look in her azure blue eyes. “Yeah maybe.” I answered, Whitney and I were supposed to have a sleepover but the pier seemed fun. I saw a flash of disappointment that was quickly replaced with her usual easy going smile. “I better get going.” Whitney abruptly left which was weird because we were supposed to leave together, my dad was her ride. After the performance my dad was waiting for me backstage with flowers and a card. I smiled, no matter what he was always waiting with flowers and a card, he had complete faith that I would do well. He was still singing my praises as he drove us home. “So what are you and Whitney doing tonight?” The car was hot, I fiddled with the air conditioner. My dad wasn’t an air conditioner kind of guy. He was more of a roll down the window in extreme circumstances kinda guy. Most of the time the windows were only lowered a crack. He loved the heat. If he could live in the desert he would. I made it clear on more than one occasion that if he did move to the desert he would never see me again. Of Course we both knew I was bluffing. “Nothing much, just a sleepover, and we might go down to the pier.” He frowned as we pulled into the driveway. He already knew our plans and I could tell he didn't like the change. He started to say something but I was practically out of the car as it was rolling to a stop. I sprinted upstairs, showered, changed, and packed an overnight bag all in the span of half an hour. Tonight was the last time that Whitney and I would get to hang out by ourselves. Our alone time would be even shorter if we decided to go to the pier. There was no doubt that tonight would be fun and I should have been happy. I was happy. I mean, I was looking forward to tonight. I guess I just felt nostalgic. Tomorrow night Kelsey, Whitney’s other, older, best friend and one of the many new friends that Whitney introduced me to, was throwing a huge party that many of us in the dance program considered our last hoorah. The day after that I would be packing up and heading back home. There was a very real possibility of not seeing Whitney ever again, or at least until next summer - that is if we got into this program again. The uncertainty dampened my spirits. When I got accepted into the ballet program in Winchester I was nervous for two reason. The first was, being a city slicker I didn't know anyone in the small town of Winchester, population 10, 000. Two, I wasn't very adept at making friends. Some mistook my quiet nature as standoffishness. To be fair I didn't mind being thought of as a bitch. It kept people away, but not Whitney. On my first day of class, a tall willowy girl with skin the colour of amber and tranquil blue eyes introduced herself and proceeded to introduce me to the five or so local dancers that she grew up with in this sleepy town. I was taken aback but I decided to go with the flow. I guess in this town I wouldn't be the bitch. I was grateful I met her for a few reasons. Sure she eased my transition into a foreign environment that I assumed would be highly competitive. Thank God I had it wrong. The ballet program here was different than any class I had taken back home. For one thing, none of the girls were out for blood. Instead, everyone was supportive and after a few weeks we treated each other like sisters. The friendly atmosphere was a welcome change. Even so, I doubted I would have been relaxed if I hadn’t met Whitney. Meeting Whitney changed everything. She introduced me to all the 'right people' and we went to the best parties. We also became very good friends. Me being an introvert and her being an extrovert didn't really predict closeness. Somehow though, we did become close and Whitney pulled me out of my shell. It’s not that I’m shy, I’m just a very internal person. "Liz, are you ready yet?" My dad called from downstairs. I wasn't supposed to be ready for another half an hour but my dad's internal clock ran thirty minutes ahead. "I'll be down in a bit dad." I took one last look at my reflection before grabbing my bag and heading downstairs. In the car it took me a few minutes to find a radio station not playing country music, which was quite a feat in this backwater town. My dad gave me a sidelong glance, I knew what was coming next. "So the pier?" "Yes dad the pier." I bit back a smile. "Will there be boys at the pier?" I snorted, my dad frowned. In a few minutes we would be pulling into Whitney's driveway. Hopefully by then this repetitive conversation would end. We tended to have the same conversation when my dad realized that the opposite sex would be around wherever my friends and I were hanging out. So we've had this conversation a lot lately. "Of course there will be, but don't worry I won't even look at them." We pulled up to a modest two story victorian. Dad killed the engine. He was wearing his stern face. "Look, I really want you to be careful when you go out tonight ok. Some of your friends will be drinking, don't get into a car with them. In fact call me when you're ready to leave I'll give you and Whitney a ride. Please don't lose your friends, stick with them at all times and don't take any drinks from anyone, not even if it’s from a cooler, unless it's a can of pop you opened yourself." "Okay dad, can I go now." I rolled my eyes. Despite knowing this speech, practically verbatim I still pretended to be put out but I always took his word to heart. His concern wasn't lost on me. "Yes you can go, stay out of trouble." "I always do." I reached for my duffle bag that was in the back seat of his Mini Cooper and gave him a kiss on the cheek before hopping out and heading up the driveway to the door. "Hey." Whitney opened the door and greeted me with her trademark lopsided grin that I couldn't help mimicking. Her natural disposition was cheery, and very contagious. Whitney's house reminded me of a cottage out of a fairy tale. There were gnomes in the front yard, and a beautiful rose garden out back. Her house always smelled of freshly baked cookies and almost every inch of the place was covered with family photos and adorable ceramics that depict collectable wholesomeness. Whitney's bedroom was on the second floor next to the guest bedroom. Her parents slept in the master bedroom that was downstairs. "So my parents aren't here." I followed her upstairs. Whitney's dad was a pilot. He was home a combined total of four months out of the year, her mom was a homemaker so she was always home. "Where's your mom?" She opened her bedroom door. Whitney had a pretty big room. It was the second largest room in the house. In the far right hand corner she had a queen sized bed, and above the headboard were a few floating shelves adorned with books. There was also a desk with a laptop and piles of books on it opposite the bed. She had a lime green swivel chair pushed into the desk, and beside that, there was a large antique standing mirror. Everything was kind of pushed into corners and against the wall. That was because Whitney used the big space in the middle of her room as a rehearsal space. "My aunt's sick." She rocked on her heels after closing her bedroom door. "Shouldn't you be sad or something?" "She'll be fine,” Whitney said dismissively, “you're missing the point though.” she paused giving me a moment to absorb this information. I shrugged. “We have the house to ourselves tonight." She sighed, exasperated. A sinking feeling came over me. Why was I nervous, tonight shouldn't be different than any other night, except for the fact that her mom wouldn't be interrupting us with snacks. I guess it would be different... better probably. I mean, the lack of parental supervision was always good, it was the dream. I just couldn't shake my nerves. "We can stay up all night, order pizza, play loud music..." I dropped my duffel bag by her bed. " why aren't you more excited about this?" Whitney raised an eyebrow, something she did when she was trying to figure me out. If she kept looking at me like that she would. So I looked away. "I'm excited, I'm just... kinda tired you know." Whitney nodded I flopped down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling. A moment later she joined me. "Today was a long day." I turned to face her. She was close, maybe closer than necessary, but Whitney was always a little too close. She didn’t have much of a concept of personal space, at least when it came to me. It usually didn’t bother me, but I was always aware of her...presence. Something was off tonight,the little things like her being close felt magnified somehow. I rubbed my arms, I felt a sudden chill. "I mean everything we were working for the entire summer came down to today’s performance." "It's kind of sad, it's like the end of a good movie or something." "Yeah, exactly." I smiled softly. She was giving me that look again, it was piercing. She was always looking at me like that. Like I was the only person she could see. I don't think I could ever get used to it. She was the only person who was ever concerned with what was going on with me beyond what I projected. In moments like these I felt transparent. "I kind of wish it could go on, or start over again but it's over so you know... I’m kind of sad..."The soft silence that followed went on for as long as I could stand it, until my nerves got the better of me. She just looked at me. I felt myself redden under her direct gaze. "...so... you promised me I could give you a makeover.” Whitney groaned. She never wore makeup just the occasional lip gloss and apparently performance glitter. I hadn't expected her to slather it on with the rest of us. "Are we still doing that?" "Of Course! What do you think is in this bag?" I went over to my bag and unpacked all the various products I planned on painting her face with. I chuckled when I saw the horrified look on her face. We decided to microwave some popcorn and change into our pj's before we got started. Once we were ready, I began applying product to her face. We were both in cross legged positions close enough that our knees almost touched. The makeover didn't take very long. I couldn't use half the products I brought with me because my skin was much lighter than hers. "Voila, now you’re beautiful." "I thought I was always beautiful" she grumbled. I smiled, before I could help myself. "You are beautiful." Blushing, I turned away. "I better check out what you've done to me." She changed the subject as she got up and went over to the full length mirror. "It looks like I'm not wearing makeup, just eyeliner." "That's the point. you know the natural look." "Why not just skip the makeup. Isn’t that the ultimate natural look." She remarked a little too pleased with herself. "Smart ass. This way you look natural but slightly better." She sat back down in front of me and crossed her legs only this time our knees did touch. I stifled a shiver. “Slightly better? Well alright then, I’m sold.” She rolled her eyes. “So, did we do all this so we could go pier?" I noted the subtle shift in her tone. "We don't have to...I mean if you don't want to." "I don't want to." "Ok, well we better come up with something equally as fun." "I can think of something." She rested her hand on my knee. Her expression shifted, she was very serious. I felt goosebumps materializing on my arms as she studied me waiting...for what? She leaned forward, I didn't move. At first I felt nothing when her lips touched mine. It was like my brain couldn’t comprehend what was happening. She pressed against me more urgently, and then I definitely felt something. A shock reverberated from my lips to my core and my body buzzed like a tuning fork. I opened my mouth for her and when her tongue came into contact with my own, I shivered. Almost abruptly the contact came to an end, and it took me a while to get my bearings. When I opened my eyes she was looking at me with a glazed over expression. More precisely she was looking at my lips. I stood up, I was warm all over. "I'm gonna call my dad." "Please stay." She stood up, we were so close. She reached out to me, and clasped my hand, and my stomach flipped. Her eyes were like deep blue pools, quietly begging me to stay. I couldn’t. This time I saw it coming and I leaned towards her as she closed the gap between us. Her hands on my waist, pulling me into her. I groaned then just like that I realized where I was and what I was doing. I pushed her off me. "I have to go." “Fine.” She walked a few steps away from me and turned around. I pulled out my cell phone and texted my dad to pick me up. When she did turn back around she wore a vacant expression. I didn't bother packing anything up. I had to get out of there. She didn't walk me out. Outside on Whitneys porch I sat replaying the last five minutes. I wanted to turn around and go back inside. I wanted to run home and put as much distance as I could between myself and what just happened. Despite my conflicting needs, all I could do was sit and wait patiently for my dad to notice that I messaged him. Thirty minutes later, I still hadn’t heard from him. I should have called him but I didn’t think I could speak without him hearing the catch in my voice. I knew I was acting like an asshole, but I couldn’t handle what had happened...what was happening. leaving her like that was a mistake, one I was regretting more and more as the minutes ticked by. But what was I to say? I couldn't tell her I liked it and we should do it again. Even though deep down there was a tiny part of me that wanted things to go in that direction. How are we supposed to go back to being just friends. Everything was falling apart. Our friendship, and my sanity. One thing I knew for sure, if I was her I would hate me. Maybe it's for the best. Things would never be the same anyway. Even if I did the right thing and stayed and told her I wasn’t gay, we wouldn’t be able to pick up where we left off. Those kisses changed everything. "Is everything ok?" He asked as I got into the car. I nodded and turned away from him. I waited an hour for him and it almost killed me. If I wasn't so defeated I would be pissed. "Then why am I picking you up early? And why are you still in your pyjamas?" I opened my mouth and closed it. My throat was dry and I could feel tears forming behind my lids. What the hell is wrong with me? I shrugged. The rest of the ride home was quiet. My dad understood that when I was upset I needed time. He always allowed me a few days to work through my problems then he would badger me until I couldn't take it forcing me to open up. This time, no amount of badgering would get me to open up. When I got accepted into the ballet program, my dad rented a house and moved down here so I could live with him, and not a host family. The whole reason for the move was for us to bond, and bond we did. Dad and I made a point of eating breakfast together every morning. Even if he had an early morning meeting he would give me notice the night before and if I failed to wake up on my own he would wake me up. Usually in a highly irritating fashion. On those mornings I feigned anger, but I really loved our routine. My dad and I were always close until he divorced my mom and moved away. When My parents separated back in January my dad went AWOL. Not that I saw much of him anyway. He always worked crazy hours at his law firm. He would leave home early and come home late. Despite that, when I did see him he made a point of focusing on me. We would spend a day together once every three weeks, doing whatever I wanted. Those days used to be called family days. That was back then when my mother would be the one orchestrating them. Something happened three years ago between my parents, I wasn't sure what it was. No one told me anything. My dad moved out of my mom's bedroom and then he moved out of our house all together.There was no mommy and daddy are divorcing conversation. He just moved out and that was that. My mom became the distant and icy, and suddenly I was never good enough. She was always pushing me to be better and better became unattainable. Then she stopped speaking to me. It was confusing, I couldn’t understand why she was freezing me out. She began spending all her time with her society friends. She changed, and I hated her for it. Where was the mom that used to read me bedtime stories and have conversations with my dad about politics at the dinner table? That was around the last time she used to hug me and tell me she loved me. But I don't really give a shit about all that. My dad moved back in a year later but things between them were strained at best. Their lives were completely separate, and dad began to spend more and more time at the office, while mom spent more and more time on her appearance. They finally divorced a few months ago. My dad rearranged his work schedule and moved to the middle of nowhere so that we could spend a summer together. Yes, I definitely felt the parental guilt. Now he and I have breakfasts together, and he doesn't come home later than 6pm, unless there's some emergency that the other two partners can't fix. I guess that more or less makes up for the years of absence. When the summer’s over I won't see much of him, but I hoped that maybe this summer would change that. Today was officially the last day of class. I had to go to pick up my certificate and our teacher promised us cookies and punch. To be honest I wanted to send my dad in my place and just stay home and watch dance movies. I didn’t bother asking him to go for me, then he would need an explanation and I wasn't up to lying. I stirred the contents of my bowl of cereal absentmindedly. "Lizzy!" "Hmm." I looked up. His curly black hair was tousled and sticking up in all directions. It was usually brushed and slicked back. I called that his smarmy hair. Instead of a suit he wore a grey tank top and plaid pyjama pants. My dad was in his mid thirties, but when he wore his house clothes, mainly tanks and pj’s, he looked ten years younger. "I've been talking to you for the past five minutes and you haven't heard a word I've said. What's going on?" I shrugged. He narrowed his eyes, they were the colour of pale green diamonds. My eyes were darker. "Dad I really don't want to talk about this." I released a heavy breath. I knew he wasn't going to let this go. "If you didn't look so sad then maybe I would let it be, but you look like someone died." "It's nothing, Whitney and I had a fight and it’s personal." I said firmly, making eye contact. I needed to convince him that I was ok. "Ok" He relented."Since I'm home today I can give you a ride. Do you have plans after class?" I shook my head. A smile lit up his whole face. Most of my friends always mentioned how handsome my dad was once they met him. They would do embarrassing things like giggle at everything he said, and stare at him all dreamy eyed. The only one of my friends who was actually able to have a conversation with him was Whitney. My dad had a square face with a strong jaw. His olive complexion complimented his light green eyes that were framed by thick lashes. And when he smiled, he had a dimple in each cheek. I had his dark hair, but mine was slightly wavy, not curly. I really took after my mom. Extremely pale skin that refused to tan, and sharp features. I had actually lied to my dad. I do have plans, or rather, did. I was supposed to go out with my classmates for a celebratory lunch, but I didn't want to be around Whitney, even if there were 11 girls between us. "We can have a movie marathon. Sci fi or action?" "Action." I tried to muster some enthusiasm grateful for the distraction. I couldn’t believe I was at Kelsey’s party. Kelsey wasn't in the dance program, but since she was Whitney’s bff, she got to know a lot of us who were in the program. While my dad and I binge watched all the Die Hard movies well into the wee hours of the night, Kelsey and Jane texted me multiple times asking me why I didn't show for lunch and demanding that I show up for Kelsey's party. Yesterday I had made it a point to arrive early to class so that I could slip out before I ran into anyone. When I got there Whitney was already talking to our instructor Miss Danielson. Just my luck. Miss Danielson smiled at my arrival, Whitney turned her head and looked me over with a gaze that could turn molten rock to stone. That made it pretty clear that we weren't friends anymore. Awesome. I wanted to talk to her about last night. I was going to talk to her about it eventually, it was just that everytime I thought about last night I turned to jelly. Plus, I wasn’t sure where to begin. I had reciprocated, and that fact wasn’t lost on me. But now it didn't matter, I mean we weren't friends anymore so I guess that’s that then. The first day of the program before Whitney introduced herself, I spent the hour sneaking looks at her in the mirror. She was so exotic. Her full pink lips were shaped like a kiss and even more striking, her caramel skin and her deep blue eyes were a rare combination. I never looked at anyone like that, let alone other girls. She wasn't like anyone I knew back home. Obviously I had met mixed people before. That had nothing to do with my fascination. Whitney was in a class of her own. I mean, she really was beautiful, and when you notice someone like that it’s natural to stare, right? At the end of class when she introduced herself to me, she wore a sly smile, as if she knew something I didn’t. She invited me to a party at her best friend's place, Kelsey. I wasn’t sure about going, I didn’t know anyone there and I was trying to stay away from parties. She assured me it would be fun and she didn’t leave my side from the moment she picked me up and walked me over to Kelsey’s until the night was over and she walked me home. I had a great time. She was easy to talk to, and I felt as if I'd always known her and I could tell her anything. We became fast friends, and now that this thing was between us, I couldn't bear it. Her friendship meant so much to me. If only I knew how to salvage it. She knew me better than anyone, and no one really cared to get to know me. Most of my friendships were so very superficial, with the main connection being social status and wealth. Kissing her back and liking it was something that scared me. I couldn’t, or at least I wasn’t ready to, face the ramifications. People like that just didn’t exist in my circles. I nodded at Mrs. Danielson, waiting patiently for her to be done with Whitney. I didn’t want to see that look on Whitney's face again so I kept my eyes fixed on the ceiling. Mrs. Danielson cleared her throat when she was ready for me. Whitney had her back to us. She gave me my certificate, said some nice things about me trying out for the program next year and wished me well. She was a great instructor. I would miss her. If I got into the program next year, I would be one grade higher and my instructor would be someone else. Ms. Craig I think her name was. Some of the older girls said she was a bitch, others loved her. I managed to get in and out of there in ten minutes. I had made my dad wait in the parking lot. I texted Jane some excuse about my dad wanting me to do chores around the house. Jane had met my dad and she knew he wasn't exactly big on chores, also we had a cleaning lady. My dad was kind of new at the whole full time parent thing. He let me go out as much as I wanted and for a 14 year old girl, not having a curfew was amazing. I just had to be where I said I was and, if things changed, he expected a text immediately. Of course no drinking and smoking was a given, but that didn't interest me anymore, and of course, no boys. He didn’t have to worry about that. I already had a boyfriend. My dad trusted me and I was well aware that breaking his trust would come with a heavy price. I wouldn’t anyway, I didn’t want to disappoint him. I really didn't care how flimsy my excuse was, I would have said anything to get out of lunch. I had woken up this morning with the intention of staying home and skipping Kelsey’s party. I mostly wanted to avoid Whitney. If I skipped the party I would miss saying goodbye to my new friends, especially Jane and Kelsey whom I had gotten to know quite well. But the thought of running into Whitney made me seriously ill. I spent the afternoon pacing back and forth and At 5 minutes to 9pm I got dressed and without over thinking or really thinking at all, I informed my dad I was going to Kelsey's party and that I needed a ride. My dad wasn't exactly surprised that I had changed my mind. He reasoned that if I didn't say goodbye to my friends I would regret it. As he drove me to Kelsey's, he gave the usual speech about not drinking and being mindful. I felt myself blush when he asked me if I was spending the night at Whitney's. I told him I probably wouldn't but if things changed I would call. Not that I wanted things to change. I wasn't sure what I wanted. I tried not to think about the kiss, or should I say kisses, but it was all I could think about. I squirmed in my seat. This wasn’t the time or place for those thoughts. I always returned to the intense smell of her strawberry body wash. The softness of her lips, the sparks that flew when she pulled my body into hers. The goosebumps I felt when she touched my knee. The way I closed my eyes before her lips even touched mine. I was going mental. I told myself that if I saw her tonight I would apologize and maybe we could somehow still be friends. She was the only person I couldn't bear to lose touch with. When my dad dropped me off at Kelsey’s the realization that I had made a huge mistake was instant. My palms were sweating and I debated calling my dad and asking him to pick me up. I was on my way back out the front gate when Kelsey grabbed my arm and spun me around. She was surprisingly strong for someone who had no muscle mass. She was basically a walking stick, a short stick at only 4’11. "Where do you think you're going?" Kelsey had her hand on her hip in mock anger. I tried to smile. Kelsey had a big personality. She wasn’t making up for her height like some people would at that stature. She was a pure extrovert by nature. She loved to be around people all the time. If her mom would allow it she would throw a party every weekend. She did throw a ridiculous amount of parties though. She was a year older than us and I guess her mom really trusted her. I wouldn’t. Kelsey herself didn’t drink much, but others got wasted, and one of her mom’s stipulations was no alcohol. Kelsey’s parties were always byob. “Where were you the other night? I can't believe you bailed. Cleaning your room, please." she glared at me. I knew her though, so I wasn’t intimidated in least. But some people would be. Kelsey wore all black, mostly lace type dresses, with ripped stockings, sometimes fishnets, and always black platform boots that had lots of buckles and zippers. Like me she was pale and she had raven black hair. That's where the similarities ended. She didn’t skimp on the eyeliner and her lipstick was either blood red or black. Tonight she opted for black. Kelsey looked like a badass with a stare of death to match. She was very pretty, her pale blue eyes stood out against her monochromatic look, and she had a very inviting smile that lit up her face. "Alright, alright I'm sorry I just wasn't feeling well but I'm here now." Kelsey scrutinized my face. "I don't believe you because you lied, but like you said, here you are. and that's more important." Kelsey hooked her arm in mine and dragged me through the front door and into the kitchen. The kitchen was the only place in the house that was brightly lit. The living room was dim and the staircase leading upstairs was roped off with caution tape and practically invisible in the darkness. I knew from experience that all the doors upstairs were locked. There were still plenty of dark corners in the living room and outside in the backyard. From what I could see they were being well used. Even though Kelsey was really into obscure metal bands, the music thumping from the speakers was mostly pop music with a mix of rap, rock and even country. Everyone cheered and sang off key when Journey’s Don't Stop Believing came on, myself included. Kelsey filled my cup with a suspicious liquid that made my throat burn, but I knocked it back anyway. Kelsey furrowed her brow. "Let's wait a while before you get another one." "That's a first you telling me to slow down." I smiled playfully. "Well you are acting weird." "I’m not." "Whatever, let’s go say hi to Jake." Jake was one of the many guys she was interested in. Once she set her sights on a guy he didn’t stand a chance. Over the next two hours we mingled among revellers, and I was actually having a good time. I didn't see Whitney and I think that had a lot to do with it. Maybe it was because my third mysterious drink relaxed me or maybe it was because I was distracted, but I was finally able to let loose for the first time in two days. Nothing mattered. I was among friends. I hugged all my classmates goodbye and gave them sloppy kisses on the cheek. I was already feeling nostalgic about the whole experience. Sometime around 11 I decided to go outside and get some air. Someone had mentioned that Jane was around, but I hadn’t seen her all night. I definitely needed to give her a hug. I went through the sliding doors that led to the backyard. Jane was sitting by the pool with her feet wading in the water. "Where were you yesterday?" Was the first thing out of her mouth. She craned her neck at the sound of the sliding door. I kicked off my flip flops and sat beside her dipping my feet in the water. It was cool, the water felt good on my bunions. All dancers have horrible feet a workplace hazard really. I started moving my feet around I got used to the temperature. It was still pretty humid for the end of August. I opened my mouth to come up with an excuse. "I don't know, I just wasn't feeling it, to be honest." Jane nodded. “I know what you mean. I didn’t really want to go out either and I didn’t want to be here tonight.” Her eyes didn’t leave the water. She was upset. “What happened.” “Conner broke up with me...for real this time.” She sighed. “It’s for the best. I mean obviously we were dysfunctional, we broke up once a month.” “I’m sorry.” I placed an arm around her shoulders. I never liked the guy. He was the jealous type. They had only been dating for about 6 months, and he accused her of cheating on him if she didn’t text him right a way. Despite that, she was really into him. I told her he was a jerk, but my opinion fell on deaf ears. She looked up at me from under her bangs. "So I guess you and Whitney aren’t going to workout then." My heart stopped. I suddenly felt very sober. “What do you mean? What did she tell you?" I struggled to keep my voice even. "Nothing really... just that she really likes you and she was thinking about telling you that." For a moment, the only thing I could hear was my own heart beating in my ears. "So she's gay then?" I croaked. Jane was giving me a strange look. "Well yea...you would know..I mean she told you right? I thought she wasn’t here because things didn’t work out....Are you alright?" She looked concerned. I wanted to barf and the drinking didn’t help. "Yea I’m fine. It's something I drank." I shakily stood up and slipped on my flip flops. “I think I'm going to go to the washroom.” "Do you need me to hold your hair back?" "No I'm good." I was already walking away. My chest was tight. I mean, logically it was pretty obvious that she was gay. I mean she did kiss me. But I thought that was more of a spontaneous thing. I mean she told people...about me. My head was spinning. I walked around the side of the house to the front yard. All this time she was only hanging out with me so she could get into my pants? I wanted, no, I needed to confront her. First I needed to calm down. It wouldn't do anybody good if I couldn’t get my emotions in check. I stumbled as I tried to open the front gate. I heard some people snickering not too far behind me. "She's totally wasted." I didn't care, and I didn't look back. I circled Kelsey's block for an hour. I was on autopilot, my mind was empty and my heart was racing. The weather had cooled down a bit. It was almost midnight, I was cold. I let my feet lead me. I walked with my head up looking at the stars. I never got to see stars like this in the city, there was too much light pollution. The tiny pinpricks of light flooded the sky like spilled glitter. When I was little I was obsessed with stars. I was completely amazed that gravity could create and destroy something so massive that was both beautiful and destructive. It had been a while since I took the time to look up at them. Without realizing it, I had turned onto Whitney’s street. There was no turning back at this point. I sat on her stoop. It was 12:30am. I couldn’t knock on her door or her mom would lecture me about visiting so late. I wasn’t sure if her mom was home though. There was no car in the driveway, but she usually parked in the garage anyway. I took out my cell, texted my dad, and then dialed the number I had memorized the moment it was given to me. Four rings, and straight to voicemail. Fuck. I tried again. She was either asleep, or not taking my calls. Probably not taking my calls. Panic washed over me. What am I doing? I sent her a text : r u awake Im outside. I wrapped my hands around my knees. The door opened. Startled, I jumped up quickly and spun around. She had come. She was wearing a loose pair of shorts and a ratty old t-shirt. The shorts hung low on her hips, the top of her underwear was visible. I took it in and I my body buzzed once more. When I met her eyes she was unimpressed, I could tell, with the way I had been looking. I blushed. "Why are you here?" She was so cold, because of me. "You're gay." "Well I thought you would have figured that out when we kissed." We. Not I. My head was reeling, I kissed back. I kissed back. "Why didn't you tell me." Her frown deepened. "Would it have mattered?" She crossed her arms. I didn’t know. Would I have acted differently? Would we have been this close? I liked to think that there wouldn't have been a difference, but I knew the truth. After a moment of silence she shook her head."Is this why you're here? You came to tell me off now that you know." She rolled her eyes. "You kissed back. Don't forget that." I looked away. I could feel the sting of tears. I was bending and breaking. This wasn't how I thought this conversation would go at all. "You should've told me." I whispered so quietly I didn't think she heard me. She blew out a puff of air. "I've never had to tell anyone. My friends have always known." Her tone softened, but the distance between us was still so palpable. It was pressing on me. The distance was crushing me. I was realising we would never again have what we had before. I nodded. "I mean they've seen me kiss girls, and stuff so I've never had to explain myself." "What about your mom?" She shrugged. "I'll tell her when I tell her. I'm not worried." My mom would never accept this. She already acted like I didn't exist, whatever this was would be the final nail in the coffin. I already wasn't good enough. And my dad? I wasn't sure how he would feel, but I didn't want to disappoint him. I sat back down. Whitney sat beside me, still keeping her distance. "It'll be ok, they don't have to know now." I absently picked at some grass in the cracks in the sidewalk. "No it won't." We sat in silence for a few minutes. "I’m sorry I took off like that." She shrugged. “I freaked out. I have a boyfriend, I never thought I would ever be kissing you.” "You're right I should have told you.... Would it have made a difference." "I don't know." I answered truthfully. "Were you just being nice to me because you like me like me?" "What do you think?" She snapped, and warily shook her head. "I hate you for making me feel bad." She wiped away a stray tear that had fallen on my cheek. I shuddered at her simple touch. I didn't break eye contact. I inched forward with trepidation. She didn't move, my breath hitched as my lips touched hers. I melted.

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