girl crush: feelings of admiration and adoration which a girl has for another girl, usually based on veneration at some level.
We met at Girl Scouts when we were nine and I had just moved to town. Five years later, we were still best friends. Together we stayed afloat in a sea of teenage lust, mean girls and dirty boys, hallway gossip and passed notes, screaming mothers and angry fathers, slaps and locked doors.
I was the Dorothy Hamill to her Farah Fawcett. I was quiet and unsure; she had a loud laugh that made you think she knew more that you did. I knew the answers but was too shy to raise my hand; she barely passed our classes but could talk to boys without being awkward or too flirty. I was tall and gangly, a late bloomer. She had boobs that got noticed and skin as pale as the inside of a hard, white peach. She was beautiful but tough like a rawhide bone.
I couldn’t believe she was mine.
On the weekends we’d take turns sleeping at each other’s houses, sneaking out in the middle of the night. Downstairs, out the door, we’d tear down the driveway, the cold air smacking us in the face, stinging our eyes. We’d sprint down the silent road at full speed until the house was well out of sight, until our legs almost gave out. When we finally stopped, we’d be out of breath, too winded to speak, a jangle of nerves, hearts thumping, thrilled to the bone.
We’d go out even on cold nights, our breath coming out in little puffs. Most of the time we didn’t have a plan, so we’d just sit on the curb under a street lamp. We’d shift closer together then, our butts numb from sitting on the concrete. She’d tap a pack of cigarettes – stolen from the kitchen table – in the palm of her hand, then slide one out, balance it between her chapped lips and flick open the lighter.
“No thanks,” I’d say when she’d offer me one. She always offered and I always said no.
We’d sit like that for a while, I in my long wool coat, she in a puffy ski jacket. I could feel an electric jolt when our thighs touched, when our shoulders bumped, and the warmth between us when we hunkered down and whispered about boys and what an ass our Social Studies teacher was.
The leaves rustled in the tall trees. Small piles gathered in the gutter, scuttling and scratching at each other like anxious beetles. She took long, dangerous drags on her cigarette. I’d watch her exhale, watch the smoke drift and disappear beyond the violet glow of the streetlight.
I could have stayed like that forever. I didn’t know what to call what we had, but being with her made me wonder about love, the kind between two young girls on the run, even if it was just for a short while and close to home. It wasn’t about the distance; it was about the time. This was our time and we knew we were safe. Anchored together, we two held tight against the storms, her cheek on my shoulder, fingers entwined.
I’m participating in the 2014 A to Z Challenge during the month of April using the very broad theme of LOVE to carry me through the alphabet. Check out writing by other bloggers taking on the #atozchallenge at @AprilA2Z.