The smoke burns your lungs sweetly and you feel an unexpected calm wash over you, reminding you of more innocent, less complicated days you wish you could return to. You almost want to laugh, it's all so ridiculous. Your eyes are closed and her lips are on yours so fast, you have no time to react. you feel yourself responding, kissing back, her fingers tangling in your hair. physical affection you have yearned for, longing for touch you have choked back, like taking a sip of water and suddenly realizing you are parched. The night and the lights and the pot making it all feel like a dream- a good one with soft lips that taste faintly of vanilla and mint pressing into yours.
When you open your eyes, she looks so young and the horror overtakes you. You jolt back to reality, hard crashing against cold cement.She doesn't pull back, just stands there, looming over you, her hand on your shoulder."I like girls," she says finally. Her eyes stare right into yours, challenging, waiting. She shrugs. "Secret's out."It's too much information and your head is full of clouds, heavy smog. "But I'm your…" The irony hits you fast and this time you finally do laugh. It feels good, a release.  Now she backs away, stung. "We're not really related."
"Nothing…it's just…" Is this how strange it sounded to him? Stranger even than inside your own head?
You try to clear your head, greedily gulping up the humid night air. "It's cool that you like girls. I mean, it's not a big deal."
"Yeah, right." She rolls her eyes. "Try explaining that to my grandparents. They found me once… with a friend. They didn't say anything, just acted like it never happened. But now they can't even look at me. They think I'm a total freak."
Everything you can think of to say sounds like some stupid cliche "it gets better" video, although, coming from you that would be fucking hilarious, since you can't imagine that being anyone's experience, no matter who they're into fucking. Your life has definitely gotten progressively worse, year by year.
"Anyway," she continues sullenly, "It's not like it matters. Like I have a girlfriend or anything. The only girl I really like has a boyfriend. She just uses me when she's drunk. And I do everything for her. I tried to protect her from her stepdad before he left. I'm always there when she's upset. I don't understand how none of that can count for anything. Like all that matters is he's hot. Even though he's a total douchebag."
Yes, you know exactly how she feels. So much so hearing her speak it aloud is jarring and almost sets you off crying again. Because you are not sexy. Not like she is. You don't wear little dresses or play at being innocent and girly. Your hair isn't golden and your eyes aren't sky blue and you are not lacy bras and perfume, not manis and pedis and waxed all over. You are just you and you can't compete with that.
"I'm not in love with you or anything like that, don't worry," she says quickly looking at the floor. Oh good. Because you know that would be awkward. "I just really like you, I always have. You're smart and funny and you don't take any shit from anybody. And you looked really beautiful for a second. And sad. I couldn't stop myself. I mean, you always look beautiful though." She doesn't look tough or jaded or cynical anymore. She looks vulnerable. Her face rendered angelic, ivory in moonlight, and she's looking down and you know exactly how this feels so you go to her and hug her tight and you need the embrace as much as she does. And she thinks you are beautiful even on a night like this one.


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