Brooke’s eyes slowly opened and it took her a moment to realize she wasn’t waking up in her own bed. She was lying on her side, her hand clasped over someone else’s arm, which in turn was wrapped around her mid-section. Moving herself ever so slightly, Brooke felt another body spooning hers and a soft breath fell at the back of Brooke’s neck. The room was dark and silent, except for the soft hum of heated air coming out of a furnace vent. Brooke didn’t want to move for fear of disturbing Tyler, so she remained still and enjoyed the luxurious feeling of being spooned by her lover in the calm quiet.
Tyler shifted in her sleep, tightening her arm around Brooke, and a soft sound escaped her throat. Brooke smiled, wondering if Tyler was having pleasant dreams. She imagined what it would be like to sleep with Tyler every night, sharing a bed as a couple, and found the thought pleasant.
The clock/radio alarm beside the bed suddenly switched on, as the six o’clock hour arrived, tuned to one of the local pop stations. Tyler made a muffled moan and cuddled her face against the back of Brooke’s shoulder, trying to refuse the sounds of morning.
Brooke’s voice was soft, “Good morning, baby.”
Tyler kissed Brooke’s shoulder, “… mm, don’t want to get up…”
“I could get used to this,” Brooke rubbed the top of Tyler’s wrist, “Waking up in your arms.”
“Me too.” Tyler groaned cutely, “I don’t want go to school. I wanna stay in bed.” She entwined one of her legs between Brooke’s, beneath the covers.
“Want to skip?” Brooke’s tone was mischievous.
“So badly,” Tyler nodded against Brooke’s shoulder, “But I can’t. I have volleyball practice after school.”
Brooke knew better than to ask Tyler to miss volleyball, “Probably for the best; my History teacher likes to spring quizzes on Wednesdays. Shower with me?”
Tyler smiled against Brooke’s soft skin and thought of the night prior when they showered together for the first time, “Okay, but I’m not eating your pussy again. We’d be late for school.”
Both girls giggled at each other.
Their shower was relatively uneventful, other than some light petting and a few kisses under the spraying water. After, the girls stood together wrapped in towels and shared the wide bathroom mirror as Brooke coiled her hair with a curling iron and Tyler tweezed her eyebrows.
A voice called from upstairs, “…Tyler? Brooke? Breakfast is almost ready!”
“Be up in a minute, Mom!” Tyler yelled.
“Can I wear that pink top you got at the mall?” Brooke asked, setting the curling iron down next to the sink and pushing a hand through her ringlets.
“The really tight sleeveless one?” Tyler wondered, “I dunno if your boobs will fit, but it’s hanging in my closet.”
“It’s okay if I spill out a bit,” Brooke said, shedding her towel and moving towards the closet, “Maybe my History teacher will give me an ‘A’ if I sit in front.”
Tyler shook her head and smirked.
“Jeffrey Abram?” an aging man with a severe balding problem called out, Brooke’s Homeroom teacher.
“Here,” a scruffy looking boy raised his hand.
“Brooke Adams?” the teacher out the next name on his list.
“Here,” Brooke called, staring at her phone. “Unfortunately,” she added quietly.
The teacher continued to monotonously call out the alphabetical attendance and Brooke tuned him out, uploading a picture to her social media page; it was a shot of her and Tyler from that morning, singing in the car to their favorite song as it played on the radio.
“Hey, Brooke,” someone greeted from the left.
Brooke glanced to see Todd Allan sitting in the desk next to hers, a fellow senior who hung with the band and drama crowd. Brooke was surprised; she couldn’t remember Todd saying more than two words to her all school year. In Brooke’s mind, the band and drama students were a bunch of artsy, elitist snobs who all thought they were more cultured than everyone else.
Todd had on a pair of loose cargo pants and a black tee-shirt with the image of Beethoven on the front. Or maybe it was Mozart… Brooke couldn’t tell. Todd was staring at Brooke’s chest as he pushed a pair of glasses up the bridge of his nose. Brooke was crammed tightly into Tyler’s sleeveless pink top and her cleavage bulged out at its plunging neck line.
Brooke asked, “Something I can do for you, drummer-boy?”
“Uh, I play clarinet,” Todd corrected her.
Brooke stuffed her phone into a blue jeans pocket, “Just get to the point.”
Todd cleared his throat, “Um, you and Tyler Sorenson are best friends, right?”
“Something like that,” Brooke replied disinterestedly.
“Do you know if anyone has asked her to… um, prom?”
“Prom?” Brooke blinked, suddenly remembering it was just over a month away.
“Yeah,” Todd nodded, “You know, the formal dance? In April?”
“Yes, Todd,” Brooke’s tone was dry, “I know what prom is.”
Todd looked nervous, “So, is Tyler, uh… casino şirketleri going?”
Brooke took a deep breath and studied poor Todd with a scrutinizing gaze, “Do you have a crush on Tyler?”
Todd blushed furiously, “N-no… I mean…”
Brooke lifted her eyebrows, “You don’t have a crush on her? But you want to take her to prom?”
Todd’s face wrinkled with frustration, “I was just asking, you don’t have to be such a bitch.”
“Spare yourself the heartbreak, Todd.” Brooke gathered her things as the Homeroom bell sounded, “You’re not her type.”
Tyler was at her locker switching books after first period. She was feeling chilly and grabbed a white cotton hoody, slipping it on over her tee shirt. Black tights clung to her athletic legs and blue Nikes adorned her feet.
Amidst the bustle of students traveling between classes, Brooke suddenly appeared and leaned against the neighboring locker with her arms wrapped around a stack of text books, “Guess what?”
Tyler looked at Brooke, clueless, zipping up her hoody halfway.
“Todd Allan wants to ask you to prom.”
“Who?” Tyler’s face scrunched, not recognizing the name.
“I think he plays trumpet,” Brooke shrugged, “Or something… anyways, he asked me in Homeroom if you have a date to prom yet.”
Tyler grabbed a book and cradled it in her arm, pushing her locker closed. “A trumpet player!” she smiled proudly, “I’m moving up in the world. Do you think I should hold-out for someone who plays a string instrument? Or should I just settle for Todd.”
Brooke scoffed, “Just be on the look-out for a dork in a Mozart shirt and glasses.”
“Will do. I haven’t really thought about prom,” Tyler mused, “Have you?”
“Well, no one has asked me,” Brooke frowned, “Which is a little depressing. You’d think with my boobs hanging out like this they’d be lining up with corsages in their hands.”
“I’m sure Rob wants to ask you,” Tyler teased, feeling a twinge of jealousy as soon as she said it. She imagined Brooke going with anyone to prom and realized she didn’t like the thought.
“Oh, shit.” Brooke fretted, “I still have to let him down and bail on Friday night.”
“Be gentle,” Tyler advised, and then gave Brooke a quick kiss on the lips.
Brooke immediately stiffened and didn’t respond with any affection.
Tyler immediately knew she had done something amiss. She hadn’t thought about kissing Brooke, she had done it instinctually. Brooke quickly looked around to see if anyone had seen what they did or was looking at them. Tyler did the same, but no one seemed to be paying any attention.
“I’m sorry -” Tyler whispered.
Brooke backed away a step, “We can’t do that. I mean, we shouldn’t… here.”
“I know,” Tyler nodded, biting her lip, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”
Brooke immediately seemed distant, “I have to get to class.”
“Brooke, wait,” Tyler pleaded, “Can’t we talk about this?”
“I have to get to class,” Brooke repeated and hurried away.
Tyler leaned back against the locker bank and rested the back of her head against a metal door. “Shit,” she cursed, frustrated.
When lunch period arrived, Tyler hurried towards the cafeteria but Brooke was nowhere to be found. The two girls had always met in the hallway outside the cafeteria before lunch; it had been a daily ritual for nearly four years – the entirety of their high school careers. Tyler stood outside the cafeteria doors for a while, hoping Brooke had been delayed by something, but after a couple of minutes the hallway had emptied of students and everyone was inside having lunch.
Tyler frowned and wandered into the cafeteria. Looking around, she spotted Brooke already at a table with many of their friends. Brooke had her lunch tray and was talking with several other girls, oblivious to Tyler’s arrival. Tyler felt like someone had suddenly stabbed her in the gut.
Hurrying out of the lunchroom, Tyler felt hurt and alone. Tears began welling in her eyes as she dashed down the hallway and pushed open a set of doors leading into the gymnasium. A pair of sobs escaped Tyler’s throat once she was out of view and she slumped against a wall, sliding down to sit on the floor with her head cradled in her hands.
She didn’t realize someone else was in the gym.
Rob Johnson was an African-American student and a friend to both Brooke and Tyler. As one of the few black students at Cooper, a high school in a predominantly Caucasian suburban neighborhood of Minneapolis, Rob often felt isolated. Tyler and Brooke had always been friendly to him and never treated him as someone different.
Rob was dribbling a basketball and preparing to shoot when he heard Tyler’s soft sobs. Palming his basketball he looked her way, “Tyler?”
Tyler sniffled and wiped a hand across her face as soon as she discovered she wasn’t alone, a futile attempt to hide the fact that she was crying.
Rob made his shot, casino firmaları then abandoned his basketball to approach Tyler in his baggy jeans and Minnesota Timberwolves tee shirt. “Hey, girl. You all right?”
Tyler sniffed again and exhaled a teary breath, “I’m fine.”
“No you ain’t,” Rob knelt beside her. He inspected her, making sure she was physically okay.
“What are you doing in here?” Tyler dodged the question and wiped at her cheek again, “Why aren’t you at lunch?”
“I lost my appetite,” Rob answered, “Your best friend ripped my heart out this morning. I came here to shoot around; basketball always clears my head.”
“I know what you mean,” Tyler murmured, “This is my sanctuary, too.”
Rob situated himself beside Tyler, leaning against the wall as he sat, “Yeah, I guess the gym is every athlete’s temple. So, you gonna tell me about whatever drama has got you down?”
“Uh-huh,” Rob nodded, “It always is. Boy trouble?”
Tyler shook her head, “Not exactly. I did something stupid and I think I scared away someone really important to me.”
“Did you cheat?” Rob asked, not believing for a second Tyler was crying about anything other than romantic problems.
Tyler glanced at him, “No…?”
Rob rubbed a hand over his shaved head, “Then you didn’t do nothing that can’t be fixed. Trust me. A guy’ll forgive anything except if you do him dirty with another guy.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Tyler replied meekly.
“Hey,” Rob elbowed her playfully, “Let’s you and me bounce outta here. Empty gyms are depressing.”
Tyler considered, “I would, but I have practice after school.”
Rob stood up, “Practice ain’t gonna make you any better, but pizza and skee ball might.”
Tyler looked at him with a tempted expression, “I love skee ball.”
Rob held out his hand, “Come on, shorty. Having a beautiful girl like you at my flank will do my wounded ego some good.”
Tyler grabbed his hand and Rob pulled her up. “I’m not short,” she pouted cutely.
Biting her lip in concentration, Tyler loosened her grip around the skee ball and spun it in her fingers. Cocking her arm carefully, she let loose with a confident bowling motion. The ball rolled along the track and launched up the track’s ramp, bouncing chaotically around before falling into the 100 point pocket.
“Yes!” Tyler thrust her arms up into the air triumphantly. She spun around and smiled tauntingly, “That’s game, Johnson! You owe me a pizza.”
“Unbelievable!” Rob lifted hands to the sides of his head in defeat, “That was the luckiest bounce I ever seen.”
Tyler wagged a finger at him, “That wasn’t luck, that was pure skill!”
Rob grinned broadly and wrapped a curling arm around Tyler’s shoulders, “All right, all right, but I want a re-match after we eat.”
Tyler leaned against him as they returned to a table filled with empty soda glasses, “Anytime, anywhere.”
The two friends were at the local Dave and Busters, a bar and restaurant that featured games and arcade machines. Televisions were scattered everywhere displaying different sports broadcasts and many people filled the place from all walks of life, enjoying food and fun.
Tyler reclaimed her chair and Rob sat across from her. She glanced at her phone sitting on the table and picked it up, seeing a message had arrived.
‘Where R U?!’ a text from Brooke read. Tyler’s face immediately sobered.
“Drama chasing after you?” Rob saw her expression.
“More or less.” Tyler’s thumbs typed a reply: ‘D&Bs w/Rob’
She set her phone down and reached for a glass, sucking the last remnants of soda from the bottom of melting ice. “You were right,” Tyler said, “I needed this.”
“Me too,” Rob gestured towards a server, “What’s going on with your homie? She canceled on our date. Wouldn’t say why, either. I thought she was into me.”
The irony that Rob was also upset about Brooke wasn’t lost on Tyler, “Don’t get too down on yourself, hon, she’s just going through some stuff.”
Rob didn’t seem convinced as a waiter approached. “We need another round of Coke’s,” Rob told him, “And a pizza.” He pointed at Tyler, “Winner’s choice.”
Tyler bit her lip in thought, “Um, pepperoni and sausage, with olives. Oh… and onion.”
“You got it,” the water nodded.
“You going to be okay?” Tyler asked once they were alone.
“It’s someone else,” Rob presumed, “Brooke’s probably hooked-up with some preppy white boy driving daddy’s beamer.”
“Brooke definitely doesn’t have a boyfriend,” Tyler assured him, “I can promise you that.”
“You know Brooke better than anyone,” Rob pressed, “If it ain’t another guy, I’m willing to back off and let her deal with whatever. I just want to know… do I have a shot?”
Tyler, put her elbow on the table and rested her chin in a palm, “I find myself asking the same question.”
A white Ford SUV screeched to güvenilir casino a halt in front of Dave and Busters and a furious blonde exited the vehicle. The last gasps of winter’s chilly air still clung to Minnesota, but Brooke wasn’t wearing a jacket and didn’t care. Her breasts jiggled in Tyler’s borrowed, too-tight top as she charged into the restaurant. She spotted Tyler and Rob sitting around a half-eaten pizza and stalked towards them.
Rob caught sight of her and his brow furrowed, “Brooke?!”
Brooke ignored him for the moment and leveled her gaze at a surprised Tyler. “I can’t believe you!” she spat angrily, “You skip school and your practice, after telling me this morning you wouldn’t skip with me, and you do it with Rob?! I waited for you at your stupid volleyball practice like an idiot so I could give you a ride home and you couldn’t even send me a fucking text?!”
“Oh, don’t even…!” Tyler fumed, “What about lunch? You left me standing outside the cafeteria waiting for you and then I found you sitting inside, pretending like I don’t even exist! As for me being here with Rob, he’s my friend, too. At least he gave a shit about me when he found me in tears crying over you!”
Rob lifted surrendering hands and suddenly didn’t want any part of the feuding girls. He mistakenly thought they were fighting over him.
“How was I supposed to know where you even were?!” Brooke exclaimed, spreading her arms. “You ditched without me!”
“You wouldn’t know,” Tyler’s brow scrunched with anger, “Especially since you just walked away after I kissed you. Do you have any idea how awful you made me feel, Brooke?”
Rob’s eyes widened at the mention of a kiss.
“I freaked out,” Brooke tried explaining herself, “I didn’t know how to react, okay? I told you last night that this was all new to me!”
“Argh,” Tyler growled, “It’s not that fucking hard, Brooke. I’m either your girlfriend, or I’m not. Which is it going to be?”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Rob lifted a palm trying to pause the two girls, “Girlfriend?”
Brooke finally looked at Rob. “Oh my god,” she muttered and pushed an embarrassed hand through her curls
Rob gestured between them, “Aw, shit. Let me get this straight. You two are…?”
“Yes,” Tyler irritably told him, “So pick your jaw up off the floor and deal with it.”
“This all makes so much more sense now,” Rob laughed and looked to Brooke, “You didn’t ditch me because you ain’t into me. You ditched me because you ain’t into guys!”
“Not right now, Rob,” Brooke pleaded, “Can’t you see Tyler and I are in crisis mode?”
“Oh I see, all right.” Rob grinned, “I see you two are on a whole ‘nother level.”
“Fuck this,” Tyler grabbed her coat, “I’m out of here.”
Brooke frowned, “Tyler…!”
But Tyler didn’t seem interested in further argument and continued towards the door.
Brooke let out a heavy sigh and cast frustrated eyes towards Rob.
“Hey,” he held up innocent hands, “She ain’t my girlfriend. Go on, go get your girl.”
Brooke lifted a threatening finger, “Not a word of this to anyone.”
Rob grinned and made a zipper motion over his lips.
Tyler had made her way out of the restaurant and was walking along the strip-mall sidewalk past a Verizon store. Mounds of snow were piled on the curb from winter plowing and Tyler’s hands were stuffed into her coat pockets away from the chilly March air.
Brooke came running after her. “Tyler,” she called, “Tyler! I’m sorry!”
Tyler growled and stopped, allowing Brooke to catch up before turning around and seeing Brooke in nothing but a pair skinny-jeans, heeled shoes, and the tight pink top which barely contained Brooke’s chest.
“I am your girlfriend,” Brooke professed as soon as she reached Tyler, “But I fucked up, okay? And I’m sorry! I’m sorry I turned all ‘ice-queen’ on you at school, I just… this whole lesbian thing is happening really fast, you know? And I want it, I want you, I really do. But I’m also really scared of losing all our friends and of what my parents are going to do, and -”
“Brooke,” Tyler had to stop her, “What the fuck are you doing out here without a jacket? It’s like, thirty degrees out. You’re going to freeze your boobs off.”
“I know, I’m really cold,” Brooke pouted, “I was so mad at you I forgot to take my coat.”
Tyler rolled her eyes and took her jacket off, “Come here, silly.”
Brooke turned and stuck her arms out, letting Tyler slip the jacket on her. “What about you?” Brooke worried.
“My hoody is good enough,” Tyler assured her, rubbing Brooke’s shoulders through the jacket to warm her with friction.
“Do you forgive me?” Brooke sounded hopeful.
“I don’t mind waiting to tell our parents,” Tyler took both of Brooke’s hands in hers, “But at the same time I’m not going to be ashamed of us… of this. I love you, Brooke. I love the way you make me feel and I love the fact that my girlfriend is also my best friend; I mean, how great is that? And I don’t give a fuck what anyone at school thinks about us. In two months we’re going to graduate and none of that will matter anyway.”
“You’re right,” Brooke nodded, “You’re always right. God, I hate that about you.”