August 1, 2016 by Lyn
St. Patrick’s Day, Year 4 of the Addergoole School.
The party was at Ted Debnam’s older brother Neil’s place, an easy-going guy just out of college who didn’t mind a bunch of high school seniors filling up his apartment a couple times a year, or so Aelgifu had been told. Ted’s girlfriend Alana had invited her, a little diffidently, as if not entirely sure Aelgifu wouldn’t laugh at her.
She got that a lot, and she understood it, even as she hated it. It’s not as if she herself had ever laughed at anyone; how could she? But her friends were, well, her friends, and they could be a little over the top sometimes.
It had been the look on Jerri’s face, actually, that had made Aelgifu say yes to Alana, the uncensored look of scorn, coupled with a desire to not spend yet another party minding the dramas of Jerri and Eve and Amy and Max and Clayton and Eric… and Allan, who she didn’t want to see at all again, after that last date.
So here she was, sitting on the couch at Neil’s place while techno pounded in the other room, sandwiched between Alana’s shaggy friend Darren, who seemed content to leave her alone, and his friend Rod, who had been bringing her drinks for two hours – and pizza; he was at least considerate – listening to people discussing TV shows she’d never watched (and a couple she’d never admitted to watching), movies Jerri, Eve, and Amy hadn’t wanted to go to (and neither had Allan), and books she’d heard of but not read, and somehow feeling more at home than she had at the last three or four parties with her friends.
Someone called Darren into the other room, where the sweet smell of smoke was wafting lightly out when the door cracked open, and a girl took his seat, a lithe, mousey girl, taller even than Aelgifu, and skinnier. She was sipping lightly from a beer, and grinned cheerfully at the other girl. “Hi!” Her voice was a tad louder than it needed to be to be heard over the music. “I’m Tammera.” She shifted her beer to her left hand and offered Aelgifu her right.
“Aelgifu,” she said, shaking the girl’s hand. It was long-fingered and delicate, a ring on every finger, those little stone rings they sold in science stores and Renaissance Festivals. “Are you from Carver?”
“Oh, no,” she chuckled. “You’re one of Teddy’s friends? No, I went to K.U. with Neil.”
“Oh…” She found herself blushing. “Sorry.” She gulped at the drink Rod had brought her, letting the fizzy burn calm her down a little.
“Hey, don’t worry about it. You’re like a senior, right?”
“Yeah.” She relaxed a little, giggling. “Homecoming queen and honor roll. Going to K.U. in the fall, actually.” She had wanted to apply at some of the bigger schools, but her mom had discouraged her. There wasn’t money, she said, and while Aelgifu’s grades were good, they weren’t good enough.
“That’s cool.” Tammera took another swig of her beer. “Man, this stuff tastes like shit.”
“Here, have mine.” She offered the half a glass of fizzy stuff. “I’ve had enough anyway.”
Tammera reached for the glass, her fingers closing over Aelgifu’s as she did so. Their hands froze like that for a moment, and their eyes met, Tammera blushing softly over the drink. “You’re…”
“Eighteen,” she replied, and then felt herself blushing, looking away in embarrassment. What had made her answer like that? True, the other girl had stunning green eyes and long hair that she just wanted to run her hands through… “I want to run my hands through your hair.” Damn it, the drinks hadn’t tasted that strong! “I’m sorry!” She looked down at her toes. “I don’t know what got into me.”
“Probably the drinks.” Tammera set her other hand on Aelgifu’s wrist, and shot a look over her at Rod. “Rod mixes them strong.”
“Ooh.” She looked at the drink, realized that she was still holding it, and slowly extricated her hand. “Still… I’m sorry. I’ve never said anything like that before.” She’d never even thoughtanything like that before, except in the privacy of her own bedroom, except in places where she was sure Jerri, and Eve and Amy, and Allan wouldn’t find out, wouldn’t read the entirely inappropriate thoughts on her face.
“Really?” Tammera smiled at her, warmly. “I was thinking the same thing about your hair, actually. May I?”
“Oh!” From somewhere inside her, some rum-inspired courage made her say, “Only if I can, too.”
The girl’s smile grew wider. “That only seems fair.” She set her drinks down on the table, and tugged a rubber band out of her hair, letting it fall down over her shoulders.
Her hands and hair thus freed, she scooted a little closer to Aelgifu on the couch, until their thighs were touching, and twisted to face her, taking up the younger girl’s hair in both hands, stroking it. It tickled a little bit, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up, and she giggled. Her eyes had fallen to the slight curve of Tammera’s cleavage under the v-necked green shirt, so she looked up, blushing.
Not a touch of make-up, but those lips looked pink and delicious. She wondered if kissing a girl would be like kissing Allan had been, all teeth and slobber. Her hands were nicer than his, soft and light at the back of her neck now. And that hair was beautiful. She reached up, tentatively at first, to run her hands through the haphazard curls of Tammera’s hair. It was soft, and smelled of the outdoors. And now their noses were nearly bumping, so she tilted her head, noticing as she did that one of Tammera’s hands had slipped down to her shoulder.
The world was spinning a little bit, but if she closed her eyes and… those lips were right there… kissed her… oh.
“Oh,” she said, softly, smiling a little foolishly at Tammera, who, thank God, was smiling back.