You love her.
You are sixteen, you are gay, and you love her.
She is older, older by one year, three months and six days. She wears that difference in experience, in laugh lines, in the way her back arches as she walks, and the way that her calloused fingers work through hand lotion. You love her and you have never known a world without her.
To you, she is language. Not poetry, not a book, but language itself. English alone could not describe her. You know- you’ve tried. After all, you love her.
You spend summer together, just “girls nights” with Netflix and ice cream. You watch horror films and hold her hand beneath the blankets, her rough fingers cool and sweet beneath your own. As the handsome hero attempts to save the helpless heroine from an inevitable murder, you imagine turning and kissing her cheek.
Casually.So casually it could be a mistake. So casually that veiled feelings remain tucked away. You can almost feel her smooth cheek against your lips, the coolness of her skin to your warm wet lips.
But your imagination is not sweet, not coconut scented like her face wash. After the imagined moment, she turns in disgust and you know she is gone.
The scene ends. The movie continues and you shift your hand to reach for some popcorn. The movement is awkward, the hand is not your dominant hand, but you stuff your mouth with the salty stuff and continue to do so until the bowl is empty and the movie is over.
Because you love her.