that place

Kylie yells above the beat into her girlfriend’s ear. Ari nods. She leads Kylie out into the lounge where they grab some Jack and Cokes.

hmmm, i saw her dancing. she’s good. and her friends are pretty good too…what? oh. Kylie awakens Ari from her semi-conscious girl-cruising with a touch.

“Ari what about me. Why do you want me?”

“What?”

“When you look at me, you’re looking at yourself, and loving yourself, not me. Like,” She leans and whispers. “you love to touch my thigh, but I can feel you congratulating yourself when you do. You’re not asking me ‘is this okay?’, you’re mourning the fact that no one touches you that way.”

“Are you mad because I was dancing with those girls before?”

“I don’t want to talk about that. Just think about what I said.”

***

just touch her there. just move your hand a little bit. “That place” has become dangerous. It represents all those conversations. But Ari reaches out under the sheets, and as gently and deliberately as she can, rests her hand on Kylie’s thigh. “Is this okay?” she thinks.

“Maybe she isn’t awake?” Ari considers, then Kylie rolls over…

Kylie’s chewing her bottom lip as she looks at her girlfriend.

Ari can feel her heartbeat in her jaw muscles. The thought is so earnest she almost whispers it: “Am I doing it right?…Am I doing it right?…”

Finally, Kylie opens her mouth…

“So…”

“Yes…?”

“You really hurt me the other night when you were flirting with those girls. I was thinking about it. I just thought I should let you know so we could talk.”

“…oh…”

Ari retracts her hand without disturbing the covers. “Yeah.

Sorry about that.”

She rolls over, takes a few moments to stare at the ceiling. “Let’s talk later. I think I’ll go sleep on the couch actually.”

“What? Why? Did something happen?”

“Maybe, just, let’s talk later…”