“Wake up, wake up, waaake up!” Trish trilled as she bounced on the bed covered in a mound of mismatched blankets. She mercilessly poked at the unmoving lump underneath them. “Jess, come on. It’s past time to get your butt out of that bed.”
The lump shifted slightly and a messy tangle of black hair popped out of the top. Then a graveled voice leached through the fabric. “Nope. Nuh huh. Go away. You’re far too chipper to be waking the good people of New York in the morning.”
“Good thing it’s not been morning for hours!” Trish chirped in reply. “It’s six o’clock on a Friday night. My work week’s done, and I want to hit up an overpriced restaurant and gorge with my best friend.” Trish knew that Jessica was a night owl, which meant during the week they only saw one another in passing. The weekends, however, were their time and Trish couldn’t wait another minute to get started.
The lump shifted again and Jessica’s pale face emerged. She was making a valiant effort to look annoyed, but with her sleep-mussed looks, it only endeared her more to Trish. The fondness and love she felt for Jess clutched at her heart.
“Yes!” Trish jabbed at the air. “You’re up, go shower and then we can eat.” Trish continued as she peeled off all the blanked with a flourish. Jessica curled into a ball on her side. “Fuck, it’s freezing. Gimme back the covers before I die of frostbite.”
Trish rolled her eyes, as she pointed in the direction of the bathroom. “Go. Now! Shower and dress and I’ll buy you some warm soup. Plus I have a present that will help with that.”
Jessica’s eyes lit up before she schooled her face back into a sour glare, but Trish had seen the flash of excitement. “Whatever.” Aiming for nonchalance and failing, Jessica scooted out of bed and into the bathroom.
Trish knew since little was ever given to Jess growing up, she’d come to expect nothing from others. Which was exactly why she adored buying things for Jess. Trish didn’t think words were enough, though she tried. In an effort to show how much Jess was loved, she bought her presents. In buying her these little gifts she hoped that Jess would understand just how deep her affection, loyalty, and appreciation ran.
Not wanting to crowd her friend’s space, Trish hopped up off the bed. “I’ll be helping myself to some wine, hurry up before I get sloppy drunk and you have to carry me.” Trish demanded as she walked out of the room.
Jessica gave a disbelieving huff and shouted at the empty doorway, “You’d never get that drunk and leave the house. Don’t even try with me Trish.”
There wasn’t a response so Jessica did as she was told and trudged into the shower. Not long after she emerged from her room. Dressed in her usual scoop neck shirt, ripped jeans, biker boots and her one leather jacket.
Trish lifted her glass of white wine in the air, “Ready to hit the town?”
Answering with a side-eyed glance, Jessica fumbled around in the living room drawers. “Yeah, yeah. Just gotta find my gloves.” As she pulled the black pair out, something caught her eye. Jessica straightened and peered out the window. “Wait a second, did it snow today?”
“No, all that white stuff is from your neighbors coke habit.” Trish replied, tone dripping with sarcasm. It made the corners of Jessica’s mouth turn up like always and Trish gave a wicked grin back.
Jessica groaned, “Dammit, now it’s literally freezing outside.”
Standing at the comment, Trish stepped into the kitchen and returned without her glass, but with a small, black box. “Here, this should help.” She spoke while shoving the item into Jessica’s chest.
“Trish.” Jessica whined as she clutched it close. “I told you, stop spending your money on me.”
Trish moved closer into Jessica’s space. “Hey, it’s my money. Which means I’m allowed to spend on those I love.”
Eyes welling up uncontrollably, Jessica looked down at the box and gave a quiet, “Thank you.”
Feeling the gratitude rolling of her friend in waves, Trish’s heart ached. Jessica was always fronting as confident and blasé about the world and everyone in it, but Trish knew the real her. Knew how deeply she loved and how fiercely she’d fight to protect those people and do anything to make them happy. Trish also knew that Jess needed someone to take care of her too and she was more than happy to be that person.
Giving a small nod Trish spoke, “Go on then, open it.”
Jess did and pulled out a thick cashmere scarf in deep blue. “Trish, no. This is too much.” she protested while running her fingers along the lovely and soft fabric.
“Do you like it?” Trish beamed, ignoring the polite rejection.
“Hell yes! It’s fucking amazing! Plus, I’ve been needing one, since I lost mine.”
“I know Jess, that’s why I bought it.” Trish replied.
Gingerly stuffing it back in the box, Jessica complained, “I can’t Trish, it’s too nice. I’ll rip it or put it on the wrong wash cycle or find some other way to ruin it.”
Closing in on Jess until their toes were touching, Trish reached out and gently grasped Jessica’s jaw. Speaking in hushed tones for just them, “Jess, it’s meant to be worn and if you destroy it, i’ll just buy you another.”
Jessica started to shake her head no, but Trish held fast. Knowing she’d have to be blunt if she wanted to end this conversation she continued. “I love you, Jess. This is how I’m choosing to show you that. Please accept this token of that. That way every time you wrap it around your neck, it’ll be like a hug from me.”
All resolve crumbling, Jessica melted and answered with a soft, “Okay.” Trish moved to throw her arms around Jessica’s neck and held tight. Trish was wrapped up by Jessica in return, about her waist, one hand still holding onto the box. The pair of them clung to each other. Neither willing to break the moment of unconditional love held between them.
Face buried in Trish’s hair, Jessica murmured, “I love you too Trish. More than anyone else on this planet.”
Trish felt her sniffle more than she heard it, and decided Jessica had enough emotional moments for one night. “I know, me too.” She pulled back from the embrace and clutched at Jessica’s shoulders. “Alright, food, yes?”
Stepping back, Jessica pulled the scarf out of it’s box, tossed the container on the couch, and wrapped the warm fabric around her neck. “Yes!” Giving Trish the most rewarding gift she could ever want; a full, happy smile. “How does it look?” Jess asked grin stuck firmly in place.
Trish threaded her fingers in Jess’s and leaned in for a peck on the lips. “It was made for you Jess, now let’s go.”
They left the house hand in hand, both knowing that they were loved and respected and about to eat some of New York’s most delicious food available.