Charlotte and Rhonda are smoking weed behind the bleachers. It’s a cool autumn day; the grass is crunchy and wet where they’re sitting, a remnant of the morning’s frost. The grey smoke blows up out of their mouths into a matching sky. Charlotte is smiling, relaxed. Rhonda knows that she loves the fall, because she can start wearing baggy sweatshirts again, and also because they can smoke more often in public without getting caught.
Rhonda can’t relax, despite the weed. If anything, it’s making her obsession with the comments that were thrown at her that morning by the boys in her class more intense. She rubs out the burning edge of her joint on her jeans.
“Have you ever been called a dyke, Charlotte?” she asks.
Charlotte blows another ring of smoke into the sky.
“All the time, dude. All the time.”
“What does it even mean?” asks Rhonda.
“It’s weird. I asked a guy this one time and he said it’s when two chicks have sex.” said Charlotte. “I think he must have been messing with me though.”
Rhonda laughs hard. “How would that even work? What, would you just mush your pussys together?”
Charlotte laughs too, and mimes the action crudely by smacking her hands against each other. “I don’t know!”
There is a moment of silence before Rhonda says, “Hey, hey, hey Charlotte. Do you find this sexy?” She smacks her hands together.
They both roll onto the ground in a mess of giggles. After they both calm down a little, Charlotte says, “I think what they sort of mean is that girls usually want boys, so if you want to do that weird thing with a girl, you’d have to look like a boy.”
“That’s messed up, dude,” says Rhonda. “That’s like spy tactics.”
“I know man. That’s why I think guys are just messing with us. They had to come up with a name for a thing that doesn’t even exist, probably,” says Charlotte.
“I heard that it doesn’t even feel good for girls to do sex anyway,” says Rhonda. “It sounds weird, all of it. Boys are weird.”
Charlotte takes one last draw on her joint, and taps it out on her jeans too.
“Sometimes I feel like I don’t ever even want to do sex, if I gotta have sex with them,” she says.
Rhonda thinks about having something inside her, moving around, intruding. She pictures a guy breathing heavily on top of her, smelling like corn chips and sweat, and she shudders.
“Me too, Charlotte. Me too.”