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Things Between Boys and Girls

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It couldn't be hard saving it if you weren't that into what was being offered. Shirley'd never shown the slightest interest. Sometimes she'd even expressed outright repulsion. Laverne didn't have it so easy. She was all too happy to explore. Back seats of cars, hard bodies, heavy bodies, people much bigger than she. She loved the feel of a man against her, large hands fumbling in the dark, but Shirley would always sneer. For awhile there Laverne thought she was jealous of her escapades, but no, that wasn't it. Then she thought she was jealous of the men, necking with her in the dark film houses, but that wasn't it either.

One time, at a sleepover in high school, Laverne had felt the overwhelming compulsion to kiss Shirley. Not just a peck. She'd wanted to take her face in her hands, lay her lips tenderly against her friend's, explore her tongue, her teeth, her cheeks. She had wanted to make love to her--the first person she'd ever felt such a thing for--but she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, waited for the feeling to pass. It didn't. She tried hard to ignore it. She grew snappy, irritable at the slightest things, but that did pass in time. Laverne just tamped down the desire. Shirley Feeney surely wouldn't allow that kind of behavior no matter what she might feel. It just wasn't done. Your body is God's temple. You save it for marriage. The marriage bed is to be shared by a man and a woman. But would Shirley have kissed her back?

And so they stayed together, always the assumptions lurking under the surface. How many hastily hushed whispers had Laverne interrupted over the years? Laverne and Shirley. It's no wonder the creeps they date. Always an excuse to stay together. People stopped believing they were "just" friends (a worthless qualifier; what was "just" about friends? Weren't friends the epitome of relationships?) They'd driven Ann Marie to a convent they said. They were queer.

"Queer," a word with so much tied up in it. Maybe they should marry Lenny and Squiggy just so they could stop trying. Trying to make things look normal when clearly they weren't quite on the level--not even to Laverne. Shirley remained willfully oblivious. And something wasn't right between those two boys. The same way something wasn't right with her and Shirl. Sure, maybe Squig wasn't the cleanest, most charming prince around, but he was there. And anyway, Lenny she claimed for herself. Paws off. Anytime the foursome split into twosomes, they all knew how that split would pair. But no, Shirley'd never go for it. Leave her for her doctors and lawyers. If Shirley Wilhelmina Feeney ever married at all it would be for status. Strange, everyone considered her the romantic one when there was so little romance in her. It was Laverne who burned so hot she got reproofs from all sides (except from upstairs. Did she want his attentions? She'd had them since grade school but couldn't ever parse what it would mean. So she left him there, lukewarm on the back burner, while he mooned after her from a-near.)

Laverne just wanted her body to stop wanting the things it did. Friends. Shirley. Lenny. To brings bodies into it--that would change things. And if they changed and it was horrific could they ever get back? If loved, and hated, and lost, she'd be alone. And "alone" was the one thing that terrified her most.