“ Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech ha-olam a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu le-had-lik ner Cha-nu-kah. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-a-sa ni-sim la-avo-te-nu ba-ya-mim ha-hem bi-zman ha-zeh. ”
Angelica was the first to break the post-blessing silence. “Sooooooo, Peggy, what do you think of the new girl?”
Peggy blinked, startled. “What new girl?”
“Theodosia, of course.”
“Oh, Theodosia. She’s cool.”
“ That’s an understatement,” Eliza said from the stove, where she continued to fry latkes. Angelica and Peggy lingered by the menorah. “You’ve been making goo-goo eyes at her since she came to school two months ago.”
Peggy blushed. “I was hoping you wouldn’t notice,” she muttered.
“What’s that?” Eliza asked.
“SHE DIDN’T WANT US TO KNOW,” Angelica yelled.
“And why not? I know a thing or two about romance!”
“Yes, yes, I know, you and Alexander are very happy together.” Peggy sighed and put her head in her hands. If she had to hear about them one more time -
“So what are you going to do?” Angelica asked, interrupting Peggy’s train of thought.
“I don’t think there’s anything to do,” Peggy replied, running a hand through her hair. “Seems she and Aaron are practically a done deal. And besides, even if she’s into girls, that does not mean she’s into Peggy Schuyler.”
“Well, it can’t hurt to try, can it? Since the two of you are lollygagging, how about you set the table?”
“Yes, it absolutely can hurt to try. She and I are decent friends, and I don’t want to fuck that up with my creepy lesbo crush.”
Angelica abruptly put the plates down and turned to put a hand on Peggy’s shoulder. “Peggy, whatever this may be, it is most certainly not a ‘creepy lesbo crush.’”
“Yeah, but wouldn’t you find it weird if one of your friends had a crush on you?”
Angelica had to remove her hand (Baruch HaShem ) to think. “Maybe initially, but I wouldn’t dismiss it so quickly. A friend is a friend, and their feelings should be dealt with and not avoided like cooties.”
“Yeah, but I’ve only known her for two months . Doesn’t that make it a little creepy?”
“Not really. People fall in love at month-long summer camps. Your feelings are perfectly normal.”
“Aaaaaand the latkes are ready,” said Eliza as she came into the dining room and set a huge platter on the table. “Dig in.”
It was the middle of their free period. Peggy waited until she came back from the printer to ask.
“Do you- are you going to the winter dance with anyone?” Wow, real smooth, Pegs.
“Yeah, I’m going with Aaron. It was basically arranged by our parents. I think they’re trying to matchmake us.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, they’re basically best friends, y’know?”
Peggy nodded in understanding. “Ah.”
“I mean, I’d love to hang out with you after?”
“Sure. Where’s better for you?” Holy shit holy shit holy shi-
“Uh, can I come to your house?” Theodosia asked, suddenly shifting her gaze to her paper.
Not wanting to be a creep, Peggy turned to her homework as well. “Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. My house, after Snoball. Perfect.” Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck holy shiiiiiiiiiit.
Peggy slammed the door behind her and went to the living room, where Eliza predictably was.
“Eliza, you’re going to Snoball with Alex, right?”
Peggy ignored her confused expression and her question and continued to wander the house. “Where’s Angelica?”
“Out with Lafayette. Why? ”
Peggy turned around. Eliza had followed her, and her expression now looked...significantly more dangerous.
“I want to know her plans for Snoball.” Peggy finally relented at Eliza’s look. “I need the house.”
“That’s not an explanation, Peg.”
Peggy bit her lip. “I mayyyyyyyyyy have a thing with Theo-”
“Oh, congratulations!” And before she knew it, Peggy was being wrapped in a huge hug by her older sister. “Of course we’ll leave the house to you! Don’t even worry about it!”
Peggy hugged back, relaxing her shoulders at the same time. “Thanks.”
Peggy hurried to the door, but tried to appear calm before she opened it.
“Is this the Schuyler residence?” Theodosia asked, a twinkle in her eye.
“Yes, you seem to have reached the right place,” Peggy replied, shifting aside to let Theodosia inside. “I have pizza and ice cream, if you’re hungry.”
“Well, I ate at Snoball, so maybe a little later?”
Peggy nodded and lead Theodosia to the living room. “We have Netflix, Monopoly, cards, chess, and poker. Take your pick.”
“Out with Martha, I think.”
“College friend. Doesn’t matter. So,” Peggy clapped her hands, “what do you want to do?”
“Well…” Theodosia glanced outside.
“Can we have a snowball fight?”
Peggy grinned. “Sure. We’ve got winter clothes downstairs.”
Half an hour laughter, the two of them tumbled back inside, their gloves cold enough for the both of them to give up on snow.
“Hey, can I use your shower?”
“Sure. The towels and toiletries are all yours.”
While Theodosia took a quick shower, Peggy busied herself with putting away the snowpants and coats and heating up some pizza.
“Does my nose deceive me?”
“Nope, the pizza’s really ready.” Peggy focused on setting down utensils and napkins and tried not to think about how Theodosia smelled like her peach shampoo.
“I used your shampoo. Hope you don’t mind?”
“No, of course not!” Peggy replied, still not looking Theodosia in the face.
Peggy felt a finger under her chin. It pushed her up gently to meet Theodosia’s eyes. Peggy was frozen in place by Theodosia’s piercing gaze.
“I’d like to kiss you now.”
And then there were smooth lips on hers, and the finger left her chin, but Peggy felt a hand wrap around her hand. Peggy’s left hand, which had been fiddling with a napkin, dropped to Theodosia’s hip; her right hand went to Theodosia’s back and pulled her closer. Theodosia groaned into the kiss. Peggy thought she could live in this moment forever, except that she was running out of air.
They broke apart, gasping.
“So,” Theodosia said, “pizza?”
“How’d your little date go?” Normally, Eliza would tell Angelica off for saying that sort of thing, but she was silent, which meant that she wanted to know, too.
Peggy’s blush said it all for her.
“Ohhh, that means it meant well!” Angelica said with a laugh, high fiving Eliza.
“Why are you two high-fiving?”
“Because we set it up,” Eliza replied.
“Oh, you set it up? That’s rich.” But Peggy was smiling all the same as she remembered the night before.