You sit on the tweed couch in her living room, her head resting on your shoulder—the scent of her shampoo always gets to you. This is your favorite time—after school, delaying homework, watching TV together on the couch. Math and biology books, a binder, and a notebook litter the table, just in case her mom looks in. But this year, you’re justified in slacking because you’re finally a senior.
She grabs the remote and randomly flips through the channels, as she does when she’d rather talk than actually watch what’s on. She stops on an infomercial for a kitchen gadget. The woman in the ad is getting way too excited over a pan, while a man in a nonthreatening sweater vest enthusiastically explains how it will change her life forever. She flops back down on the couch and leans against you, curling one leg underneath her and folding the other on top of it. The afternoon sun beats down through the sliding glass door, and in the heat, the thick beige carpet gives off the smell of the family dog.
She leans in and you watch her lips as she asks you if you think Adam talks to her differently than he does to the other girls. You say you’re not sure. She asks if you’ve noticed if he looks at her during class. You say, yeah, you think he does. She tells you how much she likes Adam and how she thinks that he might like her too, and asks if you think you can find out for her. You say that maybe you could. She asks you to promise that you will always be best friends. You say that you do, and when you say it, you feel like the man in the nonthreatening sweater vest.
© Nikki Damon 2009