“No, go back stage left,” Nikki directed and Brittany rolled her eyes with a smile. The two were working late on their final project for drama class, a ten minute dramatic scene from one of the pieces they had studied. The small auditorium had become like a second home to the girls who found themselves spending more and more time there as the first semester neared its end.
“You do realize that only five minutes ago you wanted me stage right?”
“I do realize that,” Nikki said with a smirk. “But if Peter makes his entrance from stage right then you two will need to take more steps to reach each other, thus making the scene more dramatic.”
Brittany smiled. “Whatever you say, Director.”
Nikki smiled back. She loved working with Brittany, the girl was absolutely amazing and she hardly realized it. Her acting was beautiful and graceful, completely effortless. Nikki hopped up from her seat and jumped onto the stage.
“Let’s try it again.”
“Nikki, I’m tired of practicing,” Brittany whined. “Peter isn’t even here to do the lines with me and you are well aware that I know them all.”
Nikki smiled, amused at Brittany’s pouted face and only slightly upset she wouldn’t get to run the lines with her again. She took a step toward her. “What do you want to do then?”
Brittany sighed and shrugged. “I have a million other things to study for tonight. I should just get going.”
“On a Friday?”
“Finals are less than two weeks away,” she reminded her.
“So true! We could study in the library,” Nikki suggested, leaping from the stage and running to grab her bag.
She heard her friend laugh and turned to see Brittany staring at her and smiling. “I don’t understand how you have so much energy this late in the semester.”
Nikki laughed. “Yeah, finals really get me going.” She picked up her book bag from the first row and walked back to the stage, raising her hand to help Brittany off the high ledge. The blonde’s fingers wrapped around Nikki’s without hesitation, her skin warm and soft.
Nikki could feel the tension in their touch. It had been there since day one and had only grown more and more apparent as the months passed. Nikki knew that she wanted Brittany. She had never wanted anyone as much as she wanted this girl but she also knew Brittany wasn’t ready. The girl was timid and shy, afraid of her own shadow. Still, Nikki’s mind always wandered into inappropriate places once she was touching Brittany. She couldn’t help it.
She watched as her friend jumped from the stage and landed softly to her side. The two smiled at each other for a short minute and Nikki swore she could see Brittany’s eyes go dark with lust. But it was probably just her imagination. Brittany didn’t seem like the kind of girl who would lust after anyone. But then why wasn’t she releasing Nikki’s hand?
Brittany had almost made up her mind to tell Nikki how she felt. She could tell by the way Nikki looked at her that she felt the same way, that she wanted the same thing. It had taken Brittany months to recognize it and it had happened very much by mistake. Only last week, the two girls had been out for coffee and Nikki had said something that had caused Brittany to double over with laughter. Once she had regained control, she sat back in her chair and tried to compose herself, still fighting off fits of giggles.
“I love it when you laugh,” Nikki had said, her serious and gentle tone taking Brittany completely by surprise. Brittany had looked at her friend and had seen the attraction in her eyes. A warm and excited feeling had filled her heart and she had been on cloud nine ever since. Of course, Brittany had laughed it off at the time, saying something witty to turn the conversation less intimate. She now regretted that. She now wished she would have told Nikki everything right then and there. Told her about how she was all Brittany could think about, told her that she thought she was the most amazing person she had ever met. Didn’t now seem like just as good of a time?
“Nikki,” Brittany started to speak slowly. “I need to tell you something.”
Nikki’s face looked hopeful as the girls continued to hold hands. “What is it?”
“I just wanted to let you know…” But she didn’t know where to begin. “Well, I think that you are…I think that I am feeling…”
A smile crept over Nikki’s face as she realized what Brittany was trying to tell her. She looked so nervous, it was incredibly endearing. “It’s okay, Brit. I get it.”
And with that, she leaned down and kissed her friend on the lips. She could feel the surprise in Brittany’s kiss but didn’t pull away. Soon she could feel Brittany kissing her back and was about to pull the short blonde closer when she heard a phone ringing.
“Ugh,” she heard Brittany moan as she broke the kiss to look for her phone. “Sorry.”
But Nikki didn’t mind. She looked down and tucked a strand of Brittany’s wild curls behind her ear, smiling as Brittany blushed. But the blonde’s face sank as she looked at the caller ID on her phone.
“Hello?” She answered timidly.
Nikki waited as Brittany looked up at her apologetically.
“Right now? I guess I could.” Brittany’s voice sounded flirtatious but her face didn’t follow suit. Nikki could hear a male’s voice but couldn’t make out what he was saying.
“I’m on my way. I can’t wait…” But whoever it was on the other end of the line must have hung up on her because she closed her phone without finishing her sentence.
“I’m sorry. I have to go.”
“Don’t you think we should talk about this first?” Nikki asked, a bit surprised and hurt by Brittany’s sudden urgency to leave.
“I can’t. I have to go,” Brittany repeated with a desperate plea behind her eyes.
“Brit, who was that on the phone?” Nikki asked with a curious stare.
“It was no one.” She lied and they both knew it.
“It was either someone very important or you are running away from what just happened.”
Brittany sighed, knowing she would have to lie again. “It’s my friend. He needs me.”
Nikki laughed and took a step away from Brittany. “Your friend? A boy who’s your friend or your boyfriend?”
“He’s…it’s complicated,” Brittany stammered.
Nikki scoffed. “Does he know?”
“Does he know what?”
Nikki laughed out loud. “Wow. I knew you had been lying to yourself but now you are lying to some guy as well?” She could tell that Brittany was scared of how she was feeling, scared of her attraction, but she hadn’t guessed that the girl would carry on a relationship with some boy just for appearances sake.
“Nikki, what are you talking about?”
“Whatever,” Nikki replied, turning around and starting to walk away from her. She felt bad for Brittany, she really did. But she was more embarrassed than anything. Embarrassed she had just kissed her friend, embarrassed this friend didn’t want to return her affection.
“If he meant anything to me you know I would have told you about him by now,” Brittany said in desperation.
Nikki paused and looked over her shoulder. “If he doesn’t mean anything to you, then why are you leaving me for him?”
Brittany’s face betrayed her confliction. “It’s complicated,” she repeated.
“Well, when you get it figured out, you know where to find me.”
Brittany watched as Nikki walked up the aisle and out the door. She took a few deep breaths as she collected her things, trying to get into character. She didn’t know why Sterling was so desperate to see her, but she had to try and forget about Nikki for the time being.
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