Kassidy’s request caught me off guard.
“How do you make your eyelashes appear so thick?” Marie glanced over her shoulder at Kassidy. “What mascara are you wearing? Cause it totally looks perfect girl!”
Kassidy blinked in slight confusion. “Mine?” She hadn’t been paying much attention, obviously.
“Yeah.” Marie smiled kindly. I’d always liked Marie. She was a good person, and always so nice. She was perfect for Brendon and there was no struggle. It was just… perfect. I’d die for that kind of a relationship. I’d give anything to have simple feelings- ones that society wouldn’t frown upon.
“Er- Revlon, I think. I have a lot of different mascaras so I’m not sure. I like to try different things. This kind is supposed to help with length, if I’m correct.”
“She’s always had full lashes.” I commented. “Even when you were a baby. Mom still comments on it when she looks through your baby pictures.” I didn’t even look at Kassidy when talking to her. I just… couldn’t. I was stained with my own stupidity as I thought over the harmful words I’d spoken to Kassidy- or lack of words. It was something I could never forgive myself for. Hurting her… that was never part of the dream. This was all wrong, but how could it ever be right?
Kassidy didn’t say anything.
Marie didn’t seem to pick up on the tension in the backseat as she continued cheerfully talking. “I wear fake eyelashes. My real ones just annoy me so much. They aren’t very thick.”
“You… what?“ Brendon glanced at Marie, taking his eyes off the road.
“Brendon! The road!” Spencer hissed, from beside me.
Brendon rolled his eyes and looked back to the road, though his question still hung in the air.
“I wear fake eyelashes.” Marie repeated, amused. “I just peel them off, use the glue, and stick them on.”
“That’s creepy.” Brendon commented. “They don’t look fake.”
“That’s the point.” Marie giggled. “They aren’t supposed to look fake.”
“Anything else I should know about?” Brendon glanced over and down for a brief second. “Those tits are real, right?”
I rolled my eyes, surprised as Kassidy spoke up. “I’ve always thought of wearing wigs. It’s a hell of a lot better than constantly dying and cutting- or waiting for hair to grow out after cutting it, you know?”
Marie smiled widely. “I have a few wigs actually! You totally need to come over later. You could try one and see if you like it.”
“Cool.” Kassidy smiled a little.
The car settled in to a comfortable silence but I was still a little worried about having Kassidy hang out with my friends. They had the tendency to get in to trouble, and trouble was something I’d always tried- /and failed/- to shelter her from.
“Hey! Why don’t we mark the bridge? I’ve got spray paint in my bag in the back.” Marie piped up.
“Mark the bridge?” Kassidy asked.
I glanced at her for a brief moment before looking away, “Graffiti.” I muttered.
“Oh, cool.” Kassidy whispered.
Spencer looked over, but said nothing.
“Come on Brendon!” Marie gently pushed on his shoulder. “Take us to the bridge!”
“It’s the middle of the day.” Brendon complained. “How about later tonight?”
“You know by later tonight we will be drunk.” Marie giggled. “Kassidy has to play our drinking game with us.”
“She doesn’t have to.” I interjected.
“I want to.” Kassidy confidently overrode my objection.
“We don’t have to do this all in one day.” Brendon was the voice of reason, leaving me to believe that today would be a disaster. “Relax Marie. There’s plenty of time for us to do everything. We can go to the bridge tomorrow night, because if we do it in the middle of the day chances are we’re all getting arrested.”
Marie groaned, “You guys are no fun.”
“Right.” Spencer shook his head, though he was smiling. “’Cause jail sounds so fun.”
Kassidy had fallen silent, and I quickly fell out of the conversation as I thought of her.
“So, this is what you do with your friends- drink, and spray paint bridges?” Kassidy leaned over and whispered the words. I was surprised for a brief moment as her arm brushed against mine and her scent came closer.
Marie and Brendon were occupied by their own loud conversation, and Spencer had closed his eyes to tune them out.
“Pretty much.” I made a mistake and looked at her.
I was immediately lost in the green of her eyes, and it was like I was being dragged out to sea. She was one hell of a siren.
Kassidy stared back at me, “You hurt me more than my feelings ever could have.” She glanced at Spencer, who didn’t even stir, and then she went silent- leaving it at that.
I thought I’d fucked up before, and I was wrong.
I fucked up when I hurt her.
The car skidded to a stop in front of Brendon’s house and then Brendon bailed, closely followed by Marie. Spencer blinked open his eyes. “Are we finally fucking here?”
I just laughed, humorlessly. It worked well enough to fool Spencer and he climbed out of the car, leaving Kassidy with me.
She didn’t say anything at first.
Neither did I.
I wasn’t sure what I could say.
I’d proved many times that I wasn’t smart enough to handle this problem without continuing to fuck things up. Now I was just afraid of opening my mouth. I was afraid of making things worse.
“So, um… I’m assuming we get out now.” Kassidy commented.
I looked up at her and bit my lip, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“That’s obvious.” She replied, laughing quietly. “It’s so weird seeing you like this. You know, I’ve never really seen you look remotely nervous before. I’ve definitely never seen you bite your lip before.”
“I don’t like to take over your signature moves but I found it necessary this time.” I joked.
“I miss you.” Kassidy whispered sadly.
“I’ve only been gone a night.”
“I know.” Kassidy frowned. “So I guess it’s pathetic but… I cried all night. I don’t want things to be like this, and I definitely don’t want you to be gone. I don’t want our parents to hate you for something we both feel, and I don’t want our feelings to be wrong. I just want things to be easy. I want us to have a normal complicated high school relationship, you know where we start off hating each other or something.”
I laughed. “I could hate you, if you want.”
“Can you stop being my brother too?” Kassidy cracked a smile.
“Nope, I don’t think so.” I smiled sadly.
Kassidy nodded, “Didn’t think so.”
“I can do anything else to make this easier on you though.”
“You mean, you’ll go find a wishing well?” Kassidy’s eyes lit up as she laughed.
“Well, yeah… but in the mean time- I can just like, disappear.”
“How will that make anything easier?”
“You can like someone that you’re supposed to like, and be happy- and feel good about it.”
“I may just be 17, but I’m not young enough to think that’ll work.” Kassidy shook her head. “You’re asking for the impossible.”
“I’m just asking you to be happy.”
“Then kiss me.” Kassidy’s request caught me off guard.
Instead I glanced out the window, attempting to see if any of my friends could see us.
Kassidy let out a heavy sigh and before I could turn back to her the car door was opening, and she was getting out.