Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Hey Laney girl, what's up?" I asked as she picked up and I smiled as I heard her voice.
"Being bored out of my mind, you doing OK?" She asked.
"No, it sucks here, so big and cold" I said, "I miss you like crazy."
"Yeah me too" She said softly. "You're my best friend in this world and now I get to talk to you like 10 minutes a week. It sucks."
"Maybe you can come and visit for a while" I suggested and knew she would get excited at that suggestion.
"I'd love too" She chirped, "If you want me too not because I'm lonely and you feel sorry for me."
"I have no friends in this cross between hillbilly hell and Yankee insanity" I said as she giggled. "I am missing my better half like flies miss honey."
"Taylor Raynewater if you keep talking like that I might just get the idea you have feelings of more than friendship for me" She giggled as I blushed. "Huh baby?"
"Laney McCoy, fuck you" I said as she laughed. "You wouldn't know what to do if I did come onto you."
"Yes I would" She said as she got her giggles under control. "I'd so kiss your big beautiful lips sweetheart, show you how to use that tongue properly."
"Shut up" I said as my blush grew and I was seriously glad this was a phone call and not us talking in person. Not that it mattered to Laney she loved nothing more in life than to make me blush at some of her outrageous comments. Which she did, and I did, a lot. "And since when are you an expert on tongue use in a lesbian kiss?"
"Lesbian kiss? Not yet, but I've used my tongue in a few kisses" She said. "It's no big deal but it can be weird if you don't know what to do."
"Seriously?" I asked.
"Yeah of course Tay, you don't wanna just stick your tongue in someones mouth, you wanna massage it against their tongue while your lips move against hers or his" She said softly. "It's not hard to pick up."
"Good advice" I said. "If I ever get kissed again I may get to use that bit of information."
"Yeah like you're so ugly?" She asked.
"You never got dates cause you close yourself off to much" She said. "You need to open yourself up more and be willing to make that first move if you like someone or they seem to be giving you an opening."
"You know I saw two girls kissing in person" I said in a direct attempt to get Laney out of her 'therapy Laney' personality. Not that she wasn't right hell she was no doubt, but it's easier said than done.
"At school" I said. "They were sucking some serious face. Right in the main hallway like they could care less if anyone seen them."
"You'd never see that here, they'd be hosed" Laney said. "Arkansas sucks."
"So does Cleveland" I said as we both laughed. "So you coming to visit?"
"We got spring break in two weeks and I'm gonna beg my rich ass grandpa to let me come and see you" She said as my heart beat a little faster. "Mom and Dad will be gone one year tomorrow you know?"
"Yeah I know girl" I said softly. "You wanna cry I'll stay on the phone while you do."
"No I don't" She said. "I'm gonna go and lay down for a while."
"Hey..." I said before she could hang up. "I love you Laney McCoy."
"Love you too...best friend" She said and I knew she was smiling now as we said goodbye and hung up. I began thinking in that moment about Laney and how I was always the person she went to when life got hard for her. And now I was trapped a thousand miles away and she was close to losing her mind. I had to find a way so I could call her more often. That's when I struck up on the idea of getting a cell phone. Checking my stash of 'birthday money' I realized to my own shock that I had nearly four hundred bucks. So stuffing the money in my pocket and heading downstairs I decided to ask permission and see if mom and dad would let me get one if I paid for the phone. That would no doubt have been the big stumbling block, I'm thinking, cause Dad likes you to make an effort before he steps into help you. I walked into the kitchen and saw Mom preparing dinner and Dad reading the newspaper.
"Can I get a cell phone?" I asked bluntly as both looked up. "So I can call Laney more often than once a week."
"You buy the phone..." Dad started to say.
"Covered" I said, "Will you help me pay the bill?"
"I don't think so" Mom chimed in. "You are too young to have a cell phone."
"Hush woman" Dad said, "I am the head of this household and you are not gonna start a new bitch fight about something as simple as a cell phone so she can call her best friend and no mouthing from you either Taylor."
"Fine whatever Taylor" Mom snapped.
"You just can't stand it cause I'm gonna get something you can't completely control" I said as Mom glared at me and no doubt getting exactly what she wanted, a fight.
"I'll so ground..." She started as I rolled my eyes. "Don't you dare roll your eyes at me."
"SHUT UP" Dad screamed as he banged his fist on the table. "Taylor you can get your cell phone because you asked in a respectful way and Viera you are not gonna run your yap about it either. One more word out of either of you and Taylor you are grounded and Viera you can sleep on the couch tonight."
"You are so lucky" Mom said in an attempt to get me to smart off again so I would be grounded. But being 16 I am slightly smarter than that, so I turned to dad and asked, "There's a cellular store down the road, can I go now and pick one out. I'm thinking I'm gonna get one of the more expensive ones."
"OK listen young lady" Mom said, "You want a cell phone? How about you buy a cheaper one to start and then when you can prove you can handle it we will buy you a more expensive one?"
"That sounds like good advice to me" Dad said as I shrugged and was glad for once that my mother tried to be my parent and not my lord and ruler. She must be sniffing paint.
So to set up the rest of this story you should know I am now in a city so big and dirty it's famous for it, trapped in the middle of hillbilly hell and Yankee insanity. I miss my old hometown (Langston, Arkansas), it was small and peaceful, we had a Wal-mart and not much else. But I had a friend (a best friend as you know) and a guy (Cramer) who was semi-interested in me, at least when no one else was around he was. But I might as well face it, we are not moving back no matter how much crying and whining I do. Trust me, I have did plenty of that too, mostly cause Dad didn't get the job we moved here for but he got a better one with the same company. So we're staying no matter what. One good thing did come out of this, he and Mom don't fight as much anymore and I seemed to be the only one who doesn't like it here. Soooo, Taylor Raynewater is gonna make an effort to find something about this hellhole town to like. Which I explained to my dad a moment later when I said, "I'm gonna go get a soda at the 7-11 and maybe stop by the Verizon store down the road and while I'm at it, maybe I'll find something to like about this city."
"So finding something to like about Cleveland starts at the 7-11 huh?" Dad asked with a smirk as I groaned and he laughed. That's my dad, Richard, one of those southern hippie liberals who votes republican. He's funny, caring and open minded, but don't stand for me or my mother to disrespect him or each other. He's the level headed one, trust me.
"I'm just going for a walk really" I said as I stood. "Get a soda or something, might be gone for a while if I meet a handsome stranger too."
"Well he better be willing to pay child support" Dad said as I laughed.
"And he is not moving in here" Mom said as we all laughed. And that's my mom, Viera, she's the opposite of my dad, a real conservative who votes Democrat usually. Caring, somewhat strict and close minded to a fault usually. We don't get along to well since moving to the city, she just loves throwing up her 'I'll ground you from (insert my favorite thing)...' threat at every opportunity if I don't bow to her will. Lately I've heard that more than I care to hear and it's getting on my nerves severely, which makes me glad I don't have a boyfriend yet, she'd no doubt try to make his life a living hell too.
"Be back in a little while" I said as I grabbed my coat and practically ran out the door to stop my mother from adding some stipulations to my walk. I guess I wasn't but a few houses down when I spotted a kindly looking older woman struggling with her groceries. I have always been raised to treat my elders with respect and so being the nice little southern girl I am, I offered some help as I approached from behind.
"Ma'am could you use some help?" I asked as she stopped and turned with a smile.
"My child you are a lifesaver" She said sweetly. "Can you please take this bag and set it on the porch and I can get the rest."
"No problem and you look to have a trunk full of groceries" I said as I took the bag. "I don't mind helping, really. Gimme me something to do."
"Well child you're a heaven sent angel" She said with a smile. "No one around here believes in helping anyone do anything."
"Taylor Raynewater, and I live right down there" I said as I pointed back down the street. "Happy to help anytime."
"Ms. Mavis Marvel here" She said as she motioned for me to follow her up the steps and into the kitchen a few moments later. "My Grandson Alex takes very good care of me, but he's away for the day and I just had to be hard headed and think I could do the shopping myself."
"Would love to meet him sometime" I said and thinking my good deed might just pay off in a date with a nice guy, hey a girl can hope. "The rest of those groceries are not gonna get themselves, how about I carry them in and you put them away?"
"I can live with that" She said as I smiled and after 20 minutes all of the groceries were put away and we sat having coffee on the porch. "I have yet to meet your Mom and Dad."
"Richard and Viera Raynewater" I said, "I'll let my mom know you'd like a visit."
"Well as much as I do enjoy your company I must get back to my needle work, you are invited here anytime young lady" Mavis said as she stood. "Come by and visit an old lady sometime."
"I'll do that, thanks for the coffee" I said as I handed her the empty cup.
"Thank you for your help" She said as I smiled and walked off the porch a moment later, knowing I had helped someone in need. I felt good for once and who knows maybe that Alex guy would be a real looker and single. I did notice no where in our conversation did she mention he had a significant other. Alex Marvel? What a name, I bet he's a hunk. I giggled to myself as I came up on the 7-11 and was stopped dead in my tracks by an event I'd never forget. It was this girl, a nice looking girl too, coming out of the 7-11 with a soda. She just looked over by chance and our eyes met as I stopped barely a few feet away and smiled shyly. She seemed frozen in place as was I, and looking into those eyes, god it was like I was only the girl in the world to her at that moment. I'd so do anything to have someone look at me like that for real. She seemed to be having some difficulty with simple tasks as she sat her soda on the car, only to have it fall and burst open and spew every where. I laughed, breaking our moment as she jumped away and the soda fizzed out. Sensing an opportunity to make a friend, I spoke first this time. "Nice move Jordan."
"Huh?" She asked as she looked to see me smiling and returned that smile. "Yeah I guess it was. Just wanted to make you laugh."
"Good job" I said with a clapping of my hands. "That was one of those moments you just have to laugh at."
"Yeah OK I'm a bit of a klutz" She said with a smile. "Like one of those things you just had to laugh at, it's one of the things I can't control."
"It's very charming and slightly scary" I said as we both laughed.
"Hey I had no idea that washing machines would be damaged if they fell down a flight of steps" She said as I laughed.
"My dad decided I was gonna help him move the new washing machine into his brothers' house" She said, "And Billy, my uncle, the ass clown decides he wants it on the second level, so I made a valid attempt but me and dollies are not friends. So crash, bam and clang."
"Ohmigod" I said as I laughed. "Better be glad he had insurance huh?"
"Yep and next time he'll stop being so damn cheap and hire real movers" She said as I laughed. "Have I seen you before?"
"I doubt it unless you go to Kenton high" I said as she smiled.
"I have seen you before, in the cafeteria sitting alone" She said as I smiled myself. "Right?"
"That'd be me" I said. "Right beside the moronic cavemen football players."
"Bunch of cavemen can't even manage to beat a third grade team" Mickie commented as I laughed again. "I'm serious they can't, we got a dance coming up to celebrate their winless season."
"I...heard..about that" I said through my laughing. "I'm sure they could beat a third grade team though."
"No they played the 3rd grade team from Bowen Elementary last weekend and only lost by 35 points" She said as I laughed so hard it hurt my sides.
"Hush and go get your soda" I said as she smiled and made a comment that may have changed my life forever.
"Well thanks to you and your eyes, I have to buy another soda" She said as I zeroed in on the comment about my eyes.
"You like my eyes huh?" I asked and for the life of me I don't know why I wanted her to see yes. Maybe because I was so damn lonely since we moved that I was willing to take any semblance of friendship even it was flirting with a girl. Which to be honest is not really scary to me, I've seen lesbians on TV and most of them don't look like this girl, let me tell you. Wearing a pair of jeans and t-shirt, she looked nice with a mop of curly black hair. Wait, what in the hell am I babbling about? I don't know that she's gay or was even serious. Anyway...
"If it's not gonna get me in trouble for telling you that" She said and then I knew instantly that she was indeed gay or at least somewhat into girls. "I really enjoyed talking to you."
"Hey Mickie, HEY MICKIE" A Girl screamed from across the parking lot. "YOU COMING?"
"YEAH!" Mickie screamed back as my heart sank and figured I'd never see her again even if we did go to the same school. Easy come, easy go as the song says. She turned back to me and said, "That is my loud mouth cousin Jessie, and ummmm, feel free to say no...but can I buy you lunch tomorrow?"
"How about you just sit with me tomorrow and we talk?" I asked.
"OK, but be prepared..."
"HEY MICKIE, COME ON" Jessie screamed again.
"I gotta go, see you at lunch?" She asked as I nodded and smiled, one that she returned and headed to meet her cousin. Who I noticed for the first time was a stunning strawberry blond with a dark tan and every curve a girl could ask for. OK, so I had now checked out two girls, Taylor get your head out of lesbian land and back into...but wait, I had somewhat of a date tomorrow at lunch. Well, so? Maybe she just wants to be friends, which I would gladly except at this point. So pushing the thoughts of my lesbian desires out of my mind I again thought about Laney and spotted the Verizon store across the road and crossed.
"Can I help you" The guy with the name tag reading Clark asked as I came in.
"Looking to get a cell phone" I said, "Something cheap so my parents won't freak."
"Anywhere from free to way too much" Clark said with a smile. "We have everything."
"Let's start with free and work our way up hey?" I asked as he laughed and lead the way to the isle of phones. Pointing to each one and detailing the stuff it did and answering my questions like they were important. I fell in love with a small blue flip phone that reminded me of home for some odd reason. "Does this one have that whole 5 friends on any network thing?"
"Yes it does" He commented. "But here's some advice, don't put anyone on there that you wouldn't want your boyfriend to find out about. Trust me."
"You got caught?" I asked as he laughed.
"Girlfriend found my EX-girlfriend's number in my fav five, my ex and me are still friends, but she didn't like it" He said. "So now I make sure she's not in my fav five."
"No boyfriend, so no worries like that for me" I said.
"Boys are stupid sometimes" He said. "Trust me if you look hard enough you'll find one who will look at you like your the only person on this planet."
"Yeah...I hope so" I said as I stood there for a long moment quietly and thought about the moment earlier, when that Mickie girl had looked at me in just that way, or so I thought she was. I smiled and suddenly was getting excited about meeting her tomorrow for lunch. Shaking my head and again pushing those thoughts out of my head as Clark retrieved all of my chosen accessories and we headed to the front.
"Are your parents home now?" He asked as he sat the phone and the accessories on the counter a few moments later. "I'll have to get their permission..."
"No problem" I said as I gave him the number and hoped Dad would answer the phone and not Mom. So an hour later I walked out of the Verizon store with a crush on that Clark guy and a brand new fully activated cell phone. Thinking in that moment that life wasn't so bad after all, I made a new friend, might get to meet Ms. Marvel's grandson and a new cell so I could call Laney anytime I wanted. No time like the present. So dialing the number, I heard a very familiar voice on the other end of the line, Laney's grandpa, better known to all of her friends as 'Grandpa Hal'.
"Hey grandpa Hal" I said.
"Hello sweety" He said. "Laney is in the bed I believe."
"Can you wake her up for me?" I asked. "It's kind of important."
"Yeah she's no doubt just laying there crying anyway, I wish you could be here and help me with her" He said as he made his way up the steps.
"Send her to stay with me for a while" I said softly. "You get a rest and I get my best friend back. We talked about it earlier, me and Laney I mean."
"We'll see about that" He said as he opened Laney's door and I heard her grumble.
"Here someone wants to talk to you" He said.
"I don't wanna talk on the phone" She said before groaning and saying into the phone, "What?"
"What are you doing sexy?" I asked in a sultry voice as I heard her bedroom door close.
"Could be dreaming about you with a voice like that" She said and I realized she had no idea who it was, or so I thought.
"Maybe I'd like that" I said in the same tone. "Were you dreaming about me naked?"
"Well I have seen you naked, so if I wanted to I could" She said with a giggle as I knew she had just been playing along. "Your parents are gonna kill you for calling me back."
"Nope, new cell phone and now I can call you anytime" I said as she squealed.
"I am gonna be so fuckin annoying now" She said as I laughed. "Did you get the 5 friends thing?"
"Yeah so when I call you it's free" I said.
"I'm going tomorrow to get my own" She said. "Cause if a backwoods hillbilly like you can I can too."
"We from the same town you hillbilly" I said as she laughed. "Just because you think you're better than me..."
"Oh fuck you" She said as we both laughed.
"So if you need to talk lets have it" I said.
"No I'm better now, knowing I can call whenever I need to means a lot" She said and following it with a yawn. "Is it OK with you if I lay back down and call you later? I'm drained."
"You better" I said, "And then I'll call you right back."
"Got it" She said.
"And you are coming out here when school gets out for spring" I said. "I so need to have my best friend back."
"Yeah yeah yeah we'll see" She giggled. "Maybe I'll have a hot romance jumping off by then."
"And maybe I will too" I said as I pictured Mickie and those eyes and pushing that thought aside I tried to make myself think about the potential meeting with Ms. Marvel's grandson. "So don't make no plans."
"Don't go and lose your heart to someone else Tay" She giggled as I groaned.
"Go to bed slut, I'm heading home to fight with mom some more" I said as we said goodbye and hung up a few moments later. Thinking honestly this day had been the best in a long time. Well the best since coming to this hellhole city. I had a nice new cell and my best friend was back in my life and she might just come and visit and I met Mickie, possibly my new best friend if she gave me half a chance. God I still can't get those eyes out of my head. OK, I'm gonna go before I start to fantasize about her. Stick around this is gonna be interesting.