Flash Fiction Friday - Best of Friends
This is a piece of a short story I'm working on. I may make it longer or maybe just leave it as is. We'll see. Enjoy! -Elliott
I sat at the table sipping on my bottled beer. At the counter, knife in hand, Eliza chops away at vegetables, occasionally taking drags of her cigarette, blowing the smoke toward the partially opened window.
Eliza isn’t your average woman. She got her degree in hospitality management and secured a job before graduating. She taught herself Spanish, French, and Mandarin. She drinks like a sailor. She smokes in good company. She’s a world traveler, sleeping with a different person in each town, city, and country. She drives an older Volvo, one with a lighter on the dashboard. She has a classic style with a bad girl vibe. She isn’t afraid to be herself.
I wished every day I could be like her.
“You’re going to just die over this dish. I got the recipe from this guy I was seeing in Morocco.” She takes a drag of her cigarette, and while exhaling, “He had the most delicious cock I’ve ever come across. God, I still have dreams about how good he fucked me. Have you ever had a lay so good that it comes back to haunt you?”
“Can’t say that I have.”
I’m the opposite of Eliza. I studied English and was lucky enough to find a job as a bank teller after graduation. I hate my job just as much as I hate math. I still dress like a college student because I can’t afford to buy nicer clothing, at least not while I have student loans to pay back. Plus, it’s not like I have anywhere classy to go. Also, my mattress is on the floor because I can’t afford proper furniture. I’ve never travelled to any other country. But, I have longed to backpack through Europe. Eliza has raved about how wonderful Europe is and that she’s sure I’ll love it. Everyone around me seems to have their lives figured out. I’m just trying to make it through to tomorrow.
“But you have fucked another woman, right? Or at least kissed one?” Eliza stares at me with inquisitive eyes.
“It’s not my thing.” I didn’t mean to lie, about it not being my thing. It is my thing. I just haven’t had the opportunity to actually be with another woman. Nor am I ready to reveal to anyone that I’m a lesbian.
“I have.” Eliza grins. She turns her back to me and continues cooking.
“And, how was it?” I was eager to know details. Eliza always got to do the things I wished I could. Sometimes it was because I was too shy to do anything. Other times it was because I wasn’t financially able to do so.
Turning back to me, “Imagine the best sex you’ve ever had and multiply it times ten.” She goes to the fridge and takes out two bottles of beer. She twists off the caps and hands me one. She takes a long sip from her. “If I didn’t love cock so much I’d call myself a lesbian.”
“Maybe you’re bi.”
“Or maybe I just love to fuck.” Eliza laughs. She lights another cigarette and studies me. “Would you want to fuck me? To see what it’s like to be with another woman?”
I reposition myself in my seat. I begin to sweat. I take a sip from my beer to cool off. “Um. I don’t… I don’t think that’d be a good idea. It’s gross. We’re friends.”
Eliza and I had been friends since birth. Her parents and mine were longtime friends. No matter how far away Eliza travelled, whenever we got back together it was like old times, as though we hadn’t skipped a bit. And although we were close friends, best friends even, I often felt that our lives were so far a part, like living in two different worlds.
“Friends with benefits is the best kind of sex. There’s no obligation. No emotional attachment. And you can fuck whenever you please. I wish all relationships were like that. My life would be so much easier.”
Burnt smoke rises from the pan where the fish is searing, engulfing the kitchen. “Shit.” Eliza removes the pan from the heat and scoops out the fish onto a plate. I open the windows and fan out the smoke.
“I hope you like your fish well done,” she says, plating the food.
We eat in silence for a moment. Then, I blurt out, “I wish I could be as sexually confident and self assured as you.”
“Girl, there ain’t nothing to it. Just get out of your head and you’ll see the freedom you have to do whatever and be whomever the fuck you want.”
She was right. If only it was that easy for me.
At the end of the night she walked me to the door.
“Let’s not wait until forever to hang out again. Yeah?” She cocked her head to the left and smiled.
“Text me when you get back and we’ll make a night of it.” I open the door and turn back around to hug her goodbye. But as I go in for a hug, she meets me at my lips. She kisses me. Her soft lips dancing on mine. I don’t retreat like I imagined I would. Instead, I go all in, letting her lead the way.
After what seems like minutes but were merely seconds, she places her hand on my cheek. “Maybe now you won’t be so scared to be yourself out there.”
I smile. My tongue is numb and unable to form words.
“I’ll call you when I’m back from my England trip.” She waves as she closes the door behind me.
I find the strength in my legs to walk down the long apartment building hallway. At first the steps are short and slow, but I eventually find myself almost leaping the rest of the way to my car. My footsteps echoing the racing beat of my heart.