Lily has just closed the door to her locker when her friend, Sherry Pence, bounces up to her. “Hey girlfriend, you ready for a wild weekend?”
“We just have to stop by my house on the way so I can grab some clothes.”
“No problem.” She indicates, making their way outside where the crisp and cool breeze hits them like a freight train. “It’s starting to get colder.” Sherry needlessly points out as they both snuggle in more tightly under their heavy coats, turning the corner and walking down the sidewalk before she thinks to ask. “Doug isn’t going to be there, is he?”
“I don’t know.” Lily replies. “He still hasn’t found a job yet.”
“He gives me the creeps.” Sherry squirms. “I don’t know how you can live under the same roof with him.”
“I hate him.” Lily plainly states as she has stated so many times before.
Sherry tries to speak for her in her reply. “You hate everybody, don’t you?”
“No.” Lily clarifies. “Just him. And my mom. They were so meant for each other.”
“He needs to get his fat ass up off the couch and get a job.”
Lily couldn’t have agreed more. “That’ll be the day. Getting a job would mean he’d have to give up his welfare checks.”
“Why do they even bother? All he does is spend it at the bars.”
“He’s a loser.” Lily confirms, when both girls raise their hands to their foreheads and made the letter ‘L’ with their fingers and thumbs while simultaneously shouting, “Loser!”
They laugh it out of their system when Lily brings up some of the days prior events. “Sherry, guess who Miss Stewart brought to art class today?” But before she even gives her friend a chance to answer, she does the honors herself. “Kavita Davidson!”
“Who?” A confused Sherry looks on.
“Kavita Davidson. Remember? When we went on the internet and I showed you his paintings on his website?”
“Oh, that guy. I remember now.”
“Well, Miss Stewart invited him to sit in on our class. And get this - he said he was impressed with my drawings.”
“Way. Oh, and he said he loved my poem, too.”
“A dead eagle’s love? You read him that?”
“I recited it for the whole class.” She whistles.
Sherry reacts somewhat shockingly. “No way! I thought you said you didn’t want anyone to know you wrote it.”
“I know, right? But I couldn’t help it. Something just kicked inside of me when I saw him and I felt compelled to share it.”
“Did you tell him why you wrote it?”
“Hell no! I don’t ever want to tell him that. I don’t want anybody to know. You’re the only one besides me who will ever know what that poem is about. And you promised you would never tell.”
Sherry stops walking, which grabs Lily’s attention and causes her to do the same. With a straight and sincere face, she tells her friend. “And I never will. You know that.”
Lily walks up to her and swings her arm around her shoulder. “I know. You’re my BFF.”
Sherry smiles brightly. “Forever and ever and ever.” They resume their pace as Sherry changes the subject. “Jason and Eric said they would try and sneak some beer over tonight.” Lily ignores it at first, and doesn’t respond so she repeats it. “Did you hear me? Jason and Eric are going to try and bring us some beer.”
“I heard.” Lily now acknowledges, a little stand-offish.
Sherry attempts to read her reaction. “What’s wrong, you and Jason having problems?”
“I don’t know.” Lily begins to confide. Suddenly, she halts in her tracks. She begins to look all around her, taking in the neighborhood, looking at it in dismay. “Is this it for us?” She asks.
Sherry hasn’t a clue. “Is what it for us? What are you talking about?”
“This?” Lily now showcases with her arms. “Are we going to live the rest of our lives in this dump and turn out like our parents?”
Sherry stands more confused than she had ever known herself to be. She stands there exchanging glances with her friend, trying to reason her behavior. When she falls short of figuring it out, she moves closer to her. “What’s wrong, Lily?”
Lowering her head, she almost couldn’t find the words. “Nothing.” She finally blurts. She lifts back up and gives her friend one more stare while the cool wind blows back her medium length, brown hair. “It’s just so dreary, don’t you think?”
“That’s why we’re best friends.” Sherry reminds her. “To help each other through it.”
“BFF.” Lily repeats. “For ever and ever and ever.”
“Always.” Sherry sums up as the two return to walking.
They soon find themselves just outside Lily’s house. Not much to look at, but at least it was a house. Sherry begins to hug the fence post where the gate was supposed to be, but is missing. “I’ll wait here for you.”
“Come on, Sherry. You do this every time. We’re only gonna be a minute.”
“Fine.” Sherry succumbs to her friend’s plea. “It better be a New York minute.”
They race inside the door and try to scamper pass the couch where Doug is planted, and towards the stairs in the hall to her room without being disturbed however, no such luck. Doug turns his head in their direction. “Get me a beer Lily, before you go upstairs.”
“Get it yourself.” She counters, taking her first step while Sherry was already halfway up.
“I said get me a God damn beer!” He shouts at her.
“Don’t talk to me!” She bellows.
She flies up the stairs before he could get to his feet where he ends up standing at the bottom looking upwards. Lily’s mom, Lorie, enters from the kitchen. Doug turns to her. “I’m getting real sick and tired of all her back-talk.”
Lorie hollers out to her daughter. “Don’t talk to your father like that!”
Lily hollers out in response. “He ain’t my father!” Then slams her bedroom door. Doug approaches from behind. “That girl needs a whooping.”
Inside her bedroom, Lily frantically seeks out some wardrobe for her overnight stay. Sherry assists by walking to the dresser to get some extra panties. “You only have three pairs left in here, which one you in the mood for?”
Lily walks over. “What? No. There were five in there this morning.” Then it occurs to her. “I don’t believe it.” She then walks to the door and opens it, sticking her head out. “Tell your husband to stay out of my panty drawer. You freaking pervert!”
Doug is walking back to the couch with a can of beer in hand when he defends himself. “I didn’t take any of your panties out of your drawer! I only take them out of the hamper! Shows what you know.” He giggles.
“Doug!” Lorie addresses the issue, stepping back out from the kitchen.
“What?” He asks, lifting the can and taking a swallow. “It’s true. I don’t steal her panties out of her drawer.”
“It’s just a point.” She replies. Doug takes another drink.
“Screw your point. Just get in there and finish making my supper. I’m starving to death here.” He then snickers bitterly. “I’m beginning to get in a real bad mood. If you know what I mean.”
Back upstairs, the girls just finished stuffing Lily’s things into a plastic grocery bag. “That should do.” Lily figures. They appear ready to go back down and leave when Sherry pops a most unusual question, which took Lily by complete surprise. “Is he cute?”
Lily turns to look at her. “Who?”
Sherry walks up with a teasing, devious grin. “That Davidson guy, he’s cute, isn’t he?”
“You’re such a whore.” Lily teases in return, then making her way to the door.
“I got my answer.” Sherry surmises, following close behind.
They hurry down faster than they did going up. No sooner did they reach the front door when her mother calls out from the kitchen. “Lily, come here and get this garbage.”
“I thought that was Bobby’s job?”
“Bobby already has a job delivering pizzas.”
“Have Doug get it!” She cries. “My God, it’s not like he ever does anything around here to begin with.”
She pushes Sherry out the door and heads back towards her mom. Doug gets another two cents worth in the conversation. “You better watch your mouth, girl. I’m about to bend you over my knees.”
“I bet you’d love that, wouldn’t you?” She tosses back at him, while rushing to pick up the garbage bag.
“My last nerve girl!” Doug venomously lashes out. “You’re on my last nerve.”
Lorie walks over to her. “You need to show Doug some respect.”
“I don’t need to show him shit.” Lily fires off.
“Watch your language young lady.”
“You always take his side.” Lily moans, opening the back door. “Why are you always taking his side?”
“I’m not taking anybody’s side.” Her mother replies. “And when are you going to get a job and help out around here like your brother?”
“He only got that job to get away from you.”
“At least he isn’t wasting his time drawing pictures and daydreaming.” She harshly accentuates.
Lily stops on the porch and looks back at her. Shaking her head, she leaves her with a parting shot. “I hate you. I hate you both.” She races to the back fence and tosses the bag then runs around the side to the front where Sherry is waiting on the sidewalk for her. “I really need to leave this place.”
“What would I do for a best friend?”
The two girls grin. Lily proposes an option. “I could live with you. Then we could be sisters.”
“We’re already are sisters. And my parents would never go for it.”
Lily sighs. “Story of my life.”
The two pick up their pace. “Hey Lily, if you were ever to run-away, where would you go?”
“South Carolina.” She answers. “I would go and live with my uncle Johnny and his wife and two kids.”
“Think he would take you in?”
“Probably, we talked about it before, but I don’t know. You know?”
“So, why haven’t you left then?”
“Do you know how hard it is to find a BFF?”