S E V E N T E E N

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"So, Audrey," Evelyn began, as they sat on opposite sides of the bar, sipping tea. In the quiet of clanging china, you could still hear a house fly buzzing about. Audrey chased it with testy pupils.

"Don't you think it's time you got yourself a man? It's about time you moved on from that creep who did that to you. What was his name again?"

"Carson. And I'm single as fuck— for once. Maybe I like it that way," Audrey replied, with her lips lingering on the edge of her cup.

"Hm," Evelyn started, pining over her steamy cup with her lips pressed together in a judgmental grimace. "Are you still having sex?"

"Miss Evelyn," Audrey scolded.

"What?"

"Shut up."

"You always were the wild child in our family."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"I'm just looking out for you, dear. Do you think you'll get married if you keep up with this loosey-goosey behavior? What man in town will go for that? And what if it rubs off on Regan?"

"What if what rubs off on Regan?"

"Don't you know what she got caught doing back home? She had to change schools. Daddy made it clear that such behavior in our family could not be tolerated, what with us having such strong ties with the church. He'll have to disown her."

"What's that song?" Rey said to Nora as they sat alone together on the outside steps. Her friend was humming a so-familiar tune that had randomly popped into her mind.

"It's that one song, I don't know why but I can't get it out of my head lately."

"Who's it by?"

"That one girl."

"That's so helpful."

"I dunno, it's just catchy. I just can't remember who sings it. Mm-mm-mm-mm."

The sun had gone down, the last of dwindling orange had nearly bled out of the purple sky. All of her effort was placed somewhere else at the moment, like getting Nora to kiss her back as she sat there twirling her fingers through her curls that fell just above where her neck ran into her shoulders. She had a little round button for a nose that poked a little like an elf's. So Rey couldn't resist rubbing her nose against hers. She had splashy green eyes, like looking down at the bed of the lake. She had silver braces that discouraged her from smiling too big. The little puffs of air from Rey's nose made her giggle and she couldn't help it. So Rey kissed her mouth closed again.

"...Uh, what behavior, Evelyn?" trying her best to not give away the two teenage girls sucking each other's faces in her peripheral.

"You know," she whispered, looking over her shoulder to be extra-secretive. "She can't be a dyke."

"Evelyn..."

"I mean it," she declared, with her eyebrows arched high into her brow. "He might even take her out of the will. He might—" she turned to look over her shoulder.

"Evelyn..."

"Oh my gawd, what's she doing!" a woman from inside the shop exclaimed. Their lips quickly separated and Nora jumped to her feet.

"Shit— Evelyn. Evelyn, relax... Ms. Regan!"

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