22. moon girls and mastipana

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Sunday night is my turn to host the moon girl sleepover

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Sunday night is my turn to host the moon girl sleepover. Over the years, pretty much everyone at school has tried to guess why we call ourselves that, but no one's come close to the truth.

It all started when we first started high school and found all the Sailor Moon seasons on Hulu, back when a ton of programming was available for free. Blaire says that pretty much every POC or queer girl grew up on a steady diet of this show, that this was the magical girl squad every friend group should aspire to. And then Catey jokingly called Blaire her moon girlfriend, and Val and I wanted to be part of it, too. 

And so the moon girls were born. All of us, every inch queens. No need for a useless Tuxedo Mask who couldn't fight off a bad guy if he tried—unless villains were scared of rose-throwing powers, which we were pretty sure they weren't.

After a whirlwind WhatsApp haggling conversation with Mrs. Kapoor, we reached a middle ground that's going to make me bank, and just on the off chance that other Indian aunties want to hire me for their daughter's weddings, I decide to use my friends as guinea pigs to brush up on my skills.

"So," says Val, holding perfectly still as I hunch over her palm. "Are just not going to talk about it?"

"Talk about what?" asks Blaire, who's just come in after raiding the kitchen for her favorite masala banana chips. She sits on the floor, leaning against my bed with Catey. She unclips the bag and digs in, crunching loudly.

"Last night's date," Catey whispers.

"Oh, that," I say.

"That," confirms Val. "It was more like a Cold War than a romantic evening."

I grit my teeth and hold the mehendi cone a little tighter. "Try to remember I'm using semi-permanent dye on your bare skin right now, best friend."

"You're not still into Parker, are you?" asks Catey, and Blaire almost spews chips everywhere.

"No!" I straighten up like a shot, sending my desk chair back a foot. Val pulls her hand back before the dye streams across her palm. "Please tell me tonight isn't going to be all about boys. There are literally ten thousand other things we can talk about other than the one that's going to make me projectile vomit."

"It's not all about boys." Val pokes me with her free hand. "It's about your boy."

"He's not my anything," I grumble, moving back to my desk. I gesture for Val to give me the palm I'm not done working on. "Unless being the thorn in my side counts?"

Val scoots forward on the Jaipur stool. "Not unless thorn in your side means apple of your eye."

"Yeah, no," I scoff. My shoulders tense over her hand. The cone wobbles. The way Val's cauldron-stirring, I'm close to calling her a...witch.

"The way you two fight, though," says Catey. "It's not like cats and dogs at all. It's more like..."

"Foreplay," says Blaire.

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