Warning: This is scratch (first draft) material, so there’s no guarantee any given line will remain in the final.
People were already dancing as they entered the auditorium, paper streamers and balloons covering up the usual selection of “no running” and “eat fruit” posters.
It looked nice, even if it still smelled like school.
There were a few people dancing – some boys and girls together, some groups of girls dancing together, some groups of boys making random movements that almost approximated dancing.
‘Like I said,’ Chloe said as she nudged Maggie in the arm. ‘You don’t have to come out. I don’t care if people know about me, but if it makes you feel uncomfortable-‘
She grabbed Chloe’s hand, and dragged her into the dance, leaving Katie behind.
They found their classmates, then they found the snack table – bowls of chips and lollies, with huge handfuls missing already. The white tablecloth had already had red and green cordial spilled on it.
Maggie played with her dress, then picked up a lolly snake and bit its head off. There was no one close, so she was safe enough to ask a question. An important question. One of those questions with consequences.
‘Are you my girlfriend?’ she asked, barely brave enough to whisper the question – despite how loud it was.
Chloe shrugged and wrapped her arm around her. ‘Maybe?’ she said. ‘I like you. I’d like to be your girlfriend. Is that- Okay?’
Maggie squeezed her hand, and looked up as the music changed. ’I love this song!’ she said, bouncing to the pop music. ‘Let’s dance.’
‘You didn’t say yes,’ Chloe said as they ran out onto the area designated as the dance floor. ‘But you don’t have to.’
‘Yes!’ Maggie yelled, and several of the people around her stopped dancing to look at her. She stuck her tongue out, then turned back to Chloe. ‘It’s weird, and I’m scared, and I still dunno how I feel about being gay, but- Yes,’ she said with a nod. ‘We can be girlfriends.’
Chloe squeezed her hand, and they bounced in time to the music, throwing their hands up as the music swelled up and down.
Two songs later, they ran off the dance floor, and grabbed cups of red cordial – sweet and cold and the perfect defence against the summer heat.
Chloe pulled on her hand, and they went outside – they were supposed to stay inside, but there was a small circle of light outside where they were allowed – for people who needed a break from the loud noise; or who didn’t want to be around boys who couldn’t dance at all.
They sat on the small slope that led up to the car park, the music filtering out through the halls large windows. There was a light breeze, but it was cooling, not cold.
‘People will probably tease you,’ Chloe said as she flopped back to look at the stars – what stars were visible beyond the bright lights of the school and the houses that surrounded it. ‘Mag-gay, or Mag-gay-lia,’ she suggested, ‘you’re name’s about perfect for teasing.’ She rolled to the side, looking away. ‘You grew up human, it’s okay if you want to- It hasn’t caught on as normal among humans yet. Especially not kids. It hurts,’ she admitted, flopping back onto her back. ‘I got teased at my last school. We didn’t move because of that. But, yanno. Kids are stupid.’
‘We’re kids,’ Maggie said, poking her…girlfriend in the side.
‘Yeah,’ Chloe said. ‘But we’re not stupid.’
Maggie shrugged, and looked at Chloe. She was pretty. Her dress was nice – but it didn’t look as natural as normal, play clothes. Life was better with a bit of dirt and grass.
‘You having a good time?’ Chloe asked as she sat up, and leaned her shoulder against Maggie’s.
She leaned closer to Chloe. ‘I want to dance more, but yeah.’
Chloe turned her head, so that her forehead was leaning against Maggie’s shoulder. ‘Do you- Do you want to kiss? We’re at a dance, so it’s kinda- Tradition. At least according to all the movies I’ve, like, ever seen, ever.’
‘Like all the princess movies,’ Maggie agreed. ‘But they only kiss at the end of the movie.’ She looked up at the sky for a minute. ‘If we kiss, does that mean we have to go home?’
Chloe giggled. ‘I don’t think it works that way.’
Maggie blushed, and looked at the ground, at the way their hands were touching, all too aware of how hot her face was, how nervous she was at the thought of her real first kiss. The kiss on the roof had been tiny, and quick, and wonderful.
But this was romantic. It was like what every fairy tale promised. A dress. A dance. A princess.
‘Should I close my eyes?’ she asked.
‘I dunno,’ Chloe said, playing with a lock of her hair. ‘I’ve never done this before.’
Maggie looked up, surprise overwhelming all of her anxiety for a moment. ‘But you already kissed me once!’ she protested. ‘You- I thought you knew what you were doing!’
Chloe giggled again, lifting her hands to cover her own embarrassment. ‘Nope,’ she said. ‘I wanted to kiss you so I did. That’s all. I’ve never done this before,’ she said. She lifted a hand to her mouth, kissed it, then pressed it to Maggie’s mouth. ‘I’m scared that I’ll suck at it.’
Maggie grabbed Chloe’s hand, pulled it away from her mouth, and kissed her girlfriend.
The kiss lasted three seconds, and tasted like raspberries.
They broke apart, giggled, then kissed again.
‘That didn’t suck,’ Maggie said after the third kiss.
‘Nope,’ Chloe said, and went back to playing with her hair. ‘That totally didn’t suck.’