Marcy says he loves you, you know and I nod because it’s easier than telling her she’s wrong. I can see it, she says. Marcy is two years older and got her period the summer before me. She thinks she’s a professor of everything, but she’s my best friend so I don’t say she’s being stupid or that her tangerine lipstick is smeared across her front teeth.
When I told her I went all the way with Todd from Falcon Street, we were drinking her mom’s vodka with fruit punch and I just said it, matter-of-fact. She leaned in too close, coiling her fingers like snakes and licking her lips. Her tongue was stained red and I could smell sweet in waves of her breath. She wanted to know if it hurt and what sounds to make and what it looked like, so I didn’t tell her about the other boys.
Once, we walked to the gas station by her house for fruit punch and Starburst and Marcy stopped by the ashtray out front to pick out cigarettes worth smoking. I told her we should just try to buy some. She laughed through her nose and told me go ahead.
I tried to look bored when I asked the clerk for some smokes, but he smiled and asked how old I was anyway. He looked out the window where Marcy had her face pressed against the glass, one hand shielding the glare, one hand clutching lipstick-ringed butts. Come back without your friend. Maybe tomorrow you’ll look older.
I brought over a carton of Winston’s the next day. Marcy squinted her eyes at me, suspicious, but smoked them, all the same. I did look older.