My Best Friend
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Marlene had always loved her best friend Tracy. The only problem was that Tracy was straight. Though Tracy was straight the girls had been intimate one rainy night. Marlene clings onto that hope and invites Tracy home so she could use the opportunity to cross from best friend to girlfriend. The only problem is her divorced dad coming into the picture and Tracy having her eyes on him. It's a serious FML situation.
Getting a friend is a hard thing to achieve in life. A friend is a person who may or may not have the same interests as you. Not just a person you see and say ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’. When Marlene met Tracy, it took time. Sophomore year, new roommates Both of them thought that the other was a foreign student when they were both Americans. They didn’t talk much the first time. Marlene stayed in the room, while Tracy was always outside unless she wanted to sleep.
It was a very limited conversation. ‘Good morning’. ‘Hi', that was if they saw each other out of the room, and ‘Goodbye’. There was a disastrous conversation once. Tracy was in the room for a reason, and Marlene had been watching a series. Then Tracy opened her full lips and said, ‘I think I’ve seen you before somewhere. Freshmen year’.
Marlene had been used to the lookalike jokes since she turned thirteen. So she had been offended; she didn’t say it out loud though. She just glared, and Tracy had looked back dumbly before realisation happened, and it had been awkward. She had apologised, but she didn’t want to hear it. There was a silent agreement that they would not be talking inside or outside the room.
Until one day Tracy came back in tears and made a beeline for her bed, plopping down on it, then screaming. She didn’t care that Marlene had been there at that time, watching her series. She had almost crushed her laptop. And Tracy had gone on about boys, saying she was done with them. She didn’t take a break. She knew then that Tracy had good lungs. Since she was the roommate, she must have taken on the role of assigned comforter.
She had placed a hand on her back and patted her while she went on about all her failed relationships. She had gotten a lot of sweets, and they had actually talked. The conversation had moved on from boys to normal talk. Then Tracy fell asleep in her arms on her bed, and that was the start of their beautiful friendship.
They moved together then. And from roommates, they became acquaintances, then friends, and then best friends. Tracy had slapped the friendship necklace in her hand. Quite cheap, but heartfelt. Tracy was an extrovert, a free spirit, and loud at times. She came from a good family and was studying computer science. On the other hand, she was somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert. She was quiet, quite blunt, and cold. That was why Tracy’s other friends didn’t hang around her much. No matter, she didn’t like them either. She didn’t want to feel like she was sharing Tracy with them.
Also, she came from a divorced home. The divorce was so bad that her mother had to change states, and her father travelled back for a while. Tracy had heard that she had comforted her. She gave her a big hug. She didn’t want to be pitied, but she liked the hugs. And Tracy’s boobs were really soft. It seriously felt like they were expanding all the time.
They did everything together. Visits, sleepovers, and spending the holidays together. But Tracy was scarred now after she spent Christmas with her and her mom for the first time.
Something she had termed the ‘South Korean table of death’. She had gotten food poisoning. And it wasn’t one that they could just blow over. She had been taken to the hospital and had to have her stomach pumped. She had said that she wasn’t ever going to spend Christmas with them again. And when she made up her mind, there was no changing it. That was what she admired most about Tracy. Very determined.
And very beautiful.
A gorgeous young woman.
But unfortunately, Tracy was as straight as they come. And she was gay. So gay. Knew she was gay when she saw Britney Spears for the first time. Tracy knew she was gay. Had nothing against it. She had followed her to a pride parade once. She had been the one to suggest it and force her to go. Which she was never going to do again. There were a lot of hot guys for miles around, but they were all gay. And every other woman wanted her number. It had been overwhelming, and she had tied the pride flag around her neck like a cape. So there was no way she could deny that she wasn’t gay.
Marlene had been the one to pull her away, and they had run away hand in hand, laughing. It had been romantic—just to Marlene, though. But the consolation prize that she had given herself was that she could attract both sexes.
She had agreed by saying yes.
And this was Marlene Roe's dilemma. In love with her best friend and couldn’t tell her. Some sort of cliché movie, and she was living it. And the metaphorical icing on the cake was that she couldn’t just forget about it. How could she when...
Hey!” Tracy hit her from behind, rousing her from her thoughts. “Don’t space out on me. You told me to come with you to pick your dad up, and that’s why I’m here”.
"Yeah, sorry,” she breathed out.
“How do you feel about all this though?” Tracy asked softly. “You and your dad”.
Tracy didn’t pry. When she told her about all this, she didn’t ask for more. She took what she could get because it was still quite a touchy subject.
“We get along well. After the divorce, he left, but we still talk. I did feel bad about him leaving. I mean, the divorce affected me more than the two of them. I was the one that had to move from one place to another... then instead of working something out, he just leaves?!”
Tracy looked at her with a soft expression. She’d do that thing with her lip. Bringing it all together like a downward kiss when she wanted to sympathise. She stopped when she realised she had removed the lid from her emotions. She was beginning to act like Tracy. Overly emotional. She took a deep breath and gave her a smile.
“I’m alright,” she said with assurance, trying to convince herself too.
Tracy smiled. “I already don’t like him,” she said firmly.
“He’s still my dad.” She didn’t sound so enthusiastic when she said that.
“And?” She waited for a reply.
Marlene honestly didn’t have one.
“You are obligated to love your parents. But when they don’t act like your parents, what then?” She said it smartly.
“Shut up,” she said with a laugh.
"I've got your back, Marlene. When I see him…”
“You will be respectful. If you aren't, do you think he would want me to hang out with you?” she asked with disbelief.
“He has that much of an influence in your life?” she wondered, giving her a wide-eyed look.
Marlene gave her the signature glare she was known for. ‘Death eyes', Tracy’s friends had termed them.
“I will respect him, but I still have to show him that what he did wasn’t..."
“Here he comes!” Marlene successfully shut her up. Tracy turned and squinted her eyes.
“There are a lot of people. Who am I looking at?” she said, her eyes going round.
“The tall man rolling an orange box”.
Tracy’s eyes were focused there. “I see...” she trailed off, just staring.
Marlene stood straighter as her dad approached. She was completely unsure of what to do. The divorce happened during her senior year of high school, and that was when he left. And now she is a junior in college. Should she smile? Hug him? Tell him what she has gone through. What she was going through?
He smiled when he saw her, and she tried to smile back. It was crooked and fake. She could see why her mom didn’t want to come. She didn’t want to either, but her mom said that he was still her dad. Now that he was coming back, the best thing to do was bow.
"Dad,” and she bent her back.
"Why so formal?" And he hugged her. She wasn’t expecting it. So she was pressed against him awkwardly. Her hands stayed by her side a few seconds before they came up, and she placed them on his arm before she dropped them and stepped back.
She was speechless. Her mind was blank. There was nothing for her to say. When she stepped back again, her hand brushed against Tracy. That was right; Tracy had followed. She was here, and as per social protocol, she had to introduce her.
“And this is Tracy Graham,” she said, tugging on her suspiciously quiet friend’s sleeve. Tracy moved with that little tug.
“Uh-um yes. Sorry. Me Tracy. I mean, um, I’m Tracy,” she giggled nervously.
Marlene quirked her eyebrow. That was odd. She didn’t act this way with her mom.
“I think I’ve heard a lot about you,” she said.
Tracy bowed when he held out his hand. They both laughed at the mistake, and when he bowed, she held her hand out, causing both of them to laugh again.
‘What?’ Marlene asked herself in her head.
“How much did you hear about me? I hope it’s only the good stuff”.
‘Oh no!’ Marlene thought.
This was the start of a big problem. Tracy was locked on her target. And that happened to be a very big problem. The thing about Tracy was that she liked older men. And unfortunately, this just happened to be her father.
Just another thing to add to her dilemma. Her best friend, whom she loved, was making a move on her divorced father.
Now she could only think of one thing.
“Fuck my life,” she muttered. The situation called for it.
It had been an annoying ride back to the house. The house she grew up in. She and Tracy had been staying there since her mum broke the news. It would be easier than just making unneeded travel arrangements. The ride had been annoying, but she had listened to Tracy and her dad bond. Like she wasn’t there in the car with them. Their only conversation had been about her. She had tried to join in, but it seemed like Tracy had forgotten that he was her father. Her mum’s ex-husband
This was all kinds of wrong.
Well, it was a good thing that Tracy had sat at the back. If she had been in front, the car ride would have been indecent and uncomfortable. But now they were at home. She could talk to her friend about the odd behaviour.
“I missed this place,” he said as they entered.
“I’m sure you did,” Marlene muttered loud enough for him to hear. She was looking away, so she didn’t see the look that crossed his features.
“How’s your mum?"
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