Thursday, May 15, 2014

Crush

Placeholder for The New Georgie Witherspoon
Movie Night at Melissa’s had become predictable and annoying. When that girl attached herself to a movie--usually some sappy, girly, romance; the kind fourteen year old Georgie hated--she watched it over and over to the point of reciting.

But they promised four years ago when the tradition was started by Stephanie, that they would abide by the rule of accepting whatever movie was chosen whomever’s time it was to choose.

So the chance to watch the most gruesome of horror movies with her friends meant Georgie would have to put up with Jody’s “angry, anti-man” movies; Stephanie’s musicals; Sagan’s classic films; Joaquin’s Martial Arts movies; Keaton’s “sexy as hell leading lady” movies (which could fall under any category) and Melissa’s romantic obsessions...

Year before last it was The Princess Bride which Keaton was fine with because Buttercup was gorgeous. Last year it was My Fair Lady which Stephanie and Sagan were fine with because it was a classic and a musical. This year...

“Georgie wake up,” Stephanie said, shaking her. “It’s over.”

Georgie rubbed her eyes and sat up. Jody was reading a magazine, bobbing her head to whatever was in her headphones. Melissa was still sobbing into her tissues as the last of the credits rolled and what was becoming the most annoying song in the history of annoying songs was fading out. The guys had opted out of watching the movie again and went out to eat instead. Georgie wished she was with them but she was not allowed to go out with the guys without Moira.

“I swear to Dog, Melissa,” Stephanie said, turning the television off, “we ARE NOT watching that movie again.” Melissa blew her nose in response and glared at Stephanie. “Jody!” Stephanie shouted, waving her hands. Jody looked up. She noticed the television off and Georgie heading for the stereo to put rock music on. She decided to join the fold again.

“Finally!” Jody said. “That is the longest damn movie in the free world.”

Stephanie placed a small tray of nail polishes on the floor. Georgie rolled her eyes and picked up Lacrosse Magazine. She had lost a bit of respect for her girlfriends ever since they turned princess on her; painting nails, curling hair, dresses and heels. If she hadn’t been so connected to them since she was six, she would have run for her life at the first sight of eyeliner.

“The three of you have no souls,” Melissa said, shaking light pink nail polish. “You’re worse than boys. How can you not see how beautiful and romantic that movie is.”

“There is nothing romantic about a bunch of people trapped on a sinking ship in the middle of a freezing ocean, Melissa.” Jody said, opening deep red nail polish.

“Amen,” Georgie said.

“Well...uhh...well,” Melissa faltered. “Well that was sad and everything, but the romance, the love story. That’s mostly what it’s about. And I don’t understand how you don’t like it, Jody. She became so strong at the end. She went against everything that society expected her to be.”

“Yeah,” Jody snorted as she put a fresh coat of red over an old coat of purple on her toes. “After a man told her she could. She still needed permission. I don’t see how you can’t see that.” Stephanie laughed. “If that pretty boy hadn’t froze like a damn popsicle,” Jody continued, “she would have been in a dingy apartment in wherever the hell that boat was going, pregnant with number six and pissed off because he’s spent the rent money on the prostitutes he was pretending to draw.”

Stephanie had to put her black nail polish down and hold her sides from laughing. Georgie couldn’t help but laugh just as hard. Melissa looked furious as she painted her toes.

“I still say he could have got on that slab of wood with her,” Stephanie said, wiping her laugh tears away and continuing to paint her toes.

“It was impossible,” Melissa snapped. “How many times do we have to watch it before you get that?”

“Jesus, Melissa,” Georgie said. “Let it go! And please, pick a new movie next time.”

“Right,” Melissa said. “As soon as you pick a movie where blood isn’t squirting everywhere like a volcano.”

“She’s right Georgie,” Jody said, wincing. “That last one was really gross. I don’t see how you can watch that crap.”

“Exactly,” Stephanie said.

“Oh please, don’t YOU agree with me, Heathen,” Jody said. “With all that warbling and dancing and prancing crap you watch.”

Melissa laughed. Stephanie shot her a look. “Melissa, I’m surprised you don’t get dizzy with all the flip-flopping you do.”

“Oh listen to her!” Jody laughed. “The girl with her picture in the dictionary next to Apostate.”

Stephanie smiled. “My hair looked so good in that picture.”

They all laughed.

“And anyway,” Melissa said, finishing up her nails. “Aren’t we forgetting our promise. That we would accept each other’s choices even if we hate them.” They nodded. “I’m sticking by that. And not just on movies either. I will accept all your choices. Other friends. Your future jobs. Even your future husbands.”

“Eww!” Stephanie declared.

“No way,” said Georgie, shuddering.

“Not happening,” Jody said.

Melissa stared at them like she had never seen them before. “You all don’t want to fall in love and get married?”

“I can fall in love,” Jody said. “But I don’t need to be shackled.”

“Those egomaniacs on the pulpit is enough to make me want to live with gorillas for the rest of my life,” Stephanie said.

Melissa looked at Georgie. “Boys are icky,” she said, and they laughed.

“Well I’m going to get married,” Melissa sighed dreamily. “And when we do, we’re going to have an amazing wedding. I already know what kind of dress I’m going to wear and--” She stopped suddenly and put her hand to her mouth.

Jody smiled. “And what?” she asked.

Melissa blushed. “Nothing,” she said, and began blowing on her toes.

“My foot,” Stephanie said. “You were about to say a name. Who are you going to marry?”

“Nobody,” Melissa insisted, looking around her bedroom for some kind of way to change a subject she was regretting she started.

“Come on, Melissa,” Georgie sang. “Just tell us.”

“It’s nobody,” Melissa declared.

“Melissa,” Jody said. “You are too light-skinned to hide your feelings. Own it! Tell the truth and shame the Devil.”

Melissa looked at them all for a moment. “Okay, but what I say doesn’t leave this room.”

“You know it won’t,” Stephanie said.

“And you all swear on your ancestors’ graves.”

“That’s creepy,” Jody said, “But yeah.”

“You have to swear!” Melissa demanded. She looked at her nightstand. “Let me get my Bible.”

“Don’t do that,” Jody laughed. “Stephanie’s hand will burn to a crisp.” Stephanie stuck her tongue out a Jody.

“Well,” Melissa continued. “Cross your hearts and hope to die?”

“Stick a needle in our eyes,” Georgie said, rolling hers, “throw our bras up in the skies. Pump some fat into our thighs! Melissa we promise! Who’s the guy?”

Melissa took two deep breaths. She looked nervously at her friends for several long, agonizing seconds. “I can’t,” she finally said and began cleaning up the nail polish.

The girls moaned. “You really don’t trust us?” Jody asked, incredulously.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” Melissa said. “I’m...I’m just not ready to tell you yet.”

“Oh come on,” Stephanie said. “Who’s going to know besides us? And...”

“Steph,” Georgie interrupted, looking at Melissa as her face slowly went from pink to red. “Accept each other’s choices.” Melissa smiled at her. Georgie looked at Stephanie and Jody. They nodded.

“Whenever you’re ready, Melissa,” Stephanie said. “And we’ll accept him.”

“Unless he’s a woman harming creep,” Jody added, “and we have to kill him. And you’ll have to accept that. Promise?”

Melissa laughed. “I promise.”

“You want to watch the movie again?” Georgie asked and Melissa brightened.

“Yeah, let’s watch it again!” Stephanie said, getting up to turn off the stereo and turn on the television. “And I will show you how he could have got on that thing with her.”

The others laughed and shook their heads.

Stephanie winked and pushed play.

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