I woke up earlier than usual the next day, to a frantic text message from Riley.
Riley: Snow storm coming in!
Maya: & i care why?
Riley: My parents are gone & Farkle's coming over! I need help planning!
Maya: s'cuse me? your parents are leaving you alone during a snowstorm?
Riley: They're in Philly with Auggie and won't be able to get back. I'm 16 years old Maya, even my parents leave me alone, sometimes!
Maya: so you're having farkle over?
Riley: Yes! Maya, this might be our big moment! I need your expert advice!
Maya: you're lucky i like you, kid
Riley: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Come over!
Maya: yeah, fine, whatever. ill be there in 20 minutes, assuming the subways on time
I rolled myself out of bed lazily and threw on some pj bottoms and grabbed a sweatshirt that Cowboy'd left behind one day. I grabbed some Uggs that Riley'd outgrown and was ready to face the cold- my best friend was desperately in need of my help.
"Hello!" I called into the intercom, "It's your friendly neighborhood sex-pert!"
"Oh my God," Riley responded, "Don't announce that stuff, you nut! Come on up."
"Riles," I said, walking into her apartment, "I'm just saying, if you're not ready to talk about sex you're definitely not ready to have it."
"I'm ready to say it, I just don't want you to say it on the intercom!" she responded.
"Then say it," I challenged her.
"Don't be silly Maya," she said, "I'm not scared to say it. Sex, there you go, I said it."
"You're blushing," I rolled my eyes, "You're so immature."
"Listen Maya, I know you're all experienced, and over all this, but I want my first time to be special," the brunette explained, "I want tonight to be perfect for me and Farkle, will you please just help me and stop making fun?"
"Fine," I consented, "I shall stop-ith of the making fun, for you're perfect night with Sir Farkle of the Minki. Better?"
"Barely," Riley answered, "but I'll take it."
"Let's go then," I said, "You need supplies."
Riley's outfit was completely different from my own, she had on corduroy pants and a top, layered under a scarf, a sweater, and a jacket. She had a hat, gloves, and snow boots. She looked cute, but kinda like the kid from The Christmas Story, not that I was going to tell her so.
All cozy as we now were, we headed to the market down the block to get some food. Riley, who's always so well prepared, got cereal and the makings of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, because, you know, typical Riley. I, on the other hand, got cinnamon buns and French toast. If I was going to get snowed in without Riley to keep me entertained I was going to need a lot of yummy breakfast food. She got cocoa and I got coffee, but we both got strawberries, because no matter how different we are, some things never get old.
Then Riley really took it a step further and got ingredients for pizza. I tried to explain to her that this was New York and that pizzerias still deliver in the snow, but she wasn't having any of it. We also got some movies and super buttery popcorn, which isn't exactly sexy, but we agreed it was too good to pass up.
"What else do I need?" Riley asked when we returned to her apartment.
"Well-" I thought, "Are you all, you know, maintained?"
She didn't seem to understand, so I gestured at her 'lady parts', and she blushed bright red before stammering something about, "How maintained is maintained?"
"Get in the shower, wash your hair, wash you face, and then shave everything," I explained, explicitly, "Then I'll do your eyebrows, we can curl your hair, and you'll be all set for your romantic rendezvous with the biggest geek we know.
"Oh God," she replied, "What would I do without you Maya?"
"You'd have to go into a Victoria's Secret eventually," I mumbled, going through her underwear drawer, "Does your mom buy all your underwear?"
"Yes," she answered, innocently, "Is that wrong?"
"It's fine, I brought back ups," I said, pulling out a number of matching sets from my bag, "Take your pick."
"You're the best, Maya," she said.
"Yeah," I smiled mischievously, "I know."
While Riley was in the shower I stripped her bed- the 'Chicks Rule' flannel sheets complete with baby chicks hatching out of their shells were not going to cut it. Instead, I took the extra sheets from her parents- silky feeling peach ones that weren't nearly as cozy, but were much better suited for the task at hand.
I sort of felt bad for helping Riley with all this, I didn't think she was ready for sex, even with a Farkle, but she's pushing to grow up too fast. I feel like she's doing it because I've been doing it, but that shouldn't matter. We're different people, Riley and I. Just because I don't mind spending mindless nights with nameless boys doesn't mean she should jump into the sack too. She's got something real with Farkle, sure, but still. They've only been dating for a few months, and I know he's not pressuring her- he's too scared of messing up their relationship and knows I'd totally kick his ass. But I'm sure he's just as nervous, I can only imagine him somewhere across town Farkle beating answers out of Lucas and begging him to go condom shopping.
"I'm ready!" Riley announced, coming out of the shower with her robe on and her hair wet.
"You're ready-ish," I corrected, "Come lemme do your eyebrows."
I did her eyebrows and she did her hair and some subtle, sultry (read: sparkly) makeup, and then we painted each other's nails.
"Thanks for your help Maya," Riley said, "And for this."
Although I'm definitely the more artistic one, painting nails always calms Riley down, and she was wound way to tightly right now.
"Is it going to hurt?" she asked, curiously.
"I don't think Farkle would ever want to do anything to hurt you," I skirted the subject.
"Is that a yes?" she asked.
"Sorta," I frowned, "Sorry."
"It's better I know now," she shrugged, "I can do this, right Maya?"
"Kid, if you've got to ask, I don't think I can say you are," I pointed out, honestly.
"That's just it though," she responded, "I'm not a kid, and I want this. I want to sleep with Farkle, and I want to do it now."
There was a moment of silence while I mulled over what she said. I half wanted to protect her and half wanted to let her go her own way. In the end it didn't matter what I thought though, Riley was going to do what Riley wanted to do. It was her world, after all- the rest of us are just living in it.
"Well, I can't stop ya," I said, getting up to leave the apartment, "Unless I stick around and make things awkward. I better get going."
"Okay," Riley said, getting up to give me a hug, "Thanks for your help."
"No problemo," I said.
"Take a good look Miss Hart, next time you see me I'll be a woman," she announced dramatically.
"You said the same thing when you got your braces removed. And when you got your period. And when you got a 10 o'clock curfew," I reminded her, "You're older than Gammy at this point."
"Well this time I mean it," she pouted, hands on hips.
"Well then, may the force be with you," I saluted her, before adding a wink, "And try and have some fun, while you're at it."