"Charlie!" Brie shrieked as my hands came crashing down on her stomach.

It was a regular tickle fest in Brie's bed. Her vain attempts to roll away from me were always blocked by my massively muscular arms. Okay maybe not massively but compared to tiny little Brie, they were pretty big.

"Surrender," I growled playfully, attacking her once more.

"Nev-" she began, only to be interrupted by her own squealing. "Char-" she tried, just as more giggles came pouring out of her mouth. "Stop or I'm gonna pee on you!" she shouted, still squirming around endlessly under the sheets.

"I'll stop" I said smoothly. "But you must give me control over the iPod for the whole week," I added, grinning evilly.

"No way!" she objected in her high-pitched voice.

"Then I'm not stopping!" I snarled mischievously.

As she squirmed under me I couldn't help but think about how soft her skin was and how much I enjoyed the feel of it. Shut up Charlie, my mind scolded. Don't even start with this again. Ah yes, again. I smiled, remembering the slightly awkward but not so terrible kiss…

"CHARLIE!" her squeal pierced my ears.

"Say it," I commanded, my mind snapping back to the present.


"Say it!" I ordered again.

"You can have the iPod for the week…" she mumbled reluctantly.

"Thank you," I smirked, kissing her forehead.

I rolled off of her and shook the hair out of my face only to see that the flashing green numbers on the alarm clock were telling me that we were twenty minutes away from being late to our first period class.

"Brie! Get up! NOW!" I ordered. She knew I meant business.

"Wha-" she whined breathily before turning her attention to the clock. "No!" she shouted, flipping the covers off of her pale legs.

I vaguely heard the bathroom door slam as I was digging through the piles of extra clothes I kept in the lower drawers of Brie's dresser. Even with the bleached ends of my hair constantly falling into my eyes, I managed to pull out a clean shirt and some pants that would go generally nicely together.

"AAAAAAAAGH!" Brie's girlish cry came from the bathroom, followed by a string of cuss words.

"What is it sweetie?" I asked patiently, my eyes flicking back to the clock.

"What is it?!" she screeched. "What do you think?! It's the first day of school and I'm supposed to make an impression! How can I do in TWENTY MINUTES?!?!" she shouted in her extreme-meltdown voice.

I kept my voice patient. "Actually honey, you only have eighteen minutes and considering how long its going to take us to drive you only ha-"

"SHUT UP CHARLIE!" she hollered through the door. "This is all YOUR FAULT!"

There was a faint rustling before I heard the crash of what sounded like thousands and thousands of plastic bottles full of every kind of beauty product you can imagine, half of which you would have never guessed you needed.

She was ticked off. While missing school was indeed a much more important problem than her more petty issues, it wasn't meltdown-worthy. Then again, nothing Brie freaks out about is ever worth the crying and the screaming. Sometimes I wonder if Brie is capable of getting along without me.

With a cringe I remembered that she indeed was very capable of it. It was me who couldn't get along without her. I jumped when the rather loud sound of something else flying off of the counters hit my ears, pulling me out of dream-land.

I sighed. "Brie?" I called through the door.

"What?!" she snapped. Oh yeah. Meltdown.

"I'm going to call the school and tell them that we'll be missing first period due to an extremely unexpected family emergency. If anyone asks, your grandfather has just been taken to the hospital. He's had a heart attack," I said very matter-of-factly.

"But my grandfather died six years ago!" she argued, her voice slightly lighter.

"But Mr. Barker doesn't know that," I said devilishly. "Hurry hurry. You only have an hour," I informed her, tapping on the door twice with my fingers.

"An hour?!" she shrieked. "That's it??"

I didn't even answer her. There was no point. Skipping down the steps of a house I was more comfortable in than my own, I glided into the kitchen and grabbed the wireless phone before turning to the fridge to snatch the school's number off of its proud spot in the middle of the left door. Brie's dad, Mr. Brie as I liked to call him, never once looked up from his paper.

"Morning sir," I acknowledged cheerfully, nodding in his direction.

"Hum," he grumbled, still intently focused on the paper.

Mr. Brie never was one for deep conversations.

I scampered back up the stairs only to be hit with the overwhelming scent of Brie's perfume the minute I walked through her door. I paused for a moment to get used to the smell before plopping down on the pink comfortor.

"Excuse me, I'm calling in regards of my daughter and her friend and they're whereabouts this morning," I said into the phone, using my most professional voice.

"Names," the secretary hummed, sounding more than bored.

I told her our names and the reasoning behind our temporary absence, along with assuring her that we would be at school promptly in time for second period. Towards the end of the phone call, I threw in a sincere-sounding "have a wonderful day," even though we both knew that the outcome of her day did not concern me in the least.

When the deed was done I hung up with a click and dug around in the covers for one of Brie's stuffed animals. Within moments it was hurling towards the bathroom door, making a small thump when it crashed into the wood.

"What??" she whined impatiently. I could hear the steam from her hair straightener.

"Almost time, love," I said simply, leaning back to rest my head against her soft pillows.

"I'm coming! Geez," she muttered, rustling around with something.

Twenty minutes later the bathroom door opened and my angel of a best friend stepped out, her long hair freshly straightened and her face made up to perfection. Although I preferred her 100% natural, I couldn't deny the fact that she looked beautiful.

She twirled around a few times. "How do I look?" she asked sweetly.

"Lovely, of course," I replied truthfully, taking her hand. "Took you long enough," I muttered as I headed towards the door.

Not the brightest idea. She heard me. And it didn't take long for her to remember that she was supposed to be mad at me right now. She dropped my hand and stormed out the door. I followed her calmly, knowing that it wouldn't be long before she wasn't mad at me anymore and all would be right in the world.

This was one of thousands of mornings I've spent at Brie's house. We've had our constant and never-planned "sleepovers" since we were so small we couldn't control our own poop. It never bothered our parents, even now when we're constantly bombarded with raging hormones. But the hormones didn't matter with me and Brie. She was practically my sister - I know everything there is to know about her. Plus there's also the small fact that I'm gay.

Or at least, I thought I was. Until I kissed Brie. But her obvious repulsion at the deed made it obvious we would never be anything more than best friends. But sometimes I actually wished it were different. Which made me wonder whether I was even gay anymore. It was all a confusing mess.

Shaking the thoughts out of my head, I followed Brie onto the bus, the best and worst public transportation, and plopped down next to her on the vinyl seat. I gazed at her face but it held no expression.

"I'm sorry, Brie. You know I say stupid things sometimes," I apologized.

"Oh trust me, I know," she sighed angrily.

I stopped myself from throwing a bratty remark. "Forgive me?" I asked sweetly.

She looked away dramatically, her makeup covered eyes squinted in anger. I waited patiently for her answer, knowing that with Brie, that was about all you could do.

"Fine," she yapped. "But you only get the iPod for half a week,"

"What?!" I objected. "No way! I won the iPod fair and square,"

She shook her little head slowly. "Half a week or I'm not forgiving you,"

It was times like these when I had to get my priorities straight and figure out what's more important: Brie or the White Stripes. I knew if I thought about it too long Brie would get mad.

"Fine, whatever, half a week," I surrendered, trying to sound sad.

She giggled happily and leaned her head against my shoulder for the remainder of the bus ride. Yes, I thought happily. All is right in the world.