It shouldn't have been as hard as it was. It shouldn't have been hard at all to say something that you'd known your whole life, but somehow, it was. Because society (and really, screw society, what had society ever done for Sam except maybe make her life miserable over and over?) implanted the idea in people's brains that if you're different then you're scary and nobody will ever love you.

And that was the problem, wasn't it? Love. And Sam was just damned if she did and damned if she didn't, now wasn't she? Because obviously this whole...denial business wasn't working out for her, but the alternative wasn't much better, which was why she found herself hanging out in the lobby of Carly's apartment building, sprawled in one of the chairs that were supposed to be for old ladies waiting for a taxi with her hands in her hair, trying to figure out what to do.
"Would you get out of my lobby?" Lewbert screeched. "Too many people!"
"Would you shut up, Lewbert? Can't you see I'm in crisis?"
"Boy problems?" He sneered, and it was the thought that he would probably call the cops on her alone that kept her from punching him in his stupid face.
"Girl problems, actually," she replied, storming up to Carly's apartment before he had time to process that.

That wasn't so bad, she thought, taking a deep, nervous breath and banging on the door. Sure, it was only Lewbert, but how hard could it be to tell someone that she cared about? Not that hard, surely, if she kept it neutral like that-girl problems, I like girls-before bringing out the big guns. Yes, she could do this. It would be okay.


This had to end soon. Carly was pretty sure that she was going to spontaneously burst into flames if she didn't say something soon. She had never been very good at keeping secrets, and especially not big, dramatic, life changing secrets like this one, so it was practically killing her to have to.

But Carly had always tried so hard to be good, to follow the rules and stick to the norms and to be ordinary and grounded and never do anything that could possibly be perceived as bad or wrong, and yet here she was, with a secret so big it was consuming her, a secret that might destroy her anyway, whether she told or not. Carly was just damned if she did and damned if she didn't, unable to decide between the loneliness of keeping it and the possible social suicide of telling.

She had been dashing around the loft trying to keep herself busy since she had texted Sam an hour ago, and when Sam knocked it found Carly scrubbing Spencer's bathtub for the sixth time in an hour. "It's open," she called, hoping she didn't sound as hysterical as she felt. "Just come in!" momentarily she wondered why Sam knocked in the first place, because she never knocked, and she was seized by paralyzing panic. Was it possible that Sam somehow knew already? That she was afraid of Carly now, that she was only coming over to tell her she was sick, a creep, that she never wanted to see her again? At this point, that seemed like the most logical option. What girl wouldn't say those things if they knew their (female) best friend was in love with them?

From the other side of the door, Carly's voice sounded strange to Sam-panicked, almost-and Sam, too, felt consumed by panic. Was it possible she somehow knew already, had figured it out all on her own and had only called Sam over to tell her that there was something seriously wrong with her and that she never wanted to see her again? That seemed logical to Sam, after all, what girl would if they knew their (female) best friend felt that way?

The apartment seemed empty when Sam stepped in, but no windows were open so Carly had obviously not made a quick escape and Sam decided that it was okay to raid the fridge and wait for her. "Carls?" she called, locating a suitable snack and munching on it, flopping down on the sofa, not bothering to move when she heard Carly come in, though she grinned-she couldn't help it, even when she was about to disown her, Carly could make her smile like no one else could. "Hey, cupcake!"

"Hi," Carly said nervously, coming around to the other side of the couch and stealing one of Sam's grapes. She might have misheard, but she was fairly certain that Sam had just called her cupcake, and that while she knew Sam could put on an act if she wanted to, she wasn't that good at it-if she was upset with Carly, Carly was fairly sure she would know. "I have to tell you something."

Crap. Maybe she shouldn't have called her cupcake. It wasn't on purpose, it had just kind of fallen out of her stupid mouth. "I can explain," she said, and then kept going before Carly had time to protest. "It...I tried. I tried to stop liking yo-liking girls, I tried to date boys but it wasn't right, it just felt like i was lying to myself and I hate lying to myself as much as I hate lying to you, and I just want to hold your hand and kiss you sometimes and nit have to hide that I think that you're the best thing in the world and...I'm sorry, I'm going to leave now, nice knowing you."

Wait, what? Carly couldn't quite believe what Sam was saying. Liking girls? Lying to herself? Holding hands? Was Sam trying to say that she actually felt exactly the same way as Carly, right down to the paranoia? The idea was so absurd that she almost laughed, but Sam was about to take off, and if she didn't talk now, this might be her last chance. "Sam, wait." She grabbed her arm, pulling her so that she was forced to turn around and look at Carly. Although she had meant to tell Sam that it was okay, she felt the same way and she was scared too, but all that she managed to do was pull Sam close to her chest and mash their mouths together.

Well, that was unexpected. Sam made a surprised noise and got up on her tiptoes to make this a little easier. It was not technically as good as the last kiss she'd had-all lips and teeth and desperation, but it certainly felt a lot more...right. When they finally pulled back (not far-just enough to breathe), she asked, a little breathlessly, "So does that mean I can hold your hand?"
Carly laughed, a happy, bubbly sound that made Sam wonder what she had been worried about this whole time. "Whenever you want," she promised.

It wasn't going to be easy. It was probably going to be incredibly hard at times, and they were going to have to deal with people who couldn't understand, were probably going to lose people who were close to them, but somehow it didn't matter to either of them. It was going to be hard, but they had each other, and for that, they both knew that they would get through the hard parts somehow.