"Knock knock," Brittany said from across the bedroom. She was seated in front of her laptop and clicking away at something I couldn't see.
I was lying across her bed, my heels kicking lines through the air. Her sheets smelled like her, Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers and Lord Tubbington and the grass from her backyard. Her sheets smelled like me. We hadn't been on them together in ages, but I couldn't help closing my eyes then and remembering her gentle kisses. It still hurt, so fucking bad, to be so close to her and yet so far away at the same time. I curled an arm up under my stomach to stop the barf feelings from returning.
"Knock knock," Brittany repeated, tapping me on the arm with a tiny fist.
My fake lashes fluttered open. She was standing in front of me with a huge grin on her face. "I already said who's there."
"That's not how the joke goes, Brit."
"Look at this," she said, unfazed by her error. She took me by the hand and my head filled up with stars.
"What?" I sighed, dragging my feet across her carpet as she plopped me down on her desk chair.
"Look." She rubbed at my shoulders with the tips of her fingers. "Remember Tribeca?" she asked, the wisp of her warm breath hitting my ear.
It made me feel like crying, that lame prom and what she'd said to me then to comfort me. I bit at my lip and dug my nails into the plastic seat of Brittany's chair.
"You can get married there now," Brittany whispered.
Her hand on my shoulder squeezed. She was squeezing me in half. I stared straight ahead at the white glow of her computer screen, open to MSNBC, and the cold block letters of one of the most important headlines I would ever read in my whole stupid gay life.
"Good for New York," I muttered, my heart suddenly beating so hard that I could hear it inside of my brain. It sounded like a ticking clock, like a bomb.
Santana Lopez didn't believe in marriage. It was bullshit, getting bonded to someone for life and all of that super-saccharine "I do" crap and the ridiculous foofy dresses and that lame bouquet that you had to throw over your shoulder like you actually gave a fuck who caught it. And then there was the dance, the "wedding dance" in front of everyone so that their glowing eyes could drop little fireflies all over you, lighting you up and burning you at the same time.
And Santana Motherfucking Lopez didn't believe in kids either. Like I was gonna have some little troll pop out of my vagina and leave me with totally unsexy stretch marks. Like I was gonna tote some sniveling, puking crying mess of a miniature person around on the shelf of my hip. Like I was gonna dole out hugs and kisses like nobody's business.
No fucking way.
Brittany didn't know these things and I didn't need to tell her. I didn't need to hurt her. And I didn't need to hurt myself either, by admitting what I actually felt. Santana Lopez was never gonna get married and she was never gonna have kids and she was definitely never gonna have that cute, perfect life that everyone else was gonna get.
At least not with anyone other than her best friend.
"You have to come out first though," she said, cocking her head at me. A smile hit her cheeks and made a swing, carrying me up towards her blue eyes. "You know? I'm pretty sure the judge people would probably make you say it out loud."
Brittany's foot darted out and struck mine. It was only by accident, but it felt like the kind of accident that killed people. Like a car crash.
Santana Lopez wasn't a crier. I mean, unless massive quantities of alcohol were involved. I wasn't the slightest bit trashed, but I wished that I was 'cuz I was gonna start crying. I was totally gonna cry, looking down at Brittany's foot and her painted-green toenails. Her toes were green and she smelled like grass.
She loved the color green. She loved that insane dress she'd worn to prom that looked like an exploded piece of key lime pie. I'd not so secretly chided her about it. "Oh, God, Brit. Seriously?" But we didn't have to match 'cuz I wasn't gonna be her date. She didn't know I'd snuck that little hat with the red stripe on it into her locker after school, so that some part of us would still look the same. And Brittany didn't know this lame fact either, that I wished with all of my stupid heart that I'd had the guts to go to junior prom with her, that I could have had one dance with her in that ridiculous dress. It could have been practice. For the fireflies later.
She didn't know that, when I stared out at her and saw her carelessly dancing with that random girl, my very very stupid heart sank down to my feet and sent me running for the bathroom. She didn't know that half of those tears on my cheeks over not winning Prom Queen were really 'cuz I hadn't tried hard enough to win her.
"I bet they'll be lots of lesbian colonies in New York now!" Brittany exclaimed.
I bent my chin into my shoulder to look at her. My throat hurt so bad. If I opened my mouth to say anything, fire would come out. I gave her a smirk instead.
Brittany ran her fingers over my head, letting her nails drift through my hair and land at that hollow spot behind my left ear. "Would you do it?" she asked me.
Her slender fingers massaged me. I'd felt this a million times before, except that we were naked. Except that her fingers had been in my underwear instead of on my ear, getting me off so hard that I'd accidentally moaned "I love you" into my best friend's collarbone and had to quickly turn back into a bitch to save myself. Another accident. Another car crash.
"Would you get married to a girl?" Brittany asked softly.
I yanked the screen of her laptop down onto its keyboard, giving her one of my patented Santana-Lopez-Doesn't-Give-a-Fuck laughs. I twisted my shoulder forward, forcing her hand to fall off of me and back at her side. "No fucking way," I scoffed. "Marriage is for loser breeders and cheesy gay men like Kurt and Blaine. Let them have it."
"Oh..." Brittany breathed, the smile between her cheeks swinging itself into a frown.
I leapt to my feet and fell back onto her bed, burying my face in her sheets and faking a yawn, burying my face in her heartbreaking smell that swirled all around me.
Brittany reached my side, her hands back in my hair again and a soft kiss on my forehead. "I'd marry a girl," she said. "If I found her someday."
I peered up at her in silence. Her eyes looked like tiny blue globes and all of the lines inside of them were pointed towards me. I tugged at Brittany's fingertips, tangled in my long black hair. I pulled them to my mouth and kissed her without really kissing her, held her without really holding her.
Santana Lopez wasn't a crier, but fuck if those words didn't get to me then. Fuck if Brittany S. Pierce didn't know me inside and out and all of the stupid things I thought I was keeping hidden from her.
"I'd marry a girl."
Santana Motherfucking Lopez wasn't a crier, I thought, the tears filling up my eyes to the point that I couldn't see anything anymore. Brittany blurred in front of me. She was a haze of blonde and blue and green. She was the same color as the world.
"I'd marry a girl. If I found her someday."
"Well, maybe someday you will," I managed to choke out.