For my entire life I have been in love with her. It has always been her for me. It started on my first day of the first grade.
"What are you drawing?" the snot nosed kid asked me.
"Um, a duck!" I said and then smiled because I felt proud of it.
"A blue duck? Really?"
"Yea, I wanted to see a blue duck! Why?" I said suddenly becoming aware that it may not be right.
"Geez, girly…You are sooo stu-!"
"Please don't call me stupid…I don't like that word!" I said on the verge of tears.
Then she appeared out of no where and grabbed the kid by his small Mohawk.
"You weren't going to call her stupid, right?" the girl asked as she stared him down. I saw this girl start to clench her fist.
"It's a blue duck!" the kid said and prepared himself for what was bound to come next.
The girl got in his face and said, "Stupid is a stupid word. Doesn't your mom teach you manners?"
"Um, what's manners?" the kid said and then picked his nose.
"Say you're sorry!"
"No…" the kid replied and the girl proceeded to pick him up by his hair.
"Say you're sorry!" the girl demanded.
"Ok, ok, I'm sorry!" the kid said to me.
"Do you believe him?" the girl said and looked at me for the first time.
"Um, y-y-yes." I said. She released her grip on the boy's hair, but had a warning for him. "Don't you ever call her stupid again! You got that?"
"Yes," he said and ran away about to cry.
Then she sat down next to me and said, "I like your blue duck! I'm Santana! What's your name?" She turned her head slightly, smiled at me, and immediately my heart melted. When she flipped her black hair back I was left speechless. She saw me staring at her. I found my voice and said, "That was so cool! I think he peed himself. I'm Brittany!"
From that moment on, my young life changed forever. Santana and me were always together. She was truly my best friend. We did everything little kids do together, birthday parties, sleepovers, you name it. She spent more time at my house than she did at her own.
Like I've said, I've always loved her, but I just didn't understand what the true meaning of this would be. I childishly thought that loving someone meant giving them the last cookie in the package or watching their favorite movie for the ten thousandth time. One day when I was seven I asked my Mom. I had known Santana for a year.
"Mommy…" I said as I entered the kitchen and sat on a stool where my Mom was cooking.
"How do you know when you're in love with someone?" I asked.
My Mom put the spatula down on the counter and had a decision to make: should she tell me the truth of what being in love meant or should she chalk it up to me just being curious? My family always wanted to be honest with me.
"Well, honey, what do you think it means?"
"Does being in love mean giving the other person the last cookie in the package or watching their favorite movie even though you've seen it with them like a thousand times?" I asked innocently.
"Well, kinda…" my Mom answered.
"Is there more to it?" I asked.
"Yes, a lot more…"
"Like what?" I am now intrigued.
"Well, it's about really liking the other person so much that you want to spend every minute with them doing the things you both like doing…" she said.
I looked up at her and asked, "Is it more than even that?"
"Yup…Being in love means that you can't picture yourself with any other person besides them…It means putting their happiness before your own…It also means remembering all the good times you have shared with them and being excited for all the great memories you have yet to create." She said and looked me with a smile.
"Wow! I like being in love then." I answered.
I can see her expression before she asked me, "Honey, who are you in love with?"
"Santana!" I replied without any hesitation or second guessing.
My Mom smiled at me and then said, "Aww. That's sweet, but being in love also means that you have to be okay if the other person doesn't feel the same for you."
"I'm confused, Mommy…What does that mean?" She must have forgotten to break it down for me since sometimes I had trouble with adult ideas and concepts.
"I'm sorry, dear. I mean that if Santana doesn't love you like that you have to be okay with that."
"Will our friendship stop?" I looked scared.
"No, no…" My Mom said to comfort me.
Oh, ok…I'm happy!"
"I want you to think about what we talked about…"
"Ok, I will. I don't think I need to," I said proudly.
"Why's that, honey?"
"I think that Santana is the person I'm going to be with forever!" I triumphantly exclaimed.
"Oh…" my Mom said and smiled. Then I got off the stool with my head held high and ran to my room.
The night before Valentine's Day, a year later, I wanted to give Santana a special present. Something from my heart.
My Mom drove me to the card store and helped me pick it out. It was the very first card I would get for anyone let alone someone who was beginning to matter to me more than a best friend. Then I spotted a pink and red stuffed teddy bear and said, "Santana has to have this, Mommy!"
Years later, I'd find out that my Mom had called Mrs. Lopez to ask if Santana had gotten me anything. Mrs. Lopez said that she had and was so excited to give it to me. So my Mom made sure that we'd both received something.
Before I went to bed that night, I got out the card and in my neatest penmanship, I wrote, "Dear Santana, I love you. Forever & Always, Brittany". I sealed the envelope and put it in the gift bag that had the bear in it. Then I went to sleep.
The next morning, I sprang out of my bed and got dressed as quickly as possible. This was a rarity for me since I wasn't a morning person especially on a school day. I devoured my breakfast and before I knew it I was on my way to school.
Santana was outside when I got there. I flew out of the car and into her arms as I yelled, "Sani, Happy Valentine's Day!"
"You, too, Brit-Brit. Umm, wanna open up our presents outside then go in?" Santana asked as she broke the hug.
"Sure!" I exclaimed proudly.
We went to the playground and sat on the swings and Santana handed me a wrapped gift.
"I wrapped it myself!" Santana beamed with pride.
"Cool!" I said.
I tore off the paper gently as I wanted to save it for memories, like my Mom had said.
I opened the box and inside was a gold, heart shaped necklace with "Santana and Brittany" written under the heart.
"Oh," I said with tears running down my cheeks.
"Brittany, why are you crying? You don't like it?" Santana said, sadly.
"Oh, Sani, no I love it! My gift isn't as special as this one." I said as I handed her the gift bag.
"Anything you give me is special, ya know why?"
"No, why?" I said as I wiped my tears away.
"Cuz it came from you! Can I open it?" Santana asked, anxiously.
"Sure! Find the card, first!" I squealed.
"Ok," Santana said as she looked into the bag and found the envelope. She expertly opened the envelope and pulled out the card. The card was in the shape of a heart and when she opened it, she read the greeting silently. After she read that, she whispered, "Dear Santana, I love you. Forever & Always, Brittany".
She looked down at the card and then looked up at me and said, "Thank you, Brit…" Then she retrieved the teddy bear from the bag and squeezed it tightly. "Thank you for my gift!" she said.
Santana started to get up from the swing when I grabbed her hand and asked, "Did I do something wrong?"
"No…" she said, surprised.
"Then why didn't you tell me love me too?" I asked and looked hurt.
She walked up to me and looked into my crystal blue eyes and said, "I love you too…as a friend!" I tried to shake off the "as a friend" part. I thought that maybe she might be nervous about telling anyone that she loved them. We were young. So I let it go for a few years, but I wore my necklace all the time. It never left my neck.
The next time the subject would be brought up was during our first "no parents" party that we attended at Puck's. Oddly enough he was the snot nosed little boy who teased me about my blue duck back in the first grade. I had grown to at least tolerate him. I slowly began to realize why he chose to pick on me. It wasn't because he didn't like me…he didn't really know me at the time he teased me. I think he did it cuz he was insecure about himself. That's why bullies bully, right? They don't think they're good enough. I don't condone it, but I understood why he chose to do it. So we're cool, now.
Santana grew up beautifully from the little girl I knew. She was turning into a Latina goddess right before my eyes. I felt lucky that she still wanted to be my best friend.
"Come on Sani, pick out something to wear."
"Why can't I just wear what I'm in now?" she answered. She was wearing a pair of jeans that complimented her figure perfectly and a loose fitted tee shirt.
"It's our first 'party'!" I exclaimed totally excited to be going.
"It's just going to be the same people we see in school and there probably won't be any alcohol…" Santana noted.
"Did you just say 'pooper'?" Santana asked and laughed.
"Yup!" Brittany smiled.
"Ok, ok. Can I borrow a shirt?"
Even though I was always taller than her we magically fit pretty well in each other's clothes. I picked something out that would accentuate certain parts of her upper chest. I threw it at her and she immediately took off her shirt and put mine on. I blushed. She didn't notice it or at least she never said anything.
"You girls ready?" my Mom yelled from downstairs.
"Coming!" I yelled back. Then I grabbed Santana's hand and yanked her out of my room and to the party.
When we got there Santana was partially right with the guest list. There was Rachel, Finn, Quinn, Mercedes, Kurt, Artie, Tina, Mike, and of course, Puck.
"Lopez, you came!" Puck announced.
"Yup. She dragged me!" she said and pointed to me.
"Hey, Brittany!" Quinn yelled and ran to give me a hug.
"Well, welcome to Casa Puckerman! Pull up some carpet. You wanna drink?"
"I'll have a soda, please?" I asked and smiled.
"Sure…I did steal a beer from my parent's refrigerator. Wanna sip?" he said and handed me the can. I smelt it and declined. Santana grabbed the can from me and took a sip.
"Eww, that's awful!" Santana said after she gulped down the liquid. Then she handed the can back to Puck.
"Whatever!" he replied.
"Who wants to play a game?" Rachel asked, hopeful.
"What game?" Finn asked.
"Um, I was thinking spin the bottle or seven minutes in Heaven!" Rachel said.
They all stared at her in bewilderment as they all didn't think she had it in her to suggest those games.
"What?" Rachel asked.
"I'm impressed," Finn said dumbfounded.
"Yea, good thinking, Berry!" Mike said.
"Well, seven minutes in Heaven is out cuz the closet is in the living room and I don't think my parents would be cool with having kids go into the closet…"
"Let's play spin the bottle, then," I offered and tried really hard not to sound overly excited. Everyone agreed.
"I'll get an empty bottle…" Puck said. While he was getting that, we all sat in a circle. I made it a point to sit across from Santana and not next to her. She didn't tell me to sit next to her.
"OK, let's play this game!"
Puck was the first to spin the bottle and it stopped spinning and pointed at Quinn. I saw him blush, but he leaned over the circle and kissed Quinn sweetly on the lips. Quinn let a little sigh right after the kiss. Then Quinn went and had to kiss Artie so she gave him a quick kiss on his lips. Artie leaned forward in his wheelchair and spun. The bottle stopped at Tina who gave him a wet kiss on the cheek. Tina went and kissed Mike. Mike spun and the bottle stopped at Kurt who only extended his hand for a high five. Oddly enough no one objected.
"I'll pass. Who wants my turn?" Kurt asked.
"I'll take it!" I exclaimed without thinking.
"Go for it, Brittany." Kurt smiled.
I grabbed the bottle, gave it a good spin, and prayed that it would stop spinning in the front of the person I wanted it to. My inner thought process was, "Santana…Santana…Santana…"
And wouldn't you know it, the bottle stopped right in front of Santana. She looked up at me with a half smile on her face. I began to lean forward and so did she. I tilted my head slightly. As we got closer and closer, our eyes shut. The moment our lips connected, I saw fireworks. I mean the world stopped and we were the only two people. Surprisingly, Santana didn't pull away for a few seconds. I instinctively caressed her cheeks with my fingers. I think she let her defenses down enough to actually enjoy my kissing her.
"That's hot!" Finn yelled. This would interrupt our first ever kiss. I gave him a stern look after she separated from my kiss. He blushed.
Santana didn't say anything. She didn't look at me so I couldn't tell if she was mad at me or not. She opted not to take her turn. I didn't know if that was for my sake or not.
"I'm done with this game! I'm going to go to the bathroom." Santana said and got up from the floor.
"Want me to come with you?" I asked sincerely.
"I'm capable of finding it on my own," she snapped at me. Instantly I saw that she regretted that, but I let it go. She walked away with her head hung down.
After a while Santana came back to the party and sat quietly on the couch. Quinn saw her sitting alone and walked over to her.
"San, you okay?"
"Sure!" Santana said, unconvincingly.
"Wanna talk about it?"
"Not here," was the answer Quinn received.
Santana and Quinn got up from the couch and went outside. I saw them leave, but I was playing a card game with Mike and apparently I was winning because I was still wearing my clothes and he was almost naked. Also I thought that Santana needed to talk to someone other than me.
"Mike, I clearly won! I don't want to embarrass you so I'm going to stop playing!" I said.
Mike made a face, but he didn't object.
I knew it was wrong to do, but I had to listen to what Quinn and Santana were talking about. They were talking right in front of the garage and I felt safe enough and not in sight at the door to the garage which was on the outside of the house.
"What's up, S?" Quinn asked her.
"Spin the Bottle was…fun."
"I secretly wanted Puck to kiss me…did you want the person who kissed you to kiss you?" Quinn asked.
I held my breathe waiting for her answer.
"Yes," she whispered. I don't think Quinn heard her and I sure didn't.
"What, I didn't hear you?"
"Yes," Santana said a little louder. I let my breath out and smiled.
Santana wouldn't make eye contact with Quinn, but she asked, "What now?"
"What do you mean?"
"What happens next?"
"Um, well, did you enjoy the kiss?" Quinn asked.
Again I held my breath.
"Too much!" Santana revealed which made Quinn smile. And me too!
"Well, now." Quinn said and smiled.
"C'mon, Quinn, I'm kinda scared! I need your help." Santana looked at Quinn with an expression I've never seen on her face. She was truly scared.
"Santana, it's alright!"
"Is it?" Santana asked on the verge of tears.
"Come here…" Quinn said and extended her arms and Santana hugged her tightly. I could hear Santana crying. Quinn massaged her back and tried to get her to stop crying. After Santana stopped crying, Quinn looked into Santana's brown eyes and asked, "Do you want Brittany?"
This one question was the one that I didn't know if I wanted to hear the answer to. The seconds that passed felt like an eternity.
Then I saw Santana look at Quinn and with the biggest smile ever she simply said, "Yes."
I felt like crying right here on the spot. I tried with everything I had to stifle my tears. Then I heard Santana say, "I've wanted her ever since our first Valentine's Day when she wrote that she loved me in the card!" I grabbed my necklace and remembered that day.
Let's just say, my heart melted. I wanted to reveal myself, but decided against it. As I was walking away, I heard Santana ask, "Is it too late for me?"