They were going seven miles over the speed limit. That was, according to her best friend, the golden number of speeding. This way you weren’t going too fast to get pulled over, but you didn’t look lame because you were going too slow. Liz was the first of them to get a license and
thought she knew everything about driving. She didn’t even have her own car, but Alice was the only one who knew that. Liz just didn’t correct people when they assumed that the bright red midlife crisis of a two-door was actually hers rather than her fathers. Lying by omission was
something Liz was very good at.
“So I was talking to Josh today…” Alice could see the gum moving in Liz’s mouth as she turned to glance at her, stalactites of sugar-free watermelon rubber between her lips.
Alice mumbled something she thought resembled interest. She had heard this before. In the past month, Liz had embarked upon a quest to lose her virginity. She was very specific about who would make a good candidate. He had to be 5’11” and at least a year older, of course, but also the kind of guy who would tell some of his friends, but not too many of them. Word had to get around. Liz wanted people to think she was cool, but not a slut.
“We’re going out on Friday. To that new Johnny Depp movie.” Another glance at Alice, this time accompanied by a toothy smirk. Her teeth were perfectly even, she never even needed braces. “I told my parents I’m sleeping over at your place so I can, you know, go hang out with him afterwards too.”
“Like you even know what to do.”
“Of course I do! You’ve either got it or you don’t, and I’ve got it. And I read Cosmo, so I’m fine.”
Alice read Cosmo too. She would buy them at the 7-11 on Park but she’d always get so worried that the pimply sales clerk would judge her that she’d have to buy two other magazines to sandwich it between. And then she’d feel stupid about that so she’d buy a Slurpee and some snacks. That way it would look like maybe she had some plans that night – something other than trying to covertly read sex tips in bed under the judgmental gaze of one-eyed Mr. Bear. Even with the advice from Lisa, 23, from Massachusetts, Alice didn’t think she had it. Lisa seemed like she had her life together, like she had a plan. Hell, Alice had never once thought about incorporating whipped cream into sex and apparently that was a normal occurrence for Lisa. Alice didn’t think she’d ever be that kind of girl.
“Yep. It’s happening. I just think he really likes me, you know? And I’m wearing that black dress we bought last week. The short one from Forever 21 with the studs on the shoulders. I look hot in that, right?”
Alice nodded and Liz, momentarily secure in her body, reached out two chipped nails and turned the radio dial to the right, drowning the hum of traffic in bass and drums. It was nearly dinner time and the fading sunlight made Alice nothing more than a silhouette, a phantom, against the pre-fab homes and their two car garages.