Love Is Just Another Four Letter Word
By Elizabeth

The guys are usually nice because they want to jump my bones, and the girls are usually nice because they want to know if I'm going to jump their boyfriend's bones.

As if I'd want some human boy, all sweaty palms and cracking voice. Been there, done that. But telling her that worked, it captured her. I knew it would. I knew we were kindred spirits when I first saw her. I knew she'd understand, and she did.

She looks beautiful in orange. Do you know how many people look beautiful in orange? At last count, one. Her. And that lip gloss she wears...the sun itself is not half as bright as the glossy tint of her lips.

I sometimes share lip gloss with her. We pass a tin of it back and forth. It is something I can experience with her, and as sad and as small as that experience is I spend what little spare money I have looking for flavors that will make her smile, will make her emit those little happy noise she makes. If I could, I would gladly spend a lifetime, my lifetime, kissing lip gloss off her.

I thought I was prepared for it all, I thought I was prepared for seeing her that first time. It was the moment I'd been waiting for, and she was just a stepping-stone on my path. I was going to charm her, make her like me, insinuate myself in her life. She was just supposed to be a stone. I pictured her as plain and gray and dull.

But she glitters and she shines and even though she is only the means to an end, I wish that she was the end. I feel something when I look at her, something that I've never felt before. I feel a sense of kinship, as if I've come home. I feel as if I could be happy with her. I feel as if she could be my cloud-I would float with her, and I wouldn't have to worry about this Earth anymore. These feelings make me want to weep, because I will surely end up with nothing even close to what I really want.


Nothing can ever be too sweet. Don't you think?

Don't ask me where that line came from. I heard myself saying it to her, and felt like a grade C porn star. All I needed was a jumbo phallic symbol type thing to lick. I guess I did ok with the spoon.

Of course things can be too sweet. That's why I like Isabel so much. She is refreshing. She is all tart honesty with me. No, I shouldn't wear my hair like that. Trust her, I don't want to wear those shoes. I love it. All of my life, I've been the adored one. I think that's the role she's always played too. It's limiting, it's stifling. It's boring.

The only good thing about what I am forced to do now is that I am most certainly not adored. Max wants me and fears me. Michael doesn't trust me. And Isabel...I try to hold onto our friendship. It's all I am ever going to have with her, and it will vanish, I am sure it will. But I will take what I can get; I will take the now.

Her tartness is what I crave. I do not want Max's gooey love or Michael's mooching friendship. I wish for the sting of her personality and my dreams of her skin. I bet she tastes like those lemon candies they sell. Tangy and utterly addictive.

Once, I dared to run my hand down her neck. We were at her house, and we were having a "girl's night." I was fixing her hair, and I let my hand linger on her neck for a moment. She turned and smiled at me, and I wanted...

I wanted to kneel in front of her and lift her foot up. We had just painted our toenails, and the sight of her feet--so utterly normal, and so damn beautiful--I wanted to pick her foot up and hold it in my hand. I would have bent my mouth to her skin. I would have run my tongue along the gently curved arch of her foot. I would have tested my teeth on her ankle. I would have worked my way up her leg: calf, knee, thigh. Everywhere and anywhere.

But I moved my hand away from her neck and the moment passed. I love her, you see. And really, love is just another four letter word.


Hi Al.

I know his name is Alex. He is my competition, except I am not supposed to be competing for her. Or not in the way I want to, at least. I can fight him because he is human and a weakness to her and Michael and Max. I cannot fight him because he cares for her, because he wants to do all the things to her that I long to do. But I take what shots I can. I know it is not the right thing to do, it has no bearing on what I am meant to do; but if I can't touch her, I'm not really inclined to let anyone else do so either. I never knew I was so human before.

I see the way he looks at her. I know the things he wants to do to her, with her. He dreams boy dreams of romancing her and having her say that he's given her the only happiness she's ever known. That he makes her love, and that he can make love to her.

Oh, Alex. Silly, sweet human boy. I would be kind to you, but you are my rival. I will be ruthless to you because I want to and because I can. Don't you see--it's not words that are seductive.

It's actions. You dream of talking to her, then taking her to bed. I would dispense with the formalities. I know she would like that. She wants passion; she wants to be swept away. She wants to be wanted, she wants who and what she is to not matter. I would offer that to her, gladly. But I can't. And I will not tell you what I know. I will let you fumble and sweat and dream. I will do it because I want her to be happy and you don't know her, you only adore her. She's had adoration all of her life-her parents, her friends, other boys.

You want to win her? Treat her as an equal. Call her on her shit. Fight her attempts to retreat from what you could maybe have. I would quiet her struggles with kisses. I would kiss her till neither one of us could breathe. I would suck the air from her lungs and return my breath to her. I would introduce her to herself and I would let her consume me. I know she would like that. But I will not help you, Alex. Perhaps you will learn all this on your own.

I will take Max because I have to. I will give him sweaty lust dreams of hot kisses and touches and me, all big-eyed and wanting. In reality, I dream of her. I dream of sitting in her room, of leaning over and pressing my mouth to her skin, of her shocked start and then gradual honeyed melting.

Her arms would wrap around me, and her body would press against me. I would not wait. I would not be hesitant and shy. I would act boldly; I would show her that I want her. I would touch her, no pretense, no coy questions of "Do you like this?" I can guess what she likes already. We are not that different, Isabel and I.


Hi, I'm Tess.

My introduction speech. I am tired of it already. I am tired of seeing Liz's bruised eyes and weepy heart. She shows it in the way she walks, in the hesitant steps she takes now.

I have nothing against Liz. In fact, if I had to pick someone to be friends with, it would be her. I think she would accept me. I think that if I got my dream, if I got Isabel, she would even be able to accept that.

But I have to take Max. I don't want him, not really, but it's fate.

I will probably end up hurting everyone, including myself. I will never have Isabel, not the way I want her. I will not get to lie in bed with her in the morning, the two of us waking up together lazily. I will get sleepovers that will allow me to lie on the floor instead. I will get to see a hurt look in her eyes when she finds out that I have secrets. I will never be able to tell her that I did have secrets, that I do have secrets, but that if I could, I would have warned her. I would give anything to be a human girl. Ah, the irony of that last thought alone is priceless.

But I'm not human, and I won't win her. I'll never get what I really want-and I have to accept that.

Because, you see, fate is also a four letter word.



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