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She told me, "I like you," after her Halloween party, once all our other friends had left.

"Like, like me?" I stuttered.

"Yeah," she said, fiddling with a leaf from my Poison Ivy costume.

"That's good," I started, "Because I like you too."

There was a long silence as we waited on her porch for my Mother to pick me up. We looked at our feet. She had a large freckle on her big toe; she brushed the freckle against the sole of my foot. I laughed loudly, but I had no idea of what to do.

To be a lesbian at our high school was not cool. Only losers were faggots. And we were not losers: we were on the varsity soccer team, sang in choir and drank Diet Pepsi with every meal.

In the halls, we held hands like the other freshmen couples, but very carefully: only in crowded halls, when the action seemed to be a safety measure, to keep from being jostled.

Before first period one day, we were sitting next to each other on the cafeteria benches, pushed close by overcrowding and affection. The previous night, I had decided to kiss her as the bell rang, such that there would be so much chaos that we would go unnoticed. Just a peck, of course, just to let her know.

But as the bell rang and I leaned close to her face, a friend's huge, swinging backpack knocked me over, pushing both of us off the benches, with me on top of her. More accurately, with my lips on top of her. Her lips were soft, I remember. Very soft. I didn't even notice landing.

Her eyes were open. She turned her face a bit and must have seen all of our friends goggling. She pushed me off of her and got to her feet, walking away. I grabbed my bag and ran after her, but she turned away from me.

We don't speak anymore.

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