The teacher goes into a rant about catching us having sex and I have to think fast if I want to save our asses. So, I say the only thing that I think of.
The room goes silent.
“You didn’t see what you think you saw.” I quickly add.
“I know exactly what I saw.” She says sure of herself.
“Tampon,” I say again.
I glance at Josie and she looks at me. We share a silent best friend's look and she knows to go with it. No matter how ridiculous or funny it sounds. She’s prepared to put on an act.
“Can you elaborate Ms. Hanson?” The principal asks.
I burst into tears on cue. Something I mastered when I was five.
“This is so embarrassing,” I say between sobs.
“I was helping her with her tampon,” Josie adds.
“Come again?” The principal says, he shifts uncomfortably in his seat.
The female teacher raises an eyebrow at us.
“I was cramping in class and got a pass to the nurse but I ran out of tampons so Josie said she would spot me. But when I went to change my tampon, I couldn’t find it!” I cry out louder.
The principal looks extremely uncomfortable now.
“I couldn’t really get in there in the bathroom so we went somewhere more private where we thought no one would see us. That’s what you saw.” Josie says.
“So… you weren’t having sex?” the teacher is now completely confused.
“No! Now everyone is going to think I’m gay when it was just a tampon. This is the most humiliating thing of my life!” I sob.
To put the nail in the coffin Josie says,
“Can I go wash my hands?”
“Yeah okay, we’ll let it slide for now ladies.” The principal says.
“I’m sorry!” I cry.
“Just… go home,” he says.
So Josie and I walk out and to the bathroom.
“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” I smack her repeatedly in the shoulder, once we are alone.
She burst into laughter.
“Shut up! It was all I could think of! Ugh! I hate you!”
She laughs so hard she tears up.
My face has never been so red.
I quickly wash off the traces of lipstick on my skin and drag Josie out of the bathroom so we can head home. To be honest I have no idea what’s worse. Getting caught almost having sex at school. Or lying about it and saying you were actually digging for a lost tampon. I will never live this down. Ever.
This is almost as bad as finding out my parents wanted us to be called the KKK family.
I just want to scream from how embarrassed I am.
“You suck! Ugh! I’ll never live this down! Ever! Even when I’m 30 I’ll think back on this and still feel the secondhand embarrassment!” I say to Josie as we arrive at my house and go up to my room.
“You have to admit that was funny as hell.”
“It worked, didn’t it? Don’t overreact. You saved our asses from expulsion.” She grabs me and pulls me into her.
“I hate you,” I say more calmer as I breathe in her scent and nuzzle my head into her chest.
“Keep telling yourself that Kat.”
“Everyone at school saw that debacle, what are we going to do?”
“What are we going to tell our friends?”
I pull back to look into her eyes.
“Tampon?” Sage says the next morning when she asks us about it.
Carson goes bright red in the face.
“Wait what does a tampon have to do with you two getting caught?” Sophie says.
“We didn’t get caught having sex. I lost a tampon.” I explain.
“Where did you lose—Oh!” Sophie finally gets it.
“Ugh!” I cover my head with my arms and rest it on the table.
“You should have seen the look on that teacher's face, it was priceless.” Josie snorts in laughter.
“Not funny!” I snap at her.
“Here I thought you two were dumb enough to hook up at school.” Sage chuckles.
“Girls are weird,” Wyatt says.
“I second that,” Carson adds.
“Can we all just pretend it didn’t happen? I’ve suffered enough embarrassment thank you.” I grumble.
“It’s okay Kat, happens to the best of us. I once lost a tampon for a whole day!” Sophie says.
“Didn’t that hurt?” Sage asks.
“I was at the end of my cycle, I hardly noticed.” She shrugs.
“Not helping!” I grumble.
“I’m uh… I’m gonna go get something to eat.” Carson quickly gets up.
“I’ll come with.” Wyatt quickly follows.
We all laugh at them.
“Boys,” Sophie rolls her eyes.
“Well everyone is talking about it.” Sage points out.
“Please just drop it, I’d rather them think I was hooking up with someone than know the truth,” I say.
“Amen to that,” Josie says.
“But what’s worse, tampon or sex?” Sophie debates.
“Both are bad! Just stop talking about it,” I whine.
“Tampon makes more sense to me. It would explain why you were in a mood yesterday.” Sage shrugs.
“I wasn’t in a mood.” I defend myself.
“Oh yes, you were,” Josie teases.
“Whatever,” I roll my eyes.
“Told you it was too good to be true, you owe me 20 bucks.” Sage says to Sophie.
“You guys bet on us?” I glare at them.
“What? Sage said no way you would hook up with Josie, especially at school. I said wanna bet? Thus, me losing 20 bucks.” Sophie frowns and hands Sage the money.
Josie and I share a quick look.
Sage raises an eyebrow at us but doesn’t say anything as she put the 20 bucks away.
On our way to class, people whisper all around us, giving me and Josie funny looks as Carson holds my hand and walks me to class. It doesn’t help that now framed by the newsroom is the paper with Josie and I kissing on it.
“Well, well, well, Look at you. I didn’t know you were this wild Kat. I wouldn’t have broken up with you.” Bryson and his buddies walk up to us.
“I broke up with you,” I correct him.
“Leave her alone man,” Carson says.
“Or what? Are you gonna beat me up to? Everyone knows you’re still a loser.” Bryson chuckles.
His buddies laugh.
“Want to see who the real loser is?” Josie steps closer to him.
He nervously backs away.
“I always wondered why you were always up her ass. Guess I found out why. I don’t know why you hide it, get with the time's ladies. Let your freak flag fly. No one cares.” Bryson says.
“I don’t have to explain or prove anything to you. Get lost asshole,” I hiss.
“Awe kitty kat, don’t be like that.” He tries to come up to me, but Carson puffs his chest and gets in Bryson’s face.
“Do it, pretty boy.” Bryson antagonizes.
“Carson don’t he’s not worth it,” I say.
“He’s really not,” Josie adds.
“At least Kat has two people who love her, what do you have? Your hand?” Carson says.
“Damn!” Bryson’s buddies laugh at him.
“Shut the fuck up.” Bryson glares at them before stomping off.
“Carson that was amazing!” I laugh and tackle him in a hug.
“Jerks like him really get on my nerves.” He pecks me on the cheek.
“You’re so cool. Gosh, I just want to eat you up.” I pinch his cheeks.
“See you at lunch?”
“Count on it,” I kiss him before pulling back.
He smiles at me and walks off to class.
Josie scoffs and follows me into class.
“You have to admit he’s a good guy. Come on, it’s literally impossible to hate him. Admit it.”
“I don’t have to admit anything,” she crosses her arms.
“Hey,” I grab her hand in mine.
She looks at me in annoyance.
“Carson may be sweet, but you’re still my ride or die.”
She smiles and interlocks our fingers.
People look at us funny and whisper about us.
I frown and quickly retract my hand.
I turn to Josie and she is looking at me in longing. I sigh and look away. I feel bad, I know she’s suffering. I just… I don’t know if that’s who I am. Before she kissed me, I never looked at girls like that. Not even once.
I mean I like Josie. She’s Josie. We’ve been friends forever. How could I not like Josie? But could I be with her like that? Long term? How do I know? This is all so confusing and weird. I wish I could just see into the future and find out if I’m actually bi or not. That would make my life a lot easier.
I don’t want to start something with her and just end up chickening out last second. That would only hurt her more. But I can’t just keep doing what I’m doing either. This isn’t right. But I don’t want to stop.
I like the way I feel when she touches me.
When she kisses me.
When she holds me in her arms.
I like the way she smells and how warm she is. How she’s willing to go to any lengths for me. Ugh! Why can’t I just know? Why can’t I just figure this out already?
I glance back over to Josie who is now doing her work for the class.
She must feel me staring because she looks up at me.
I guess Josie is right.
I won’t know until I try it out for myself.
I’m gonna keep messing around with her until I know for sure.
She raises an eyebrow in question.
I smile at her and grab her hand again, interlocking our fingers.
She blushes and looks down at our hands.
I don’t care about the whispering voices.
It’s my life, and I’ll live it the way I want.