6, 8, 10, 12, 12B, 14,… Merel continued looking for the house numbers as she walked down the street. She had until number 116 to calm herself down, and slowed down her pace as soon as she realized it. Her heart was beating like crazy, her hands would shake if they weren’t buried in the pockets of her hoodie. With every step she took she tried to focus on something, something that was not related to what was about to happen. And yet, her mind kept wandering back to her friend’s older sister.
It had already happened the very first time Hanneke had asked her over to study together. As soon as she’d entered the girl’s home she’d noticed the young woman sitting on the couch. Charlotte had been wearing nothing more than a tank-top and very short shorts that showed almost every inch of her thighs. Merel’s eyes had lingered just a bit too long, but luckily she’d been the only one to notice it. She tried to convince herself she’d only looked just that second too long because Charlotte and Hanneke looked so much alike, unlike Merel and her sister. It was a lie. One of the biggest ones she’d ever told herself.
Every time Merel came over to Hanneke’s house she tried to catch a glimpse of the older sister. No matter if Charlotte was just studying in her room or watching Netflix on the couch, Merel’s day was made if she saw her, even for a second. Except for one day. That day, everything had changed when Merel had seen Charlotte.
It had just been an average Wednesday afternoon. Once again Hanneke and Merel had teamed up for a science project, and once again they were working on it at Hanneke’s place. Everything was great. Merel had caught a glimpse of Charlotte when she had entered and was therefore no longer focused on seeing the older girl. The snacks and drinks were all gone and the base for the project was already done when suddenly the doorbell rang. Merel had looked at her friend with a frown, no one ever rang the bell at this place.
‘Did you invite someone else over?’
‘No,’ Hanneke sighed. ‘That’s probably Charlotte’s girlfriend.’
‘Yeah, Alissa. Did I never tell you Charlotte is gay? She came out when she was 16, and now she keeps joking that I officially should announce to my parents that I’m straight since I have the right age for it.’
Merel had watched her friend’s eye roll, but everything that followed after that went lost. She couldn’t stop thinking about Charlotte, wondering what kind of girls she would be into. Was she kissing her girlfriend right now? It had only taken Merel a few minutes to realize absolutely no more work would be done until she’d cleared her mind from Hanneke’s sister. She’d jumped up and declared she had to go to the bathroom, but realized that was a huge mistake once she’d closed the door of the bedroom behind her. Charlotte’s room was between her and the bathroom, with the door being ajar.
She’d tiptoed to the bathroom, and had fought the urge to peek inside while passing the older girl’s room. And she’d lost. As soon as she had the chance, she couldn’t hold herself back anymore and peeked in through the opening, her heart missing a beat as she took in her view.
Alissa’s hair had a screaming blue color, which was in great contrast with Charlotte’s red hair that was caught between the smaller girl’s fingers. She was on top of the redhead, their lips lost in a passionate game of love and lust. Merel was paralyzed by the sight and once again she watched Charlotte just a second too long. She watched how the redhead let her hands wander over Alissa’s thighs before reaching her butt and it was only then, when she could almost feel Charlotte’s touch on her own body, that she sprinted towards the bathroom.
Her heart had been racing, just like it was now, and she’d been just as confused. Why did it had such an effect on her? Why couldn’t she stop imagining Charlotte kissing her like that? By now she knew the answer to both questions, but at the same time it confused her even more. She had the biggest crush ever on her friend’s older sister, did that mean she was also gay?
There was no more time to think about it when she suddenly found herself in front of house number 116. The golden lion on the door stared at her, just like the cat from the window. This was her last chance to back out of this, but instead she rang the bell. It took a few seconds before footsteps sounded on the other side of the door and in those seconds every single doubt Merel had about this returned. Charlotte had a girlfriend. Charlotte was 2 years older than her. Hanneke was her friend. Merel was too young, too much of a child. None of this made sense. And then the door opened.
Charlotte smiled at her, but Merel’s attention was caught by the nipples she could see peeking through the white shirt. Every single word that she’s prepared to say happily danced off and left her mind blank. She was speechless, too paralyzed too move, but Charlotte didn’t seem to notice it.
‘Oh hey Merel.’ The older girl smiled. ‘Hanneke isn’t home. Were you supposed to meet?’
Merel took a second to focus before she answered. She tore her eyes off the nipples and breasts in front of her, forcing herself to look into those hazel eyes that she could lose herself in. Slowly the ability to speak returned, but she cleared her throat before daring to speak.
‘Ehm, no. I eh, I came for you.’ Merel stuttered, ‘I mean, I’m here to see you. To talk to you. I’m here to talk to you.’
Charlotte’s smiled only widened while she opened the door further for the girl. Merel entered the house, feeling how all the blood rushed towards her cheeks while she mentally kicked herself. She’d already fucked this up. It didn’t matter anymore what she said, she couldn’t save herself anymore. She watched how Charlotte closed the door behind her, still smiling was she signed Merel to follow her to the living room. They sat down next to each other on the couch. For Merel it felt so uncomfortable, like she’d never been at the house before, while the redhead seemed to be more than comfortable to be alone with her little sister’s friend.
‘So, you wanted to talk?’ Charlotte started, the smile still playing on her more than perfect lips.
‘I eh, yes, I wanted to… ehm…’
‘Is it because I’m gay?’
And once again, Charlotte paralyzed her. How did she know? Was it that obvious? What should she say? All Merel wanted to do was get out of there and as far away from Charlotte as possible, while another part of her wanted to be as close as possible to the older girl. But Merel was frozen. She just sat on the couch, searching Charlotte’s face for anything that could be an answer.
‘I’ve seen you looking at me.’ Charlotte said before Merel had recovered from the shock. ‘Every time you come over you’re looking at me just a bit longer than necessary. I know you were watching when Alissa came over.’
Tears were stinging behind Merel’s eyes, fighting to get free. She was so embarrassed, ashamed of herself. All of this had been a bad idea and she needed to get out of there as quick as possible.
‘I’m sorry.’ Merel mumbled as she got up, the tears audible in her voice. ‘I shouldn’t have come here, I’m sorry I-’
Merel’s skin was burning when Charlotte grabbed her wrist. It was the first time the redhead actually touched her, and the touch was even more gentle and soft than the blonde had ever imagined. She stopped her movements, turned around while the first tear fell and watched Charlotte getting up from the couch. The older girl gentle wiped away the tear, and the one that followed, while Merel cursed herself for enjoying her touch.
‘I didn’t mean to freak you out.’ Charlotte said. ‘I know how you feel, I’ve been there as well. When I started discovering that I’m a lesbian I was confused as well. I wanted to know everything about it, about other girls, but no one was allowed to know this part of me. It’s okay, I won’t judge you. Do you have a crush on me?’
Merel didn’t trust her voice to speak. All she could do was nod while her heartbeat slowed down a tiny bit, only to speed up again when Charlotte gently took one of her blonde dreadlocks. What was this girl doing to her?
‘Have you ever kissed a girl?’
‘N-no.’ Mumbled, just barely more than a whisper.
‘Are you curious?’
Merel didn’t answer. She saw how Charlotte stepped a bit closer and slowly cupped her cheek. Their eyes locked, Merel losing herself in them again and only noticing Charlotte had been leaning in when their noses touched. Merel closed her eyes and was surprised by the older girl’s scent when she breathed in. There was no time to think about it, or anything. There was no time to think if she wanted this, while deep down she knew she did, because Charlotte closed the distance between them after one last shaky breath. It was so soft, so innocent, just merely a touch of lips, but it felt right. For the first time since she’d met Charlotte, everything seemed to make sense. Carefully Merel kissed her back, her stomach turning around in happiness and setting every part of her skin on fire.
Merel was almost disappointed when Charlotte pulled back. She kept her eyes closed, just to enjoy the moment that tiny bit longer. It was only when Charlotte’s giggle reached her ears that she opened her eyes again, and was met by the redhead’s smile once again.
‘Wow indeed.’ Charlotte giggled while stroking Merel’s cheek. ‘That was a pretty great kiss.’
Charlotte leaned in again, but to her own surprise Merel pulled back. She wanted Charlotte to kiss her again, so badly, but there was one thing that was stopping her. The same thing that had kept her from coming here in the first place. Or well, two.
‘What is it?’
‘Alissa.’ Merel answered. ‘You have a girlfriend, I don’t want to come between the two of you. And besides, you’re Hanneke’s sister…’
‘Well, first of all, Alissa and I broke up weeks ago.’ Charlotte smirked while playing with some of her dreads. ‘And secondly, I don’t think you and my sister are that close anyway.’
That was all it took. Without another word Merel pressed her lips against Charlotte’s and felt the redhead smiling in the kiss. It all felt so right, and there was one thing Merel knew for sure. She would definitely come for Charlotte again.