Rebecca is the person Lila tries new things with. It’s not the most flattering role sometimes, because Lila sometimes overreacts and goes all “this is too scandalous for moi!” on Rebecca, but even then it’s kind of fun. Rebecca’s shown Lila everything from weed to heroin now, and although Lila objects at first she’s always good to go eventually.
Rebecca is the person Lila tries new things with, not always the one who suggests them. Lila’s the one who first suggests they kiss.
Rebecca gives her a look. “You’re high.” Just on weed this time, but maybe it’s somehow tainted if Lila’s looking at Rebecca that way. Lila has a boyfriend, and she isn’t into girls, not that Rebecca knows of.
“So? Is that what bothers you about it?” Lila laughs, light and breezy. To her once they’re doing one thing her parents wouldn’t approve of they might as well go ahead and do anything they can think of. She doesn’t understand the concept of Rebecca having limits. She never has.
Rebecca runs a hand over her braids. Did she go a little too punk? “I know you think I’m the wild child, but I’m not actually gay.”
“I’ve seen the way you look at me. You like to stare at my face.” Lila puts a hand up to Rebecca’s cheek. “Like I’m precious. Griffin has never looked at me that way.”
This is weeks before “Mr. Darcy” is on the table, back when Lila still talks about Griffin like she actually loves him, like he’s still her number one. It’s a big deal for her to say that. But she’s high and she probably doesn’t mean it and Rebecca knows this is just another thrill. “You’re my friend, Lila.”
Lila shrugs. “Okay. No big deal.”
For a while, she doesn’t bring it up again.
Rebecca isn’t gay. She does like guys. She’s certainly fucked enough of them and made herself look like an idiot for more.
She might be bi, though.
She definitely does like Lila. She has for a while, ever since the first time she convinced Lila to go out clubbing with her and they moved together on the dance floor and she noticed that despite the number of hot guys there Lila only ever looked at her, realized that Lila considered the adventure to be only half the club, half Rebecca herself. It was flattering. It was intoxicating. It still is but she knows Lila doesn’t really mean it, can’t really mean it, and this isn’t really someone she should be chasing. Especially when she’s not sure if she really is bi or just, well, hooked on a feeling, hooked on what it feels like to be important to someone.
And she doesn’t go after people she actually likes, male or female. Last time she fucked someone she was attached to she learned the hard way just how sex could fuck up a friendship. She and Lila can’t be like that.
Except it seems an awful lot like that’s what Lila wants.
The next time, Lila isn’t high, isn’t drunk, isn’t anything really. Rebecca is. Lila brings her a bottle of vodka and pours her glass after glass, ranting about Griffin and making jokes in turn, only sipping her own cup a little. It’s a weird mood but Rebecca doesn’t question it. She just goes with the flow.
She doesn’t really know what way is up or down by the time Lila kisses her. Lila tastes sweet, a little perfumey, probably a lot better than Rebecca’s drunken stink. Lila seems to enjoy it regardless. She kisses sloppily but with enthusiasm, and Rebecca lazily returns it. In the moment it feels natural. It feels natural when Lila peels her tank top off—she’s been feeling too hot all evening—and strokes her bare sides and back, saying how beautiful she is, how crazy this is. Natural and good, even when Lila unclips her bra and pulls it off. In what feels like the blink of an eye Lila is half naked too, sitting on her lap in only her tights and underwear. She massages Rebecca’s breasts and it just feels good, really good, and Rebecca can hear herself moaning but what the fuck, it’s just Lila, it’s okay to let herself go.
When Lila pulls her leggings down, she freaks out a little. “Hey—what are you doing?” It occurs to her that this isn’t really right, she didn’t mean to do this. But Lila kisses her, hot and hungry and somehow so good, and her underwear is off before she knows what’s happening, and she only realizes just how wet she is when Lila’s hand is feeling her slick. She grinds against Lila’s hand, trying to work up friction ineffectually, and Lila laughs and murmurs in her ear that she’s always loved Rebecca like this, and again, again, how beautiful she is. Tells her to come. But Rebecca can’t get there, no matter how she tries. She’s too sloppy and neither of them really knows what they’re doing. Eventually she runs out of energy and kisses Lila and tells her, fuck it, and lies down.
Lila wanders off for a moment, then comes back. She’s fully naked now, and she sits down on top of Rebecca, straddling her waist. She puts Rebecca’s hands on her hips and Rebecca lies still, a little overwhelmed, as Lila grinds into her, muttering incoherently until eventually she comes and collapses on top of her. Lila knows how to chase her own pleasure better than someone else’s, and she’s not drunk either.
Her body is heavy. Rebecca passes out and when she wakes up in the morning Lila is gone.
She runs a cold shower for herself. In the morning’s light things are clear to her. She’s fucked up. She got drunk and let Lila…let Lila think she wanted it. Now things between them will be a mess, just because she couldn’t stay sober.
It occurs to her for a moment that Lila wasn’t drunk, Lila wanted this to be how it went down, and maybe she shouldn’t trust her.
But Lila texts her, “wow, crazy night. I’m still hungover.”
Maybe Rebecca remembers it wrong. Maybe Lila really was drinking. Shit, it’s not like she remembers anything about last night all that well, other than how Lila’s hands felt on her tits.
It felt good. She remembers that much.
Lila is all laughs when they meet again. She’s become more touchy, draping her arm over Rebecca and resting her head on her shoulder. Rebecca isn’t entirely comfortable, but she knows if she tells Lila to cool it, Lila will take it the wrong way. She’s always been sensitive like that.
They’re closer than ever, it seems. Maybe sex for once didn’t fuck Rebecca over. Maybe that was it, and they got it out of their system, and now they’re good.
Lila has someone new. “Mr. Darcy.” He seems to keep her occupied.
Except, not exactly.
She meets Rebecca on the roof and she’s all jitters. Talking about her first time. Well…first time with a man. Rebecca smiles and laughs, trying to keep up with Lila’s energy, happy Lila’s found a way to settle down that isn’t Griffin and isn’t her, even if it’s a little sketch.
“It was…it was good…” Lila sighs. “Not like the way my friends talk about sex. It was more like…”
Her eyes dart over to Rebecca, and Rebecca stares back. She smiles a little, not sure what Lila expects from her.
Except apparently that’s exactly what Lila wants from her, because she sighs happily, leans a little closer, and kisses Rebecca on the lips.
One thing is true, at least: her technique has improved. Rebecca holds her and puts up with it because they’re sitting on the edge of a roof and if she doesn’t, Lila is probably going to fall off. But when they’re done she says, “If he’s so good, you don’t…” She isn’t sure how to finish. You don’t need to be looking for other options? You don’t want to mess things up with him? You have no reason to fuck with me?
Lila shrugs. “Ever since I met you, life has been so much more interesting.”
So maybe for her “Mr. Darcy” is somehow because of Rebecca. Rebecca’s pretty sure she never meant to inspire Lila to start something with a teacher. But if that’s how Lila chooses to look at it, who is she to object?
More and more, Lila seems to conflate the two of them. On days she’s been fighting with “Mr. Darcy” she hisses and yells, sometimes even trying to hit Rebecca, though Rebecca can always fend her off and calm her down. When they’ve been having good sex she’s always making moves on Rebecca, and though they don’t go all the way again, they definitely go a little far. Rebecca asks Lila what it means to her. Lila laughs and says they don’t need labels. At least they both know they aren’t girlfriends.
Then Lila gets pregnant.
Somehow, she’s decided this is Rebecca’s fault too.
“You corrupted me,” she says, glaring at her.
Rebecca wets her lips. She doesn’t know how to deny it. Certainly this isn’t the Lila she used to know, the Lila who freaked out the first time she tried weed, the Lila who hugged her and grinned at her after their first concert. She never corrupted Lila on purpose but Lila’s changed. Maybe it’s her fault. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t know.
“You’re in my head all the time.” Lila clutches at her ears, as if Rebecca’s even speaking. “I never would have gone this far.”
“You’ll be okay,” Rebecca says. “Just…he offered to pay for the clinic, right?”
“I am not getting an abortion.”
“Okay then. Then…you’ll have the baby. You’ll handle it.”
“Griffin will never talk to me again.”
“You said you were breaking up with Griffin.” After all these months it’s a mystery that she hasn’t already.
“Fuck you,” Lila says. “You bitch, you filthy slut…”
She hits Rebecca, and this time Rebecca can’t block her. She hits too hard.Then she slams Rebecca against the wall and they’re kissing, faster and angrier than ever. Her leg is between Rebecca’s, parting them at the thigh, but instead of rubbing she brings her knee up hard and fast and Rebecca screams. She half falls on top of Lila but Lila pushes her back up. “You’re always so scared to face what you do to me, but you keep on doing it,” she hisses. “Take responsibility.”
“I didn’t fucking get you pregnant,” Rebecca says, as loud as she can. She’s winded but she shoves Lila away. “You’re crazy.”
“You made me crazy.”
“Get the hell out of here. I never want to see you again.”
“I never want to see you either. I’m going to be better than you.” Lila tilts her chin up. “Don’t insult Griffin again.”
It’s funny, how that is her final word. She says she’ll never see Rebecca again, then offers an ultimatum as if there’s any threat left in her arsenal to use. Funny. Funny.
Funnier how despite everything, Rebecca feels nothing stronger than rage and jealousy. After all this Lila thinks she can drop Rebecca like she’s trash. After all this, she thinks Griffin—Griffin—is better. Griffin can never be to her what Rebecca is, and they both know it. After all, only Rebecca can bring out her crazy.
Griffin isn’t even as good as his word. Rebecca proves that and proves it thoroughly. It gets her some scratches, courtesy of Lila, but what else is new?
It’s time she starts acting like the psycho slut Lila thinks she is.
She goes to find Lila on the roof. She knows she’ll be there. Calls out to her. Calls and calls.
Climbs up the water tank. Looks in. Finds her.
She only slides in to join her because of the girls outside, but once inside she loses track of time. Floating here with Lila is the most peaceful the two of them have been in a long time. She kisses Lila’s dead lips. She thinks she can taste someone else’s breath on them. It has to have been “Mr. Darcy.” All this time she’s been fighting with Lila and she should have been protecting her. Loving her.
She climbs out dripping with madness and walks home. It’s a party night, so no one notices. She drives a boy insane in her apartment. She doesn’t feel as guilty about hurting him as she does about failing Lila. Somehow, this is all her fault.
“You drove me crazy too,” she whispers in bed that night, and it feels like a love confession. Somewhere out there Lila’s ghost must be listening. Maybe she still feels the fever she’s set in Rebecca’s veins.