Actions

Work Header

i'm getting closer (life is just a roller coaster)

Work Text:

So Mitch realizes she is maybe, probably gay the day Auston Matthews walks into her locker.

She's texting so she's not paying attention to where she is going and walks smack into her locker and when she looks up she wrinkles her nose and says "ow" and it's maybe the cutest thing Mitch has ever seen. But anyway Mitch is a lesbian now. She's not, like, having a crisis about it or anything. It's just a new fact, like something you learn in history class except about current events.

 

"So," she says as she plops down next to Willy at lunch. "I'm like, a lesbian? And I have a crush on Matty."

 

"Welcome to the club," Willy says, reaching out and ruffling Mitch's hair. "Girls are just better." Willy winks and wiggles her eyebrows.

 

"So… Matty?" Mitch asks, eyebrows pulling up. "What do I do? I don't know how to flirt with a girl."

 

"Mitchy, babe, you've been flirting with her the whole time you know that right?"

 

"Um… what?"

 

"Yeah." Willy rolls her eyes. "You know that whole thing where you twirl your hair around your finger and touch her bicep? And laugh at her jokes when they're not funny?"

 

"Yeah," Mitch says.

 

"That is about as classic flirting as you can get."

 

"Oh…"

 

"Babe, did you really not know?" Willy asks, her eyebrows climbing so high Mitch is a little afraid they might meet her hairline.

 

"No?" Mitch says.

 

"Oh, Mitchy." Willy sighs. "What am I gonna do with you?"

 

"Um, help me practice kissing girls so I'll be good at it when I kiss Auston?"

 

"You've kissed people before! I spent all last spring watching you be attached at the lips with Dylan Strome."

 

Mitch shrugs. "It's different."

 

"It's really not."

 

"Please!" Mitch pouts and bats her eyelashes.

 

Willy studies Mitch for a minute before finally shrugging and saying, “Sure.”

 

Mitch pumps the air with both arms and makes little tiny kicks with her feet. “Yeeeeees,” she says. She gets up and plops down in Willy’s lap and throws her arms around Willy’s shoulders.

 

“Now, kiss me,” she says, smiling a little too wide.

 

And Willy does. It’s kinda soft to start out with but Mitch leans into it and opens her mouth a little. Willy for sure gets the message and slips her tongue in Mitch’s mouth and just like that, Mitch is making out with a girl.

 

And she was right. It is different. It’s different because kissing a girl doesn’t feel vaguely gross and like something she’s doing because it’s the expected, logical step in dating. It’s different because this feels like exactly where Mitch is supposed to be. She feels like her whole body is lit up, screaming at her, “finally, finally, finally.”

 

Mitch hums into the kiss and then pulls back for a minute. “Oh my god,” she says. “This is the best thing EVER!”

 

“I know, right?” Willy replies. “Girls are fucking incredible and kissing boys is gross and stupid.”

 

“Like, Stromer was great and everything but like, I felt vaguely gross every time we kissed? This, this feels, like, so much better and I wanna kiss a million girls and make out with one every day of my life?” Mitch says, her voice lilting up at the end.

 

Willy laughs. “Slow down there, Mitchy. It was just one kiss with one girl.”

 

“I mean, I know. But like…” Mitch trails off with a dreamy sigh. “Girls.”

 

Willy laughs. “Yeah, I know. Be prepared to be like completely overwhelmed every time a cute girl smiles at you now that you know because it’s a lot.”

 

“Oh my god. I get to flirt with girls!”

 

“Babe, you were already flirting with girls.” Willy laughs again.

 

“I know! But I’m gonna like know I’m doing it and mean it. It’s different,” Mitch says.

 

“Fair enough.” Willy shrugs.

 

“Can we go back to making out now?” Mitch asks.

 

“Oh hell yeah!” And she leans in and kisses Mitch again.

 

Day one of being a lesbian is going pretty great if you ask Mitch.

 

***

 

Mitch is somehow able to remain completely calm around Auston the next day at school.

 

Well, at least completely normal until Auston smiles at her in first period and her insides do this weird flippy thing and she feels like she wants to touch Auston’s hair and also maybe throw up. She does neither of those things so she thinks it’s a great success.

 

She texts Willy from the hallway after class.

 

Mitch: Auston smiled at me in first period and I didn’t die, throw up, or do something dumb like tell her I want to marry her or anything so I’m calling today a win

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): lol. Proud of you

 

Mitch looks at the name for her contact name for Willy. She put that in there freshman year after they met at the student athlete lunch and she thinks maybe that’s probably a sign that she was gay and just didn’t know it yet.

 

She slips her phone back into her pocket. Next period she has study hall with Kappy and Andreas. They have Mr. Dubas which is great because he doesn’t care if they talk and Mitch like, needs to tell them about being a lesbian because honestly she wants to stop every single person in the hallway and be like “Hey I’m gay! Isn’t that the best?!”

 

She doesn’t do that, but it’s honestly a pretty close thing because Mitch isn’t trying to brag or anything but she’s popular. She’s a varsity cheerleader and is on the volleyball team. And she’s like super friendly and, like Tinkerbell, would die without attention. So she knows like pretty much everyone so it’s hard not to stop people and tell them her good news.

 

She gets to study hall just as the bell rings because math is on the other side of the building, but Kappy saved her a seat next to her and Andreas is sitting in front of her, studiously looking at her book while Kappy is flipping through a magazine.

 

Mitch drops down into her seat next to Kappy. “So, I have news,” she says.

 

Kappy looks up at her and raises her eyebrows but Andreas is still doing her homework. Mitch reaches out an pokes her, “Johnny pay attention to meeeeee.”

 

Andreas looks up from her homework and rolls her eyes. “What is it? I’m trying to get my math homework done.”

 

“Oh nothing major, just I’m a lesbian now.” Mitch says and smiles a little nervously. They’re both friends with Willy so she knows they’ll be fine but like it’s a little weird telling people.

 

“Oh, yeah. We know,” Andreas says.

 

Kappy nods. “Yeah.”

 

“Wait! Did Willy tell you? I’m gonna kill her!”

 

“Oh buddy,” Kappy laughs. “Your crush on Auston can literally be seen from outer space.”

 

Mitch gasps. “ How? I literally only figured this out yesterday!”

 

Kappy raises her eyebrows. “Really? You’ve been flirting with her for two years.”

 

Andreas nods. “You’ve been pretty obvious.”

 

“Willy is in your phone as “Cute soccer girl.” Kappy says.

 

I’m in your phone as ‘ Andreas Johnsson is hot ’ so…”

 

“Okay  but like you put that there! ” Mitch exclaims.

 

Mr. Dubas looks up from his desk. “Girls, please keep it down. You know I don’t mind if you’re talking but at least keep it down. Some people are trying to work. And I suggest you start working soon. I know you have a project for my class due next.”

 

“Yes, Mr. Dubas,” Mitch sighs. She looks back at Andreas. “You put it there,” she half whispers.

 

“Yeah, but when she did you said, and I quote, ‘Oh, mood. That’s true,’ and then you left it.”

 

“Straight girls call their friends hot.” Mitch says.

 

Kappy looks at her deadpan. “Mitch, come on.”

 

“Fiiiine,” she says. “I was pretty obvious or whatever.”

 

“We love you, Mitchy! But I have to go back to my math homework now.” And with that Andreas turns around and goes back to her math homework.

 

“I’m proud of you,” Kappy says. “And thank you for telling me. Telling people can be like really hard.”

 

“Thank you. Now I just, like, need to figure out how to deal with Auston. She’s like really hot.”

 

“I know buddy. You’ll get through it.”

 

Mitch sighs. “It’s just like, it’s fine now but I don’t think it’s gonna get better. You know?”

 

“I promise, you will be okay.” Kappy gives her a reassuring smile. “You’re tough. Remember when you tried to play last season with a sprained wrist?”

 

“Yeah, and coach yelled at me.”

 

“This is like the emotional version of playing with a sprained wrist.”

 

“So I should sit out?”

 

“No, dumbass. You keep playing because there’s no coach to tell you not to.”

 

Mitch takes a deep breath. “I can do this,” she repeats.

 

Kappy nods. “We can go out for milkshakes later if you want.”

 

“I think I might have plans with Matty but maybe we can all go for milkshakes? Like we’ll invite Willy.”

 

“Nah, I’ll let you go with them today and we can do something after practice tomorrow.”

 

“Perfect. Okay, so we like have talked through half of this period and I do actually have to get work done on my part of Mr. Dubas’s project.”

 

Kappy sticks out her fist for a fist bump. “You got it.”

 

Mitch turns to her desk and takes out her books. Before she dives into her work she texts Willy.

 

Mitch: I told Kappy and Johnny about being gay.

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): Proud of you. How’d it go?

 

Mitch: Good. They apparently both knew I was gay before I did lol.

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): Remind me to ruffle your hair in history class.

 

Mitch: Hey favor.

 

Mitch: Auston and I have a milkshake date later and I like cannot do this without help.

 

Mitch: Can you come?

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): Babe of course. Always in for milkshakes.

 

Mitch: Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I blame it on you being cranky so she’s not suspicious?

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): I have my period so blame it on that

 

Mitch: *thumbs up emoji*

 

Mitch switches text threads.

 

Mitch: Hey is it cool if Willy comes for milkshakes?

 

Mitch: She has her period and it’s making her crabby

 

Auston the Best Friend Ever: Of course! Willy’s always welcome :)

 

Mitch: Bless. I’ll let her know.

 

Mith slips her phone back in her pocket and gets to work on some of her project research.

 

***

 

Willy is sitting on the hood of Mitch’s car when she heads out after school which is a terrible idea for Willy because she’s wearing a skirt and it’s still warm enough outside and there’s still enough sun to make it hot. That’s gotta be murder on her thighs. But Mitch has to admit, it’s a capital L look that Willy’s going for and Mitch has to admit that, in her newfound lesbian mind, it fucking works. Willy looks fucking hot and frankly that’s fucking rude and Willy should get her shit under control before Mitch dies.

 

Mitch gathers her wits enough as she’s walking down the hill to say, “Get off of there you idiot before you burn all the skin off your thighs!”

 

Willy hops off the car and pulls a towel off the hood. She waves it at Mitch. “I’m fine!”

 

“Do you... “ Mitch starts but trails off. Willy’s bending over to put her towel in her backpack and her shirt is just the right amount of low cut to show off how amazing her boobs are. She is definitely doing this on purpose.

 

“Do I what?” Willy asks wiggling her eyebrows.

 

“Ugh.” Mitch says. “What I was going to ask was do you carry a towel around in your bag to sit on the top of hot cars and try to look hot but you know what? I don’t need to. You absolutely do.”

 

“Being hot is hard work Mitchell. You know this!”

 

“I’ve never worked that hard. I just have a cheerleading uniform and volleyball ass.”

 

Willy rolls her eyes. “Please, you flirt constantly.”

 

“Yeah but I don’t mean to. You do this,” Mitch waves her arms up and down at Willy, “on purpose.”

 

Willy shrugs. “Your point?”

 

“Okay could you like maybe teach me how to do this in front of Auston?”

 

“Babe! You totally don’t need to.”

 

“Why because she’s not interested?” Mitch asks tipping her head to the side. “Because if so please let me down gently. I don’t want my first lesbian crush to die painfully. I’d like for it to go gently into the night.”

 

Willy laughs. “Oh no. She’s totally into you.”

 

“Wait. Has she told you that?”

 

“Anyone who has seen her stand behind you when you’re in uniform knows. And she shows up to every football game and every volleyball game that she doesn’t have a hockey game during.”

 

“So? I go to all of Auston’s games.”

 

Willy looks over the top of her sunglasses at Mitch. “Exactly,” she says slowly.

 

“Well, I don’t believe you.” Mitch says and crosses her arms over her chest.

 

Willy shrugs. “Suit yourself.”

 

They climb into Mitch’s car and drive to the diner dancing and singing along to the radio.

 

Auston’s already standing at the door of the diner when they pull in. She’s looking at her phone with her lip between her teeth and smiling like she’s trying not to laugh. She looks so pretty it’s hard not to cry a little.

 

“You gonna be okay there, babe?” Willy asks. She looks a little concerned.

 

“Yeah,” Mitch sighs. “Gotta get used to it somehow.”

 

“You’ve got this,” Willy says.

 

Mitch nods and puts on a smile. She can be normal. It’s only been like a day of being gay.

 

So she goes maybe aggressively normal, jumping up onto Auston’s back when they get to the door.

 

“Can I have a piggyback ride?”

 

Auston laughs. “It’s literally like 10 feet into the diner!”

 

“Carry me to the table?”

 

Auston giggles. And that’s kind of a lot for Mitch to handle. She’s always liked Auston’s laugh. And she’s always liked making Auston laugh, but those rare instances that she gets a giggle, those are the best.

 

Auston’s giggle is always this bright, tinkling sound and it makes Mitch’s insides squirm which in retrospect makes a lot more sense.

 

“Of course I’ll carry you.” Auston says. She bends her knees a little and lets Mitch crawl onto her back.

 

“Onward, noble steed.” Mitch says. She catches Willy rolling her eyes. “If I wasn’t being held right now I’d kick you.” She settles for sticking her tongue out.

 

Willy sticks hers out at Mitch. “Are we getting milkshakes or what? I was promised milkshakes.”

 

Auston nods and starts heading in the door. They don’t even stop at the hostess station, just go right to the booth in the back corner. Auston bends her knees and drops Mitch onto the bench where she bounces.

 

And continuing to be aggressively normal, Mitch leans in and kisses her cheek. “Thanks for the ride, Matty.”

 

Auston smiles at Mitch. “Any time.” And then she kisses Mitch on the cheek too.

 

And Mitch’s insides flutter.

 

Willy slides into the other side of the booth shaking her head. “You guys are disgusting.”

Mitch shrugs, “Yeah, but you love us.”

 

Willy sighs. “Whatever you say. I’m getting chocolate. What are you guys getting.”

 

“Strawberry,” Mitch and Auston say at the same time.

 

“We share,” Auston says.

 

“And we get a plate of fries,” Mitch adds.

 

Willy groans and puts her head down on the table. “You guys are hopeless and I hate you.”

 

Mitch shrugs. “It’s tradition. Every Tuesday since freshman year.”

 

The waitress comes and takes their order. They chat a little about school while they wait but it’s mostly about nothing. Auston stretches her arm out along the top of the bench and Mitch leans into her without thinking just like she always does.

 

In the end it’s probably best not to change anything because then Auston won’t know something’s up. Trial by fire or something like that.

 

“So,” Willy says. “Mitch has some news!”

 

Mitch kicks her under the table.

 

“Oh,” Auston turns and looks at her. “What’s your news?”

 

“I’m going to your first home game and Willy’s coming with me!”

 

Auston laughs. “That’s not news. You always come to my games.”

 

“The news is that Willy’s coming! Surprise!”

 

“Oh, well. Thanks Willy!”

 

“Oh, no problem I guess.” She shrugs.

 

Mitch breathes out a sigh of relief. She doesn’t know why she doesn’t want to tell Auston yet, but she’s dodged a bullet this time.

 

When they get out to the car later, Willy looks at Mitch and says, “You’re gonna have to tell her you’re gay sooner or later, babe.”

 

Mitch rests her head on the steering wheel. “Yeah, I know. I just…” She sighs. “I couldn’t do it today.”

 

“When you’re ready. Do you wanna hang out a little longer?”

 

“Nah, I think I wanna go talk to my mom but I’ll drive you home first.”

 

“Love ya, babe.”

 

“Love ya back.”

 

***

 

A week later, Mitch heads to Auston’s to work on their history project.

 

“So, I did an outline for what I think we need to do for this project,” Mitch says as she hands out her outlines. “I think we should start with a little bit about the background of the queer community in New York in the ‘60s before launching into the actual events of the Stonewall Riots.”

 

“That sounds good,” Auston nods. “I can take on that part on and tackle that probably tonight.”

 

“Perfect. And then from there, obviously we like, go into the police raids and like why they happened. And then what made Stonewall different. I kind of got some of that information down in study hall yesterday and today. So, Willy if you wanna take the like immediate aftermath and then I thought we could all work together on the last bit about it’s impact on today?”

 

“Got it. I feel like we should really tackle the first three parts before we try to do the last one.” Willy says, pulling her laptop out of her bag.

 

“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. We have like, an entire month to do this. I’ll start the google slides and we can each work on our own parts tonight?”

 

“Works for me,” Auston says. “Let’s like, get some shit done.”

 

They work for an hour and a half and then Auston pushes back from the table. “I’m hungry. Do you guys want anything?”

 

“Pizza?” Mitch says, looking at Willy.

 

“Pizza!” Willy agrees.

 

“I’ll order. I made like 10 slides so I probably need to cut that back a little. I’ll probably do that tomorrow.” Auston walks out of the room.

 

“Sounds good. I kinda wanna throw in the towel tonight anyway. Wanna watch a movie?” Mitch calls out.

 

Auston sticks her head back in. “Yeah. You guys pick.”

 

“We’re watching But I’m a Cheerleader,” Willy says, tone making it clear there will be no other options but that doesn’t mean Mitch isn’t not gonna ask about it.

 

“Why?” She asks.

 

“Babe, you’re a cheerleader and it’s like a le…” Mitch stomps on Willy’s foot before she can finish that statement. Her eyes go wide.

 

“You haven’t?” Willy asks.

 

“Not yet. I just like haven’t found the right time.” Mitch says.

 

“The longer you wait the harder it’s gonna be babe.”

 

“I know. I just… ya know?”

 

Auston walks back into the room and Mitch whips around to face her.

 

“Everything okay?” Auston asks, smile faltering.

 

“Ohyeaheverything’sfinewhywouldn’titbe?” Mitch says, words rushing out so fast they’re almost indistinguishable. Which, great job Mitch. Way to sound very much like there is something wrong.

 

“Okay?” Auston says. “Well if anything is wrong you know I’m always around for you Mitchy. You’re my best friend.”

 

And there’s the wrong part. Not that Auston shouldn’t be her best friend, but like, ya know she should also be Mitch’s girlfriend who kisses her on the mouth and stuff. Mitch forces a smile and hope it seems natural. It probably doesn’t. Auston can always tell when she’s faking it, even when no one else can. Well, Willy too. Willy also pretty much always knows too.

 

Mitch is lucky she’s got these two best friends.

 

They all pile onto Auston’s couch and Willy takes control of the remote and pulls up the movie.

 

“Oh,” Auston says. “I didn’t realize this was what you picked.” She sounds a little surprised but Willy just shrugs.

 

“It’s like my favorite movie and I just thought Mitchy needed to see it.”

 

Mitch tries really hard not to blush but it’s not going well. She can feel her face get warm and the only way she can think to hide it is to bury her face into Auston’s side and demand, “Cuddle meeeeeee.”

 

Auston wraps an arm around her shoulders and pulls her in tight.

 

“Willy, you too,” Mitch whines. Willy scoots in and Mitch drapes her legs over her. Willy presses play on the movie.

 

This is kinda nice. A movie with her two favorite people and a pizza on the way. Even with all the tension she’s been feeling, there is no where else Mitch would rather be.

 

***

 

Mitch hangs out with Auston her normal amount over the next few weeks, though it includes Willy more often than not right now. So when Auston asked Mitch if she wanted to go shopping for homecoming, of course she says yes but also invites Willy because the prospect of Auston and dressing rooms is more than a little overwhelming at the moment.

 

Mitch gets there first and heads to the food court. She stands there sipping her lemonade and scrolling through her phone until Auston sneaks up behind her and picks her up.

 

“Hey Mitchy! How’s it going?” She asks after she sets Mitch down.

 

“Fine, but only because you didn’t make me spill my lemonade,” Mitch says and she turns to face Auston.

 

“Sip?” Auston asks.

 

Mitch sighs and holds out her cup for Auston to sip.

 

“Babes! You are gross! ” Willy shouts from across the corridor. “ Gross!”

 

“Oh shut up!” Auston yells back as Willy approaches. “You’re just jealous!”

 

Something flickers across Willy’s face but it’s there and gone in a second before Mitch can analyze or ask questions and Willy is back to her usual flirtatious self. She links her arm with Mitch’s.

 

“Dresses?” Willy asks.

 

“I suppose,” Mitch says, faux put upon, as if she wasn’t like dying to go shopping for something cute. She loves dresses, dressing up, and attention so this shopping trip is like the trifecta.

 

They head to the first store and Mitch finds three dresses she wants to try on. They’re all super different but super cute. She has a short black dress with off shoulder straps and a skater skirt, a high-low hem dress with a lacy back in emerald green, and a strapless silver gray with big, pink flowers. She slips on the black one first and she does a spin. She feels a little meh about it. It fits well but she thinks it just isn’t it but she’ll show the girls anyway.

 

“Coming out,” she calls out and Willy and Auston both say “ready!”

 

They all step out of the dressing room at once. Willy is in a lace sleeved, black bodycon dress with lace cutouts in the side and she looks straight fire. Mitch lets out a whistle.

 

“Willy you look HOT!” She says.

 

“Thanks, babe. I know,” Willy says with a wink. “I always look hot.”

 

“I mean, yeah but this is extra.”

 

“Auston what do you think?” Willy asks.

 

“Straight fire. What do you think of mine?”

 

Auston’s dress is pretty basic, black, not quite bodycon but still tight, deep vee front and back.

 

“I think it’s good.” Mitch says. “But it doesn’t really feel like you.”

 

“Yeah.” Auston wrinkles her nose. “I’m not loving it.”

 

“I feel the same about mine.” Mitch says.

 

Willy gives her a once over. “Yeah it looks good but like, it’s not you.”

 

“Next?” Mirch says.

 

“Let’s do it.” Auston says.

 

They all duck back in the dressing room. Mitch slips on her silver dress. She adjusts it a little. Yeah, this one is definitely not it. She steps out of the dressing room and is met with Auston looking… honestly, Mitch doesn’t even have words to express it. She’s wearing a black, fitted jumpsuit with a cut out over her abs and thin straps. Mitch isn’t even sure she’s breathing. Actually she’s not even sure she’s awake. She might be dead.

 

Because this. She doesn’t have words. She just stands there open mouthed and staring.

 

Willy steps out and joins them.

 

“Holy fuck, Auston! You are the hottest thing I’ve ever seen right now. Oh my god.”

 

Mitch finally jolts herself out of staring.

 

“Auston, please don’t try anything else on. Just buy this. This one.”

 

Auston turns and looks in the mirror and give a spin looking over her shoulder at the back. “Oh, hell yeah. I’m getting this one.”

 

Mitch isn’t sure how she’s gonna live through homecoming but if this is the way she’s gonna go out. She can live with that.

 

Willy says, “I can’t top this moment and I’m so not into this dress off the hanger so don’t even look at me.”

 

“Same,” Mitch says. “It’s okay but I’m so not into this floral. Failed experiment.”

 

They all go back into the dressing room and Mitch puts on the high low hem dress. It’s much better and could be the one but she definitely wants to check out some other stores first. She steps out of the dressing room. She pulls her hair up and looks at the back. It looks great and she likes this color on her.

 

Mitch steps out. Auston is leaning against the wall back in her street clothes, jumpsuit over her arm.

 

“Nice, Mitch. I like this one. That color is really good!”

 

“Thanks! The back is what makes it.” And she turns to show Auston.

 

“Love it!” Auston says.

 

Willy steps out of her dressing room.

 

“Give me a twirl baby.”

 

Mitch does. “That’s hot! I love it! Can you try on something more form fitting at the next store? Show off your ass!”

 

Auston nods. “You have a great ass.”

 

Mitch blushes. “Thanks.”

 

She feels a little self conscious. Willy and Auston are like, extremely hot and Mitch knows she’s cute, pretty even, but these two girls are like, out of her league, maybe. It’s not like either of them are going to date her, even if she and Willy are making out on the regular right now. It’s just so Mitch can practice.

 

Auston smiles and nods. They both turn and look at Willy. This dress is slightly less tight than the first. But still pretty form fitting. It’s red, short, and has a triangle slit that shows off a little more leg. Willy looks hot but she always does.

 

“That’s another good one, Wills. I like it.” Mitch tells her.

 

“I think it’s okay. I wanna head to another store.”

 

“Me too, for sure.” Mitch says. “Matty, go pay. We’ll meet you at the register.”

 

As Mitch changes, she stares at herself in the mirror. “You are a cute girl and girls will like you,” she tells herself, and then nods and steps out of the dressing room. She hangs her rejects on the rack outside the dressing room and wait for Willy. Willy links arms with her when she comes out of the dressing room.

 

“On to the next, babe.”

 

“Let’s go.”

 

Auston is waiting for them with her bag over her arm. “I need coffee.” She says.

 

“You always need coffee,” Mitch laughs. “Go to Starbucks! Meet us at Nordstroms. Willy and I will wait for you to start trying shit on.”

 

“Okay, see you in a few.” Auston says.

 

“Wait, Matty! Get me a cold brew!” Mitch yells after her.

 

Auston turns to look over her shoulder. “You got it!”

 

Mitch sighs as she watches her walk away.

 

“You okay, babe?” Willy asks.

 

“Oh yeah,” Mitch says. “Hate to see her leave, love to watch her go.”

 

Willy laughs. “I feel that. Let’s go?”

 

“Onward.”

 

Mitch and Willy walk to the next store arm in arm. They let go to look around. At Nordstrom’s, Mitch grabs a black slip dress, just to try, a sequined top bodycon dress, a velvet slip dress, and navy strapless with an open back with strappy sparkles. She hopes that last one looks good because sparkles. It’s a lot of skin though. Auston walks up and peaks over her shoulder.

 

“Ooo, I like the back of this one.” She says pointing to the straps. “Want a sip of your coffee?”

 

“Please,” Mitch says and Auston holds out Mitch’s cup to her. She takes a sip. “Let’s find Willy. I wanna try these on and I’m getting hungry.”

 

Wily’s easy to find. She only has two dresses in hand. “Light load at this one.”

 

“Well, you’re gonna be waiting for me. I’ve got four.” Mitch laughs.

 

“So ready.”

 

Mitch takes one more sip of her coffee when Auston holds it out to her and then heads into the dressing room. She thinks about trying the blue on first but goes for the black slip dress. She hates it. It’s all wrong.

 

“I’m not coming out in this one,” Mitch calls out and takes the dress off. She pushes the velvet dress to the ‘no’ pile. Slip dresses are not for her. She decides to just go with the blue dress and hope it works. She really wants this one to be good. She slips it on and zips it up and so far, the front is great. The little inset in the front makes her boobs look a little bigger and it feels surprisingly secure for something with pretty much no back. She turns and looks at the back.

 

Wow. She really hopes Auston and Willy like it because she sure does. She doesn’t even say anything just steps out of the dressing room. Willy is standing in the mirror looking at herself in another black dress. It’s a lot like the last one she tried on, just a little bit longer. She turns to look at Mitch.

 

“I like this one, Mitchy. Your boobs look good.”

 

“Thanks.” She says, “wait until you see the back.” And she turns.

 

“Holy shit!” Willy says. “Babe! That’s amazing. You gotta get this one.”

 

Mitch turns towards Auston. “What do you think Matty?”

 

Auston’s quiet but a little wide eyed. “Wow, Mitch. That’s… just wow.”

 

“Good?”

 

“Extremely.”

 

Mitch smiles. She jumps around a little and does some shimmies. The dress stays in place.

 

“Okay, I’m getting this one. Willy, I really like that one.”

 

“Thanks, me too. I don’t think I’m ready to buy yet. I’ll make Kappy come with me.”

 

“Anyone hungry?” Auston asks.

 

“Cheesecake Factory?” Mitch asks.

 

“I think I’m gonna head home. I have so much work today. You guys have fun.”

 

Mitch pays for her dress and then she and Auston head off to the restaurant alone. They manage to get there between the lunch and dinner rushes so they don’t have to wait. Lunch is good and they spend a lot of time just laughing. Just her and her best friend like there’s no secrets, nothing big between them. Mitch feels pretty good, like maybe this whole ‘crush on her best friend’ thing is survivable after all.

 

Until Mitch tells one joke she knows isn’t particularly funny but somehow it makes Auston laugh really hard. Her head is thrown back, eyes crinkling and Mitch feels enormously proud to have made this beautiful girl laugh and…

 

Oh no…

 

Well maybe this is a bit more of a crush. A lot more of than crush. Like, she is maybe a little bit in love? A lot in love. And she’s not really sure how she didn’t realize a whole lot of things sooner because like, this feeling isn’t new. This feeling is years old and now she knows what it means.

 

She wishes she didn’t know what it means.

 

And she’s quiet for the rest of lunch and barely touches her food. Auston looks at her, concerned, eyebrows pulled in but she doesn’t push Mitch to talk.

 

As they pay their check, Auston says, “You okay?”

 

“Oh yeah. My stomach is just bothering me.” She wrinkles her nose. “Sorry for flaming out on you there midlunch.”

 

“It’s okay. Do you want me to drive you home? We can come pick up your car tomorrow.”

 

“Nah, I’m good to drive. I think I just need to nap.”

 

“Okay, if you’re sure.”

 

“Yeah. I’m good. I’ll text you later?”

 

“Of course.” Auston hugs her. “Feel better.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

Mitch walks to her car in a fog. Her bag feels like it weighs 50 lbs. She unlocks the door, sits down in the driver seat and just rests her head on the steering wheel. She doesn’t know how long she sits there, but eventually she makes it home. She goes straight to her bedroom. She puts on her PJs, climbs into bed, and pulls the covers over her head. She puts on Netflix on her phone and wallows.

 

She gets a couple of texts from Auston and Willy which she doesn’t even read.

 

She thinks she’ll be okay eventually; just not today.

 

***

 

It’s a week since the shopping trip and Mitch feels, well, she still feels like crap. She doesn’t like being down, or feeling sad and usually she can just put on her happy face and keep on moving through, but then again she’s never been in love with her best friend before so she supposes this might be different. She trudges through her day that drags on forever but she makes it to the end.

 

“Do you want to stay over tonight?” Mitch asks Willy as she puts her books back in her locker after school. “Like, after the football game. Auston has a hockey thing and she’s not coming to the game.”

 

“Yeah, sure. But don’t you want to hang out with the rest of the squad?”

 

Mitch shrugs. “Not feeling so peppy today.”

 

“Since when do you not feel peppy?”

 

“Like, recently I guess. I think I’m gonna use all my pep energy doing the actual cheering tonight. I kinda just wanna go home after and watch a movie.”

 

“Yeah, of course I’ll stay over tonight. Do you wanna pick me up before the game or do you want me to meet you at your house after?”

 

“I’ll pick you up.” Mitch says. She’s relieved. She loves the girls but she just. They’re her friends but Willy is one of her best friends and she’s the one that knows the most.

 

“You got it babe,” Willy says and she hugs Mitch. “I’ll see you at 5:00?”

 

Mitch smiles. “See you at 5:00.”

 

She heads home and takes an hour nap and eats dinner and feels vaguely more human than she did before. She puts on her best, most up-beat pump-up playlist as she gets back in uniform and fixes her makeup. She keeps it playing and she drives to Willy’s house.

 

“You feeling any better, babe?” Willy says as she climbs into the car, eyebrows pulled together in concern.

 

“Yeah, a little.” Mitch says and puts on her biggest smile. “Good enough to cheer at least.”

 

Willy takes her hand and squeezes it. “You’ve got this.”

 

“Thanks, Willy. I’m glad you’re coming.”

 

“Of course.” She says. “Now let’s turn up this music and get you pumped.” And she turns up the radio and dances along.

 

That cheers Mitch up probably more than most things could. Willy loves to dance and her enthusiasm is contagious. Mitch thinks if Willy hadn’t played soccer, she would have made a great cheerleader.

 

Also, she’s looking hot as fuck in the uniform but that’s not the point.

 

By the time they pull into the parking lot, Mitch feels well enough to put on a good show. And she gets through the game fine but she’s more tired than usual when she’s done. She’s glad she’s going home to curl up with Willy instead of going out with the squad tonight.

 

Willy is waiting for her when she gets out of the locker room.

 

“Ready?” Willy asks.

 

“So fucking ready,” Mitch says.

 

They stop at ice cream place on the way for milkshakes and then they curl up on the couch with a movie playing in the background.

 

“So, what’s going on babe?” Willy asks.

 

“I just…” Mitch sighs sadly. “It’s not really just a crush. I’m kind of in love with Auston. And it’s just a lot and I realized it last week and it’s the first time I’ve said that out loud.”

 

“Oh, babe. No wonder you’re so down. Come here.” She pulls Mitch’s head in her lap and runs her fingers through her hair. “I know how you feel. It’s, like, the worst feeling in the world.”

 

“With who? Do you wanna talk about it? I feel like I haven’t asked about you lately. It’s been all about me.”

 

“Nah, I’m good. Nothing to worry about. Just same old Willy.”

 

She sounds confident when she says it but Mitch feels like she wants to press. “If you wanna…”

 

“I don’t. I’m good. I promise. Relax. Let me play with your hair.”

 

Mitch burrows into Willy’s thigh and lets it go.

 

***

 

Group Text : The Best Bitches

 

Kappy Volleyball: Okay hos, my parents are going up to the lake house this weekend so LET’S GET FUCKING DRUNK!!!!!

 

Mitch: Is it gonna be just us or are you having a party?

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!

 

Auston the Best Friend Ever: MoMo, Zach, and Jake are gonna be home for fall break this weekend so PAAAARRRTTTTYYYYYY

 

Andreas Johnsson is fucking hot: PARTY!

 

Kappy Volleyball: Party it is! But I’m not inviting the whole school just you know, people we know

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): No worries *Angel face*

 

Kappy Volleyball: Absolutely NOT!

 

Willy (cute soccer girl): *Angel face* *Angel face* *Angel face*

 

Kappy Volleyball: WILLIAM FOR ONCE IN YOUR GOD DAMN LIFE CALM THE FUCK DOWN!

 

Willy did not, in fact, calm the fuck down. Mitch pulls up to Kappy’s to find the party already in full swing judging by the cars lined up around the block. She sighs. She is not dressed for this level of party. She looks at her back seat and remembers that she cleaned out her car last week. Well, they’re all staying over and Andreas usually has like 3 outfits packed so she’ll just borrow something. She texts her.

 

Mitch: Outfit emergency! I so did not expect Willy to go this overboard with spreading the news about tonight and I’m wearing L E G G I N G S!

 

Andreas Johnsson is fucking hot: I’ll meet you in Kappy’s room in five.

 

Mitch climbs out of her car and heads around to the back door of Kappy’s house. She sneaks up the stairs. She honestly isn’t sure why she cares what she looks like except that Auston’s gonna be here any minute even though Auston saw her in her pajamas last weekend and watched her shoot a snot rocket out of her nose after she felt like she got water stuck in it when they went swimming in the lake last summer.

 

It shouldn’t matter what she’s wearing but it does so thank god for friends.

 

Andreas is already in Kappy’s room when Mitch gets there with two outfit options laid out on the bed. Mini skirt and sparkly tank or cropped tube top and jeans.

 

She smacks a kiss on Andreas’s cheek and says, “You’re the best Johnny. Can I have the tube top?”

 

“Duh, that’s why it’s out. It’s kinda tight on me and I didn’t wanna wear a strapless bra.”

 

“Bless my tiny tits that are flying free tonight,” Mitch says as she pulls her shirt over her head. Andreas tosses her the tube top that she slips on and pulls her bra out from underneath. She slips off her leggings and slides into the jeans Andreas left her. Perfect.

 

She studies herself in the mirror. She kind of loves the messy bun she’s rocking right now so hair stays but she needs some eyeliner and some lipstick at least.

 

“Sit,” Andreas says. “I’m doing your makeup because I can tell you’re fidgety and you’re just gonna fuck up your eyeliner.”

 

Mitch smiles and sits down on the bed and Andreas grabs her makeup bag. She pulls out silvery eyeshadow.

 

“You don’t need to like, go overboard.”

 

“You clearly wanna look good for someone tonight so shut up and let me make you prettier.”

 

Mitch closes her eyes and lets Andreas get to work.

 

“Is it Auston?” Andreas asks as she blends out the eyeshadow she’s layered on.

 

Mitch sighs. “Yeah. I just… I know she’s not interested but like I keep thinking maybe? I don’t know. I should just like stop.”

 

There’s a pause with the eyeshadow so Mitch opens her eyes and Andreas shrugs. “I don’t know man. Does she even know you’re gay?”

 

“No,” Mitch says sadly. “I just haven’t figured out how to tell her.”

 

“You told all of us.”

 

“Yeah but it’s different.”

 

“Look down. It’s not really though. She’s your best friend. She’s gonna be on your side no matter what.” Andreas says as she swipes eyeliner across Mitch’s lids. “Okay, you can do your own mascara and lipstick.”

 

Mitch stands up and heads to the mirror. She puts her mascara on and Andreas was right. Her eyes look killer right now. “Red lip?” She asks.

 

“Obviously.”

 

Mitch puts on her lipstick and turns to face Andreas.

 

“You’re an 11, Mitchy. Now go get yourself a drink.”

 

They head downstairs and Mitch is barely off the stairs before Willy is barrelling into her. “Mitchy! Babe! You look so hot! I’d totally fuck you,” she says.

 

“Okay, Willy. How have you already had this much to drink?” Mitch asks as she pries Willy off her.

 

“I’m just buzzed! I’ve only had 2 drinks!” She giggles.

 

Mitch hears Auston’s laugh before she sees her. She’s laughing. Mitch turns to face her.

 

“I tried to stop her! I promise! She’s just so slippery when she’s like this!” Auston says holding her hands out in front of her, both holding cups.

 

“Well at least you have her drink so she couldn’t spill it on me.”

 

“Oh, no. This is for you. Willy dropped hers on the ground when she saw you coming down the stairs.”

 

“Oh my god! Willy, we are getting cleaning supplies and you are wiping it up now.”

 

“It was almost empty!”

 

“Don’t care. We are not making Kappy’s life any harder tomorrow morning. Or our lives any harder tomorrow morning.”

 

Willy pouts.

 

“That doesn’t work on me, babe.”

 

Willy sighs and trudges off, dragging Andreas with her. Auston hands Mitch her drink. “You look, uh, amazing? Like holy shit, Mitch.”

 

She blushes. “Thanks Aus. You look pretty good yourself.”

 

Auston raises her eyebrows. “I’m wearing literally the same thing I wore to school.”

 

“Well, I mean, umm, yeah.” Mitch sputters. “I mean, you always look good?”

 

Hello foot, meet mouth, Mitch thinks to herself.

 

Auston smiles, impossibly wide. “Well, thanks.” She drapes an arm around Mitch’s shoulder. “Let’s chill. MoMo and Zach are on their way.”

 

“Sweet,” Mitch says. They make their way back to the couch in the living room and sip their drinks. It’s nice to kind of chill with Auston a little. It was a busy week and she didn’t get to hang out with her outside class.

 

“I missed you this week,” Auston says.

 

“I missed you too.” And Mitch thinks, in this lull away from the press of people she knows are in the basement. “Hey, I have something to tell you,” she says.

 

“What’s up Mitchy?”

 

“I’m... “ and she’s interrupted by Willy plopping down across their laps.

 

“I cleeeeaaaaned. Come dance with me!” Willy says.

 

“We were waiting for the guys.”

 

“They can meet us on the dance floor! Come on! It’s a party!” Willy says as she stands up and pulls Mitch with her.

 

“Guess we’re dancing,” she says, looking back at Auston.

 

“Go. I’ll meet the guys and see you down there.”

 

Mitch downs the rest of her drink. “We’re making a pit stop. I need another drink.”

 

They stop in the kitchen and Mitch mixes herself a new drink and they head down. The bass is something and yeah, Mitch gets why Willy was so insistent. She wants to dance . She takes a sip of her drink and leans into Willy and starts moving her hips.

 

“Yaaaaaas,” Willy exclaims. “Dance with me babe!”

 

Dancing with Willy is always fun. She shimmies and shakes and gets you involved in the beat so easy that it’s easy for Mitch to lose herself. She jumps when Auston touches her shoulder.

 

“Oh, hey! You’re back!”

 

“With the boys in tow, no less.”

 

Mitch sees Morgan and launches herself at him. “Mo! I’ve missed you!”

 

Mo hugs her tight. “Missed you too, Mitchy. Hope you’re doing good.”

 

“Doing great.” Mitch says.

 

Mo leans in and whispers into her ear. “Willy clued me in. Proud of you Mitchy.”

 

She kisses Mo on the cheek. “Thanks pal. I appreciate it.”

 

She turns to Zach, “Come here Hyms! Don’t think you’re getting out of a Mitchy hug!”

 

“I would never!” Zach leans in and hugs her.

 

“I hope college is great but that you’re not studying too much, nerd.”

 

“Don’t worry, Mo is making sure I get out.”

 

“Good. Let’s dance!”

 

They dance for a while until Mitch needs a refill and maybe some air. She’s sweaty and sticky, loose hair sticking to her temples.

 

When they all get upstairs they end up sitting around in a circle on the floor just chatting until Willy, being her most obnoxious self, pulls out a bottle.

 

“We’re playing spin the bottle,” she says.

 

Mitch groans. “No, we’re not.”

 

“We absolutely are. I texted Kappy and Johnny and they’re on their way. We’re doing this.”

 

Mitch puts her head on her knees. “Why am I even friends with you?”

 

“You looooooove me,” Willy says.

 

“Yeah but I don’t know why.”

 

Willy sits down next to Mitch. “I’m an unstoppable force, babe. You should be used to it by now.”

 

Mitch rolls her eyes. Kappy and Andreas sit down in the circle.

 

“We playing?” Kappy asks.

 

“Yup,” Mitch sighs.

 

“I’m going first,” Willy says. She spins it and it lands on Mitch.

 

“Pucker up babe,” She says.

 

Mitch turns and let’s Willy kiss her, make sure to pull away before Willy can turn it into something not PG but maybe a little longer than a typical kiss. Mitch takes her turn and it lands on Mo. She gives Mo a quick peck and lets him take his turn. Mo lands on Kappy and they kiss a little longer than she and Willy did.

 

When Kappy spins it lands on Mitch again and she crawls across the circle and kisses Mitch.

 

“Does someone else want to spin?” Mitch asks. “Since I just went.”

 

“Nope, you have to go.” Willy says.

 

Mitch spins and it lands on Auston. All the color drains from her face. “I gotta go,” she says and sprints out the door. She makes it to the curb before realizing she doesn’t have her keys. She sits down on the grass and hangs her head between her knees. She forces herself not to cry because she’s wearing too much eyeliner and she has to go back inside eventually. So she just sits there, taking deep breaths and trying not to cry for she doesn’t know how long when someone sits next to her.

 

“Why wouldn’t you kiss me?” Auston asks.

 

Mitch looks up at her, eyes wide.

 

“Why wouldn’t you kiss me?” Auston asks again. “It’s not the gay thing, because you know Willy is into girls. So what is it about me? What’s wrong with me?” She looks down at the ground, dejected.

 

“Hey! There’s nothing wrong with you! You’re. God, Auston you’re perfect. And the problem is I want to kiss you. I want to kiss you all the time! Like every moment of every day!”

 

“What? But you’re..”

 

“A lesbian,” Mitch says and shrugs.

 

“But you…”

 

“Dated Dylan Strome? Yeah, I know but like... Girls?”

 

“Girls,” Auston agrees. “Well, one girl in particular.” She says and she leans in a little, like she’s giving Mitch space to say no.

 

But Mitch isn’t saying no. So she leans in and closes the gap and kisses Auston.

 

And it’s exactly everything she ever wanted it to be.

 

She doesn’t know how long they’re out there kissing but when they go back inside, they’re holding hands and Auston doesn’t let go.

 

***

 

“Hey, Mitch? Do you wanna go to homecoming with me?” Auston asks while they’re sitting on the couch in Mitch’s basement watching tv. Mitch is sitting between Auston’s legs, Auston’s arms wrapped around her middle. This whole ‘having a girlfriend’ thing is pretty much the ideal situation. Especially since that girlfriend is her best friend and she’s like kind of in love with her.

 

Mitch leans back so she can look at Auston. “Of course, silly! No one else in the world I wanna go with.”

 

Auston smiles. “Good, cause I really like you.”

 

“Well, I really, really like you,” Mitch says and she leans in and kisses Auston because that’s a thing she’s allowed to do now.

 

Man, being a lesbian is fucking awesome.

 

“You know, there’s one flaw in this homecoming plan. We have to tell our moms we’re dating and they probably won’t let us have sleepovers anymore,” Mitch says.

 

“Meh, risk we’re gonna have to take,” Auston says with a shrug. “I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be happy we’re dating though.”

 

“Yeah, me too. Maybe if like, Willy is also there we’ll still be allowed to have sleepovers.”

 

“Well, obviously. Willy is invited to most things.”

 

“It’s true.”  Mitch nods solemnly.

 

“So homecoming? My date?”

 

“I’m your date for everything forever more.” Mitch says and Auston blushes. Mitch pushes up and kisses Auston again. “Man, everyone is gonna be so jealous. I’m dating the hottest girl in school.”

 

“Excuse me. I am dating the hottest girl in school.”

 

“I beg to differ.”

 

“I bet if I call Willy, she’ll agree with me.”

 

“That’s not fair! No teaming up on me!” Mitch laughs.

 

Auston looks very smug.

 

They go back to watching their movie and Mitch burrows further into Auston. Auston rubs one of her hands gently up and down Mitch’s forearm. She’s warm and happy; it makes her feel a little brave. She knows they’ve literally only been dating for three weeks but they’ve been best friends for so much longer than that. Maybe it will be okay to tell her how she really feels.

 

“Hey Auston?”

 

“Yeah?” she says and pauses the TV.

 

Mitch turns around and sits cross legged. “I think I might be in love with you.”

 

Auston lets out a breath. “Oh good. Because I’ve been in love with you since like, freshman year.”

 

“Seriously? That long? Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

“I literally only found out you like girls three weeks ago. You only found out you like girls like a month ago.” Auston says.

 

“Maybe I would have figured it out sooner.”

 

Auston shrugs. “Well, we know now.”

 

“Thank god,” Mitch says.

 

Auston leans in and kisses Mitch soundly.

 

They forget about the movie.

 

***

 

“Hey, mom?” Mitch says when they’re out for a mother-daughter coffee date.

 

“Yeah Mitch?” She says.

 

“I’m gay. And like, Auston and I are dating.”

 

“Oh, honey. I’m so proud of you.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Mitch, sweetheart. I’m always proud of you.”

 

“Thanks.” Mitch says.

 

Her mom reaches out and takes her hand. “I love you, Mitch.”

 

“Love you too.”

 

***

 

Mitch and Auston have been hanging out with Willy less since they started dating but some of that is that they’re like going on dates and stuff now but Mitch also feels a little like Willy is pulling away. Since homecoming, Willy has only hung out with them three times, and two of those were to work on their project which is done and it’s due next week, right before Christmas break. It feels like once it’s over, Willy will be gone and there’s nothing Mitch can really do about it.

 

Mitch is starting to feel a little hurt. She asks Kappy about it.

 

Mitch: Hey, do you know what’s going on with Willy? She’s seemed a little off lately?

 

Kappy Volleyball: Idk

Kappy Volleyball: That’s something you have to talk to her about.

 

Mitch: Can’t you at least give me a clue?

 

Kappy Volleyball: It’s her story to tell.

Kappy Volleyball: Sorry.

 

Mitch sighs, frustrated. She really doesn’t like this. Willy is one of her best friends and she misses her. And she thought they were better than this. If Willy has a problem with her, she should tell her about it and not just avoid her. It’s not fair.

 

Mitch corners her in the hallway after school one day.

 

“Hey, what’s going on? You never wanna hang out with me anymore.” Mitch asks.

 

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Willy says, turning away.

 

“Please, I miss you! I don’t know what I did wrong! How do I fix it?”

 

“Mitch, please don’t.” Willy says.

 

“How can I fix this?” Mitch says, eyebrows drawing in. She feels like she wants to cry.

 

Willy sighs. “There’s nothing to fix, babe. You didn’t do anything wrong, okay? I just have a lot going on.”

 

“But, Willy…” Mitch starts but Willy interrupts.

 

“No buts, Mitch. I need some fucking space to breathe okay? You were like on top of me for like a month and a half and now I need some fucking space!” Willy yells.

 

“Oh, okay.” Mitch says. And now she knows she’s gonna cry. “Okay. I’ll just like, leave you alone now, I guess.” And she turns and walks away before Willy can see her cry. She trudges to her car and once she closes the door, the tears fall. She just doesn’t understand.

 

When she gets herself under control, she drives to the rink. Auston has practice and she just wants to be where Auston is right now. She drags her backpack into the rink and sits in the bleachers to do her homework.

 

Auston notices her and bumps into the glass in front of her. Mitch looks up and she must look absolutely miserable because Auston mouth “You okay?”

 

Mitch shakes her head and mouths back, “Tell you later.”

 

Mitch finishes up her history homework and watches the end of practice. She meets Auston outside the locker room.

 

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Auston asks.

 

“It’s Willy! She doesn’t wanna talk to me anymore. She told me to leave her alone and I miss her so much.” She starts crying again. She doesn’t mean to.

 

Auston places a hand on her cheek and rubs her thumb along Mitch’s cheekbone. “What did she say?”

 

“She said she needs space but I don’t know what I did wrong! I don’t know what I did.” She’s full on sobbing at this point. Auston folds her into a hug and kisses her hair.

 

“It’s gonna be okay. I promise.”

 

“I don’t know,” Mitch says.

 

Auston rubs her back as she cries it out. “Let’s get you home and we can talk there. You good to drive or do you want to get your car later?”

 

“Can we get it later?” Mitch sniffles.

 

“Of course, babe.”

 

They drive to Mitch’s with Mitch occasionally sniffling and wiping her eyes and Auston taking her hand at every red light. They get inside and go right to Mitch’s room.

 

“I feel like we need to talk about something,” Auston says.

 

“Oh god, please don’t break up with me,” Mitch says and buries her face in her hands.

 

“Hey.” Auston kneels in front of Mitch and pulls her hands away from her face. “I’m not going anywhere okay? I love you, and I’m here. But I have been feeling like maybe something is missing? Or really, someone is missing.”

 

“Willy,” Mitch says miserably.

 

“Yeah, Willy.” Auston sighs. “Look, it’s pretty obvious you have feelings for her, and honestly, I have feelings for her and I think maybe she has feelings for us and that’s why she ghosted and that’s why she got so mad at you when you asked. She wanted space because she wanted to get over you at the very least. But maybe she doesn’t have to? Maybe there’s a place for her with us?”

 

“Three people together? But how?” Mitch asks, voice a little shaky.

 

“Mo, Jake, and Naz do it. They’re pretty happy together. And what’s stopping us from being the same?”

 

“I don’t know. I…” Mitch starts.

 

“Before you make an excuse for why not to, ask yourself what you really want. Give yourself a minute to really think about it.”

 

Mitch closes her eyes and breathes. She cares about Willy. She cares about Willy so much and yeah she cares about Willy as more than a friend. She misses kissing Willy. She misses Willy’s playful ‘babes’ and Willy playing with her hair. She misses Willy in a way you don’t just miss a friend and Willy not talking to her feels like being broken up with. So maybe, maybe this is something they could try. If Willy is into it of course.

 

***

 

Group Chat: BFF Squad

 

Mitch: Hey, can you guys come over? I wanna go over the project one last time.

 

Auston My Girlfriend: Yeah, be there soon.

 

Willy (Cute Soccer Girl): Sure. I can be there in an hour.

 

Mitch is pacing when Auston gets there.

 

“What if she says no?” Mitch says before Auston can even say hello.

 

“Then we let it go and we move on from there. Either way, she’s keeping her distance. This won’t make that worse.” Auston says calmly.

 

“But what if she hates us?” Mitch runs her hand through her hair. “What if she thinks we’re crazy? What if she thinks we’re terrible, awful people?”

 

“She’s not gonna think any of those things,” Auston says and she reaches out and rubs her hands up and down Mitch’s arms. “She’s not gonna hate you.”

 

“What if she does?” Mitch’s voice shakes.

 

“We will get through it together. You won’t be alone.”

 

The doorbell rings and Mitch takes a deep breath.

 

“You’ve got this,” Auston says and Mitch walks to the door.

 

“Hi,” she says as she opens it.

 

Willy looks, not her best. She’s in really ratty sweats, hair in a messy bun and not the on purpose kind she usually does, and she doesn’t look like she’s been sleeping well.

 

“Are you okay?” Mitch asks.

 

“Can we just get this over with?” Willy says as she pushes past Mitch into the house. “I just want to, like, be done with this project, which I thought we were.”

 

Mitch follows Willy as she walks into the kitchen and sit down at the table. She bends down and take out her laptop and puts it on the table before looking around and realizing there’s nothing else for studying.

 

“What the fuck?” Willy says. “I thought we were working on the project!”

 

“We wanted to talk to you,” Auston says as she sits down across the table from him.

 

“Oh my god, so you tricked me here?!” Willy says indignantly.

 

“Well you weren’t talking to us about anything else so what else were we supposed to do!” Mitch says, pain clear in her voice. “We miss you and we have to talk. We have to!”

 

Willy puts her head down on the table. “I’m just trying to move on. I know you know how I feel. So why can’t you just like, let me move on. I need time. You can’t do this to me! It isn’t fair!”

 

“Willy, please. We will you let us talk?” Auston says. She sits down next to her at the table and puts a hand on her arm. “Please just look at us.”

 

Willy lifts her head and looks at them. “What’s so important that you had to lie to me to get me here.”

 

“We…” Mitch stops and takes a deep breath. “We want to date you. Both of us.”

 

“You WHAT?” Willy says.

 

“We want to date you,” Auston repeats.

 

“Okay, now this is just unkind! Why are you doing this?” Willy says. “Why would you say something like this?”

 

“We mean it! Willy why would we lie about this?” Mitch says. She reaches across the table and takes. Willy’s hand. “We want you to be our girlfriend.”

 

“Really?” Willy asks, looking at Auston for confirmation.

 

“Of course we do. We miss you and we’ve felt like something’s been missing and it’s you. You’re what’s missing.”

 

“I…” Willy says.

 

“We’re crazy about you, Willy. God I’ve missed you so much. Please give us a chance.”

 

“Can I think for a minute?” Willy says. “Alone?”

 

“Of course.” Auston says. She and Mitch leave the room. They sit down on the couch and hold hands.

 

“God, I hope this works,” Mitch says.

 

Auston squeezes her hand. “It’s going to. If it was a no, she would have said no right away.”

 

It’s not long before Willy comes into the living room. She nods. “Okay,” she says, her face breaking out into a smile. “Let’s do this.”

 

Mitch jumps up from the couch and bowls into Willy almost knocking her off her feet. She kisses Willy.

 

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Mitch says. “God I’m just so crazy about you.”

 

Willy laughs. “Good, because I’m crazy about you.”

 

And then Auston is there, wrapping her arms around them both. She kisses Willy.

 

“We’re glad you’re here.”

 

“Me too,” Willy sighs. “I… I missed you guys so much.”

 

“You don’t have to miss us anymore.” Mitch says.

 

Willy kisses her on the cheek. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here.”