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Titania and Oberon

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Roxanne learns the truth about Ronnie when they’re “playing doctors and nurses.”

They’ve done this sort of thing a few times over nineteen years of mutual acquaintance. Always interrupted by nervous parents before it could get too far: on the couch, in the wading pool during a summer barbecue, in the church basement during the Easter luncheon with both Edith Beeles. Never in the parking lot outside the Southampton train station after midnight on a Tuesday.

But, what the hell? Roxanne just spent the last eighteen months NOT graduating from a very prestigious finishing school and she’s dead the minute they get to her house anyway.

So, she lets her best girlfriend comfort her; squeezes her tiny waist, pulls her into her lap in the back of Aunt Rachel’s Chevy while Little Richard plays on the radio.

By the time she buries her face between her “practically sisters” A-cups, they’re both a little hot and bothered. She slides her hand up her friend‘s skirt and... doesn’t quite get as far as she was expecting to. There’s a barrier, and then there’s an iron grip on her wrist.

She stares into pale eyes, stunned.

Her fingers are wet. Ronnie sounds like her, smells like her. Has a glassy wet glare just like hers in spite of there being zero genetic material in common between Aunt Rachel‘s “niece“ and Aunt Maude‘s... Aunt Maude‘s...

“Honey…What are—?“

“What I am, Young Goddess,” her friend replies. “is more than you could ever guess or handle.“

“Okay,” she says, carefully; still balancing her friend on her lap. “Can I still call you, Ronnie?”

“My being is whole and unsullied!” Ronnie spits out. “I don’t need to draw the sword down and destroy it with such a ridiculous decision.”

“Solid,” she replies. “Can I still call you Ronnie?”

“You realize I can’t let you go now,” Ronnie says, tears flowing; florid even when flailing. “You know far too much.”

“Swell,” she replies. “I’m done for if we go back anyhow.”

“I’ll have to keep you. Forever. Whatever you thought life was going to be before is over. It will never be the same!” Like it’s a threat or a warning and not the only vow she’ll ever need.

“You promise?” she grins, drawing her stunned friend back into a tight embrace.

They get ice cream instead. And a cocktail. And, together, they plot their great escape.