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Don't Shake Hands With The Lonely Kids

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It starts with, ‘ Sorry. Somebody just checked out the last copy.’  

 

The last copy of The Breakfast Club . It’s a stupid thing to get all flustered over, but Nancy still feels her chest twist. Because she and Jonathan used to watch it together. Because he’d joke that she’s Claire and he’s Brian. In the end, the nerd got the girl after all. 

 

She expected Steve would be working. It’s a Thursday afternoon. Steve usually works Thursday. But It’s not Steve, or Keith. It’s Robin. 

 

Robin Buckley, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and bright red lipstick smeared on her lips. Someone that Nancy never really talked to in high school. Not out of a particular dislike. They just ran in different circles. Had no reason to interact. No reason to look twice at each other.

 

Except for three weeks ago, after Jonathan left town, and Nancy was crying in Steve’s living room—he told her Robin Buckley is a lesbian. And now Nancy’s cheeks feel a little bit hot and she’s not sure what to do. 

 

“Oh. Um. OK.” Nancy blinks. 

 

Robin stares at her. Blows a small pink bubble and snaps it between her teeth. The chewing gum is distracting. Keeps drawing attention down towards Robin’s mouth. Just the gum. That’s all.

 

“What would you recommend instead?” Nancy finds herself saying. She doesn’t know what else to ask. She’s sad. Lonely. Lost.

 

“Instead of The Breakfast Club?” Robin raises her eyebrows. “Pretty much anything. What are you in the mood for? Romcom? Action? Musical? Can you do subtitles?”

 

Robin sends Nancy home with several movies, saying it doesn’t really matter when they get returned. Near the bottom of the stack is one called Lianna . It’s about a jilted woman who has a lesbian affair. 

 

Nancy watches it three different times, sitting on the couch with her legs curled under her. Long after Mike and her parents have gone to bed. Her pink nailpolish gets chipped from mindless nibbling. 

 

She goes to bed in sweaty sheets, dull flashes of bittersweet memory swirling in the dark. Curly red hair. Pale skin. Freckled cheeks. The same way Robin’s are. Barb’s face was more square. Nancy never told anyone. Especially not Steve or Jonathan. Before them, who did she have to talk to besides Barb? Barb with her soft hands, and soft lips, and the gentle, hesitant way she would touch. Not like a boy. Not grabbing, or taking. Asking. Caressing. 

 

Nancy thought Barb was the only one in Hawkins. The single flickering candle, snuffed out until Nancy could move to bigger places with more oxygen to burn. But four weeks ago, Steve said, Robin is a lesbian, and it was the spark of a flint wheel.

 

***

 

Nancy takes the videos back and asks if there are more like this one . She can’t say it. She just runs her finger along the box. When she dares to glance up Robin’s brows are furrowed. Judgment? Surprise? Confusion?

 

She gives Nancy a movie called Desert Hearts. Nancy goes home and starts watching it just a little before midnight. 

 

Everything feels warm and vaguely anxious. Like Barb settling in bed next to her at a sleepover. Like knowing it was taboo. That it had to be a secret. Forbidden fruit has a way of enhancing the flavor. The juice tastes sweeter when it’s not meant for you.

 

It was just practice. Just for fun. Barb said she wouldn’t mind if Nancy started dating a boy. She said she wouldn’t get jealous. They were just friends. Best friends. 

 

In a lot of ways, Nancy still knows she deserved it. Losing Barb forever the night she picked Steve. If she could take it back, she would. She’d take it back a thousand times over. No amount of wishing can change it. 

 

Barb died. She was the only one in Hawkins.

 

Except Robin Buckley is a lesbian and she has movies about lesbians for Nancy to watch.

 

***

 

Nancy returns to the video store once a week. She asks what days Steve’s working and goes when he isn’t. 

 

She watches The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Another Way, and The Pirate. All subtitled. All presumably rare finds. She comes in near closing time on a Saturday. Robin asks if she smokes cigarettes and if she has one.

 

Nancy goes to the gas station down the road and buys a pack. She tells the clerk to just give her what’s popular. He hands her some Marlboro lights.

 

She sits on the sidewalk outside the arcade and Robin joins her after locking up the store. Nancy has a lollipop. She sucks on it while Robin flicks her lighter.

 

“Honestly? I gave you those movies to freak you out.” Robin exhales a puff of smoke.  “I didn’t think you’d come back for seconds. I mean. I half-expected to never see you again.”

 

“People contain multitudes.” Nancy pulls the sucker out of her mouth and gives it a long lick. She doesn’t look at Robin while she does it. Maybe wonders if she’s watching. 

 

“Yeah. I’m getting that.”

 

***

 

Nancy is bad at ending things. She changes course abruptly. Impulsive. She’s impulsive. That’s what people say. 

 

Jonathan’s voice is distant over so many miles of phone line. He’s talking about people she doesn’t know. Places she hasn’t been. She’s having trouble keeping focus.

 

“Is everything OK, Nance?”

 

“Yeah. Fine.”

 

“You seem… distracted.”

 

“It’s just hard being so far away from you.” Nancy says, because it’s easier than what she means. 

 

They hang up before too much longer. Nancy turns off the lights and falls into bed, restless. She sleeps with a pillow between her knees. It’s not hard to shift it upwards. To roll her hips. Grind against it.

 

She thinks about plush lips. Freckled skin. Dirty blonde hair. She gets wet enough to make the pillow messy before she comes, whole body shuddering.

 

***

 

Robin doesn’t have a car, but Nancy does. She picks Robin up after work and they drive out to the quarry. They sit on the hood of the small sedan, sharing shots of cheap vodka, chasing it with lukewarm TAB and watching the sun set. 

 

“You’re actually pretty cool for a priss.” Robin smiles after they’ve both had several drinks.

 

The radio is playing. I want you to want me. I need you to need me.

 

“You’re not so bad for a band geek.”

 

Robin’s hand is curled loosely around the bottle of vodka. Nancy can’t help staring at her fingers. Black nail polish. A few silver rings. They’re long fingers. Wide palms, but still delicate. 

 

Nancy wore jean shorts and a lavender spaghetti-strap shirt. The most revealing clothes that she owns. Her pale legs are exposed in the fading golden light. She crosses them at the ankle. Robin is in a pair of overalls. Just a white tank top underneath. If Nancy stared, it would be easy to see cleavage. She’s just been glancing. 

 

“Steve said you’re still with Jonathan.” Robin takes another swig of vodka. Doesn’t bother chasing it. “How’s that going?”

 

“What does Steve know?” Nancy dips her shoulder in a half shrug.

 

“So you guys broke up?”

 

“Kind of. I guess. I don’t think I can really do something long distance.”

 

“Kind of,” Robin snorts. “All right, then.”

 

“Why?”

 

“No reason.”

 

Nancy shifts closer, on pretense of taking the vodka. Her leg presses against Robin’s. She leaves it there. Robin looks straight ahead. She’s breathing faster. Nancy takes a swig of alcohol. A swig of soda.

 

“You know, I like girls better.” Nancy’s words drag across her tongue. Too bold from the alcohol. Too late to take it back.

 

“What?”

 

“Than boys. I like girls better than boys.”

 

“Oh.” Robin swallows audibly.

 

“Girls are pretty. And soft.”

 

“I mean, no argument.”

 

Nancy sets the alcohol and the soda aside. She swings her leg over Robin’s thighs and settles into her lap. Robin tenses. Looks at her wide eyed. Nancy looks right back.

 

“You’re pretty.” Nancy wets her lips. 

 

“Uh… you still have a boyfriend?”

 

“I’ll dump him.”

 

“Oh.”

 

Nancy dips forward. She dosen’t quite close the distance. She waits for Robin to meet her. It’s just half a second’s pause. Then their lips brush together. Dark red wax smearing against shimmery lip gloss. Strawberry flavored. Nancy wore it because she thought Robin might like the taste. Nancy’s breath hitches. Robin’s hands are on her waist. There’s an overwhelming pulse of heat. Stomach-lurching, like the drop of a rollercoaster. 

 

Their tongues barely brush together and Nancy’s clit throbs. She’s too hot all over. Already sticky. She presses forward. She wants every part of them to be touching. But Robin is pulling away. Panting.

 

“Listen--like--I don’t wanna be your experiment or something.”

 

“You aren’t.” Nancy wants to grind on Robin’s thigh. Clutch at her shoulders. Wants to touch so much more. “I’ve been with a girl before.”

 

“OK--well--you’re still not single.”

 

“I will be.”

 

“You’re drunk. We both are.”

 

“Nobody has to know.”

 

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

 

Nancy shifts, aching, desperate, stupid and drunk. She wants so badly. Needs in such an acute sense. The difference between what’s Correct and what she craves. 

 

Steve’s dick was too big. It hurt sometimes. Definitely the first few times. Jonathan was less uncomfortable. She usually didn’t get off. Not like with Barb. No pain. Not even the first time. Only tingling, all encompassing warmth. Nancy is supposed to grow up and marry a man. She’s supposed to get pregnant and have a picket fence. 

 

It’s Bullshit. 

 

“Can we just… keep kissing?” Nancy’s breath hitches. Torn between tears and desperate lust. 

 

Robin hesitates. Then she nods. She cups Nancy’s jaw with both hands. Brings her in close. Keeps it so slow. They kiss until the sun sets. Until Nancy’s panties are soaked through. She’s wetter than she’s ever been in her life.

 

She drives Robin home when she’s sober enough, light headed and breathing too fast for reasons beyond the alcohol. After Robin gets out of the car, Nancy only makes it a few blocks towards home before she pulls off the road and sticks a hand down her shorts. She’s frantic. Rubbing her clit rough and hard because she’s so turned on it doesn’t hurt. She thinks about Robin’s fingers. Her mouth. She comes in less than a minute.

 

***

 

It’s easier to tell Jonathan that it’s not going to work when she doesn’t have to look him in the eyes. She says maybe if they were closer. Maybe if she knew when they could be together again. She doesn’t say there’s someone else, but he probably knows there is.

 

He cries a little. She tells him they can still be friends. He can still call her. He can come to visit. She knows it’s not good enough. Jonathan loved her. Just like Steve loved her. It’s a terrible sort of guilt. Saying I love you too without meaning it. At least, not in the same way. Not in the way they want.

 

Her chest feels heavy after she hangs up. She wonders if Joyce and Will might hate her. Well. Will probably wouldn’t. He might understand. Will and Nancy have more in common than either of them would ever talk about.

 

She lies down for a while. Stares up at the ceiling. She wonders what’s wrong with her. She misses Barb. She wishes she got to say sorry, that she was only doing what she was supposed to. She thought maybe she would like it. Maybe she could learn to like it. Maybe, maybe, maybe. And then Barb was gone.

 

Nancy thinks about moving somewhere that nobody knows her. She thinks about big cities. She thinks about becoming a spinster with a cat and a permanent ‘roommate’ who is soft and pretty. 

 

She wonders if Robin thinks about moving too.

 

***

 

Robin lives in the trailer park. She lives with her mother. Her father left Hawkins years ago. Robin’s mother works at the truck stop diner. She’s fairly young, still. Had Robin when she was just seventeen. She looks a lot like Robin, but blonde, with tired wrinkles lining her face. She’s tall and thin, with sharp cheekbones and a prominent jaw. She kisses Robin on the head before walking out the door.

 

Then Robin and Nancy are sitting on a threadbare couch with the TV playing in the background. Robin won’t make eye contact. She’s looking everywhere but Nancy.

 

“Do you um. Want a beer or something?”

 

Nancy takes a can of Hamm’s. It tastes like corn. She’s wearing a short sundress, patterned with pink magnolias. Robin’s jeans are washed out and ripped. Her striped red shirt dips low. 

 

“I broke up with Jonathan,” Nancy says, after half a can of beer.

 

Robin tips her beer back and drains it. She bites her lip. No makeup today except for the black eyeliner. 

 

“Gotcha.” Robin is still staring at the TV.

 

Nancy puts her hand on Robin’s thigh. Robin rests her hand over Nancy’s. She laces their fingers together. Nancy edges closer, so their legs are touching. Robin finally turns her head, meets Nancy’s gaze.

 

“I’ve uh… never.”

 

“That’s OK.” Nancy’s wet. She’s so wet. She shaved this morning, she’s smooth and slippery. “It’s a lot like touching yourself.”

 

Robin nods. She stands up, still holding Nancy’s hand. They walk the few steps towards the thin wooden door that leads off the living room. Robin has a twin-sized mattress. The room is small. Barely fits the bed and a wardrobe. She stands there, eyes wide. Nancy pulls her into a kiss. Holds onto her hips. Walks her back until her calves hit the bed and she sits down. Nancy coaxes her down onto her back. Robin’s breathing heavy. She slides her hands up Nancy’s thighs, underneath her dress. 

 

Nancy slots her leg between Robin’s and moves. Robin gasps. She grabs Nancy’s ass and squeezes. They kiss deep and sloppy. Nancy tugs at Robin’s shirt, pushing it upwards, revealing the lacy black bra that snaps in the front. Nancy undoes it with one hand. Robin has big tits, perky pink nipples. They’re more than a handful, and Nancy can’t help touching. She gently pinches, rolls Robin’s nipple between her thumb and index finger as she drags her leg against Robin’s pussy through too many layers of fabric.

 

Robin moans into Nancy’s mouth and it lights a full-body fire. 

 

 Nancy sits back. She runs her fingers along the waistband of Robin’s jeans, stopping at the button. 

 

“Can I?” She breathes, because Barb always asked. Steve and Jonathan never did.

 

“Yes.” Robin groans. “Fuck. Please.”

 

Nancy fiddles with the button for a moment before getting it open, pulling the zipper, she tugs the jeans down to reveal black lace panties that match the bra. Robin kicks the jeans off. She sits up enough to get out of her shirt and toss the bra on the floor. She’s so beautiful. Nancy wants to taste her all over. 

 

“Move up the bed a little.” Nancy’s heart thuds in her throat. She crawls downwards. She’s sitting between Robin’s thighs. She bends down. Kisses Robin’s clit gently through the layer of lace. Robin is wet. Blood hot. Nancy pulls the panties aside and kisses her again. Just gently brushing her lips over the hard little nub of nerve endings.

 

Robin clutches at the blankets. Her eyes are closed. Lips parted. Her ribcage rises and falls rapidly. Her nipples are hard. There’s a flush creeping up her chest.

 

Nancy licks. She drags her tongue between the slick folds of skin. Salty, musky, just a little sweet. She traces a circle, keeping a gentle pressure. She starts to lap at Robin’s clit slow, building up a steady rhythm.

 

Robin’s thighs shake and her hips jerk. She whines as her stomach twitches, muscles convulsing. 

 

“Fuck,” she breathes.

 

“Did you just…?”

 

“Yes. Please. Don’t stop.”

 

Nancy pulls Robin’s panties down, then slides a finger in. She keeps licking. She feels it the next time Robin comes. She feels Robin squeeze down around her. Nancy doesn’t stop. Her chin and cheeks are covered in slick. Robin tastes lighter and sweeter as it goes. Two fingers make Robin moan loud enough to border a scream. She’s so responsive. Whole body rolling with each spike of pleasure. There’s a wet spot on the blanket underneath her.

 

“Fuck. Shit. Nancy.” Robin shudders. She covers her face with her hands.

 

That won’t do.

 

“Play with your nipples,” Nancy smiles as she starts to move her fingers faster.

 

She watches Robin grab her own tits. Squeeze them. Gently pinch her nipples. Robin twitches. Comes hard enough that she gushes a little. She’s squirming on the bed. 

 

“OK. OK… I can’t… I need a second,” Robin finally gasps. 

 

Nancy withdraws her fingers slowly. Gives Robin one more soft kiss on the clit. Then she sits up and wipes her mouth on the back of her arm.

 

“Holy shit,” Robin giggles. “Holy shit.”

 

Nancy pulls her dress off and tosses it aside. She crawls up the bed. Kisses Robin deep and messy. Robin clutches at her. Runs her hands down Nancy’s side. Grabs her ass. Her hips. She trails her fingers up Nancy’s inner thigh. Touches where she’s blood hot and so wet. 

 

Robin’s fingers brush against Nancy’s clit gently. Nancy shudders.

 

“Can I sit on your face?” Nancy aches. Her skin feels too tight. She’s vibrating with the hot rush of hormones and lust.

 

“Y-yeah.” Robin swallows. “I um. Don’t really know what to do…”

 

“Don’t worry.”

 

Nancy moves to kneel over Robin’s head. Robin holds onto Nancy’s hips, breathing fast. Nancy braces one hand against the wall, tangles her fingers in Robin’s hair and lowers herself down. Robin’s shy. Barely licks. Drags her tongue through the slick folds of skin until she finds Nancy’s clit. Nancy moans. She starts to rock her hips. Grinding against Robin’s tongue and lips. She’s so worked up. It’s not long before the pleasure pulses through her. She convulses, abs clenching, thighs shaking as her pussy twitches around nothing. 

 

Robin moans. Her grip tightens. Nancy moves faster. Robin flicks her tongue, gets the rhythm down so it drags just right. Nancy’s hair is damp with sweat. Her muscles start to burn as she crests again. She whimpers, high and needy. She’s made a mess all over Robin’s chin and cheeks. Robin doesn’t seem to mind. She’s looking up at Nancy. She shifts, grabbing one of Nancy’s tits and squeezing. 

 

She pinches Nancy’s nipple. Hard. Nancy jolts. Shudders apart. Every breath comes out a little huff of a moan. She’s dizzy, like when she takes a long hit off a bong. She feels. She feels so much. 

 

Her legs are about to give out. She lifts herself up. Robin groans and seems like she wants to follow. Nancy flops down onto the bed beside her, panting. Robin rolls onto her side. Presses salty kisses against Nancy’s mouth.

 

“Do you want more?” Robin’s voice is low and rough. “You’re so hot when you come.”

 

“If you want to.” Nancy bites her lip. 

 

Steve got sleepy after he came. Jonathan would try to get her off after he finished, but he’d eventually complain about a sore jaw or fingers.

 

Robin slips her fingers between Nancy’s spread thighs. She rubs across Nancy’s swollen clit. A little rough. It feels good. Nancy moans. Mouth open, eyes half lidded. Robin sits up. She slides her fingers in. Starts fucking Nancy with her two middle fingers. Rubbing her other thumb across Nancy’s clit. It makes loud slick noises. Nancy’s clutches at the sheets.

 

“Fuck.”

 

She snaps tight around Robin’s fingers. She doesn’t quite scream. But almost. Robin keeps going. Faster. Harder. Her cheeks and chest are pink. She’s staring down at Nancy like she’s hungry. 

 

Nancy squirts. Drenches Robin’s fingers. She’s overwhelmed. Pushes at Robin’s wrist. Robin lies down next to her. Curls against her. Paws at her, squeezing and touching all over.

 

“That was... really good. I think.” Robin breathes. “I hope.”

 

“Yeah.” Nancy giggles. “That was really good.”

 

They kiss again. Softer now. They’re pressed up skin against skin. Nancy is a little bony. No matter how much she eats, she stays scrawny. She looks fragile. Like a small bird. Robin has a pleasant curvature. She’s much taller. Nancy fits against her perfectly.

 

“Maybe we can do that again sometime?” Robin strokes her hand across Nancy’s back. Touching for touch’s sake. Nancy has missed that so much.

 

“I’d like that a lot.”