Chapter Sixteen: How Life Should Be

"So... are you going to be okay?"
"I'll be fine." Lola smiled weakly at me, and patted my cheek gently. We were standing by my front door, and she was getting ready to go home. Despite the satisfaction I felt knowing that Will was in the dog house, I felt horrible when I saw the hurt in her eyes. "Don't worry about me," she reassured me, "I'll just go talk to Will; it'll be fine tomorrow." The sick thing was, I didn't want it to be fine. I enjoyed the dejected look on Will's face as we walked away. But in the interest of preventing another argument, I kept my mouth shut and simply hugged her goodbye.

The next day, I strolled into school in high spirits, a big smile on my face. I was so eager to tell my friends the good news that I had left home a few minutes early.

"Morning!" I grabbed Kaley around the waist from behind and gave her a bear hug.
"You're chipper today," she commented wrily. Upon seeing my face, she relented and smiled. "I can't stay mad at you. Even though you were a huge jerk."
"Huge jerk," Eric added for emphasis.
"Yeah, I know." I gave them a bashful smile. "But thanks, guys. Really."
"So you're back together?"
My response was a big grin.
"Oh," Kaley laughed. "Then that hour I spent 'studying' with Will was totally worth it."
"I owe you a lot," I promised. "This is why you're my best friend."
"I thought I was your best friend!" Eric pouted.
"No, you're second best," I dismissed him. We laughed.
"Screw you guys," Eric whined. "Hey... where's Jason?"
We couldn't answer, but we had bigger things on our minds than Jason's tardiness.

"Hey, there's Lola," Jason whispered and pointed. Somewhere in between first and second period he had arrived at school and snuck into class. Jason, usually quiet and reserved, had been skpping classes more often. Jason was a legit part of our group, but if the group was America, Jason was Antarctica; he was the least often thought of, and the least often affected by our decisions. So when he began changing, we paid no attention, figuring it was a phase of sorts. He found us at break, and after brushing off all our questions (though there were not that many), he began asking about the situation between Lola and I.
"Yeah. I saw," I commented idly, my heart not really in the conversation; I was too busy gazing at Lola. She was standing by her locker, chatting with her friends and laughing. To my delight, Will was nowhere to be seen.
"I take it things went well yesterday?"
"Very well," Eric grinned. He then proceeded to thrust his hips in an unmistakeably vulgar fashion.
"Shove off, asshole." I pushed him and laughed.
"Whatever, turd. You know you love me," Eric retorted. "So she forgave you for the whole... club fight incident, too?"
"Yeah. I still can't believe I got in a fight," I groaned. "People have been coming up and asking me about that all day."
"But it's only, like, ten minutes into the morning," Kaley pointed out.
"I know," I exclaimed. "I'm going to be dead by the end of the day. Death by questioning." Just then, Lola looked over and saw me. She shot me a small smile and turned back to her conversation. I started to wave, but stopped and turned it into a twitch instead. Don't be too desperate, I told myself. Nothing worse than a desperate lesbian.
"Oh, that's cold," Kaley laughed. "Not even a wave? She's playing hard to get."
I blew a raspberry at her. "Shut up." But, not wanting to seem too easy, I shrugged and decided I'd talk to her in the next class we had together: English.

"Hi." I looked up and saw Lola.
"Hi yourself," I grinned. "Things went okay yesterday?"
She sat herself down in the seat next to me and began taking out English books. "Yeah, don't worry. Things are fine."
"That's good." I looked around the classroom. No Will. Awesome.

"I saw that little half-wave earlier," Lola commented as we left English. "That wasn't very smooth, El."
I laughed, embarrassed. "Well... in my defense, you weren't supposed to see that."
"Yeah, well I did." She turned to face me, and put her hands on her hips. "So, what're you going to do about it?"
"Oh, gee, I don't know." I pretended to think for a long time. "I guess I'll just have to... replace that memory with an even better memory," I grinned.
"Come here," she beckoned. I took a step closer and pressed my lips to hers, momentarily forgetting we were in a school hallway until a teacher passed.
"Ahem, Miss Scott," our English teacher interjected nervously. "While we support your... er... preferences, it would be ideal if you could put a hold on the displays of affection."
After he left, we broke out into laughter. "It's so nice to be at a school like this," Lola sighed happily.
"Oh, your last school was anti-gay?"
"Not so much anti-gay as thoroughly uncomfortable about it," she replied nonchalantly. "I got a lot of crap for liking girls, but I made some close friends, too."
"Aw." I squeezed her hand. "It's a bit better here; most people don't really care. Most guys think it's hot." I winked, half-joking.
"Hm, well, if they enjoy it..." And she leaned in to kiss me one more time.

"Hey guys," Miles sauntered up and waved excitedly.
"Hi," we replied as a group, suspicious. We were half expecting Miles to ask us to never go to another GSA-hosted event again after my club fight. We certainly weren't expecting him to say what he said next.
"Sorry to bug you guys during lunch, but we're hosting another party at the same place, same time - this Friday night. It's kind of too soon, I know, but we're trying to promote inter-school friendships - and maybe relationships, haha - and since the bar fight everyone's been really interested in another party. We've been getting requests for another party from every school that attended! Not only the LGBT community, but also straight kids who want to have fun."
"How many school attended, exactly?" Eric asked, feigning interest.
"About five, I think. It's great, right? I never knew GSA was so popular!" Miles looked so ecstatic, I thought he would burst.
"Oh yeah, so great," Eric said with fake enthusiasm. "Hear that, Elliot? Five schools' worth of boys and girls saw your embarassing excuse for a bar fight!" He gave me the thumbs-up, and I flipped him off in response.
"Screw you," I mumbled into my sandwhich, feeling disgusted. I can't believe I got into a bar fight. No one does that anymore. Christ.
"Aw, don't listen to him," Lola told me, leaning against my shoulder. She wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me closer. I felt better instantly.
A chorus of "Aw" echoed around our group, ending with Miles.
"You guys should really come," he insisted. "It's great PR for GSA; you guys can be, like, the poster-couple! We hardly get any lesbian couples," he explained. "It's all gay guys. Like me." And then he let out a nervous giggle.
"Right, well... thanks for the invitation, Miles." Jason's mouth twitched in what might have been a smile.
"Yeah, we'll think about it," Kaley promised. "See you around, Miles."
Then Miles flounced off in an utterly feminine fashion, putting all stereotypical gay males to shame.

"We should go," Jason suggested. "It's not really my kind of party, but I guess it could be fun. Last time was fun, so... And we could invite Lyle, Alex, and Dani. Or... maybe just Lyle and Alex," he corrected himself after seeing Lola's face.
"Yeah, maybe," I shrugged. "Still not really over what happened last time I went to a GSA party. I've still got the bruises," I jokingly pouted and pointed to my back.
"Oh don't be such a pansy," Eric snorted. "I'm definitely going - no question about it."
"I didn't know you supported the GSA so feverently, Eric," Lola commented, surprised.
"I don't," Eric explained. "See, at every GSA party there are lesbian girls who get drunk and make out with other lesbian girls. There's also tons of bisexual girls just waiting for someone to set them on the straight and narrow." He winked.
"As a girl who likes other girls, I should be offended," Lola laughed. "But I'm not."
"Well why not?" Eric, used to offending people, (I could say he got a kick out of it) was confused.
"I have other things on my mind," Lola smiled and looked at me.
"Euch!" Eric gagged. "No lesbian romantics, please. But.. if you guys want to make out, feel free!"

"So, do you want to go? Saturday night?" I smiled nervously at Lola, hoping for the right answer. Yes, please, please...
"I don't know. Are you going to viciously assault another one of my family members?"
"Uhm... is this a trick question?"
She smiled and unlocked her front door. "Nope, totally serious."
"Oh, well..." I paused as I caught a glimpse of Will in her living room. Time to get out before he sees me; he probably wants to kill me, the little bastard. "I won't, so long as none of your family members tag along," I said half-jokingly.
"Hm. Well, then I guess I have no choice but to go." She leaned in and kissed my cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow, El."
"Yeah. Tomorrow," I promised.
"Oh, but El?" I turned around with a smile on my lips. "Don't rub this in Will's face if you see him," Lola suggested. "He still doesn't approve."
I wanted to say something, but I figured it would only frustrate Lola, so I waited until she closed the door to say it.

"What does it matter what Will thinks, anyway?"
I got no answer other than the sound of my question echoing off the walls.