Charlie had always been the more aggressive of the two; she knew what she wanted and went for it. She tugged at Shye's bottom lip, causing her best friend to melt in her arms.
There had always been an unspoken thing between Shye and Charlie. An intimacy that had yet to be touched on; something that they always knew in the back of their minds was much more than friendship. That’s the way things had always been, though.
It wasn’t unusual for Charlie to grab Shye’s hand to keep her close in a crowd, it wasn’t out of the norm for Shye to whisper into Charlie’s ear in a loud room, and it wasn’t strange for Shye to rest her head on Charlie’s shoulder during long car rides. That was just them. But lately things were starting to get blurry, lines were being crossed, and neither of them really knew how to stop. Neither of them really wanted to.
It was at that beautiful point where night and day meet, when the sky turned a warm pinkish orange color and the clouds in the sky were puffs of smoke. The only thing prettier than the sky was Shye herself. She seemed to glow under the midday light.
Charlie’s eyes were trained on Shye as they sat on the hood of her car, right outside the town’s annual strawberry festival. There were rides and games and contests, but Charlie couldn’t think about anything but Shye. She looked away briefly, trying to compose herself, trying to control her urge.
Shye’s name said everything about her; she was shy, quiet, and soft spoken at times. She was the girl in school who always had a book handy, the girl who chose to be in the library during study hall, the girl that paid attention during the lecture. The only person in class who read the entire chapter and probably the next three, the only one that was prepared for the pop quiz. She was that girl and Charlie loved it.
She loved watching Shye read textbooks for fun. She loved that scrabble was her favorite board game and Charlie liked it most when Shye would help her make big words with her letters that she didn’t even know existed, even though it was against the rules. Charlie loved to see the excitement on Shye’s face when they would go to a bookstore. She loved hearing Shye try to explain equations to her that she would never understand. She loved listening to Shye read her fiction books out loud during their sleepovers sometimes. She loved listening to Shye. She loved her…
Charlie was tired of dancing around this.
The way Charlie was looking at her… it was something Shye wasn’t used to. She couldn’t describe it, but she could feel it. Feel Charlie’s eyes on her, she could feel them piercing her; she didn’t know what to do with this feeling. Shye was afraid to look at her friend, afraid of what she might see, afraid of what might happen. So, she focuses on the sun setting in the distance, she focuses on keeping her breathing even, she focuses on her ice cream cone.
Anything but to look at Charlie.
“This is really good,” Shye says, trying to make light conversation.
“Oh yeah?” Charlie asks quietly. “You got salted caramel, right?” Charlie’s tone is deeper than usual, soft…
“Sweet and salty always make a good combination.” Charlie gives a little laugh.
“I’ve haven’t tried it before.”
“Because you only eat vanilla ice cream.” She teases and take another lick.
Just eat the ice cream.
Charlie’s still watching, she’s studying her the way Shye studies chemistry. She’s weighing the moment and waiting for her opportunity to pounce.
Shye knows her so well.
Shye’s mind is racing almost as fast as her heart is beating. She can’t concentrate and didn’t even realize that Charlie had moved from beside her and was now standing in front of her. She had been this close before. The two of them had abandoned the idea of personal space a while ago. But this was a different kind of proximity. It had never felt like this before.
Shye’s shaking and she’s not entirely sure why.
It’s just Charlie. It’s just Charlie. It’s. Just. Charlie.
Her best friend since 5th grade, her support system, literally her everything. But as Charlie stands in front of Shye, her breathing grows heavier. Shye’s free hand is gripping the hood of the car as if it’s keeping her from floating away.
And Charlie is still fucking looking at her.
Charlie moves closer; if that’s even possible. She places her hands on Shye’s knees, spreading her legs slightly, just enough for her to step into the gap. That’s when her eyes meet Charlie’s, unable to ignore this any longer. There’s nothing but passion and want in Charlie’s eyes. She doesn’t move her hands; she keeps them on Shy’s knees and uses her thumbs to rub light circles on her skin.
The air is so tense right now and Shye feels like she can’t breathe.
If Shye thought she was shaking before, that’s nothing compared to what she’s doing now, trembling with nerves.
“Are you okay, Shye?”
No, she’s not okay. This is all so new. The way Charlie is looking at her, the way her heart is beating out of her chest. How much she wants this, how scared she is.
“Are you okay?” Charlie repeats calmly. Why was she so calm? Shye can barely think of a sentence.
“T-this is just… really good,” she stutters, trying to make sense of all this. So, she takes another lick, ice cream getting on her lips.
“Can I try some?” Charlie’s words are careful as she eyes Shye’s lips.
“Mhm.” She smiles, offering the cone to her, but instead of going for the ice cream, Charlie goes for Shye; she leans in, lowers her lips onto Shye’s softly.
Shye vibrated with excitement, shook with fear and anticipation. Her eyes grew heavy and she allowed them to close as Charlie kissed the melted ice cream from her lips.
God, she could feel her heart drop out of place.
Charlie had always been the more aggressive of the two, more confident, she was always so sure of herself. But this? The kiss was light and hesitant, nothing like Charlie’s personality. She wasn’t sure about this. She didn’t want to scare Shye or rush her. This was, after all, her first kiss. So, Charlie tried her hardest to be delicate. She places her hands over Shye’s, their fingers intertwining.
When Shye didn’t protest or push her away, however, that was all she needed. Charlie pressed harder, opening her mouth slightly and catching Shye’s lips between hers.
It’s one kiss, but it’s enough to send Shye into hyper drive. Enough to scatter every thought she’s ever had. Enough to set her brain on fire. It’s a sudden rush that she’s never felt before. A kind of rush that she wanted to feel
Charlie’s lips were soft and warm. She kisses Charlie back, trying to follow the taller girl’s rhythm. Her arms find their way to Charlie’s shoulders, wrapping around her neck. It's then that Charlie pulls away slightly—just enough to ask, “Was that okay?”
Charlie’s words are warm and considerate, their lips not even inches apart, their foreheads resting on each other.
Shye’s breathing was heavy and shaky. She couldn’t even fathom a coherent sentence. She could barely see straight, so she just kept her eyes closed. She clung to Charlie, her arms resting on the taller girls’ shoulders, her fingers flexing on the back of Charlie’s neck. It felt like her voice was gone, like if she tried to talk it would get lost in the wind. Charlie nuzzles her nose against Shye’s but for once, Shye’s brain is turned off. For once, she didn’t have an answer. That was her first kiss and she felt like she was drowning in the best way possible.
“Shye?” Charlie tries again, dragging out every letter. “Look at me, baby.” Shye looks up at her breathlessly. “Was that okay?”
“Well, it happened so fast—it caught me off guard.” Shye trips over her words. How is she supposed to respond to that? Was that okay? Of course, it was okay. “I could barely process it,” Shye admits.
“Maybe,” Charlie’s words come out slow, “if we kiss slower, it’ll be easier for you to process,” Charlie suggests. Shye knows it’s not a question, not an actual suggestion. Charlie wants to kiss her again. She doesn’t give Shye much time to answer. She doesn’t even let the other girl catch her breath. No, her fingers grab Shye by the chin, pulling their lips back together.
This kiss was unhurried and deliberate. Charlie tilted her head, deepening the kiss but keeping the same painstakingly slow pace. She captures Shye’s lips, dragging a moan out of the shorter girl. Her fingers are now tracing Shye’s every curve until they found the small of her back. Charlie held Shye tight, held her close, so close that their bodies became one. She could feel Shye give herself over, feel Shye’s body give in; she was still trembling, the smallest of moans escaping from her throat.
Shye felt delirious.
Charlie gently tugged at Shye’s bottom lips before pulling away, resting her forehead on Shye’s once more. The kiss lingered, left both dizzy and unable to move away from each other. “Mhm,” she whispers into Shye’s ear. “You’re right,” Charlie allows her teeth to drag across her bottom lip, “That was really good,” Charlie murmurs, referring the ice cream that Shye had dropped a while ago. She licks Shye’s lips before kissing her again. “I can’t get enough of you, Shye.”
“I can’t stop shaking.” Shye blushes, but Charlie just kisses her cheeks.
She’d done it; she finally kissed her best friend. Something she had been wanting to do since they were 13. It was that deep urge in the back of her soul that she had been dying to act on. She can hear the festival going on in the background.
“Ferris wheel?” she asks sweetly, and Shye just smiles.