“If Olivia ever found out, she’d kill me,” Emily thinks to herself.
Emily’s been having the time of her life in college. She’s studying every day, doing great in all her classes, and made a lot of friends. Everything’s just the way she was hoping it would be, and if something isn’t, she just finds a way to turn it into a positive.
She decided to go out with her friends on a Friday night to celebrate a birthday. As they were leaving after a night of darts, pool, and cheap beer, she noticed the blonde girl from a week ago sitting at the bar alone. A bit under the influence of alcohol and feeling particularly good that night, she told her friends to go on ahead as she mentally prepared for the exceptionally frightening task of walking up to her and saying hi.
“I looked up Andrew Solomon,” she clumsily said as she sat next to her. The girl was noticeably confused. “Oh, uhm, I’m sorry. I’m Emily…” The girl sat there in silence for a couple of the longest seconds in Emily’s life, until her frown finally gave way to a smile. “Taylor.” Taylor, “her name’s Taylor,” Emily thought to herself as if in a daze. “Yeah, I uh… I saw you reading Andrew Solomon under the oak tree the other day. I looked him up, he’s pretty awesome.” Emily’s blood was now rushing and her heart was about to burst from anxiety.
Two hours later, it was almost 3AM and the only thing about to burst was Emily’s liver. She’d had the most amazing time of her life drinking, laughing, and talking with Taylor about everything from ranch life, city life, classes, fantasy novels, the best house at Hogwarts, and depression, about which Taylor seemed particularly knowledgeable. Emily was enchanted by Taylor’s whole being. Whenever she looked her in the eyes, time around them melted and everything faded into obscurity. Everything from her voice to her lips and the way she gestured when she spoke was overwhelming. Emily had transcended existence and drowned in this girl she’d only known for a couple of hours. It was as close to magic as she could possibly imagine.
When it came time to leave, they walked out of the bar and ran into some less than gentlemanly boys who were acting a bit too friendly. Not one to shy away from confrontation, Taylor wasted no time telling them where to go and exactly what to do with themselves once they got there. She scared them off, but not before some unpleasant exchanges between them, so that when the police officers walked by, all they saw was Taylor drunkenly yelling obscenities on the street in the middle of the night. She was not in the best mood or state of mind to explain herself, and Emily almost falling over one of the officers didn’t exactly help their case.
And now they’re spending the night in jail. Emily’s thinking about how Olivia must never, ever find out about this, but her worries quickly fade away as she looks toward Taylor. Despite being in jail, Emily doesn’t have a single care in the world. Not much room for that right now.
She’s sitting next to Taylor in jail thinking that there’s nowhere else on Earth she’d rather be.
This is one of many short stories I’ve been writing for Teodora’s drawings ever since she said she was bad at writing descriptions for them. I thought I’d enjoy helping her and trying to write something different than I was used to. I’d never collaborated creatively with anyone on anything before Teodora and I love the purpose she’s added to my writing and how she challenges me with each drawing.
When I told her where I wanted to take the story, she was excited but also terrified of drawing the characters the way I envisioned them. She didn’t think she could do it, but lo and behold, she did another wonderful job, worthy of a strawberry. 🍓
For more wonderful drawings, follow Teodora on Instagram @teoctobart.
For more stories, she’s got her own tag here.