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  1. “I had fun,” Nathan said. India shook her head at him and broke into a smile, eyes downcast. Her eyelids were glittery. Nathan could see where some glitter had fallen under her eyes like tiny stars. “I did, too,” she said. “Even if Erin made an ass of himself.” She paused for a moment. “Actually, that was a highlight of the evening.” Nathan grinned. India’s hand was relaxed, fingers barely keeping touch with his. He wondered if she knew she was still doing it. A bug buzzed as it hit the porch light. India jumped, dress spinning with her as she turned to look. Her hand slipped away. Nathan caught his breath. “Um… you look great,” he said after a pause. India smirked. “Are you saying that as part of your mission to treat this like a real date?” she teased. Nathan sighed. “Can’t I be nice to you?” he asked. India laughed. “But seriously, you look beautiful.” She stopped laughing. She was still smiling, which had to mean something, even if it was something soft he wouldn’t dare touch. “You don’t look too bad yourself,” she said. The car horn blared from the front of the house where it was idling. Noah rolled down the passenger window and leaned out. “Just kiss already!” he cried. “This is ridiculous!” India glared at him, turning to face the car and even taking a step toward it. “Shut up, Noah!” she yelled back. “I’ll do what I want!” Nathan covered his eyes with his hand. “I… Jesus Christ,” he muttered. “I’m driving next time.” India sighed. “That doesn’t even make sense, your house is normally like the first stop—“ “Did you NOT hear me?” Noah yelled. “I have a curfew!” India rolled her eyes. “Then let Erin drive you home, you little shit!” India called back. “Nathan can get his own ride!” Nathan grimaced. India shot him a glance. “One that doesn’t pressure him to kiss a girl! You of all people shouldn’t be forcing heteronormativity on us!” Noah gave a thumbs up. “True love is out there for you!” he yelled. India scowled. “Noah Walker, I swear to any God there may be—“ she began. Noah rolled the window halfway up. “We’ll give you some privacy,” he teased. India threw another finger up, which Noah happily returned. The car pulled away and India turned back to Nathan, shaking her head. “I’d apologize, but only because I’ve been friends with him longer,” she said. “I feel like I’m supposed to kiss you now,” Nathan said, glancing around India’s porch. India rolled her eyes. “Gee, what a compliment,” she said flatly. Nathan sighed. “You know what I mean. We’re all dressed up, we’re on your doorstep. If this was a movie, we’d be kissing.” India raised her eyebrows. “Before saying all that stuff about how great we looked and what a nice time we had?” she asked. Nathan grinned at her. “We did that already,” he said. India rolled her eyes. “Okay, Spielberg. What happens now?” she asked, crossing her arms and shifting her weight to the other foot. Nathan sighed. “Do I have to like, go through the mechanics for you? He was a boy, she was a girl--” “Maybe one of them’s gay,” she teased, shrugging her shoulders. “We just talked about heteronormativity.” Nathan sighed again, running a hand through his hair. “For the purposes of this movie, let’s assume that they’re at least bi. Pan. Some potential energy,” he said, waving a hand. “Like, I don’t fucking know. There’s stars out. There’d probably be an awkward romantic speech.” India grinned. “What’s in the speech that makes it so awkward? Couldn’t get a good enough writer?” Nathan shook his head, shoving his hands in his pockets. “You have no idea. Some shit about comparing your eyes to the sky. Especially with the eye makeup,” he pointed out. India rolled her sky-like eyes. “Writer’s Guild doing okay?” “Maybe they’re on strike right now,” he said. “I can’t think of anything.” India laughed, shifting her weight back to the other foot. Her dress rustled around her legs. “What happens next?” she asked after a moment. Nathan looked back out at the street, at the wood paneling above her head. At the trees, her shoes. She was nearly as tall as him. More than normal. “At that point you’d probably be overcome by emotion that you definitely had awakened by my high quality speech with too many mixed metaphors,” he said, finally making eye contact and the shadow of a grin appearing again. He gestured vaguely with one hand. “Like, I never came back to that whole potential energy bit. I could have easily said something about kinetic energy, like--” She took the step forward before he did, and the step back before he could try to hold onto her. She crossed her arms again, using the edge of her pinky nail to fix her lipstick. “What happens now?” she asked a final time, still a half step too close. Nathan swallowed. “What happened to ‘screw heteronormativity?’” he asked, trying not to sound completely overwhelmed. India shrugged. “Still there. I think it was the speech that did it,” she said, as if discussing the results of an experiment. Nathan nodded once. “Or maybe because I told Noah I do what I want. Or maybe I’m just a stupid girl who’s into guys. Or maybe—“ “I get it,” Nathan said. “Can you drive me home?” India laughed then. “Yeah, Nathan. Let me get my keys.” (my bi wife Jess said I should post this)
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