“Have you ever kissed a boy,” Tara asked, and I felt my face grow hot as I lied, “Yeah. Of course.”
Then Heather, my best friend forever in the whole world looked at me and I looked at her, and we both looked at each other and knew it was a lie.
We were 13 years old and it was the end of Tara’s birthday party. (Tara was really popular because all the other girls were afraid of her, not because she was nice.)
A few of us were waiting outside in the driveway for our parents to pick us up and this was the conversation we were going to have.
I hated it because if they asked me any questions about kissing, I wouldn’t know. I had never done it. I wouldn’t even know how to make it up.
I wouldn’t even know who, I would have said, I had kissed.
Then Tara asked, “Who was it?”
“Oh... you wouldn’t know him. He goes to another school,” I said.
“Well, what’s his name?”
She said back.
I looked at Heather and she knew I was terrible at lying, but she was really good at lying so she piped up before I had a chance, “His name is Sean and is the cutest guy I’ve ever seen.”
Luckily just then Heather’s mom pulled up and we opened the back sliding door to her minivan and crawled into the very back seat and waved good-bye.
I looked at Heather with fear, and whispered so Heather’s mom wouldn’t be able to hear, “You’re so lucky they didn’t ask you.”
“I know. We need to get boyfriends.” She said.
“How will that happen? We’re not even popular like those other girls,” I said back.
“Not to mention no one would ever want to kiss us because we don’t know how,” She said.
“Oh no. You’re right. No one will ever kiss us and we’ll never have boyfriends because we’ve never done it.”
“Yeah, except now they think you have kissed a guy.”
“That goes to another school.”
“What if we just pretend we have boyfriends?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, if they go to other schools, no one has to see them. We can just talk about them so people hear and they’ll think we have boyfriends.”
“Oh, so we’ll have lunch next to Tara and Whitney and be like, “So, I saw you with your boyfriend last night totally kissing, like French kissing a lot.”
“What are you girls talking about back there?” Heather’s mom called from up front.”
Heather and I slumped down further in the backseat and Heather called back up, “Homework.”
Heather’s mom said, “Yeah right. What do you guys want for lunch?”
Heather asked, “Mom, can we have tAcos?”
“Oh, I love tAcos.” I said.
“Sure honey,” Her mom said and then went back to singing along with The Steve Miller Band on the oldies station.
I looked at Heather and said, “So, if we’re going to have fake boyfriends, we need to know everything about them in case they ask us.”
“Okay,” She said, “Well, yours is named Sean because that’s what I called him at the party.”
“I kind of want them to be best friends like us,” I said.
Then she said, “Well, guys don’t really have best friends in the same way.”
“Oh, they could be brothers.”
“Yeah. Brothers. Then mine is named Seth.”
“Sean and Seth. Sean is an artist and Seth is a surfer and they have blonde hair.” I decided.
“Yeah, Seth has blue eyes, like me,” Heather said.
“And Sean has green, like me.”
So Monday morning I called Heather and we coordinated our outfits on the phone, then once at school, met at our locker. She looked around and we had a few moments before the bell would ring and Whitney and Tara were standing close by as Heather said, “So, Skye, I couldn’t help but see you and Sean last night making out for hours.”
Then I turned red for real and said, “Oh stop. You’re embarrassing me! It was only one hour that we were making out for.”
Then we stopped and looked and Whitney and Tara were standing there looking at us as if we were aliens.
Tara said, “You made out with someone?”
“Oh, just my boyfriend,” I hesitantly lied.
“Oh, that’s funny because I thought you didn’t have a boyfriend.” She said.
Then Heather said, “Oh she just got one and so did I. We have boyfriends.”
Then Tara looked at me directly in my eyes, and hers were crystal blue and cold as ice, and I was so terrified of everything all of a sudden. She said, “What’s it like to kiss a guy?”
“Oh, it’s so great. You know. He puts his tongue in my mouth and it’s pretty weird but great! What’s it like when you kiss a guy,” I asked back.
“Oh, it’s just amazing. First he puts his hands in my hair and then he licks my lips. Sometimes he bites my lower lip and I just love it. Doesn’t your boyfriend ever do that stuff?” She asked.
“Oh yeah. All the time. I just forgot.” I said.
“Well, I don’t think you forgot. I think you’re lying.” She said loudly.
“Shut up Tara!” Heather joined in.
Then Tara said as loud as she could in the worse voice I can imagine, “HEY GUYS! LOOK! Skye and Heather have made up boyfriends! HA HA HA!”
“NO WE DON’T!”
But it was too late. She would never believe us. No one would ever believe us. People would look at us and whisper that our boyfriends were fake, and they were fake and we all knew they were fake and Heather and I had never kissed a boy. Ever.
After class one day we went to our locker and someone wrote on it with a Sharpie, “FAKE BOYFRIENDS. NICE.”
We pretended not to care but we knew we’d never live it down. We were going to be the girls that now could never get real boyfriends because they had lied about having fake boyfriends. It became much worse than never having had boyfriends to begin with.
“What we need,” Heather said, “Are guys that can pretend to be our boyfriends so we can take them to school and get them to kiss us in front of Tara and Whitney and then they’ll know our boyfriends are real and they’ll leave us alone.”
I didn’t even want a boyfriend.
So, I said, “I don’t even want a boyfriend! I just like hanging out, you know, with you. Why do we need boyfriends all of a sudden?”
Heather said, “Do you think Tara is lying? I mean maybe she hasn’t really kissed a guy either.”
“I don’t care. I don’t want a boyfriend. Do you really want a boyfriend? I mean, don’t we have a good time?” I persisted.
“Yeah we do. You’re right.”
“So who cares what people think? Let them think we have fake-boyfriends. I mean, we do. We have fake-boyfriends!”
“You’re right,” She said. “We have fake boyfriends.”