And I Will Grow With You
I just really wanted to tell a love story :’)
She spots her nose on strangers faces. When she walks through the library she sees her in a man with hair sticking on end, and women with a crooked mouth and can’t help but think. Peridot.
And all she can think, is ‘oh there she is!’ And her heart races.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. But here Lapis was, seeing her in strangers and feeling sick like a million little pin pricks of ice in her stomach.
That is when she is 16.
When Lapis was 5 she met a shrill little girl with bad manners and the outlook of a mad doctor. The girl told her she looked like a sad llama-face on the first day and Lapis ignored her for half a year.
Half a year later she sat down next to her at recess and says, ‘I heard you poured sand down Johny T.’s boxers.’
She sniffed, ‘he deserved it.’ She defends, Lapis nodded sagely.
‘Rose said it wasn’t nice… How do you feel about Rose and her friends?’ Lapis asks curiously.
“Bleh,’ Peridot screwed up her face and stuck her tongue out, Lapis smiled like the sun came out. Finally.
‘Let’s build a sand castle together.’
Lapis frowns, ‘we can pretend to live in it– and that we never have to go to school again.’
‘I like school .’
‘You can be the princess of it.’ Checkmate .
Peridot agrees and Lapis is her knight and they build a castle out of sand. John T. tries to kick it over with all his might, she chases him away and she feels sunburn on her back as a just a shallow kiss of warmth.
Lapis is nine. She says she wants to kiss Timmy Thomas, and Peridot says that’s gross and Lapis pouts.
They trade clothes like it’s the stock market because Lapis saw that on TV and thought that’s how best friends acted.
Peridot walks like she has rocks in her shoes, and her parents tell her to walk taller still. Do better, join more.
Lapis wants to fight them. But she wanted to fight a lot of things, her parents call her a ‘firecracker,’ a quick whip when they’re happy and other things when they’re not.
Lapis likes Peridot’s house. Peridot hates it, and they trade clothes and stories and Lapis feels a little safer in her own skin and firecracker mouth.
She tells her she wants to kiss Timmy Thomas, she says she needs to practice. Peridot is indignant, Lapis reminds her of the time she took the fall for her when Peridot threw a tantrum and broke the art room.
Peridot says, fine, ‘but Timmy better appreciate it.’
It was her first kiss, a peck, only a peck. She didn’t think it counted, she wasn’t sure it meant anything. But that was when she was nine.
When Lapis is 14 they got in their first fight.
Peridot said Lapis shouldn’t try to smoke, Lapis says it was her body she can try what she likes. Peridot yells about how strange she had gotten, a weirdo with Indie rock mixes and friends that blink like the world is turning in slow motion.
Lapis breaks, she bites out that Peridot didn’t have enough friends to fill a thimble, only Jasper talked to her and Jasper was the worst. She held herself like an tiny, angry army general whose parents march her in line to the beat of good grades and bad people skills.
Peridot cries. Lapis was a firecracker, one who blew up in people’s faces. She broke her favorite CD that night.
Somehow, somehow, that same year after a month they find each other still visiting the same ice cream place they always did and give and take begrudging ‘sorry’s’ and then jokes and recipes, and laugh again. And again.
Lapis didn’t know why she fought her. But she wanted her safe and whole, and if she had to find new friends that didn’t stick cigarettes in her open mouth then so be it.
Lapis is 16. She saw her in strangers faces. Her heart skips a beat at the placement of her hair and crooked slope of her mouth and people in green doing silly victory dances over anything.
She saw her in strangers faces.
Peridot’s voice chased her across her dreams and she wakes up in cold sweets and little pinpricks of tears at the corner of her eyes.
Was this it? Was this love?