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Fuck Triangles, I Love You Too.

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“Hey, Nakia!” 

 

Kamala grins at me. I love hate how that simple grin, that stupid dorky grin  makes my heart flutter in my chest.

I love hate how her eyes sparkle when she’s rambling about Captain Marvel.

I love how she knows me inside and out.

I hate how much time she spends around Bruno. 

 

What does he have that I don’t? 

 

 He’s not a girl.  My brain unhelpfully whispers in response, making me let out a sigh. I lean my forehead against the cool metal of the locker, closing my eyes. Winged sloths dance behind my eyelids and I hug my chemistry book close to my chest as I turn around. I feel like a side character as I watch Kamala bump into the new kid, she has a swagger to her step I’ve never seen before, and it honestly just makes her more beautiful. 

 

“Nakia? You good?” Kamala questions, which makes me jump back in surprise, but I quickly make up something on the fly. “Yeah, just thinking about the board membership —” I shoot Kamala a little smile, “ — i.e. my potential membership on it.”   Because you encouraged me to. 

 

Look, my family isn’t homophobic, far from it. They even go to Pride Parades (when work allows them) and support my bisexuality. I just… haven’t told them about  this . As you know, falling for your best friend isn’t a good idea, but I’ve had these feelings since sixth grade and they’re not going away anytime soon.

 

I adjust my hijab over my hair and try to pretend my heart isn’t beating a million miles a minute as Kamala loops her arm around my shoulders. Girl In Red blasts in my mind, and it’s hard to ignore the blood rushing to my cheeks.

 

“Kiki? You good? You’re looking kinda red,” Usually, I hate when people call me Kiki, but for some reason, the way it rolled off Kamala’s tongue so naturally, and the concern in her gaze… it makes me feel on top of the world.

 

I nod, gently pressing the back of my hand to my cheek. “Yeah, just think the heat’s getting to me,” 

 

Thankfully, it  was  unnaturally hot today (thank  you  climate change… for once), and Kamala bought my excuse. 

 

“Who’s the new kid?” Kamala asked, jabbing her thumb at the brown kid she had bumped into before.   Why does it matter?  I wanted to snap, but I took a breath, furrowing my brows as I thought about it, then shrugged.

 

“I dunno,” I hum slightly, tilting my head with raised eyebrows. 

“Hey, Kamala!” I heard Bruno before I saw him, the poor boy is head over heels for Kamala. He would do anything. Honestly, he’s lucky Kamala’s dense as a brick, because otherwise, she would’ve found out by now.   Not like you’re any less pathetic,   my mind whispered,   Bruno, isn't the only one falling for his best friend. 

 

 Shut up!  I hissed back, watching Bruno stammer out a good morning, and grinning at Kamala. The two trade glances, and it’s like there’s a serpent in my chest, lying in wait to strike. It slithers around my lungs, squeezing all the breath from my lungs. It’s waiting for me to get rash, to not think and let it take control, to crawl up my throat and out my lips. To make me say things I don’t believe. I care enough for Kamala to not let it win. 

 

My expression is soft as Kamala chatters on about nothing in particular, and the snake squeezes once again as Bruno slings his arm around her shoulder. 

 

 Why don’t you tell her?  The snake hisses in my mind. 

 

The bell rings, and we sit down in our chairs. Kamala opens up her notebook as the teacher drawls on about Bohr-Rutherford Diagrams. 

 

We learned this yesterday, and I sneak a glance beside to find Kamala drawing herself in Captain Marvel cosplay. It’s… cute, how she focuses, her brows crease downwards just a smidgen, or how her pencil scratches on the page perfectly like it was lying it wait just for her.

 

I find myself enthralled with her art, unlike I haven’t been before, but there’s something special about the picture. It’s messy, imperfect, but amazing and beautiful. It’s everything I love about her.

 

“Khan!” Both of us jump, but the teacher strides towards her, and Kamala looks up, avoiding his gaze as she hands the notebook to him. My nose crinkles slightly in sympathy. Before I can think, my hand moves and lightly brushes her arm. I freeze as Kamala’s eyes meet mine, confusion clear as day.

 

“Sorry about the getting-caught thing, but I told you,” I quickly save, which makes Kamala roll her eyes, hiding a grin with her spare hand. I move my hand back to my desk, but I can still feel her skin against mine. I close my eyes for half a second, inhaling as I attempt to pretend my heart hasn’t restarted fluttering like a captured butterfly.

 

I avert my gaze, ignoring the snake as it squeezes once more. 

 

 Why don’t I tell her? 

 

 

 

 

Deep down, I know the answer.

 

 I can’t deal with losing my best friend.