Helena was the most beautiful person Lizzie knew, and Lizzie had wanted her since they first day they met. They were friends, close friends, and sometimes it bothered Lizzie that she’d never said how she felt. One day, sitting on the couch, watching TV, she did. She just said it, to get it over with, because she felt like she had to after all this time.
“You know I want to fuck you, right?” she said.
“I know,” Helena said.
“So do you want to?”
Helena shrugged. “We can sometime, if you want.”
Lizzie nodded. She was a little surprised Helena had said yes, and pleased, too. They sat a little longer, both still staring at the screen. Helena agreeing hadn’t really seemed like an invitation to fuck right now.
“So, um…” Helena said.
“You know I hate myself, don’t you,” Helena said. “I hate how I look, and feel, and who I am. I hate everything about me.”
Lizzie thought about that. She hadn’t known, had never guessed. She didn’t know what to say. “That’s awful.”
“Well, it’s just there.”
“No, it’s completely awful. God, Helena, that so isn’t true.”
“Well, yeah, I mean, I know it’s not actually true. I mean, to other people. Because people tell me. It doesn’t make it any less real for me.”
“It’s still awful.”
“I guess,” Helena said.
“Have you talked to someone?”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“That’s fine,” Helena said. “We don’t need to talk about it. In fact, I’d really rather not. I just wanted you to know, that was all.”
“Okay,” Lizzie said.
They watched a little longer.
“It’s just,” Helena said suddenly. “I’ll fuck you if you want. I mean, of course I will. But I won’t like you as much, afterwards, because how you want to fuck someone as ugly as me.”
Lizzie there, uncertain, wondering what that meant. And also wondering whether Helena felt guilty about saying no. “Just say if you’d rather not,” Lizzie said. “I mean, don’t feel you can’t just say so…”
“How do you mean?”
“Just, if that’s an excuse…”
“No excuse. It’s just me. I only fuck people once, then never talk to them again. Because why would I be around people so stupid they want me?”
“So I’ll fuck you,” Helena said. “I will whenever you want, and I’ll try not to push you away afterwards, but probably I will.”
“I get it,” Lizzie said.
“But we can if you want to. I mean, I’d quite like to. It might be fun, and I like you…”
“Um, thanks,” Lizzie said.
“So shall we?”
“Do you want to fuck?”
“Of course not,” Lizzie said. “Don’t be silly. I’m not going to lose you.”
Helena seemed surprised. “Oh,” she said. “Really?”
“Yep,” Lizzie said, and reached over and hugged Helena instead.