I came up behind my friend and wrapped my arms around her waist.
Trish pulled away just enough to turn around. She whispered, “It’s our last night together, girlfriend.”
I buried my face into her neck. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
She pulled me into a tight hug. “Mattie, we’ve had so much fun together.” Trish put her wet cheek against mine and our tears mixed. When I let out a sob she whispered, “I’m sorry. We won’t think about it right now.”
We lived a whole country apart and only got to see each other twice a year. Every moment had to count. I pushed away so I could look into her eyes. I’ve seen them many times on webcam but this was the real thing. My very best friend stood beside me; a dream come true for us both. We had no time to waste. If I dwelt on this last night I would be a soppy mess. Instead I had a plan. But how do I get my crazy, jump-into-fun girlfriend to go for it? Oh boy…
I recognized a hint of panic in her dark eyes. “You’re scaring me. What are you up to?”
“Honey, did you bring your swimsuit?”
“Are you kidding me? Why would I bring my swimsuit to the midwest in the dead of winter?”
I giggled. “Follow me.” I led her into my bedroom and fished out a couple of bathing suits we could squeeze our winter bodies into.
“Mattie…” she began, but I silenced her.
“Get dressed quick.” I beat her, of course. I think maybe she stalled for time in hopes I would forget my dastardly plan. I met her at the door of the bathroom. “Let’s go, Baby.”
I was thankful my family was gone that night. Trisha would never have gone for this with the guys home. I led her to the patio doors and then ran across the deck to open the hot tub cover. I climbed in fast.
I nestled deep into the hot water and then ventured a look at my friend as she stood in the heated room. I mouthed her name. I put my hands together and pleaded with her to come. She looked at me like I had lost my mind. She hugged herself, shivered, and shook her head no.
I hauled my rear back out, opened the door, grabbed her hand, and forcibly made her obey. She followed my footprints through the snowy path and climbed in. She sunk into the watery depths beside me.
Bubbles swirled around us. I pulled her over into a seat and we both laid our heads back and looked into the star-filled sky.
“Mattie,” Trish pointed up, “did you see that falling star?”
“Yes. I wished on it. I wished you didn’t live so far away.”
“You could move closer to me, you know.”
“Like that will ever happen. Rick’s never lived anywhere but here.” I reached out of the tub and grabbed a handful of snow.
“Don’t even think about it,” Trish warned.
I grinned as I packed the snow into a ball. I tossed it in the water and we watched it as it melted.
“Thanks for getting me out here, Mattie.”
I snuggled in close beside her. “Remember when I travelled to you? We stuck our feet into the cold mountain snow in July.”
Trish threw back her head and laughed. I loved it when she did that. “We really go to extremes, don’t we?”
Clouds covered up the clear sky and snow drifted down on our upturned faces. We stuck out our tongues to capture the flakes and steam rose up into our noses and made us sneeze.
I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. The hot, salty moisture and the cold snow streaked down my face. A moan started deep inside and grew in intensity. Trish wrapped her arm around me. From experience, she knew there was nothing she could do but let me cry.
“I’m going to miss you,” I sputtered
“Me, too,” she said, “like crazy.”
“I think you’re both crazy,” Rick stood above us.
Trish gasped and sunk her head below the water.
He shook his head and smiled as he walked away.
Trisha popped up and gulped in the cold night air.
We burst out in peals of laughter.
“Trish, this is exactly why I don’t want you to go.”
“You bring out my inner spaz, girlfriend.”
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