Heather had had best friends. Lots of them. She had kissed girls. A few to say the least. She had done her fair share of experimenting but she knew what she ultimately wanted, it never felt confusing. She didn’t label herself. She liked people - that was all that mattered. Yes, she would rather marry a guy and be the straight conservative daughter her mother would approve. She wouldn’t force it, though. She tried to keep things simple, never thinking too much about it. She had only ever felt what could be described as love towards boys. With women it was more about connection and mystery. As soon as she knew too much her interest would fade and turn into platonic friendship. But Heather had never met anyone quite like Naya.
She loved her, truly. That wasn’t in question. Not since the very first week. She loved every aspect of her friend and cared in a way she couldn’t compare to any other friendship. It wasn’t sisterly love, she knew as much. It was different and more at the same time. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t help starring. With Naya she had the easiest yet most complicated relationship of her life. During the first year, these thoughts hadn’t crossed her mind. They would hug, hold pinkies, they would cuddle in bed, laugh in the morning, they would give each other spontaneous gifts and call one another in the middle of the night – just because. It was simple. It felt simple. But then something changed, something shifted in her brain. Maybe because she now had a boyfriend and the comparison scared her. Maybe because their characters were put in different relationships, separating them, although not completely, mirroring their life in a surreal way. Heather honestly didn’t know the reason. She wasn’t even sure Naya was aware of it. Though, judging by how they read each other, if Heather felt it, Naya knew about it.
The hardest days happened when Taylor was in town. She would feel this dread right before he arrived. A feeling that didn’t seem natural to her making her guilty conscience torture her unbearably. It was different when she saw him. Then the happy girlfriend would come back. She would play the part effortlessly. She loved him, she liked spending time with him, and that dread would always seem so silly afterwards. Yet, the day he would leave, some sort of weight would be lifted. And the first thing she would think of: call Naya. She never did. That would make it real. So she always took a day for herself before diving into the best friend role again. Why she had to separate them like that was beyond her. But it was the only way to… well, to manage.
Now, sitting on the choir room chairs, seeing her beautiful friend, listening to that infectious laugh, feeling her heart clench and her palms sweating, she couldn’t help but wonder: What was it about Naya that made being with someone else feel so wrong? They were best friends, that shouldn’t exclude dating other people.
Heather knew one thing for sure. Whatever happened to their friendship part of her heart would never be hers again. Naya had reserved her place with all her goofiness and hilarity, with her captivating eyes and heartwarming voice. No one would ever steal that spot and that was okay; because, for some unknown reason, Naya had seen the same in her. What they felt was theirs and it wouldn’t change, even if they did.
So when Naya looked at her, with those incredibly brown eyes that understood her so well, she smiled. And Naya just nodded, like she knew, because she did know. It was simple for them. It would always be. Even if it got complicated.