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Opaque

Briskly striding through the streets of Escondido, Nikki regretted wearing heals. She dressed up to look like she made something of herself in the years since college, a classic case of overcompensating. Plus, she was already late and her shoes definitely hindered her walking speed.

Seeing Rebecca’s pensive gaze in the fingerprint-clad café window, her mood instantly brightened. The door closed heavily as she entered catching Rebecca’s attention immediately.

“Nikki!” Rebecca kissed her cheek as the girls embraced, “How have you been, sweetheart?”

“I’ve been alright. I’m so sorry I’m late, I got in an accident on my way here.”

“Oh my God! Are you ok?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. This idiot parked too far out and I caught his mirror. No worries.”

“What is that, like your fiftieth accident?”

“More like ten.”

“It’s your fault there’s a stereotype against women drivers.”

“Whatever.”

Being back home again, quarreling with her best friend at their favorite café just felt right. And yet, she couldn’t help feeling wrong. Her feelings for Rebecca, there overstepped the boundaries that normal friendships, albeit best friendships, had.

“So my dear, tell me about fabulous San Francisco. Any men you wanna tell your bestie about? Hmmmm?” She grinned. The chipped front tooth from getting elbowed in the mouth during freshman year lacrosse only added to its charm.

“I don’t know. I’ve been out with this guy from the rink a few times,” she shrugged.

“Dude, I really need to take up ice skating...Is he cute?”

“Yeah, like kinda. He reminds a litte me of that guy whose number you got that one time at Beachfront.”

“How is that kinda cute? The Beachfront boy was caliente.”

“I don’t know. I don’t really know what to think of him yet. Like, he’s nice and everything, but there’s someone else I’m looking at,” literally, she mentally added to herself.

The two girls talked for hours ordering nothing but black coffee just like the old days when they were broke undergrads with nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon. Nikki debated whether or not she should tell Rebecca about how she felt.

Rebecca glanced at her phone, “Ugh, I have to go soon. I traded shifts with my friend so he could go to some concert tonight.”

“I still can’t understand how you can be a lifeguard.”

“Well, sorry Miss Hydrophobic, I have to pay the bills. We can’t all be successful waitresses,” she smirked.

Seeing the disappointed look on her friend’s face, she added, “I’m sorry. Look, you’re in town for like two more days right? We’ll go down to the boardwalk Tuesday night or something.”

“Yeah, sounds good.”

They hugged again and Rebecca left, leaving Nikki alone in the booth.




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