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The Cuddle Puddle of Stuyvesant High School

She is in a particularly good mood today, quick to smile, and even more quick to drop into conversation the name of the boy she recently started dating, a tall, good-looking senior and one of the most popular kids at Stuyvesant. Later, while rummaging for silverware, she casually mentions that they may start dating exclusively.

“Ugh!” Alair exclaims, grabbing her by the hips and pulling her away from the drawer. “What about me?”

“Let’s put it this way,” Jane counters, grinning and snatching up a fork. “I’m not interested in any other guys.”

Still, it’s clear that Jane really likes this guy. And Alair seems a little rattled. Her fortune cookie reads, “You are the master of every situation.” Except perhaps this one.

Later, after the lamps have been switched on and the takeout eaten, both girls are on a love seat in the living room, leaning into each other, boys and dirty dishes strewn about. Jane starts showing off what she can do with her tongue, touching her nose with it, twisting it around, doing rolls. Everyone is impressed.

“My tongue gets a lot of practice,” she says.

“Why don’t you practice on me?” Alair demands. “I’ll hook up with you.” It’s clear that she means more than kissing.

Jane blinks a few times. “I’m scared I’m going to be bad at it,” she finally says. She’s being coy, just putting her off, but there’s a bit of sincerity to her nervousness.

“You won’t be bad at it,” Alair reassures her. She pulls Jane between her legs and starts giving her a massage, running her hands up and down her back, pushing her hair aside to rub her neck. When the massage is over, Jason comes over to Alair, grabs her hand, kisses it. For the rest of the evening, he stays close to her side, but she stays close to Jane.

The next day when I meet up with Alair on her way to choir practice, she tells me that nothing ever happened with Jane that night. She’s decided to give up on her. Jane’s with someone else, it’s official, and there’s no room in the relationship for her. “But you know what,” she says, mustering a smile. “They’re, like, monogamous together, and I’m really happy for them. And being their friend and seeing them so happy together totally beats a fling.” She pauses. “It really does.”