Rosie was the sort of blonde whose eyebrows and inhibitions were nonexistent. I used to beg her for stories. Aw, tell me about the woods behind the running track and the way the backseat flips down! When you get older these cheapo romances don't usually impress anymore, but I'm twenty-five and I still think her exploits were the stuff of legend. It was Rosie who picked me up the night of Hank's party. She'd had her license longer so it followed that, if we were going to be drinking beers, she should be the one to drive because she had experience.
Her car smelled like vanilla mall perfume and winter mint gum.
"Tie that mane back," Rosie said. "I'll cut you if you shed all over my car." She looked me up and down.
"Your boobs look huge! What bra are you wearing?"
"The orange one," I said. "Your orange one." Rosie and I were both B cups.
"Good pick," she said. "Maybe you'll get lucky tonight. That's what you need, lady. Wait till you see how the world looks different afterward."
"There's nothing wrong with the way my world looks," I told her. The fact that I'd never been with a guy didn't bother me, but Rosie kept pushing the issue. Still, she didn't know everything. After the last song on the radio finished she moaned about how much she loved Aerosmith, but we'd been listening to the Rolling Stones.
"Davis is going to be there," she said. We thought Davis liked me because he was always eating candy in Geometry and would usually pass some back while the teacher was drawing her isosceles on the board. They were fireballs and sour rings and they were passed just to me.
"Fuck Davis," I said, although I was partial to fireballs.
"Don't be so anti. I just want us to be on the same plane," Rosie said. "I want us to be together."
I wanted that too, but not the way she meant. Geometrically speaking, what we were was a triangle, but that's not how it felt. We were more like a bunch of arrows, all pointing the wrong direction. Back then my grasp on geometry wasn't so hot. Back then I thought, planes? Triangles? Too much math.
"I'll try," I said, and resolved to be at my luckiest that night, because I didn't want to be left behind and thought it would shut her up about things she didn't really know about. Who confuses the Rolling Stones with Aerosmith? Years later I saw side-by-side pictures of Jagger and Tyler and realized it was their mouths. Rosie had been confusing the men all along; she never was listening to the words.
At Hank's house, Rosie parked along the road, instead of in the driveway, so we wouldn't get blocked in later. She tugged down her stripy blue t-shirt so that it would meet the top of her shorts, at least for our entrance. We were girls who didn't like girls, but of course liked each other better than we liked the boys. I had bug bites behind my knees and raspberry lotion on my wrists. I tied back my hair and picked at the fringe of my cutoffs. They'd get indecent if I didn't stop unraveling the ends when I was nervous.
"Enter stage left, merrily," Rosie said. We'd read that in class once and Rosie thought it was the funniest goddamn thing she'd ever heard.