She wakes up drowning in sunshine on top of her sheets. Through her bedroom door she can hear voices from across the hall, her roommate and her boyfriend giggling with glee, ehehehehehe, two complete and utter idiots touching each other and they could not be happier together. She rolls over and flops an arm out, as though to reach for someone, and sighs.

* * *

Frances is the type of sassy, pint-sized girl who will matter-of-factly ask for something she wants from you, if she likes you. I never got close enough to her to really have the privilege of accommodating her blunt requests, but I was close enough that I could take the pleasure of knowing that a behavior such as hers existed.

"Hey. Give me a ride."

10:28PM: Uhmm help?? need 2 kick this girl out of my apt, tell her we r leaving to watch a movie when u get here

"The hairdresser messed up. Fix my hair."

Frances and James have been friends for a really long time, possibly childhood friends. They dated for a week or two in junior high and remained close since then. Frances probably still has a thing for him. James would date her, but she, according to him, is too much of a tomboy and too short (he wants tall kids). I think he's a fucking idiot. He says I'm wrong. But you know what, I'm not the one pissing on a jewel amongst a pile of rubble.

One day, Frances follows James out to the parking lot after class, she probably has to take two steps to his one she's so fucking short. When they get to his car, she says, "oh hey, by the way, do you mind giving me a ride?" You can't say no to that, this chick would never make it if you made her walk. I mean it's like less than a mile walk, it's no big deal, but like, you know those dogs with really short legs and, as a result, really short strides? This is probably what Frances has to go through everyday. So you can't say no when she follows you all the way out to your car and then asks, almost like it doesn't even matter, "can I get a ride." James thinks he can, but he doesn't, he of course unlocks his car and they both get in.

On the drive to her apartment, she says this ominous line, you know, the line that you don't want to hear if you know someone's interested in you, but you don't like them that way. She says, "Can I ask you a question?"

James breaks out into a cold sweat, inside he's thinking, "please don't ask me about trying our dating thing again, why would you ask me about trying our dating thing again, you really don't want to ask me about trying our dating thing again," but he plays it cool, this is the only thing you can do as a guy and you're about to break a girl's heart, you play it cool. "Sure."

"Do you want to take naps together?"

There's this pregnant pause, because James is thinking exactly what you're thinking, WHAT THE FUCK.

"Because," she continues measuredly, "I was taking a nap one day, and I woke up, and I thought, 'it'd be nice to have a guy to nap with.' So you know, I figured, we know each other really well, and I don't read into things, and you don't read into things, so I was wondering if you'd like to take naps together."

James barely makes out a coherent sentence, "Well, uhhh, I just like to keep my friend stuff separate from -- that. You know."

"OK. I understand."

"I mean no offense, it's not you, really, it has nothing to do with you, it's just, I'd be uncomfortable."

"Yeah, it's OK, was just throwing that out there. Napping together."

It's another minute or two before they stop in front of her place. She says, "Well, see ya."

"Yeah, later."

They'll be fine in a week or two.

* * *

Let it be known that Frances is not the type of girl who goes without the attention of her male peers. In fact I'm pretty sure you'd have to be less than two degrees away from gay if you didn't like a sassy little Filipina tomboy. I don't know, maybe James is sitting on the fence. She is outgoing and friendly. She is really cute. I mean, Jesus, fucking look at her.

She's had to deal with the curse of being a pretty girl; turning down losers who are hopelessly in love with her. I wasn't the only one. The point is, if she wanted a guy to be with, she could have one.

James told me about that conversation and I just loved the honesty about it. Maybe James knows something about her asking that that I don't, but here's what I thought it meant: she didn't want a boyfriend, didn't want to be in love, didn't want sex. She just wanted to be able to touch someone she could trust when she fell asleep and when she woke up. It was just an honest request.

etouffee says:

and your fingers graze nothing----
but thin air because
its still late afternoon
too early for dinner
too late for lunch, really
so you contemplate the ceiling and the neighbors poor choice of music
again

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