Interim
Author:S. Walden

“Lover. Boy toy. Whatever,” Casey clarified.

 

“Would you ever rat out a teacher who did that?” Regan asked.

 

“Eh. I don’t really care either way as long as nobody messes with my GPA.”

 

Regan laughed.

 

“I mean, I’ll tell Bitch to her face if I’ve gotta.”

 

“You’re going to Brown. Relax,” Regan said.

 

“Don’t jinx it! Jeez. I won’t know ’til December,” Casey barked.

 

Regan mumbled an apology. The girls fell silent.

 

“She may try to go after your man,” Casey teased. “You better watch your back. Just sayin’.”

 

Regan rolled her eyes. “She’s not a sex predator.”

 

“Yeah, well, time will tell,” Casey replied. “And speaking of time, did you forget it’s senior year?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Your outfit today. I thought I was back in seventh grade all over again, and nobody wants to be back in seventh grade.”

 

Regan bristled. “What’s the big deal?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know, Regan. You stopped wearing that stuff three years ago, and all of a sudden you show up today looking like a picture right out of our middle school yearbook.”

 

Regan grunted.

 

“That’s not a reply,” Casey said. “If you threw me for a loop, I know you definitely threw Brandon.”

 

“You don’t see other girls dressing like that at school?” Regan asked, on edge.

 

“No one who matters.”

 

Regan’s mouth dropped open.

 

“Check the arrogance, Casey,” she suggested coolly.

 

“And you check your fishnets,” Casey shot back.

 

Silence. Regan rolled onto her back and pulled her knees up. She traced the tiny diamonds of her tights while she simmered. She determined the conversation wouldn’t turn into a fight over clothes because that’s just stupid. And much too typical for teenage girls.

 

“Lauren tried to talk to me,” Casey said finally, changing topics.

 

“And were you polite?”

 

“No.”

 

Regan sighed. “You’re the one with Ethan. Not her. Don’t you think it’s time to let it go?”

 

“She’s a sleazeball,” Casey huffed.

 

“Can girls be sleazeballs? I thought that was a guy label.”

 

“Fine. She’s a ho.”

 

“All right then.”

 

“I will never be her friend again.”

 

“I’m not saying you have to be her friend. I’m just saying you could be civil,” Regan explained.

 

“Why?”

 

Regan grew impatient. “Oh, I don’t know, Casey. Because we’re humans, and we’re trying to live in a society over here.”

 

“Society’s overrated,” Casey replied.

 

Regan drew in her breath. “Casey, you’re not a communist just because you contribute to society. Or consider it every now and then. Or try to be, you know, a good person to others.”

 

“That’s exactly what that shit means,” Casey countered.

 

“Oh, my God. What has ninth grade history done to you?”

 

“She tried to steal my boyfriend!!”

 

“True, but he wasn’t entirely innocent in the situation.”

 

No reply.

 

Shit. Shit shit shit. Why did she say that? Filter, Regan. For Christ’s sake! Put your filter on!

 

“Casey?” she asked tentatively.

 

“Hmm?”

 

“I’m sorry I said that.”

 

Pause.

 

“I know. And you’re right. Which just proves what an amazing person I really am—that I could forgive him the way I did.”

 

Regan rolled her eyes. The girl was deluded. And typical. So Casey could forgive her boyfriend for cheating on her but not her close friend who participated in the act? This was definitely a girl thing—a double standard of sorts—because secretly all girls hated each other. They could easily forgive boys’ transgressions, but each other’s? Oh, no. No no no. The grudges sealed themselves in cement hearts.

 

Regan considered her best friend. Casey was cute. She was a stellar student, driven to succeed. She said she was going to be a lawyer, and Regan knew she’d not only make it through law school but graduate top of her class. She had a slew of attractive qualities, yet she was majorly insecure. And willing to overlook her boyfriend’s infidelity just to keep him. Was this the price one paid to stay popular? Was Casey so afraid of going back to dork status that she was willing to compromise her standards? Did she even have any standards? Regan recalled a conversation they had three years ago where they both promised to never let a guy treat them like dirt. Ethan cheated and would have continued to cheat had he not gotten caught.

 

“Hello?”

 

Regan shook her head. “Sorry. Thinking.”

 

“About?”

 

“How amazing you are,” Regan replied.

 

“Damn right.”

 

Regan glimpsed a photo on her nightstand and smiled. “Hey, remember when we had our moms sew those matching outfits for us? Now that was amazing.”

 

“Ugh, don’t remind me,” Casey groaned. “And get rid of that picture already!”

 

“Are you insane? I will never get rid of it,” she replied, fingering the worn frame, and then added softly, “We were the coolest.”

 

“No, we weren’t,” Casey countered. “And I’m so glad I’m not that girl anymore.”

 

Regan shrugged. “I don’t know. I liked her.”

 

Casey was quiet.

 

“Remember our club?” Regan asked.