They liked to sit outside on the hood of Jim’s car and listen to old music together. All the stuff that their other friends would laugh at them for having an interest in, older stuff especially. They’d crank up The Supremes, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, or whatever else one of them happened to bring with them that day, and they’d light up a smoke and talk about anything and nothing at all while they skipped classes.
Sometimes they’d ride over to the quarry to sneak beers and make out or swim. There had always been something between them, though neither of them wanted to try putting it into words. Not just yet anyways. It was too complicated when you put feelings into the mix, and they already had their friendship wrapped up inside of this thing they had going on with each other.
But Joyce would talk about Lonnie sometimes, and Jim could feel his stomach tighten and curl with bitterness whenever it happened. They weren’t even dating, but he had heard the word from some of the guys around. He knew it was only a matter of time. If she said yes to that asshole, well, that was just that, then, wasn’t it? They’d go on being friends always, and no Lonnie or any other being could ever stop that.
Speaking of quarries and happier things though, they were there now, and Frankie Valli was currently playing in soft tunes on the boombox. Jim could register Joyce lifting her head from his shoulder and turning towards him to catch his eye.
“What are you thinking about?” The question caught him off guard, making him jump a little.
“Uh- nothing. Why?”
“Hop, I’m sitting right next to you. You just got really tense right now, ya know?” Her face curved with the shape of a smirk as she put a small hand on his arm.
“Okay, you got me. I was just thinking, we should be out in that water right now.”
A loud burst of a laugh came tumbling out of Joyce’s mouth. “Ha! Fuck off! There’s not a chance I’m doing that shit at night in, like, fifty degree weather.”
“Yeah, okay. It’s closer to sixty, at least.” His own smile tugged at his lips, “But alright, if you say so, spoil sport.”
They repeated the phrase one after the other and grinned like it was the funniest joke they’d heard in a week. Both turned to stare at the quickly darkening water as the sun faded and set, and slowly, as if drawn like a magnet, their hands reached for the other’s in the dark.
You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much