“Aw, come on, Freddie,” Meg sighs.
Freddie is hyperaware of Meg sprawled out on the bed beside her. She stares even more determinedly at her phone, willing herself not to blush or show her embarrassment.
“You are just as interesting as anyone on that stupid app, now stop moping, please?” Meg continues. “We’re supposed to be hanging out tonight, and it’s rude to be on your phone when your friend is right here trying to have a conversation. Don’t you have a rule about that?”
Freddie sighs, daring a glance at Meg. Her dark hair is piled messily into a bun atop her head, and she’s biting her lip, probably getting bright red lipstick on her teeth. Meg’s amazing. And Freddie is… well, she’s Freddie. Well-trained not to expect much for her often Herculean efforts.
Her socials are filled with Balthazar killing it at gigs, Bea and Ben posting incredible scenery from their travels, and Freddie’s old high school mates partying and landing internships and declaring majors. She feels like the only person in her friend group who isn’t doing cool, exciting, youthful things that look great on Instagram. What is she going to post? An artsy picture of her poli-sci textbook lounging on the beach?
“I mean, why don’t I have a thriving local music career or a popular travel Instagram of me having globetrotting adventures with my boyfriend? Right?” she bursts out.
Meg stares. “Freddie, you’re a lesbian with stage fright!”
“You know what I mean.”
But she meets Meg’s dark eyes and suddenly they’re both laughing, loud and exuberant, and Freddie’s chest aches. In a good way.
“Stupid,” Meg says, shoving her shoulder playfully. “How can you be so down on yourself, with a perfect laugh like that?”
“It’s not perfect.” Freddie protests, and Meg sits up and pulls her into a hug from the side, grinning into Freddie’s hair. Warmth swells in Freddie’s chest, comfort like she hardly ever feels spreading throughout her body.
“Babe. It is. I’ve never seen anyone look so happy. It’s beautiful. My best friend is beautiful,” Meg says, proud. Certain.
“I thought Bea was your best friend,” Freddie can't help but protest, however half-heartedly.
Meg hums softly, ruffling Freddie’s messy red curls. “I have lots of best friends. But you’re different. I only have one Freddie.”
“Yeah,” Freddie murmurs thickly. It’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to her in a long time. Meg is the nicest thing that’s happened to her in a long time. If only she could find the words to say it. But she doesn’t need words to lean further into Meg’s embrace, to lace their fingers together. She can feel the other girl’s breath, warm against the cup of her ear.
“Now, are you going to let me take you out tonight, or what?” Meg murmurs, giving Freddie goosebumps.
Freddie nods, awash on a surge of hope. Maybe her life is about to get interesting after all.
“Good,” Meg says, pulling her up and out towards the front door of the flat. “Let’s go.”
And even when they’re well on their way, she doesn’t let go of Freddie’s hand.