Lily Summers groaned, as her alarm clock beeped into life.  She tried to remain asleep for a few more seconds, but it was hopeless.  She sighed, as she pulled back her cosy duvet and lazily rolled out of bed.  Rubbing an eye, she stumbled over to the bathroom to have a quick shower.  After she had stood under a jet of hot water for five minutes, she felt much more motivated to finish her early morning routine.

****

With a bit more life and energy, she walked back to her room and sat down by her Vanity desk, which was by no means neat and tidy.  On one side of the silvery desk were Lily’s hair brush, straighteners and all kinds of hair related products.  On the other side was all of her make-up.  It was 7:10 now, which meant that Lily could have stayed in bed, until at least half seven, but that would have meant going to school with the queen of cowlicks sticking out of her long fair hair.  No.  Lily picked up her hairbrush and started brushing her hair.  She had always been told that her hair looked gorgeous and soft, so she put pride in maintaining that idea.  After she had brushed her hair and added various products to it, it was time for make-up.  Lily never wore a lot of it to sixth form; her friends had always said that she was a naturally pretty girl, so she didn’t see the point in unnecessarily lathering herself in cosmetics.  Some simple mascara and eye liner would do the trick.   As Lily leaned into the mirror to apply the eye make-up, she noticed a slight spot on her cheek.  This didn’t particularly bother her, as she could easily cover it up with foundation, but she wasn’t comfortable with anyone seeing her imperfections especially…Lily smiled and closed the bottle of mascara.  It was time for clothes now and she wasn’t in the mood for anything too flashy or flamboyant, so she pulled on a simple t-shirt and some skinny jeans.  The whole process took roughly twenty minutes and now it was time to go eat.

****

At 8:00 am, Lily left to go to her sixth form. The school was a few streets away from her house, so it was only a twenty minute walk.  It was a pleasant enough journey too.  Even though the temperature had dropped a little since the summer, there was still a very warm breeze.  Brown, green, yellow leaves started to fall down from the tallest of trees.  Autumn had begun.

****

It was the first day of year 13 and as Lily walked into the sixth form, she headed straight to the common room and to the corner of the room, where her two best friends, Alex and Jess, were lounging on the leather sofas.  The three girls were always talking with each other, either in person or on their phones, so they were soon immersed in conversation.  Today, Alex and Jess were talking about whether there’ll be any cute guys moving into year 12, from the year below.  Lily laughed and agreed in all of the right places, but she rarely suggested anything.  Her interests were vested in other people.

****

The electronic bell rang out and the students slowly trudged into their form rooms.  No matter what year a pupil was in, they rarely looked forward to the first day of school.  The three girls reluctantly left the common room and Jess said her goodbyes to her two best friends, as Alex and Lily were in a different form class to her.  All of the tables had been pushed to the sides and the chairs had been arranged in a semicircle.  The form tutor was sitting on her own in what should have been the straight edge of the semicircle.  Once everyone had taken their seats, the teacher stood up.  She was short and a little round.  She had very short brown hair, which had been spiked up. When she spoke, she had a bass voice.  She was wearing trousers, a formal shirt and a knitted grey jumper.

“Hello, class.  I am Miss Laxton.  Before the rumours start, I just want to say that I am not a lesbian, not that there’s anything wrong with it, of course.”

There was a ripple of nervous laughter.  In a cheerful way, Miss Laxton had put a stop to people’s stereotypical thoughts.

“I have a wonderful fiancee and I’m comfortable with how I look.  You don’t need to have short hair and a deep voice to be a lesbian, you know.” This caused a more open ripple of laughter, as some people looked downwards in embarrassment.  Even though, it had only been a few minutes, Lily could tell that the class were warming to the form tutor.  She thought that the class respected how Miss Laxton had openly, confidently and directly addressed her appearance.  She wasn’t embarrassed about it at all, nor should she be, Lily told herself.

“Since, it’s the first day of term, I think that we should go around the room and say our names, what year we’re in and what we’re studying.  So I’ll start.  My name is Miss Laxton and I teach year 12 and year 13 Geography.  Could you carry on, please?” She gestured towards Lily.

The girl nervously picked at a nail.  “Hi everyone, I’m Lily Summers.  I’m a year 13 and I’m studying French, Philosophy and Ethics and Geography.”

“You’ll probably have me then.  Lucky you,” Miss Laxton commented, “nice to meet you Lily.  Next?”

“I’m Alex Bailey and I’m also year 13.  I’m studying French, Philosophy and Ethics and Art.”

Miss Laxton feigned a look of shocked sadness.  “Why aren’t you taking Geography? Do you not like my subject?” It was obvious, that the teacher was making a good-natured joke, but this did not stop Alex from turning red and pulling at her blonde curls.

“Welll….I…uhh…well.”

“Sorry, Alex.  I’m just teasing you.”

The schoolgirl was now turning red, as she giggled in embarrassment, along with her classmates.  The next three students were also year 13’s, but the fourth one was the first year 12 to speak.  Lily had been watching the girl from the very start and thought that she looked very introverted.  She had strawberry blonde hair tied up in a simple ponytail and there was a cute little dimple on her right cheek.  Lily thought that something about her, made her look different to everyone else.

“I’m Ellie Springs.  I’m a year 12 and I’m studying history, English Literature, German and Geography.”

“Good to have you on board, Ellie.  Next?”

Once everyone had introduced themselves, people started to quietly talk amongst each other.  Alex began speaking about her classes for the new year, but Lily was only paying half attention.  The rest of her was concentrating on Ellie; Lily’s thoughts were lost in wonder.

****

Lily didn’t have any lessons in the afternoon and so she told herself that she only had to survive the morning.  Her first two lessons were fairly uneventful and now it was break  time.  Lily would have usually gone to the common room with Alex and Jess, but she saw Ellie sitting alone in the reception area and decided to join her.

“Hi.  I’m Lily Summers.  I’m in your form group.”

Ellie smiled her recognition.  “Oh yeah.  I remember.  Can I help you with something?” When the girl talked, Lily noticed that she was wearing braces.

“I just thought you’d like some company.  Did you come from the lower school?” Ellie shook her head and Lily could see her ponytail swishing from side to side.

“No.  I came from a different school.  I’m the only one from my school here.”

Lily bit her lip pensively.  “Ah.  Don’t worry about it.  Even though, I came from the lower school and I already had a few friends, I was worried they’d leave me for other people and I’d be left on my own, but that never happened.  In fact, I made lots of new friends.”

“Thanks for that.  I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Right, well I’m going to find my friends now, but you’re welcome to join us.”

“Thanks, but I’ll just stay here for now.”

“Ok.  If you ever need any help, then just come and find me.  I guess, I’ll see you around.” As Lily left her new friend, she couldn’t help but notice, that Ellie had a little bit of blue in her hazel eyes.

****

A month later and, for the most part, everyone had settled well into the sixth form.  Ellie had made a few friends in year 12, but mostly she hung around with Lily and her friends.  Ellie got on well with Jess and Alex, but she had strongly bonded with Lily.  Lily thought that this was because Ellie was trying to repay her new friend, for how kind she had been at the start of term.

****

It was a rainy day and now drops of water were running down the windows in the common room, which Ellie was now leaning her head against.  Her friends were there, as well.  Lily was absent-mindedly tracing around Ellie’s spread hand, which was resting on a table. She could vaguely hear Jess and Alex talking about boys…again.  Did they ever talk about anything else? Lily thought boys were fine to have as friends, but they were useless, when it came to relationships.  Maybe she was thinking too far into it.  She took a quick glance at Ellie and was glad to see she was also taking little interest in Jess and Alex’s conversation.  Lily was hoping her interests lied in other people too.

****

It was now two months into the Christmas term and Autumn was coming to an end.  The majority of the trees had been stripped to the core and their leafy clothes, brown and crinkly, now littered the ground.   A vicious winter breeze was now cutting through the atmosphere and a icy frost had settled onto the ground every night.  With the change in the weather, Jess and Alex could also see a considerable change in their best friend.  When Jess was with Lily in Geography, she could see her friend was daydreaming a lot more, as well as idly twisting her hair.  It wasn’t as if Lily was the most committed student, but she knew when to concentrate and when not to and she rarely concentrated anymore.

****

Alex had never thought of Lily as the most feminine girl, but she did have a very feminine figure.  She was skinny, with a moderate amount of fat.  Similarly to other girls, at the sixth form, she alternated between wearing skinny jeans and leggings.  However, recently, Lily had solely been wearing the tightest of tight jeans.  It was if she was trying to show off her figure for someone. Was she trying to impress a boy?

****

It was a Saturday and outside it had been bitterly cold.  For the past few days, the temperature had been well below zero.  Every morning, a mystical fog almost shrouded the small town from outsiders.  The three friends were sitting on Jess’ bed.  There were pictures of good looking men across the walls and a few clothes lay scattered across the floor.  In one corner of the room, a small vanity desk stood with a polished mirror, where Jess could style her raven black hair.  Lily had always thought it had looked so full and soft.

“Have you guys seen Cody in the lower year? He’s so cute.” Jess confessed, in a dreamy tone.

Lily didn’t look very impressed.  “You have talked to him, right?”

Jess looked very defensive.  “Of course I have.  I’ve talked to him a few times.”

“Do you like him?” Alex queried.

Jess pulled on the sleeve of her jacket.  “Yeah, I think I do.  I hope he asks me out.”

“You do know, you can ask him out.  Girls can do that.”

“I can’t do that.  Anyway, Alex how’s it going with you and Jake?”

“It’s going really well, but I want to talk about Lily.  I think she might like someone.” Alex teasingly poked her friend, who started to turn red.

Lily looked downwards, as she picked at her nails.  “What makes you say that?”

“Just the way you’ve been dressing and you’re wearing more makeup than usual.  Jess told me that you’re always daydreaming and I always see you fiddling with your hair.  So, who is he?”

Lily briefly hesitated.  “Guys, I do like someone, but she isn’t a boy.  She’s a girl.”

Jess’ eyes widened.  “So…you’re a lesbian?”

“Yeah, I guess I am.”

“But, I don’t understand.  You’ve been with boys before.”

Alex turned to Jess in annoyance.  “That really isn’t the issue right now-Lily, is the-”

“But, I still don’t get it.  I mean…how long have you been gay? How did you know you were gay? You’ve been with-”

“Jess, stop with the questions,” Alex sighed, “Lily, is the person you like Ellie Springs?”

“How…how do you know?” Lily asked in shock.

“Thinking about it, it actually makes sense now.  Whenever I see you two together, you’re always twirling your hair and staring at her with a daft smile on your face.”

“You’re always laughing at her jokes too, even if they’re really bad.” Jess added.

Lily was becoming very embarrassed and desperately tried to backtrack.  “Come on guys, that doesn’t mean I like her.”

“Oh, I think it does,” Alex disagreed, “I don’t know how it works for girls, but those are sure-fire ways to let boys know you like them.”

“We’ve been friends for,like, ever.  Why are you only telling us now?” Jess protested.

“I was afraid to.  Especially, in the lower school, boys always used “gay” as an insult.  Eugh, you’re such a gaylord, you’re such a faggot.  I know it isn’t the same for girls, but it’s still not great.”

Jess put one arm around her friend’s shoulders.  “I can see your point, but that was just banter.  It’s not as if the school was homophobic.”

“I know, but still…”

Alex grasped her friend’s hand.  “I’m sorry.  I should have realised and been there for you.”

Lily looked into her best friend’s eyes and there was a moment of pure trust.

“So, do you think Ellie likes you back? Do you think she’s a lesbian too?” Jess asked.

“I don’t know.  I really hope so, but she might not be.  It’s difficult…”

“What you said before about me and Cody is right.  You should say something.  If you don’t say something, then she might think you’re not interested and find someone else.” Jess encouraged.

“I know, but it’s just not that simple.”

There was brief silence amongst the three girls, which was broken by Alex’s sudden laughter.

“What?” Jess and Lily asked together.

“Do you know Miss Laxton? Short hair, deep voice? She teaches Geography and she’s mine and Lily’s form tutor?” Alex asked Jess.

“Oh, the lesbian?”

“That’s the funny thing.  She isn’t a lesbian.  At the start of term, she made a big speech about how she isn’t a lesbian and how we shouldn’t be stereotyping her.”

“How is that funny?” Lily asked.

“Well, it’s funny, because even though Miss Laxton has short hair and a deep voice, she isn’t gay and you have long hair and a high voice and you are gay.”

“I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Jess commented.

“Or a woman by her hair.” Lily added.

****

The year slowly crawled into the month of December and Lily’s town had virtually been drowned in a thick blanket of snow.  Everyone was making a big deal out of it, simply because it was rare for it to snow that early in the month.  Luckily, this gave Lily and her three best friends a three day weekend and so the four girls walked to the local playing fields.   There was also a series of ski slopes there, which had long been abandoned to nature.  If someone had seen the ski slopes from afar, then they might have described them as a miniature mountain range, with snow-capped peaks.  Ellie and Jess had brought their toboggons in order to make the most of these snow days. The girls had made sure they left their houses, as early as possible, in order to get to the untouched snow first.  The park had taken the brunt of the snowfall and the girls found it to be a spectacular sight.  The snow covered field, as white as purity, stretched on past the horizon and the naked trees had donned white pyjamas.  Every time the wind blew through them, a fresh scattering of snow drifted onto the ground.  The four girls ran over to one of the intermediate slopes and started throwing snow balls at each other, but Alex and Jess soon left for one of the more advanced slopes, in order to leave Lily and Ellie alone.  Once the other girls had left, Ellie dragged her toboggon to the the edge of the slope and told her friend to get in the back.

“Are you ready?” Ellie asked.

“I’m a little nervous…” Lily confessed.

“Hold onto me.  You’ll be ok.”

Lily gratefully wrapped her arms around her friend’s waist and wanted to leave them there forever.  The two girls pushed the toboggon off and they started their swift descent down to the bottom of the slope.  Ellie slightly lost control and fell backwards into her friend who was a little annoyed that this had happened.  She had the person she loved in her arms and couldn’t do a thing about it.  Lily abruptly stood up and walked to the top of the slope.

“I want to be more adventurous with this whole sliding thing.  What should we try next?”

“We could do it lying down or maybe standing.” Ellie suggested.

“You can do it standing, I’m definitely not.”

Ellie smiled at her friend.  “Awww, are you scared?”

<i>Yes, I am absolutely terrified to tell you, that I love you,</i> Lily thought in her mind, but instead she said, “well you do it first then.  I bet you’re as scared as I am.”

Ellie accepted the challenge and brought the toboggon to the lip of the slope.  She put one foot on the front of it and the other foot at the back of it.  Carefully, she shuffled it forward, before taking one look back at her friend and gesturing at Lily to give her a push.

“See you on the other side,” and with that, Lily gave the girl she loved a hearty shove down the ski slope.  The journey seemed to be going well, but near the bottom, the front of the toboggon caught on a hidden object, which caused Ellie to somersault straight onto her back.   Lily panicked and rushed down the slope.

“Oh my god, Ellie.  Are you ok? I pushed you too hard, I’m so sorry.” When Lily reached her friend, she knelt down and leant over her.

“Don’t worry, I’m alright.  I’m ok…” This was true.  Ellie was a little shook up and breathing heavily, but she hadn’t damaged anything.

“Oh good, I just thought…” Lily lost her train of thought, as she stared into Ellie’s eyes.  For a moment, there was a tension between the two girls and Lily desperately wanted to lean in and kiss her friend, but she knew she couldn’t, so, instead, she bit her lip and backed up a little.  Ellie sat up and saw something was troubling her friend.

“Is there something wrong?” Ellie asked.

“I….I have to tell you something.  Oh…I…I…uhhh…”

“Maybe you should say it really quickly?” Ellie suggested.

“Ireallylikeyoucanwegoutsometime?” Lily nervously blurted out.  She had said it so quickly, that the sentence had lost all of its coherency.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

Lily took a few deep breaths, as she built up her courage.  “I like you.  I mean, I really like you…more than a friend.”

“What do you mean? Do you love me?” Ellie asked, confusedly.

“I….ummm…oh…I suppose I do.  Yeah I …l…l…love you.” Lily was still so scared and was hesitating before every word.

“So, are you…?”

“Yes, Ellie.  I’m gay and I like you…and I really hoped you…l..l..liked me too.” Lily bit her lip in anticipation.  It was breaking point now.

“Lily, I’m so sorry.  I mean, I do like you, but only as a friend.  I’m not a lesbian.  I’m sorry…”

Lily felt the world slip through her fingers.  Her mind was falling through a void of darkness.  She couldn’t speak or hear or see, but she could feel though.  She was overwhelmed by anger, by sadness, by despair.

<i>How could I have been so stupid? Of course she doesn’t like me.</i>

Lily stood up and started pacing around.  Ellie was anxiously watching her, when Jess and Alex returned.  They could see that this was not the happy ending they were hoping for.

“What’s happened?” Jess asked, although she already had a pretty good idea.

Lily still couldn’t speak.  She fell into Alex’s open arms and started sobbing into her shoulder.

“I’m so sorry, guys.  I think I should leave now,” Ellie approached Lily and tentatively stroked her arm, “I’m really sorry, Lily.  I hope we can still be friends.  I’ll see you guys in school.” Ellie turned away from the girls and started to walk home.  She was so sad for Lily and hated to see her in that state, but she knew it was best to leave her alone, for now.

Through broken sobs, Lily cried…”she does…n’t like me….I’m such an …idiot.”

Jess took her friend by the arms and turned her around, so they were in eye contact.

“Hey! Don’t ever call yourself an idiot for liking someone who doesn’t like you back.”

Alex nodded in agreement.  “Jess is right.  You’d be an idiot if you never told her how you felt, but you did.  You took a risk and that does not make you idiotic.”

Lily smiled and lay her head on her Alex’s shoulder.  She was still very upset, but was glad that her friends were there to comfort her.  Tears were still rolling down her face, but they were slowly coming to a stop.  Jess gave her best friend a big hug.

“Let’s go back to mine and you can hear me going on and on about dreamy Cody is.  It might cheer you up.”

Lily chucked.  “Sounds good.”

With their arms interlocked with each other, the three girls walked across the snow covered field, which had long lost its purity.

*Author’s Notes*

This story is supposed to be the counterpart of Lip Ring.  I hope that people can draw parallels between the two stories.  I had written about two gay boys, so I thought I’d write the complete opposite of it with a lesbian story.  I hope this was realistic.

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