Cherry Lip Gloss and Apple Juice

Submitted for Contest #63 in response to: Write about two characters going apple picking.... view prompt

23 comments

Oct 11, 2020

Contemporary Lesbian

It is a lovely autumn afternoon. The leaves have all turned into their various shades of red, orange and yellow. The sky is cloudless, the sun shining ever so bright. Warm enough to rid us of our jackets, but not hot enough to burn us.

I had an absolutely amazing grilled cheese sandwich, and then Monty suggested that we should go apple picking. It is our tradition. Plus, apples are my favourite fruit, so how can I refuse? I will tell you what would have made me refuse. I mean it – pass up our yearly tradition and walk right out of that apple farm.

“You didn’t tell me that Arabella would be here,” I say.

Her back is turned to me. Strawberry blonde hair so exquisitely plaited, red chequered shirt knotted at her side, dark blue jeans wrapping around those flawless hips—

“Beatrice,” Monty says, shaking my shoulder. “Seriously?”

I make a strange sound, somewhere between a choke and a snort, as I try my best to act calm.

“You know, I think we should come tomorrow,” I say, wrenching my gaze from Arabella’s gorgeous figure. “I mean the weather isn’t that great today either, and I feel sick from that… sandwich.”

“It is a good thing I have experience being a stableboy,” Monty said, combing his fingers through his dark curls. “I know horseshit when I see it, I know bullshit when I hear it.”

“You have never been a stableboy,” I say.

Monty raised an eyebrow. “My dad owns a farm,” he says. “It is astonishing how Arabella makes you get amnesia. I mean, she’s pretty, sure, but so are you.”

I give a laugh. Laugh. Singular. “Now I’m concerned for you.”

Monty shrugged. “It’s true,” he says, grabbing my arm. “Have some confidence, Bea.”

“No, no, no,” I say, trying to pry my arm out of his grip. “We are not picking apples today.”

“Are you that scared to talk to her?” Monty says. “It’s not like she’s gonna scream your name—”

“Bea!” Arabella hops down from her ladder, well-worn leather boots crushing at the leaves as she makes her way over. I’m not sure it is just the sun getting hotter or my cheeks flushing. Pray is it not the latter – but knowing me – it definitely is.

She’s smiling. I can smell her cherry-tinted lips from where I stand. Pieces of hair artfully tousled, framing her face. Her eyes are hazel, but they illuminate gold under the sun.

She pulls me into a tight embrace because she always squeezes people to death with her hugs. “I’m so happy to see you,” Arabella says. “What are the chances?”

“Yeah,” Monty says. “What are the chances.” I catch the smirk on his face right before it slips.

“Excuse me, Arabella,” I say. “Monty and I have something to discuss.”

“Sure,” she says. “But you are going to come and pick apples with me, right? I know they’re your favourite fruit.”

“Of course,” I squeak.

The moment she is out of earshot, I punch Monty in the shoulder; forgetting of course that he has a black belt in karate and I do not. The smirk just appears on his face once more. “I’m helping you out,” he says.

“So you lie to me, luring me here, knowing that she was going to come today,” I say.

“She has been talking about it all week,” Monty replies. “Plus, it is about time either you get over her or confess your love to her. Also, it is for completely selfish reasons, I cannot stand you mooning to me about her anymore. So I took matters into my own hands. You should thank me. I’m you best friend, I’ve got your back.” He picks up an apple from the ground and begins tossing it. “If it goes horribly, you can always come crying to me, deal?”

“You are going to leave me with her?” I say, glancing behind me.

“I would rather not third wheel,” Monty says. “I shall pick apples with those cute guys over there.” He pointed towards the other side of the farm. “Ooh, there’s hot girls there as well. I can bet you one of them is a lesbian.”

“Okay, just shut up,” I say. Not knowing whether I feel hopeless or confused or awkward.

“You’ve got this,” Monty says. “Just go with the flow.”

“This is nothing like the flow,” I say, but Monty is already gone.

By the time I reach Arabella, she has unbuttoned her shirt, revealing her crop-top, which give way to her toned abs and… a scooping neckline. I pry my eyes away from her chest.

“You’re back,” she says, lifting her basket full of apples. “Where’s Monty?”

“He is over there,” I point to where Monty is, with the ‘cute guys’ and ‘hot girls’.

“Right,” Arabella says. “I almost forgot, Monty is a player.”

“A breaker of hearts too,” I add. It’s like he knows hypnotic magic, people fall for him without a second thought.

“I can imagine. Has he ever broken your heart?” Arabella asks.

“No,” I reply. “We know each other too well. His main offence is annoying me to death…” and throwing me into situations I am not prepared for.

The light catches across Arabella’s face, brightening her tinted lip gloss. Gosh, she is gorgeous.

We chat some more, and I manage to not make a total fool of myself. Somehow. We end up sitting in the shade of the apple tree. “Here,” Arabella hands me an apple. “Can’t come apple picking and not eat some apples.”

I bite into the pure deliciousness of the apple. Sour juice leaks onto my tongue – wonderful, glorious and thirst-quenching. “That is so good,” I say. Arabella doesn’t say anything back. I look to her, wondering whether I said something stupid and didn’t even notice.

Her head is tilted slightly and she has a curious sort of smile. “Have you ever been kissed?”

My eyes widen and I definitely almost choked on the apple. “No,” I say.

“All right,” Arabella says. “Has anyone ever told you that you are pretty?”

“Um… only Monty,” I reply. “But he was definitely joking.”

“Well I’m not,” Arabella says. “Joking that is.”

“Right, of course, yeah,” I say. “Because you are very pretty, like drop-dead, amnesia kind of pretty.” I wish at this very moment that I can crawl into a hole. She is definitely just complimenting me, because girls compliment each other all the time, it is not a big deal. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean she likes me, or she has any feelings towards me whatsoever, and…

She’s kissing me.

Like on the lips kind of kiss. I can taste her cherry lip gloss, and her hand on my neck, sticky with apple juice. Her lips are so soft… and I am definitely not blushing. Why on earth would I be blushing?

Arabella pulls away. I remain silent, whilst internally screaming. “Was that not what you wanted?” she asks.

“No,” I say. “I mean, yes! I mean, it was really good, albeit unexpected.”

“I like you, Bea,” Arabella says. “You’re sweet and you’re funny, very pretty as well.”

“I like you too,” I say quickly. “I’m just… so confused.”

“Why?” Arabella asks.

“It’s just you’re you, and I’m… me? I don’t know, I’m just really hopeless.”

Arabella takes a bite out of her apple. “I think that’s perfect.”

*

“So… who have you got to say thank you to?” Monty says.

I bite my lip. “Fine,” I say. “Thank you.”

“How was it?” Monty asks.

“I mean, it was very sudden, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. But in the moment it was good, like really good, probably the best thing that has happened to me.”

“I wasn’t exactly asking about the kiss, but that’s fine, spare no details.”

The whole ride home, I could still taste Arabella’s cherry lip gloss, and the sweet, sweet apple juice still prickling the back of my throat. 

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23 comments

Laura Clark
18:23 Oct 16, 2020

Oh this is adorable! I’m really far behind on stories as I’ve had a busy week so apologies for taking so long to get to it but it was worth the wait. It’s so different to your longer pieces - this is a short, sweet vignette of teenagers with crushes and it’s adorable. The only thing I’d say is to drop the ‘like you’ after the bit about the hot girls being lesbians - the reader has already figured out that Bea’s gay. This is just so sweet. Completely lovely.

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Yolanda Wu
21:30 Oct 16, 2020

Thank you so much, Laura! I'll make sure to drop the 'like you', haha. :)

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Radhika Diksha
09:11 Oct 16, 2020

You write the story as if you experienced every stage of love cycles. You make every romantic story so romantic. Keep writing

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Yolanda Wu
09:19 Oct 16, 2020

Thank you for the compliment! I have never personally been in a relationship, but I guess that's what writing is about, experiencing the things you don't know. Although this story was definitely more real-life based for me. I've had my fair share of crushes and awkward exchanges. So how Bea reacts to Arabella is one hundred percent how I react with my crush.

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Radhika Diksha
09:23 Oct 16, 2020

so cute

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Yolanda Wu
09:33 Oct 16, 2020

Aw, thanks. :)

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Rachel Sundar
17:05 Nov 24, 2020

I love this story!! Its so sweet and fun. I had such a great time reading this!

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Yolanda Wu
20:02 Nov 24, 2020

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Rachel!

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Kylie Rudolf
06:14 Oct 21, 2020

This story is so nice and eye-opening. I have never read a story like this one and it is so sweet.

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Yolanda Wu
08:07 Oct 21, 2020

Aw thanks for reading, Kylie. :)

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Elliot Thomas
17:16 Oct 20, 2020

I love reading cute LGBTQ romances (being part of the community I love the representation). I now know I can come to you for a nice supply. Having a crush is terrifying, and it's amazing how well you capture that. Always looking forward to more.

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Yolanda Wu
21:09 Oct 20, 2020

Thank you so much for reading, Elliot! I'm glad the representation was good, that's always what I strive for. I kind of just modeled this off my own experiences having a crush, lol. And of course, most of my stories on here feature gay, lesbian or queer characters somewhere or another so feel free to come any time. :)

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Kristin Neubauer
20:17 Oct 14, 2020

This is great, Yolanda! I love seeing the diversity of your style - it's so different from your others and still so lovely. You captured the sexual tension beautifully and I love how you weave the encounter in and out of the the fall apple-picking event. It was very sensory and took me right back to some of my own magical moments trail riding out in the Blue Ridge mountains in the fall. You know the writing is excellent when it can evoke those long lost memories!

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Yolanda Wu
21:08 Oct 14, 2020

Thank you so much, Kristin! I was trying something new and I'm glad it worked out, especially the sexual tension, lol. And I'm glad it brought you back to some of your own memories, that's always a pleasure. :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:15 Oct 12, 2020

Short and sweet, like an apple (does that analogy even work lol). The tone here was awesome, like she's constantly in denial and has all these self-esteem issues but it works out in the end. Lucky her. I noticed that you're on a streak of gay stories, and I am so along for the ride. One suggestion: Maybe change it to "I know bullshit when I smell it" to make the stableboy analogy make more sense. Just my two cents ;) I'l be waiting for that intense story!! :D

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Yolanda Wu
04:21 Oct 12, 2020

I'm constantly on a streak of gay stories, I honestly don't know how to write anything else. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely make that change. The apple analogy totally works. I was kind of playing around with the tone and stuff here, it's definitely different from what I usually write. Every reaction Bea has to a hot girl is one hundred percent based on my own experiences. Sighs because I'm so hopeless.

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:36 Oct 12, 2020

You'll have to show me the ropes of writing romance one day because I have never written one before (and I have one planned when the right prompt comes around!) Oh yay we can be hopeless together :)

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Yolanda Wu
04:58 Oct 12, 2020

I don't even know how I became decent at writing romance. I just wrote it a lot and kind of got the hang of it. But I'm sure you'll do fine at romance. But yeah, I had a crush on this girl, and then I thought I got over her, but then I saw her again after the holidays, and I started liking her again, so yes, proof of my hopelessness.

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:44 Oct 12, 2020

Aw thanks for the encouragement 😅 Yes, that’s the worst! Especially when she’s like twice as pretty the next time you see her. But yeah. I guess it fuels your writing at least!

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Yolanda Wu
07:27 Oct 12, 2020

Yeah, this story perfectly captures all of my inner thoughts and awkwardness around people I like, lol.

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A.g. Scott
00:21 Oct 12, 2020

The voice is a pleasure to read, balancing whimsy and spite

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Yolanda Wu
01:01 Oct 12, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Yolanda Wu
23:58 Oct 11, 2020

This story was not planned, I already had a story for this week, but I just saw the prompt and wanted to write something short and sweet. Another story will come later in the week - it will be a lot more intense than this one. It was nice just to write something light and kind of funny - I don't know, maybe it wasn't funny at all. I drew a lot of the conversation from my real life awkwardness around girls that I happen to crush on. Also, apples are my favourite fruit.

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