“What do you want?” demanded Lo, watching Suzanne pace as she ignored the pleas of her prey.
Finally Suzanne walked right up to Lo and looked at her eye-to-eye, took her hand, and said, “There’s only one thing I want. It’s the one thing I can’t have. The one thing you can give me. But, under the circumstances, I don’t even know if it’s possible.”
“What?” asked Lo, exasperated by the suspense.
“I want your friendship.”
“What?!” asked Lo in a completely different tone. She couldn’t have been more taken aback.
“I have no friends. I mean, yes, I have ‘friends,’ but no one who really knows me. No one I feel I can be completely honest with. No one who knows about me and Collin. No one who knows. . . .” She trailed off. Lo knew what she meant. “You and I, we have something in common. I don’t care what Collin does with you. He’s only causing more suffering for himself, the poor thing. I don’t care how attractive, sexy, slutty, or young you are. The truth is, I not only admire you in a lot of ways, I actually like you. Now that we’ve gotten all this out in the open, I just want to have one person that I can confide in. One person who won’t judge me. One person I can trust.”
Lo was confused, but Lo’s defining characteristic, besides her libido, is compassion.
“You know, Suzanne, trust doesn’t grow out of blackmail. It’s not something that can be forged by fear or created by coercion.”
“I know, I know,” said Suzanne taking Lo’s hands in hers. “I didn’t mean to threaten you. It’s just that. . . you and I are on equal footing. You and I are cut from the same cloth. I was trying to point that out, that’s all.”
The truth was that Lo sensed their underlying kinship the first time she met Suzanne. But now things had changed. Now she felt a pang of déjà vu, reminding her of her childhood friend with whom she had had a secret sex pact concerning their mutual experience of puppy love. The sensation filled her with mixed feelings.
“It’s always better to enlist an ally than anger an enemy,” Lo said to me when she recounted the conversation with Suzanne.
Lo accepted Suzanne’s strange offer of camaraderie and then, with a tepid hug and kiss, bade her good night.