Anything But Love

band in a basement

The basement was dank and humid. It smelled like a laundry hamper. A single incandescent hangs at the center of the small space, blinking and buzzing inaudibly. I sat at the corner, my face powder now completely erased by sweat, feeling self-conscious with my outfit. I felt stupid for wearing a leather jacket, although initially I thought I'd look cool.

 I sat beside a Fender Excelsior amp, I reverberate with every scream of my lover's guitar.

No, I take that back. He was not my lover, but I was his lover.

I sat in silence as I watch my best friend play the room, throwing the funniest jokes that made the boys gravitate towards her. I itched beneath my lacy underthings while bodacious bosom shifted the gravity. Why can't I be her, making boys lose their minds over her unbridled sexuality?

I watched his gaze shift from his strumming fingers to her eyes. His smirk suggested the cunning of a predator. She crossed and recrossed her legs, basking in the heat of his stare. 

He sang her a love song. And I left that dank basement without a sound, feeling embarrassed and dirty.

At sixteen I knew what love is not.