As soon as Heidi arrived at Kim’s condo, she suggested they go meet LisaParsonsTwo, Kim’s online crush. Usually Kim was the rule-breaker, the wild girl whose mom let her do whatever she wanted, but Heidi hadn’t been able to stop thinking about LisaParsonsTwo since Kim had told her about their messages last week. When Heidi found out Kim’s mom would be out for the evening, she’d invited herself to sleep over.
“You don’t want to make hot dogs?” Kim brandished the package. She’d let it sit out way too long—the protective ice had dissolved and the meat was pale and clammy. Kim pinched a puckered end and winked.
“What’s wrong with you? She’s your crush. Of course you want to go.” Heidi would fluff Kim back up to her normal self, that cool, slouchy tomboy. “You never cook.”
“I thought it was a nice night to stay in and enjoy dogs. I have mayonnaise.”
“Kim. Come on. We have to meet her. There’s so much buildup.”
“I thought you wanted a fun night in.” Kim flapped the hot dogs, puffing meaty air toward Heidi. “Just me and you. Like old times.”
Heidi smoothed her flyaway hair. She was fourteen but looked twelve, and had always been pushed around at school. She liked this new feeling of freaking out someone else—especially Kim, who was the daring one. Who’d found this mysterious online woman in the first place. Heidi needed to go to Boston tonight, to watch Kim bravely charm an adult woman, so that, down the line, she could flirt with one herself. She took a breath. “You mean you’re chicken.”
“Not really.” Kim’s head tilted back, her bottom lip popping out.
“You think you’re so tough,” Heidi said. “But you’re not, are you?”
Though they’d been best friends for nearly a year, Heidi had never spoken to Kim so boldly. She stepped forward, molding a face of intimidation. Kim rolled her eyes, but said, “Fine, whatever you want,” and shuffled into the shadows to make arrangements on AIM. Heidi loomed over her as Kim typed with one hand, massaging hot dogs with the other.