Deca and Avery met when they were 14 and 16 respectively and I was 14 like Deca, but a year behind in school. She was cute even then. Long strawberry blond hair (dyed at the time,) gray-blue eyes like storm clouds, the longest legs, freckles, milk white yet not ugly white pale skin, and a thin thin frame, she looked like you could break her. She didn't act it though. She had this natural vulnerability, yet she made up for it by acting childishly innocent one second, and corrupted the next. No one ever thought anyone could break her.
They met over her shoes. Orange high top converse, he liked them. His were black high top converse with bleached pinstripes in them, I don't know if he really liked them, or if he just wanted to talk to her. There's no one to tell me now. I never thought to ask him, we weren't close. He wasn't like her, he wasn't known for being good looking, with shaggy boy-long bleached blond hair and big deep deep green eyes he was tall and lanky, so thin you could see his ribs through his skin, and his tighter shirts too. But he was known for getting any girl, all he had to do was pick you, no one could say no to him. No one ever told Avery no. Ever. He didn't touch Deca though. Not like that.
He tugged her around by the bondage straps on her pants and pulled her onto his lap and kissed her forehead. He joked around with her and fiddled with the buckles and strap and zippers on the legs of her pants and made her jump by touching the back of her neck when his hands were icy cold. He hid her shoes when she had to wear costume ones on stage and kissed her cheek after she'd get based in so she'd have to do it again. He gave her safety pins when her soldier costume was way to big in the waist and found her a cuter hat when she hated hers. People thought it would be Deca he went after.
She was the obvious choice. Two years younger than him, a freshman, but obviously an attention addict, she spun around on her tiptoes in girl's dressing room and could wiggle her body into the little kids faerie costumes. But it wasn't Deca.
My older sister was a junior like Avery. She was Deca's best friend, she was pretty and thin with perfect abs and straight brown hair, shorter than Deca, by two inches, only 5'2" thin like her, but not as breakable, not as skin and bone, pretty though, they were nothing alike. I never thought that Avery would take an interest in Lette, no with Deca running around in baby blue baggy pants and throwing her perfect curls (fake, something she got briefly into, experimenting with her hair) into messy ponytails. But they were best friends, Lette and Deca, and Avery fell for the way Lette sketched pictures of everyone in the cast. The way she drew them like she could see inside them. She drew Deca looking vulnerable sitting by herself, or spinning around doing pirouettes in the fairy costume. She was her favorite subject. Avery fell for the pictures of Deca sunbathing under the stage lights in her miniskirts and hugging her knees on the tabletops. She showed everyone what we all thought, what we figured was beyond the surface. Lette never drew herself; I think Avery saw what was in her, in what she drew.
Lette didn't understand what happened. Boys had never liked her. She had always been in the spotlight on stage, but never off, never when it counted in real life. Something had always fallen through. When had everything changed? She felt like he had been spun out of the world into some parallel universe or switched bodies with someone, yet she still looked like her, she still felt like her. Some of the time. She was afraid to say anything. She didn't even tell me. Not for a while.
When Lette told Deca Avery had kissed her, she dropped her fork and it clattered onto the blue and white stoneware plate on our kitchen table, the only noise in the room, we all looked at Lette, and then Deca, me and Lyss, no one knew what to say. And then we all spoke at once.