Aaliyah Walker sifted through the rack of shirts, stopping every now and again to feel a few. ‘Too soft.’ ‘Not soft enough.’ ‘Do they even like red?’ Her mind raced a mile a minute as she dug through jerseys, button ups, and various other shirts. This shirt would be the first one to touch Blue’s chest after they got their bandaids off; Hopefully.
“Girl! Can you just pick a damn shirt already?” Megan, Aaliyah’s cousin, groaned as she looked up from her phone.
“It’s gotta be one hundred percent cotton, or silk, or-” Aaliyah paused for a moment, pulling a red shirt off the rack.
‘They do look good in red.’ she thought to herself. Checking the tag on the shirt, Aaliyah was disappointed to find yet another cotton/poly blend.
“What’s with all the blends? How hard is it to find a shirt made of one simple material?” Aaliyah huffed, pushing past a vomit green shirt.
“Is there a reason it HAS to be one hundred percent cotton?” Megan asked, a slight annoyance in her voice.
They had been in this section for quite some time now.
Aaliyah slowed her movements as she pushed past a Lakers Jersey. She couldn’t tell Megan the real reason the shirt needed to be 100% cotton; Megan wouldn’t understand.
“Because it’s hot as balls out there and cotton breathes well.” Aaliyah half lied.
Being that it was July and they lived in Atlanta, it was very hot; But the weather had little to do with her hunt for the perfect one hundred percent cotton shirt.
For months now, Aaliyah has been trying to confess her feelings for her long time friend, Blue; and has been failing miserably. With all the stress Blue has been dealing with in regards to their homophobic mother as well as having to deal with their insurance company, the last thing Aaliyah wanted to do was add to that stress in anyway. But with Blue being away, getting their surgery, Aaliyah had time to write down all her feelings without fear Blue randomly popping up in her room or discovering the letter as they sat at her vanity playing with her makeup.
Megan simply shrugged before making her way to the other end of the rack and began searching as well.
Aaliyah let out a deep sigh, thankful that Megan didn’t ask any further questions. Megan and Aaliyah’s families aren’t the most accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, and although she and Megan are close, they’ve never had the ‘gush about your crush’ type of relationship.
Pushing past what felt like the millionth cotton/poly blend shirt, Aaliyah found a dark grey shirt with Betty White’s face plastered on the front of it.
Pulling it off the rack, Aaliyah held the shirt up and thought back to the week before Blue’s surgery.
Aaliyah and Blue stumbled through Aaliyah’s bedroom door, the pair exhusted and a bit tipsy. Flopping down onto her, the pair laid side by side, looking up at the bedroom ceiling.
“So what do you want?” Aaliyah asked, looking over at Blue.
“You already got me a gift, the panda, remember?” Blue said with a laugh.
The sound was music to Aaliyah’s ears. Thirteen years of hearing that laugh and she never grew tired of it.
“No, that was for graduation, you need something else, for top surgery. This is a big deal Blue. You busted your ass for this and you deserve something for that.” She said.
And that was very much true. Being that Blue’s parents weren’t very happy about Blue’s coming out, they still refer to them with she/her pronouns, and made Blue’s senior year a living hell, and the fact that Blue made it through the year with their sanity, and managed to save up most of the money for their top surgery; Aaliyah believe all that was worth celebrating, if not with a party at least a gift.
Blue smiled a smiled so bright Aaliyah felt like she’d died and was seeing the light everyone always talks about.
“This is important to you, I can tell.” Blue said with a laugh as Aaliyah bit her bottom lip.
“If you don’t care about it, I can drop it.” She said.
The last thing she wanted was to force anything on them; Blue had had enough of that from their mother and her side of the family.
“No, no, I would never turn down a gift. It’s like you’re always thinking about me.” Blue said with a smile.
‘if you only knew.’ Aaliyah thought to herself as Blue turned onto their side to face her.
“Something like that.” Aaliyah said, doing her best not to be obvious.
Blue bit into their bottom lip, causing Aaliyah’s eyes to flick down to the plump flesh. The need to kiss Blue was stronger than it’s ever been before, forcing Aaliyah to look away to keep from leaning in.
“Hmm, let’s see, what do I want?” Blue said, thinking out loud.
Rolling onto their back, Blue ran a hand down their body, wincing when they reached their chest.
For Blue the double D’s protruding from their chest, caused them a pain that Aaliyah couldn’t imagine. Over the years Blue had done countless things, both safe and unsafe to flatten their chest and to sit and watch nearly broke Aaliyah. So when Blue scheduled their top surgery, Aaliyah was over the moon. Together the pair danced around Aaliyah’s room and in that moment, Blue was the happiest Aaliyah’s ever seen them.
“It’s a little silly but, a shirt would be nice.” Blue said, pulling Aaliyah from her thoughts.
“Could you be a little more specific?” Aaliyah laughed.
“You know me better than anyone. I trust you’ll make the right choice.”
Aaliyah rolled her eyes.
“Wow, so helpful.” She said sarcastically.
“Is that the shirt?” Megan asked, pulling Aaliyah from her thoughts.
“Yeah, it’s perfect.” She said smiling.
Making their way to the register, Aaliyah purchased the shirt. There after the two women made their way back to Aaliyah’s car. Cranking the car to life, Aaliyah felt a current of excitement flow through her entire body.
‘Blue’s gonna love this shirt.’ She thought to herself as she pulled out of her parking spot.