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Talie could not wait for Saturday. She began counting down the seconds of each day, wondering why she didn't just have a goddamn time machine. Andi was strangely silent throughout the week. Whenever Talie looked over at her, Andi would swiftly turn her head in another direction. Normally Talie would've been confused by this behavior, but it didn't matter. She had a date coming up. Whenever Talie saw Loony in homeroom and at lunch, they would hold hands. Loony would smile or say sweet nothings about stuff, and Talie would giggle.
Finally, Saturday night arrived. Talie's Dad didn't mind that his daughter had a date, or even that the date was with a girl.
"Boys are fucking stupid and don't know how to treat their women right. Your girl already has one up on that. Just don't fuck up the relationship, you daughter of a bitch." said Talie's Dad.
"Thanks motherfucker." replied Talie. "Don't be a fucking waste of space."
"That's a lot coming from you." replied Talie's Dad with a smile. From an outsider's view, their words would make no sense. But they both knew that the best way they expressed love was with mutual shit giving and insults. There was a loud "BEEP" outside the cabin. Talie went to look out and saw a beautiful, gray car waiting in the drive way. Talie grabbed her jacket and basically parkour-ed her way out the door in her excitement. She was moving so fast that she tripped over her feet and fell into the snow.
"My Tail, are you okay?!" screamed Loony, running from the car. She was wearing fishnets with her tennis shoes and a sleek, black dress underneath her leather jacket with a fur trim. Talie became speechless all of a sudden and worried that her screenprint Disney shirt (that her Mom got her for her birthday a few years ago) and her jeans were not cool enough.
"Can you walk?" asked Loony.
"I think I can." said Talie, slowly making her way back to her feet.
"Do you need me to carry you to my car?" asked Loony. Almost as a reflex, Talie felt herself go weak in the knees. She fell back into the snow, almost as a joke.
"Yes. I think I need to be carried." said Talie, almost with a look of pleading in her eyes. Loony laughed as she understood the joke.
"Okay, I'll carry you." smiled Loony. Loony scooped up Talie in her arms, like those cartoons where the husband swoops up the bride as they walk into their new home. Talie felt so safe in Loony's arms that she was disappointed when Loony let her go in the front seat of the car. The seats were soft, covered in some sort of fur.
"Don't worry, it's faux fur." said Loony as she got in the driver's seat.
"Where are we going?" asked Talie.
"We're gonna take a bit of a drive to the small town of Nisswa, MN. They've got this pizza place called Rafferty's Pizza. Then, we'll get some ice cream at the Chocolate Ox across the street." replied Loony, taking the car out of the drive-way. "Do you mind if I put on some music?" asked Loony.
"No, not at all." said Talie. Loony went to her iPod attached to the car radio, and began to play "The Lion The Beast The Beat" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. As the music filled the car, Talie began to get nervous. What if she made a mistake, what if Loony decides that she doesn't like her after all?
"So, my Tail. Where did you move from?" asked Loony.
"Florida. My Dad and Mom worked at Disney World together, but then things went bad and Dad couldn't stay in Florida any longer. He got a job here, and we moved." said Talie.
"What happened?" asked Loony.
"It's a bit of a long, complicated, painful story that I don't want to get into at the moment." said Talie.
"I understand. I don't have pleasant stories of my parents either." replied Loony. "Dad left as soon as the pregnancy test came back positive. Mom was an emotional wreck until the emotions killed her when I was 7 years old. I lived in foster homes for awhile, and then was homeless in the Twin Cities, until my Dad's sister finally tracked me down and took legal custody of me. She calls herself "Oceania", but her real name is Dawn."
"Why does she call herself "Oceania"?" asked Talie.
"Fuck if I know. But she's the most stable parental figure I've ever had and she let's me express myself how I choose to. She supports me and she cares about me. If she can respect my identity and who I am, then I will respect hers." replied Loony. "How are you liking MN so far?"
"I kinda miss the warm weather, but I like not being around Floridians." said Talie.
"Don't let 'Minnesota Nice' fool you, my Tail. Minnesotans are their own brand of absurdity and ignorance. Minnesota Nice is really just Minnesota Passive Aggressive with small dash of Superiority." said Loony. "And it will get warm again. Just wait for the spring and summer. It's nothing like the ocean, I'm sure, but watching the sunrise over the lake after a long night is breathtakingly gorgeous."
"Have you been in Minnesota your whole life?" asked Talie.
"Yep. Born and raised in the Land of Whatever-the-Fuck-Amount-of-Lakes-It-Is-Now." said Loony. Talie laughed. "For better or worse, this state is my home and I will be a Minnesotan for the end of all time. No matter if I move out of state, my blood will run as cold as the winters here, and then be sold on a stick at the State Fair."
"Okay." said Talie.
"Your shirt is cute. I loved that film." said Loony, referencing Talie's Disney shirt.
"Thanks. I really liked it too." said Talie.
"That's one thing I like about you, my Tail. You aren't afraid to like the things you like. Both you and Andi have that trait. I applaud that." said Loony. "And we're here. Don't worry about pausing the album. It will turn off on it's own when I turn off the car." Loony pulled the car into the parking spot.
Talie got out of the car. This small town had little shops on each side of the street, but being late on a Saturday night in the middle of winter, not many people were out. Talie could only imagine how many people would be here during the summer, remembering how busy all the t-shirt and surf shops were busy in Miami all year long.
"In here, my Tail." says Loony. She had already opened the door to Rafferty's Pizza. There was a sign with a small leprechaun on it with the Irish flag. Talie was confused, as she was pretty sure the Irish were not responsible for the existence of pizza. When she walked inside, she saw the bar that served beer and wine, and then understood not only the sign, but what Loony meant by Minnesotan ignorance and absurdity. Even so, she was hungry and was excited to get pizza. She picked up a menu and followed Loony to the cash register to order.
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