She knows it’s dumb to have a crush on someone who’s just like her: pretty and blonde and refined, worn smooth by the Hollywood machine, all her thoughts broken down into sound bites. Skinny, too, but then nobody isn’t skinny in Hollywood—even Freddie, who looks so solid and real onscreen, is paper-thin and unreal in her arms.

Maybe that’s why she likes Faith. Despite her wispiness—strands of gold-colored hair flowing in the wind, catching the light; flowing dress with layers upon layers of white tulle; eyes that, in videos, always seems to be contemplating some otherwhere—there is something reassuringly substantial about her in person. When she’d grasped Sarah’s hand in greeting, her fingers had been long and warm and elegant, a musician’s fingers, fingers that pluck a guitar and feel every vibration of the string down to her backbone, or so Sarah imagines. Later, after the show, before she left with her husband, she’d stopped to give Sarah a hug, and Sarah could feel every inch of Faith’s body, warm beneath her clothes. She could feel the firm curve of Faith’s belly, the softness of Faith’s hair against Sarah’s collarbones, the press of her fingers against Sarah’s back, pressing into each individual vertebrae, playing her like a guitar.

Even in Sarah’s fantasies, Faith seems more real than Freddie does in reality. Freddie’s big hands press against the small of her back, and she closes her eyes, thinks about Faith’s small, warm hands. Even when she opens her eyes, looks at Freddie and says, “I love you,” the imprints of Faith’s fingertips are stronger in her mind than the solid, paper-thin warmth of Freddie’s smile.


For Aly.

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