There’s this choreography that’s happening already between Naomi and Emily, where Emily gazes openly at Naomi, and Naomi whips around to glare at her, and Emily blinks and turns her head like she’s ashamed or afraid. But we know Emily Fitch, and we know she is the exact opposite of both of those things, and so this blink and head-drop — this hesitancy — is nothing more than permission for Naomi to look away.
And in one way, it just speeds up the process, allows Emily to train her gaze back to Naomi, to get on with everything she has to learn about her. But in another way, it’s grace. Because I don’t know if you know this, but Emily and Naomi tell planet-tilting stories with their eyes, and if Emily forced it — if she made the rawness of their right-now collide — Naomi would come un-f*cking-done
They’re not ready. Neither of them, but here it is: Gaze, glare, hesitate, gaze. Gaze, glare, hesitate, gaze. Naomi can’t look. Emily can’t look away. Gaze, glare, hesitate, gaze. Naomily’s first dance.
Elsewhere, dancing the the Rumba — that vertical expression of horizontal desire — are Cook and Effy, in the nurse’s office. Sex in school, now he’s completed everything on the checklist.
So, Freddie wants Effy. Effy wants Freddie, but she grabs for Cook. Katie wants anyone, but she’s equipped for now. Panda wants to fit somewhere. JJ wants to get laid. Emily wants Naomi. Naomi wants to run. Cook wants everything. And this teacher who’s overhearing Cook and Effy going at it? She wants to go back to the hospital with the neon orange hop-along balls.
What else did we learn on our first day of college? Right. Science:
Before the Big Bang, before time itself, before matter, energy, velocity, there existed a single immeasurable state called yearning. It is the special force that, on the day before there were days, obliterated nothing into everything. It is the unseen string tying planets to stars. It is the unseen want we feel from first breath to last light.