It was a science class we were both in, kind of a while ago. Maybe we were talking about genetics or something, but Mrs. Hale asked, What colors are apples? And kids began answering: red, green, yellow, and Mrs. Hale even smiled when one girl said pink. And I said white, and you gave me a worried look right away, which meant Mrs. Hale was about to get mad at me. Brittany. Do you even think before you open your mouth?
And your hand was around mine so fast under the table, and I just held still and looked back, then shook my head because that seemed to be what the teacher wanted. And Mrs. Hale shook her head and went back to teaching. And my mind was blank for the rest of the lesson.
The second we left the class you began rubbing my arm while we walked, looking at me with your dark, worried eyes.
And we didn’t say anything about it. For a couple days. Then we were in your kitchen, and I was sitting on one of those swivelly seats, turning while we talked, and you were standing. You pulled a cutting board from the island cabinet and drew a knife from the block. It must have been late in the afternoon because the light was coming in sideways and getting on your hands while you pulled a green apple from a bowl. I remember the tearing sound of your knife through the apple skin, the crisp, long cut straight through to tap the cutting board.
I remember because I stopped spinning and looked at you. You had stopped talking in the middle of a sentence.
The two halves of the apple were still rocking on their little backs. You stared at them and then looked at me. Your mouth open. You looked angry.
I looked down at the apple, pale all the way through, except for the splitting star inside it. I nodded, not sure what else to say.
What a bitch, you said, then put the apple parts back together so the seam disappeared. Jesús, María y José.
You began cutting the apple into perfectly equal little moons, muttering white with every stroke of your knife. White. White. White. You let them fall open again, dragged the knife over the cutting board with a quick scraping sound to sweep the apple moons into a bowl.
These are just for you, BrittBritt, you said, pushing the bowl across the counter towards me. I don’t think I can eat now. You reached over to me, smiling a shaky smile, and pushed my bangs off my face. White. Madre de Dios.