Lorena Pimentel :: Gummy Bears ::


If the South is a state of mind and all we need is a good old penchant for mysteries and a mosaic of everythig we’ve know, the Globl South is my South. I am a writer, editor and translator from South America, trying to mashup a good amount of pop culture references as a personality trait.

Gummy Bears

If you told her they wouldn’t be best friends, her seven-year-old self wouldn’t believe it. Her twelve-year-old self would be dubious, but her seventeen-year-old self was already aware. 

As kids, they used to play detectives. Two tiny Nancy Drews, running around their schoolyard, finding mysteries to solve. One of them with dark hair, so curly it formed a halo around her head her mom so desperately tried to tame. The other perpetually adjusting her glasses and trying not to trip on her school uniform pants, made for the boys, forever being dragged around muddy terrain and stepped on by girls in elementary school too short to fit them properly. Ragged pants before they were cool. 

As teenagers, they felt so much cooler. One of them drawing the faces of everyone she knew, the other memorizing their jokes to seem funnier. The shorter one with black high tops, the taller discovering middle parts. Middle parts weren’t cool, but they matched the nerdy energy of a teen who pretended to like horror movies so that she could seem braver in front of her friends. Black high tops have always been cool, but the girl wearing them wasn’t, since being into anime kind of, sort of, shadowed the fact that she had a refined indie music taste.

As semi adults however, they didn’t speak to each other anymore. One of them was buying groceries for the week, the other pretending she hadn’t seen it. The louder one coming to say hi, the quieter hiding behind the chips aisle, holding a pack of gummy bears, trying not to get found.

As adults, both of them probably listened to anthems from their preteen days. The brunette one preferred Hilary Duff movies, the redhead was a Lindsay Lohan fan. Neither of them let it show, but they always thought of each other when making stovetop popcorn, the only thing their moms would let them make by themselves at sleepovers when they were ten.

As a new college grad, the one with the crooked nose passed the one with the plaid skirt’s sister on the street and learned she was getting married and moving to Europe. She wondered what happened to their brother, the only one she had never seen in five years.

As middle school preteens, their huge presence in each other’s lives was turned into altars in the shape of toothbrushes kept in each other’s bathrooms, tucked into a random drawer until they ate enough candy their moms made them run to the bathroom.

As awkward fifteen year olds, they drank smirnoff ice and pretended to be tipsy to avoid the shame of not being tipsy enough at someone else’s pool party. The bone-y one kept a secret, but she threw any alcohol away when no one was looking. The one with the great eyeliner took a couple of sips, hiding from everyone the shame about being from an alcoholic family.

As fifth graders, they went to a party in the local country club with their mutual friend. They weren’t old enough for the disco part of it, not young enough for festival games. So they climbed on the playground toys ironically, threw themselves around with the seesaw and flew with the swings, unknowingly finding themselves at that first transitional life moment where they can’t enjoy childhood in public anymore. The clumsy one, too grown for her age, felt like she carried the world. The secret jazz dancer felt free for a moment.

At nineteen, the one who loved braids found herself voting for the first time. She crossed the street from the pigtail-enthusiast former friend to the polling station, less than ten yards away from the place they first met in preschool.

At fourteen, the one with the black dress had her first kiss with a boy whose name she won’t remember ever again. At seventeen, the one who loved violets got into her first romantic relationship with someone both of them kinda knew.

At six, they went to the pool together and it was the last time they shared clothing sizes. The one who had the pretty hot pink swimsuit lent the matching top to her friends that was obsessed with sunglasses from an early age.

At twelve, they went to summer camp, the one who was the eldest daughter letting herself be herself for the first time without the weight, the one who was the youngest daughter finding emptiness in being on her own.

At sixteen, they danced to pop songs in each other’s garage, but neither of them dared to dance too much in front of others at parties. The stylish one always attracting attention with her wit, the awkward one blending into the wall.

At nine, they played truth or dare with kids in the following grade. The old soul pretended she was cool with no effect, the innocent one was actually a master in playing it cool.

At thirteen, they tried to be protagonists of their own teenage drama, the scenery less appealing than the ones on TV. The one with bangs always played the main character, the sidekick however getting all the good lines.

At eighteen, they hugged for the last time.