Being a Girl’s Girl Could Have Saved Jennifer Check
March 28, 2022 / Renata Salazar
If Jennifer would have chosen Needy the night of the fire, maybe their story could have ended up like ours.
Jennifer Check was not a girls’ girl.
She was more like a goddess to those walking among her through school hallways, with double-takes within each step, possessing some kind of godly enchantment. Meanwhile, Needy Lesnicki, Jennifer's best friend, always stood beside her locker waiting for her — like the sidekick she was.
Jennifer’s Body isn’t just Megan Fox ripping guy’s intestines out and eating them. It’s a story about best friends. It might not be based on a true story, but there are bits and pieces we can take from Jennifer and Needy’s friendship to real life. Jennifer Check, the complex brunette and blue-eyed popular girl, who, though might have embodied the classic mean girl trope, wasn’t followed by the classic posse that every high school had. She had Needy—the plain-Jane best friend with the boyfriend in marching band, long blonde curly hair that was always half up. Glasses, never contacts, because how dare she even attempt to outshine the Jennifer Check. Jennifer’s Body is a story that displays the intricate dynamic between best friends, more specifically best friends who thought they would be best friends forever. According to Jennifer Check, “sandbox love never dies.” Well, not until a band with a hot lead singer comes to your hometown, and asks you to get into their van.
I'm a girls’ girl.
I always have been, always will be. Girl best friends, Gay best friends, maybe boys that are friends — this life chose me. My best friend Lily’s and my friendship arose simply and complementary during the summer of 2014. When we’re together, we act like Cher and Dionne, agree like matcha and coconut milk, or lucky charms and late-night conversations, subconsciously living our lives like it's written for a movie– starring us duh.
Needy was in love with the two people she needed the most: her boyfriend Chip and Jennifer. Jennifer needed her, too, though. She always wanted her there to stand in the background. But when it came to it, Jennifer never chose Needy, even before the incident. The scene infamously known as the moment in Jennifer’s Body where Jennifer Check dies, and a boy-eating demon emerges.
Jennifer had her eyes on the lead singer of Low Shoulder, even before she knew they would be playing a show at Devil's Kettle. Step one is to convince Needy to go with her. Step two is to make an impression on the band. Immediately, Jennifer bumps into prior flings, unworthy of a second trial, all crawling back for more– something like a love spell. She secures her eyes on her target as the band starts to play. The staring contest begins between Jennifer and the lead singer. It starts getting hot in the room, and sparks even start to fly. Everyone starts to scream and panic for their lives. Apocalyptic chaos ensues, and the whole bar lights on fire. With a blaze in her eyes, Jennifer's trance stops her from taking herself to safety. In skittish fashion Needy's adrenaline kicks in as she drags Jennifer outside. The pair of best friends make their way out safely as the fire spreads behind them, and the lead singer of Low Shoulder approaches them suspiciously untouched.
“Listen, it's really dangerous out here, you wanna head someplace safe, like my van?”
In complete disbelief, Needy declines without a second thought. While Jennifer, still in shock, seems unsure.
What would a girl's girl do? Or better yet — what would I do if I was Jennifer?
I was dying to see Low Shoulder play. I had been stalking them down to their every move until they finally got a gig in Devil's Kettle–our tiny town incapable of anything exciting. The only thing missing was to convince Lily to come with me. I knew she only knew one song, and I knew every single one. But she knew I would kill to see them. She has to come. Plus, the lead singer was hot. I stop by Lily’s locker like I always did before our first class started and popped the question. Hesitantly but surely in the back of my head, I knew how this would go because I knowknewI would do the same for her.
She says yes. But I knew she would.
Lily picks me up in her Volkswagon Jetta named Larry later that night, and we head to the bar where Low Shoulder was playing. Boring, dry, and stale is how I would describe it — but I know we can make this fun. The lead singer catches my eye, and we exchange eye contact. I look over at Lily, and we giggle making fun of the situation.
Lily and I met when we were 14. Before meeting in Austin, our lives were miles away from each other, hers in California, and mine in Mexico. But somehow, our lives led us to the same place, with the same brain. Maybe it’s because our dads are both Pisces, and our moms Virgos. Or maybe it’s because we both had a One Direction phase with repetitive song obsessions, or the same fascination with scary movies, or the same urge to stay in and have a scary movie marathon on Friday nights…
Sure, I liked the idea of visually flirting with the lead singer of the band, but do I actually like him? The answer was no. The reality was I’m young, and he’s not. I was here with my best friend. The music started to play, and I realized how completely underwhelming it is. I looked around the loser-esque bar, and the crowd Low Shoulder unintentionally summoned, assuming everyone was a regular, not a die-hard fan. The movements in the crowd consisted of subtle swaying, drink sipping, awkward glances, and slight head nods. It all seemed lonely.
If only Jennifer Check was a girl’s girl.
From the start, Needy and Jennifer’s friendship may have been doomed, but if Jennifer had chosen Needy the night of the fire, maybe their story could have ended up like ours.
Lily plans to work for a PR Agency in LA, working with big-name models and celebrities. I’ll be settling down in New York City, working in advertising and creative direction for exciting editorial. From there, we plan on paying each other visits regularly–attend all the big events together and travel the world. Like Jennifer and Needy, I was the brunette, and she was the blonde. She was in cheer, and I was in sports. If you were to walk past us, you would immediately notice our physical contrast, my brown eyes and hers blue, my height just tall enough next to her– every physical trait was the opposite, but inside, our minds functioned the same. Like Jennifer and Needy, we’re each other's go-to’s.
Lily and I made our way towards the front as if we knew what we were doing, and there was a camera crew following our every move. We danced and twirled and laughed at each other. As we danced, the stage lit up for us as if it was calling our names, letting everyone know we were actually the main event, and Low Shoulder was hardly our opening act. A red, and orange glimmer filled the bar, as the music got louder and louder. The awkward glances and subtle nods turned into roars, and gallops out of the bar–I guess the world was on fire, and we didn't even notice.
In reality, Needy loved Jennifer. She loved her like a best friend who sends you pictures of her outfits every time she's in a dressing room because she always wants your opinion. Like a friend that you could go on walks with for hours because you can make anything fun. A friend who, no matter what happens, will always choose you over the lead singer of a band. A friend like Lily.■
by: Renata Salazar
graphics by: Amanda Garza