She was not always a part of my life, yet once I had met her, it often felt that way. We met as we began A Levels in our northern English college. From the first time I saw her I worshipped her; her brains, her beauty; her beautiful voice. She was everything I wanted to be. Before I desired her, I coveted all that she was. She has the voice of an angel; she revels in working for charities; she is the most academically gifted person I have ever met. Subjects I adored she shone at, radiating intelligence. She is beautiful: a face that draws you in even in its unremarkability. The silken, chocolate brown hair; the smattering of freckles over her Roman nose; the pink, plump bottom lip and the green eyes shining: always. She had a long term, steady boyfriend -- one of the first of our peers to do so. More informal classes would be regaled with hilarious sexploits and misshaps and I would sit and laugh and inwardly die.
That's not true, for a long time I didn't realise the extent of my love. For a long time I laughed too. I have always formed deep bonds with few female friends; this did not appear any different.
Looking back, that year was perfect. She had her enemies (jealous, popular bitches who it was generally reckoned --not just by me- were threatened by her talent and brains) and I would fervently defend her if her name cropped up in conversation. I regarded myself as her truest of friends. I was probably no more than a lapdog to her, but she kept me more or less beside her for that time. We worked together for the AS exams, in which she excelled and I did far better than I had expected (although not as well as my tutors had predicted).
That summer seemed endless. Long family holidays meant that I didn't see her for the entire six weeks. The new school year couldn't start soon enough.
And so the second year began, fraught with university applications and 18th birthday celebrations. Hers was early in the term and the party shared with her boyfriend, to celebrate their engagement. I was thrilled for her, thrilled for him, deeply envious that they shared that love. I couldn't admit to myself that my envy ran deeper. I was, I still am, afraid of these thoughts.
Term ran on by, quickly skipping over Christmas, until we arrived at my 18th birthday. What was supposed to be a quiet dinner with my mum, stepdad, sister and two closest friends -- of which she was obviously one -- went embarrassingly pear-shaped thanks to an unwelcome intrusion by another family member. Fiercely humiliated I expected to be rejected by her. She surpassed my hopes with her capacity for kindness and generosity of spirit, even finding humour in my embarrassment.
The events of my meal were quickly forgotten by the arrival of a far more exciting development, a week's foreign trip with the school. She and I were to be sharing a hotel room for seven nights. I couldn't wait. Slumber parties are always the best way to get more out of a friend and whilst I was afraid to put my finger on what "more" was, I knew I wanted it. I longed for the emotional closeness of a true best friend and confidante.
We arrived at the hotel on the first night desperate for food and showers. She let me have first shower and I let her have first pick of the wardrobe space. When I got out I was increasingly self-conscious about my body, pulling the towel tighter and tighter around my body as she hunted through her suitcase for her toiletries. I should explain that, to put it mildly, I will never win a beauty pageant. (Not that we really have them in the UK, but you know what I mean). I do have a fairly pretty face, and I would have a pretty neat hourglass figure. However, I am fairly overweight which makes me feel horrific when faced with my gorgeous, skinny friends. My hair is my favourite feature; it's short and shaggy and dyed a popping cherry red that apparently accentuates my pale skin and green eyes. She, on the other hand, has the most perfect figure. She is toned without being overly muscular, tanned, with beautiful breasts and a perfectly rounded bottom. Finally she disappeared into the bathroom and I was able to change into a tracksuit and unpack my case.
It did not take me very long to unpack and so I was reading a magazine by the time she came out of the bathroom, damp and flushed from the heat of the shower. In fairness to myself, I didn't notice she'd come out until she bumped a drawer closed. I looked up and was confronted with the most beautiful rear form I'd ever seen. Sneaking a peak at girls getting changed was something I had always, innocently, done. I assumed all girls did, to privately compare their body to that of their peers. There was never anything sexual in my looking, never really much thought at all, but I would always certainly have classified it as curious comparison. This was no different, apart from my brain registering the aesthetic value of my sight. I looked and looked, and then realised I was staring at her and quickly returned to my page before she turned around.
I swear I didn't mean to look again. But then I had to have a drink, my mouth was suddenly as dry as cotton wool. I reached over to the nightstand and looked up so as not to knock over the glass of water. She was half facing me, drying herself as she hunched over to pull on her underwear. Her breasts hung down, subtly visible beneath her arm as she drew her underwear up those golden muscular legs to that perfect "v". I gulped down some water shakily as she straightened up and pulled her bra on, giving me an easy smile. If she knew I had been perving on her, (and I had to admit it to myself, I had been perving) then she did not ever mention it.
But I digress. That night we lay in bed talking about, as teenage girls often do, sex. Laughing, she joked that she should have bought me a vibrator for my birthday as they were as good as the real thing for her. Unbidden, an image of her using such a toy flashed through my mind and I quickly blinked it away. She seemed surprised I'd never really discussed masturbation before. As these chats do, the topic then moved on, to a game of truth or dare.
After some silly dares and some inconsequential truths the game got serious again. When I chose truth she asked me how far I had been with a guy. My response, no further than a series of disgusting kisses with fucktards of lads, who had taken advantage of my poor social standing and my even lower self-worth, almost reduced the pair of us to tears. She scooted across to my bed and gave me a cuddle. Then she hopped back onto her bed as she asked
My mind went blank. Finally I stammered:
"What haven't you done that you'd like to?"
"What, sexually?" she giggled. I did blush quite a deep red at this point, and managed to mumble "not just sexually! In life in general too!" as we laughed. Then she went a bit quiet, so quiet I thought she'd dozed off.
"I've never slept with a woman."
Well, that certainly got my attention! She said it so softly I assumed I had misheard her. I asked her to repeat herself, and she did. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My stomach started churning and I couldn't help asking her incredulously if that was something she wanted to do.
She told me that she had always found women attractive, but she had never slept with one mainly because she has only ever found straight women attractive.
I thought I was going to be sick with nerves. One wrong move and I would be condemned as a disgusting whore, a dyke bitch, a tramp. As is typical with many high schools, I suspect, many of the pupils are outrageously homophobic.
With hindsight, I think I have always, on some level, been attracted to women. Descriptions of the women in numerous so called 'bonk-busters' discovered in my early teens left me with butterflies. This I attributed to the general sexiness of the scenes, unconsciously glossing over the way that descriptions of "his throbbing manhood" did nothing for me. Discovering lesbian erotica for the first time when I was older I was fascinated by the description of only women's pleasure. (It's amazing what a Google search for "stories about lesbians coming out" will show you -- and the fact that I was interested enough in coming out stories to Google them should have been a sign for myself really).
Night after night of masturbatory satisfaction was found imagining a tongue between my legs, although I would always tell myself that it was obviously a man's tongue and that I was just curious because it's one thing you cannot do to yourself. In my mind, the only reason I would admit to preferring lesbian scenes was because, as a virgin, I could relate to the bodies more: I just couldn't imagine a penis. I don't even have a vibrator for goodness sake!
I was terrified of the thought of being a lesbian. I was never popular at school, distancing myself before I could be rejected and being ostracised as a result. I had huge body hang ups, relating to my weight and my height, which boys especially picked up upon and tormented me for. In a way, they were right. I was frigid: frigid with fear. The idea of coming out as gay would have meant questions and sniggers and rumours and there was no way of me to cope with that. Besides, how could I be gay? I'd never had a crush on a girl.
There was no more playing after her little revelation, we shut off the lights and snuggled down into our respective beds. Nervous energy (not to mention jet-lag) kept me awake long after her deep breathing regulated with gentle snores.
The sunlight streamed in through the curtains we had forgotten to shut the night before. I stretched and sighed, luxuriating in the warmth of the bed. My frame seemed slender, my skin smooth and supple in the dawn under my t-shirt. On the pillows beside me her hair fanned out. The cotton smelt of her vanilla shampoo and lemony soap. When had we merged into one bed? Her smooth back dipped and flared under her loose flannel shirt before the white sheets covered her bottom and legs from view. I gazed at her as she stirred from her slumber, rolling over to face me with a sleepy smile on her face. "Morning" she yawned, and smiled again, right before I gathered up all my courage and I leant over to press a kiss to her soft and peachy mouth. She kissed back, pressing her tongue to my lips, seeking access. My heart was pounding, I could not believe my luck. We kissed deeply for several long minutes, our tongues chasing and teasing as we explored each other's mouths. She wrapped her arms around my back and pulled me closer as my hands traced the graceful lines of her arms. I looked deep into her eyes.
The eye contact only heightened the intensity of the kiss and I began to feel a tight knot of lust in my belly. Gently, I pushed her onto her back and held myself above her, breaking the kiss only to increase the delicious tension. She lifted her chin and I accepted the offering, the perfect delicate sensitive skin of her long and elegant neck. I kissed her jawline and downwards, briefly touching the fluttering hollow of her pulse with the tip of my tongue. I kissed and licked and nipped and sucked my way up to her left earlobe, lightly grasping it in my teeth. Her delicate groan of pleasure lit me to my core and fanned my increasing lust.
I moved my attention lower, to her defined collarbone and down lower, to the glorious creamy slopes of her chest. I unbuttoned the loose shirt she had chosen to sleep in, so similar to that which I also wore. Sliding my hands into the opening, I reverently traced her soft mounds with the pads of my fingers, gently decreasing the size of my circles. I traced the edge of both aureoles, watching them pucker and crease with excitement. A gush of wetness reminded me of my own arousal, which was very much less important than hers to me at this point. She arched her back desperately, trying to increase the pressure of the sensation. I could deny her nothing. I traced my palm over her right breast, feeling the tight bud swell under my touch. I held my hand there as I leant down and swiped my tongue over her left nipple. Her moan was all the gratification I needed. I sucked her nipple into my mouth and dragged my tongue over and over the sensitive point. My hand continued to worry her other peak as she pulled my head into her chest. I switched to the other nipple, increasing the stiffness of the first as the cool air brushed it. I sucked and teased her until her moans were almost continuous.
I looked up at her damp face, so beautiful in its arousal. My hands traced a path down her sides and across her stomach that my mouth was eager to follow. As my hands reached the juncture of her thighs they stilled, looking for the permission to continue. My tongue explored her tummy button, delving and diving as she wantonly spread her legs before me.
That perfect jewel, the most private treasure of any woman, was leaking in excitement. I had caused that. Inexperienced, terrified little me. The smell was intoxicating, sweet and musky. I lightly traced my finger down one side of her lips and then up the other, causing her to flinch. She tasted sweet and tangy on my finger. I ran my finger from the bottom of her cleft to the top, indulging in her wetness. I repeated this motion, making sure to avoid the button at the top, angrily demanding attention. She lashed her hips about to try to force the contact but I managed to resist.
I placed my arms over both her thighs, spreading them wider and holding her body still. I leant forward and plunged my tongue into her dripping centre. She screamed and thrashed as I pumped my tongue in and out of her, so I guessed I was doing something right. But there was more I wanted to do, so I slowed my pace and then withdrew, tracing upwards until I found her clit. I placed my lips around it and sucked, teasing it with the tip of my tongue. I felt the gush of warmth against my lower face as she came, panting my name in the most beautiful way.
The alarm clock rang abruptly, scattering the fragments of my dreams. I couldn't place my surrounding, the unfamiliar bedroom setting. The school trip, the hotel came back to me slowly. I lay there in my pyjamas as my dream came floating back to me. I looked across to the other bed and was greeted to the same sleepy smile my unconscious had painted. I felt a million shades of embarrassed, and I stumbled quickly to the bathroom to wash before breakfast.
The trip passed without such an incident, but in my "welcome home" session with myself I quickly realised there was a new, and clear, member to my fantasies. Images of my best friend, my love, tormented me - driving me wild with lust and crazy with confusion.
I never planned to tell anyone this, least of all her. Unfortunately, alcohol has a way of robbing inhibitions and forcing painful honesty. Just before we left for university we had a final night on the town, clubbing until the early hours of the morning. The plan was for her to stay the night at mine. In the taxi home, this story was first confessed. Slurred through alcohol and tears it may have been, but the message of love was clear. I did not share my dream only that I loved her as far more than a friend and possibly always would.
She arrived at my house, collected her stuff, and went home in the taxi.
this is the way you left me/I'm not pretending/no hope, no love, no glory/no happy ending Mika "Happy Ending"