A Summer in the Flesh Ch. 11byC.C. Rider©
This is a chapter in a fifteen-chapter novella, and each chapter is dependent on the one that precedes it. It is best to read them in order. In any event, the story involves college housemates and is set in the summer of 1979.
I woke up earlier than usual on Thursday. My eyes were puffy from crying myself to sleep. I renewed my vow: when I left for graduate school in a few days, when I left this place, I was going to leave everything that happened this summer behind me. No looking back. No regrets. And no more tears.
Not that all the crying was an entirely bad thing. It was refreshing, I suppose, in a way that’s hard to describe. I felt renewed. Or I tried to convince myself of that.
I threw on some running shorts and a tank top and I sat on the front porch reading the newspaper and enjoying my coffee and the warming sun. A few hours passed quickly. Amy was the first one up. It was midmorning and she was still in her robe and slippers when she came out with her cup of coffee. She sat down next to me on the loveseat rocker.
“Hey,” she said sleepily.
“Good morning,” I said trying out my renewed cheerful disposition.
“My, aren’t you bright.” She took the front page of the paper. “Where were you last night?”
“Oh, studying, walking around, I don’t know.”
“How mysterious. When did you get in?”
“You should have come to the club. Tom bumped into some softball buddies and they sat with us. Key-ute! I had a whole gaggle of men all to myself. I was hoping you would come.”
“I was tired.”
“I danced so much I’m sore.”
“It wouldn’t have been for me last night. So, did you get laid?” I was trying to joke and be playful, but I regretted the question as soon as it left my lips.
“And that would be your business how?” she said without looking from the paper. I thought I was safe. Then a light turned on.
“The real question is, did YOU get laid?” Amy asked focusing all her attention on me.
“And that would be your business…?” I started, mimicking her.
“You smug little bitch. You got laid!” She sat up in interest. “Okay, let’s swap stories, you first.”
“Okay. No, I didn’t get laid. I was tired and hot and drunk and I went straight to bed. Now you?”
She went back to her paper.
A delivery van pulled up in front of the house. A young man opened the sliding door and pulled out a large box that looked like it was big enough hold a bag of golf clubs. He started for our porch.
“What’s this?” Amy stood up.
“Annie Malone?” the young man called out to us.
“That’s me.” I stood up.
He set the box down on the steps. It was silver-sheathed with a white satin bow. “I’ve got one more,” he said running back to his van. Amy was about to pull the card off the box.
“Nosey slut,” I said as I snatched it from her.
The deliveryman came back with a small shirt-box package that was also wrapped in silver and white. I signed for the packages hurriedly.
“What’s it say?” Amy was trying to peer over my shoulder, and I kept turning to keep her away.
In elegant cursive calligraphy, the card said this: Even in the briefest moment, eternity exists.
“Well?” Amy pried.
“It says thanks for the memories, but way classier.”
I opened the big box and found six-dozen long stem white roses. They were spectacular. As Amy cooed over them, I opened the small box and pulled out a pearl-white silk robe. An elegantly subtle jacquard print was woven into the fabric. I tried it on. It was a little above my knees in length with three-quarter sleeves. It was cool against my skin, and so fine it felt like gossamer, and it fit me perfectly. I tied the belt and twirled so that Amy could admire it.
“It’s beautiful,” Amy gasped with sincere appreciation. “It’s definitely you.”
“It is, isn’t it?”
Amy helped me put a fresh cut on the flowers and arrange them around the Blues House. She bugged me incessantly about where the gifts had come from, but I was steadfast. Most of the flowers went in a large vase in my bedroom. Tom, Charlie, and Mike were curious about the flowers. I told them the flowers were for my graduation, which was partially true, and they let it go.
As I was getting dressed to go to the library, Amy burst into my room and announced, “We simply must go shopping!” I protested, noting I had a final the following morning, but she insisted, cryptically telling me she had a surprise for me. I relented when she promised she would have me home by two that afternoon.
In the car, on the way to our mysterious destination, she was unusually animated.
“I have the most wonderful surprise for you. I didn’t know how to bring it up with you, but your gift this morning gave me an idea.”
“A surprise from you? Should I be worried?”
“I was very drunk last night, and I started talking, and I got this idea that you and the guys and I should…” she paused in confusion over what to say, “…maybe tomorrow night, being it’s our last night together. I thought we should go to this club I know about as a kind of celebration of our summer together.”
“What kind of club?”
“Well, that’s just the thing. The way I see it, we can all agree before we go that if someone doesn’t like it or wants to leave, then we’ll all come home, no questions.”
“What kind of club, Amy?”
“Tom and Charlie and Mike said they were game. Of course, they were drunk, too, but they told me this morning it was a go. Except Charlie: he said that he wouldn’t go if you didn’t want to go, so I told them I would bring it up with you.”
“Okay, it’s this place called the Troubadour Lounge. It’s in Canada, about a two-hour drive. It used to be a strip joint, but now it’s like a club. Not a dance club, but a …”
“Bridge club?” I teased. I think I knew where she was headed. It made me nervous.
“I don’t want to say it’s a sex club…”
“A sex club?!”
“It’s a hoot, Annie. We would have an extreme blast. It’s not like a strip joint, or, well, okay, maybe it’s like a strip joint on acid or something, but it’s very cool. No pressure. Anything goes, including nothing if you want to do nothing.”
“It sounds gross.”
“Don’t be a hypocrite. It’s not ‘gross.’ It’s super-clean and everyone is very friendly. Women own it, so it’s safe as can be. It’s just like a big party every night where anything goes, once you know a few rules.”
“Amy, this is silly…”
“And I’ll tell you the best part. If you want to, you can make some serious cash.”
“What, like being a stripper?!”
“No!” She struggled with a thought. “ Well, I suppose in one way you could say that. But you wouldn’t be there as a ‘stripper,’ you’d just be visiting, and there are all other kinds of things you can do. It’s fun stuff. It’s just that pretty girls, you know, you can get tips and stuff, but only if you want to. I’ve been there a hundred times, and nothing bad has ever happened, and I can make anywhere from a hundred to a thousand bucks a night.”
“A thousand bucks?” I was incredulous.
“Okay, that was a really good night, but three hundred wouldn’t be out of the question. And don’t knock it. I put myself through college that way. You could make that much without taking anything off. It’s harmless stuff: dance with some guys, shake a little booty. It’s fun, and like I said, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to.”
She really is crazy, I thought.
“Come on Annie, please. That’s my surprise. I want to buy you an outfit for tomorrow night. The guys really want to go. I really want to go. And we all really want you to go with us. You’d be safe with us. Just have a drink, watch the fun – it’s hilarious stuff. No pressure, promise.”
Amy pulled into the parking lot of the most expensive department store in town. I’d only been in the store once before, and I hadn’t bought anything because of the prices. It had brass and hand finished wood everywhere, and every department was like it’s own little world. I remembered how pleasant the staff was – attractive, courteous and knowledgeable, and never any pressure to buy anything. I liked that kind of shopping. I was intrigued.
“I don’t think so, Amy.”
“Don’t say anything. Just come shopping with me.”
Amy took me straight away to the lingerie department. Amy said we were going to accessorize my robe for our visit to the Troubadour. I was flabbergasted that she thought I might be persuaded to wear my new robe to a club, and she tried to assure me she knew what she was doing. I was hesitant to shop at first, but the hosiery and undergarments were all so scintillating and of such remarkable quality that I got swept away. Why shouldn’t I have some nice things to wear with my beautiful new robe?
It was as if Amy could read my mind. Either that or my reactions to the lingerie were fairly easily to read. I was a bit giddy. Every time I was titillated by the idea of how gorgeous something might look with my robe, she would look at it and say, “That’s it” and set it aside for comparison.
The store clerk was in her thirties, and she took a liking to us immediately. She was calming and polite, but genuinely interested in seeing that we both had fun as we shopped. She was charmingly flattering, too, which helped my spirits. Amy concocted some wild story about a honeymoon in Europe, and an antique pearl robe that we were trying to accessorize. It was funny stuff. I wondered what her reaction would have been had we told her the truth: “Oh, yes, we are going to a sex club, and we need something smashingly indecent.”
After well over an hour we finally settled on a soft-white chiffon baby doll with an uneven hemline that was so sheer that except for a subtle lacy design around the bodice it was translucent. It was trimmed with thin strands of lace and came with a matching pair of hip-hugger panties. I had to go with a plus size (damn!) on the baby doll to get the chiffon to cover my bum.
Amy wanted me to get the matching garter belt and hosiery, but I told her no. I thought it would look ridiculous. We compromised on pair of sheer frosted-white seamless stockings that were held up by a lacy band of textured elastic around the thighs. I fell in love with our choices, but I wasn’t planning on wearing such an outfit for anything but the most intimate of company. I wanted to pay for the items myself, to leave me the option, but the clerk, thinking they were wedding gifts, conspired with Amy. The items were mine before I knew a decision had been made.
I thought we were leaving the store, but Amy dragged me to the jewelry section and bought me faux pearl dangle earrings trimmed in gold and a faux pearl necklace just slightly longer than a choker. I was marveling at her generosity. She then insisted on buying me a pair of classy high-heels, not spiky: white pumps with modest two-and-one-half-inch heels.
“You can’t possibly wear those crappy white flats of yours,” she chided me.
“I’ll be way too tall,” I whined. She convinced me they were perfect. I wanted them to be perfect.
Finally, we had lunch at a cafe next the store. Amy was ecstatic with the notion that we were going to the Troubadour together, and it was infectious. I made her promise that if I didn’t like it, we would come straight home, and then I resigned myself to my fate.
Truth be told, I was curious and excited.
Amy got me home shortly after two that afternoon, just as she’d promised. No one was home, and she couldn’t contain herself, so she left a giant note on the kitchen table for the boys: “WE’RE ON FOR TOMORROW NIGHT!!!”
I went to the library and studied, and I made it an early night. Before bedtime, I tried on my new lingerie. I was startled. I couldn’t possibly imagine appearing in public that way. I was titillated. I fell asleep thinking sexy thoughts.
I spent some time in the Friday morning organizing my stuff for packing. I set out my suitcases and the big steamer trunk. Tomorrow I was going home, and then in a day or two, because I was already packed, I was off for California to settle in to my new life. I sat down on the trunk, and I welled up, and tears came to my eyes. Less than a day, and I had already broken my vow. Maybe that’s why I cried myself to sleep that night. I didn’t know. It felt different this time. I wasn’t so much emptiness as forlornness. I took a shower, and I felt better again.
I finished my FINAL final exam by noon. When I arrived home, Amy whisked me off to a hair-stylist appointment she had made for the both of us. Again she insisted on paying. I refused to let her. She told me I could pay her back from my night’s earnings. I told her there wasn’t going to be any earnings. She was adamant about picking up the tab, so I capitulated, but I insisted on springing for a manicure for each of us.
We had a few glasses of wine at the parlor, and by the time we were through, we were radiant and looked marvelous. Her hair was a bouncy Prince Valiant, turned in at the shoulders, a stunningly deep auburn. My fawn colored hair was carefully highlighted and pulled up in a French bun, with loose strands of curls caressing my neck and face. I was looking forward to trying on my outfit. I wondered what Amy would wear.
When we got home, Tom and Charlie and Mike were on the front porch drinking beer. They hooted and fawned over our hairdos with heartwarming sincerity. We joined them for a few beers. Everyone was happy with their exam performances, and excited about the evening. There was a flurry of questions for Amy. She said she would explain the protocols on the way up in the car. Only one rule really mattered, she said: have fun!
We ordered Chinese food and ate on the front porch, talking and laughing. At about 7:00 that evening, Amy announced that it was time for us ladies to start getting ready.
I told her I wanted to take a quick shower, and she joined me. We were careful not to wet our hair.
She was standing out of the water lathering her nether regions with shaving cream. She used a man’s razor and began to shave herself, starting at the tops of the insides of her thighs and drawing the razor up to her triangular tuft of dark-red pubic hair. She took her time, shaping it perfectly. Then she spread the lather between her parted legs.
“Doesn’t that make you itchy?” I asked.
“I’ve been shaving myself for quite some time.” She looked up at me and smiled. “Soft as a baby’s bottom.”
She took the razor up her thighs again, but this time she went between her legs and slid the razor over her labia. I winced. I had trimmed my pubic hair many times, and I had occasionally shaved it around the edges when I was doing my legs, a bikini wax sort of thing, but I had never stroked a razor over the soft stuff between my legs.
“Yikes,” I winced again.
“‘Yikes?’ You should see me when I have to shave those pesky little hairs from my butt crack.”
“No thanks. Don’t you think that’s taking it a bit too far?”
“Oh, it feels great.”
“But that hair is so delicate and soft. Don’t you run the risk of it becoming coarse, like leg hair?”
“Nah. Here.” She walked over to me and took my hand. I started to pull it away.
“Come on, Annie, I just want you to feel how soft and smooth it is.”
“I’ve felt it, remember?”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t freshly shaved then.” She placed my hand against her pubic mound. Her pubic hair was delicate and thin, and the exposed skin on her mound was very soft. I started to remove my hand and she took it again.
“Feel between my legs. We’re friends here, right?”
“Boy, I guess,” I said, and I actually did want to touch her and see how it felt. I traced her labia with my fingers. Her flesh was supple and yielding to my touch, and yet so smooth it felt polished.
“It does feel nice.”
“Ooh, yes it does,” she cooed.
She smiled at me as I pressed into her and one of my fingers slipped into the moist warmth between her lips.
“Ooh,” she sighed again. “Of course there is definitely something to be said for a little wispy hair around there. It’s very sexy. But there is nothing worse than big ol’ fur-burger pussy.” She reached for my pussy.
“Gorilla salad,” I offered with a laugh.
“That’s what an old boyfriend called it. He told me he was glad I didn’t have a ‘gorilla salad’ down there like some girls.”
Amy laughed, and I let her hand slip between my legs. She touched me and stroked me. My whole body seemed to blush. We petted each other for a time. And then, all at once, I felt strangely guilty.
“You know, we better get out of here,” I said despondently. “There is too much steam for our hair,”
As we dried off, she said, “Come see what I got for you to give to Charlie.”
“What?” I asked puzzled. We put on our terry robes and went to her room.
Laid out on her bed was a black pair of pants with a fly in the front that consisted of a circular elastic hole with drawstrings. The fabric was very thin, more like surgical pants than jeans, but the fit would be tight.
“That’s an interesting pair of pants,” I said.
“They’re perfect, aren’t they?”
“Ease of access?”
“Oh, even better than that. If he wants to, he can just walk around with that big beautiful cock hanging out.”
“I see.” It did paint an arresting yet interesting picture. “Do you think he’ll wear them?”
“I think so, but only if they’re from you.”
That comment gave me pause. What was I doing? I had been so buoyed by Alshara’s gifts and so swept up with Amy’s enthusiasm and generosity that I hadn’t really had time to think about what she was getting me and (dare I think it) us – Charlie and me – into. Maybe I’d be better off staying home with Charlie, I thought. Maybe we should find a qiuet a place for just the two of us.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Amy asked earnestly.
“Nothing.” I shook my head, and then I felt compelled to speak. “Okay, no. I am having second thoughts, Amy. I am trying to visualize the kind of night club where it would be acceptable for Charlie to be walking around with his dick sticking out, and, frankly, I am not sure I want go to that kind of place.”
She looked at me like she was trying to gauge my sincerity. Then she laughed so hard she collapsed on the bed and started rolling around.
“What?” I asked with hurt in my voice.
“Oh god, Annie, I thought you were serious.” She sat up on her elbows. “So let me see if I’ve got this right; it was okay for Charlie and Mike to watch while Tom and I ‘totally fucked’ you, but now what? You’re a good girl? You want to be ‘normal’?”
Amy got up and stood in front of me and took my hands, and for the first time since I had met her, I was scared of her.
“Fuck normal, Annie. You listen to me, girlfriend. There is no normal! You are not crossing any lines. You are not going anywhere you can’t come back from. What we’re doing ain’t wrong, and it ain’t dirty, and it sure as shit ain’t ‘sinful.’ It’s called fun,” she said smiling warmly, and then she kissed me like a sister.
“And don’t under estimate me. I know what is going on in your head. You’re thinking you might be in love with Charlie.”
Maybe that was it. Maybe in “leaving all this behind,” their was a part of me that desperately wanted to take something with me.
“You can fall in love anytime, Annie, and you will someday, and you will have a wonderful life. It’s not the kind of life I would want, but I can see it’s the life you want. And no matter what you do right now, when you walk into that life, you will walk into it completely, never looking back. Trust me. I know your type.” Then she paused and looked in my eyes like she had something important to say.
“Do you want that part of your life to start right now?”
“I don’t know.” I felt confused. I wasn’t scared of Amy anymore, but I was scared of something and I strained to keep away even the thought of crying.
“Because it can. You go down there right now, and you can tell Charlie that you love him, and that you don’t want to go tonight, that you just want to be with him. Do you know what he’d say?”