This is a complete, rather odd story about a student's search for marks. It was a hell of a lot of fun to write; I have no idea how much fun it will be to read. Tell me, the few who will persist, I'd appreciate it.
Gail Smithers is standing in a store considering her options, and they are vast. But she isn't looking for the deluxe, the racy, or even, really, the seductive, just something a little different, something that might change, however slightly, not her view of herself so much as her view of the subject, sex. So she chooses the yellowish white ones, silky and slightly lower cut than the cottons she purchases in packages, 3 for $15.00. And, when she arrives back to her room in the house she shares with nine other women, a room so small she thinks of it as a monastic cell, a cell because it's so small, monastic because she lives in it, she throws the small bag on her bed and sits down at her computer. She has an hour before dinner and has a lot of work to do.
I like Gail Smithers, she isn't terribly pretty but she sure isn't plain, either. She has a longish narrow face, and a long, narrow nose but her lips are sensual above a strong pointed chin and it's all framed by medium length, rather straight, brown hair with a nice lustre to it, as if the shampoo she uses really makes a difference. If that description makes Gail's face appear rather sharp, I'm misleading you because I have yet to mention her most prominent facial feature: the eyes. They're beauties, big, round, brown and intelligent, but if a single word must describe them it must be 'innocent,' and why not, Gail has lived a highly sheltered life: she is the only sister to three brothers whose sole purpose in life has been, and by all accounts, still is, an eager search for promiscuous fun and pleasure. The consequence of this to Gail? She has been militantly guarded by this randy trio against the very things they so avidly seek.
She didn't understand this, of course, and wouldn't have minded if she did: study, and particularly mathematics, are her passion, and her brothers' gift to her, the blinkers fixed so tight to her lovely eyes, allowed Gail to more closely focus on what she cares about most, achieving a top flight education. And achieve she has, at a university that has been home for two and a half years.
But it's not her studies that interest us, well, not all of her studies. Our interest is in the journey she has so recently been forced to take, a journey that really should have, but for the brothers, begun some years before. But back to the eyes for a moment, they are innocent, yes, but curious, too, leading us to believe that if eyes really are windows to the soul, then Gail Smithers will be a very interesting person for us to get to know, as Agnes, a housemate, knows very well, that's why she's knocking on Gail's door now and entering the cell and our story.
Agnes is a pleasant enough looking woman, 22 like Gail, but that's about all they share in common. In looks, Agnes has none of Gail's angularity or thinness. She is pleasant looking, even provocatively attractive, slightly over weight, big breasted, a bit frumpish, interested in the welfare of others, yes, but in herself, too. She's a nurturer, and, in stark contrast to Gail's no-nonsense sense of self, Agnes has a genuine outgoing cheerfulness that many find contagious, Gail among them and that's why she turns away from her computer and waves Agnes into the only other chair in the room.
Now, dear reader, this will be a somewhat odd story, this story of discovery, so necessarily, it has a rather odd beginning.
"I needed a break, am I disturbing you?"
Gail could sense Agnes has something on her mind and tells her 'no,' she was just killing time before dinner.
What is on Agnes' mind is this: her life's story. Her mother is coming to town in a few days and that got her to thinking about her family and her life, she got caught up in her trip down memory lane and realized that she was getting depressed and needed a change of scenery, so she left the lane for the cell.
The story tumbled out over time, dinner was forgotten. Ags, for that is what Agnes demands to be called, hating with a passion, and our Ags knows passion, her given name, Agnes.
Ags grew up in a farming community, (I note the pun, too) the only child of a farm machine salesman and his wife. She had a happy enough childhood, if, as she confessed to Gail, a significantly promiscuous one, adding, it was a farming community. Her almost three years in this city, however, haven't been particularly happy. For one, the competition for men has been too fierce for an only slightly attractive, uncompetitive farm girl, so she's yet to have a date, and, to make a long story short, she has so much pent up sexual energy that she thought she might explode.
When Gail said it, she knew her solution was simplistic, but she said it anyway, better that then exploring the countless and complex alternatives facing Ags, which she knew nothing about anyway, and dinner was still a possibility. Why not masturbate?
"Oh, God, Gail, thanks."
And she saw her friend, really more of an acquaintance, stand up, pull down her pants and panties, almost lie on the chair in front of her and begin the process.
Now, it really is possible to be more fascinated then shocked, and we have an example of that right here, but shock was there, too, you could see it cloud Gail's innocent eyes and she is about to take action when she checks herself — hadn't she, for the first time in her life, just purchased a pair of flimsies? No, the journey had already begun and she knew she'd better get her experiences where she could find them, so even though the word 'why?' lies foremost in her mind, she struggles for composure by suggesting to Ags she may be more comfortable on the bed.
Ags agrees and moves the three steps to sit with her back against the wall, her heels by her cheeks and her legs opened wide. And that's when Ags spots the red bag with the yellow lettering, 'Undergarment Shoppe.' "Do you mind?"
Gail shakes her head and notes that the fingers so recently caressing, are now dipping into the bag and pulling out the yellowish white contents, holding them up for inspection before looking at her audience, "Funny, I figured you for a cotton briefs girl."
"They're a reminder," Gail explains cryptically, and when she notes the inquiring look says 'nothing important' and asks the question in the forefront of her mind, "Why are you doing this?"
Now, I think there's something to the notion that children who grow up among rutting, sniffing, snorting, fucking, pissing, shitting farm animals have a different sense of self then you and I more accustomed to the essence of urban life, cars, potted plants, boutiques and gourmet restaurants. In a word, farm kids can be immeasurably more uninhibited, more likely to accept bodily functions as de rigeur. But this? Even Ags knew this was over the top so she explains herself, explains herself as she gently, oh so gently, caresses her pussy, seemingly oblivious that she is doing so.
Ags had known Gail for almost three years now, noticed that Gail, like herself, never seemed to have dates and wondered if Gail is a lesbian or wanted to be one. Why this particular act to find out? Ags had done this once before, with success, so why not? Is Gail offended? Surprised and shocked and fascinated, yes, but no longer offended, (although Gail can't understand why she isn't).
But you're saying that's too simply an explanation, surely there's more to it than that? True. "I've wanted to do this for you for over a year, it's one of my fantasies when I do this in my room." Is it working for you Ags? Yes, but for one thing: "You have fantastic tits, Gail. I'd love to see them."
Two hours ago, Ags would have long since been in the hall with her ass severely kicked, but when Gail pulls her sweater over her head she does so knowing that the journey is already underway, it had begun, really, in the Undergarment Shoppe.
"Can you stop there for a minute? You look delicious. Give me a few minutes before unveiling."
Time enough to fill you in on why Ag's ass is on the bed with the panties, not in the hall with a footprint.
Gail's journey is framed by an academic challenge. Could it be otherwise? This is a very serious girl, with little humour and grace, and she is focused, my goodness she is focused. To explain the academic challenge I'll use the words of her professor in her Psych 345 class of 120: "You will be paired randomly, mutually choose a subject from this box, you and your partner will meet twice weekly for discussion and you will each, separately, write a report worth 35% of your term mark, on what you have learned, how you have learned and what significant observations, I stress significant observations you can make about any and all insights. Remember, ladies and gentlemen, this is a psychology course so the 'how' is the raison d'ete, so the deeper you go, the better. Got it? And, oh, by the way. Your topics? Keep them to yourself, I don't want a bunch of complainers bitching that he got an easier topic than her."
So, beyond sitting across from a pleasant girl with three fingers in her pussy, now glistening Gail notes, that's where things stand (and sit). It was a just a day before that she found that her topic, shared with a man she only just then met, was to be the three letter word, s-e-x. Now sex was something that Gail knew absolutely nothing about and had no interest in and that's why we found our protagonist, Gail, in the elegant Undergarment Shoppe: she was looking for a prop, a prop she could use to get herself thinking about this subject so foreign to her. Now panties as a prop may seem a bit limp and, in fact, she had first thought of a dildo, but she couldn't image driving one of those things into her, and, besides, the focus isn't supposed to be on pleasure, but understanding, so the silken, yellow white panties she selected, so different from her cottons, were meant, not to wear, but as iconography to remind herself to think about her own sexuality, and the purchase was her first tiny step on that journey.
The second step is staring at her now and nodding, so Gail unfastens her bra, and quite frankly is a little pleased to do so because she knows that what she now reveals to the woman opposite, the one breaking the cell's monastic vow, are, in Sienfeldian terms, 'spectacular,' though she thinks of them as utterly useless and burdensome.
"Watch me, Gail."
Gail had been drifting off, trying to summon other sexual events in her young life. She, herself, had masturbated, of course, but rarely and never satisfactorily, and she once thought she might have seen her parents in a compromising pose, but her father had kicked the door shut and she was never sure. What else? She didn't think dogs could count and the stuff on celluloid never piqued her interest, so that left Jimmy's grope at her breast in grade 8, a grab that left Jimmy bleeding on the ground and later brutalized by the brothers. So now I have this, she thinks, a pleasant, likeable, happy girl with her mouth now slightly open, her eyes unusually hooded, now shivering her ass in time with her fingers. She looks silly, but in her complete abandonment, she looks sexy, too, so Gail takes another step in her journey and steps from her chair and asks her friend, holding her spectacular left breast in her hand, "Would you like a taste?"
The explosion, noisy and wet and, for a moment, paralyzing, is over in seconds, but Ags holds the breast to her mouth for another minute until Gail gently pulls it away, leaving a child to slowly become a woman again.
Let us now visit the trendy coffee house on the corner of Signal Street and Givens, but before we go in, let's look through the window and wait, they will be here soon.
Gail arrives first and sits down. We know her so let's just observe her demeanor. She is composed, business-like and focused, like at a chemistry experiment.
Now Tom Brooks, for that is his name, stands by the table. Tom is an athlete, not an elite athlete, he cares too much about his studies for that, but a good one, and an active one and that's why his 6' tall body is muscular and toned. What does he look like? Well, let's read Gail's thoughts, 'nice looking, sensible looking.' Odd term, 'sensible looking,' but it's on the mark: Tom has a neat, well proportioned face with nothing particularly distinguishing save for the look, the fix of his face, which is part intense, part curious, with just a hint of cynicism, in other words, a sensible face, one that will never be thrust unwanted into another's business, but one that can be trusted, one that will be consulted from time to time for its speculations on things, perhaps even for the knowledge it can emit, though the face shows only 22 years. And another reason to call it a sensible face? The eyes in the sensible face notice that Gail has nothing in front of her on the table (though he did notice ..., well, more on that later), so he asks her what she would like, and then they are together, or at least, across the table from each other, a table on which stands two large steaming cups.
We're inside now, in time to hear Gail say, "I am a tabula rasa, a blank slate. I know nothing about the subject of sex and I'm compelled to announce my bona fides from the onset."
There, it is done, she got it out, her admission of absolute ignorance on so mundane, yet so fascinating a subject is out in the open, but the confident smile that seemed to suggest that this admission is a good thing, slips from her face when Tom says,
"Then I am to speak and you are to take notes?"
Well, no, of course not, she says to herself, but only to herself, because to him she says nothing, she can think of nothing to say, so she fumbles in her purse and comes out with her note book and, when she licks the end of her pencil, Tom laughs, surprisingly hard, a good laugh, a kind laugh.
Then he turns serious. "This is 35% of our mark, you know."
"But it's a journey of discover," she has prepared her argument, "we aren't expected to be experts, it's all about what we learn and how we learn it. Plumbing the depths of my abysmal ignorance on the subject can be just another 'how' of the journey." She didn't much like her words, true as she thought they are, so she tries to deflect his attention from them by adding, "did you know that the word plumbing is a derivative from the Latin word for lead?"
"Alright," he said, with resignation, "let's begin in the abyss of your abysmal ignorance," and they did and spent an hour there and when they left the restaurant they both thought they had exhausted pretty much everything that could be considered academic on the subject (Gail, of course, had brought copious research notes). But even though Tom's disappointment had been obvious, both knew it had been a somewhat promising start, they had laid down their base, and they agreed they would begin in two day's time on 'clothing.'
Clothing. It was his observations, or at least the ones he cited when they met again that got the ball rolling. The bare midriffs, the tight pants, the tank tops, the gossamer thin bras that seem to excite the nipple, they are all having an effect, but a counter-productive effect, men are turning away from the scantily and provocatively attired women of today, bored, as if the women are trying too hard, trying with too much desperation.
"Is that how you react?" There, her first direct question, the first personal question, and if she stays on the offensive maybe he will leave her alone, maybe he won't reach into the chalice of her innocence to reveal the utter incompetence of her socialization.
The sensible face thinks only for a second before saying, "Well, if there was one in a crowd of prissies, then the eye might go to her, but if the crowd was all like her, then ya, you'd probably just pass by."
You might pass by or you might pass by? Coy, isn't he, "And by prissies, you mean women dressed like me."
Well, the sensitive face can blush and apologize, "Sorry, a word for contrast." But the gloves are off now, partially off, and the dialogue is taking shape, an interesting exchange, really, but in the absence of any polls or scientific data, mere speculations, and then the subject became more interesting.
He got down to the underwear first, really just alluding to it, but she got specific, and immediately regretted that she had. "So the world wants to know," she thought she was being terribly clever, "is it briefs or is it boxers?"
"Briefs," he says without hesitation, "and you?"
"Briefs." Her own word sounded strange to her, surreal, am I taking about my underwear? But, really, it's just another step on a strange journey.
"But women don't have briefs, do you, aren't yours more specific?"
"Aren't your large cut, French cut, Polish cut, low cut, side cut, high riders, low riders, high riders, side riders, thong, bikini, spaghetti, dental floss."
Gail laughs and remembers the Undergarment Shoppe when he interrupts her, "And your choice is?"
She had never talked about underwear before, not with her mother, certainly not with her brothers and, needless to say, never with a stranger, sensitive face or not. She shifts uncomfortably on the bench seat and is considering her response when he says,
"Look, Gail, this is our second session and I've asked you about your panties and you're having a hard time with that. What's going to happen when I ask you about masturbation, how you do it, where you do it, what you think of when you're doing it. And what's going to happen when I ask you about your fantasies, you peccadillo, your fetishes, and how you like to be fucked. What are you going to say then?" He waits for a response but she says nothing, seeming to be searching the table top for an answer. So with his finger, he drew the line in the sand, well, on the tabletop. "I want the marks, Gail, I'm in this for the marks, so either we agree right now to get down and dirty on this, that we tell each other every fucking thing we need to in order to reach the destination of this exercise, or we should call it a day here and now and try to find other partners and another assignment."
It couldn't have been more plain, more starkly plain and she is smart enough to realize that she has a lot to learn and this guy, this sensitive face across the table, may be the best teacher she can find and besides, she needs the marks, too, so the words she chooses, or more precisely, the words she blurts out aren't all that difficult,
"I have never had sex, I have never been felt, well once, sort of, I seldom masturbate, never successfully and I wear plain, white cotton panties." She is speaking to her tabletop but when she looks up, she is met with an encouraging smile.
"I've had sex, not often, I like to masturbate and when I do I often think of women, but never in plain, white cotton panties, they're usually in something sexier than that which are often red." He smiles, no blush. "So why do you wear just plain, white cotton panties?"
Her confidence is gone now, and she now knows why she wears plain, white cotton panties, because 'I'm a skinny, sexless, unimaginative twit who hasn't the sexual imagination to wear anything else.' She thinks these words through before saying them, but she does say them and it surprises her when she does.
"Do you really think that?"
"Yes,'" she says, "I think I do."
"Does it bother you that you haven't the sexual imagination to wear anything but plain white cotton underwear?"
"Not until now." And that is true, her underwear had never been an issue with her, not until now, but now she wishes they were pink or light blue and maybe a little lower in the cut so she could have something to say.