tagLesbian SexClass of '92

Class of '92

byAnn Douglas©

Rachel Spenser was enjoying herself at the 10th reunion of the Class of '92. When she had first received the invitation to the celebration a few weeks back, the twenty-eight-year-old had tossed it aside with a mental note to send back the small "Will not be attending" card when she got a chance. Now she was glad it had gotten lost among the bills.

It had been a good number of years since Rachel had left East Monroe to go to school out in California. In that time, she had only been back to visit her hometown a handful of times. With her mother's funeral four years before, even those rare trips had stopped.

One of the reasons the tiny town she had spent her early life in occupied such a small place in her memory was the fact that few people in East Monroe ever made enough of an impression on her to be worth remembering. Or at least that was the way it had seemed to her at the time.

A feature reporter for the San Francisco Post for the last five years, Rachel had been trying to land a cover story in the weekend newsmagazine for the last nine months. Opportunity seemed to land in her lap when her Editor announced that he wanted to do a cover story on high school reunions. Never one to let a chance for advancement go by, Rachel had jumped on it, saying that she thought it was a great idea and then, remembering the invite sitting in the drawer at home, casually mentioning that she was already going to her own reunion in two weeks.

Her move had worked and instead of handing off the assignment to Wendy Thomas, as he had been planning to do, the Editor decided to give Rachel a shot at the cover instead. A switch that the younger reporter had been none too happy with. She saw Rachel as someone who'd passed her peak already and should just get out of the way of those younger and more capable.

Rachel had smiled at her younger competition when Wendy offered what the older woman was sure were false congratulations. Behind the twenty-four-year-old's smile, Rachel was certain, was the hope that the older woman would fall flat on her face with the assignment. Maybe even hard enough to see her tossed from the paper.

As she headed back to her own desk. Rachel considered the idea that might very well be a real possibility. It had been long years since she had talked to any of her own schoolmates and even then she had hardly been on the best of terms with many. What if she couldn't come up with a winning story about any of them?

To her great surprise, people who she had hardly paid any attention to back in school were overjoyed to welcome her back. From their perspective, she was one of the big success stories of the Class of '92. After all, she had moved away from the small town and now lived in San Francisco, working for one of the major newspapers. Compared to most of their lives, that was the big time indeed.

It was also interesting to see how some people had changed physically over the years. Rachel worked hard to keep herself in pretty much the same shape she'd been in during high school and college, but it quickly became obvious that not everyone had.

Jenny Wilson seemed the most extreme example. A cheerleader back in the day, she had become the stereotype of the bon-bon eating housewife, adding a hundred pounds to her frame. Almost the reverse was true for Michelle Berkey. Nicknamed Moose by some of the less kind high school boys, she had shed half her weight in the years since graduation.

Rachel had interviewed both of them and each seemed equally overjoyed to have, if not the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame, then their names in print. During the brief chats with the two of them and others, Rachel found herself answering almost as many questions as she asked.

What was life like in San Francisco? Did she like being a reporter? What famous people had she met? Did she have a lot of boyfriends?

It was only the last question that Rachel tired of answering. Her standard reply was that her career left little time for an active social life. The reaction of those she gave it to all seemed to be pretty much the same. It was too bad than she hadn't been able to find a man that could support her career plans as well. Then again, as a few pointed out, weren't a lot of the men in San Francisco the sort that didn't like women?

"Oh that is such a shame," Doris Lynch added as she expressed that very sentiment once more as she asked Rachel about her life on the West Coast.

Among the people she had interviewed so far, Rachel remembered Doris quite well. One of those girls who had to know everyone else's business, and then couldn't wait to share it with anyone else. Giving her set reply to the question, Rachel wondered how the gossip would react if she answered more honestly: pointing out that the large percentage of Gay men in San Francisco really didn't bother her because truth be told, she had never been the kind of woman who liked men either.

"She'd probably race for the microphone up on the stage so she could announce it over the public address system," Rachel thought, thinking that was the sort of hot gossip that Doris would be unable to keep secret for a minute.

That fact that she was a lesbian was something that Rachel normally never gave a second thought to back home. It was something she had come to realize back in high school, even though she hadn't done anything about it until college. It was simply who she was.

In the years since, she'd had three serious relationships, the last of which had ended a year before. She'd had a few dates since but nothing that seemed to be going anywhere.

"I wonder if Doris is available?" Rachel laughed silently to herself as she poured herself a glass of punch and remembered what her former classmate had looked like in the showers after gym. From the way she filled out the dress she'd been wearing during their interview, she still looked pretty much the same.

With the material already filling half her notepad, Rachel was now confident she would be able to write the kind of article her Editor was looking for. Now she could relax and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Ten minutes later, Rachel had completed yet another interview that would add to her story. In her mind she could already see the completed product and it was going to be exactly the kind of uplifting story that the Post liked to run in its Sunday Magazine. If she was really lucky, the story might be picked up and run in syndication as many of the cover stories were.

Being from a small town, Rachel found it funny how many city people liked to read about their small town counterparts. Still, if it was going to advance her career, well that was fine with her.

"God, can you believe she had the nerve to show up here?" said a woman's voice from behind where Rachel was standing.

The comment had been spoken in a low voice to another woman standing next to the speaker, but had carried just far enough for the reporter to hear. Curious as to who had elicited such a reaction, Rachel moved so she could see whom it was the two women were talking about. To her surprise, not only was it someone she recognized, but it was also one of the few people in her class that she had considered a friend.

"Kelly O'Neil," Rachel said to herself as she recognized the blonde haired woman in the blue dress, but then corrected herself that it had been Kelly Ryan for a number of years now. "Why in the world would anyone in this town have a bad word to say about her?"

Back in high school, Kelly O'Neil had been the proverbial most popular girl in school. Captain of the Cheerleader squad, Vice President of the Student Council, as well as valedictorian of the graduating class. She had been looked on as the girl who was going to do it all. Kelly had also been an assistant editor on the school paper, which was where Rachel knew her from, having been the editor herself.

From what Rachel had heard, Kelly had indeed fulfilled everyone's expectations, which included marrying Tom Ryan, the Captain of the football team. The last time Rachel had been home, Kelly had just been elected the youngest member of the town council. What could've happened since?

Timidity had never been one of Rachel's traits so she walked right past the two women who had been talking about Kelly and said hello to her old friend.

"Oh my God!" Kelly exclaimed in surprise, "I don't believe it. Rachel Spenser, what brings you back to this one-horse town?"

Rachel paused a breath before answering, taking the opportunity to look at her old friend. Kelly had always been one of the hottest girls in school, and she had certainly improved with age. Some women were like that, really reaching their peak as they got older.

Rachel quickly explained about her story and how she had come to the reunion for it. She added that she had been surprised at how nice everyone had been to her, seeing as how she was really not part of the in-crowd back in their school days.

"It's good to see you though," Rachel said, remembering that Kelly had been the only friend from school who had attended her mother's funeral.

"Well just don't say that too loud around some of these people," Kelly said with a strong touch of animosity in her voice. "Because they might have a real sudden change of heart about you. Guilt by association, that sort of thing."

"And what exactly are you guilty of?" Rachel asked.

Kelly took what seemed like a long time before answering. Her reply, when it came, was somewhat cryptic.

"Being different I guess," she said.

"I don't understand," Rachel replied.

"Look, my coming to this glorified sock hop was a mistake and I was just about to leave," Kelly said. "I really need a drink of something a little stronger than what they poured into the punch bowl. Why not come with me and have a drink. I'll tell you all about my scandalous behavior."

The party had already begun to wind down and, to put it mildly, Rachel was really intrigued by the mystery. She agreed and as per Kelly's request, gave her a five-minute head start and then, after saying a few good-byes, followed her out the door.

-=-=-=-

It actually took until the third drink before Kelly loosened up enough to tell her story. They had driven to Parson's Bar out by the county line. Not the sort of place you'd find the upper class of East Monroe, but the kind of bar where all they cared about was that you paid for your drinks up front.

"Did you see David Burke back at the reunion?" the long haired blonde said after her empty glass hit the table.

Rachel had to think a moment to put a face to the name, then remembered the heavyset manager of the multiplex theater who had said a quick hello to her. She nodded to Kelly that she had seen him.

"Good old Dave, another fine upstanding member of the community," Kelly said sarcastically. "Well I don't know if he mentioned it, but Dave split up recently with his wife of seven years. It seems that the mother of his three kids wasn't really satisfying his needs. So to make up for her deficiencies, Dave had been taking time off during the matinees to screw the twenty-year-old who worked behind the snack bar."

Rachel took it in but didn't comment. Things like that happened both in big cities and small towns.

"So Dave, who's screwing the hired help is welcomed at the reunion, while I'm treated like I was taking on truckers five at a time. But then again, Dave is one of the guys so that makes it okay."

It was obvious to Rachel that Kelly had an affair, or at least had been caught screwing someone other than her husband. Yet, even in a small town like East Monroe, something like that shouldn't generate a reaction like Kelly described.

"Oh God," Rachel thought, "could it have been someone underage?"

"Donna Franklin was there too," Kelly said, "I know you remember Donna."

Rachel nodded that she did. Donna had also been on the Student Council with Kelly.

"She finally married Clark Lange, whose father you might remember was the minister at Blessed Heart, as well as being part of the Langes who owned the drug store. Of course old Clark never would've walked down the aisle with her if she hadn't been able to swear on a stack of bibles that she was a virgin and that no man had passed between her pearly gates. Well it was a good thing he didn't ask her to also swear that no man had ever had his cock in her mouth as well. Donna might've had a little problem with that, giving the rather large number that had."

That little piece of knowledge greatly surprised Rachel. Back in school, Donna was always going on about how she was going to save herself for marriage. Sometimes to the point of being obnoxious, looking down on those who didn't value it as highly as she professed to. Evidently, she agreed with the former President in what actually defined sexual relations.

"But I guess it was okay for Dave and Donna for another reason," Kelly was still going on, even though Rachel had become distracted by what she'd just been told. "At least they were doing it with the right sex."

"What?" Rachel said, realizing she had just missed something.

"No, you heard right," Kelly said, not knowing that her friend hadn't heard at all. "When Tom came home unexpectedly from a hunting trip with the boys, he walked right in on me and Susan."

"Susan?" Rachel repeated.

"Susan Lauro, she was a few years older than us and a waitress at the Golden Dove diner," she explained. "You didn't know her. She moved here after you left and took off after the story got all over town."

"You were having sex with another woman?" Rachel asked, just to be sure that the few drinks they'd both put away hadn't distorted what she had heard.

"Yes," Kelly said, "so feel free to express the disgust that almost everyone else in town that knows seems to have."

"Was this a one time thing or have you always been attracted to other women?" Rachel asked instead, thinking that disgust was the last thing she would find in the situation.

"Well it would be easy to say it was a one time thing," Kelly answered. "That it sort of just happened, that maybe I was drunk and things got out of hand. That's the answer I think I'd tell other people if they cared enough to ask. But you were my friend and you haven't suddenly felt an urge to run away lest I contaminate you, so I'll give you an honest answer."

Rachel was now hanging on every word, glad that they had taken a booth in the back of the bar where no one else could hear.

"The honest answer is that I've felt attracted to other women since back in high school," Kelly said, the sense of relief in the way she said it suggesting that it was the first time she had actually said it to anyone. "It wasn't something I could deal with so I just buried what I was feeling and made sure no one would ever even think that I had feelings like that. Could you imagine how the girls in our class would've reacted if they knew that I was getting turned on looking at them in the locker room and showers?"

"I think I could," Rachel said softly, but now it was Kelly who really wasn't listening.

"It got so that I'd rather have a reputation as a slut than people thinking I was a dyke," she added.

Thinking back, Rachel remembered that there was a short period during senior year during which Kelly was the topic of a considerable amount of conversation in the boy's locker room. Her brother, Chip, barely a year younger than Rachel, had told her that her friend was beginning to acquire a reputation as being pretty easy. He had been considerate enough to leave out the fact that it was a subject that he had first hand knowledge of.

The locker room stories and Kelly's exploits with other guys abruptly ended when she started dating Tom Ryan. Now Rachel understood why. No one was ever going to think that the girl who was sleeping with the Team Captain was more interested in her fellow cheerleaders.

"In fact," Kelly said as she brought her story to a close, "I even had the biggest crush on you. I was so afraid that you were going to catch me staring at you one day."

With that, Rachel suddenly lost it and began to laugh loudly enough for people in the front of the bar to hear her. Her reaction was definitely not what Kelly had expected.

"I didn't think it was that funny," Kelly said, her tone reflecting a realization that maybe Rachel wasn't all that different than her other one time friends after all.

"Oh yes it is," Rachel replied, barely able to get out the words because she was laughing so hard. "You have no idea how funny it really is."

Anything Rachel said after that fell on deaf ears as Kelly grabbed her bag and got up to leave. The last thing the blonde needed was yet another ignorant asshole that found her life a subject of amusement.

"Kelly wait," Rachel said, regaining control of herself when she saw her old friend stand up and start to leave.

It was only the press of Rachel's hand around her wrist as the newspaper reporter attempted to physically stop her that made Kelly pause. But it was a pause that only lasted long enough for Rachel to get in a few more words.

"Kelly, I wasn't laughing at you," she quickly said. "Believe me, that's the last thing that I'd ever do. Just give me a minute to explain and I'm sure you'll understand."

"You've got thirty seconds," a now angry Kelly said, pulling her arm away.

"Kelly," Rachel simply said, "I'm gay."

Kelly froze in mid-motion. She looked at Rachel for a long moment, then sat back down without saying another word.

"That's why I found what you said so funny," Rachel quickly went on. "You were so worried that I was going to notice that you were checking me out, and I spent half my time doing the same thing."

"Oh my God!" Kelly said as it all finally hit her. "You and I were both ..."

"It seems so," Rachel said, completing Kelly's thought. "Although it seems that neither of us knew it at the time."

"It seems like such a waste," Kelly said.

"A waste?" Rachel repeated.

"That we didn't know," Kelly replied. "Our lives could've been so different."

"I suppose," Rachel said as she looked deep into Kelly's blue eyes, knowing that she was imagining just what that life might've been like.

"Do you have ..." Kelly started to ask, then rephrased her question. "Are you with someone now?"

"No, not really," Rachel answered. "I guess my social life has been taking a back seat to my career for a while now."

No sooner did Rachel answer one question, then Kelly asked another. She seemed quite curious about life back in San Francisco, especially the fact that her friend had come out a few years back and no one seemed to care.

"You're life sounds great," Kelly said as Rachel answered her last question.

"Well like anything else, it has its ups and downs," Rachel replied.

"Well at least it's better than anything you would've had around here," Kelly added, emphasizing her point with a wave of her hand in the direction of the town beyond.

The broad motion caused Rachel to look up and take note that the two of them had become a center of attention to some of the other patrons. They might not have been close enough to hear the topic of their discussion, but it was pretty obvious that at one point they were having some sort of disagreement. The chance of that discord turning physical, a not uncommon occurrence in the bar, was enough to hold their interest.

"Why don't we get out of here?" Rachel suggested as she drew Kelly's attention to their audience.

"I think that's a good idea," Kelly agreed.

-=-=-=-

Once back in Rachel's rented car, the two decided that the reporter's room at the Holiday Inn out by the Interstate would be a lot more private than going back to the room at the boarding house where Kelly had been living since Tom had thrown her out.

The boarding house was in walking distance, but it was almost a given, Kelly said, that if they went there, it would be all over town by morning that she'd had another woman in her room. That the woman was an old friend that she'd met at the Reunion was a fact that she was equally sure would be left out of the gossip.

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byAnn Douglas© 8 comments/ 10282 views/ 16 favorites

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