Kathy's Brother Ch. 06bymannytheman©
She came over and sat on the bed next to me and laid her hand gently on my cheek. The tenderness of the gesture made tears spring to the corners of my eyes.
"Kath. What is it? What's going on?"
I sat up and tried a smile. "Nothing. Everything. I don't know." Just having her there made me feel better. Who says you have to tell even your best friend everything? Maybe secrets aren't meant to be told. Maybe they're just meant to be locked away in your heart forever. Maybe that's why they're called secrets.
For whatever reason, I was smiling now. I was even laughing. I sat up on the bed and watched the worry leave Lydia's face.
"So you've been a little slut?" I said.
Lydia was almost laughing, too. "Maybe not such a little slut."
"Ooh. You tramp. You going to tell me about it?"
"Try to stop me."
We were both giggling, and there it was. The only thing that had been missing from my summer. My best friend, sitting cross-legged next to me on my bed, her eyes bright as night-time stars, dying to tell me about her adventures. And even if I couldn't tell her all my secrets, I did have a few summer stories of my own.
"Wait," I told her. "Wait a second." I scooted back and got my pillows propped up behind me. When I was settled in, I looked at her expectantly. "So?"
Lydia rolled onto her back. Her position made her boobs almost pop out of her tiny top, and her skirt rode up enough that I could see her panties. It looked like she had shaved herself, too. If she'd been showing that much in France, she definitely had stories.
"You first," she said.
I thought about Sheila, and about the things she'd shown me and about the way she'd taught me to wear them. About the men who'd watched me at the mall. I even thought about my Mom shopping with me at Sheila's, what she'd bought and what that had all led to. I wasn't sure I should tell Lydia about that, but I thought I had some stories to start with.
I got up onto my elbow and was about to begin when she breathed, "Tell me about Jack."
The hammering started in my chest and spread like wild-fire through me. "Jack?" I managed to stammer.
Lydia turned to me, and for all our trash-talking and joking, I saw in that second just what a miraculously sexy woman she'd become over the summer.
"Yeah, Jack." She twisted to look at me, and her eyes slipped shut for an instant before they opened again and focused on mine . "When did he get to be such a hunk?"
I closed my eyes. There was so much I could tell Lydia about. The customers at the store. The way they came in so shy and uncertain, and how they walked out later with a smile on their lips and a swing to their hips. About Sheila, and all she'd taught me. The one thing I knew now I could never talk about was my summer. About Jack. About Mom and Dad.
Lydia was looking at me, and I faked a big smile and rolled over toward her. "Hey, come on. You had stories."
She sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "Yeah, stories. I tried, Kathy. Really. You know you can go topless on the beach there. I swear I hadn't loosened my straps before my Mom was all over me. Anyway, after a few days I'd worked my way down the beach from my parents. I was still covered, if you know what I mean, they were watching. But this guy, Jean-Paul, came and sat next to me. Oh, god, he was gorgeous. And he had this accent. Like everything he said, oh, I don't know. He'd talk, and I'd listen, but but his eyes were all over me, and mine all over him."
"Umm. sounds perfect," I whispered. "So?"
Lydia sat up and leaned on her elbow. "So the next morning my dad says we're leaving. Seems he'd rented a house down near Carcassonne. A swimming pool. But no beach, no topless, and no Jean-Paul."
"But?" I asked.
I got up and leaned over her. "That's it? What happened to super-slut?"
Lydia stretched back over my bed. "Oh, Kathy." Her eyes flitted closed, and she reached up over her head, elongating her body. I couldn't take my eyes off her.
"I could have had him, Kathy. It was right there." She sat up and looked into my eyes. "You don't know what it's like. I mean, he was looking at me like I was, what? Like i was the most desirable thing he'd ever seen. And I was melting. I would have done it. I swear I would have done it. Even right there on the beach, in front of everyone. God, Kathy. You have no idea."
"So did you?" I knew she hadn't, but it was her story, and I wanted to hear it all.
She sighed and lay back on the bed. "No, goddammit. He was looking at me, just the way I was looking at him. We were dying. And then he jumped up and pulled me to the water. I guess I knew we had to cool off, too. We got past the breakers, and he put his arms around my waist. Jesus, Kathy, you've never felt anything like it. He was kissing my neck, and I was, well, I was all over him."
"So you did it there in the water?"
"You wish. I wish. He turned away from me, and I saw my father walking down to the shore. Jean-Paul held my head in his hands and whispered against my lips."
"Come on, Lydia." I was wrapped up in her story now. "What did he say?"
Lydia opened her eyes and looked at me. "Kathy, maybe you had to be there, at that moment. My Dad coming into the water, us both knowing it, but crawling all over each other."
"Yeah, I get it. But what did he say?"
"Well, we just had those few seconds before my father got there, but he held me, held my face, and said, in that sexy accent of his, 'Will I see you tomorrow?' "
I flopped onto my back and tried to stifle a laugh. That was it. Lydia's summer of slutdom. I looked up at the ceiling and smiled and said, "So of course you didn't, and you never got fucked."
"Yeah. I guess that says it all." She rolled over toward me. "I tried. And I could have, except for my Dad."
We were silent together for a moment, and then Lydia asked, "Have you ever, well of course you've never been fucked, but have you ever wanted to, so bad? Like that? Am I crazy?"
She was my best friend. There was so much | could tell her. She didn't know from crazy. I turned to look at her, ready, no not really ready; I'd never be really ready. But almost. I could start, and we'd see how it went from there.
Lydia was sound asleep.