Lavender and LovebyLunaEroticaMystica©
This is my Nude Day 2011 Contest contribution. Please Read, Vote, and Comment. I appreciate feedback, as it helps me grow as a writer.
"Lavender and Love" is dedicated to the bright and shining soul who 'shared' her story with me. I know that she has found peace. I may never have known her while she was living, but she's an inspiration to so very many. It is my hope that through this story she has found the acceptance and love she deserved.
This story is also in honor of the women out there who are Survivors, going through treatment, gave up a piece of their bodies and lives to Breast Cancer. It is in Memory of those who fought the good fight, but were called Home.
Let us all have the courage to embrace these human shells we call our Bodies. There is beauty in vulnerability and acceptance. What we see as flaws, imperfections, and struggles, are part of what make us who we are.
Anyone who has gone through major illness, pain, or body devastation knows how precious the body and fleeting life is.
Thank You and ENJOY!
Caressa winced as she lowered herself to the bed, casting aside her crutches. It had been a few months since the accident that had nearly killed her. Thank God that no one else had been in the car with her. The doctors claimed she was recovering "remarkably well." She snorted to herself. Whatever that means!
"Do you find me revolting?" She recalled the last conversation she'd had with her ex-fiance before she kicked him to the curb. They had been lying in each other's arms. He had untangled his body from hers and stood up, grimacing.
"Caress, be reasonable sweetheart. How could you ask me such a question?" A hurt look had come into Rob's eyes, but not as hurtful as she felt. She had scrambled out of the bed after him, reaching for her crutches, thinking she would plead with him. She was afraid to be alone.
"It's about my hideous, un-whole body though, isn't it? That's the reason you refuse to even touch me. Admit it. I'm a big girl. I can handle the truth. I survived a car wreck and a mastectomy. I can survive the truth," she sniffled, but held her head high while she stood with her legs resting against the bed frame. She had watched him for a tell-tale sign. But he had remained reasonable, affable, and stoic.
"We are just not as compatible as we used to be. We don't...how can I say this? We don't fit each other anymore," he sighed, not wanting to hurt her further with his words.
"You used to say that we fit each other like a glove. Did yours shrink?" She spit venom at him, staring at his deflated erection. "Maybe you need some Viagra and a hot young thing to get you going again," she suggested angrily as she stalked/hobbled forward.
"No." He waited as she glared daggers at him.
"I don't want to know. Get out!" She yanked the ring off of her finger and threw it at him. "Get out now! Get out of my house. Get out of my life! Go find yourself a cougar divorcee or screw some little sorority slut. Just leave me the hell alone!" Resting her weight on the arm she had braced against the wall, she somehow managed to push him with all the built-up rage and pain, right out the door; slamming it with satisfaction in his face. Throwing the crutches across the room, she slid to the floor and collapsed in a puddle of tears.
"Damn you Rob and damn you, body!" she growled as she came back to the present. She gingerly slid off her gray sweatpants and hooked the elastic of her cotton panties with her thumbs to draw them down too. She glanced down and frowned at the ugly yellowing bruises on her thighs and the fresh scar extending from her right thigh down to just below the knee. Last week, the cast had finally come off her foot. She knew it could be worse.
She could be dead or in a coma. She was neither. Her three broken ribs were healing, although still very much tender to the touch. She could swear there was still glass inside the sealed up gash on her forehead that zigzagged down to her chin. It felt like it, at least. Although the facial plastic surgeon had assured her ten times over that she had completely cleaned it of debris and had stitched it up beautifully.
She slid to the edge of the bed, placed her hands behind herself and hoisted her body up, then hobbled over to the full length mirror. She held onto the top of the dresser for support. She stared at herself, blinking hard, trying to look through the mess to see the woman she was a year ago. The bruises on her face and jagged line, which was beginning to fade, made it difficult. The bruises matched her slate grey eyes. Her short cropped black hair was finally starting to grow back after treatment. It had a playful spike to it. At least she hadn't sustained any head injuries.
"Now, for the real damage," she whispered to herself as she slowly, painstakingly unzipped the black hoodie. She stared, scrutinizing herself as she parted the material away and looked at her lop-sided chest. She cupped her right breast with her hand as she recalled the words of well-meaning people.
"You could have reconstructive surgery," one had suggested.
"You could even have them enlarged; a whole new set of boobs, if you want," another had piped in.
"I bet insurance would even pay for it," a former friend said.
"She won't need insurance," Rob had responded before she could. "I will pay for new ones." He had stroked her hair and kissed her unwounded cheek, sweetly.
"I don't want a new breast. I want my old one back," she had replied, tired.
"I know he would have bought me a new pair. That's all he cared about. He had always thought my breasts were too small to begin with, just like he wanted to have a wig made for me." She told her reflection.
"How long will it take for your hair to grow back?" he had asked her one night after dinner.
"I don't know. Why? Treatment reacts differently in each person." She stared at him, trying to get an idea where he was going with the change in conversation. They had been talking about wedding plans.
"What if I buy you a wig made of real hair? Would you wear it? You'd look sexy as a redhead, I think." He'd chuckled lightly at her frown.
"You don't like my black hair? You always told me I was your raven-haired beauty."
"Long hair suits you much better," he'd announced, patting her head like a dog. "Let me buy the wig?"
"I don't want to wear a wig. I like my spikes," she pouted.
"Will you at least wear a wig to the wedding?" His question had surprised her.
"Um, that's a long way off still. I'm sure it will grow back by then."
"But if it doesn't? For me, will you wear one?"
The ringing phone snapped her out of the unpleasant memories.
"Hey Caress," the tenor voice spoke on the other end.
"Hi, Cam. What's up?" She tried to add some cheer to her voice, but failed as she looked at herself in the mirror once more.
"You been crying, hon?" Always the perceptive one.
"A little. I was just thinking about Rob stuff," she admitted.
"Fuck! Why are you wasting your energy on that dickwad, still?" Cam's voice rose in pitch. "Stop doing this to yourself."
"Doing what to myself?" She feigned innocence, lifting her one remaining breast up to her face to inspect it.
"Blaming yourself." He gritted his teeth.
"I'm not," she insisted.
"Yes, yes you are. Have you eaten at all today?"
"Um," she stalled and moved her hand down to rub her empty stomach.
"I take that as a no," Cam prompted.
"A piece of toast this morning count?"
"Considering it is 5 pm, no that doesn't count. I'm going to pick you up and take you to dinner. Get dressed," he ordered her.
"How'd you know I was naked?" she quipped playfully.
"Because," he paused, "I can see you through the window." Her gasp surprisingly pleased him.
"Perv!" she screeched and hobbled to the window to close her curtain, but not before glimpsing her neighbor and best guy friend's face in his window, grinning from ear to ear. "I could report you as a Peeping-Tom."
"Ress, relax. It's not like I haven't seen you naked before. Come on," he offered.
"Jerk, that was like in eighth grade." She bit her lower lip. "You haven't seen me in this, um, state ever."
"You haven't changed all that much, you know." His words meant to soothe, only frustrated her.
"Gee thanks. Why are you such an ass?" she growled.
"I don't think someone had her coffee today, either. Growl all you want, babe. I'll be over in two minutes."
"Wait, I have to--" Too late. He'd hung up the phone.
When Cameron let himself into Caressa's house, as he always did, she was buck-naked, stumbling around the room frantically looking for something. He admired her cute butt as it wiggled when she hopped on one foot over to her side table to retrieve her pants. He spotted her blue panties next to his right foot, bent down, picked them up and stuffed them into his jeans' pocket.
"Ahem," he announced himself softly. She stiffened and straightened up, grabbing the comforter off of her bed and dragging it around herself.
"Jesez, Cam! What the hell. Don't you ever knock?" Caressa cursed, stumbling. He rushed forward and steadied her, wrapping his arm around her waist.
"Have I ever?" He quirked his eyebrow, feeling the heat of her body against his. She stepped away, fuming. He held her panties up.
"Give me my underwear," she demanded, seeing them dangling from his finger.
"Come and get them," he taunted, pressing his foot against the edge of the comforter and stepping over to the bed. She stepped forward, reaching out to grab her panties. The comforter started sliding down her body. Panties or being totally naked, those were her choices.
"Argh! Just give them to me." She held the comforter tightly against her chest.
"Lift your leg." He wiggled his brown brows at her as he set about re-securing the blanket around her body, tucking it under chin, all the while catching her off guard.
"I can't," she sighed, frustrated. He nodded and helped her to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Can I help?" he asked her.
"Just don't get fresh about it." She leaned back so her legs lifted. "I'm so tired. I don't think I could put them on myself, even if I wanted to." She yawned and tried not to cringe at the pain shooting through her leg.
"Hmm." He gentle placed one leg in the panties and gave her a considering look.
"Hmm what? I know that tone. I don't like that tone." She wagged her index finger at him.
"What tone are you referring to?" He whistled innocently.
"That tone of mischief." She squinted her eyes giving him "the look".
"Moi?" Pointing to himself with his thumb, he slid the panties back off her leg.
"Yes. Now, what is the hmm?" She held on to his arms, watching the panties disappear into his pocket.
"Oh nothing. It's just, today is July 14th," he stated like she would know what that meant.
"Yeah, so? It's hot out. It's summer. We just had 4th of July. Your point?" Caressa rolled her eyes as she grabbed at the panties sticking out of his pocket. "What do you think you are doing?"
"Well, July 14th is a holiday too. It's National Nude Day," he informed her, holding her wrist and stuffing the panties back into the pocket.
"Yeah right." She laughed uncomfortably. "Those are mine."
"I'm serious. It's sorta unofficial, but it is said that it started over in New Zealand and a lot of people observe it as a way to honor and worship the beauty of the human body. Don't quote me on that," he explained. "In college, I partook in National Nude Day."
"Ohmygod, Cameron, were you a streaker?" She gazed at him, incredulously, worried for her panties.
"I might have been. In the past." He smiled widely. "I know these are yours. I'm just keeping them safe so you don't lose them again." A wicked gleam glimmered in his eyes.
"I never knew!" Her jaw dropped open.
"There's a lot you don't know about me," he said quietly as he tapped the tip of her nose with his finger. "I was a bit of a nudist back then."
"Um." She couldn't think of what to say to that shocking bit of news." She snapped her mouth shut.
"Anyway, I'm a grown man now," he tried to convince them both which caused a giggle to escape her tightly pressed lips.
"There's that giggle and smile I so adore." He reached out and tousled her spikes.
"You adore my smile?" she asked, suddenly shy and aware of the close proximity between each of them.
"I adore you." He held her gaze and she shrugged to shake off the feeling. "Okay, so hear me out. I'm not proposing that you go out in public naked, like I used to do. We'll work up to that." He laughed at her scowl.
"Just what are you suggesting?" She was determined to get her panties back from him. She had no idea what game he was playing at.
"Well, how about some skinny dipping?" he suggested. "You said the doctor cleared you to get everything wet, right? Did she say anything about submerging yourself in water?"
"It's not like we live by any bodies of water, Cam. And we can't skinny-dip in anyone's pool." She sighed when she saw him tapping his fingers impatiently on her dresser. "She told me that I could take a bath if I wanted to. But-."
Cameron held his hand up. "Who says we can't skinny-dip in a pool? They wouldn't have to know." He wiggled his brow. He had expressive brows and knew just how to wiggle them to affect a reaction from her.
"Be serious. We aren't sixteen anymore," she tried to reason with him.
"Alright. Well hmm, how about my spa?"
"Your spa?" She cocked her head to the side.
"Just put in this weekend." His smiled broadened. "Didn't you wonder about the big truck parked in front of my house?"
"Well yeah. I figured you ordered some furniture to replace that ratty old couch of yours."
"Hey, lay off the couch. It's well loved and well worn."
"Well loved, I just bet," Caressa snorted. "Just how many women..." Her words trailed off as her hands flew up to cover her mouth in embarrassment. She couldn't believe she had been about to embark on a score-keeping conversation with her best friend. That was off limits. Seeing his shocked look, she avoided his eyes and stared at her crutches lying on the floor. In doing so, she missed the playful smirk that flitted across his face.
"The water will be really soothing to your achy body. I promise. It helps my back a lot." Cameron had injured his back in a work-related incident a few years ago and had been left with nagging pain in it ever since.
"By myself," she said slowly.
"I will just help you so you don't kill yourself getting into the jacuzzi. Then I will give you all the time you need." He nodded in agreement. "Alone," he added when he saw the annoyance on her face.
"Well, let me just get my suit on. You wait here." She stood up and started making her way over to her dresser when he stood in front of her, blocking the way.
"What now?" She threw her hands up in exasperation.
"Nude Day, remember? Skinny dipping?"
"Oh for crying out loud, Cameron!" She shoved his chest, surprised when she felt muscles defined muscles beneath her fingertips. "I'm not comfortable being naked by myself, let alone with someone else watching me," she shouted as she yanked her robe off the hook on her door and wrapped it around herself, letting the comforter drop.
"Must you always shove me around like that?" He scowled. She shot him a look. "You're going to give a guy a complex," he mumbled under his breath.
"Hmph. You like your women weak, Cameron?" She trailed her fingertip up his arm. His fingers came around her wrist.
"I, uh...never mind," he choked on his words as he let go of her wrist.
"Thought not." She tossed her head back and laughed.
Caressa stood in front of the spa, her fingers trailing the warm water. Cameron was testing the chemicals and apologizing for not doing it earlier.
"How are they?" The water looked so inviting.
"They're fine. I'm sorry. That was really lame of me to invite you over for a dip and then forgetting to make sure it was okay to go in." He held the test strip against the bottle.
"Don't worry about the chemicals. So, how do we do this? I don't think I can lift my leg up that high." She gave the distance from the step to the top of the spa a calculating look.
"I'll just lift you up in my arms and set you down. When you are ready for me, just call me." He bent to lift her. She stared at him and shook her head.
"Cameron." The tone of her voice was edgy.
"I'll turn my head, OK? Geez, just let me get you in the water. You'll have to lose the robe though." He lifted the hem of it.
"No. I'll take the robe off once I'm in," she asserted.
"That's silly. You'll get your robe all wet and you might even get tangled in it and hurt yourself. Stop being so stubborn. I'll turn around while you take the robe off." He started to turn when her hand on his arm stopped him. He turned his head to look at her. He could tell she was uncomfortable.
"I'm your best friend. I saw you right after the accident, when you were almost unrecognizable, remember? I won't laugh. I won't say a word. I will just use my manly physique and get you into the water," he reassured her, holding her hands in his, stroking the tops of them softly.
Caressa clenched her teeth. They had discussed their fears and insecurities at the breast cancer survivor group. The women there had each spoken about the first time they saw themselves naked and the emotions that had run through their minds. They confessed that those fears had been nothing compared to when someone else saw them for the first time, in their deformed states. They had all agreed that it would have to happen one day and the sooner, better than the later.
Caressa had never even let Rob see her naked, and she was going to marry him. She kept the lights off when they had tried to be intimate after the surgery. His flagging erection had stopped any need to be nervous about him seeing her. The lights had remained off every night.
This wasn't Rob. This was Cameron, her best friend since elementary school. They'd been through everything together.
She had held his hand when he had lost his little brother when they were little kids to an allergic reaction. They had been apartment roommates together until he had found her house for sale and helped her moved in. Three months later, the house next to hers had gone up for sale and he had bought it and moved in. Sure, Rob had been uneasy and pissed off, but after a few years of seeing their platonic, best friend relationship together, he had laughed about it and even had become friends with Cameron in the process.
Cameron had been there when she got the news about the cancer; he had rocked her in his arms and let her cry her heart out. He had taken her home with him and tucked her into his bed. Rob had been away at a business convention and had been relieved to know that she was in good hands with Cam.
Cam had been there in the waiting room when she came out of surgery, because Rob was away, yet again, for business. And just a few short months ago, it was Cameron who had showed up to the hospital after the car wreck, a mess, and carrying flowers and a teddy bear into her hospital room. Rob had been on vacation with his frat brothers from college. This was who they were.
Cameron the dependable. Cameron the gentle. Cameron the best friend a girl could ever have. If she couldn't trust Cameron with her secrets; if she couldn't trust Cameron to not laugh and to understand, who could she?
"Don't go," Caressa's voice cracked.
"I'm not going anywhere, Ressa." Cameron nodded."What do you need?"
Without responding, Caressa slowly untied her robe and parted the material. She shrugged her shoulders and kept Cameron's gaze as she nudged it down over her arms to pool at her feet. She tightened her fists at her sides and resisted the urge to cover her breast with her hand. Cameron kept his gazed trained on her face and her eyes.