Sophie was smart. One of those girls who was so smart she raised the IQ level of whatever classroom she was in. Once she raised her hand and started to analyze the reading in her clear, soft voice – sometimes letting out a small laugh at herself – all the guys began jumping over themselves to come up with smart things to say. Of course the guys were paying more attention to her looks than her brain. She had a certain way of dressing which was stylish and yet unpretentious. Soft fabrics, loosely draped and sometimes lightly patterned; below the belt, tight, practical jeans in dark colors. Her clothes did nothing to flaunt her figure but they couldn't conceal it either. Her legs were slim and thighs smooth, ass small but perfectly rounded and firm. Her breasts, natural, and slightly large for her frame, made soft mounds in her loose shirts. Her hair was a dirty blonde, hanging below her shoulders and wavy. She pulled it back in a simple ponytail or let it drape onto one shoulder. Her face was pale and her eyes, dark brown, always seemed to have a slight smile. Her cheeks carried a light flush, and her lips parted slightly when she was lost in thought, which was how I often saw her.
The three of us were in our second year of college: me (Mark), Sophie, and Darien, my roommate. I hadn't lucked out in the housing lottery and scored a single for myself, nor had I had the foresight to secure an apartment off campus. So I was stuck sharing again, but at least the room was decent. Larger than the typical narrow college-dorm setup, my bed was at a right angle across the room from Darien's and there was plenty of space for our two desks, and the inevitable mess of clothing, textbooks, hard drives, and snacks that accumulated around the permanent fixtures of the hookah and the bong. Yes, we smoked in our room – religiously – and as long as Darien set aside a small supply of weed as tribute to our RA, no-one cared, and no-one was the wiser.
Sharing a room definitely put a crimp in my sex life. It was hard to be spontaneous and hook up with random chicks (which always felt like was happening all around us – whether it was or wasn't) when I couldn't even guarantee a private place to come back to. Still, we made do, and by the end of winter Darien had the luck, the looks, and the guts to ask out Sophie, and have her accept.
Darien was a music major, who could practice piano diligently for hours and get up to crazy hijinks in the same night. I was still torn at that point; was I going to major in history, political science, english? I was wandering, caught in my own head a lot. To Darien's quiet confidence, fair hair, solid smile, you can contrast my black hair, the slouching gate, cynical attitude. I had a certain dark handsomeness, and I was capable of being charming, but only in bursts – if you ran into me in the halls or on the quads I was more likely to be frowning. I ended up a creative writing major, and I think that's why it has fallen to me to tell our tale.
Darien and I liked to go to the midnight movies at the student film center: bizarre old noirs, blaxploitation films, Kurosawa flicks, you name it – they were all good, and they were even better high. We soaked up every experience we came across that year – with the confidence to get around campus and our city, and finally getting an idea of where we sat in the social stratum of the college, we were unstoppable. We found mind-blowing art and music, tripped on drugs I hadn't even heard of before leaving my sleepy high school (Molly? Did they name the drug after a chick?), and explored the forgotten corners of the city. By the springtime Darien had brought his car to campus from home – so he could commute to an internship, he told his parents – but the real reason was so that we could soar around the city at all hours, windows down, drunk and high, blasting hip hop radio. It's a miracle we never ran into trouble.
When Darien started dating Sophie she slid easily into our routine. She had a fierce curiosity, and while she came across as reserved and almost shy in her demeanor at first, it was impossible to embarrass her, and if anything she pushed our explorations and the crazy streaks in our behavior even farther. She took herself seriously, and by extension, took us seriously. It was easier to get into bars and clubs with her winning smile, and that was the year I fell in love with house music. By the time the school year was wrapping up, the friendship of the three of us had matured into a really tight bond. When Sophie and Darien wanted alone time, I would wander, and come back around 2 or 3 to crawl into bed with them sleeping soundly across the room. In the meantime I would go to the apartment of some friends of ours, go get laid myself if I was lucky, or borrow Darien's car and just cruise up and down the shoreline.
Did I forget to mention the beach? As the weather got warmer, the beach quickly became our favorite spot. We would go late at night when no one was around, smoke a joint and drink a few beers, look at the city skyline on the curving shore, and plunge into the water to give ourselves a cold, exhilarating wake up call; emerging, all of our skins would tingle as if slapped. Feeling fresh, one of us would declare to mutual agreement that it was time to light the next joint. Sometimes I would bring a girl, too, other times some of our other friends would join us, but even when it was just me, him, and Sophie, it was never awkward. Thinking back, I suppose these nights at the beach were the first time I saw Sophie's body. Perhaps I'd had a glimpse in the hazy predawn, her getting dressed across the room, turned away – but at the beach we would all strip to our underwear, and emerge soaked to lie that way in the sand. She wore practical bras, modest panties; it was dark; I was too busy soaking in the night to really lust after her on these nights.
Eventually something did change in our friendship, in such a subtle and unexpected way that I don't think I noticed at first. Darien had declared that it was his summer goal to go out on a boat. Like, a yacht. Now, obviously none of us had a boat, nor did we want to spend money to book a boat tour or fishing boat – besides, the commercial experience wasn't what he was looking for, Darien explained. We quickly realized that none of us knew anyone with boats; that nobody we knew knew anyone with a boat; or that if they did, they weren't about to tell. So we hatched a bold plan.
It was a gorgeous day in the middle of May. We had finished classes and it was still several days before we had final exams. The chances of us studying were practically nil. We gathered, geared up, and made sure we had plenty of supplies. I was hauling a bag of ice in my backpack. Sophie had gotten a handle of fancy rum from the local liquor store – they made most of their money selling to college students anyway. Darien had weed and rolling papers. In our minds, these were the essentials for a trip on a boat. We drove down to a marina, a place we'd passed many times on the coast road that was well stocked with fancy yachts and their fancy owners. We wandered down the dock, sweet-talking our way past the light security, and set up our little stake out.
The traffic was brisk, as it was one of the warmest, breeziest days of early summer and folks were itching to get out on their boats. But we were waiting for the right people to approach. It had to be young people, obviously. And not too buttoned up. We waited until the right gang came walking down the dock. It was five people, two men and three women, who appeared to be in their early twenties. The men had grizzly partial beards, were wearing sandals and brightly colored bathing suits. One had on a Chuck Klosterman t-shirt. The women wore loose t-shirts, beach shirts, under which were obviously bikinis. As they were coming into view, Darien gave Sophie a nudge in her ribs and she entered her routine. Pressing her phone to her ear, she cursed out the imaginary person at the end of the line.
"What do you mean you can't make it?"
"Well – we're out here already! What are we supposed to do?... It's your boat, we can't just take it for a go. Do either of you guys even know how to sail?" We shook our heads – it was true, we didn't.
"Come on, blow it off, just come down here! It's a beautiful day, we'll have fun. We're sitting on the dock just waiting for you. Oh, god, you are so predictable. You owe me one, Dave!"
She spat the name Dave with such virulence that it was all Darien and I could do not to crack up. For the next several days, whenever we intended to express irritation we would end our sentence with a fierce Dave!
The ploy worked. The guy in the Chuck Klosterman shirt overheard. He wouldn't have said anything, had Darien not made an offhand comment in his direction. Something along the lines of, "Have a good time guys, maybe we'll see you out on the water some other day."
Of course (I'll just call him Chuck) Chuck had to stop and hear the story. We kept the fiction as simple as possible, not pretending to be anyone other than ourselves. The only thing we invented was Dave, our supposed stupendously wealthy friend who was supposed to take us out on his yacht and had ditched us to go golfing with his uncle. We struck it off immediately with these guys, and combined with the bribe of rum (they had only brought two six-packs! Amateur hour) they agreed to take us out on their boat.
That was an incredible day, and there was something incredibly sexy about it too. The boat belonged to Chuck – he was a 25 year old investment banker and apparently rolling in money. His friend Dylan was an old buddy from his firm, and it turned out the women were almost as much strangers to them as we were. One of them, Lauren, had met Dylan at a club where Dylan and Chuck had bottle service, and had brought two of her friends along with her for this boating trip because she was nervous about being alone with the two men. We made a merry band. We drank like – well, like sailors. We got along fabulously, intoxicated as much by the sun and breeze as the rum and weed. Because of course, we got high. Bonkers high.
But that was also the day I began to see Sophie in a different light. The whole atmosphere was sexually charged, from the skimpy bikinis of the women added with the thrill of our boldness, the excitement of the intimacy we were plunging into with these strangers, and the general intoxication. An undirected, heady sense of lust squeezed at my chest. Everyone was feeling it to some degree or another, and teasing abounded. Dylan was well muscled and tanned, while Chuck was slightly lankier like me or Darien. All three of the women were gorgeous, Lauren breathtakingly thin and blonde, with bright blue eyes, small breasts and an impossibly perky ass. She was from rural pennsylvania and was red blooded; she told us about the two shotguns she kept at home, for god's sake; but we forgave her because she was just so damn cute.
Rachel and Drea were brunettes. Rachel, with breasts almost too large for her bikini, was shameless about propping them up between her forearms, jiggling them slightly with the motion of the boat. Drea had a shock of short dark hair, and perfectly bronze skin. Her bare neck looked ripe to be suckled and her bikini, strapless, was by far the most stylish. She gravitated towards Chuck which left Rachel to mercilessly tease me throughout the day. Dylan and Lauren escaped belowdecks for a reckless and uninhibited fuck after she'd sat on his lap for the better part of an hour. Perhaps Chuck and Drea hooked up eventually too but I never saw Rachel again – she was older, classier, and honestly not my type.
It only added to the sexual charge on the boat hearing the muffled sounds of Lauren being ravaged by the athletic Dylan. And Sophie and Darien were feeling it. Modest earlier in the day, Sophie had slowly undressed to match the other women, wearing a dark bikini that I had never seen before, the top tied loosely around her neck. It did little to conceal the shape of her pale, ample breasts, round, with just a slight buoyancy. At some point Darien had rubbed her down with a tanning oil that the girls had passed around, both embarrassed by and relishing the pure sexuality of the action. I hadn't been able to tear my eyes away (though I did get the satisfaction of doing the same for Rachel). Now her skin gleamed slightly with the oil's sheen, catching the light in its breathtaking whiteness and it was impossible to look away.
Naturally shy about her body, it took Sophie much of the day to open up, but she was not immune to the effects of the booze and weed. First her posture slackened and she allowed her legs to open wider. Later she leaned her head against Darien's chest, which squeezed her left breast up against his side. He put an arm around her and rested it on the outside of her ass. Their eyes were both half closed, Rachel and Drea were cracking up as they wound their way through some office story, and it left me free to feast my eyes on my roommate and his girlfriend.
Sophie had that dreamy, lost-in-thought look, tempered by a quiet smile. Her chest rose and fell with her breathing. Soon Darien began stroking up and down the outside of her leg, lightly gripping her ass, and in response, she snuggled closer to him. Her breasts were pushed together, her cleavage seeming ready to burst out of her bikini. Then he gently moved his hand over to the inside of her leg, continuing to gently caress her, his hand straying as far as the edge of her bikini bottoms as she widened her legs slightly to give him access. Her breathing was accelerating, making her breasts rise and fall and allowing me to hear the faint intakes of air from my position across the boat.
For a moment I saw the potential for the afternoon to turn into a full blown orgy, and I was shocked at myself. I didn't want to fuck Sophie, did I? I didn't even want to watch Darien fucking her, that was their private business and their friendship right then was the most important thing to me in the world. Yet I was aroused, my head spinning with arousal actually, and I didn't know what to do. This blatantly sensual image was the last thing I had expected from my music major roommate and his brilliant, slightly shy girlfriend. But then again it was an incredible day. At last to my relief, Sophie sort of poked Darien in the stomach and he withdrew his hand to rest comfortably on her hip. She snuggled closer to him and whispered something in his ear and that was that. It was soon time for another round of drinks, and they were roused, laughing again with the group.
A beautiful evening slowly darkened the horizon and after we had drank, and laughed, drank some more, and even danced, we finally finished the rum and Chuck guided the boat back to port. We exchanged mutual assurances that we should do this again sometime. We even swore up and down we would take them out on Dave's boat sometime. Darien took Chuck's number and visa versa and as far as I know, they never talked to each other again. I took a drive that night to clear my head – yes, I should interject here to stress that driving drunk as much as I did in college is probably not wise – and let Darien and Sophie have some privacy. I couldn't shake the image of Sophie in her bikini from my head. There were only a few days left in the semester but I found myself determined – aching, actually – to get laid. So even as I continued hanging out with Darien over the following days, I found excuses to make my way to random parties, looking for girls I knew and trying to meet new people.
These efforts culminated on a Thursday night, the night that turned out to be so memorable for all of us. The next day, Friday, we were moving out of the dorm. I had sensed Sophie feeling a twinge of emotion as the semester wound down, not liking the prospect of having to separate from Darien, even though they would be able to see each other over the summer. It felt like the end of an era in a way, and I think it felt especially like that for them. So that Thursday night, they went out to have a special evening, just the two of them. They dressed up and went to a fancy restaurant downtown, had a delicious dinner, and then went to a nearby club where they danced their hearts out before sneaking off to the roof to smoke a joint and watch the city lights blinking out. They were infatuated, heads swimming and the night just slipped by. I learned all this later.
I on the other hand went to a house party that migrated to a frat party, that migrated to another house party well off campus, at a place where I'd never been. I was smoking cigarette after cigarette on the fire escape, something I don't normally do, with all my senses reeling. Slightly drunk, I felt like the experiences I had had all year were washing over me all at once, filling me with an intense sense of gratitude for the incredible friendships I'd had, but also a sharp disappointment that I had no love story, no girl to pull close to me as I was going to sleep that night.
I shook these feelings off, though I still felt them tingling in my spine, as I turned on the charm and tried to get laid. I spotted a girl off by herself struggling with a lighter, and I smoothly raised mine to her lips. Soon we were laughing and I was finding myself attracted to her. She was severely bony, wearing a cropped t-shirt that left bare a stretch of her midriff, and jeans that hung so low on her waist that I could see the bones of her pelvis peeking above the washed out blue waistline. Soon I had tucked a finger through one of her belt loops and pulled her towards me, sucking her lips, grabbing her ass and mashing her pelvis against my leg.
She led me to the bathroom where I was ready to drop my pants and fuck her up against the sink – instead she pulled out a thin pouch from her back pocket, laid out two lines of cocaine, and handed me a dollar bill. I had never tried coke before. I mean, there was plenty of it going around, but it had never been offered to me so directly. I did a line and so did she, and we made out some more; soon I unbuttoned her jeans and slipped a finger down to press against her pussy. She responded with loud but somehow mechanical moans. I was feeling the effects of the cocaine, my blood racing, and I wanted nothing more than to fuck her. But it was then that she decided to vomit.
The toilet was right there, thankfully, and she had good aim. There was no mess, and she soon had freshened up, looking like nothing had happened. But the moment was over, the coke running through my blood was making me restless and the small bathroom felt hot, and cramped, with a faint, unpleasant new smell. I excused myself and I suppose she found someone else to fuck that night.
I made my way back to the dorm; it was around two in the morning so I felt sure I wouldn't be interrupting Darien and Sophie. Still I lingered outside and smoked the rest of my cigarettes, just drinking in the night air, feeling feelings.
When I tiptoed into my dorm room, I was surprised to find there was no-one there. I thought maybe Sophie's roommate had already moved out, and so the two of them had gone to her room. But Darien hadn't mentioned anything about that. I stretched out and tried to fall asleep. I had a hard-on but didn't feel like masturbating. I kept seeing the slightly hollow eyes of the coked-out girl from the party, and hearing her unenthusiastic moaning. I didn't fall asleep until three or maybe four in the morning, and even then I didn't sleep deeply.
I heard them the moment they came to the door, listening to Darien fumble with the handle then quietly ease the door shut behind him; hearing their whispers. I snuck open one eye and I could tell it was almost morning, maybe 5 o'clock – a predawn light was filling the room and turning everything into a sort of greyish pink. It was a fantastic light and one I rarely see, not being much of a morning person. But at that moment, I was not watching the light. I was watching Darien and Sophie.