Summer of 1957bySelena_Kitt©
Nicholas Brody, actor best known
for his role as Rick on the hit series
"Another Saturday Night," died in his
California home late Friday. It was an
I would never forget the time Nick hung by one hand off the edge of a railroad trestle with a hundred feet stretching between him and the water below, just to write "Nick 'hearts' Jen" in white spray paint on the side. It was nearing the end of the summer, the best summer of my life, and he and I had been having a farewell picnic by the water when he produced a can of spray paint and told me what he was going to do. I couldn't stop him.
"This is our spot, Jenny," he told me, his eyes bright, with excitement or with love, I didn't know which, but it didn't really matter. I knew my protests would only plant the idea more deeply for him.
Besides, it was kind of romantic.
I watched him walk out to the middle of the trestle and then swing himself down. I had called a breathless and belated, "Be careful!" He had just grinned at me.
Thinking about it now, the blood slides through my veins like cold needles, but then it was kind of exciting. So much like Nick. When I look back and try to imagine my grandson, Eric, who was the same age now as we were then, pulling a stunt like that, all of my inner-warning-systems go off at once. I still can't believe I simply let him do it, without saying anything more than, "Be careful."
He could have killed himself.
"Hey, why don't you look where I'm going?" Those were the first words Nick ever spoke to me. I had been on my way out of the back room where I had just finished putting my uniform on. (I refused to walk down the street in it.) That summer I was working in the soda shop in town. I had just turned eighteen in May and my mother finally agreed to it. I don't remember what I did with the money, spent it on clothes and such, no doubt, but money wasn't the real object anyway. Boys were.
He was a senior like us that year, tall and muscular and blonde. He was absolutely perfect, and I had put him on my list of "Goals for the Summer." Also on that list was: Get a Job, Lose Five Pounds, and Read Some Classic Novels. I accomplished every single one of them, including reading Catcher in the Rye. I read aloud to Nick when we were down by the lake. It was both romantic and practical. Perfect. Everything was perfect that summer.
I'd like to say that I came off with some witty reply. Patty would have. Instead, I mumbled, "I'm sorry," and stepped around him. He tugged on my dark blonde ponytail as I went by, and when I turned to look at him, he winked.
I was in heaven for the rest of the week.
He asked me to go to the movies with him the following Saturday.
Our best times were down by the lake. He and I would take a picnic lunch and drive the Chevy past town and up a dirt road that had no name. Today, there's a K-Mart on that spot, and there is no road at all, but back in 1957 that road came to a dead end at the beginning of the woods. We would park the car and walk the rest of the way. Nick would spread out a blanket that he kept in the trunk of his car and I would unpack the lunch.
We would lay back on the quilt after lunch and he would put his head on my stomach. I would look up into the web of tree branches above my head, watching birds pop from tree to tree, listening to the rush of the water and Nick's voice.
"Hm?" I loved to stroke his hair, so soft and thick.
"Do you ever wish you could fly?"
"Fly?" I smiled at the notion.
"Yeah, you know, just put your arms out and then... whoosh... just take off. Never come back."
"Never," he whispered.
"Wouldn't you be scared?" I asked.
"No." He would rub his cheek against my stomach. "I'd be free."
I knew if anyone had heard us, they probably would have smiled or laughed. It sounded like inane conversation to me now, but I remember taking every word I said to him very seriously, as if it were the last time I would ever say anything to anyone again.
He scared me when he talked like that.
My parents hated Nick. Maybe that was the reason I was so attracted to him. My father had been trying to push me all year into dating his boss' son, Raymond. Ray was a nice guy and all, very responsible and respectful—and boring. We went out a few times, but I didn't feel quite the same about him as I did about Nick. I could go weeks on end without thinking about Ray at all—but I couldn't get enough of Nick.
Patty was dating Greg Renke that summer. He was a junior, but he had a car, so it was okay. Nick had a Chevy Bel-Air that he liked to drive at sixty miles an hour (as soon as my house was out of sight!) Nick was the most excitement I'd had in my life up until that point. He was wild, reckless, and so awfully good-looking. I never understood why he chose me.
Parking got to be quite a challenge with Nick. Patty and I would both call and tell each other everything about what happened on our dates, but it got to the point where I was embarrassed to tell her exactly "how far" I had gone with Nick. He was persistent and very persuasive. It went further and further every time we went out, especially when we went to the drive-in. Patty and I shared a joke that it was something in the air at the drive-in, the smell of popcorn or something that turned men into animals.
It never went so far as intercourse. Good girls just didn't do that back then. But there were many, many nights that summer that we steamed up the windows, and I would eventually have to break things off, saying "I mean it this time!" Then Nick would get out of the car, walk around, adjust himself, talking to the sky. And I would sit there, fixing my hair and lipstick in the rear view mirror, watching him with a dull ache between my legs. I wanted to be a good girl, but I wanted to be Nick's girl.
I never really understood what that feeling was until one night when things went further than they had ever gone before. We were stretched out side-by-side on the front seat, the drive-in movie not even halfway through the first feature. I never got popcorn or soda anymore, because I knew I never had time to eat it before we were pressed together like this, kissing and touching each other.
Nick had my bra undone, and his hand was under my blouse, kneading and fondling my breast as he kissed me. He was the best kisser, his tongue gliding like the softest velvet over mine. I got so lost in his kisses that before I knew it, my clothes were undone in places I hadn't even felt his hands.
"Nick, wait," I panted. Pantyhose wouldn't be introduced for another two more years, and my pleated skirt was riding far up past the tops of my stockings where my garters were holding them up. He had my skirt almost to my waist, and I pulled at it, but it was trapped between our bodies.
"Jenny, please," he whispered against my cheek. He had my nipple between his finger and thumb and he was rolling it back and forth. It made me feel funny between my legs. "Not yet."
I heard his acknowledgment that we had to stop... just not yet. I sighed, relaxing a little and letting him lift my sweater, exposing my breasts. I gasped when his mouth fell over my nipple. The first time I had felt his tongue there, I thought I was going to faint. I still wasn't used to the sensation, and it made me feel crazy and wild. I whimpered, trying to keep my hips still—they wanted to grind against him.
I heard him unzipping his pants and I held my breath. He wanted me to touch it, and had been trying to get me to for a week. Every time my hand reached the fleshy, pulsing thing between his legs, I drew back in terror. Tonight was no exception. He led my hand down there, using my fingertips this time to stroke the soft, meaty tip. It was a little wet, and I started to draw back. Was that pee? I made a face.
"It's ok." His voice was hoarse. "Please, Jen. It feels so good when you do it."
I reached my timid hand back between his legs, just grazing it with my fingernails. He shuddered. His hand was edging its way up my stocking. I could feel it resting on the bare skin of my thigh between the top of my stocking and the elastic edge of my panties as he kissed my breast. His tongue, flicking my nipple, sent electric jolts through my body.
"Doesn't it feel good?" he asked, edging his hand up a little higher. I squeezed my thighs together, not wanting him to go any further. I could feel wetness there, and was embarrassed by it. Still, his hand was nestled sideways between my legs, rocking upward. "Let me touch you. I just want to touch you."
His tongue moved over my nipple again and I sighed, closing my eyes. The sensation was heavenly, and the pressure of his hand rubbing up between my legs only increased it. He wiggled his hand back and forth, and he was moving right over that sweet, secret spot that felt so good to touch when I washed myself in the bath.
"Nick," I warned him, trying to wiggle away, but I was all the way back against the seat. The vinyl sighed and groaned as he pressed harder against me, shifting his weight so his hard, exposed flesh brushed up against my hand again.
"Doesn't it feel good?" he asked again, moving his hand faster. I tried to clamp down harder, to keep him from doing it, but it was no use. He moved his mouth to my other breast now, his tongue rolling around my nipple in circles. I gasped, turning to give him better access, in spite of the warning bells going off somewhere in my head.
My thighs relaxed their grip on his hand, and he slid his palm flat against my panties, rubbing me there. I moaned now, grasping the hard shaft between his legs and squeezing. He hissed against my breast.
"Oh, God!" he cried. "Jenny!"
I let go immediately, scared. "Did I hurt you?"
"No," he breathed, reaching for my hand and putting it back on him, wrapping my hand around it. "It felt good."
"Oh." I let him guide my hand up and down the stiffness between his legs, but I was afraid to look down at it.
His breath was coming faster as he used my hand, up and down.
"Nick," I murmur, watching his face, twisted in pleasure or pain, I couldn't tell. "Nick, stop."
He sighed, slowing, stopping. His eyes met mine in the dark. "What are you afraid of?"
I shrugged, blushing. "I don't know. I—I'm afraid of doing it wrong."
He smiled. "Would it be better if I show you how?"
I looked at him, my eyes wide. I couldn't imagine what he wanted to show me. "What do you mean?"
He sat up and leaned against the driver's side door, his hard flesh exposed, poking up through his zipper. I looked away, backing toward the passenger's side, aware of how exposed I was, too.
"Don't cover up, Jen," he said, his hand moving slowly up and down his rigid shaft. "Please."
I left my sweater pulled up over my breasts, my skirt cinched up to my waist. My knees were open as I watched him, fascinated, his thumb rubbing over the tip before sliding his hand back down the length.
"Does it feel good?" I asked, feeling a tingling in my breasts, between my legs. He nodded, his eyes shifting from one breast to the other, licking his lips.
"Doesn't it feel good when you do it?" he asked.
I blushed. "Do what?"
"Touch yourself," he said. "I want to watch you do it."
"I don't—" my face felt like it was on fire, and so did the mound between my legs.
"Pull down your panties, Jen," he said, his eyes on mine. "Please. I just want to see you."
I hesitated, watching his hand move over himself, up and down, a steady rhythm. I hooked my thumbs in the waistband of my panties and pulled them down with a little sigh of relief to be free of them. They were tight, girdle-like things, attached to my stockings with garters, and those came off, too, as I shed my panties. I left them bunched up at my feet.
"Open your legs," he said, his hand moving a little faster. I pulled my knees up, spreading them open. He groaned, looking at the dark patch between my legs. His hand was moving like lightning now, and I watched, fascinated.
"Oh, god, Jen," he whispered, his eyes half-closed. He stopped stroking himself, squeezing it so hard the tip looked purple in the dimness.
"Are you ok?" I asked. He nodded, and I heard him swallow.
"Would you—" he licked his lips again, his eyes falling to the triangle between my legs. "Would you spread it open?"
I gasped, blushing. "Nick!"
"Oh, please, Jen," he pleaded. "I won't touch you, I swear it. I just want to see... inside."
I reached tentative fingers down there. It wasn't like I hadn't touched myself before, washing in the bath, or wiping myself. Sometimes, I would even wake up from a dream and find my hand pressed between my legs, rocking with some aching sensation. But I'd never done anything like this in front of someone else before.
My lips were swollen and full, and I could feel a sticky wetness against my fingers as parted them. I didn't know what he could see in the dark, the drive-in movie throwing light and dim patterns over the windshield, but he gasped and moaned, his hand moving faster now.
"Does that really feel good?" I asked him, my fingers spreading myself a little wider, my eyes glued to the motion between his legs.
"Yeah," he panted. "Really, really good."
I swallowed hard, glancing around as if someone might see us. "Sometimes... it feels good... when I touch myself here." I pressed my fingers against the bud of flesh at the top of my crevice, shivering. God, it felt so good I could barely stand it.
"Do it, then," Nick said, watching my fingers intently. "Touch it."
I started moving my fingers there, nudging that little tingle, wanting it to grow. I used just one finger, back and forth, right over the top. He watched me, his head cocked, his mouth open, his eyes curious and excited all at once.
I moaned a little, feeling that tingle beginning to spread, my whole pelvis wanting to rock with it. I closed my eyes, moving my finger faster, and a little faster still, my tongue creeping out to touch the corner of my mouth. I remembered his tongue on my nipple, how much that had furthered that feeling between my legs, and I let the fingers of my other hand creep upward to my breast, tweaking my own nipple.
Nick groaned out loud and I peeked out at him. His eyes were half-closed, but he was still watching me. His hand was moving so fast up and down the length now that it was just a blur. The motion reminded me of my mother's sewing machine.
"Oh, Jen," he moaned, his hips shifting forward. My breath was coming faster as I watched him, my fingers circling that spot now, feeling it moving, somehow, rising, reaching toward something. The ache between my legs was unbearable.
"Nick, it feels so good," I panted, squeezing my breast in my hand, rolling my nipple.
"I know," he whispered. "God, I never knew—"
I didn't know what he was going to say next, and I never found out. Something altogether wonderful and shocking happened to my body. I started to quiver, my thighs trembling, and then that tingle between my legs let go in delicious, pulsing waves. I gasped and moaned, my hips bucking, my head going back against the window.
"Oh, Jenny!" Nick thrust up hard, and I watched as he bucked and thrashed, too, thick, white fluid shooting from the tip of his flesh again and again, pooling on the vinyl seat in front of me.
I stared, open-mouthed, as his thing began to wilt. My ears were ringing, and my head felt too full. I glanced at the pool of white fluid on the seat and tugged the twist of stockings and panties and garters back out of the way, working on untangling everything.
"Jen?" Nick asked. He was tucking everything back in, zipping up. I didn't answer him as I pulled my panties up over my knees, slipping my feet back into my stockings.
"Jen?" He moved to come across the seat toward me and stopped before he slid through the pool of liquid between us. I lifted my hips, inching my panties back up, pulling down my skirt, my sweater.
"I have something," I told him, reaching for my purse. I snapped it open and pulled out a handkerchief, dropping it onto the seat beside me without looking at him.
Nick wiped up the mess, sitting there with the cloth in his hand for a moment. "Uh—"
"Throw it away," I said, reaching around and re-hooking my bra. "I don't know how I could explain it..."
Nick chuckled, tossing the handkerchief up onto the dashboard and reaching for me.
"Are you ok?" He put his arm around me and I rested my head against his shoulder. On the screen, Old Yeller was fighting with a bear. We'd seen this movie so many times this summer, I knew it by heart. I probably could have quoted the dialogue without the speaker turned up.
"Jenny, I really love you." It was the first time he had said it. I lifted my face to look at him, still flushed with what we had done.
I said the only thing I could think of to say, and it was true, "I love you, too."
"I'm leaving, Jen." The sun was shining on the lake and we held hands as we walked.
"I know." My chest felt constricted. Nick was going to the University of Southern California on a scholarship. He had told me ages ago, at the beginning of the summer.
"Will you miss me?"
"Dumb question." I smiled, bumping him with my shoulder. He stopped and took hold of my upper arms.
"I mean it, Jennifer," he said, his eyes dark, darker than I had ever seen them. He was serious when he called me Jenny. He had to be downright grave to be calling me Jennifer.
"I'll miss you." I nodded, unable to look away from him.
"I love you, Jennifer." He pulled me to him. "I'll always love you." He held me so tight I almost couldn't breathe and he buried his face in my neck.
We clung together.
"Hey, Grandma!" Eric peeked around the corner, his hair wet. He had obviously just stepped out of the shower. "Dan and I are heading over to Barrymore's. Are you making dinner?"
"Your grandfather called," I said. "He'll be late. Dinner isn't until eight."
"Typical," Eric muttered, turning and starting away.
I looked back down at the paper on the counter. It was our local, weekly paper, and because Nick had hailed from here, they made a big deal out of his death.
The words blurred and I shook my head, tossing the paper aside. I hadn't thought about Nick Brody in close to forty years. Even Patty and I didn't talk about him. She had her hands full taking care of her ailing husband, who was suffering from Parkinson's.
I was thankful that Raymond was still healthy—and working just as hard as he ever had, building his dead father's business, well past our retirement age. Since Catherine had passed, he was focusing his attentions on Eric in hopes he might take over the business some day.
So much life had happened between then and now. It was a million years ago that Nick and I had laid under the stars and talked about flying, the meaning of life, and the art of dying. A million years.
"Bye, Grandma." Eric leaned over to give me a perfunctory kiss on the cheek as he shrugged on his coat.
"Bye, honey." I must have sounded sad because he gave me a quizzical look.
"You okay?" he asked, looking at me with his dark green eyes, his mother's eyes. I smiled. Eric was so predictable, so stable, so much like his mother. She would have done a good job raising him, if she had lived.
"I'm fine." I smiled my best old lady smile. "Have a good time, and don't forget, dinner at eight. Your grandfather won't want to wait."
"He won't be here, Mom." Eric frowned. "He'll call at eight and say, 'Jennifer, I have to work a little later, could you—?'"
"Eric, please." I waved him toward the door. "Just be here. For my sake. If your grandfather does show up, he won't want to wait."