Pulling a FeliciabyYDB95©
For Laurie, with admiration and gratitude, wherever you are!
Allie knew what was coming well before she pulled her towel away. It was just the price of still being friends with Craig and Eddie, who hadn't matured much at all since high school.
"Boooyaaaahhhhhh!" "Hubba hubba hubba!" "Them's the stuff!"
"Such a couple of little boys, aren't they?" Corri asked Allie with a grin as the two young women set their towels aside and stood on the sun-drenched poolside in their bikinis.
"Yeah, real mature, guys," Allie said. But she grinned at them nevertheless and basked in the glow of their politically incorrect admiration. For all the changes that had come with four years in college, it was still quite a thrill to think her geeky, awkward teenage self had been best friends with two of their school's football stars. As much as she had come to hate such things, there was nothing quite like the memory of being in with the popular kids, even if it was only on Craig and Eddie's coattails. With six weeks left in college and then just a few weeks after graduation to spend at home before her summer internship started, Allie knew this might well be her last chance to act like the carefree girl who had always told herself she didn't mind being ogled and hooted at by the guys. Besides, her shy awkwardness of yesteryear was long gone, and four years of soccer in the fall and basketball in the spring gave her confidence to spare in her maroon bikini.
"You finally went as skimpy as Corri," Craig noted approvingly. "'Bout time, Allie."
"I didn't think you'd do it," Corri added. "No offense, Allie, but you don't quite have my body."
"What, do I owe you a look?" Allie teased back at Craig, though she stood proudly before him as she waited for him and Eddie to get up and join them in the pool. No sense in dignifying Corri's nasty remark with a response; she'd had over a decade's experience in ignoring that sort of thing.
"Well, yeah!" Craig replied, and as usual Allie couldn't be sure if he was joking or not.
"No kidding," Eddie added. "Friends since we were kids, and you've never even tripped on the stairs in a dress or anything. What's the point in being friends with a girl if you never get an eyeful?"
Allie's nostalgia was dissipating fast now, and all at once her adult self took over. "Come on, guys, are you here to swim or to ogle your friends like a couple of slabs of meat?"
"Allie!" Corri protested. "They're just goofing around. And what do you expect from guys anyway?"
"Aw, let her mouth off, Corri," Craig said. "A feminazi in a bikini -- that's so hot!"
"Yeah," Eddie added. "Every time you come home from that goddamn college you hate men a little more, and here you are letting us see almost everything all the same. I'm gonna miss that!"
"Creeps," Allie muttered. But in spite of herself, she smiled at her two old friends even as she endured their hungry, horny stares. Though she never would have vocalized it as they just did, she was privately just as happy to imagine them with their trunks off. All those years the four of them had been so tight, Allie had figured it was inevitable some combination of them would end up dating -- but it hadn't happened. Which had at least left everything wide open to her imagination as far as their bulky football-players' bodies were concerned.
Both guys were still howling when Allie finally dropped into the water. It was pleasantly lukewarm in the springtime sun, one thing she definitely missed since having moved back up north for college. Two months to graduation, and she did still have the option of moving back home after law school...but the boys' attitude was the perfect example of why she hadn't given that any serious thought. Allie and Corri, Craig and Eddie -- best friends ever since Allie and her family had moved down from Long Island when she was nine years old, and yet every time she'd come home from college over the previous four years, she'd felt more and more different from the others while they all remained as tight as ever. It was time to leave the South, and her childhood there, behind -- Allie knew that all too well.
Perhaps because of that, she had hoped for some kind of crazy fling with Eddie or Craig -- or both! -- on this final spring break. It would have been such a fitting end to the unlikely friendship they had all shared growing up together. But with only a few days left until she had to head back to college, it had not happened. Lots of lazy afternoons and evenings with the three of them and more than her share of girls-only nights with Corri, but it had all been PG-rated, and what a shame!
That, Allie knew, was why she was secretly delighted with Craig's off-the-wall suggestion an hour later, when they were lounging together on the deck chairs. Always the more daring of the two guys, he more than likely was just testing her to see if she'd slap his face, Allie knew that. "Say, y'all remember that nudist resort out by route nineteen?" he asked out of nowhere.
Corri burst into her usual giggles. "God, yes! Remember how we used to spread rumors about the girls we didn't like, how they went there on weekends?"
"I remember you doing that, Corri," Allie corrected.
"That's how I remember it too," Eddie added.
"Whatever," Corri muttered. "Anyway, yeah, I remember. Always was curious about the place."
"Me too," Craig said. "Anyway. I don't know if y'all know, there's a Nude Day -- it's an actual day, in July. What say y'all...I mean, Allie, that's still a couple of weeks before you have your internship -- end of July, isn't it?"
"Yes," Allie said, scarcely believing what appeared to be coming. She forced herself to look nonchalant for the moment.
"Great!" Craig continued. "Anyway, look, we'll probably never all be together again after that. So I'm thinking, why not go out with a bang, all four of us?"
"Craig!" Corri shrieked. "If we weren't in public I'd slap you so hard right now."
"Oh, come on, Corri!" Craig insisted. "I mean, don't you girls expect me to believe you haven't ever wondered what Eddie and I look like naked just like we have with the two of you."
"Okay, I totally have," Corri said. "Doesn't mean I'm a hornball like you boys, but sure. Of course I have. You too, Allie, right?"
"Naturally," Allie admitted. "I'm just not in-your-face about it like you guys are."
"Eddie?" Corri demanded. "You don't want anything to do with this either, do you? I mean, wouldn't it feel like sex with your sister or something?"
"I don't know," Eddie said. "Sounds like it could be fun. Awkward at first, but fun."
Corri gave all three of her friends a hard look. "Yeah, I'll tell you what, Craig," she said. "If Allie's in, so am I."
"Me too," Eddie piped up. "Only then. I don't want to go to that place with just you, Craig, no offense!"
"None taken," Craig replied.
Allie found all eyes on her, and her instinct was to tell Craig to forget it. But wasn't this just what she had been hoping for, or at least something close to it? Amidst a flash flood of memories of growing up together, shy questions among them about puberty and dating and sex, and the inevitable sexual tension, flirting and double dating and dances in the gym, fantasies never consummated, and if not now, they never would...
"Okay," Allie said, scarcely able to believe it herself. "I'll go."
Corri responded with a joyful hoot and one of her usual comments about leading the boys around by their dicks, and the four of them soon dissolved into nervous laughter and anticipation for the big day. With the big issue settled, conversation turned elsewhere soon enough. When the time came to part ways -- Eddie had to work that evening and Corri was expected at home for dinner -- Allie was feeling nothing but randy contentment over what was to come. As they headed for their respective locker rooms, the only mention of it all was a final joke from Corri: "Maybe we should join you guys in the men's room for a head start!" This got a good laugh from them all.
But the charade was shattered as soon as the women's room door had shut behind Corri and Allie. "I can't believe you got us into that!" Corri whined. "They're like our brothers! You want them seeing us naked?!"
"You said yes first!" Allie reminded her, tamping down her exasperation with her best friend as she opened her locker -- this was all too typical, she reminded herself.
"I said only if you said yes!" Corri screeched as she slid off her bikini panties and tossed them in the locker. "And I was sure you'd say no! You with all your feminist baloney about how you shouldn't tell a woman she's pretty or anything, I was certain you'd say no!"
Ignoring Corri's characteristically inane view of her feminism, Allie snapped back, "Oh, so I was supposed to be the harsh one while you got to play sugar and spice here?" She wrapped herself in her towel before removing her suit, for this turn of events had her already feeling naked.
"Well, yeah, girl! That's the way it's always worked with us!" Corri, for all her outrage, did not bother covering up as they headed for the communal showers.
Corri -- Allie's on again, off again best bud since childhood -- was all too right. Allie knew that. She had been vaguely aware of it even when they were little girls, and since going away for college she had become more aware of it every time she came home. Corri was the cute one, the girly one, the manipulative one, always in the driver's seat while Allie was only along for the ride. Eddie and Craig, too, if it came to that. Every now and then back in high school and especially junior high, one of them would be frozen out for a day or two for reasons known only to Corri. No-Allie days, no-Eddie days, where the odd one out could hang around the others but he or she would be ignored or bullied. But it was always Corri Day. It had always been that way, and despite their many wonderful memories, Allie was glad to be leaving her "friend" behind.
She should, Allie admitted to herself now, have known Corri was playing games when she agreed to the Nude Day outing. But knowing now that Corri hadn't really wanted anything to do with Nude Day only strengthened Allie's own resolve to go through with it. Corri had played Allie, and for once Allie had won. Now Corri could live with the consequences. And dammit, she wanted to see Eddie and Craig naked just as much as they wanted to see her that way.
As Allie turned on the water and reluctantly removed her towel, she braced herself for an onslaught of Corri's usual baloney -- probably a worse one than usual. It came and it went, and Allie ignored the whining.
When Corri realized that was getting her nowhere, she tried a different approach. "You know, you could cancel on them," she said. "Just say you don't trust them to respect your feminine body integrity, or whatever the hell it is you learned in lesbian studies."
"Why would I want to do that?" Allie asked. "It'll be fun! I've never really had a chance to just sit back and admire a bunch of naked guys at once, have you?"
"Wouldn't you like to know," Corri teased, and her lips curled into a smile for the first time since they had left the guys. "But Allie, do you really want to do it with those two? I mean, look how they were just hooting at us!"
"Yes, and you enjoyed it," Allie reminded her. "Besides, they're immature little boys, but they're our friends and this is a nice special thing to do for our last time all being together."
"Allie! Don't make me leave you high and dry with them!"
"You won't do that," Allie teased knowingly. "You expect me to do it for you. Not this time, Corri."
"Fine!" Corri snapped as she rinsed her hair out. She turned the shower tap off and set about patting herself dry while Allie enjoyed a few more moments with the steamy water and her even steamier thoughts. Allie had done a good job of ignoring Corri's barbs up to now. But like all bullies, Corri knew how to hit where it hurt, and she had one last arrow in her quiver that never missed. With her nastiest grin, she said, "I just hope you don't pull a Felicia on our boys for Nude Day, Allie."
Allie's stomach turned over as she recalled their swimming instructor from the summer after fifth grade. She recalled Felicia now as a beautiful, confident woman who happened to have a lot of pubic hair and chose not to remove or hide it. That large, dark triangle had always been visible just behind her brightly colored one-piece swimsuits, and Felicia had shown no signs of caring. Allie hadn't cared either at first: if anything she had been rather envious of her instructor's grown-up poise and confidence in her body, not to mention the elegant symmetry of that barely-hidden triangle. But Corri had found it repulsive, and from that day twelve years ago, "pulling a Felicia" had been their gang's term for a woman failing to groom herself meticulously.
Allie knew Corri only wanted to ruffle her feathers, but now she admitted defeat in keeping her mouth shut. "Corri, where is your pride, anyway?! Can't you see how sexist that whole 'pulling a Felicia' thing is? No one cares if men have hair anywhere on their bodies. Why is it a crime if we have any?" But even as she said it, Allie was thanking her lucky stars she had shaved her legs, pits and bikini area that very morning.
"I don't think it's sexist at all!" Corri said. "We're girls, we're supposed to be smooth and nice underneath. It's different with guys. Like Craig always used to say when we talked about Felicia."
"Funny how that 'difference' means they never even have to try to groom anything while it's an all-over-your-body job for us," Allie said as she set about drying herself off as well. Corri was wrapped in her towel now for the walk back to the lockers; Allie defiantly chose to follow naked.
"Not for us," Corri needled. "For you!" She dissolved into giggles as she said it, even pointing at Allie's pubic area. Although she was freshly shaven, a close look revealed enough stubble that Allie would have had a hard time hiding herself in any bikini, much less the tiny one she had worn that day, if it grew out. There was also a bit of razor-burn and a healing cut near where her hairline would have been, and Corri's comments made Allie all the more aware of the lingering discomfort. Corri, by contrast, had never needed to shave; her dainty blonde pubes covered barely a few postage stamps' worth of space and were barely visible against her skin even when unshaven. "Sorry, Allie, but it's true! I'm sorry you pull a Felicia if you don't watch yourself and I don't, but life isn't fair!"
"Gee, thanks!" Allie grumbled, rummaging through her locker for her panties; now she desperately wanted to cover up.
"Allie!" Corri said, touching her friend's shoulder. "I'm only looking out for you. What do you think you'd look like if you didn't have me reminding you not to pull a Felicia? Would you want everyone at the pool looking at you the way we used to look at her? Or worse yet, at the resort this summer? You need to look good for that! With all the guys there, you'll be glad you did."
Outside, the guys were waiting to drive Allie and Corri home. "Took y'all long enough," Craig teased.
"Oh, I was just having a heart to heart talk with Allie about the Nude Day thing. Had to remind her not to pull a Felicia on you guys."
"Pulling a Felicia!" Eddie roared with laughter. "I'd forgotten all about that! Haven't heard that in years."
"She's right, though, Allie," Craig warned. "You don't want to stick out like Felicia did, not when you haven't even got a swimsuit to hide in. At least she had that."
"What if I do?" Allie said defiantly. "I mean, I don't see you shaving every inch of your body clean, Craig!"
"Damn right you don't, but I'm a man! Come on, Allie, they didn't brainwash that out of you at college, did they?"
"Yeah," Eddie added. "I mean, no one likes the way men's bodies look anyway, so who cares? Women are beautiful, if they're groomed."
"How convenient for you," Allie said as she waited for Eddie to unlock the backseat door, and she mostly kept her mouth shut for the ride back to her parents' house.
Alone at last when her friends dropped her off in the driveway, Allie thought of Corri's attitude and wondered just why she bothered staying in touch with her childhood friend. Now that she was older and a few years removed from the days when they were inseparable, it was easier to see how she had let Corri dominate her -- and the guys -- on so many things. And she didn't like it a bit, now that she could see it for what it was. Her old best friend was petty and controlling, not to mention perfectly happy to have guys treat her like a sex object. And Allie had been somewhat aware of it all along, but in high school a friend like that beat being friendless. No more now that they were adults.
And the phrase "pull a Felicia" was emblematic of all those things rolled into one. Allie hadn't thought of the term in years, but to her embarrassment she realized now that she was still living by it -- for no real reason except that Corri had conditioned her to do so back when they were adolescents. Allie didn't recall much else about Felicia, not even her last name; but thanks to Corri, she and Eddie and Craig would remember Felicia's first name -- and her very full bush -- for all time. Now that Allie thought more carefully about the few memories she had, it became clear to her that it was only Corri's constant nastiness that had turned Allie's own opinion against the poor woman. Felicia had been tall and lithe, with long dark hair that was not unlike Allie's own. She had also been a great teacher, encouraging the kids to practice the right posture and strokes, and she had never appeared anything but encouraging and happy to be there with them.
Allie could not recall for sure if Felicia had always worn a swimsuit colored lightly enough to reveal her bush, but it seemed that way in her memory now. In any case, she had definitely done so sometimes at least, and so the secret was out early on in the summer. Thick and dark and readily visible behind the pink or green or white fabric, Felicia's bush had given rise to no small amount of debate in the girls' locker room after class: did she know that it showed? Did she care? Did she like it that way, even? Eddie and Craig later confirmed the same debate raged in the boys' room.
For Allie, who was from an Italian-American family -- her name was short for Alessandra -- nothing about Felicia's body had made her wonder at first. Back on Long Island, where she had lived with her parents until they had moved down South when she was nine, there had been many a summer's day spent at her aunt and uncle's backyard pool. In the bathhouse by the pool, Allie had seen her mother, aunts and older cousins changing into and out of their swimsuits any number of times. As best Allie could recall, each and every one of the women in her family had boasted a full, natural bush and there had been no shame about it. Allie could even still vaguely recall being envious of the grown-up, mysterious look of a full bush, hiding their feminine charms even when they were stark naked, and looking forward to having one of her own.
But then the summer of Felicia had come. At first Allie had found Felicia's adult woman's body not only perfectly normal, but even beautiful. Confident and poised, Felicia had shown none of the awkwardness Allie was feeling in those days as she was beginning to come to terms with the realization that she was on her way to becoming a woman. She made for a wonderful role model, though Allie would not have phrased it thusly at the time since they didn't teach women's studies in fifth grade.
But Corri, already Allie's best friend and already the opinionated little brat she would always be, had seen things very differently. Though Allie could no longer recall the conversation they'd had on the bike ride home from the pool, she could still imagine it all too well. "Oh, my god, do you see the bush she's got on her?! Disgusting! Every class, I feel like offering to get her a razor! Yuck!"