The day my life changed forever was remarkable at sunrise, clear and cloudless after the rains the night before washed the smoggy stench of LA from the air. Maybe for twenty-four hours that clarity would linger, if we were lucky. In that small sliver of time I’d find the angst of my sexual obsessions placated suddenly, inexplicably by two serendipitous strokes of fate.
This was March of my junior year at a southern California college, majoring in Art History, minoring in the soon to be futile attempts to maintain my virginity in a hotbed of sexual stimulation. I was the last bastion of purity among the sexually active coeds in my dorm and on that auspicious day, I’d find my sex life suddenly jumpstarted in a way that would boggle my mind for years.
Maybe I was pumping pheromones into the pregnant spring air. Maybe I was especially beautiful looking that day in my blue flared skirt and white t-shirt. Coed perfect, with my honey brown hair long and glistening in the sun-drenched transparency of the day. Maybe the attention I attracted had something to do with the steamy night before, when I lay masturbating in bed, surreptitiously, lest my roommate Christine realize what I was doing in the twin bed next to hers. Thankfully, I was safe all night with her gently snoring beside me, and I woke the next morning refreshed after my night of sexual wonder and shame-filled horror—a paradox to be sure, for that was how I thought of my sexuality then—and this was just a simple masturbation since there’d been no cock to penetrate my purity. The fantasies in my head were what shamed me more than any act of self-love. And yet, on this particular morning, I’d wiped those thoughts from my mind and set out feeling peculiarly elated as I walked into the crisp morning air, almost expecting something out of the ordinary to take place—even though I never could have imagined what was in store.
I didn’t have long to wait for my expectations to be fulfilled.
On my way from my dorm to the student union, I passed through the quad, holding my books tightly to my chest as was my custom, while the figure of Galen Davis came into view. My stomach suddenly soured as the mild nausea of apprehension made me cringe at my shoulders and dismiss any temporary euphoria I’d been feeling. I then walked on with eyes focused forward in hopes that I could pass by Galen without her noticing me.
“Hey, Golden Girl! Here!”
The voice was unmistakable, low and clear as it cut through the cool breeze that whipped against my face.
I hesitated then stopped; it would have been rude not to, although I had little desire to have a conversation with the butch lesbian from my History of Civilization discussion section. She scared me. Everything about her scared me. The unusually short brown hair. Her boyish figure. The unapologetically lesbian attitude she’d adopted, even during a time when few women had the courage to acknowledge they were gay. In every move, gesture and spoken word she fit a stereotype that was still snickered at and overtly judged, which made my associating with lesbians something I believed the world could misconstrue.
I turned her way uncertain, and found her motioning me to where she was sitting on the waist high cement retaining wall that defined the quad on its north side. I smiled weakly, feeling self-conscious of every move and afraid that anything I did would be interpreted wrong. Behind all my fear was an attraction I was too frightened to acknowledge although that in no way hindered me from feeling a ticklish physical response deep in my belly.
“Yeah, you, Golden Girl,” she called out from fifteen feet away. It was me she was speaking to.
I blushed deeply, feeling grateful that there was no one around. Girls like Galen usually ran in packs, but today she was alone. The hard glare of her butch friends would have weakened me further.
“I don’t bite,” she added, while nodding me closer.
“I know that,” I stumbled over my shyness, still hanging back, but managing to inch a few feet in her direction.
“So, how’s Ms. Art History today?” she said with a big broad smile.
“I’m fine,” I said.
Her eyes stripped me down to nothing; I might as well have shed my clothes and spared her the careful scrutiny of my body parts.
“Closer, c’mon. I don’t bite.” Her smile diminished more than it drew me in, but I had no strength to snub her.
“I really can’t, I have class,” I said, as good an excuse as any. “Yeah, so do I, but hey, we’ve got at least an hour,” she said, consulting her watch to prove her point.
She gazed at me tenderly and my body shook from its rafters on down, enough that I’m sure she noticed my disquiet. A breeze stirring the eucalyptus trees above tickled the hair on my arms until goosebumps broke out across my skin.
I finally walked forward as if I were pulled by an invisible cord, and once I actually made my move, she abruptly hopped off the retaining wall.
“I have something in my room I want you to see. C’mon.”
Me? She wanted me in her room? Why?
“I was going to breakfast.”
“Right. I’ve got muffins in my room, you can eat there,” she answered dismissively, and she actually steered me with her hand down the quad toward the path leading to Gracie Hall, her dorm. I have no idea why I let her abduct me to her lair, but being too tongue-tied and too confused to find another excuse, I found myself following along at her side all the way to her third floor penthouse suite at the top of Gracie Hall. This was the upperclassmen’s dream home: a sleeping porch, a study room plus a bath shared only by the occupants of the apartment across the hall. Only good connections could have put her in this high perch, which was normally reserved for the upper class female with the best body and the biggest smile. There’d been rumors that the resident assistant the year before when room assignments were made was a lesbian, still in the closet. She’d been tight with Galen and this sweet room was the obvious result.
“You don’t even have to share it?” I asked, as I looked around in awe at the big space. I didn’t need the confirmation of music posters exclusively of female singers to know that Galen was gay, but her choices seemed natural to her, as were the other decorations that had a New Age feel; the incense burner, potted plants, the beaded curtain and macramé tapestry. Everything straight-forward and in order, a clear reflection of Galen’s personality.
I still wondered why I was there in the first place, standing between her bookshelves and her desk, bound by my own timidity. It’s not that Galen was a total stranger. The history discussion group where we’d met had been a lively affair, where her opinions were spoken like law, and mine easily dismissed. I wasn’t a deep thinker then and it showed. Why she would show any interest in me made no sense.
Galen must have seen my bemusement as I stared from poster to poster, then as my eyes dropped to the bookshelf, lighting on a dozen volumes with shappos, lesbian and lavender ladies in their titles. I’d been barely cognizant of the movement afoot to right the consciousness of the masses about all things gay. Until then. Until that hour, when I stared a real life lesbian in the face inside her walls, her own defined space, a lesbian space. It didn’t seem all that unusual or threatening.
“You said you like Chagall,” she finally broke my trance.
Yes, I had.
I looked up, suddenly aware of my heart beating more rapidly than I was used to, and that strange rumbling in my lower regions having an acutely erotic feel.
“I stumbled across these in an old bookstore near home,” she said—her home being some suburb of San Francisco. She held out her hand with a sheaf of art plates, all paintings by Chagall.
“Where did you get these?” I stupidly asked.
“The bookstore? Near my home?” she repeated what she’d already told me with a wry grin.
“Yeah, right.” I blushed. “It’s just…” I could barely speak. “They’re terrific.” I shuffled through the ten prints, recognizing most of them as Chagall’s more familiar paintings, then I handed them back. “You going to redecorate your room?”
She pushed them back to me. “No, they’re yours.”
“Mine? Why?” There I stood dumbfounded again, staring like a trapped animal at her grinning face.
“I saw them when I was home on break and thought of you.”
She’d thought of me when she was on break? I didn’t know whether to be complimented or repulsed.
She moved directly forward, and it was only then that I realized she was shorter than me by at least four inches. Her hand moved toward my head and I instinctively moved back. “It’s okay,” she said, and she brushed the hair off my face in a gesture so tender that it nearly brought me to tears. “Is it so odd that I’d be attracted to you? You’re beautiful.”
She stunned me with that remark.
Then her hand moved gracefully down—inherently graceful for a woman who was no longer clumsy like the dyke I imagined her to be—until her palm rested on my breast.
My, God, what was she doing…hitting on me!
I stepped back, but she took my arm and pulled me back to her. “Don’t get all scared. Remember, I don’t bite.”
But I don’t do lesbians and I don’t want to be here, my flagging mind was screaming. Meanwhile, a steady sexual pulse between my legs took a frighteningly thunderish turn that was painful to ignore.
“I get that you’re one pent-up lady,” she said, almost admiringly, her face now filled with awe, while one hand continued to hold my arm and the other moved subtly from place to place in a sensitive inspection of my face, my breast, my hip. Then around to my ass.
“I’ll never tell a soul about this, pretty Polly. It’s just you and me, no one’s going to know.”
She pushed me back into an alcove onto a daybed strewn with pillows. Mesmerized by a seductive charm I’d have never guessed she had, I let her kiss me on the lips, again and then again. Her small and delicate kisses were unlike the kisses of a man—at least the few I’d known.
She moved her hand with graceful force between my legs, prying them apart, her fingers under my skirt where, with just the slightest touch against my panties, the vibration set off a sexual spasm deep inside my belly.
“Oh, my God!” escaped my lips, as the breathless wonder of the moment gripped me like nothing else ever had.
She came down harder on my lips, while her hand plunged deeper, more decidedly, grabbing at my pubic mound with her fingers fishing their way beyond the elastic of my panties and between my labia.
The stale odor of my sex wafted free; my juices were flowing in a small, steamy stream as she fingered my sex. Shrill sensations of physical joy jolted my clitoris, then moved swiftly through my lower regions with the same surging force that I brought out on my own. Perhaps the erotic remnants of the night before lingered on to fuel the surprising climax that suddenly swept my body. Galen and her hand shook my cunt hard, while I lay gasping, rocking back and forth in her arms, cradled by the heavenly warmth of her tender embrace.
“You’re so easy, Polly Montgomery,” she smiled above me with a look of satisfaction. “I knew you would be.”
I stared up at her in shock.
“It’s okay, sweetheart. All I want is to love you.”
“Shuuuussssh.” Her finger went to my lips. It’s too soon. Too soon. You don’t need to talk about it. There’s nothing to understand, nothing to say.”
I was glad she said that, since it probably kept me from looking foolish as I stumbled through a string of excuses, exclamations and denials.
She moved up on the bed with me so we were lying side by side, still clothed, still close and touching, sharing an intimacy I never knew I desired. Should I reciprocate? was my first cogent thought.
My eyes watered with tears. “I don’t think I can,” I managed, hoping she’d know what I was talking about, and she did.
She stroked my hair as she had before, though more like a loving mother this time.
“I’m okay with what I have here,” she said in all earnest. I hoped to God that I wouldn’t have to repeat this scene. Then she continued talking. “I didn’t mean to move on you so quickly, but you looked so pretty today. Here I’d been planning this for weeks.”
“You planned this?”
“Since the day you sat next to me in discussion group. I knew I could have you as long as someone else didn’t get to you first.”
“Why did you think that?”
“I know certain kinds of women, women like Polly Montgomery. I know when they’re ripe, and, girl, you were you ripe for plucking today.” She finally sat up, giving me the space I needed to breathe—well, almost breathe. “By the way, you’re not a lesbian, so don’t get confused on that score.”
I shook my head, unable to comprehend anything that had happened or what was said in the last hour.
“Bisexual is a better word for you, Polly. But, don’t worry, I promise I won’t flaunt what we’re doing.”
“No, please don’t!” I managed my first raw emotion, then sat up and scooted to the edge of the bed.
“No. It’s too soon to shock people. I mean the world needs to be shocked. But hey, I’m not going to get political today, least of all with you.” She stroked my hair again, “But you…don’t you have that class you were talking about?”
“Yes, yes I do.” I jumped from the bed and stood up to straighten my skirt. My panties felt squishy between my legs and the sexual scent rising up to assault my nose would haunt me all day. I found that my books had been thrown in a heap on the floor. I retrieved them quickly, standing up hugging them close to my chest protectively as I moved to the door.
Galen stopped my hasty retreat, calling to me, “We’ll do it again sometime.”
I looked back, shaking my head bewildered. “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”
“You say that now, but you think about it, Golden Girl.” This time the name came out affectionately.
“I really have to go.”
“Then you do that.” She grinned again. “But the Chagalls. Take them. I really did buy them for you.”
“Right. Thank you.” I found the plates on her desk with the beautiful colors beaming at me like great big grins. While Galen watched, I put down my books, made a neat stack of the pictures and laid them carefully between the pages of my largest textbook to prevent them from wrinkling.
I turned back to her. “Thanks, I mean really, you didn’t have to.”
“Yeah, how else would I have seduced you up here?”
I smiled, embarrassed, then rushed in, “I gotta go now,” and moved quickly to the door.
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