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Looking back, the first time I saw her, I think I knew we were going to fall in love.
There’s just something about McKayla . . .
The wicked glint in her eyes when she laughs. The way she tilts her head and smiles knowingly. Her hips sway when she walks. Her eyes seem to bore right through you. When she talks, you are the most important person in the world to her. She’s the sexiest person in any room and she knows it.
It took me a while to realise what it was, but I was irrevocably smitten. Maybe it was because I was young and impressionable. Maybe I was in an “experimental” stage of my life. Or maybe McKayla was that person who comes along once in your lifetime and if you don’t grab her right then, you’ll regret it forever.
I had just moved to the beach after graduating from college. My uncle knew a guy who got me a job working for a buddy of his as the office manager for a warehouse. I didn’t know a soul in the town, but I wanted to live anywhere but Po-dunk, USA, and that was the first job opportunity I got.
It was me and forty guys who worked at the local adult beverage distributor. They were a little crude and—shall we say—”unrefined”, but they were all basically good guys. Most of the time, they tried not to tell sexist jokes around me and usually didn’t burp or fart in my presence, but they didn’t always remember.
Being the new person (and only girl), I was subjected to a lot of good-natured hazing, but pretty soon, I was just one of the guys. It helped that I liked football and could cuss up a bluestreak with the best of them. I also didn’t tolerate their bullshit, and I could dish out as much as I could take.
Still, some days, I longed for some female company. The warehouse was next to a strip mall that had a doctor’s office, a mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant and the local branch of a large bank in it. It turned out that a teller and a medical technician had the same lunch time as me and after meeting fairly frequently over the lunch buffet, pretty soon we were hanging out together after work.
Allyson was seeing a guy and Bretlynn was single. I had broken up with my boyfriend near the end of my senior year. We had gone out for about two years, but he never exhibited a lot of drive. He seemed to be on the six (or eight) year plan and was content to take all the classes he could as long as his parents were paying.
He was pretty, but his not having any ambition led to a lot of resentment in me which led to simmering anger which led to poor communication which led to him not being able to keep his dick in his pants. I dumped his sorry ass and never looked back. I wonder now why I put up with his shit for so long.
Anyway, a couple of nights a week Allyson, Bretlynn and I started going out for drinks and hanging out. Sometimes, Allyson’s boyfriend would join us; sometimes he had to work late or we had a girl’s night out. I dated a couple of guys, but I wanted to be single for a while and enjoy being 22 before I did the spouse and family thing that I thought everyone expected of me.
One night, Allyson brought her friend McKayla with her. She was a couple of years older than the rest of us and was a financial planner at the bank where Allyson worked.
I remember thinking how pretty she was. McKayla went to college on a softball scholarship and was tall, with a firm, muscular build, dark hair and perfect skin. She was the kind of girl that made everyone around her go “Dayum!”
McKayla also had an air of supreme confidence about her. I think that’s what attracted me to her. She seemed to know herself. I didn’t know what I wanted out of life. I didn’t have a plan for tomorrow, much less for 10 years. Hell, I was just happy to have a college diploma and a job that would make my rent, student loan payments and leave me just enough to go out a couple of nights a week.
The four of us went to a local seafood restaurant for dinner and then downtown to the boardwalk for drinks and dancing. McKayla was nice and friendly. She’s the kind of person that doesn’t know any strangers. I ended up sitting next to her and we talked all night, mostly about work and other inconsequential stuff. She drew me out immediately.
We stayed out until close to midnight, but since it was a work night, we couldn’t stay out too late, so we promised to all go out again.
As Allyson and I were walking back to her car, for some reason I turned over my shoulder to get one last glimpse of McKayla, who waved. I reflexively waved back.
“You know she’s a lesbian, right?” Allyson said.
My jaw dropped. I thought she was just friendly.
“I think she likes you,” my friend said with a wink, and I couldn’t tell if she was joking or not.
In hindsight, that certainly explained why some of the things McKayla had said to me earlier might have sounded like a little more than conversation just between friends.
What it didn’t explain was why my pulse raced when I saw her smile.
The casino siteleri four of us continued to go out a couple of times a week. After a couple of months, I had settled into my job and felt fairly comfortable around town.
McKayla and I became close friends; I never got the feeling that she was hitting on me, but nor could I ignore the fact that there always seemed to be a sort of tension between us.
When our eyes would meet, for the briefest second there was just the two of us; the rest of the world faded away. She would smile at me, as if she knew something I didn’t. Then I’d blink and look away, embarrassed.
This went on for a month or so until my birthday, which happened to fall on a Saturday night.
I was turning 23 and the girls took me out for an all-night bender. It started at my place when they came to pick me up. One of the advantages of working for a liquor distributor is that there is never a shortage of booze. Somehow, the inventory is always off by a bottle or two and no one ever seems to know where it went . . .
Bretlynn and I were hanging out trying to decide if we wanted to party with our friend Jose or our other friend The Captain when Allyson and McKayla showed up. After some friendly discussion, someone opened the Cuervo and the night began.
Things were fine for the first two hours and then my memory gets blurry. We went to dinner at P.F. Chang’s. There was some more liquor involved, followed by dinner and some singing by the servers. Then we went out to the clubs. Allyson, Bretlynn and I got pretty hammered while McKayla took lots of incriminating pictures and babysat us. Someone needed to be our designated driver, after all.
In the midst of the tequila-induced haze, I have one lucid memory of that night.
We were at one of our favourite places. I was humping and grinding on anything that moved. Apparently it made me very popular with the guys there (and a couple of the girls, too).
Allyson had her backside stuck out and was shaking it suggestively towards me. I was making a big show out of smacking her playfully for everyone to see.
Turning over my shoulder, I saw McKayla dancing near us with an amused smile on her face. I don’t know what came over me, but I reached out and pulled her to me.
Before she could react, I stuck my tongue into her mouth. I’m sure it was wonderful for her. Here I was—drunk out of my mind, smelling of smoke and too much perfume, tasting of tequila and God only knows what else—trying to make out with her.
Very romantic, don’t you think?
I remember her eyes getting real big for just a second, then she pulled back and, for the first time I could recall, McKayla appeared to be at a loss for words or what to do.
With a drunken laugh, I turned back to Allyson and we continued to dance, but I remember McKayla standing there for a long moment, as if she was wondering what signal I was sending.
The girls later told me the night ended when the bars closed. I have to take their word for it. The next morning was ugly. I hadn’t had a night like that since college. Granted that wasn’t too long ago, but still, you’d think that I’d have learned my lesson after the last time. Or two.
I woke up with a splitting headache. You know the kind: It’s where you spend the next three hours puking your guts out, all the while saying to yourself (repeat after me), “Dear God, I promise I will never drink that much again . . . if You will only make the throbbing go away and the room stop spinning. Amen.”
Thankfully, wherever I had ended up, someone had the good sense to draw the curtains closed and the neighbours were mercifully quiet. That could only mean I was no where near my apartment. After all, the kids on the other side of my bedroom wall were always up at 7 am and raising hell by 7:15. The superintendent liked to mow the lawn early in the morning, and I had (unfortunately) gotten a unit that was near the pool, which on a nice summer day was usually busy and crawling with urchin children from Hell.
Trying not to upset my internal equilibrium, I looked around the room for a clock. It was a little after noon. I moaned and rubbed my temples.
It took me a few minutes until I could bring myself to sit up. I let out a stream of unladylike curses under my breath and willed myself not to throw up on the very nice duvet.
Someone had changed me out of my clothes and into a long nightshirt. Underneath, my panties were on, but my bra was gone. I brushed my hair out of my eyes and then looked around (but not too quickly) to see where I was.
I didn’t immediately recognise anything. There was a picture of two people about my uncle’s age next to the clock radio. A couple of paintings hung from the walls. A solid oak dresser and nightstand matched the very nice (and probably expensive) headboard.
There were three doors in the room. I stumbled towards one of them and fumbled with the handle. It opened into a hallway. The sunlight coming from canlı casino an open window hit me and I recoiled back into the bedroom. I tried door number two.
It was the one I was looking for: the bathroom.
I dropped my panties and plopped down on the toilet, as relieved to be off my feet as anything else.
The recent activity only made me feel worse. My head still throbbed.
“Amberle?” I heard a voice call. McKayla. “Are you okay, sweetie?”
Her footsteps came down the hall. I heard the door to the bedroom open and saw McKayla poke her head into the room. She turned and saw me in her bathroom.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said and quickly closed the door.
I finished my business and then stood, very slowly. I stumbled out of the bathroom and out into the bright hallway. McKayla was waiting for me. She was all dressed up in a nice pants suit and leaning against the doorframe.
“How are you feeling?” Her voice was soft, probably knowing that loud noises weren’t going to be good for me.
“Like shit,” I replied feebly as my eyes adjusted. The taste in my mouth was stale, a mixture of tequila, beer and morning breath.
McKayla only smiled.
She walked me to the kitchen and led me to a table in front of a nice bay window. The bright sunlight stung my eyes, but the view of the water blew me away. Her house was right on the beach. Off the deck was a walkway going over the dunes right on to the sand.
I had never been to her place before. I knew she lived a little ways north and that she lived by herself, but I had no idea her home was this nice. She usually came over to one of our dumpy apartments because Allyson, Bretlynn and I lived closer to the clubs and the action.
For the next several moments, I only stared out her window dumbly. She pushed a bottle of Sprite into my hands which I drank reflexively.
“Feel like something to eat?” she asked.
I could only nod.
“I’ve got cereal, toast, bagels and waffles,” McKayla said. “Take your pick.”
“I’ll have a bagel,” I mumbled, turning away from the window.
Her kitchen was spacious and warm. The appliances were shiny and looked as if they had been taken out of the box maybe a month before. I could only imagine how much her place cost; right on the beach, almost brand new and big.
Efficiently, McKayla fixed me a plain bagel with cream cheese, then sat down next to me. I nibbled at the food, not really hungry, but I knew I had to get something into my stomach. I just hoped I could keep it down.
“I didn’t do anything stupid last night, did I?” I finally managed to ask.
She smiled slightly. “Not really.”
It was then that I remembered my drunken pass at her. I looked away, embarrassed. If she was going to call me on it, that was the time, but she didn’t.
“Where are Allyson and Bretlynn?” I asked, trying to change the subject.
“Allyson is in one of the guest bedrooms,” McKayla replied gently. “I took Bretlynn home on the way to mass.”
“You go to church?” I asked.
“Every Sunday,” she said, very matter-of-factly.
I was taken aback by her reply. I didn’t figure being Catholic and a homosexual went together very well, given the papal stance on same-sex relations. What did I know, though? My family wasn’t very religious and I had never gone to church regularly.
“Eat up,” McKayla said gently and patted my hand. Then she stood. “I’m going to wake up Allyson and then get you girls home.”
As she walked away, I wished her touch had lasted a little bit longer.
McKayla got us up and dressed, then took us back to our apartments. There was no throwing up involved. Just a massive headache. I sat in my apartment for the rest of the day, partly hungover, partly confused.
What was it about her that gave me chills just thinking about her? Was it really a sexual kind of arousal? She was certainly a pretty girl. Plus she was smart, funny and kind. However, I had never had any sort of lesbian feelings. I liked guys; that much had always been certain.
Still, I couldn’t deny that there was some sort of attraction between us. And it wasn’t just as friends. There was just something about her . . .
The memory of our kiss—however fleeting, however clouded by liquor—was the only thing from the previous night that was crystal clear in my mind. Her lips were so soft. Her touch so gentle. Just the thought of that kiss made me tingle from head to toe. What did it mean?
The next week flew by. We had plans to go out on Saturday night and it was my week to be the DD, which was kind of a relief since I didn’t feel like drinking much anyway.
We decided to go out for dinner and then hang out along the boardwalk.
There is a really nice seafood restaurant that’s right on the intercoastal and not too far from my apartment. There’s a dock around back, and in the early afternoon a boat pulls up and unloads the day’s catch. Talk about a fresh meal.
McKayla came over to my place after kaçak casino work and then we went to pick up Allyson and Bretlynn. There was a palpable tension in the air between us but neither of us wanted to talk about it, or even acknowledge it.
While waiting for our names to be called, Allyson and Bretlynn had a glass (or two) of wine. We sat on the deck watching the sun set and making small talk. The restaurant pager went off and we got up to go inside.
On the way, we passed another group of girls. One of them waved at McKayla.
“Hey,” she said shyly.
“Hi,” McKayla replied, her usual poise gone, suddenly becoming uncomfortable. She stopped for a second and the rest of us piled up behind her.
“How have you been?” the girl asked. She took a tentative step forward. Familiar.
McKayla shifted nervously and flashed the blinking pager in her hand. “Our table just got called. I’ll see you around.”
“Um . . . okay.” It might have been my imagination, but I thought she sounded disappointed. What I knew wasn’t my imagination was the twinge of jealousy I felt from the pit of my stomach.
We were seated and were looking over the menu. McKayla looked like she wanted to disappear behind hers.
“Who was that?” Allyson asked casually. When she’s drinking, sometimes she says things she might not say otherwise.
McKayla blushed. “Vicki Damron.”
“Didn’t you—” Allyson started.
“Yes,” McKayla said curtly. She lowered her menu enough to shoot Allyson a stop-talking-now-or-I’m-going-to-smack-you look.
Bretlynn giggled at the other girl’s obvious discomfort. I watched McKayla’s reaction carefully. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me.
The rest of the meal passed uneventfully. Allyson and Bretlynn let the subject drop and moved on to gossip about their friends and other topics. McKayla still wouldn’t look at me. Her face was flushed with what I thought was embarrassment and maybe a little bit of shame.
A little while later, we were back in my car and headed downtown. We parked on a public lot and then headed over towards the boardwalk. There were a couple of dives and clubs we frequented there. I didn’t feel much like dancing and if I let myself admit it, I really wanted to be rid of Allyson and Bretlynn.
The four of us stopped at a place that had a deck off the back. Allyson went to the bar and brought drinks for the three who were drinking. Our two companions were already pretty loose; McKayla was uncharacteristically quiet.
We talked for a while and then guys started showing up to hit on us. It was a familiar pattern. Allyson and Bretlynn reveled in the attention. McKayla and I politely waved off all but the most persistent ones; those we shot down mercilessly. After a few minutes, the pair disappeared with a couple of guys to the dance area in front of the band.
That left McKayla and I sitting at the table in one corner of the deck. The silence between us was deafening. Neither of us wanted to start the conversation.
McKayla stared off into the distance. A warm sea breeze blew in.
“She wasn’t my girlfriend,” McKayla said softly. Almost apologetically. I could barely hear her above the music and the chatter. “We just went out a couple of times.”
“No chemistry?” I asked. There were butterflies in my stomach.
The other girl shifted uncomfortably. “There was lots of chemistry.”
“So what happened?”
There was a long pause. McKayla looked down for just a second, then let out a bitter sigh. “The same thing that happens every time: my head keeps getting stuck up my ass.”
I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know why, but I reached across the table and took her hand. She was trembling. McKayla looked up at me for the first time that night and tried to smile.
Something I had never seen before was in her eyes. Fear.
“Why?” I whispered.
“I don’t know,” she said, her frustration evident.
“Afraid of being hurt?”
“I think I’m afraid of being happy.”
My hand squeezed hers gently.
She wiped her eyes. “It seems like every time things start to go my way, something comes along and kicks me right in the ass.”
This was the first time she had ever opened up to me like this. Her self-assured persona was gone, wiped away for just a brief moment. I didn’t know what to say.
“Listen,” she said, taking a deep breath. In an instant, she blinked back her tears and covered up her vulnerability. “I’m sorry for bringing you down like this . . . I’m going to catch a cab home.”
McKayla grabbed her purse and started for the stairs at the end of the deck. Impulsively, my hand reached for hers. I pulled so she was facing me.
“Would you like to go out sometime?” The words were out of my mouth before I knew I had said them.
It seemed like forever before she answered. She looked into my eyes and smiled. “How about next Friday?”
“I was thinking tomorrow.” My stomach churned. I had just asked another girl out. What the hell was I thinking?
“I’d like that,” she said. There was relief in her eyes. “I’ll pick you up at five. We’ll go some place casual.”
“Okay,” was all I managed to reply.
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