Although it’s been a while, I occasionally have guest posters. In this case, Barbara has submitted a lengthy story that seemed somewhat appropriate for the site. I hope you enjoy!
Exactly two months after my mother’s death I found the locket she gave me on my eighteenth birthday. A trinket that has been lost for eight months. I misplaced it on the day I started my second year in college and gave up searching for it after two months.
But now, as I sit on the floor of my college dorm room, I burst into tears holding the locket between shaking fingers as the memories flood my mind and it feels like a punch to the gut.
â€œYour mother has terminal breast cancer. It is very unlikely that she will recover, she should get her affairs in order,â€ the Doctor puts a sympathetic hand on my shoulder before leaving the room.
I look towards my momâ€™s sleeping form, the tubes and the machines hurting me deeply. Itâ€™s very hard to look at the woman who gave you life as she is losing her own. It’s taking all of my will power not to burst into tears and scream about how unfair the whole situation is. I just canâ€™t figure it out; how could she be healthy as a horse and then all of a sudden on her death bed?
Itâ€™s so messed up.
I sniffle after a long cry, wipe the tears from my face and fasten the locket around my neck. I always think my grief has subsided until Iâ€™m reminded of her, then I feel empty again. It’s been a long time since I genuinely smiled or laughed so hard my muscles hurt. I have been feeling so lost and I donâ€™t know when Iâ€™ll find myself again, but Iâ€™m hoping it is soon because depression is exhausting.
I wash my face in the bathroom sink and inhale deeply a few times before returning to my bed to do some studying. I have a test in two classes this week and a falling math grade to pull up.
However, it isnâ€™t long after I crack open my textbook that my roommate and best friend of eight years comes running into the room, huffing and puffing.
The blonde’s normally immaculate appearance is in disarray and I can see splotchy red marks on her neck. Her shirt is inside out and backwards and she is carrying her heels.
Someone was visiting the fraternity this afternoon, I snicker to myself.
â€œHow was your day?â€ I ask her, closing my textbook and swinging my legs over the edge of my bed.
She sets her shoes down in the corner. â€œI have to tell you something, I just donâ€™t want you to think poorly of me for bringing it up,â€
I look into her slanted brown eyes, wide with worry and excitement. â€œGo on,â€
â€œI know you have been sad since your mom passed away,â€ she sits down next to me and grabs my hands. â€œAnd I think you should do something important to honor her memory, something to raise awareness for breast cancer and those who don’t win the fight against it,â€
I desperately try not to let the heartbreak show. The crumbling feeling in the pit of my stomach makes me want to vomit. This topic is so touchyâ€¦
But, regardless, I encourage her to continue. â€œLike what?â€
“There is this challenge going around campus, and the internet, called the Bra-less experience. Women go a week without their bra, spreading awareness online and in their everyday lives, plus there is a donation page to link to online,â€ she smiles at me, unsure.
I look at her, thinking deeply about the challenge. Part of me wants to say no because it wonâ€™t bring my mom back, but part of me wants to say yes because I want to help raise money for research. I have been feeling lost and helpless about this whole situation, and maybe doing a sort of charity work will help me feel better.
â€œLets do it,â€ I tell her, squeezing her hands gently. â€œI think we should also go to the mall tomorrow for some cute clothes for the week, too,â€
She squeals excitedly and claps. â€œI love you, Oli,â€
I smile at her. â€œI love you, too, Jade,â€
I’ve never been much of a social media guru, that’s more Jade’s forte, but in the two days following I have become overnight popular on most platforms. Sex sells, huh? Jade and I have gone without bras for two days so far and I’m already sick of hearing the same five terrible pick-up lines…
Hey, baby, did you fall from heaven because I think God’s missing an Angel!
Are your legs tired because you’ve been running through my mind ALL day LONG!
Godddamn, Mama! Do you want some fries to go with that shake?
Your breasts remind me of Mount Rushmore â€“ my face should be among them!
Do you like pancakes? How about IHOP on that ass!
Probably the most degrading part of the past two days has been the multiple occasions that I have been slapped on the ass, and the one time someone tried to grab my breasts. It’s disgusting and to be frank with you, if I weren’t doing this to honor my mom I would have quit the challenge the first day. Nobody deserves to be objectified because of their choice to go without a bra, but that’s the world we are living in these days, as terribly depressing as that thought is.
Today is a Wednesday, the third day of the Bra-less challenge, and it is already shaping up to be a terrible one. In order of significance: I have lost three pencils between classes, I have dropped my books twice, I got my jacket pocket stuck on a door knob and ripped it, I fell down the stairs, I tore my new shirt effectively ruining it, and a couple of Freshmen boys saw my breasts when I tore my shirt.
So, yeah, I’m currently welcoming anything positive in my life no matter how small it is. I could find a quarter on the ground on my way to my dorm room and be absolutely fine. Unfortunately, life isn’t nearly as cool as it is in dream land, and by the time I unlock the door to my dorm room I am still fuming from a terrible day.
â€œWhat’s wrong, Oli?â€ Jade asks when I come in the door.
I drop my back pack on my desk chair and exhale deeply. â€œI had a shitty day. First, I kept losing all the pencils I just bought. Then, I kept dropping my books. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, then I ripped my jacket AND my new shirt,â€ I sit down on my bed and fold my hands together in my lap.
â€œSome Freshmen boys say my breasts!â€ I tell her in a horrified whisper.
She laughs heartily, holding her sides.
â€œDon’t laugh at me!â€ I whine at her.
After she’s caught her breath she hides her smile behind her fingers. â€œI’m sorry but the look on your face was priceless! It was like you were going to die from embarrassment,â€
â€œI don’t like accidentally flashing strangers, Jade! It isn’t like, my new hobby or something,â€
She jumps up from her bed and holds me at arms length. â€œI’m sorry you had such a shitty day, would a party cheer you up? My sorority is throwing a party is about an hour or so,â€
I look at her while I think about it, but it doesn’t take long for me to decide I want to go. â€œYeah, let’s do it. Never going to raise any money for Breast Cancer Awareness if we just sit in our dorm room all the time. Let’s go take stupid â€œdrunkenâ€ selfies at a party and ask people to donate,â€
What’s the worst that could happen, right?
Exactly two hours later Jade and I walked into the sorority house in our matching Aztec print rompers and wedges. Our arms are linked and we are imediately greeted with shots at the door.
â€œShot of tequila?â€ the poor topless pledge girl asks us bleakly, perking up only after she catches the head sorority girl looking at her. â€œIt’s mandatory,â€ she adds with a fake smile.
â€œSure,â€ Jade and I tell her with a weird look.
Each of us takes the shot and hands the glass back to her with an awkward smile, we then walk away.
The atmosphere of the sorority party reminds me of something out of a bad clichÃ©. You’ve got your typical college kids stumbling around, some of them have been written on or have lost articles of clothing in a drunken shuffle through the house. Around the people the house is filled with fragrant marijuana smoke, the accompanying smell of body odor and cigarettes is almost enough to make me want to vomit. The lights have been dimmed and the only semblance of light in the house is coming from a rainbow strobe light and Christmas lights strung around sloppily.
As we walked through the house, Jade was greeted by many people I didn’t know and she introduced me to them as her best friend and roommate. Most people just offered me a polite smile and a raise of their plastic cups, others were quick to comment about our involvement in the bra-less challenge â€“ apparently I have ‘the perfect rack’ for it. Thanks creepy college dudes.
â€œOhmigosh, Oli, we have to play beer pong with some of the people out back, I bet you and I could kick some ass,â€ Jade tells me excitedly, pulling me towards the patio door as if I do not have a choice in the matter.
I laugh and stumble along with her. â€œOkay, okay! Slow down, girl, I am still getting used to heels again,â€
â€œAmateur,â€ she says in a terrible French accent.
The backyard was surprisingly nice, decorated with pretty white lights and tiki torches to light up the pathway. Plus the added benefit of fresh air, fifty to sixty college kids in one house is way too much for my sensitive nose to handle.
â€œGuys, this is Olivia, my best friend and roommate,â€ Jade introduces me to a couple of guys.
â€œOlivia this is Derek,â€ she tells me, gesturing towards a blonde surfer-type guy with grey eyes, he wasn’t wearing a shirt or shoes and he looked to be tipsy.
â€œAnd this is Quinton Maddok,â€ she tells me, gesturing towards a tall, brunette guy with hazel eyes and rugged facial hair wearing a beany with a more relaxed stance.
My jaw immediately dropped and I had to blink a few times to be sure I was really seeing what was in front of me. Nope. That’s definitely Elijah Striker. AKA my High School obsession and the bane of my existence for four years of terrible acne and bad split ends. I wonder if he will even recognize me from High School. Probably not.
I finally smile and give them a small wave. â€œHey guys, nice to meet you,â€
Jade leans up against the ping pong table and smirks at the guys. â€œWanna play? I bet we could kick your asses no probs,â€ She taunts with a wicked grin.
Derek chuckles and throws an arm around her shoulders. â€œThat’s adorable, Jade, we would be more than happy to show you who the boss really is,â€ he winks at her and then takes a drink from his plastic cup.
I try my best to avoid looking towards Elijah. He doesn’t remember me â€“ I would be incredibly shocked to learn he does â€“ and for whatever reason he wants to change his name, so I will just enjoy my night and forget about him. I’m not that insecure sixteen-year-old pining after him anymore. I am the confident nineteen-year-old girl who doesn’t need a man to validate her, no matter how nice it would be to at least have someone to kiss during the upcoming holidays.
â€œOkay, so Derek and I against you two, if we win you have to jump in the pool completely naked,â€ Elijah â€“ err, Quinton laughs.
Jade puts one hand on her hip and the other she points at them with sass. â€œFine! But if we win you have to take us on a double date, and you pay for the whole thing!â€
â€œDeal!â€ Derek shouts excitedly and shakes Jade’s hand before anyone can argue.
Everyone takes their positions and the game begins. The first several turns are pretty neck and neck, except for Derek’s drunken throws here and there. Jade and Quinton are throwing clever taunts at each other like close friends would, but for some reason my jealousy has me convinced that they are flirting and I get my feelings hurt.
And that’s when I started throwing the game intentionally. If we don’t win there isn’t any chance of Jade and Elijah â€“ Quinton whatever his name is now going on a date. I can sacrifice five minutes of nude swimming if I never have to think about my High School crush getting chummy with my best friend. Is that pathetic of me? I hope not.
â€œTime out!â€ Jade calls, creating a T with her hands before pulling me away with concern. â€œAre you okay?â€
I consider not telling her anything, but ultimately decide that she will figure it out eventually anyways and I would rather skip the fight we will have until I tell her. â€œThat guy, Quinton, he’s not who he says he is. We went to High School together, and I had the BIGGEST crush on him throughout. I guess I’m a little jealous of your chemistry with him,â€ I shrug dismissively and look towards my feet.
â€œOh. Wait, for real? He isn’t a kid from Texas on a baseball scholarship?â€ She tilts her head in confusion.
â€œNope. He is from the same area we grew up in. If you had gone to the same school with me, you probably would have been into him. He was the school’s it boy, captain of the football team one year, captain of the baseball team the next. His name is Elijah Striker, ring a bell?â€ I shift my long brunette locks to hang over my left shoulder.
Her eyes widen and she looks back at him, turns back to me and whispers. â€œOhmigosh, that is him?? He looks nothing like the it boy now. To be honest, he looks kind of like a burn out these days,â€
â€œAre you two done? We have a game to win here!â€ Derek hollers and then laughs when he tumbles to the ground.
Jade ignores them and looks into my eyes sincerely. â€œYou don’t have to worry about me messing around with him, he isn’t my type anyways. You know I like Derek’s type, and I plan on trying to get him into bed tonight,â€
I smile at her with an eye roll. â€œThank you, bestie. Now, let’s go kick their asses!â€
We lost. Apparently I wasn’t intentionally losing as much as I was just missing a lot of the shots I threw. That or someone drained all the skill out of me and gave it to Derek, who came back once he threw up in the bushes.
So now here Jade and I stand, stark nude in front of them, Jade confidently showing off her body, while I hide my breasts under my hair like a mermaid.
â€œDamn, Jade!â€ Derek exclaims as he checks her out.
She giggles and I recognize it as her tipsy laugh. â€œSee something you might want to take home with you tonight?â€ She winks at him seductively.
Derek grins and tackles her into the pool. Her shriek is swallowed by the water quickly and I shrink away from the cold splash of water on my bare legs.
I am reminded of Elijah/Quinton’s presence when he clears his throat. â€œAre you going to jump into the pool or what? It’s part of the deal, Olivia,â€ He smirks at me when I look at him.
My cheeks heat up and I am filled with liquid courage. â€œWhat are you going to do, make me?â€ I raise an eye brow and cross my arms over my chest.
He calmly unzips his hoodie and drops it along with his beany, cell phone and keys onto the ground. He then kicks off his shoes and socks.
While he is doing all of this I am slowly growing more and more nervous about what he is going to do, so much so that I take a few steps backwards.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ I ask him.
He doesn’t answer me, and before I know it I am tumbling into the cold water of the swimming pool with strong arms wrapped all the way around my slim waist.
We break the surface and I stand on my toes to keep my head above water as I wade the water with an incredulous look. â€œWhat the hell, man? I didnâ€™t expect you to actually do that!â€
Quinton/Elijah smiles innocently as he stands easily in front of me. â€œConsider the deal finished, cutie,â€
I roll my eyes and make my way towards the pollâ€™s edge. But, before I get there people start flooding outside to investigate the noise. Embarrassed I quickly look towards Quinton/Elijah for help.
He takes off the soaking t-shirt and hands it to me. â€œHere, quickly. Iâ€™ll shield you with my body,â€ I allow him to hover with open arms around me as I struggle to get into the soaking shirt.
I finally get the shirt over my body, make my way to the edge of the pool and I pull myself out and sit on the edge of it as drunk people start jumping into the pool. My eyes meet Quinton/Elijah’s and I gesture towards the house with my head.
He smiles and pulls himself out of the pool quickly. Then he helps me to my feet, polite enough not to try and look up the shirt he loaned me, it’s big enough to be a dress on me. â€œLets get out of here, itâ€™s starting to get too crowded for my taste,â€ he grabs his things and my hand.
I grab my clothes off the ground and smile at him. â€œLead the way,â€
He takes my hand and guides me through the patio door, dragging me through the two story house until we come to yet another sliding glass door, this time he stops in front of it. â€œIâ€™m going to wait on the balcony while you get dressed, just join me when you are done,â€
Once I am alone again, I strip out of the soaking shirt and put my underwear and romper back on my body, welcoming the dry clothes. Oh my god, I canâ€™t believe that I am alone with Elijah! Two years ago I never would have thought we would be here. I sure as hell never thought he would see me naked. Maybe the universe is balancing out a bad day with something I would have killed for in the past to make me feel better today. Lifeâ€™s funny that way.
I join him on the balcony and sit down on the patio furniture next to him. â€œThank you for loaning me your shirt, I left it hanging on the shower curtain rod to dry,â€
He nods. â€œItâ€™s really no problem, I brought a hoodie anyways,â€
I hold my breath when his leg bumps mine. Keep your cool.
â€œSo, why did you come to the party tonight? You seem like youâ€™re running from something,â€ he turns his body towards mine, giving me his full attention.
I normally wouldnâ€™t share with a stranger, but he doesnâ€™t feel like one to me. â€œIâ€™m grieving,â€ I answer as I look at my hands, folded in my lap nervously.
I can feel him looking at me as he speaks. â€œWhat happened, if I may ask?â€ his polite tone is endearing and I feel myself reverting to the head-over-heels teenager I was two years ago.
â€œUm, my mom died a few months ago, and Iâ€™m not handling it very well,â€ I look at him through teary eyes as a lump builds in my throat.
â€œShe had terminal breast cancer, and thatâ€™s why I am here, thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m doing this stupid bra-less challenge with my best friend because I couldnâ€™t tell her I didnâ€™t want to. It just feels pointless,â€ I sob softly, looking away from him in embarrassment. I hate to cry in front of people.
Strong arms wrap around me and I allow myself to fall into his chest as I cry. He shushes me gently and rubs my back soothingly. â€œDonâ€™t worry, Olivia, I am sure your mother is looking fondly at you, even now. Momâ€™s are great at that sort of thing, I know mine would be proud of me if she were around still,â€
I pull away to look at him in shock. â€œWait, what happened to your mom? Oh, Iâ€™m sorry, may I ask that?â€
He dries my tears and smiles politely. â€œItâ€™s alright. She passed away when I was ten. It didnâ€™t really affect me until I was in High School. It kept me from perusing a lot of things I wish I had, including this girl I went to school with. Her name, oddly enough, was also Olivia,â€
My eyes widened and I couldnâ€™t breathe all of a sudden. Is he about to tell me he had a crush on me in High School?
He continues talking, and as he does I grow warmer and warmer in my belly. â€œShe was a cute, shy brunette with the cutest smile and the kindest heart. The girls used to tease her mercilessly because of her frizzy hair and clothes. But I always found her beautiful, even while I was being a giant douchebag,â€
I look at him and I donâ€™t know where the courage came from but I spill my guts. â€œI have a confession to make, now that we are finally alone. I know who you are and I know your real name. If you want proof, I can show you,â€ I reach into my pocket and pull out my cell phone. It doesnâ€™t take much scrolling through my camera roll to fins the picture of me in front of our High School, frizzy hair and all.
I show it to him and swallow hard. What if he tells me to go to hell? Or worse, what if this isnâ€™t him at all and Iâ€™m being crazy because of my grief?
He takes me by surprise when he finally speaks. â€œYouâ€™re Olivia Mallard?â€
I nod and put my phone back in my pocket. â€œI kind of freaked out when my mom was first diagnosed and changed my appearance for attention. I just never reverted back to the lazy girl I was in High School, and to be honest, I prefer myself like this. Iâ€™m confident, or I am most days,â€
He takes my hand and smiles. â€œI love you, Olivia and I always have. I donâ€™t expect you to say it back, but I want to chance to show you how much I care. Go on a date with me, please?â€
I smile at him and touch his face gently. â€œOf course, I will. But I have something else in mind for tonight. Come home with me so I can show you,â€
I have had sex before. Twice. The first time I was trashed after my motherâ€™s funeral and I let a mutual friend Jade and I share take my virginity. The second time I was in a semi serious relationship with someone on campus, we dated for six months and decided after having sex that we werenâ€™t compatible.
So when I kicked the door to my dorm room closed and continued to kiss the man of my dreams on the way to my bed, I couldnâ€™t help but feel excited â€“ in more than one way.
â€œAre you sure you want to do this? We donâ€™t have to,â€ Elijah kept telling me, his hands wandering up and down my sides.
I take his hands and place them firmly on my ass. â€œI’m one hundred percent sure about this, so stop talking and keep kissing,â€ I lock lips with him again and lead him to my bed.
Our bodies collapse on the twin mattress and we laugh when our bodies thud against the wall loudly. Whoops, sorry room next door!
I unzip the side of my romper and slide it down to my hips, and then I coyly flip my hair behind my shoulders to reveal my breasts to him in their bare glory.
While he eyes my body I can feel the heat pooling in my body and the urgency of my needs rising to near breaking point.
â€œI need you,â€ I whisper to him, gently kissing his lips once.
He kisses me back and runs his fingers through my hair. â€œIâ€™m here for you, Olivia, I promise,â€ he quickly flips our bodies over so that he is hovering over me.
I wiggle my way out of my romper while he slides out of his hoodie and his pants. My eyes wander down his body and I bite my lip with desire. Oh wow, he is so much hotter than I remember.
Once we are left in nothing but our birthday suits, our lips are locked again and our bodies are rubbing together in expert rhythm with each otherâ€™s wants. His erection slides into me on accident and I gasp against his lips.
â€œAre you okay? Should we stop?â€ he asks gently, pulling away to look at me.
I just smirk and thrust him further inside of me. â€œYou better not,â€
He starts thrusting at a slow and romantic pace, looking at me fondly as he strokes my hair. â€œYouâ€™re so beautiful, I canâ€™t believe we found each other again,â€
I look at him with the same fondness. â€œI canâ€™t believe it either,â€
I moan in surprise as he bumps into my g-spot at the same time his shaft grazed my clitoris, sending pleasant waves through my body. I then blush deeply when I realize that he is looking at me with an eye brow raised.
â€œYou like that? Should I do it again?â€ his question was answered when he coyly thrusts against it again.
I dig my nails into his back and tilt my head back in pleasure. â€œOh, Elijah,â€ I moan his name, trying to quicken his pace with my hips, my excitement has left no room for self consciousness. I know what I want and I know how to get it.
He quickly turns our bodies over so that I am riding him, our genitals stay entwined. â€œShow me what you want, baby,â€ he whispers into the skin at the base of my throat before he bites down softly.
I continue to rock my hips at a slightly accelerated pace, soft moans escaping my lips as he leaves love bites on my breasts and nipples.
His tongue circles my budding nipples and he guides my hips as he moans himself. The vibration against my chest sends pleasant tingles through my body and the building orgasm starts to unravel inside of me.
He must have picked up on it because suddenly my back meets the bed again and he is in control. His thrusts are purposeful and he is kissing me again passionately, our tongues fighting for dominance.
The sounds of our passion could be heard from down the hallways, Iâ€™m sure. If I were with anyone else I may have been embarrassed, but not with Elijah.
There is a banging on the wall next to us, followed by someone shouting: â€œKeep it down in there some of us need sleep!â€.
We laugh about it, and then with one final thrust we climax together, our moans the loudest of the night and our breathing uneven as Elijah pulls out to lie next to me.
â€œI love you, too, Elijah,â€ I whisper to him, snuggling into his arms as my eyes start drooping closed.
Just before I lost consciousness I distinctly heard him say: â€œI love you more,â€.
After that night I stopped doing the bra-less challenge and instead raised the money the old fashion way, with a little help from my new boyfriend and our friends. We raised over three thousand dollars!
Elijah and I started exclusively dating immediately after we had sex, and we even went out on double dates with Jade and Derek while they were dating.
Itâ€™s summer now and the four of us are planning a fun road trip across the United States. Life couldnâ€™t be any better for me now, and I know my mom is proud of me.