Chapter 30 – We Are the Champions

Posted: 2011-03-08 03:05:34
Modified: 2011-03-08 03:05:34

Luis

My light workout over, I headed back into the Locker Room to shower and “change”. How idiotic is that, change. Into what? My skin? I was a little pissed that the Program was making me standout in some way by being Naked. We wore our game jerseys for Pep Rallies for a reason. Not to separate us from the other students, but to show a unified front to the school. A central point to rally around for the game. Instead of the feeling of being part of the team, I’m going to standout.

Damn!

I grabbed my shower stuff, slipped on flip-flops–to help avoid the inevitable fungus on the floor of the shower, Athlete’s Foot hurts! Bad! And the chemicals to kill it really, really, really smell bad.

“Damn, you’re looking good, dude!” came Mike Holloway’s voice as I was stepping into the shower.

“You know, I might get a bit worried about talk like that in the shower.”

“Just don’t drop your soap, man.”

“Ha-fucking-ha!”

“No, seriously. You’re pumped. You look ready.”

“I feel ready.” I looked over at Mike as he was sticking his head under the water. He had been doing a light workout as well, but our paths hadn’t crossed in the Weight Room. “You’re not looking too bad yourself, big boy.”

“Jesus. Going naked has gotten to your head.”

“Hey, you started it. But, you look pumped and ready. How’s your game face?”

Mike whipped around and gave me an Arnold-like Crab–expanding all his upper back and chest muscles while doing a gorilla-like thing with his arms. His neck disappeared into his shoulders, his biceps expanded to the size of the average person’s waist. His snarl and screwed up face, with the intense stare, should be enough to scare any defensive lineman. Hell, most professional wrestlers would leave the ring.

In a hurry!

I pulled my fingers into my palms and slowly tensioned the muscles all the way up my arms, through my chest and back, and down to my legs. I did the Maori face–tongue out and wagging while opening the eyes wide and thrusting my head forward. Then borrowed a bit from the All Black Rugby Club of New Zealand, the dance, or Haka, they do before each match, and squatted, put my right forearm up in front of me, and slapped my left hand across my chest into it. At the same time, stomped my right foot and gave the “Humph!”

Just as I was getting ready to move the other foot forward and switch arms for the slap, Phil shouted, “Perfect!”

Mike and I both straightened up and said, “What?”

“Can you guys do that at the Pep Rally?”

“Well…”

“Ahem…”

“Come on, it would be great. We’d get everyone excited.”

I looked at Mike, he at me. We both shrugged at the same time. “Okay,” we said together.

“You know you guys are scary,” someone else said.

“Luis, what’cha doing?” another voice, muted by the running water to the point I couldn’t identify the teammate.

“A Haka.”

“What the fuck is that?”

“The best team in Rugby, in the World, is the New Zealand All Blacks-”

“Yo! Home boys!”

“Well, sort of. The name comes from their uniform, all black, but the Home Boys are natives. Anyway, starting many years ago, they began to open matches against their opponents with a traditional Maori dance, very energetic and… Well, exciting. It’s a show of power, strength, and prowess. The All Blacks use a version that is very much a war dance. A challenge to their opponents.”

“Shit. We should do that before the game tomorrow night.”

“I don’t know. It only works if it is synchronized. And… there is an accompanying chant that goes with, usually a challenge in Maori.”

“Could we do something simple, yet effective?” Phil asked.

“If we could use practice time today to put it together.”

“I know we’re ready. This might be the thing that pulls us together,” Phil stated with conviction.

Mike and I looked at each other. Hard. We both started nodding at the same time. I let him speak up, “Let’s do it.”

The Captains had agreed. “I’ll take it to Coach MacF,” said Phil.

“We’ll need someone to do the chant and write it,” I added.

“Do you know anyone?”

I thought for less than a second, “Yeah, I might. The Nakeds. We’ve got tons of talent, including at least three writers.”

“Talk to them?”

“After the Rally, sure.”

“Okay, if it works, tell us at practice.”

“Done.”

We all exited the shower, dried, and headed to our lockers. I was surprised to see what looked like my Away Jersey hanging in my locker. Pep Rally. Official school function. Naked. I couldn’t wear it. Damn.

Just then Coach MacFarland came up to me. “Luis, I’ve talked to the Program officials and others. We’ve all agreed that while the jersey isn’t required protective equipment outside of a game, it creates harm in not wearing it to the rally tonight… and school tomorrow.”

“But…”

“No buts, or should I say, butts. You will be showing yours. You can’t wear pants with it. You’ll notice it’s not a real jersey.”

“Isn’t it unfair to the other Nakeds?” I studied this new wrinkle in my life. It was a loose mesh, just enough to form the shape of a shirt and hold the numbers, school name, and my name. It would be a bit breezy!

“Actually, quite a few of them insisted in the change. It is now a policy of this school. All people playing in team sports that are in the Program will be allowed to wear their team colors for rallies and during the day of a game, where it is a normal practice. The football team has been doing this for 50+ years, so it isn’t an issue. The basketball teams, male and female, have decided to go with it. As well as the baseball and softball teams. Even volleyball. Everyone realizes the importance of showing team unity. The one concession, this is a special jersey. It ends at your waist.”

“Oh!”

“Now, how are you? Your head into this game yet?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good. I need you at 100% tomorrow night.”

“You’ll have it. And the rest of the team.” I thought for a second, “What about the issues of before the game, half-time, and such.”

“Right. Because of the time it would take you to dress on the field and miss the team meeting at half-time, you are exempt from the Naked rules from when you come into the locker room to prepare until after the game.”

I could only stand there like a guppy out of water.

“You can thank me by winning tomorrow night.”

“Coach, you know I’ll do everything possible.”

“I know you will.”

“Oh, while I’m thinking of it. Are you familiar with the New Zealand All Black’s Haka?”

“Oh, yes!”

“We want to do it before the game tomorrow.”

“I’ll set aside some time at practice after the Pep Rally for it.”

“We… Well, we might not have a routine developed by then.”

“Do you have a caller in mind?”

“I was thinking Phil?”

“Good choice. You and Mike up front?”

“Damn straight.”

“I’ll teach Phil a call.”

“Ahem… Why not do this before now?”

“I was waiting for you guys to suggest it. If you hadn’t by the time we got to the play-offs this year, I would have planted some seeds. As it is, it is your idea. More powerful that way.”

“Thanks, I think.”

“What? You thought playing for me would be easy?”

“No sir.”

“Wait until you get to USC. You’ll find that I’m a walk in the park.”

“I’ll let you know. Of course, after January of my freshman year.”

“Oh, which bowl game?”

“BSC Championship, of course.”

He just shook his head as he chuckled. “We’ll, you guys get ready to head out to the rally now.” We walked back towards his office, still shaking his head slowly.


Rebbecca

Walking through the halls with Rosalee, I got another lesson in Girl Talk. It must be instinctual, since it seems to come so naturally. And, I realized it actually satisfied some unknown needs. Imagine that. Well, at least the shopping gene hasn’t been awakened yet. With my current wardrobe needs, I don’t anticipate this as being an issue for a while.

“Have you said anything to Luis about Mike and I?” Rosa asked.

“No. I-I haven’t had time today… With everything… Oh, damn.” For some stupid reason, my cheeks were getting wet. I’m so bad at this teenage girl shit. It was so much easier being invisible. Lonelier, yes. Definitely more sexually frustrating. Well, not really. I wasn’t awake before, sex was a need I took care of with my fingers after an intense passage in one of my novels. Now I’m approaching horny 24/7. Except when I’m crying. Which happens more as well.

Before I could take my pity party to another level, Rosa wrapped me in her arms, pressing her boobs into mine. She put a hand behind my head and pulled it onto her shoulder. She began stroking my hair and my back. Her words were just sounds, but comforting. Relaxing.

After a bit, I was able to pull back slightly and say, “Thank you. That helped.”

“Hey! What are friends and potential lovers for?”

“D-Do you still… I mean, with Mike…”

“You bet. Are you two still interested?”

“I-I… Ahem… Yes,” I finally managed to squeak out.

Her eyes looked into me. Then she pulled me back to her shoulder. “Not until after you and Luis get comfortable with each other that way.”

“I know,” I squeaked. “Am I always going to cry when I get emotional?”

“It beats the alternatives.”

“What?” I had to pull back to see her face for this.

“You could bottle it up and eventually explode. You could get pissy and bitchy. I don’t see you doing that. The first I think is more your old style.”

“Head in the sand might be better. Unaware, therefore unaffected.” I felt more tears welling up at this self-assessment. Damn it.

“Do you like kicking yourself when you’re down?” Before I could answer, “We’re here. Now, do you want to cheer our hunks, or what?”

“Cheer our hunks.” I did manage a little giggle.

“Let us make our Naked entrance then!” With that she pulled the doors open and the wall of chaotic sound from inside washed over me, pushing out the doubts, self-pity, and sadness.

Astounding me, two naked girls walking in didn’t change a thing. The wall of sound was amazing. Nothing like a normal school assembly. This was front-row-center at a rock concert, trackside at an auto race with the cars roaring by right in front of you, at the end of a runway with jets continually taking off.

I knew this, yet it was… new. Maybe I’m seeing with all my emotions and not just my all too literal photographer’s eye.

I stood in awe. The amount of energy was almost overwhelming. Even in the chaos, the underlying theme was the team and beating our arch rivals the next day. Oh, how I wish I could convey this vision on a canvas. The swirls of conversations that say nothing and everything, the flows of energy pouring out towards a common goal, and the diversity of…

I was rubbing my fingers, feeling a brush in my hand. Seeing the canvas in front of my eyes. The brush was beginning to move, the textures, colors, and blending forming into-

“OH! Here they come!” Rosa shouted into my ear, pointing towards the platform/stage.

The team was following the Coach. Every one of them wearing their game jerseys. Even my sweetie. No, he wasn’t. It was… Okay, I’ve got the Internet. I’ve been forced (by my fingers) to watch some of the pervasive free porn. His jersey looked like some of the cheesy fishnet stockings some of the actresses wear. Hey, I’m an artist. I see all.

His lack of pants just added to the effect. Not to mention Junior leading his personal parade onto the stage.

I’m really glad My Sweetie had introduced me to good classical music, because that’s what the rally felt like to me. A central main theme, but expressed in different ways.

The coaches’ theme was to ignite their players, playing on the week of practice sessions, have them at their peak just as the game started. They were the strings. Their methods were subtle, yet sublime. They carried the main melody line, yet never over shadowing anyone.

The cheerleaders were the brass. Out front. Obvious. Encouraging the rest of the orchestra to overpower them, yet confident in their ability to out shout, out chant, and out yell everyone. Their visual routines just added another dimension to the theater of the rally.

The fans were the rhythm section. Clapping. Stomping. Chanting. Providing a driving energy that moved up and down as their theme interacted with the other two main themes.

The players were the soloists and the supporting chorus all at the same time. That’s the problem with analogies, they work to a point!

Now who was the conductor? Was it the Coach? The head cheerleader? Dr Cavenaugh? Oh, he must be the oboe. His voice does remind me of one.

I’d have to spend some time after the rally and write all these thoughts down. I think I could do something with them, mixing the metaphors of a Pep Rally with an Orchestra. It sounded like fun.

“Hey, Rosa. Could you give me a ride home after this?” I wanted to get home and do some writing. The first time this week. I knew Luis had practice, so I had some time. I’d invite him for dinner.

“Sure thing, sweets. As much as I’d like to take you parking, I’ve got to get things ready for Mike coming over tonight. I have the house to myself.” She winked at me.

“I-I… Ahem… Just… You know… a ride. I-I mean… transportation.” Do blushes cause skin cancer like sunburn does?

She pulled me to her and put her hand behind my head. The kiss was intense, deep, yet very short. “You’re too easy!”

We locked eyes. In about three seconds the giggles started.

I managed to glance around and saw about a hundred guys slack jawed, staring at us. Oh, the kiss. Yeah.

Rosa started looking around as well. “Should we charge them admission when we move to the serious stuff?” She didn’t shout, but it was more than loud enough for the group around us to nod their heads.

The giggles turned to laughter, cut off by another kiss, followed by Rosa proclaiming, loudly, “Oh, Baby! You make me so hot!”

I don’t know where it came from. I swear. Where are the stacks of Bibles? My mouth, vocal cords, and lungs projected, “God! I’m almost there. Rub me, love!”

We locked eyes again and before we could actually do anything, we broke out in laughter.

The complaints started. Just as they started to get an edge on them, a slight, female voice broke through. “See the half-naked football player on the stage? That’s this one’s boyfriend.” She pointed at me. “See the monster standing next to him? That’s this one’s boyfriend. Questions?”

Wow!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, yet I was. The tone changed in a heartbeat. It hit me, then. Our display had produced the kind of lust and hormone induced insanity that could easily have had negative consequences.

Oh shit! I’ve read history. Rape, bizarrely enough, was once assigned to the dress, attitude, or actions of the victim! In that one moment I could see, in a misogynist society, how it could have been. It really allowed me to appreciate our society as it is now. Even if they make me go naked.

Okay. I don’t mind going naked. I’ve gotten to the point I actually like it.

When the hell did that happen?

I need to pay more attention to my language. My course and profane language that I’ve used in my head was fine before. Now I know it is going to creep into my new life.

“Are you still here?” Rosa asked as she squeezed me.

“Huh? Oh… Yeah.” Yes, people, I’m a published writer. Very articulate. All I could do was give her a hug.

We drifted back into the Carnival-like world of the rally.

Just as it was ending.


Luis

As the Rally ended, the team was mobbed by fans. Mike had seen where Becca and Rosa were, so we were trying to head in that general direction.

“Oh! I love how that special jersey looks on you,” some female said.

“Yeah!” another said, while running her hands over my chest. “So sexy!”

“Naughtier than being completely naked,” the first said.

I think there were twenty or so hands on Junior. At least it felt like it. He let me know he likes rallies and the whole team spirit thing.

“Man, that has to be distracting,” Mike said.

“You know, most of the time I don’t notice.”

“You’re shitting me! Some cute chick is rubbing your dick and you don’t notice?”

“Well… Yes and no.”

“You are a fucking geek, you know that?”

We just laughed as new sets of hands replaced others as the displaced fell behind while our march continued across the auditorium. There was a crowd around the girls that was breaking up. I wonder what that was about.

About five feet away, she saw me and suddenly I had an armful of Becca. “Hi Sweets!” With one kiss she devoured my soul.

I gave it willingly. Then I found she was giving me hers as well.

Or, were we just sharing? Blending? Fusing?

When the kiss broke, her soft voice whispered in my ear, “I love you.”

“Love you back.”

I looked over at Mike and Rosa, then whispered back to Becca, “So, they’re a couple now?”

“Do you think?”

They were locked as tight as we were and it seemed they were sharing deeply of their hearts. Damn!

“Don’t get too distracted, Hollow Dick.”

His hand came off Rosa’s butt and raised the single-finger salute to me. And casually returned to its former position.

My Becca’s kiss eliminated any concern or issues with anyone around me. The world became her. That soft bit of flesh dancing with mine. Twirling, exploring, meeting, parting, rubbing on enamel. Igniting fires and opening connections between our hearts and souls. Mr. Einstein’s Universe played its tricks again as the moment stretch to infinity.

“Hey, Rubber Dickie! We’ve got practice.”

“I’m practicing already.”

“Do you want Coach coming down on you?”

I looked My Becca in the eyes, hers were hooded with lust and love, “I hate to go, but…”

“I understand.”

“Pick you up in the Art Rooms?”

“Nope. Come over to the house after practice. Rosa is giving me a ride home.”

“Okay,” I said, a bit confused. That lasted until she gave me a quick kiss and a pat on the butt. With a giggle, she took Rosa’s arm and the girls went flouncing away. Mike and I just stood there drooling.

Once they were out of sight, we turned to each other and simultaneously said, “Practice.”

We made our way to the locker room, joining the rest of the team. “Alright, full dress. Even you Contadino!”

It felt weird putting on clothes, but necessary. Even though this was a “no contact” practice, there would be some. Okay, a few good natured licks. Compression shorts with cup on first. Yes, Junior has a custom made cup. The standard ones are a bit snug and dangerous. Then compression t-shirt to protect my torso. We used different shirts depending on the temperature. This one was medium. It would wick away sweat, but not really trap too much heat, just enough to keep my muscles warm. My jersey is so tight, to prevent the opposition players from getting a hand-full, that I had to put it on the massive shoulder pads before putting both on. Tighten the straps on the pads, then pull down jersey.

Knee braces next. I want to kiss the person that designed these. Before, most linemen had lost their knees before even making it to college. I had only minor damage from repeated stresses to mine. I might still be able to walk normally when I’m 40. Insert pads into pants and pull them over my legs and on. They say this is a similar exercise women go through with pantyhose. They are skin tight and with the pads, have hard, inflexible areas of them that have to be lined up just right. If not that pad instead of protecting a muscle would do more damage than not having it when I got hit. After getting the pants aligned right and pulled up, time to insert what I called the linebacker pad. A special pad I put at the base of my spine to allow a “step” for aggressive linebackers. Cleated shoes hurt on nearly bare skin. I have the scars to prove it. Jersey tucked in, pants laced up. I grab my socks, shin pads, gloves, forearm pads, and cleated shoes and headed over to the trainer’s room.

This routine of dressing allowed me time to shift my mind from that delicious swaying butt of my girlfriend, not to mention the lovely ass of Rosa, to the serious business of football.

I used the wait time for a trainer as meditation. Every player prepares in different ways. While this was a practice, it was a dress rehearsal. That included the ability to get into our game zone. Not fully, we needed to save that for tomorrow and not waste it tonight. Still, time to get focused. Get loose. Get ready.

Finally it was my turn. I sat on the training table. “Any problem areas?”

I shook my head, “I’m feeling good this week.”

I reached over and hit the boom box, some old fashioned rock-n-roll would set the right mood. Deep Purple started telling me about being a Highway Star. Perfect.

And they got to work. Fingers, toes, ankles, compression around the top of the knee braces to hold them in place, wrists, and then they pulled on the pads and taped them down. Next, my gloves which made my already large hands look like something Mary Shelly would have dreamed up.

I stretched and flexed. Nothing binding. “Perfect guys!”

For some reason, they never wanted to high-five once they finished with any of us. I wonder why? Not that I’d intentionally hurt them. I guess the gloves did make my hands look a little threatening. Okay, a lot threatening.

I made my way through the locker room, checking in with the other defensive linemen and linebackers. Everyone seemed focused and ready. Their game faces were at half intensity. Perfect for a dress rehearsal.

I grabbed my helmet, the monster that it was, and added a clean mouth guard to the front, dangling where I could push it into my mouth before the play started. Leaving it out allowed me to communicate to my teammates. After it was in, hand signals. We had a wealth of them. From the sidelines. Between the linemen. Communications back to the “box” – the linebackers and deep players containing that zone from five to fifteen yards between the hash marks.

The coaches called us all together. We assumed our locker room huddle. On a knee. Helmet off. Just like before a game.

“We’re going to their house tomorrow night.” Coach MacF looked around. “You know your jobs. I expect you to do them. You know the game plan. Just to be sure, we’re going to walk through it again today. You know the tricks we have in reserve. Be ready, they have their own.” He paused and looked around the room, making eye contact as much as he could. In a near whisper, “I know you’re good enough to counter anything, and I mean anything, they throw at us.”

Phil, Mike, and I immediately answered, “Yes sir!’

The rest of the team nodded, letting the primary captains speak for them.

“Who are you?”

“West Warriors!” we all answered.

“Beat!” Phil shouted while standing.

“East!” the team answered.

Mike stood, “Beat!”

“East!” The walls vibrated.

I stood, “Beat!”

“East!” Our opponents had to have felt that all the way across town. An earthquake with the epicenter in our locker room.

“Gentlemen, take the field for our last practice.”

And, we did.

It was an easy practice. Yet, incredibly intense. Anyone that slacked off for one second was brought into line by the whole team. Even at half-speed and “no contact” we worked up a sweat. Any play run-through that wasn’t perfect, the coaches had us do again. And again. And, yet again.

In the middle of a play, a whistle would blow, freezing us. Then a voice from one of the coaches would ring out, “And, where are YOU supposed to be right now?”

All of us would check out where we were. If there was one single shuffling of feet, we’d run the play again. And again.

“Contadino! Are you supposed to be over the left or right guard on that play?”

“Over the left, but I saw-”

“Good!”

JESUS! My heart rate went up 100 points and then fell. I had to take a fluid break after that. It was perfect. I had improvised based on our defensive strategy and had been in the right place. To be called for it and checked, good. Bad that I felt about three feet tall.

At the end of practice, we took 15 minutes to learn a simple Haka. Phil got the calling almost right, but would work on it. Most importantly, the team got it right. It felt awesome. I even noticed the coaches reflexively cringe a few times!

As we trooped into the locker room, there was that feeling. Phil, Mike, and I looked at each other.

“Beat!” Phil started.

“East!” came a decent response.

“Beat!” Mike called.

“East!” came a stronger response.

“BEAT!” I growled.

“EAST!’ Our opponents must know that we’ve finished practice.

Perfect. The three of us shared grins and looked at the coaches. Coach MacF gave us a nod.

PERFECT!


Rebbecca

I settled into the passenger’s seat in Rosa’s little sports car. At least, to me, it seemed like it. It had two doors, was low to the ground, and had a convertible top. That’s a sports car, right?

“Wha-” I tried to say as Rosa drove out of the parking lot. My body moving this way and then that. Thankfully, I had put on my seat belt.

“Relax. I haven’t killed anyone… Yet.”

“Do you want to face My Mountain if I’m the first?”

The car slowed.

Some.

“Directions?” she said, while shooting past a vehicle in one lane, shifting gears, and then squeezing past another car.

“Oh-” Rosa barely missed a truck. At least in my mind.

I think I gave her my address.

I must have, because we arrived at my house. There was a pull on the seatbelt as we stopped.

“Ahm… Becca. Should… Oh, hell. I don’t know.” I couldn’t process Rosa being hesitant. “Could we talk? I… I mean just talk.”

“S-Sure.” Had Rosa driven us through some wormhole? Or down a rabbit hole? This is more surreal than a Salvador Dali painting.

As we entered the house, Rosa turned to me, “Do you have a robe I can borrow?”

“Why?” Boy, was I confused.

“Ahem… I’d feel better if we were both covered up. Otherwise…”

Okay. I ran up to my room and grabbed two covers. I didn’t remember flashing lights and stars whizzing by. Nor, did I recall eating any mushrooms or drinking from any small bottles. No, this was not the hard reality of Luis’s version of time travel. Nor was it Lewis Carroll’s. This was more Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” moved into reality. The softness and hardness of time and perception all blended with normal images distorted in only ways Dali’s mind could envision. This is what this moment seemed like. Rosa unsure. The request for robes. This whole bloody week!

I grabbed my bathrobe for Rosa and my painting smock for me. She was, well, there was more of her than there was of me, so the loose, wrap-around bathrobe would fit her well. And my smock was comfort for me. I had a feeling I’d need it.

I found her nervously flitting around the living room examining everything and apparently seeing nothing. She did move in front of one my paintings and settled. Actually, she seemed to freeze. Her whole being began to shift as she took it in. I could feel the range of emotions she was experiencing and her body was showing many of them.

Am I that good?‘ I thought to myself.

Doh!‘ My Muse said.

You’re back!

Well, you needed me. You were going into your not-good-enough slash I-don’t know-what-people-see-in-my-work slash self-doubt routine.

I do affect people, don’t I?

‘Affect and effect. Accept it.

As I watched Rosa looking at the painting, a simple one where I had been playing with autumn foliage. The confusion of colors, shapes, and shifting worlds. I had been thinking very much about the death of the Earth, with the hidden promise that she’d be reborn come spring. I had always thought it looked like an average landscape. My parents had insisted on hanging it in the living room. A few years later, I still see them staring at it every now and then.

My breath caught in my throat. I realized I hadn’t been breathing regularly. I took My Mountain’s advice and relaxed into a deep, deep inhale. Filling myself. A slight hold, then slowly releasing it. Letting all the “stuff” move out with it. A couple of those and on the slight hold before I exhaled, it hit me. A moment of absolute clarity.

I was an artist. I did touch people. I had talent. Something unique.

I think I swooned.

Just remember to be humble.‘ My Muse said. ‘Yet, be confident.

Walk the line I’m feeling right now? Is that what Dali was trying to say?

And your Mountain.

Huh?

He’d tell you to walk the Middle Path – the one between the excesses of doubt and arrogance.

My Path?

My Muse didn’t need to come back. I felt it. I could effect and affect people through my art. Yet, I needed to be careful to never let that become an entitlement that they had to respond to my work.

As I walked up to Rosa, I felt very light. My feet barely touching the carpet under my bare feet. I spread the robe out and put it over her shoulders and gently kissed the back of her head without touching her anywhere else.

She turned while effortlessly putting her arms into the robe, “Thank you.”

I knew she was talking about the robe and the painting. I felt a deep feeling of contentment. Also, a tendril of arrogance beginning to arise, which took nothing to put down. Yet, made me aware that I’d need to deal with those all the time.

“You’re welcome,” came from me, effortlessly and from my heart. No filters. It felt really, really good. I slipped the smock around me as I responded.

Once we were both properly clothed, which felt strange, we hugged. Two friends, not potential lovers. We sat on the big couch and turned towards each other.

I looked at her, trying to send her love and support.

“Thanks,” she started. “I-I… I’m not sure… not sure where to start,” she said in a rush of words.

I smiled at her. “I’ll love you, no matter what.”

She returned the smile and relaxed. “Mike and I are really beginning to click. I think it is the same as you and Luis. Just that…”

“Magic?”

“Exactly! This is a first for me. I’ve played around, I’ve fucked around. I’ve always been damned careful with my emotions, staying a step apart. Now, in one week, I’ve fallen in love, and lust, with two people.”

“Me too!” We giggled together.

“I’m glad we’ve got these robes on. It feels like a girl’s sleepover and we’re just girl-talking.”

“Well, I don’t have a lot of experience with that.”

“Hey, neither do I. But I like it.”

“Me too.”

“Oh, I’ve talked to the school counselor. I’m going to test out of classes for the next year or so. If I can work it, by Christmas, I’ll be a senior. If not, I’m taking the GED. Plus, I’m sending my applications in to Peabody and scheduling an audition.”

I took her hands and stared into her eyes. “I’m so proud of you. No matter what happens, I always want to be friends.”

“Hey, does that make us BFF?”

“BFF?”

“Well, I think most girls mean it as Best Friends Forever. I’d like it to mean Best Fucking Friends.”

I tried to look stern and hurt. I really need to work on that. Instead, we both broke up laughing.

Two seconds later, we were locked in a tight embrace. Lips on lips and that damned time-thing did it again. Her robe disappeared, as did my smock. For the very first time in my life, I had a woman’s breast in my mouth. Damn, it felt good. The she had one of my nipples halfway down her throat. About the time we found each other’s hands in our pussies, we broke the embrace.

“Ahem…”

“Yeah!”

“For later.”

“Yep.”

There were a few more kisses. A bit of tongue. A finger in the right place doing the right things. Just promises. And justified worries about the state of my parent’s upholstery.

“God! Sorry, Becky… Becca, can I still call you that?”

“You’d better.”

“I’m sorry, I need to go.”

“Yes. Yes you do. I need to fix My Mountain a twenty-gazillion calorie pre-game dinner.”

“I-I… I should do that for Mike.” She looked hurt.

I pulled her into a comfort hug, something I’m learning about. “Shhh… Everything will be fine. Just lots of pasta and proteins.”

“I didn’t even… think of it,” she said, crying.

“Is all this as new for you as it is for me?”

That got a bit of chuckle. She pulled back and looked into my face, a bit of a smile. “What? The nudity? The sex? Or the boyfriend?”

“For me, all of the above!”

“Just the boyfriend for me. And how to properly feed him!” We laughed together. It was wonderful to see her smile. “Thanks.”

Another quick kiss and she was out the door. Riiiight! It was deep, loving, sharing of bodies and souls, and expressing a deep, growing love. Not to mention a statement of things to come.

“Oh God! I hope I get laid tonight,” I told the room as I headed towards the kitchen to start dinner. I was so frazzled, I didn’t even notice Mom was already there and quietly working away.

“Really?” she asked.

“Shit!” Oops. That slipped out. Damn it.

“Ah, my little girl has grown up.” She pulled me into a hug. Obviously oblivious of the danger to her health from the sun radiating from my skin. Then, without warning, she says, “Could you prep the veggies on the counter?”

“Ahem… Yeah. Sure.”

“What? You thought I’d react to your little pronouncement?”

“Weeelllll….”

“Or, the bit of Sapphic loving in the living room?”

“Uh… Can I just die right now?”

“Given the issues last night, are you going to go for the gold tonight?”

“Mom!!”

“Well? Just remember, he might be resistant to give you what you want, given the game tomorrow night.”

“Mom!!”

“Are you going to work on the veggies or do we need to sit and talk about the birds and bees?”

“Mom!!”

“So, I take it the bees are a bit… past the point?”

“Mom!!”

“So, work on the veggies. Jason isn’t going to be home until late, well after 11. Your father and I are headed out to a nice dinner and dancing. You and Luis have the house to yourself.”

“Mom!!”

“Yes I am, dear.”

“Damn it!”

She pulled me into a hug, laughing her ass off. I’m glad she thought it was funny.

“Becky, I’m so glad to have my daughter back, you don’t know.”

“Mom… I’m still… Yeah.”

“I know. I love you.” And she pulled me tighter into a hug. After an incredible time feeling my mother’s heart and love, she continued, “Just finish what I’ve started. And, remember, he might be in a different place than where you need him. Let him be there, in the game. I’m going to head out and meet your father now. We’ll be very late.”

With that, she turned the apron over to me and went out to the garage. A minute later I heard her car start and pull out. All the while, I’m just standing there holding an apron.

What the hell just happened?‘ I asked myself.

You just connected with your mom in a very good way,‘ My Muse responded.

Oh, hi Muse. I’m glad you’re here. I need to put all that in perspective.’

You’re smart and sensitive, it will come to you. Just be patient.

You know, since you went away, you’ve become a bit uppity!

A delightful laugh in my head was the only response I received.

She was right. Mom and I had reconnected, but not as young child to mother, but as woman-to-woman where one happened to be the child of the other. She acknowledged I was an adult, responsible for myself and my decisions. Yet, loving, caring, and not above teasing me.

I chuckled to the kitchen as I put the apron on and set about finishing dinner.


Luis

After an almost sinful shower, the hot water just felt too good and thoughts of Becca that almost caused a problem, I “dressed” and nearly ran to my car. Thoughts of a delicious Becca, nude, waiting for me.

I was cranking along and headed towards the absolutely worst intersection in town. God, I hate this intersection. But, this was the quickest route to Becca’s house.

The light was still green. Some Blackmores Night cranking on the system:

And I miss you like hell,

And I’m feeling blue…

I’ve got feelings for you,

Do you still feel the same?

From the first time I laid my eyes on you,

I felt joy of living,

I saw heaven in your eyes…

In your eyes…

All was right with the world, except being away from Becca. That was shortly fixed. Enough traffic had moved through the intersection that I felt it was safe.

Then, I noticed a car coming the other way into the intersection nose-diving like a 100 pound running back suddenly facing a 300 pound defender.

And then, the blare of an air horn coming from my left…

I was already slamming on my brakes by the time it registered.

Note: Today’s chapter is brought to you by Freddy Mercury and the band Queen. The song “We Are the Champions” was written by Freddy and first appeared on the album “News of the World”, released in 1977. There are strong rumors that we might see a movie version of Freddy’s life in the near future. Kewl!

Note: The Blackmores Night song is “Wish You Were Here”. Richie Blackmore has enjoyed a long and wonderful career in music. Most people would know him from “Deep Purple”. Nights is definitely worth a listen! Used without permission, I hope they forgive me.