I had been going through it for over six months, when I decided I couldn't take it any more. When I first started college, it was an overwhelming and frightening experience to leave everything I knew behind. OK, so it's a great opportunity to meet new people, do different things, "experiment", whatever, but none of that was any comfort to me at the beginning. It was only gradually that I was able to form a circle of people that I could trust and rely on, and slip out of my shell a little bit more.
I still think I found it harder than most to adjust to college life, even in the long run. But I got on best of all with Holly. I first met her when I knocked into her in a corridor and sent masses of her work sprawling over the floor, so as she always used to laugh afterwards, things could only get better from there. After that awkward introduction, we simply clicked - it wasn't hard to tell, because not only did we enjoy each other's company when we were both in a good mood, but also when one of us was going through a low point, which tended to happen now and then when you're living so close to each other in a crowded dorm.
We shared a good sense of humour, and could also respond to each other's problems and talk seriously when we had to. She was very attractive, that was obvious to me - and a few of the guys in the dorm as well, of course. She was tall and angular, her blonde hair flowed down to her shoulders, and she certainly wasn't lacking anything in her figure, although to be perfectly honest, that was something that barely occupied my thoughts to begin with.
There was a strength and determination in her face, some quality behind those mesmerising green eyes, that captivated me, and I suppose that was where the roots of my infatuation lay. It was something I would have dismissed as absurd if I had been conscious of it for a long time, right up until the moment when it hit me.
I don't want to give the impression that I trailed around star-struck after her, desperately trying to be noticed and appreciated; I had other friends whom I could hang out with from time to time, but I always preferred to be with her if I could, and it's safe to say she was in a different league to me socially.
She couldn't help but be the centre of attention at parties, not that she minded, and I always envied her ability to converse and flirt with the men around her while fending off their clumsy advances and making quite clear that at the end of the day, she was in charge.
I knew I couldn't be that sort of person, and I accepted that. I can be sociable up to a point, but I'm not the life and soul of the party; some people just aren't. When the time came to try and find a place off campus, we looked to each other right away, and before long we had found somewhere for just the two of us.
I was really excited at the thought of being closer to Holly, which should have told me something, but the move didn't interrupt her social life much. There was a steady stream of friends arriving to meet her and head off somewhere else, and also her regular boyfriend.
I felt like my routine was pretty pedestrian in comparison to hers. And yet in those moments we had together, whether we were both relaxing or mutually panicking over assignments and papers, I could feel myself becoming more attracted to her, watching her face intently as she spoke, hanging on her every word.
It was a major-league crush, but of course I wouldn't admit that to myself at the time. Sharing a room with her didn't make things any easier. If I ever struggled to get to sleep at night, and it happened plenty of times, I ended up lying awake watching her in the bed a few feet away from me. Just watching her breathe gently, her chest rising and falling as her face remained calm and serene. Even then I didn't really connect my fixation - my obsession - with any overtly sexual thoughts.
It wasn't as simple as that.
But then one morning, when she had gotten up nice and early and I had lounged in bed for as long as possible, I reluctantly hauled myself up and staggered down the hallway to the kitchen in my pyjamas.
As I was trudging along, the bathroom door opened and Holly came flying out with only a towel held loosely over her dripping wet body. That certainly woke me up. "Oh, Laura, sorry!
Geez, I… uh…" She clasped the towel tighter around herself, and blushed visibly. I must have looked just as embarrassed, I certainly felt it. It was the surprise more than anything else, because honestly, I couldn't really see anything.
"Um… I'm just going to have some breakfast," I said wryly, pointing down the hallway. "You'll be dressed by the time I come back, right?" "Yeah, yeah," she said hurriedly, shooting me an apologetic smile as she turned to head back to the bedroom. "Sorry." And I stood and watched her walk away, my eyes focused on the damp fronds of her hair and the droplets of water trickling down her legs, and thought to myself: please, don't be sorry on my account. Outwardly I shrugged it off when I saw her again, and she forgot about it; I didn't.
In fact, for the rest of the day all I could do was fantasise about what was under that towel. I hadn't realised I could have such a one-track mind. It was only when Holly was unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend - and maybe I was biased, but I couldn't figure out for the life of me why any guy would dump her - that the full extent of my feelings for her dawned on me.
I was her shoulder to cry on that evening, quite literally, and the longer we were in physical contact the more uncomfortably aware I became of her warmth, the smell of her hair, the curve of her body.
Uncomfortable, because I couldn't do anything except sit there and pretend that I didn't feel that way. My hands stayed still, hugging her close to me, for what seemed like hours; I don't know how I managed it. The urge was simply overpowering… and at that moment, I knew.
I was a different person from then on. Holly was lodged permanently in my brain, during my most mundane daily activities and my most, uh, intimate ones too. If I'm in the mood then I can be turned on by quite a few images and scenarios when I'm masturbating, but now they all ended up with me and her together. I didn't bother to resist those thoughts for very long; instead I embraced them, and my clit thanked me for it afterwards.
But no matter how hard I managed to climax, when I came down from that euphoric high the very next thing that hit me was the knowledge that they were just thoughts.
Nothing more. Of course, Holly didn't sense for a moment that I had crossed the line from being a best friend into something more serious, and I couldn't blame her for that. I was so afraid of making some clumsy move that would end our friendship for good that if anything I was more distant when I was around her. She must have realised that I was acting strangely, but couldn't find a reason for it. And so it went on. I don't think I would ever have had the courage to tell her how I felt, if it hadn't accidentally been forced out of me instead.
One evening I was struggling to get to sleep in sticky, oppressive heat that seemed to hang around me in the room, despite the best efforts of the air conditioning. I was sprawled on my mattress dressed only in a T-shirt that came down to my thighs, and even that felt like too much in these conditions. It didn't take long for my mind to settle on a familiar subject, sleeping quite heavily a few feet away from me. After some tossing and turning, I decided that if I couldn't get off one way, I was going to get off another.
My eyes fixed on Holly's immobile form, I eased my right hand down between my legs and began to finger myself. I was already caked in sweat down there, very soon I had added some more bodily secretions to the mixture. I could feel my heart beginning to beat faster, blood coursing through me, as I geared up for the exertion I would need. As I shut my eyes, my head was filled with an image of Holly, kneeling in front of me, her arms wrapped tightly around her naked body and her legs pulled up to her chest.
Seeming so defensive, but then gradually uncurling herself as I watched… her face breaking into a smile as she revealed herself to me completely.
Her hands running over her torso, caressing her breasts, before finally wending their way down to her pussy. She spread her lips open, revealing an expanse of pink, moist flesh, and then beckoned me forward with a single finger.
Already, as I shuffled closer and took in the sight before me, I could almost taste her scent on the tip of my tongue… I gasped suddenly as I pressed too sharply on my achingly sensitive clit, feeling a jolt of energy run through my body. With a nervous glance over at Holly, who had not stirred, I slowly began to massage it, carefully rationing the incredible sensations that I got from it.
By now my crotch and my hands were absolutely soaked in my own juices, but I just felt like wallowing in the mess and adding to it a little more. Eventually however, as I really got to work on my pussy with three frantically thrusting fingers, I started to emit groans that were too loud to carry on without waking my roommate up; so I rolled over onto my stomach and buried my face in my hot pillow, trying to muffle my voice as I humped my clenched, oozing fist against the mattress with desperate intensity.
It felt dirty, almost sordid, to be getting these pleasures in such a sneaky, covert way, but it turned me on even more and before long I was ready to erupt. Raising my hips off the bed slightly, I squealed into the pillow as the orgasm ripped through me, then exhaled, softly, at length and slumped down onto the sheets, trying to recover my composure. The heat I had generated in my body only added to the warm climate I was lying in, and it took some time for both body and brain to cool off and for me to finally slip into the sleep that I needed for the next day.
When I woke up the next morning, I glanced over at the other bed and realised that Holly was already up. I wondered briefly whether she could have heard me during the night, but dismissed the suggestion and quickly began to prepare for a busy day ahead.
I got dressed and had breakfast with Holly; she greeted me as usual and we chatted quite mindlessly as we always did at this time of day. Nothing seemed at all amiss, and it was only when I went back into the bedroom to collect my bag, and she followed me in to sit on her bed, that she broke the bombshell.
"So, did it feel as good as it sounded last night?" she asked breezily as I packed my things, my back turned to her. I froze mid-action, knowing instinctively what she meant, but unwilling to expose myself to the embarrassment.
"I don't know what you mean." "Come on Laura, I know what it is you were up to. You put on quite a show for a while." God, was I really that bad at hiding it?
I turned back to face her, and she obviously saw in an instant how embarrassed I felt - but she didn't know the half of it. "It's no big deal, it's not like I've never done the same myself." My heart skipped a beat at that.
I sank down onto my bed, trying to avoid eye contact with her. "I. I was trying to be quiet, I didn't mean to keep you awake or anything," I murmured. "Hey, you don't need to apologise to me!
When you're all worked up, there's no sense in holding back for someone else's sake." She paused for a moment, and then asked teasingly, "So, what was it that got you hot under the collar then, Laura? What were you thinking about when you were doing it?" The inquiry sent a cold wave of fear through me as I sat staring vacantly at the carpet. Oh God Holly, don't ask me that question, please don't ask me, because you really don't want to hear the answer, I thought to myself.
"It doesn't matter. I don't really want to talk about it," I said unconvincingly, praying that she would let the whole thing drop. She didn't. "I'm just curious, that's all. I can keep a secret, you know me - what was it? Or who was it, should I say." My throat was as dry as sandpaper, my palms sweating, but in the midst of this fear it suddenly occurred to me, with bizarre clarity, that I would never have a better opportunity than this to at least tell her how I felt.
"I." With a faint sense of unreality, as though my mind was divorced from my body, I looked up, met Holly's enquiring gaze, and told her frankly, "I was thinking about how much I wanted to put my mouth in your pussy." That certainly stopped her from asking any more questions. She froze, the movement in her eyes minimal as she stared back at me in disbelief. Before she had the chance to offer any sort of reply, I stood up, slung my bag over my shoulder and walked out of the room.
I somehow sensed her turning in my direction as I left, perhaps thinking of calling me back, but I heard no sound as I walked calmly out of the apartment door and made my way downstairs to the exterior of the building. And it was there that I stopped, collapsed against the wall and began to wonder what the hell I had just done. I couldn't go in there again and face her, but equally I didn't feel like going blithely to my classes as if nothing important had happened.
So I just started walking aimlessly around the town streets, my brain churning with the terrible consequences of my actions. I had just wrecked a wonderful friendship, destroyed it forever most likely, and on a more practical level, there was the definite possibility that I would have to find somewhere else to live if Holly didn't entirely fancy sharing a place with someone who had the hots for her.
The thing I kept kicking myself mentally for was what I had actually said. "I want to put my mouth in your pussy." Huh? Not I love you, not I'm crazy about you, not I've been thinking about you for so long… nope, "I want to put my mouth in your pussy." How romantic.
But really, it seemed like the only appropriate response. She hadn't asked me how I felt about her. She knew exactly what I had been doing the night before; and so therefore, she wanted to know exactly what I was thinking about when I had my fingers jammed between my legs frantically pleasuring myself. And I had told her the truth. It was a spur of the moment thing, and on reflection I don't think it was anatomically correct.
but damn it, it was how I felt. I had my cellphone with me, and made a conscious decision to keep it switched on; Holly and I normally called each other a couple of times a day, and I think I was hoping that she would make the first step to try and resolve the situation without me having to do it instead.
It didn't ring once all day. The town was actually quite a nice place to spend an afternoon wandering around, but eventually I realised that I would have to go back to the apartment at some stage. A decent meal beforehand probably made me feel better, even though I was still dreading the prospect of seeing Holly again. It was with hesitance that I arrived back at the building in the early evening and found my way to the apartment.
The door was unlocked, and as I carefully slipped inside, I looked around furtively in the hope that she wasn't there and I could sneak back to my room unnoticed. Like most of my assumptions that day, I was wrong. She had obviously heard the door open, and her demeanour as she came out of the kitchen into the living room was of someone perplexed and confused, who wanted answers.
"Laura, wait," she said to me as I headed towards the bedroom. "There's nothing I can say to you," I replied dismissively, which was an incredibly dumb thing to declare in the circumstances. I wasn't thinking clearly at all. "Well, there's something I can say to you," she added in a softer voice. "Please…" "There isn't much point, is there, if I have to move out soon." "What?
What gave you that idea? Look, just sit down with me. Please!" I gazed at her properly for the first time since that morning, and saw the imploring look in her eyes.
Reluctantly, my skin crawling with the awkwardness of it all, I sat down at one end of the nearby couch. She perched at the far end, still clearly at a loss for words. When you've recently told someone that you want to eat them out, it's understandably difficult to strike up a normal conversation afterwards. "What you told me this morning," she eventually began nervously, "that wasn't.
you were being serious, right? It wasn't a joke?" She caught my expression and immediately said, "Nope, nope, of course not. Stupid question." Another long pause.
"Look, Laura. maybe. maybe we've just gotten a little too close in the last few months, you know? It's not surprising, with us living together, that you'd start to be attracted to me. God, that sounds arrogant." I could see her trying to rationalise it in her mind, to make sense of it all, but she clearly wasn't ready to accept the idea that I was in love with her - and I wasn't exactly ready to tell her that either, so we weren't really getting anywhere.
"I mean, I… I never knew that you were…" "Neither did I," I said flatly. "I still don't know whether I am or not.
It's not as simple as that. The only thing I'm certain about…" I looked up at her, and choked on my words. "How long have you felt like this?" she asked quietly, apparently accepting at least that I was attracted to her.
"I don't know for sure, it just. developed, I guess. That's the way these things happen, isn't it? But I mean, if you want a date, then I suppose it was when you broke up with Steve and you were upset about it that evening. When I was sitting there on the couch holding you… I can't tell you what I wanted to do to you at that moment." Holly sat there and took all this in, staring into the middle distance as she absorbed this new information.
"I'm just afraid of spoiling what we have," she eventually said nervously. "I mean, we've had such a great time together as friends, I feel like I can tell you anything, and you can tell me anything… and damnit, I should be able to cope with this. It's my fault." I was starting to dissolve into tears. "No, it's not.
You didn't do anything except be there. I'm the one who burdened you with this, and I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." By now I was staring down numbly at the floor in front of me.
"I ruined everything just for the sake of some stupid dream…" My verbal flow was suddenly halted as I felt a hand gently clasp my chin and turn my head to the left. I was abruptly silenced as Holly leant forward and planted a long, lingering, wet kiss squarely on my lips.
I was in heaven as I felt her warm tongue touch mine and her fingers run through my light brown, curly hair, even as the air in my lungs ran out and I found myself fighting for breath.
When we finally parted, she was breathing just as heavily as me, and in her eyes I could see reflected all the desire that I had carried for her for so long. "You don't have to dream any more," she breathed softly, sending a shiver of anticipation down my spine.