We had been best buddies for years, ever since junior high. Back then we didn’t name it out loud, but we were sympatico. We knew each other. We knew what we never talked about. We never had to talk at all. We’d sit on the top bleacher watching the cheerleaders practice, waiting for our friends. I’d bounce my knee and she’d sit there smacking out a drum beat on her thighs. Lots of energy coursing through our veins as we sat there watching our friends in their short, pleated skirts and clean, white Keds. They clapped their hands and bounced up and down. Their mouths opened and closed but I never listened to the cheers.
We watched their thighs, their muscled quads, the hard bulge in their calves. We both liked the same girl. We knew this without ever talking about it. And we both knew if either of us had a chance, it was me. Well, I knew it at least. She was the valentine queen. No shit. She was the most popular girl in school. I poked anonymous love letters through the vents in her locker. I carried her books between classes that time she broke her leg. Her mom told her she couldn’t invite me for sleepovers anymore. Her mom knew. We didn’t. Not really. And then again, we did.
So there we were, sitting on the back of the bleachers. Watching. Our eyes glued to her tits under that sweater. We were imagining our own little scenarios. In mine, I was a football player and my crush would unlace my uniform knickers in the locker room.
I don’t know what my friend was thinking. She had a guy’s name. I fucking loved and hated her for that. She was tall and skinny and had huge hands and her name. Fucker. She had passed as a guy since she was in grade school. She was the cute guy and I was the ugly girl. Best friends. One and the same.
We never had sleepovers. We never hung out. We never called each other on the phone. We stayed on opposite sides of the room at parties.
She got a basketball scholarship and went to the local college. I went as far away as I could get. I shaved my head. I bought combat boots. I marked myself as a big, fucking dyke the moment I felt free. She was a guy. She passed with her giant hands and her gaunt, 6 foot 3 inch frame. I heard stories of how she picked up girls in bars and didn’t tell them she was a woman. Some of them were too drunk to ever notice. Others freaked out when she pulled off her shirt. She sweet talked them into staying. Every one of them.
I didn’t come home that whole first year. Stayed with my aunt on the east coast over the holidays. I signed up for summer school and got a part-time job. I didn’t come home until the end of my sophomore year.
I ran into her at my grandpa’s hardware store. We agreed to meet up on the weekend and go out to the quarry. It was an old, flooded quarry. I didn’t know it, but the queers had taken it over. She drove me out there and we headed down the path. I punched her when we came into the clearing and saw dozens of fags and a couple dykes hanging out drinking and smoking and half naked in the sun. Jesus, when did this happen?
She pulled out a pack of cigarettes and smiled at me as she lit one up. She looked so much older than me all of a sudden. I saw the lines in her face. We weren’t even 21 yet.
I pulled out a bottle and took a long pull of whiskey. She grabbed my wrist and took the bottle from me to take a drink. As usual, we weren’t talking. And we weren’t looking at other girls. There was an aggression in every movement. She tossed me her pack of cigarettes and jerked the pack back when I’d taken one. We tugged that bottle back and forth and sucked on the neck of it. When I stood up and stripped before running and jumping in the water I nearly whipped her face with my belt. She sat there until I was fully undressed before ripping her clothes off and beating me down to the water. She shoved my back as she flew through the air and splashed into the water before me.
“Fucker,” I shouted as I jumped in. She grabbed my head and shoved me under. I had to punch her sides to get her off me and came up gasping for air. She dunked me under again and again and I came up wide mouthed like a fish. She held my neck, her fingers wrapping almost fully around me, and stroked my shaved head with her other hand. The water sprayed off my fuzzy head, splattering her face. She was fascinated and a little horrified by my look. I was a dyke in a part of the country where you could get the shit beat out of you or worse for that. She was butch. There’s a difference.
We exhausted ourselves fighting in the water. Or I did. I was no athlete. I begged for mercy and made my way to the rocky edge. I managed to pull myself out even though I felt my arms shaking. There was no fucking way I was getting her help climbing out of the water. I felt her eyes on me the whole time. I felt her sneer.
We lay on our blanket naked, letting the sun dry us off. I pulled my jeans on, leaving my boots untied, the tongues hanging out. We both left our shirts off. She was wearing loose, dark blue work pants. I hadn’t picked up on it until that moment, but I realized that I was in love with her. I wasn’t happy about that thought. “Fuck,” I said out loud and grabbed the bottle. She held my wrist down when she took it away from me. She was looking out at the water but I heard her loud and clear talking to me, “I’m going to make you scream,” she said, “I’ve been meaning to fuck you for a long time.”
That’s all we said. When she let go of my wrist, I took off running into the woods and I heard her coming up behind me. She was fast, but I could dart. I zipped around the trees and wove a tricky path deep into the thick growth. Brambles caught my jeans and I heard them rip. I was panting. I felt my heart beating in my throat and temples. I was drunk and out of breath and the whole thing was pointless.
I stopped and didn’t turn around. I heard her slow. When she reached me, she grabbed my arms and wrapped them around the tree in front of me. Her arms wrapped around me. I held the tree and she held me. She started humping my ass. My cheek rubbed against the rough bark. My chest started to itch. She humped me for a long time, digging herself deeper and deeper into me. I felt her bones against me.
She easily grabbed both my wrists in one hand. Her free hand jammed down the back of my jeans. I was surprised by how wet I was. She laughed at me. She pulled her wet hand up, dragging it across my ass and slowly up my back before going back for more. She slicked my back up again and again. Rubbing her small tits against my shoulder blades. She was all sinew - stretched, muscled and tanned. She smelled like cigarettes and cheap booze and something else, something clean. Later I found out it was the blue soapy liquid from the golf ball cleaning stations at the driving range she worked at. That smell will never leave me. Never.
She rubbed against me, grinding me up against the bark. She licked the stubble on the back of my head, she bit my shaved hairs in her teeth and yanked some out. The back of my head stung and my cunt throbbed. I felt my jeans getting wet. She laughed with every new thing I gave away. The wetter I got, the low moans, the look on my face. She laughed at all of it.
“Cut yourself a switch,” she said to me. I looked at her. She was serious. She held her pocket knife out to me. “Cut yourself a switch,” she repeated and backed away. I took her knife. I looked around. If you grow up where I grew up, you know what you have to look for. If you get something too weak, you’ll get it worse. Find a good switch. It has to give, but if it’s too green it will cut you. Anything you get will sting like hell, so just get on with it. I found a small tree with a decent branch. I sawed it off and brought it to her. “Please,” I said, but I knew I shouldn’t have. She just smiled.
I wrapped my arms around the tree. I grabbed my wrists and tried to relax my back. I heard it cut through the air before I felt it. I didn’t make a sound. She whipped my shoulders maybe a dozen times before she jerked my jeans down. My ass got it worse. I didn’t know why she was whipping me, but I knew not to make a sound.
I heard her crying when she stopped. I knew not to ask. She kissed my back. Her lips stung me. She kissed my marks. I was shaking. I had to pee. I asked permission. She turned her back, but I felt ashamed of the sound of my piss hitting the leaves on the ground.
She didn’t fuck me then. We wandered around the woods. She tenderly held her hand on the small of my back and kept creeping it up now and then to my shaved head, winding her fingers around and around up the back of my head and over my ears. She cried. I didn’t. As we walked back, I kicked her behind her knees and she dropped to the ground. I bent her backwards and grabbed her head. I walked myself over her, pressing her face into my cunt. I stood there over her bent body with her mouth pressed into my jeans. She looked caught. She looked repentant.
I held her head in one hand and undid my jeans with the other. I curved over her and slid my hand between my legs. I rubbed my clit and got myself off, staring down at her. She looked at me in disbelief. I smiled at her. After I came, I spat down at her, just missing her ear. She grinned at me. “What a fucking pair we are,” I thought, “Nobody else would understand.” She knew what I was thinking. I know she did.
She didn’t make me scream. Not in the woods. We left the quarry as the sun was going down and pulled over at one of the 6 room motels off the highway. The places that fill up with truckers too sleepy to keep going or fisherman too drunk to drive home. She went to the lobby to get us a room. I paid.
She fucked me all night with those big hands. My best friend. The girl I never talked to but knew better than anyone.
I never asked her why she whipped me. We never talked about that. Years go by and I don’t hear from her and then out of the blue I’ll get a post card. We run into each other back in our hometown sometimes, although her parents are both dead now, so she’s hardly every back. When we do see each other, we nod. We end up back at some motel for a night or two. She fucks me like she’s the only person in the world who knows me. And I guess she feels the same.