Under the Ceiling Fan

Things changed for all of us when we left high school.  Some of us went to college, others stayed at home.  In the beginning, we didn’t all land on our feet.  I think the changes were hardest on those we didn’t leave for school.

L^&* and Dodson stayed back, neither went to college.  And that first year out of high school tore them both apart.  They were lovers for our last two years of high school, but had a violent break up that first year out.

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After they broke up, a lot of dark secrets came forward.  More than just having affairs, Dodson was turning tricks at a gay bar in his neighborhood.  He was confused, no doubt, and lost control of his behavior.  When their relationship ended, he turned very hostile towards L^&*.  He broke into her apartment and destroyed things he gave her as gifts, and with a knife slashed pictures of the two of them together.  He stole her car and put sugar in the gas tank.  He would call her phone, but just sit on the other end in silence.  Dodson blamed L^&* for everything, all the pain and he felt and difficulties he faced in changing.  He stalked her for weeks, and taunted her on the phone.

Most of this happened when I was away for my freshmen year.  When I returned for the summer, we all tried to pick up our friendships were we left off.  Dodson was so angry and wanted little to do with anybody, but I continued to spend a lot of time with L^&* and our other friends.  In fact, L^&* and I started a relationship, despite that Dodson continued with his decline and hostility.

The magnetism between us was there from the beginnning that summer.  We started spending a lot of time together.  At parties we always sat together and talked.  We called each other on the phone.  L^&* told me a lot about her relationship with Dodson, both the good and the bad.  She was still reeling from the break up, full of such complex emotions.  She started to count on me to help her process it all.  It was like this for much of the summer.  Eventually, we decided to find some time just the two of us.

It was a date, our first.  We had been friends for several years, but this growing intimacy needed more acknowledgement.  I was staying with my mom that summer, but she was away for a week.  I thought it might be nice to have L^&* over to the house.  First we went out for dinner, to a Chinese place on the south end of town.  L^&* did her best to look pretty, to shake off all her worries.

She was dressed all in white, a short skirt, tights, and a summer blouse.  We sat at a table for four, but sat side by side.  We touched each other under the table.

We went back to my mom’s house, still early in the evening, and had a drink.  We sat in the guest room.  The sofa bed was folded out.  It was a warm night, so we opened the windows and turned on the ceiling fan.

We started to kiss, and it wasn’t long before we started to undress each other.  I pulled down her skirt and slipped off her panties.  L^&* took of my clothes and we made love.  It was short, nervous, and intense.

Afterwards, we lay together under the ceiling fan, staring straight up at the ceiling trying to figure out what just happened.  I was naked, and L^&* wore just a white satin halter top.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

“That it’s easier to share your body than your soul.” she answered, almost a-matter-a-factly.  There was an obvious fatigue to her voice.

We stayed the night together at my mom’s, sleeping in the guest room.  L^&* and I were together for a year, but in the end it grew too complicated for the both of us.

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