The Loves of Julie Pearson - 16

The Loves of Julie Pearson - 16
By Katherine Day
(Julie wonders whether there’ll ever be a wedding in her future: What man would want a woman like her? She again meets with Randy, now eighteen and still infatuated with her. Desires and realism are in conflict. Thanks to Eric for his editing help. A sequel to two short stories published in 2013, “Julie’s Odyssey” and “Gifts for Julie.”) (Copyright 2014)

Chapter Sixteen: Wedding Time

As the semester continued on, I learned that there would be three weddings – all to be celebrated in June.

Jon Edwards and his partner took advantage of a court decision permitting gay marriage to hold their affair at the non-denominational church; since Jon was taking the role as the wife in the marriage he chose his married sister to be Matron of Honor and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I cheerfully accepted, showering him with kisses.

It was a great ceremony, well-attended; many of his students and former students were there, some bringing along spouses and in a few cases young children. The love of the two men for each other filled the church, along with a stream of flowers that we used to decorate the sanctuary. The bride wore a light tan summer suit with a ruffled light blue shirt and dark violet scarf around his deck.

“You’re a beautiful bride,” I told Jon as we stood at the back of the church, ready to walk down the aisle.

“I had to be to compete with the beauty of my wedding party. My sister Linda and you are just so lovely today. Thank you for doing this.”

Linda and I wore discreet dresses, both ending at about mid-thigh; they had a high, tight collars and were sleeveless; both had an empire waist. Linda’s dress was salmon-colored and mine was a dark pink, tending toward violet.

Two weekends later, Tamara Jackson married her friend in a full-blown ceremony at the First Avenue Baptist Church; the ceremony was a long one, complete with the rhythmical gospel singing typical of African-American churches. She was marrying a Caucasian man – who was just tall enough to stand several inches above Tamara. I chose to sit on the bride’s side among Tamara’s family and friends, one of the few whites in those pews.

On the other hand, there were few sitting in the pews on the groom’s side; Tamara told me her husband’s family had not been pleased with the mixed marriage, but that her husband assured her that Tamara’s natural charm would eventually win them over. One thing was certain: their love for one another seemed solid. I cried during the ceremony, as did Laura McPherson sitting by my side in the pew.

Coach Hank Duke also was married that day to a young teacher. I begged off, citing Tamara’s wedding, but sent a silver-plated sugar bowl chosen by the bridal service. One of those who were able to attend told me later: “The bride was almost a spitting image of you, Julie, only not as pretty.”

Marriage seemed to be in the air that month, except for me.

*****
Randy surprised me with a call during the Spring Break of my second year of teaching; I was lounging about in shorts and a tanktop, wearing no bra, stockings or shoes, with my hair tied in pigtails. It was an unbelievably warm day for spring in our area (it had been known to snow on this date in past years), but I welcomed the freedom that comes without the need to wear lots of clothes. I didn’t wear a bra that day, a tribute to the fact that my breasts were firm and remained round and lush without support. I knew that would begin changing as I aged.

That morning I worked lazily and sporadically in my garden, loosening up the ground for eventual planting of the annuals like impatiens, petunias and marigolds. I loved the color the annuals provided, even though I knew I was about a month too early for the planting since frost would still be possible.

Outside of some play rehearsals scheduled for the Spring Break period, I was essentially alone. Most of my friends were otherwise occupied with their families or out-of-town for vacation jaunts. As usual, I welcomed the quiet time, even though I often felt alone; that can be depressing. Laura McPherson, my teaching colleague, had become my most frequent companion and she and I were planning to get together that evening to have dinner and perhaps see a movie.

“The perfect evening for two old maid schoolteachers,” Laura said, exhibiting the deprecating humor she often used. She made that comment as the two of us chatted on the last day of school before the break while discussing plans for the week.

“We certainly fit the stereotype,” I agreed, laughing with her.

“Maybe I do. I’m such a horse, anyway, but I can’t imagine why you don’t have a lineup at your door begging for a date,” Laura said.

To be sure, Laura McPherson was a large young woman; she was six feet tall and athletic, having played center on the women’s basketball teams both in high school and college. She played regularly in a municipal women’s team and kept herself fit. While she had a plain, broad face, I often felt that if she paid more attention to her makeup, she could be a truly pretty woman.

“I just don’t run across that many guys, you know. They’re either married or far too old or gay,” I said.

“Yeah, I know,” Laura said. “It’s been over a year for me with a guy I knew in college, another ballplayer, but he soon found a cutie – someone like yourself – and off he goes.”

“It’s been a long time for me, too,” I admitted.

“Since Leighton? Ever hear from him anymore?”

“No, and I heard he got married to some fast food worker he met during his many rallies,” I said, remembering the shy young man, who turned fierce when confronted with a cause he supported.

“The hell with men, anyway. They’re all no good, except for one thing and is that worth it?”

“Right now, we don’t have to answer that,” I giggled. “There’s no guy around for either of us to test that question.”

My mind became a jumble of thoughts about that conversation as a hoed the garden, seeking to break up the soil after the cold winter; the frost left the ground only a week before. Naturally my thoughts turned to Randy; I wondered what his decision was to be about college. It had been sometime since we chatted about his decision; he needed a full ride scholarship in football to afford attending anything more ambitious than a local community college. I wondered whether he would choose football powers like Alabama or Oklahoma, both of which were expected to offer him such a scholarship, or something like Rutgers which was nearby and offered a strong social work education along with a scholarship on their rather ordinary (and losing) football team.

My cell phone rang; it sat on the picnic bench near to wear I was digging.

“Miss Pearson?” the voice asked, its sound distorted due to the passage of an airliner descending over my home headed for a landing at the nearby airport.

“Yes, who is it?”

“Randy. Is this Julie, ah, I mean you, Miss Pearson?”

“Hi Randy, yes, it’s me. I couldn’t hear for a minute when a plane went roaring by,” I explained.

“I wanted to let you know I chose Wisconsin,” he said bluntly.

“Wisconsin? That’s new. I thought you were looking at other schools.”

“I was, but I just didn’t like the atmosphere at Tuscaloosa and Norman,” he said. “They’re football nuts down there. It just didn’t seem right to me.”

“But why Wisconsin? That’s way out there and it’s always so cold there,” I said, having only a vague idea about the area, other than what I saw on television news about snow storms or crazy killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein.

“For one thing, they have a dynamite football program out there, but most importantly, I like their Sociology Department, especially their Poverty Institute. They said if it worked out, I could have an internship in that Institute.”

Sounds like it’s right up your alley,” I said. “I’m pleased for you, Randy.”

“Miss Pearson,” he began.

“You may call me Julie. It’s during vacation now,” I said, following it with a brief giggle.

“Julie. I turn eighteen on June nineteenth.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“You remembered? How cool?”

“I’ve never forgotten you, Randy,” I said, immediately sorry I uttered those words, knowing that would only encourage him to pursue our friendship further.

“I will never forget you, Julie, and I expect we can meet after my birthday,” he said.

I refused to acknowledge his suggestion. Instead, I said, “It sounds as if you made a good choice, Randy, and I wish the best for you at Wisconsin. Good bye, Randy.”

I shut the phone down before I could hear his response; it was a cruel thing to do, but it was for the best, wasn’t it?

*****
I dearly wanted a future with Randy; yet, I knew it was futile. Even though our age difference would be overcome through the years, there was the matter of me: I was not your typical young woman, was I? Certainly I would photograph well as the pretty girlfriend of a star athlete – much like the stunning types that are shown on television screens after her “man” scores a key touchdown – but in the shadow of his prospective notoriety it would be learned that I came into this world as a boy. What would that do to Randy’s image in the eyes of his fans, not to say his relationships with his players? I could hear the taunts from opposing players wondering if the “star” was a real man who had to resort to dating a phony girl like me.

No, Randy and I could not become a couple, especially now that he was headed to stardom out there somewhere in the frigid heartland of America.

It was only logical then that I plunge myself deeply into other endeavors, which I did as the semester went on to the finish. I got more and more into my theater work in assisting Harriet Simpson. Our spring musical, “Damn Yankees,” proved to be more difficult to stage than either of us had imagined. I took on the chore of trying to give Jolene Mason, the junior student with a truly divine voice, the confidence in herself so that her natural shyness would not weaken the part of Meg in the musical.

“You’ve got to give that girl more pizzazz, or else we’ll have to settle for the Bukowski girl who can’t sing worth a damn,” Harriet pleaded with me.

“I’ll figure out something,” I assured her, even though young Miss Mason demonstrated a self-consciousness that seemed impossible to penetrate. The girl was afraid her friends would laugh at her on the stage; besides “I’m so fat,” the girl said.

The truth was the girl was not fat at all; she had a round face and looked no more than thirteen or fourteen; she had not developed the size breasts that might be warranted on a girl her age and size. Still she was a cute, comely girl whom Harriet and I both felt would be dynamite in the part. I knew the trick was to get her mind off herself and into the character of Meg.

“I’m going to tell you something about me,” I told Jolene finally.

She was shocked to learn I had been born male; I told her how terrified I was at first to portray myself in public as a woman. Jolene listened in awe as I told her about my holiday trips to Point Pleasant. I left out any mention of Randy, of course, though I mentioned how many young men – older ones as well – had shown an interest in me as a young woman. They didn’t see the shy young man who was underneath those clothes. I told her that on the trip I quickly became Julie Pearson and that my boy self, Jason, existed not at all on that day.

“Think of yourself as Meg when you get on stage and as often as you can act during your daily life as if you’re Meg. Learn Meg’s character and make it you! All the audience will see is Meg then, not Jolene Mason. When you’re on stage, Jolene Mason is home sleeping; you’re there as Meg. If they see Meg as a pretty woman or an ugly woman, they’ll be seeing Meg, not Jolene, but only if you’re a convincing Meg. You can do it. Just forget Jolene Mason, OK?”

“Think of myself only as Meg? That’s all?” the girl asked, not convinced.

“Yes, dear, when you’re here rehearsing and when you’re in the play, you’re Meg. Now, tell me who you think Meg is,” I demanded. I said all of these things in a firm, uncompromising voice, even though I was not convinced it would change her much.

Jolene hadn’t understood Meg at all, I realized. She knew her lines perfectly and said them without hesitation; yet, I could tell she knew nothing about the character. Together we talked about the part and I even got her to understand that she would be free to create her own “Meg,” as long as it kept within the parameters of the play.

Jolene soon mastered the part and I was pleased to see that she garnered perhaps the loudest applause of any actor on stage on opening night, even surpassing Jimmy Hudson who played Joe Hardy, the lead. I wondered as I stood in the wings that night playing traffic cop to insure none of the actors missed their cues whether the story of my life might be of value to anyone who suffers from a feeling of inadequacy. After the performance, Jolene charged past everyone to search me out to hug me.

“Thank you, Miss Pearson, I couldn’t do it without you,” she said.

“You did it, Meg, you did. Not me.”

Our hug was long and warm. We both cried buckets. Neither of us cared what others thought.

*****
Even though I was exhausted after our opening night performance, I was persuaded by Harriet to join her and her new husband to join them for an after-the-show snack. “No,” I tried to beg off, but Harriet pleaded, “Come join us. Barry will be there as well. He’s waiting in the lobby with Bart.”

“Barry saw the play?” I questioned.

“Yes. He was eager to see how we’d done.”

“I guess I can. I’m so keyed up right now I don’t think I could go to sleep quickly anyway,” I said. I’m sure I agreed more likely due to my realization that I’d be seeing Barry again.

“Good, he’ll be pleased to see you,” Harriet said, smiling.

I couldn’t hide the blush that warmed my face.

The four of us went to La Provence, a wine and snack bar that specialized in late night servings. It was a comfortable place with intimate seating arrangements composed of fashionable light chairs and tables, permitting closeness. Even the place was crowded, the sound level of conversations was low, covered faintly by light jazz in the background. Dim lighting warmed the atmosphere.

The only vacant setting included two side chairs flanking a love seat; whether by happenstance or by design, Barry and I ended up together in the love seat. I protested, noting that it was less than six months since the wedding and certainly the newly-weds should have the love seat. “Don’t be silly, dear, that was meant more for young people,” Harriet quipped.

Like the gentleman he seemed to be, Barry held my hand in assisting me onto the seat, and I found it impossible not to sit so closely that our thighs rubbed together, sending exciting vibes through my system. We stayed only for one drink and a dessert but in that short while I learned Barry was working as athletic director for a nonprofit organization serving unprivileged teens.

“Yes, he’s got a masters in social work,” his father said. “He could have gone into law or business and make more money.”

“But, dad, you know that’s not me,” Barry protested.

“I know and you must live your own life, but you’ll never earn much to support a family in comfort,” his father said.

“No Bart, not tonight. We all know your feelings,” Harriet said.

Her husband nodded and added quickly, “I’m sorry I brought it up, but Barry is so talented.”

“I think that’s perfectly marvelous that he wants to help those kids,” I said impulsively.

“You do?” Barry said, looking at me and smiling.

“Well, yes, I think it’s cool you’re working with the kids,” I added. “But, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s none of my business.”

“I value your opinion, Julie,” Barry said, taking my hand in one of his and patting it gently with the other.

The evening ended far too quickly, and we parted without ceremony or even an invitation for a future get-together. Barry did say, however, “Really enjoyed getting to know you, Julie.”

Dare I dream of a future with this handsome, intelligent and caring young man? I wondered whether Harriet had informed him of my life story and if she had, did he ever care to be in my future?

*****
I agreed to be alternate building representative for the Teachers Union at Farragut; as such I would assist Jon who was the building representative. I would also be his replacement should he be absent for any grievance meetings with the principal or superintendent.

“But I don’t know anything about unions,” I protested.

“Our school’s committee thinks you’ll do just fine, Julie,” Jon said. “You’ve been a regular at union meetings for one thing and I know you care about others. Most of the teachers respect you, even those who originally weren’t too happy about hiring a girl like you.”

He told me that I could easily learn the ropes on the job, that he would give me materials to study and that he would be at my side in the beginning. “I won’t let you dive into the water without a life jacket, Julie,” he said with a smile.

As it turned out, the job was more time-consuming than I thought it would be; I did a bit of reading to fully understand state law as it applied to teachers and to understand our contract. Other than that I learned much of the work involved using common sense to resolve problems; it also required lots of listening to others, whether it was a management authority or an aggrieved teacher whose issue may or may not be covered under the contract.

I could tell, however, that Mrs. Hammond, the principal, was not happy I took the role on. I knew that she resented the union, mainly because she felt she cared about her teachers and that there should be no reason to question her actions. I wondered, too, if she was disappointed in me since she had championed my hiring in the first place and had stuck her neck out doing so. She must have felt I was being ungrateful.

“I want to tell her that I respect her and am eternally grateful to her for supporting me,” I confessed to Jon.

“She’s really a great principal, perhaps the best in the District, but it doesn’t mean she won’t miss something or that one of her decisions may have been in error. Just respect her, keep your emotions down and stick to the facts,” he answered.

To be sure, after several meetings with her, I found her easy to work with over problems and our relationship warmed up again. Often we ended up talking about personal matters such as her family and my personal plans. Fortunately she never queried me about my love life, which at the time was nil.

One thing my union work did was to give me less time to think about Randy, even at bedtime when my exhaustion was so complete I fell into bed and went immediately to sleep, only to be awakened with the awful alarm clock banging into my ear. I must say, too, I was becoming more and more careless about my appearance, often doing little more that tying my hair in a bun as I rushed off to the train to get to Farragut. I did, however, favor long, loose fitting skirts and I usually wore flats for comfort; my blouses typically were sleeveless (I loved exposing my arms: how’s that for vanity?) and I either went with bare legs or with pink or light blue ankle socks, giving me a schoolgirl look. In cold weather, I favored tights or leotards – usually navy blue or black.

“You always dress in the cutest way, Miss Pearson,” Molly Watson, one of the students in my only senior English literature class, told me one day.

“Thank you, Molly, and coming from you that’s a compliment,” I said. Molly always dressed more carefully than most girls, largely because she had been a model until her junior year. Her compliment to me on that particular day was a bit puzzling, since I considered the outfit I was wearing to be quite ordinary and almost dowdy.

“You’re just naturally pretty, and I’m envious,” the student said, obviously realizing that I apparently took little time dressing and making myself up in the morning.

“That’s better than giving an apple to the teacher,” I replied, winking at her.

“Oh Miss Pearson, I wasn’t saying that just to get a better grade. I meant it.”

Just then the warning bell rang and Molly bolted from the room for her next class. Thankfully she didn’t see me blush.

*****
“This is my own ‘Emancipation Proclamation,’” Randy said proudly when he called, as I knew he would, on June nineteenth.

I knew full well the meaning of the date that marked Juneteenth Day, an important celebration in the African-American community connected to Lincoln’s famed Emancipation Proclamation; in Randy’s case, it meant he was eighteen, an adult in most ways and purely ready to date anyone of his choice, even a transgendered woman some eight years his senior. The question was: Would it be wise for either of us to be dating?

“I must see you this summer, Julie,” he said, dispensing with his usual deferential address of Miss Pearson.

“Do you think that’s wise, Randy? Once you get out to Wisconsin and become a big football hero you’ll be expected to have a cute coed at your arm, not an aging phony woman like myself,” I warned him.

“You’re no phony, Julie,” he said. “I know you’re a total woman now.”

“Not quite, Randy. I’ll never be able to bear children.”

“Oh Julie, don’t lecture me like this,” he said, his voice taking on a pleading tone. “I’m not asking you to marry me, just to meet me before I have to go off to begin football at Wisconsin in August.”

We talked a while, with Randy showing interest in my theater work; I told him about how I worked with Jolene to help her feel confident about performing her role in “Damn Yankees.” He responded telling me how pleased he was to see me watching him perform in the school play at his school. He said he loved performing and was hoping to do some acting when he got to Wisconsin. He barely mentioned his budding football career. (An article in a local paper said that Randy had been wise to choose Wisconsin, a school that regularly sent players on to the NFL as high draft choices.)

“You’re a natural-born actor, Randy,” I said.

“Maybe so, but I’m sincere about how much I care for you, Julie.”

“Now, let’s not jump the gun,” I said.

“I can be patient.”

We agreed to meet at the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side on the following Sunday at noon; he suggested we give our meeting an educational appearance in case anyone questioned the differences in our ages. “I don’t think anyone will, Julie, since you still look like you belong as a student in high school rather than a teacher.”

Randy, I knew, had a true interest in the lives of immigrants; his understanding of sociology had also brought him potential scholarship opportunities, though none as complete as football did.

*****
I arranged for us to join a tour of the six-story tenement building at 997 Orchard St. early Sunday afternoon. It was a hot day and I didn’t know if the building would be air-conditioned or if we’d have to suffer the heat just as the immigrants did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so I dressed in a light airy, knee-length skirt and a crème-colored sleeveless blouse. I tied my hair in a ponytail, which I tucked through the back of the pink baseball cap I wore. I hope I looked cool and comfortable, since I knew the ride in the subway would be a stuffy one.

“You look so cute, Miss Pearson,” Randy said as we met outside the museum, using the more formal address as we had agreed.

“Just trying to stay cool, Randy,” I said, hoping my voice remained neutral and hadn’t betrayed my excitement at seeing him again. I wanted to return the compliment, since I was blown away at the sight of him: what I felt like saying was: “Randy, you’re gorgeous.” And he was just that!

Instead I recovered and said simply, “It’s good to see you Randy and you look marvelous.”

“Thank you, Miss Pearson,” he said, retaining a formality that I could sense he forced upon himself.

Randy had truly gained a couple of inches in height in the last year; he had also bulked up, his chest expanding the fashionable white polo shirt with its discreet red symbol of the Wisconsin Badger football team on the left side of his chest. His blonde hair was long enough to flow to his neckline, and he kept it neatly brushed. As I looked about the crowd of folks who had assembled to join the tour, I noticed he got plenty of looks, particularly from other women. I was certain, too, that most of them assumed I was his girlfriend. For some reason, I liked the idea.

The tour itself was fascinating. As we viewed the Jewish family’s garment workshop (typical of the turn of the 20th Century), the cramped apartment occupied by an Italian-American family in the Great Depression and quarters of the German family of the post Civil War times, Randy and I were pressed together, our bodies touching. As we listened closely to the tour guide, Randy grabbed my hand; I didn’t resist his hold, and nestled a bit closer to him. I sensed becoming almost breathless as we stood together, my mind hardly able to take in the words of the young woman relating the stories of the life of the early immigrant families.

We were still holding hands as we finished the tour and stepped out onto the street. I withdrew my hand and said, “Can you imagine living like that?”

He smiled, “I could, if it was with you.”

“Oh Randy, shame,” I said, unable to resist a laugh. The truth was that I had the same thought several times during the 90-minute tour.

I accepted Randy’s suggestion that we find a quiet place to enjoy a cool drink, as if “quiet” was available in New York City on a warm Sunday afternoon. Yet, the very busy-ness of the city offers a marvelous anonymity that afforded couples freedom to talk freely and openly to one another. We purchased cold soda and popcorn from a street vendor and found a bench in a small park. Randy was the ever solicitous gentleman as he assisted me in sitting down, holding my hand as he juggled the sodas and popcorn.

“You’re treating me like an old grandma,” I said, a thought that caused me inexplicably to laugh.

“Hardly, Julie, I’m treating you as my lady,” he smiled.

By then, Randy had dropped any pretext at addressing me as “Miss Pearson,” and I was Julie again. I liked the change and knew I had never stopped loving the boy, not from our first awkward kiss nearly three years earlier on the beach at Point Pleasant.

For a while, we dodged the question of an enduring romantic relationship, talking mainly about our futures; actually, we talked lots about mine. Randy always proved to be a great listener as I told how much I loved teaching, relating to him stories about some of my students, about young people I had counseled into what had hoped would be better lives and about the Drama Club work.

“Don’t you ever want to do anything but teach? Like having a husband and children?” he asked.

“In my dreams, I’d like to do both, but, Randy, let’s be realistic, I’ll never be able to give birth to a child,” I said. The mere thought that I could never be a mother – a natural mother – saddened me; what woman doesn’t want to be a mother, to hold her own flesh and blood tightly against her breast and to raise that child into adulthood?

Randy put his drink and popcorn bag down, reached over and took my cup and placed it next to his so that both of our hands were free. He gently took both of my hands and held them together in his hands. My hands felt so tiny in his large hands. We looked at each other for what seemed minutes and then he leaned in and kissed me, nothing overly passionate, but warm and reassuring. He let go of my hands and soon placed an arm around my shoulders and I relaxed against him so that my left ear rested upon his chest. I heard his heart pounding.

“My, you two make a lovely picture,” I heard someone say.

I looked up to see an older man aiming an obviously high-priced Nikon camera in our direction.

“What are you doing?” Randy asked the man sharply.

“You two make such a pretty couple together, I’d like to take your picture, if you don’t mind,” he said quietly. “If you don’t, that’s fine. I’ll be on my way then.”

“We’d prefer you didn’t,” I said, hoping to take command of the scene.

“That’s OK, miss. I regularly take pictures of people on the streets, but only with their permission,” he said. He explained he was a published, fairly prominent photographer who specialized in black-and-white street scenes; he gave us his card and I immediately recognized his name.

“Thank you for asking permission, sir,” Randy said. “But my friend here is a high school teacher and if some of her students ever saw this I’m sure they’d make it difficult for her.”

The photographer smiled at us. “Thank you and the two of you have a sweet day.” With that he left.

“See Julie, he said we made a lovely couple,” Randy said.

“Yes, but it’s impossible Randy and you know that,” I said. “Look you’re young and . . .”

“Don’t keep throwing that ‘you’re young’ stuff at me,” he said. “I’ve had lots to deal with in my life and I think I have an idea of what I’m doing.”

“I know you have, Randy,” I admitted. Randy told me how he was raised by a single mother, along with his two younger brothers; he told me how he had been charged with baby-sitting his brothers and often making supper and keeping the household up. In addition, the family lived in a tiny apartment in a poor neighborhood with poverty all around. It had been a mystery to me how this young man had been able to raise above all that.

“No, Randy, I was not about to comment on your age. My point is that you’re about to begin college and that all signs point to you being a top football player, maybe even the star on a major team with an NFL future. You’re bound to meet lots of women – real women – who will fit in with your life style. I’ll always be an albatross about your neck, an older woman who is not a woman at all.”

“You’re a woman, Julie,” he said.

“Not 100%,” I said.

“You’re woman enough for me,” he said. While we had yet to consummate our relationship, he had felt my body, sensed my feminine reactions to his caresses and had learned enough about the impact of sexual reassignment surgery to know that I was a woman.

“But, Randy, think about it, when Wisconsin plays in the Rose Bowl and you’re leading them as quarterback, the television cameras will search out your girlfriend in the stands. Do you want them to focus on a woman eight years older than you and one whom they would describe as being born a boy? Or would you like them to focus in on a young, lovely sorority girl from smalltown Wisconsin?”

“Screw ‘em. Let ‘em think what they want,” he said. “I’d be proud to have you as my girlfriend and future wife.”

“Randy, that’s so sweet, but be realistic,” I said.

*****
We continued to see each other several times a week that summer, usually choosing an educational spot for our excuses to meet. Twice we saw off-Broadway plays and once we went to an experimental theater in the Village, ending our evenings over coffee and desserts where we analyzed the performances, the direction and the writing. Both of us took drama serious.

After each of these events, we found opportunities to cuddle and feel close, often only a secluded park bench. Usually it wasn’t practical to drive, but on those few times I took my car our affectionate moments became more intense and we kissed, caressed and touch each other all over, both of us enduring our own orgasms. Randy discovered my female parts with his fingers and provided the stimulation needed to bring me to orgasm over and over.

We both remained virgins that summer.

Sadly our get-togethers ended in early August when Randy had to leave for Madison to begin training camp for the team and to enroll in the University.

(To be continued)



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