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Rebecca Turner couldn’t remember another morning quite as lovely as this. She leaned back and took a deep cleansing breath, the sun warming her face and making her feel like the mistress of a new domain. Back in Idaho, she’d still likely be wearing shorts on this late August day, but before long it would be wool hats and heavy sweaters and zero-degree temperatures and all other matter of awfulness. It was already in the mid-70’s in the East Valley of Arizona, but the thought of winter back home sent a shiver up her spine anyway.
She smiled at an image of her best friend Dean through the frost on her bedroom window, scraping her car windshield because he didn’t want to be late for school, secure in the knowledge Rebecca would hit snooze at least twice before dragging her butt out of bed. Rebecca glanced at her watch. “Ten more minutes,” she thought, sipping her coffee and surveying her new classmates at Arizona State walking through the amphitheater at the center of campus.
Some were upperclassmen, strolling along in groups and already planning the week’s social calendar. Some were obvious newbies, glancing nervously at paper printouts, unsure if their first class was ahead of them or behind them.
Rebecca was an incoming freshman, but she’d been in town over a week, and a day hadn’t gone by when she hadn’t thrown on her running gear and jogged around and around these grounds, anxiously awaiting this morning. She knew exactly where her Studio Production class was and the quickest route around the Walter Cronkite building to Principles and History of Journalism. No first day of school stress for her today, she was a ball of excitement.
She stepped off the natural grass step and brushed off her shorts. As she set off down the hill toward Studio Production, she thought of the one source of stress she did have. Being an incoming freshman at the age of 22, and really wanting to hit a home run with her studies, she wanted no part of residence life. Not that she was uptight, far from it, but she wanted the solace of an apartment for her peace of mind.
Problem was, she couldn’t quite afford a nice, clean single close enough to campus for her liking. So, she’d sought out a partner online and, after a lot more work than she’d anticipated, settled on a girl named Tamara returning for her junior year who claimed to be easy-going, clean and focused on her studies.
Tamara sounded so during their pair of phone conversations, but Rebecca was nervous nonetheless. Steeling herself, she brushed off her worries and quickened her pace, anxious to finally start the life she’d dreamt of for so long.
Hours later she emerged from the hall feeling as if she was walking on air. Her professors were engaging and kind, the material was fascinating, and she’d already made something resembling a friend or two. As she started toward the parking lot, she heard her name and spun around. Katie, from her Grammar for Journalists class was smiling at her and waving a phone.
Rebecca’s hands went to her pockets and she shook her head. She started jogging in Katie’s direction. “Stay right there,” Katie called, “I’ll come to you.” As she caught up to her, she slapped the phone back into Rebecca’s hand and giggled. “You’re some lucky you sat beside me or those pictures you have on there would already be on the internet.” Rebecca’s eyes widened purely as a reflex and Katie smiled wider. “Wow, I was joking, but I got a freak on my hands do I?”
“Don’t get excited,” Rebecca replied, “you just made me think for a second there.” She unlocked her phone just to make sure Katie was indeed joking and saw that Tamara had texted her. She was letting Rebecca know she’d gotten all her stuff moved in and was heading out to grab a bite with her parents and looked forward to meeting her later.
Katie flashed a grin. “So, I didn’t know what to expect from grammar and now I’m scared to death, how about you?” Rebecca texted a quick ok back to Tamara and put her phone away, turning her attention back to her new classmate as she reversed course toward her car with Katie close behind.
“I know, you need 80% just to pass, it’s intimidating right? Still, I don’t even care right now, I’ve been looking forward to this for wayyyy too long.” She launched into her life story as they strolled along, detailing for Katie her upbringing with strict parents in Idaho who wanted her to be safe with her education. When she’d told them she wanted to be a sports journalist, they refused to help pay for it, thinking that would be the end of that. When she called their bluff, got a job and moved out after high school, they thought it would be temporary.
It took four years, but she finally had enough saved to avoid going TOO far into debt. She owed nothing to her parents or to anyone else. Everything she’d gotten, she’d gotten on her own, including her 7-year old Toyota emerging ahead of her in the lot. She was proud of that car and of herself for getting here. She unlocked the vehicle and realized escort dikmen Katie hadn’t said a word in a very long time. “Let me guess, yours is the Lexus,” she asked, grinning and waving at the shiny new model next to her.
“Oh no, I live off the other end of campus,” Katie replied, spinning and motioning way back across the grounds in the opposite direction. “I was just along for the walk.”
Rebecca laughed and shook her head. “Sorry, didn’t come up for air there did I?”
“Oh shut up,” Katie replied. “You didn’t hold me hostage, I was just listening to my new friend tell a story. I’ll manage the ten minutes back to my room fine.”
“New friend eh? My mommy will be so proud of me.”
“Be nice, or I won’t hide my yawn next time.” They smiled at each other for an awkward moment and Katie started to wave goodbye.
“Hey, you said you’re a local right?” Rebecca opened her door and felt the midday heat spill out. Katie looked back over her shoulder.
“I’m a valley girl for sure.”
“Ok then. Wanna show me where I can find good pizza around here?”
Katie nodded. “I could eat.”
“I’m not making another move around here without you,” Rebecca said, taking a sip of her beer to wash down her last bite of thin crust Hawaiian.
“Imagine how much you’d like it if you ordered actual pizza.”
Their waitress arrived with their bills and told them there was no hurry. “For the last time, pineapple is a real topping and Bud Light isn’t real beer.” Rebecca motioned at Katie’s drink and swiped her check in one motion. “But you get a thank you anyway.”
“You don’t have to, but I’ll allow it as long as you let me get you back.”
“Deal.” Rebecca put her credit card down for when the waitress returned and rubbed her full stomach.
Katie nodded her head and smiled. “Yeah, I don’t ever leave here without a stomach ache either, can’t help myself. I was actually supposed to come here Friday with some friends, but when you ask for the best pizza, you get the best pizza.” She finished her beer and pulled out her phone. She scrolled through some pictures and turned the screen to Rebecca. “What do you think of Scott?”
Rebecca smiled and shook her head. “Here we go again,” she thought to herself as she studied the handsome blonde-haired, blue-eyed figure in front of her. Shirtless and at the beach, he had his arms around two stunning women in even better shape than he was, if possible. It took a moment to register, but one of the women was clearly Katie. “Whoa…”
She glanced across the table and reconciled the girl in the hoodie and the pony tail with the statuesque beauty with the long, tanned legs and defined abs from the picture. Her soft black curls caressed her athletic shoulders and framed her face perfectly as it rested on Scott’s chest.
“Yeah, he’s hot right? You said you’ve been single forever, why not join us this weekend? It won’t be a fix up, there will be 7 or 8 of us, but I think you guys would hit it off.”
“Ummm, yeah, sure. I don’t have any plans.”
Katie shook her head and smiled. “Well don’t get too excited or anything, jeez.”
“No, I’m excited, really, and I appreciate it. It’s just…I’ve been single for LITERALLY forever, and…”
“And you’re gay?”
Just then the waitress arrived at the table. “All set ladies?” she asked cheerfully. Rebecca wordlessly slid the credit card across the table, her wide eyes not leaving Katie. “Ok then,” laughed the waitress and handed Rebecca the machine. She managed to stammer out a thank you after leaving a hefty tip and turned back to Katie.
“Why…why would you ask that?”
“Well the phone thing was a bit of a test. No straight woman who’s been alone as long as you say you’ve been would hesitate to meet Scott, he looks like a Greek god. I’m guessing you gave me and Stacy longer looks than you did him though right?” Katie giggled and waved the phone in front of her again. Stacy was a short, curvy, gorgeous redhead with perfect teeth and huge breasts. “No shame in that, Stacy’s dangerous.” Katie looked Rebecca squarely in the eyes and her look changed. She frowned and reached out for her new friend’s hand. “Hey, whoa, I didn’t mean to make you look like that, what’s going on?”
“Look like what?”
“You’re totally panicked.” Katie reached out and touched Rebecca’s cheek, gently forcing her to stare back. “You know that it’s no big deal right? I wasn’t catching you in a lie or grossed out, I just…kind of knew.”
“I’m not panicked, I’m not panicked,” Rebecca insisted. But her voice sounded strangely high and she was waving her hands. She smiled despite herself and breathed deeply. She spoke softly as if trying to communicate a deep, dark secret. “Ok, I’m a total nerd, but I imagined working up to that moment with new people and it caught me off guard.” She took another deep breath and continued. “Including this sentence that I’m speaking right now, I’ve said ‘I’m gay’ out loud escort elvankent to exactly 4 people.” She glanced at an utterly confused-looking Katie who was no doubt struggling to comprehend.
“Last I looked it was 2018 in Idaho too. I mean, I get conservative upbringing, but you have friends and…and with the way you look? With as much attention as you’d get, there must have been a ton of…faking? I mean…I don’t understand.”
“I know. It’s stupid and weird and it’s why I…well, panicked I guess. It’s clearly stupid and weird. I’m not ashamed of myself, prudish, shy, awkward with people or hiding it. None of that. There’s just a lot of…baggage surrounding the whole thing. It’s too deep to go into now. Can…can we save the bigger conversation for later? Unless there is no later because I’m a total freak and you’re thinking…”
Katie reached around the table and touched Rebecca’s knee. She smiled softly. “Get out your phone loser.” Rebecca hesitantly reached into her purse and produced it. “Now unlock it.” Rebecca obliged, and Katie grabbed it, took a selfie, saved herself as a contact and texted herself to snag Rebecca’s number too. “Text me after. Let me know how it goes with Tamara. There’ll be plenty of time help you gay it up all over campus. We can enlist Stacy’s help.” And she winked. “Now, home Jeeves!”
Rebecca managed a grin and they started to the car.
She was breathing a lot easier as she arrived back at the apartment, unlocked her door and peered around at empty and half full boxes strewn around the entrance. She smelled coffee wafting through the apartment and started toward the kitchen. “Rebecca, I hope.” Came a voice from behind. She turned and down the hallway into the living room walked Tamara, smiling and carrying a steaming cup. They had spoken on the phone twice, but it’s not like they’d exchanged pictures. For a moment, Rebecca wished they had. She had a feeling she was betraying her secret again.
Tamara was a black girl of average height, with beautiful caramel skin and short, tight, playful ringlet curls. Her prefect white teeth made for a gorgeous smile that just naturally put you at ease. She wore loose terrycloth sweats and a tight black tank top, perfect unpacking wear. She was curvy but looked really fit with toned arms and a confident walk. Tamara set down her coffee next to the couch and extended a hand out to her new roommate. “Nice to finally meet you.”
“Hi, really nice to meet you too” Rebecca was laughing quietly as they shook hands and Tamara’s eyes narrowed.
“Was it something I said?”
Rebecca’s shoulders slumped, and she sighed. “At the risk of making another bad first impression today…you know how from someone’s voice you form a picture of how they look?”
Tamara laughed out loud. “Let me guess, you had me as a tall, skinny redhead?”
“Not far off. How was dinner with the folks?”
“Great, but after months back with them, it’s nice to be back out on my own again.” Tamara flopped down on the sofa and sighed deeply. She curled her legs up Indian-style and grabbed her coffee, patting the seat next to her. “Sorry about all the boxes, I swear I’ll finish up first thing tomorrow. Sit and shoot the shit for a bit?”
Rebecca nodded. “Shooting the shit it is, no biggie on the boxes. Just let me grab my juice first.” She disappeared into the kitchen and came out with a large glass of red wine. “Mmmm, juice,” she giggled, smacking her lips.
As Rebecca’s butt hit the couch cushion, Tamara let out a whimper. “Girl, where’s mine?”
Rebecca popped right back up in one motion and set her wine on the coffee table.
“You had your coffee, I didn’t want to presume.”
“Take a note, ALWAYS presume when it comes to wine, ok?” Rebecca was back in no time with a second big glass and the girls settled in to talk. It was family and studies and music for a little while and Rebecca liked her immediately. Tamara was quick to laugh, had a sarcastic sense of humor and more than a little sass, just how she liked it.
Rebecca was soon returning to the sofa with a third big glass . “Ok, let’s go rapid fire through the important stuff for roommates. Me first. Do you watch reality TV?”
“Girl, get out of there with that shit. There’s too much other stuff going on in this world to mess with that business.”
“One for one, thank goodness.” Rebecca took a big gulp of wine and so did her roomie.
“So, you have a girlfriend?” Tamara was clearly amusing herself by throwing it suddenly out there and smiled at the reaction she caused. Rebecca’s mouth fell open and she sat straight up.
For the second time today, Rebecca was taken aback. “Jeez, thank goodness Katie prepared me for this” she thought. “That’s twice today someone has guessed that,” she exclaimed aloud. “The answer is no, but…” The words caught in her throat again, but she pushed past it. “I am gay. How the hell is everyone seeing right through me?”
Tamara escort emek grabbed Rebecca’s knee and laughed. “You put out signals like mad right now. Been single for a while? Dark skin make you hot? Falling for me? All of the above?”
Rebecca was too nervous to make it in the least bit personal. “I’ve been single literally forever,” she said, repeating her line from her conversation with Katie. “And apparently I eye-bang every girl I run into today. I wonder how many girls are walking around town talking about the new pervy blonde at the Riverview Apartment buildings.”
“Literally forever?” Tamara asked.
Rebecca took a deep breath. “Had a feeling you’d focus on that.” She launched into the part of the story she was comfortable telling someone new. Her older brother came out at 15 to very religious parents that struggled with it but came around because they loved him. It didn’t help it when they had to watch him struggle badly in a small town not exactly welcoming for a gay teen however, and by the time Rebecca clued in to her own sexuality, she didn’t want to cause herself or her family any more pain, so she hid it.
It didn’t make for a lot of fun dating in high school and even less fun when she had to stick around in town four more years before she could get out, but she was finally free and able to be herself. “And I’m quickly realizing I have even less skills than I thought,” she said with a smile.
“Yeah, but you have a pro here to teach you some things.”
Rebecca paused and waited for the punch line, but none came. “Does that mean you’re gay too or you’re playing with me?” In the moment, she didn’t know whether to root for a lesbian roommate and all the potential for amazing/disastrous consequences or not.
Tamara nodded. “Didn’t get much of a chance to work on your gaydar up north huh?” She wrinkled her nose and stuck out her tongue lightheartedly. “It’s ok, you’ll fine-tune that bitch here in no time. ASU campus is crawling with girls down for all kinds of business. Or at least ones who think they’re down…or WANT to be down but really aren’t.” She had a rueful smile on her face and she shook her head. “Anyway, yeah, been with my girlfriend for about 2 ½ years now. In love big time, so don’t get any ideas.” She slapped Rebecca’s shoulder playfully and went to get another glass of wine.
When she returned, she was already a minute into her coming out story, but Rebecca missed a lot of it. She caught herself checking out Tamara’s nipples pushing against her tank as she sat down and instantly realized just how transparent she was.
“Tamara, let me ask you a question…how hopeless are the love prospects for a 22-year old sexually repressed lesbian and apparent pervy leering weirdo in Tempe, Arizona?”
“Ignoring the fact that you listened to none of my story and are completely self-centered,” she teased, “I think a hot, blonde, white girl with a nice ass and a pretty smile will do just fine, she just needs more than 7 days out of Northern Idaho.”
Rebecca knew it was a throwaway line from her just to be nice, but she felt exhilarated anyway. She knew Tamara’s casual reference to her being hot was genuine and no one she was attracted to had ever made Rebecca feel and sound so sexy before. It gave her a shiver.
She smiled and grabbed Tamara’s hand. She pulled Rebecca close and gave her an affectionate hug, rubbing her back and kissing her cheek. Rebecca got even more shivers. She nervously backed off before she got touchy or creepy and simply grabbed Tamara’s hand back. “So, repeat that story about your first kiss, will you? I’m feeling extra pervy.”
A few hours, a couple of bottles of wine and a This Is Us episode later, Rebecca yawned and peeled herself off the sofa. All the talk of first kisses and girlfriends and Tamara’s body was making her extra intoxicated and she wasn’t the best morning person as it was. “I’m out roomie,” she said, and helped Tamara to her feet. Tamara planted a soft kiss on her hand.
“Thanks sweetie,” she said, and winked as she headed off down the hallway, teetering a little herself.
Rebecca watched her ass sway back and forth and slowly exhaled. She followed, eying Tamara closely as she disappeared into her room and closed the door. “I wonder what she sleeps in,” Rebecca thought, pausing at her own door and briefly considering inventing an excuse to knock on Tamara’s. “Not the sweatpants I’ll bet.”
An image of her roomie in Rebecca’s own lingerie flashed in her mind as she bowed her head and turned the knob. She stepped to her closet and reached way to the back, moving aside dresses and hangers. Hidden like Christmas presents in behind were some of the fruits of her first shopping trip after arriving in Arizona.
Her imagination had always been the source of the bulk of her sexual satisfaction. Her real life was filled with hiding, lies, and/or outright covering up by dating guys. She’d felt sad about that for a very long time, but the move to Arizona had energized her. It was a fresh start with new people she could eventually be herself around. She was confident it was only a matter of time before her fantasy life became reality. Well, a lot of it anyway…she had a pretty active imagination after all.
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