A Friend in Need

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Prelude — this is a slight detour from the usual sexual fantasies that reside in my imagination most of the time. I hope you enjoy it!

With sincerest apologies to Ernest Hemingway fans – it was supposed to be the best day of her life, but it quickly became one of her worst. Jessica was suddenly alone, single and pathetic, just two hours removed from what she THOUGHT was going to be a marriage proposal over dinner. How could she have been so clueless? More than two years invested in a monogamous relationship with Jason – the man of her dreams – and now look at her!

Her “perfect” ex-boyfriend did his best to remove her total lack of self-confidence when they first started dating. What did he see in her, she wondered back then? He was THE catch, the only man who ever really paid attention to her, who saw her for her inner beauty, and he almost had her convinced that she could deserve a man like him. They quickly became inseparable. Not only was he handsome, but he was a kind, patient and considerate partner in bed, and when she finally lowered her inhibitions, she had become a willing student. It took only a moment for the build-up to come crashing down as he ripped the band-aid off before they even set foot in the restaurant.

Now, staring into the mirror in her tiny apartment, she once again saw herself as she really was — a frumpy, nerdy, quirky obsessive-compulsive woman with no social skills and little if any sex appeal. She never fathomed that outsiders saw a very different person. In reality, she possessed physical beauty of which she was totally unaware. A natural brunette, her complexion was just dark enough to have people wondering if she was from Spanish or perhaps Greek bloodlines. Depending on the way the light shone, her hair appeared to have natural auburn and copper shading that many women would die for.

At 5’4, she possessed an athletic, curvy body with full hips rising to a thin waist, accentuated with small but perky breasts. Her best physical attribute was undoubtedly her gorgeous big brown eyes, with her full lips a distant second. Although she never had braces, her teeth were almost perfectly straight and nearly pure white — no doubt one of the few benefits of her prior bouts with OCD.

Despite her appearance, she rarely dressed to impress, preferring old jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts or pullovers to anything more stylish. If she wasn’t in jeans, she was in a seemingly endless rotation of leggings. Her wardrobe consisted of perhaps twenty pair, all identical black Danskins. Today was an exception. Assuming that she was about to become engaged, she decided to skip the leggings or jeans. She agonized over her myriad of choices, finally selecting a navy blue skirt and a floral-print blouse after opting out of a black dress, reasoning that most women in the restaurant would be in something similar.

Now, back home and forgetting her OCD, she incrementally shed her clothing as soon as she entered her apartment, leaving it in a trail to her small bedroom. The skirt was discarded in the tiny living room along with her nylons, while the blouse made it as far as the hallway. The underwire bra was the last to go, and was tossed just outside of her bedroom.

Entering her room, she looked down at her sheer panties, which barely contained a freshly trimmed dark mound. Both the panties and matching bra were rare excessive purchases made just for this special occasion and to cap off what she thought would be a celebratory sexual romp afterward. For a split-second, she considered ripping the panties off and replacing them with her androgynous boy shorts, but – remembering the steep price tag – she decided to spare them, at least for tonight. She pulled her old comfy sweats from the dresser drawer and grabbed her “Time to Wine Down” t-shirt, putting both on before dropping onto her bed in tears.

Sliding under her comforter, güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri she hugged her pillow and curled into the fetal position, closing her eyes but struggling to sleep as her head spun. At thirty-three, she thought she was FINALLY done searching for THE one. Now she couldn’t bear the thought of seeing another man in any capacity. Wiping her mascara-smeared eyes, she heard the faint sound of a text message coming from somewhere under the covers. Ignoring it for a few minutes, curiosity got the best of her, and she fumbled under the comforter for the iPhone.

“Well? When’s the big day?”

Karen, her best friend and co-worker at the diner, was almost more excited than Jess when she learned that tonight may be the night. Her text only served to fuel the tears, and Jess deleted it before sobbing uncontrollably in her pillow.

A few minutes later, she received another text.

“Details, pleeeaaassseeee!”

As she lay on the bed, the phone rang. Prying her left eye opened, she saw that it was Karen once again, this time calling rather than emailing. Sniffling, she ignored it. Minutes later, another text:

“Jess — Where are you?”

“I’m worried about you — I’ll be right over.”

Oh God, thought Jess, suddenly regretting that she gave Karen an apartment key long ago. Again she buried her head under her pillows, realizing that she wouldn’t have time to compose herself before Karen’s visit, and knowing that there was no way to avoid her.

Pulling herself out of bed, she dragged herself into the bathroom, hurriedly removing what little makeup remained. Her hair was a mess, and rather than wasting time dealing with it, she opted instead for a ponytail. Grabbing a black Nike cap, she pulled her ponytail through it and prepared to look in the mirror.

She wasn’t at all surprised by the hideous creature who looked back at her through swollen red eyes. In sweats with old elastic that was stretched so far that they only stayed up with help from her wide hips, she looked more like someone preparing to stand in line at a soup kitchen than one who — hours before — was floating on cloud nine in the vestibule of a four star restaurant. Wiping her eyes, she heard the loud knock at the door and knew it was going to be a long night.

Slowly moving from the bathroom, she said half-heartedly, “Ok, I’m coming.”

She heard the key in the lock, but opened the door to face Karen.

“Oh my God, what in the world happened to you?”

“Long story, but, but …. ” Jess broke down as she tried to tell her friend.

Karen wrapped her arms around Jess as she whispered, “It’s ok, it’s ok. Let’s get you over to the couch. Deep breaths, ok?”

Jess nodded, tears streaming down her cheeks as Karen led her to the couch and plopped down beside her. Rubbing her back, Karen just sat quietly, knowing already what had taken place and realizing that there was nothing she could say to ease the pain. She now regretted bringing the two-liter bottle of chardonnay that was meant as an engagement celebration, and she hoped that Jess didn’t see the bag next to the door.

Despite very different upbringings, Jess and Karen were two peas in a pod, and often were mistaken for sisters. Karen was an inch or two shorter and possibly ten pounds heavier than Jess, but other than that, they were almost mirror images of each other. Personality-wise, Karen was the easygoing one, while Jess tended to obsess over the most trivial things. Although she was by no means a slut, Karen’s sexual history was quite checkered when compared to Jess’s, and she made no apologies for “playing the field.”

Karen often gravitated toward the bad boys, and only by sheer luck managed to survive into her early thirties without unplanned pregnancies or stds. One-night stands were really “no big deal” to her, while the thought of such a thing mortified Jess. One güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri night when they compared notes on their sexual past, Karen couldn’t begin to guess how many partners she had (maybe fiftyish?), while Jess embarrassedly admitted to having had only two. Despite these differences, they were the closest of friends, non-judgmental and supportive of each other in good times and bad.

Now, sitting quietly together in Jess’s apartment, Karen did her best to quietly comfort her best friend, offering to make her hot tea, and bringing her favorite blanket. Jess resisted the tea and – against Karen’s better judgment — requested a glass of wine.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea, Jess?”

“I don’t care — it’s not like I’m going to be driving anywhere,” Jess sniffled.

“I guess that’s true. Just one glass though, ok?”

“Yeah, whatever, MOM” Jess commented, with the emphasis on “MOM.”

Ignoring the snarky comment, Karen grabbed plastic cups and poured the wine, handing a cup to Jess as she slid under the warm blanket. After a few minutes of silence and several sips of wine, Karen asked, “Wanna talk about it?”

“No, not really.”

“Ok,” Karen said quietly, sipping more wine.

Reaching for the remote, she clicked on the TV, flipping through the channels for something light to break the mood, and carefully avoiding anything resembling romantic comedies. As she flipped through the channels, Jess slowly rose from the couch, set her empty cup on the coffee table and wandered toward the bathroom.

Concerned, Karen kept a close eye on her, noticing the loose waistband of Jess’s sweats, which – with every shaky step – caused the pants to drop even lower. Jess unconsciously pulled them up as she walked, but not before several inches of her sheer panties and full butt were visible to Karen. Feeling even sorrier for her friend and quickly dismissing the scene from her mind, Karen again flipped through the channels. In Jess’s absence, Karen quickly refilled her own cup, not bothering to do the same for Jess.

While alone under the blanket, Karen thought back to Jason and the many red flags that appeared early on in the relationship. Of course, Jess was head over heels in love, so Karen’s early subtle warnings went unheeded. Karen spent several sleepless nights earlier in the year, agonizing over an inappropriate advance made by Jason during a small gathering of friends in Karen’s townhouse. She initially blamed it on alcohol and tried to dismiss it, but there were enough touches and flirtatious comments made when he was totally sober, that she finally had to threaten him to make him stop.

His parting comment to her was, “It’s too bad. I bet you would have been a real slut in the sack.”

Now, sitting with a slight buzz and watching her best friend’s pain, she realized that she should have spoken up back then.

Karen settled on an episode of “Friends,” which seemed to perk Jess up a bit when she returned from the bathroom and got back under the blanket next to Karen. Looking down at her empty cup, she sighed and reached out to pour herself another. Both ponytailed friends sat together quietly — two nearly identical bookends on the couch – with the only difference being Karen’s attire – navy leggings and a pullover rather than sweats and t-shirt.

“He’s such a f____’ing dick,” Jess finally muttered.

“Well, he IS a guy, so that goes without saying,” Karen replied quietly, pouring them both more wine.

Watching the episode, Jess said tearfully, “He said we were soulmates. He was my ‘Ross’ and I was his ‘Rachel.’ And I believed him. What a f___ing liar! I swear, I’ll never trust another man again….”

“Well,” Karen said quietly, “Never is a pretty long time. I’m sure there is someone out there for both of us.”

Karen wrapped her arms around her best friend and gave güvenilir bahis şirketleri her a lingering hug under the blanket. “It’s ok, it’s ok,” she whispered. They remained like that, huddled together through the episode, until it was Karen’s turn to use the bathroom. Unwrapping herself from her friend, she picked herself up and headed for the room, giggling as she realized that she may have had just a little too much wine.

When she returned, Jess was sprawled across the couch on her stomach, as the next episode came on. Karen picked up Jess’s legs and slid under them to sit back down on the couch, placing the legs back across her lap before pulling the blanket back over them. Jess sniffled while watching the episode, and Karen did her best to comfort her, gently stroking her friend’s hair with one hand while resting her left hand on Jess’s calves under the cover.

“I have to pee again but I really don’t want to get up,” Jess murmured.

Giving Jess a gentle smack on her butt, Karen prodded her. “Get up before you have an accident on me!”

Reluctantly, Jess rose and clumsily walked to the bathroom, giggling. Relieved at hearing the laughter, Karen watched as she staggered through the room. Impulsively, Karen filled both of their cups, emptying the last of the wine as Jess returned. Jess’s loose sweats now rode low enough that Karen saw her belly button as well as another glimpse of her panties before Jess pulled them up.

Biting her lip, Karen took a sip while Jess dropped back down across her lap, assuming the same position.

“No more spanking, ok?” They both giggled, and Karen feigned a hard slap before resting it gently on Jess’s butt.

Karen blushed, then went along with the kidding, “No? You didn’t like that?” She gently rubbed Jess’s ass through the sweats as she asked, groggy now from the wine.

“Well, I didn’t say THAT!” giggled Jess, shaking her butt against Karen’s leg kiddingly. They continued to watch TV, and as Karen allowed her hand to rest lightly on Jess’s butt she felt a hint of tingling down below. Biting her lip, she removed her hand and dropped it to rest on the back of Jess’s knee.

“Awe,” Jess sighed without realizing it. Ignoring her, Karen continued to watch the show.

Jess said quietly, “So, between Ross, Chandler and Joey, which one would you pick?”

“It depends.”

“On what,” Jess asked.

“On whether I want to laugh and be entertained or get fucked,” Karen said, matter-of-factly.

Jess snorted, “You’re so bad!”

“It would definitely be Chandler if I wanted to be entertained, but I think Ross would be an animal in bed,” she continued. “How about you, Jess?”

“I dunno. Joey reminds me too much of Jason, so I would be tempted to castrate him,” she giggled while sniffling. “The way I feel about men right now, if I had to choose it would probably be Rachel.”

Both laughed nervously, followed by an awkward silence, as Karen continued to lightly run her hand along Jess’s knee and hamstring.

Jess struggled to turn onto her side, now looking up at Karen. As she did, Karen’s hand naturally shifted to Jess’s thigh, where it stayed. “Don’t you think Rachel is pretty?”

“EVERYONE thinks Rachel is pretty,” replied Karen after a long pause, smiling down at her friend.

“I’m so glad you came over. Stay with me tonight?”

Angling herself to give Jess a long hug, Karen said, “Of course I will stay, as long as you want.”

Jess looked into her eyes and Karen was relieved to see a slight smile come across Jess’s tear-stained face as they hugged under the blanket. Face to face, lying on the couch, their bodies were pressed against each other’s.

Turning back on her other side, Jess realized that maybe she could get through the pain, as her best friend wrapped her arms around her from behind, comforting her, whispering, “It’s going to be ok.”

With that, the episode ended, while the Rembrandts sang, “I’ll be there for you… ’cause you’re there for me too.”

Postlude — There may be an alternate version of this appearing soon in a different section if and when my more sinister alter ego kicks in. Feedback is appreciated!

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