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Tenderness

Jan Vincent - Tenderness for a Rebel With a Cause (ff, teen, smoking,
rock band, romance)

(c) Jan Vincent, 1998 - all rights reserved
this copyright notice includes the "lyrics" as well

Email: jan123@hotmail.com
FOREWORD

This is not your ass/m typical story. I love stories with emotion, lots
of it. Like the heroine of this story I want to move people, make them
"feel" something. This is more than sex. This is Life.

-jan

****************dedicated to snowgirl*******************
Julie Courtney stood at a dark corner of the girls' room, taking a deep
drag on her cigarette. Another breakage of the rules, which was
something she had done all her life. Rules exist to be fucking broken,
it was her motto. Sometimes people would complain about her foul
language, her smoking, her attitude. But she didn't care. Why should
she? They didn't understand her. They didn't even try to, except for Ms.
Murray who had made an attempt to reach out and "help" her to change.
Ms. Murray's self-imposed mission of rescue was doomed from the start,
as Julie had a mind of her own. Eventually Ms. Murray had given up on
"saving" her pupil to Julie's great relief. Julie just wanted to be
left alone and do her "thing".

Do her "thing"... Julie didn't know exactly what "her thing" meant but
she was sure it wasn't what those stuck-up teachers expected from her.
They expected she would become a "proper" lady, respectful, obedient and
polite. 'Fuck that,' she thought, puffing rings of smoke into the air
and smiling at herself by her deftness. Despite her irreverence, Julie
Courtney got good grades, being at the top of her class. She had a
handful of good friends and a long list of acquaintances, who would call
her more often than she'd call them... Julie Courtney was known by her
good looks, her deep blue eyes, her long blond hair, her well-filled
slender body, and her long legs. Still, Julie was aware that she was not
Ms. Popularity herself. She also knew she wouldn't become a cheerleader
nor the homecoming queen. She would have if she had kept to herself
about her identity, who she really was. The girls knew it and the guys
had been warned... She was gay... Yes, a lesbian teen and proud of it!

The reactions to her coming-out had been mixed. Some would admire her
courage, other would hate her for it... Some would seek her company,
curious, asking her how it was like to be a lesbian teen; others would
ignore her as if she wasn't there... Julie would shrug off all the hate
and the indifference, though. "Fuck them," she'd say, making a half turn
and walking away. With those who accepted her, she'd be a loyal friend,
making no distinctions based on gender... She'd be friends with boys and
girls alike, although the latter would capture her attention more
readily than the male of the species... for obvious reasons.

Suddenly Julie heard someone walk in the girls' room. It was Rhonda
Reed, a snotty snob who wouldn't talk to her. Rhonda was from a crowd
that was keen on keeping their distance, nipping in the bud any attempt
of the-less-popular crowd to encroach on them.

Both girls stood there, staring at each other. There was a moment of
silence and before Rhonda could open her mouth, Julie said, "Save your
breath, Rhonda... I am fucking out of here."

"You should."

"You speak to me, after all!" Julie exclaimed, mock surprise lighting up
her pretty face.

"What do you mean?"

"That's exactly what I mean," Julie replied, throwing her cigarette butt
into one of the toilets. She pushed the handle, flushing the butt away
from view.

Rhonda blinked her eyes and when Julie faced her again, displaying her
usual wry smile, she said, "You shouldn't smoke... here."

"Tell me something I don't fucking know."

"You shouldn't swear either."

"Why the fuck not?" Julie asked, observing the other girl with defiance.

Rhonda shut her eyes and shook her head. "Whatever! I don't wanna
fight..."

"Who's fighting?"

"Okay, nobody's fighting," Rhonda replied, raising her voice. "I just
wanna use the restroom."

"Be my guest," Julie said, leaving the room without looking back. Once
in the hall she breathed in deeply and smiled at herself. She had this
effect on snobs they would lose their composure whenever they were
around her. 'Serve them right,' she thought, making haste as she was
late for her class.

------------------------

Days flew by before Rhonda told Marlene, Suzie and Tom about her
encounter with Julie Courtney. They warned her about that girl.

"You'd better stay away from the lesbo bitch," Marlene snickered.

"Yeah," Tom added, grinning. "She'll have you for breakfast."

"And the way she talks," Suzie mentioned, curling her lips, making clear
how little she thought of Julie.

In a funny way, the negative views her friends had about Julie had made
Rhonda think about the girl she had met in the girls' room, smoking.
Rhonda didn't smoke herself, couldn't stand it actually. Her eyes would
become watery every time someone smoked in her vicinity; she would have
this feeling she couldn't breathe anymore and she had to leave, panting
for fresh air. That had been the reason why she had challenged Julie in
the girls' room but she knew the other girl wouldn't listen to her.
Still, she felt strangely drawn to Julie's face engulfed in smoke; her
defiant, piercing blue eyes; and her attitude the attitude of a rebel
without a cause.

Although she'd had her share of boyfriends and she was currently dating
Tom, Rhonda had already wondered how it would be like to have sex with
another girl. It was curiosity more than anything... She'd heard so many
negative remarks about lesbians, though, that she had pushed that idea
into the back of her mind. Anyway, she had always disliked how Marlene
and Tom put down gay people... Rhonda didn't and couldn't understand
their intolerance, almost hate... 'Why?' she'd ask herself. 'Why are
they so afraid of them? Maybe because they are afraid of being gay
themselves. That's self-loathing to me.'

"Speaking of the devil," Suzie said, her teeth working on her chewing
gum mercilessly.

Rhonda followed Suzie's stare to find Julie and her gang taking a
shortcut across the lawn, instead of treading on the concrete path.

"You know that her mother is a lesbo too?" Marlene whispered.

"That doesn't surprise me," Suzie replied. "Look at her manners."

Suddenly, without thinking, Rhonda shouted, "Will you two cut it
out!!!!"

All Rhonda's friends stared at her, surprised by the abruptness of her
reaction.

"What?" Suzie asked, folding her hands and staring at Rhonda.

Rhonda didn't have time to answer as Julie and her gang were within
earshot. Julie, Marsha and Millie climbed up the stairs toward the spot
where Rhonda and her friends were, and before Rhonda could look away,
Julie's blue eyes met Rhonda's. Again Julie looked at her with defiance,
displaying her self-confident smile. Although Julie had no cigarette in
her hands she made as if she was smoking, holding an imaginary cigarette
between her fingers and blowing the smoke in Rhonda's direction,
provoking Marsha and Millie into instant giggling. Obviously Julie had
told Marsha and Millie about their encounter in the girls' room, Rhonda
concluded, looking away and hiding her annoyance.

Once Julie, Marsha and Millie were gone past them, Marlene asked,
"What's all that about?"

"What do you mean?"

"Your hollering, Rhonda."

"Yes," Suzie said. "Are you growing fond of the lesbo?"

"No... I just can't stand it anymore. The way you talk about her...
That's not right."

"Why not?" Marlene asked, her turn to fold her hands.

"Because she is who she is and that's that, damn it."

"You start swearing... like *her*," Suzie said, pulling up a wry smile.

"Maybe I should," Rhonda said, her stare going blank for a while,
looking into the distance.

Tom had observed that very scene without saying a word. His girlfriend
began to worry him. He had never seen Rhonda so angry... and on top of
that over a lesbian... "Rhonda, what's the matter with you?"

"What's the matter with me? No, what's the matter with *you*? I am sick
of listening to your ranting and complaining and your narrow-mindedness.
You stifle me... more than Julie does with her smoking and you know
how much I hate cigarette smoke."

Rhonda stormed away, entering the building of her school. She didn't
look back, failing to see the astonished look in her friends' faces. She
was too angry to care, walking down the hallway, her face looking down.
She entered the girls' room, almost without realizing what she was
doing. She looked in the mirror, noticing her flushed cheeks, a definite
sign of her hot blood... Her face felt warm in her hands...

Rhonda washed her face, her long light brown hair cascading down her
shoulders, making her cooling-off task more difficult than it was. Done
with her washing, Rhonda dried her face, realizing the last girl in the
washroom had left. She turned and took a couple of careful steps toward
the corner where she had "caught" Julie smoking. Julie wasn't there,
though... and that made Rhonda inexplicably sad. Before long Rhonda
shook her head, snapping out of whatever trance she was slipping into.
She left the girls' room without looking back.

------------------------

"Julie, you should forget all about Rhonda... She's fucking straight,
and she'll never go to bed with you."

Julie looked at Millie, her best friend and on-and-off lover. Millie
Deschamps had French blood. She was very pale, with bright green eyes
and pitch-black hair. Julie loved that contrast and the blunt ways of
her friend. It was Millie who had "introduced" her to swearing and
smoking and other non-politically-correct behavior. Making love to each
other had been Millie's idea too. It all started when Julie told Millie
how good she felt after masturbating herself to sleep.

Julie took a long drag on her cigarette, her mouth expelling the smoke
upward. She said, "Who says I am thinking about Rhonda?"

"I know you too fucking well, fucker."

Julie smiled at Millie. In Millie's vocabulary "fucker" meant "honey" in
plain English. Millie loved to talk "dirty". It excited her and she knew
Julie also got her kicks out of it. Sometimes Julie would become
instantaneously wet when Millie whispered into her ear a few examples of
her four-letter-word-rich way of speaking.

"Alright," Julie said, stubbing out her cigarette against her mom's
dolphin-shaped ashtray, "if you know me that fucking well, then tell me
what I am thinking."

"You want to fuck Rhonda, and touch her tits, squeeze her fucking
nipples with your hands, and ram your fucking finger into her fucking
cunt until she screams out her fucking, mind-blowing orgasm. Am I
fucking right?"

Julie laughed and said, "That's fucking right, Millie."

Millie slid closer to Julie, still smoking her cigarette, looking as
"fucking" sexy as ever... Julie loved to see her friend smoke... Every
time she saw an attractive female teen smoking she couldn't exactly
explain why her heart would jump, her legs would press against each
other, trapping the heat and her excitement inside her sex. She'd even
masturbate to such imagery... It was so *fucking* special, Julie
thought.

Millie took Julie's hand and intertwined her fingers with Julie's. "It
doesn't take a fucking rocket scientist to guess that," Millie said,
coming even closer and kissing Julie's parted lips. Out of the blue,
Millie bit Julie's lower lip, kissing her immediately, suffocating any
scream of pain. Millie kept kissing Julie hard, her hands going for
Julie's small breasts, feeling them up over Julie's shirt.

Julie moaned, then asked almost breathlessly, "You wanna fuck me?"

"Yes, fucker."

"Then do it," Julie whispered into Millie's ear. "Do it till I scream my
fucking orgasm. Come on, Millie," Julie said, unbuttoning her own shirt
and throwing it to the floor and giving Millie another passionate kiss.

"Shouldn't we go to your room?" Millie asked, scanning Julie's living
room.

"Why?" Julie said, pulling Millie's T-shirt over her head, her knowing
fingers touching Millie's naked breasts. "My mom ain't home, and besides
I don't think she'd mind if she caught us fucking each other like
rabbits on this couch."

"Whatever you say, fucker." Millie looked at Julie, and observed her
friend for a while. "You're so fucking beautiful... I think I could fuck
you all day."

"Oh, yeah?" Julie said, grinning, pulling Millie closer and embracing
her, feeling her friend's tits against her body, making her so
unbelievably hot. "Fuck me, Millie... Come on... Use your fingers in me,
and kiss me... Yes, like that."

Julie shut her eyes, enjoying Millie's kiss, her wet tongue caressing
hers. She loved Millie's lips, so sweet, so tender and passionate at the
same time. She could kiss Millie for hours on end. But Julie's desire
kept growing, feeling the wetness between her legs. She said, "Millie,
fuck my pussy. Please..."

Millie just smiled, pulling away and unbuttoning and unzipping Julie's
skin-tight blue jeans. "Get up, fucker," she said, kneeling at Julie's
feet. "I can't take them off like this."

As Julie stood up, Millie's mouth touched Julie's naked lower belly.
Millie kissed Julie there, going up steadily, her tongue licking her
lover up to her belly button. Julie shuddered and moaned.

"Fuck," Julie whimpered, getting hold of Millie's hair. "That's unreal.
That's feels sooo fucking goood."

Millie's mouth slid down and her tongue licked Julie's naked skin just
above her mound, still covered by her panties and her half-unzipped blue
jeans. Julie couldn't wait any longer. She began to rub herself against
Millie's face, the tightness of her jeans helping her in the process of
getting herself excited. Millie kissed Julie's mound over her jeans, her
hand rubbing her pussy.

"I can't stand this," Julie said. "I am so fucking hot I need your mouth
in my fucking hot cunt." Resolutely, she pulled her jeans down and
kicked them away; her sex was again at the same level as Millie's mouth
and tongue. Millie's hands traveled under Julie's T-shirt and squeezed
Julie's tits, her fingers teasing the nipples, so hard to the touch.
Julie groaned. "You... are..." She didn't continue because the pleasure
Millie was giving her was too overwhelming. She collapsed on the couch,
allowing Millie's thirsty mouth and tongue to play with her sex...

Slowly, Millie's hands began to lower Julie's panties, kissing her
mound, the blond patch of hair, soaked with the scent of a girl needing
"it" badly. Millie kept kissing Julie's panties, drenched with her
secretions...

"Uuhhhhmmmm," Julie moaned, closing her eyes and opening her legs.
"Millie," she said softly. "Millie.... Oooohhhmmm... That's it.
Oooohhhh... MILLIE... Yes... Fuck it... Yes."

Suddenly, Julie's body quivered as Millie's hands slid Julie's panties
further down and she licked Julie's pussy for the first time; the folds
of Julie's engorged vulva, glistening because of the secretions...
Millie dove into Julie's sex, licking her down there, her arms
encircling both thighs.

Julie's head trashed from time to time. "Fuck, Millie... Not so slow.
Hurry! I can't stand this anymore."

In spite of Julie's complaining, Millie took her time. She kept licking
Julie's folds without coming closer to Julie's clit.

"Fuck, Millie... Fuck me!!!! What are you waiting for?" Julie tried to
pull Millie's head toward her clit but her friend wouldn't listen to
her. "Come on, MILLIE. PLEASE!!!!" Julie's hand came closer to her own
pussy as she couldn't wait any longer. If Millie didn't bring her off
she'd do it herself. Millie wouldn't let her, though, driving Julie's
hand away.

Without warning, Millie's fingers penetrated Julie's pussy, at first
slowly and then faster and faster and faster. Julie almost fainted with
this sudden motion, so strong her pleasure had become. Almost at the
same time, Millie's mouth began to suck her secretions, searching for
Julie's clit. As soon as Millie's lips found Julie's clit, Julie was
ripped by the most overwhelming orgasm. She screamed, lifting her body
from the couch, her sex throbbing like mad, the pleasure invading her
breasts and nipples.

Millie and Julie stood quiet for a while, then Millie resumed her
licking, her mouth completely damp with Julie's love dew.

"Oh, Millie... Not again... Please, stop."

But Julie's protest was weak and Millie knew that her friend could take
much more than a single world-shattering orgasm. And she was right.
Julie kept cumming, two, three, four, five times in a row. As the fifth
climax ended, Julie made Millie come closer, kissing her friend. It was
Millie's turn...

------------------------

"Rhonda? Where are you?"

"Up here, Mom," she cried out from her bed. Rhonda lay on her bed
writing a new entry on her diary, a sort of poem describing how she felt
inside.

"A phone call for you," her mother said, standing at the bottom of the
stairs.

"Who?"

"Tom Alley."

Rhonda grumbled and let out a sigh. "I'll take it up here," she yelled,
making sure her mother understood she wanted to talk to Tom in private.
Her relationship with Tom had cooled off considerably after their
squabble over Julie Courtney; so much so that they hadn't spoken to each
other since that unfortunate episode.

Rhonda picked up her phone and said, "Mom, you can hang up."

"Sure, kiddo." There was a pause, then the expected click of a line
being disconnected. Rhonda sighed... The coast was clear now... The last
thing Rhonda wanted was having her mother eavesdropping on a potentially
explosive conversation with Tom. Would he refer to Julie and their fight
over that girl?

"Rhonda, are you there?"

"Yes, Tom... You just heard me, didn't you?"

"I heard a click... Well, I just didn't know-"

"Okay, I get it."

There was a pause in their conversation. Rhonda waited for Tom to speak.
After all, it had been his idea to call her. He said, "Are you still mad
at me?"

Rhonda looked at the receiver, baffled by his question. Was she mad at
him? Was this the Tom Alley she knew? His voice sounded too insecure for
a senior who'd had "hundreds" of girlfriends. A few weeks before *she*
would've asked him the same question. It seemed as though the tables
were turned.

"Rhonda, are you listening?"

"Yes... I was just thinking..."

"About?"

"About your reasons for calling."

Another pause followed by static. "I don't get it," he said. "What do
you mean?"

"Nothing," Rhonda said, shaking her head and forgetting that Tom
couldn't see that gesture over the phone. "Just thinking out loud..."

There was a sigh at the other end of the line. "You seem so distant,
Rhonda. What's up?"

"You know what happened, Tom. I just got sick of your attitude... It's
not only about Julie... It's... I can't explain... Maybe I just realized
I am in the wrong crowd."

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

"You do?"

"Sometimes I think Marlene and Suzie go too far..."

"Why didn't you say so?"

"They were your friends, not mine..."

Their conversation dragged on for another quarter of an hour until
Rhonda made up an excuse and hung up. Rhonda was confused. She didn't
know what to make of this new side of Tom's, sensitive and
understanding... She shivered, as if she had seen a ghost passing in
front of her eyes. She experienced some disgust as well, although she
couldn't explain why.

Rhonda opened her diary and wrote:

"Leaves falling, falling...
Falling without stopping...
Leaves becoming yellow...
Until you scream.

"Leaves crying, crying
Crying without sleep
Leaves shouting your name
Because they weep.

"Oh, I wish, I want something
I don't know what it is...
I want you, I want you,
Is that all there is?

"Kiss me, kiss me
and we'll fall like leaves,
but they won't become yellow,
but green... as living leaves."

------------------------

Julie waved goodbye to Marsha and headed home. She sighed as it had been
a tiring day. It seemed as though the teachers had conspired together to
be so demanding and utterly boring. They had given her a huge pile of
homework that would surely keep her busy the whole weekend. To make
matters worse, Millie had moved away to another state and she missed her
terribly. Millie'd call often enough but still Julie missed their
lovemaking, the thrill of being together with the girl she loved.

Marsha was a good friend but a poor lover. Marsha was too passive to
Julie's taste; she lacked Millie's passion, Millie's irreverence. Making
love with Marsha was almost like fucking an inflatable doll no
response there.

As she always did on her way home, Julie walked across the lawn of
Myrtle Park, disregarding the signs that forbade her to do so. Screams
of children playing in the park sandbox caught Julie's attention. Her
eyes wandered in the direction of the screams when she noticed a girl
sitting alone in one of the park benches. It was Rhonda Reed. Rhonda was
reading a book, seemingly unaware of what took place around her. Julie
came to a stop, watching that girl completely absorbed in her reading.
'Must be a masterpiece,' she thought with a mischievous smile on her
face.

Julie waited for a moment, still staring at Rhonda and wondering whether
she would come up to that girl and tease her. Besides, she had never
seen Rhonda by herself that girl was always surrounded by the
'popular' crowd, a kind of invisible wall that kept them apart. All of a
sudden, as if sensing Julie's staring, Rhonda looked up and gazed at
Julie. For a long moment none of the girls moved, only a gentle breeze
stroked their hair and the leaves above their heads. A little boy's
scream awoke Julie, making her snap out of her trance-like state of
mind. Without giving a second thought, her legs headed for Rhonda's
bench.

"Hi."

"Hi," Rhonda replied, watching Julie closing in.

Julie sat down next to Rhonda and stared at her until the other girl
looked away. Julie smiled, savoring her victory and Rhonda's shyness.
Without asking permission, Julie grabbed Rhonda's book and read its
title: "Lady Chatterley's Lover."

"Aha, now I understand everything."

"Give me that, Julie."

"Does your mom know that you like to read fuck books?" Julie asked,
keeping the book out of Rhonda's reach.

"It's *not* a fuck book."

"No? Why do you look like a fucking tomato right now?"

Rhonda's face turned even redder, making another attempt to snatch the
book from Julie's teasing hands. "Give me the goddam book, Julie,"
Rhonda growled, her face a few inches from Julie's, her arm stretching
out desperately but unable to get a good grip on Julie's hand that kept
the book away from her. On an irresistible impulse, Julie encircled
Rhonda's waist, pulled her closer and kissed her. To Julie's surprise,
Rhonda didn't pull away immediately. Rhonda's mouth lingered on hers for
a moment as though she was enjoying their kiss. All of a sudden, Rhonda
did pull back, standing up and turning her back on Julie.

"Hey, you forget your book," Julie cried out. Rhonda kept walking away
from Julie without looking back.

Julie got up and followed Rhonda, stepping up her pace to catch up with
that girl that had the sweetest pair of lips that Julie had ever kissed.

"Here's your book," Julie said, holding it out. Rhonda kept walking,
ignoring Julie. "I was teasing you... Can't you take a joke?" Again no
answer, Rhonda looking the other way and avoiding Julie's blue eyes.
"Here, take it." The book, however, fell on the ground, as Rhonda made
no effort to seize the book that Julie had held against her chest.

This time Rhonda stopped walking, braving Julie's stare. "You want it,
you keep it," she said.

Julie stood still, watching Rhonda walking away. Julie was surprised by
Rhonda's sudden resolve and assertive tone of voice. Julie began to
smile. Yes, she definitely liked that girl and judging by their first
kiss Rhonda should be a hell of a kisser... and a wild cat in bed...
Julie picked up the book from the ground and took a closer look at its
cover. "Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence," she read out loud.
Curious, she leafed through it, reading random sentences and vowing she
would read that book and learn about what Rhonda was into.

------------------------

"Hi, honey," Mrs. Reed greeted as her daughter walked in the backdoor.

"Hi, Mom," Rhonda said, hurrying to the hall and up the stairs. She was
in no mood to talk to her mother right then. She still felt Julie's kiss
in her lips. It had been so sudden and unexpected and... tasty? No, that
was not the right word but she was too confused to think up a better
alternative.

Rhonda locked the door of her room and threw herself onto the bed. She
opened the drawer of her night stand and took out her diary.

She wrote with a trembling hand:

"Being kissed on account of a stolen book Dad's.
Being kissed by a rebel, a rebel without a cause
Being kissed by a blue-eyed girl, a girl who
should I be a boy I would kiss gladly."

But she wasn't. She was a girl, she realized, letting out a nervous
chuckle. Still, she liked being kissed by Julie, the blue-eyed rebel who
happened to be a girl. She felt her excitement rise between her legs.
And that was odd, because no boy had managed to excite her out of a
simple kiss... Without realizing what she was doing, Rhonda touched her
mound with her hand. She would masturbate sometimes but not that often.
Her mother would talk about periods and safe sex with boys with her but
never had she mentioned masturbation or... sex with girls, for that
matter. Rhonda just didn't know what her mother thought about it.

Rhonda rubbed her mound again, her fingertips touching her sex lightly
over the fabric of her jeans, sending thrills of pleasure up her spine
and body. The delicious thrills would end up at the tip of her nipples
and toes, her body relaxing with pleasure. She rubbed herself more
intently, a weak moan coming out of her mouth. Soon the moan became a
grumble... Rhonda's mother was calling her. She would have to come down
and help her mom with the dinner...

------------------------

Julie was bored, waiting for the start-up of her computer to end. She
missed Millie too much... She would seek self-relief as often as three
times a day but still she missed her girlfriend too much. She sighed,
lighting up a cigarette and entering her usual nickname for another
evening of cyber-chatting with girls, or men pretending to be girls, on
one of her favorite IRCs for lesbian / bisexual girls. Most of the times
she had no trouble spotting a male intruder. men tended to go into
sexual matters more readily than girls. girls would mostly want to
discuss who they were and what they were... Anyway she would never meet
any of these girls in real life. She had heard too many stories of girls
getting raped or ending up dead because the "girl" or the "nice guy" at
the other end of the line had turned out to be a sick male searching for
victims on the internet.

'Enough of that,' she thought, typing in the first sentence announcing
that a new girl had joined the chatroom. One hour elapsed, Julie's room
full of cigarette smoke and full-blown boredom. She logged out, sighing,
snuffing her cigarette out against her ashtray. She turned off the
computer and spread herself out on her bed, opening Rhonda's book. She
read the first three chapters, finding it boring and unappealing.
Eventually she turned off the light and got undressed, slipping under
the covers with no clothes on. She loved to sleep naked and masturbate
herself to sleep.

She began to fantasize about Rhonda. Rhonda was dressed in black, with
black lipstick on and smoking. Her shiny hot pants were skin-tight, her
short-sleeved blouse was snug. Her beautiful breasts and her bra-less
nipples jutted against the smooth texture of the blouse.

"Come on, baby," Rhonda whispered invitingly. "Come here and fuck me
with your kisses."

Julie drew near Rhonda and held her tight. The two girls stared at each
other, then Julie tried to kiss Rhonda.

"Not yet, baby... You've got to "earn" me."

"How?" Julie asked, smiling.

"Do something I like."

"Okay." Julie smacked Rhonda's rear lightly, then harder. "Do you like
this?" Rhonda only moaned, closing her eyes, her mouth opening up. Julie
struck Rhonda's bottom once again, Rhonda letting out another deep moan.
"I'll take that as yes," Julie said with a grin on her face, her mouth
meeting Rhonda's, suffocating another moan. Julie went around Rhonda and
began to kiss the nape of her neck, keeping her hair away with her right
hand, while her left harm encircled Rhonda's waspy waist. Rhonda moaned
again.

"Uuhhmmm, baby," Rhonda whispered. "Fuck me, baby. Fuck me."

Julie kept kissing a wailing Rhonda, her left hand sliding down and up
her body, touching Rhonda everywhere, her legs, her plump breasts, her
soft yet firm belly, between her legs, her mound... Rhonda whimpered
again, her head tipping upward as she let out a scream of a wild animal
in heat. Julie's hands lost no time to pull Rhonda's blouse up, sliding
under and squeezing Rhonda's breasts simultaneously.

"Fuck, Julie... That's so fucking..." Rhonda cut herself off, panting
for breath.

Another hand pressed under the tightness of Rhonda's hot pants and
Rhonda's soaking wet panties.

"Fuck, Julie... Fuck me... Please, do it... Do it to me."

Julie's hand played with Rhonda's mound, caressing the pubic hair,
feeling the moisture down there, full of musk, desire of a girl wanting
another girl so bad, so desperately.

Julie's fingers slipped inside Rhonda.

"Hmmmm..." Rhonda whispered, her eyes closed, her head jerking left and
then right.

Julie rubbed Rhonda's wet folds, dripping with secretions; another kiss
on Rhonda's neck, driving Rhonda crazy; fingers touching a breast, its
taut nipple, pinching it. It hurt but Rhonda didn't care, as Julie was
giving her so much pleasure. More fingers kept touching Rhonda between
her legs, the fingers going for her clit, rubbing closer and closer and
faster and faster. Julie began to lick one of Rhonda's uncovered
breasts, its nipple so hard, overflowing with desire, desire for her
sucking lips, her caressing, warm tongue.

"Gawd... Ohhh... Uuhhhmmm... Uuuhhhhhh... Julie."

Then the orgasm came, Rhonda's and Julie's body writhing at the same
time, Julie's hand hitting her own clit as fast as she could, keeping
her pleasure going, her hand full of secretions. She glided through her
orgasm, waiting for a second to hit her in no time. And it did... Her
legs grew taut, and the pleasure radiated from her sex to her nipples,
breasts, toes, fingers, making her weak and bellow out her climax.

Julie turned over in her bed, returning to reality, feeling content and
satisfied, all the frustrations flowing out of her body. Her fingers
kept touching her wet labia, prodding her into another yet weaker
orgasm.

She dreamt of Rhonda... She dreamt of pleasure... She dreamt of... She
forgot... Sleep took over.

------------------------

It was Saturday and Rhonda was supposed to mow the lawn. She had
postponed that dull chore for weeks and was willing to put it off once
again. Dad had beat her to it, though, reminding her of the assignment
and the choices she had: to mow the lawn or get a cut in her monthly
allowance.

Rhonda headed for the garage and took the mower outside, which was under
a heap of old clothing mom wanted to give away. When half of her job was
done, Rhonda did a double take: Julie Courtney was walking up the
street. Rhonda turned off the engine of the lawnmower and waited.

"Hi, Rhonda. Your folks are already making you sweat, huh?"

"What are you doing here? How do you know my address?"

"Got my own sources, and they are fucking good."

"Sshhh," Rhonda hushed, "my parents may hear you talking like that."

"So?" Julie asked, chewing a gum and blowing it into a balloon that soon
exploded and got gobbled up again. Julie was wearing her customary snug
blue jeans and a denim shirt. Her long blond hair was tied up into a
ponytail; her blue eyes shone with contentment and self-confidence.
Julie climbed the step that separated the lawn from the sidewalk,
leaving the other leg behind at a lower level. "The cat ate your
tongue?"

"No, I just want to know what you are doing here."

"I just wanted to return your book," Julie said, throwing it at Rhonda's
feet.

"Hey, be careful. The book ain't mine."

"I thought you didn't even wanna have it back."

"I was mad at you..."

"Why? Because of our kiss."

"Sshhh," Rhonda shushed again, coming closer. She whispered, "I don't
want everybody to know-"

"What? That we kissed?"

Suddenly a female voice was heard behind Rhonda, "Rhonda? Oh, there you
are... Oh, you've got company." Mrs. Reed walked across the freshly-mown
lawn and joined the two girls. "Hi, you must be..."

"Julie Courtney," Julie said, stretching out her hand. Mrs. Reed laughed
and shook Julie's hand. "Rhonda happens to be my best friend since
Millie Deschamps's left town."

"Oh really?" Mrs. Reed said, displaying her best smile, which reminded
Julie of Rhonda's. The problem was that Rhonda didn't smile that often.
Julie was determined to change that. "Why didn't you say anything about
your new best friend, Rhonda?"

"Oh," Julie replied immediately, "we're not best buddies that long... I
guess it must've slipped Rhonda's mind."

Rhonda looked at Julie, trying to hide her surprise and dismay. She just
couldn't believe Julie's nerve and Julie's fertile imagination.

"Oh, if I had a pretty friend like you when I was Rhonda's age I'd
certainly mention her to my mom."

"Oh thank you, Mrs. Reed," Julie answered, raising her voice and
grinning. "That's very sweet of you."

"You're welcome. Why don't you join us for lunch when Rhonda's done with
the lawn? I'm sure you girls have a lot of catching up to do."

"Thanks," Julie said, taking a quick glance at Rhonda's wide-eyed face.
"I'll take you up on that, Mrs. Reed, but I gotta call my mom and let
her know that I'm staying."

"You're free to use our phone, dear," Mrs. Reed said, leaving the lawn,
"as soon as Rhonda's done with the lawn."

Rhonda made a grimace, mimicking her mom's way of speaking in a whisper.
If she were younger she'd have put out her tongue at Julie, who faced
her with a quite amused expression.

"You're fake, Julie. Why didn't you swear in front of my mom? Because
you wanted to make an impression and get yourself invited for a free
meal, huh?"

"No, Rhonda," Julie replied, her grin gone. "I didn't swear because you
wanted me not to, at least not in front of your folks; but if that ain't
the case I'll fucking swear every fucking second in front of your mom."

"Why would you care about what I think?"

"Didn't my kiss tell you that?"

Rhonda stood perfectly still for a moment as if she had been struck by
lightning. She refused to accept the meaning of Julie's words. She
didn't quite believe that Julie could care about someone else other than
herself.

Rhonda moved away from Julie and picked up the book from the lawn. She
had forgotten all about it when her mother cropped up at the lawn and
began her powwow with Miss Congeniality. Her mother was not supposed to
see her choice of reading as the D.H. Lawrence's book was at the top
shelf of the bookcase, which meant adult books, mostly. Apparently her
mother had overlooked it, overwhelmed by Julie Courtney's charm. 'Yeah,
it seems that Julie has a way with women!' she concluded, starting the
lawnmower again.

------------------------

It was Sunday, the day after Julie's impromptu appearance at her front
lawn. Rhonda lay on her bed, writing down her thoughts about the day
before.

Julie had captivated her parents. mom and Dad were impressed by Julie's
cheerful personality, charm, beauty and good manners.

"She's a smart cookie," her mother had said, laughing, waving Julie
goodbye.

"A tough cookie, too," her dad replied, laughing as well.

"Why don't you two adopt her?" Rhonda said, disgusted, leaving the front
door. "I think she'd be thrilled."

"Rhonda!" her mother exclaimed, following her. "I don't understand.
She's your best friend. We didn't raise you to put down your friends
when they're gone. You're sixteen, almost seventeen, almost a grown-up
woman."

"I am not putting anyone down," she retorted, coming to a halt. Pressing
her body against the banister and looking down at her parents, she
added, "Besides, she's not my best friend." Rhonda resumed climbing up
the stairs, ignoring her parents' confused look. For a moment she
thought her mother would come up and have a word with her but
fortunately her father talked his wife out of it. Rhonda thanked him
mentally.

------------------------

Julie looked around and checked whether Mary, her mom's girlfriend, was
back in the living room and couldn't hear their conversation

"Mom, have you ever had the hots for a straight girl?"

Norma Courtney watched her daughter as though she was surprised by such
a question. She blinked her eyes as she accepted the dish Julie was
holding out for her to dry off with the dish towel.

"Have you?"

Julie stopped with her washing and faced her mother. "I asked you
first."

"Promise to keep a secret?" her mother whispered, getting closer to her
daughter, her turn to check whether nobody was eavesdropping.

"Sure." Julie's blue eyes went wide, smiling at the fact that her mom
had a couple of secrets she didn't want Mary to know about.

"Okay," Norma said, breathing out deeply, her blue eyes getting some
distance as she recalled what she was about to tell. "If you wanna know,
yes... definitely, yes."

"Who?"

"Kimberley Evans... I don't think you know her... We met in college...
She had such a fucking hot body, and needless to say all the guys would
drool over her. She was a tease, though, and believed in saving herself
for Mr. Right. Then she met this hunk, Hank Norris, and before I know
they are fucking each other's brains out."

"And?"

"The story is a long one, but like I said she was a tease. She really
liked to tease... and when she learned I was into women she'd come up to
me and tease me, too. She'd wear these unbelievably short skirts and
white, shiny pantyhose and show off her beautiful, long legs... She'd
sit next to me and would brush her almost-naked thigh against mine, and
she'd look at me as if she wasn't aware of what that contact was doing
to me inside. She was making me so hot and wet that I wanted to take her
right there in the cafeteria... Her face was so close to mine, laughing
and cracking jokes, but still I could see how serious she was about
getting me all excited. I still fantasize about it when Mary and I make
love... I push Kimberley onto one of those tables, sweep all our dishes
and glasses onto the floor, and I give her the fucking of her life. This
fantasy sometimes gets so real that I can even feel my hands tearing her
dress and short skirt to shreds..."

"What happened then?"

"Oh," her mother's face clouded over, putting the dish down on the
kitchen table. "I started feeling guilty about cheating on Mary... and I
knew Kimberley wasn't serious about me... She just wanted to have some
fun, and that's it. She still kept on dating guys, sometimes two or
three of them in one night."

"But did you fuck her?"

Norma laughed by her daughter's straight-to-the-point way of asking.
"No, I didn't. When I made my move she said she wasn't interested in me
*that way*. We argued and we didn't speak for weeks... That's the
problem when you want a straight woman... They don't know what they
want."

------------------------

Rhonda walked down the main hall of her school. Suzie and Marlene were
next to their lockers and spotted her in the crowd of teenagers
scrambling for their respective classes. The two girls went on talking,
snubbing Rhonda. Rhonda ignored them in turn, becoming mad in spite of
repeating to herself that those girls had never been real friends of
hers. Suddenly, a strong hand grabbed one of her shoulders. She turned
and to her disappointment her eyes landed upon Tom's serious face.

"Rhonda, I need to talk to you."

"Tom, I must go... The bell rang, didn't you notice it?"

"Yeah, I did. Okay... later. Meet me here at 1 pm, alright?"

"Alright," she said, slinking away from his clasp and heading for Ms.
Murray's class. Ms. Murray happened to be her favorite teacher. She
cared about her pupils, slowing down if they found it too difficult to
follow. She'd ask about the home front, too, how they parents were, if
they had brothers and sisters... One day Ms. Murray passed out and fell
flat on the wooden floor of their class... She suffered from occasional
hypoglycemia, Rhonda learned, and chronic low blood pressure. She had to
drink tons of coffee with tons of sugar to get her through the day,
Rhonda had been told. Sometimes Rhonda wondered if Ms. Murray would
faint again in front of her eyes when she slowed down and stopped to
think.

When Rhonda was about to enter her class, her hand was taken prisoner by
another. She almost complained and told off whoever. She thought it was
Tom again, but she was wrong. It was Julie Courtney.

"Let me go."

"No," Julie answered, preventing Rhonda from wriggling her hand free.
"Wanna talk to you."

"I can't. I'm already late."

"If you don't come with me, I'll kiss you right here," Julie said,
grinning.

"I can't."

"You mean, you won't."

"I can't", Rhonda repeated, lowering her voice, almost pleading.

"Okay, suit yourself," Julie said, releasing her hand suddenly.

Rhonda stood there, at the entrance of Ms. Murray's class, watching
Julie Courtney walking away, her blond hair done up into a long braid.
Julie wore her one-piece white tennis outfit and her white sneakers. The
light color of her outfit and the fact that its hem didn't hide much of
her well-toned thighs enhanced her long golden legs and arms. Rhonda
hesitated for a moment, not knowing what to do. Was she going to cut her
favorite class for Julie Courtney? Suddenly a female voice spoke,
"You're blocking the way. Are you coming in or out?"

Rhonda turned to see Suzie and Marlene. Both girls waited for her answer
with obvious annoyance in her faces.

"Coming out," Rhonda said. "I don't wanna be in the same room with you
two." Then she ran down the hall and after Julie, feeling her heart
going crazy. She didn't know why and she didn't want to know. "Julie,
wait for me."

Julie faced her, somewhat surprised. Julie immediately regained her wry
smile, though. "You don't have to run to catch me."

"I know," Rhonda replied, trying not to blush.

Rhonda and Julie walked on side by side without uttering a word. Rhonda
noticed that Julie was sweating as though she had been playing tennis
all morning. Their school was next to one of the best tennis schools of
the state or so she had heard. Julie held her racket against her
prominent bosom.

"Are you good at it?"

"What?" Julie asked, her blue eyes gazing into Rhonda's. "Tennis?"

"Yeah, what else?"

"I'm good at many things." Julie grinned again.

"Such as?" And before Julie could give an answer, Rhonda already knew
she was asking for trouble.

"Fucking girls like you."

"Is that all you think about?"

"Yeah, what else?"

They stared at each other for a moment and all of a sudden they both
burst into laughter. Rhonda felt a thrill shoot through her body. For
the first time in her life it felt as though she was truly connecting
with somebody no pretence here, because Julie was a girl who always
said what she thought, without holding back. Julie was a girl without
hang-ups. If she wanted to do something, she'd do it, because she just
didn't care what other people thought about her. Rhonda felt an extreme
sense of freedom and relief taking hold of her.

"Why did you want to talk to me?"

"Because Marsha can't play with me tomorrow, and I was wondering if you
wanted to be my partner."

'My partner,' Rhonda repeated in her mind. Out loud she said, "But I
can't play."

"That's why there are tennis schools, Rhonda, with nice fucking
instructors."

"What do you mean? Did you-"

"No, but I bet they fucked me a million times in their fucking dirty
minds." Julie pulled up another grin and grabbed hold of Rhonda's hand.
"Which is fine with me, because I fucked most of the girls in that
school, and not only in my mind."

Moisture began to gather up between Rhonda's legs. Julie had really a
way with girls, she thought. Whistles of a group of guys coming their
way made Rhonda aware that they were being stared at. Everybody knew who
Julie was and what she was... and Julie was still holding her hand...
Rhonda, however, didn't make any effort to break that contact. She
didn't know why...

"Dykes," a guy of the group hissed, showing his teeth. "Why don't you
two give us a show of what you can do?"

Rhonda wanted to leave but Julie motioned for her to stand still. Julie
shouted, "Only after you showing us what you do to each other every
fucking night."

"Hey, man," another guy stood out of the group, "we're not a bunch of
fags."

"Well, tough luck, *man*. If you were, maybe you could get lucky
tonight. Let's go, Rho." Having said that Julie pulled at Rhonda's hand
and they walked away from the guys. None of the girls saw the
bewilderment in the guys' faces. They turned a corner and giggled as
they ran into the safety of the arcades of a near-by shopping mall.

------------------------

Tennis practice became very important to Rhonda. It was the right excuse
to see and play with Julie. As Julie said, the instructors were quite
cute and in other circumstances she'd probably daydream about them.
During the last weeks, however, her sexual imagery had suffered a shift
toward Julie Courtney and what her friend told her during their breaks.

Julie would go, "See that girl?"

"Who?"

"That brunette playing with Steve."

Julie meant a girl, 5'7", long legs, pretty, firm body with long dark
hair and a happy, beautiful face. She could play real good tennis, so
much so that Steve, their instructor, was going to send her to a
regional championship.

"Yeah, what about her?"

"I fucked her once in the locker room when everybody was gone."

"You start sounding like a couple of guys I know."

"You don't believe me?"

"Not really."

Suddenly Julie put her index and thumb against her lips and whistled.

"What are you doing?" Rhonda protested.

"Because you don't believe me... Maria will confirm what I just said."
And ignoring Rhonda's astonishment, Julie called the dark-haired girl
again. Maria looked at them and asked her instructor for a short break.
Steve nodded and said he was going to the bar and bring some
refreshments to all of them.

"Hi, Julie," Maria said, grinning. She came closer and sat next to
Julie.

Introductions were made and without delay Julie mentioned the sexual
encounter in the locker room.

Maria chuckled. "Yeah, that's true and to tell you the truth Julie's the
best lover I've ever had, male or female."

"Maria is bi and proud of it," Julie explained.

"Yes, I am. And... I'm curious... Are you two an item?"

Rhonda blushed terribly. She said, "No, we're just friends."

"Get over it, girl," Maria replied, "because you don't know what you're
missing. I can tell you that you will have the best fuck of your life
with Julie. It's the voice of experience speaking... And I can't believe
that Julie hasn't tried her luck with you... Julie doesn't believe much
in platonic friendships, if you know what I mean."

Julie laughed out loud whereas Rhonda didn't know what to do with her
own hands and eyes.

This was just an example of how sexual tennis practice had become. Julie
would sexualize every little thing that happened in and out of court.
She'd point out an attractive girl and she'd describe to Rhonda how
she'd undress her, touching her tits, nipples, panties, sex... Julie'd
stare at those girls until they would stare back, and all that was very
confusing to Rhonda... It's seemed that Julie was opening a new world to
her, very thrilling, almost intoxicating by its intensity.

Julie Courtney dominated her dreams for the past few weeks... Her dreams
were becoming more and more sexual... and she'd wake up with her hand on
her sex, feeling its moisture and the scent of her own arousal. She'd
wonder if she had masturbated while sleeping... and the notion of a "wet
dream" had acquired a new dimension to Rhonda.

------------------------

Julie was at home, doing her last school assignments. Tired, she closed
her books and took a cigarette out of her pack. She lay down on her bed,
lit up her smoke and dialed Rhonda's number. As always, Mrs. Reed
answered the phone. Julie didn't mind it because she liked Rhonda's
mother. That woman seemed to think the world of Julie, although Julie
was aware that that could change if Mrs. Reed learned who she really
was. But again, Julie had never lied to that woman... If Mrs. Reed asked
her about her sexual orientation, she'd tell the truth... Julie didn't
have anything to hide.

After a short confab with Mrs. Reed, Rhonda took over, greeting Julie.

"I'm horny," Julie replied.

Rhonda remained silent, not knowing what to say.

"Are you there?"

"Yes," Rhonda breathed out.

"What don't you say something?"

"What?"

"Are you horny, too?"

Rhonda hesitated... She wasn't horny... but this conversation over the
phone was turning the heat up between her legs, definitely.

"Rhonda?"

"Yes?"

"Are you horny, too?"

"I guess."

"Okay, let's masturbate together... over the phone... Just think of me
as one of those 1-800 girls you can call and talk dirty with."

"Julie, I am not sure-"

"I tell you what I am doing and you just play along... Okay, now I am
getting undressed... Yes, that's right... because I am going to fuck you
like you've never been fucked before... Okay... Just take your blouse
now for my mouth to touch your bra, the nipples under it... Yessss...
Because you want me, baby, like I want you...

"Sorry, I'm gonna hang up."

Julie remained quiet, trying to hide her disappointment. She forced
herself to ask, "Why?" The answer was the dial tone, however.

Rhonda had hung up on her! Julie just couldn't believe it. She let out a
scream of frustration. Her mom was right - straight women don't know
what they want.

Julie lit up a cigarette, wondering if she had pushed Rhonda too far,
and at that very moment Millie's words crossed her mind, "Julie, you
should forget all about Rhonda... She's fucking straight, and she'll
never go to bed with you."

Tears began to form in Julie's eyes. She didn't know why she cried.
Maybe because she still couldn't cope with Millie's leaving. Maybe
because she had just been snubbed by Rhonda. Maybe because of both.
'Millie, Millie... why don't you come back?' Julie thought, trying to
stop the tears from flowing with her fingers. 'I miss you.'

------------------------

Rhonda wrote in her diary:

"Sometimes I cry when I listen to a sad song, I get emotional. I want to
be that powerful, you know. I want to move. I want people to cry with
what I write..."

And with this Rhonda decided she wanted to form a rock band. This idea
was not new. She loved to write poetry but she soon understood that
nobody would pay attention to what she wrote if she didn't translated
her words into music. With Tom's help she learned how to play guitar. It
was hard to learn all those chords, how to pluck and strike the strings,
but she persevered. Her voice could grab the high notes for a long
while. Her songs were basically angry screams of a teenager who wanted
to express herself through music. Her first song was called "Tenderness
for a Rebel With a Cause."
Tenderness for a Rebel With a Cause

I, I cry in a hotel with no name,
I, I look for you, that's the same
She looks at me and I can see
Pain in her eyes, yes, that's me.

Suddenly I wake up and realize,
It is not me who I despise
It is the Rebel in me,
It is the Rebel in me, crying.

She needs Tenderness to soothe the pain,
She needs Love to be insane...
She needs Songs to be whole...
She needs a guitar in her soul.

I, I cry in a motel and in bars
I, I sense the love in the stars
She looks at me and I can see
She can sing a song, yes, for me.

Suddenly I wake up and realize
It is not me who I despise
It is the Rebel in me,
It is the Rebel in me, sighing.

She needs Tenderness to soothe the pain,
She needs Love to be insane...
She needs Songs to be whole...
She needs a guitar in her soul.

------------------------

Julie was 19 now and hadn't seen Rhonda all these years - two, to be
exact. She'd heard that Rhonda Reed hung out with a different crowd now
- the music industry crowd... Rhonda had formed this new cool rock band
called Soul Reed... Rhonda sang, played guitar and wrote all the songs.
She was quite popular on college radio but her band was yet to sign a
deal with a major label. "Tenderness for a Rebel With a Cause" had been
her greatest hit so far.

Julie didn't know why Rhonda hadn't called after that failed attempt at
phone sex. Rhonda was a shy girl, who was not very comfortable with sex.
Julie wanted to kick herself for such a blunder. She should've sensed
it... Damn!

Julie lit up a cigarette, and looked around her. She watched the crowd
of college guys and girls that drank beer, talked and laughed out loud.
The stage was near the campus lake, so a gentle, cooler breeze caressed
Julie's serious, thoughtful face. Everybody waited for Rhonda and her
band to show up and start their gig. Julie was on her own because Marsha
and a couple of her friends were not into Soul Reed's music. They said
Rhonda's music was depressing, the subject of her lyrics was often dark,
full of pain and too sentimental... Julie didn't know if they were
right... She just wanted to see how much the girl she had kissed in
Myrtle Park was worth... She just wanted to see the straight girl who
had hung up on her... Julie shook her head as she didn't want to think
about why she was there... She wanted to keep her mind open and "absorb"
Rhonda's music.

It didn't take long for Rhonda and her band to appear. She greeted the
cheering, whistling crowd with a simple "hi" while she strapped her
guitar on. Rhonda's hair was shorter, almost shoulder-length. She had
dyed it dark red. Rhonda's new look seemed to assert her new self: the
"alternative-rock-goddess", the "chick-with-a-guitar", the woman who
needed a guitar in her soul...

Her first song was "Find Peace":

At odds with yourself
At odds with the world
You kicked a man A man with a gun
A man with no son
This ain't fun...

Feeling empty inside
Felling sorry for yourself
Stop callin' my name
I can hear you no more
I am not your whore
You came here to score

Find peace in yourself
Then come to me
And I will hold you
Hold you forever
I can't heal you now
But I can make it better

Slowly I fade away
I must go away
Your violence...
Your words...
Is that you, Lou?
Is that really you?

Slowly I move away
I can't be like this
I must find peace
Don't hit me no more
I am not your whore
You came here to score

Find peace in yourself
Then I'll come to you
And I will hold you
I won't mold you
It's all I can say
Make it go away...
When Rhonda stopped singing, Julie brought her fingers to her eyes. She
didn't want to cry... That song had moved her. It reminded her of the
violence she had experienced when she was younger, when her mother still
lived with her alcoholic father. wife beating was a major problem in
America, and all over the world... That was one of the reasons why
psychology was her major. She wanted to help other women surpass the
violence, help them find new ways of dealing with their problems, help
them escape from their violent partners...

------------------------

Rhonda signed the last CD of yet another die-hard Soul Reed fan when she
noticed a blond young woman waiting at the doorway. She had a white
sleeveless shirt on and a pair of loose khaki pants and heavy dark
boots. She had this amazing, piercing blue eyes, her long hair tied into
a ponytail... She was smoking... It was... Julie Courtney, of course.
How long had it been? She couldn't remember... All she could see was the
tattoo on Julie's right shoulder... It was a broken heart.

Rhonda just couldn't help it. She leapt up and went over to Julie,
before the other girl decided to leave without talking to her.

"Julie?"

"Hi, Rhonda..." Julie said, taking another deep drag on her cigarette.
"You rock, girl."

"Thanks," Rhonda said, and almost kicked herself because she had sounded
as eager as her own fans. She tried to pull herself together, and in a
calmer tone of voice she added, "Would you like to come in? Otherwise
I'll get another bunch of CDs to autograph."

"Sure," Julie said, shrugging and breathing the smoke out through her
nostrils. "You've become a legend..."

"A legend?" Rhonda asked, returning to her own chair in the makeshift
backstage.

"I tried to follow your career," Julie replied, snuffing her cigarette
out against a metallic tube that was part of the structure that kept the
whole stage in place. "I really dig your music, and the way you write
it, you know... It's fucking great... the way you describe your
feelings... I can relate to it. It sounds real to me... It's seems that
we can connect with you... Maybe because you were not molded by
corporate assholes, yet."

"I cannot do otherwise," Rhonda said. "And I don't want to become
famous, you see... I want people to listen to my music, but I am not in
this business to score a hit. I'm in this business for my own mental
sanity. I *need" to write songs... I *need* to play them... I *need* to
sing them... There's something inside of me that tells me that I need
this, or I'll go insane."

"Hmm," Julie smiled. "'...she needs love to be insane...
...she needs songs to be whole... she needs a guitar in her soul...'"

Rhonda blushed, although she couldn't understand why her body rebelled
against her own will. "That song is about you... and me..."

Julie opened her blue eyes wide. "Us?"

"Not us," Rhonda explained. "You and me... That's not the same... There
are parts that were inspired by what I know about you... other parts
were just things that I wrote when I wrote that song... Many fans ask me
why I did this, why I did that... but I don't know the reason why...
It's all very confusing to me."

"So, it's not a love song..."

Rhonda didn't know whether Julie was serious. She just shook her head.

Silence crept in between them and for a moment the only sound to be
heard came from the other side of the stage. The guys were packing up
the band's gear. Then Rhonda whispered, "You got a broken heart..."

Julie held her own right shoulder to see the tattoo. "Yeah, I've grown
older... I'm less of a wild cat now, which is a drag... I don't want to
grow older... I don't want to be responsible... I don't wanna have
kids."

"So, what do you want?"

"Go to bed with you."

Rhonda gave a chuckle despite her own embarrassment. "I'm dating this
guy..."

"Okay, I understand. You don't have to apologize. I just wanted to say
it. I just wanted it out of my system."

------------------------

Three months later, when Julie was leaving the locker room after tennis
practice, she heard a song... This guy, who was waiting for his
girlfriend, had the car radio on. The volume was too loud, but the guy
didn't seem to mind. He really was enjoying it, tapping his fingers on
the outside of his car.

"Is this Soul Reed?" Julie shouted, making herself heard above the
music.

"Yeah, this girl really rocks. This's her new single..."

"How is it called?"

"I wanna go to bed with you."

"What?"

"I wanna go to bed with you," he repeated, grinning, understanding her
confusion. "I'm not making a pass at you," he added, turning the volume
down. "It's how it's called. 'I wanna go to bed with you'."

"Oh, okay. Thanks. Bye."

Julie made a beeline for the local CD store and bought the single. While
she walked home she stared at the CD cover. She wasn't able to see
Rhonda's expression, as her wine-colored hair enshrouded her face. She
wore a dark turtleneck and a schoolgirl's plaid skirt. One arm was
stretched out to her right, the hand was open and her thumb was folded
down and against her palm. The background was a open grass field on
which Julie could read "Soul Reed, I Wanna Go To Bed With You."

Julie hurried home and as soon as she was in her room, she turned the CD
player on and listened to the single. Her heart beat like hell, she felt
the blood rush to her head. She felt dizzy... This song was about
them... Julie was sure of it.
"I wanna go to bed with you"

Blonde as the sun
She comes to me
Sucks my soul
And sucks my will

Eyes like the sea
Eyes that speak
I'm gonna be weak
I'm gonna be sick

She says, "I wanna go to bed with you"
So what am I gonna say?
Is she gonna have her way?

Skin like gold
She's the mystery of love
In a box so pretty
In love so needy

She kisses like a devil
I am not that civil
I am gonna hit her
I am gonna hit her

She says, "I wanna go to bed with you"
So what am I gonna say?
Is she gonna have her way?

Please don't say you love me
Please don't say you care
All I have is my sanity
A I-Love-You is not fair

Cut the crap and crush my finger
Crush my will, I am not a singer

All I want is peace
All I want is to sneeze
All I want is to fall
All I want is to crawl
All I want is to tease
All I want is his
All I want is coming
Aware of it I'm humble

So if she says, "I wanna go to bed with you"
What are you going to say?
Is she gonna have her way?

------------------------

Was she gay? Did a woman try to seduce her? Who was she? Or the first
person in the song was a man? These were the most asked questions after
"I wanna go to bed with you" single came out. Because of this
controversy the single became a minor hit on the college radios. Also
the fact that Rhonda sang "I'm gonna hit her" twice fueled the talking.
Was this song about violence against women just like "Find Peace"?

The bottom line was: they didn't know. But how could they know? Did they
know that Julie had kissed her? Did they know she felt torn inside? Did
they know that she didn't want to be gay? Did they know that she hated
Julie because she felt attracted to that blonde female rebel? A rebel
who didn't want to grow old... A rebel who didn't want to stop being
one... 'God, who am I kidding?' Rhonda thought on the verge of tears. 'I
want to forget her. Maybe I should get myself a tattoo... I'd choose a
broken heart as well.' And with this she cried freely for a long, long
while. Then she felt relieved, and walked out the door and braved the
cold wind and the snow that covered the streets of Boston,
Massachussets.

------------------------

Norma Courtney picked up the phone and heard her daughter's voice. Julie
was crying. This simple fact alarmed her as her daughter seldom cried.

"Julie, are you all right?"

"No, I am not."

"Baby, you wanna come over and talk?"

"Is Mary there?"

"No, got nightshift..."

"Okay, see you in a minute."

Norma waited nervously for her daughter to arrive. Julie shared a small
off-campus apartment with her friend Marsha. It was just a 10-minute
walk from Julie's place, and therefore her daughter should crop up at
the door within minutes. Minutes seemed hours and before her daughter
rang the door bell, Norma opened the door and hugged a pale Julie.

"Julie, what in God's name..."

Julie allowed her mother to take her to the couch. She began to cry.
Norma held Julie for a long time, silently, letting her daughter express
her grief, whatever that was. She didn't ask questions, not before Julie
was able to speak. Long after the crying had subsided, Julie told her
about Rhonda Reed... the classic story of a gay woman in love with a
straight-as-an-arrow girl... something that was not supposed to be...
Unrequited love...

Norma almost could not recognize her daughter anymore. The last thing
she expected from Julie was that her daughter could become so obsessed
about a particular girl.

"But you've had so many girls in your life, Julie... And you were such a
heartbreaker... Julie, what's happening to you?"

"I don't know, Mom," Julie sniffled. "I really don't know. I wish I did,
but the truth is... I don't know. All I know is that I heard this
song... by Rhonda's band... and I know it's about us. I am sure of it.
Hell, I know that's about us... I've tried to call her but she's touring
now... with her band. And I miss her, Mom," Julie said, again tears
welling up in her eyes. "I want her... I want her bad... like I've never
wanted someone else before..."

"You sure you're not in love with her success?"

"She's not that successful... She can fill up a small room but she's
mostly an "indie"... Not so many people know her or like her music..."

"But she's got her fans, right?"

"Yeah," Julie said, straightening herself up and stealing a cigarette
from her mother's pack. She lit up her cigarette and sighed as she
puffed at it. She wiped her eyes dry with her fingers and added, "And I
don't want her to think I am a fucking freak, like... I am obsessed with
her or something... I don't want her to get me wrong. But that hurts as
hell... I wanna forget her."

"I wish I could help."

"You just did," Julie said, squeezing her mother's hand.

She stared into the wall and thought about that song that haunted her:

"Blonde as the sun
She comes to me
Sucks my soul
And sucks my will...

"She kisses like a devil
I am not that civil
I am gonna hit her
I am gonna hit her..."

------------------------

Rhonda walked off the stage after a fatiguing set and two encores. She
blew her hair away from her eyes and sighed. Her band followed her
despite the clapping and the whistling. The crowd wanted more but she
was just too exhausted to sing yet another song.

"Excuse me," a female voice called.

Rhonda turned and saw a woman in her late thirties. Slightly overweight,
she had deep blue eyes and cropped blonde hair, hardly a Soul Reed's
typical fan.

"Yes?" Rhonda said, her irritation becoming obvious. She was tired and
wanted to be left alone.

"Can I have a word with you? I drove all night and-" The woman didn't
continue as the other members of Rhonda's band went past the two women.
None of the guys seemed to acknowledge their presence, as a couple of
six-packs piled on a gear box seemed far more interesting than just
another Rhonda's fan.

Rhonda hesitated. She seldom said no to her fans. The guys that played
with her used to say she was too kind, too "nice" with their fans. Most
of Soul Reed's fans were eager teenagers and college kids. On occasion
she'd see men in their thirties in the crowd, but female fans as old as
this blue-eyed woman was definitely a rare event. "Okay, follow me,"
Rhonda said, going to a dark corner behind the stage. She sat down on a
wooden flight of stairs and lit up a cigarette while the woman took her
place beside Rhonda.

"I thought you didn't smoke."

"I don't," Rhonda replied, her annoyance growing. 'Oh great,' Rhonda
thought, 'another crazy fan who thinks that she knows everything about
me...' Out loud she added, "I want to make my voice deeper... That's why
I'm smoking."

There was an awkward moment of silence, then the woman spoke.

"You don't know who I am, do you?"

"Should I?" Rhonda said, expelling the smoke through her nostrils
slowly, looking straight ahead and into the darkness.

"Not really... but I thought you could see the resemblance... Many
people do."

Rhonda looked at the woman more closely, studying her face, her blue
eyes, her lips, despite the half-light.

"Shit," Rhonda exclaimed as a chill ran down her spine. "You're Julie
Courtney's mother."

"Yes, I am Norma Courtney, and I can see why my daughter has fallen in
love with you. Your music is very powerful. We can sense that you are a
talented, introverted, sensitive, fragile young woman... I'm sorry for
my candor and this over-the-counter analysis of you... Don't mind me...
This is my professional self talking..."

Rhonda remained silent. She was dumbstruck by Norma's revelation. Julie
was in love with her... That could not be true.

"I know that nowadays it is not hip for a mother to act as a matchmaker
but... I know how my daughter is. She's a stubborn, proud brat, who
would rather go through the most crippling pain than 'fess up she's in
love with you. But I know she is, and I know how much she's hurting
inside. I can sense the hidden pain there... She needs to confront it...
That's why I'm here... I'm here as a mother, a mother who's worried
about her daughter... All I'm asking is that you talk to her... I don't
expect any miracles, because I don't believe in miracles..."

A moment of unbroken silence followed, but Norma Courtney didn't wait
for an answer. She got to her feet and left. Rhonda remained in that
dark corner, smoking. Once again she experienced that familiar urge to
put a moment of her life into words. She stood up and grabbed her
notebook and wrote:
Miracles

Fade into oblivion
Forget who I am
I see that half-eaten apple
Darkened by oxygen
Darkened by fear
The fear I feel inside

Come to me
This is a miracle
A miracle of sorts
A miracle that walks
Come to me
This is a miracle
A miracle of sorts...

I wish I could find meaning
Meaning inside emptiness
Small feet hitting the floor
Small feet that run
Run run run away

Chances are we'll meet
On a cloudy night
Without moonlight
Darkened by sorrow
Darkened by delight
Delight so bright

And you will come to me
This is a miracle
A miracle of sorts
A miracle that walks
And hits me in the face
And wakes me up
And kills me
By its intensity
This is jealousy

And you will come to me
A miracle...
A miracle of sorts
A miracle that walks

And you'll come to me
And you'll come to me
Correct me if I'm wrong...
A month went by and Rhonda returned home after an exhausting tour. She
called her friends and her parents, opened the mail, read unimportant
letters and bills, pieces of paper she let fall on the floor. She
greeted and petted Clymnistra, her cat. Sally, her neighbor, had taken
good care of her. The plants needed some watering, though.

Rhonda was too restless to stay at home. Although she felt terribly
tired she decided to go for a walk. She didn't go anywhere in
particular. She just strolled aimlessly on those familiar streets she
knew so well. Destiny brought her to the entrance of the tennis school,
if you believe in destiny... Rhonda wavered between going inside or
fighting what destiny had in store for her. She went weak and didn't
fight back...

And there she was, Julie Courtney kicking butt in her favorite tennis
court. This time the victim was Susan Gatewood, a girl Rhonda'd met at
Ms. Murray's class many years before.

Silently Rhonda sat on the bleachers and watched them play.

------------------------

It didn't take long for Julie to notice Rhonda. Julie went to the net
and whispered a few words into Susan's ear. Susan giggled a shrill
giggle and walked behind her friend.

"Hi, Rhonda," Julie said, sitting next to The-Chick-With-A-Guitar, as
she used to call Rhonda now. Cool as she could be (or fake?) Julie took
out a cigarette and lit it up, blowing the smoke through her nostrils,
shutting her eyes as she enjoyed the moment. She handed her smoke over
to Susan, who had sat beside Julie.

"I could use a drag too."

"You?" Julie said, raising her blonde, almost invisible brows. "But you
don't smoke."

"Now I do," said Rhonda.

Julie kept looking at Rhonda, surprise giving way to an impish smile.
"Sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll, huh?"

Rhonda just smiled, reaching for the cigarette that Susan was holding
out. "No sex, no drugs, only rock 'n' roll."

"What about your boyfriend?"

"What boyfriend?"

"You said you were dating a guy when I went to see you after a gig.
Remember that?"

"Yeah, I do," Rhonda said, passing Julie the half-smoked cigarette,
breathing out O's of smoke slowly. "I'm still dating him but he's not my
boyfriend. Boyfriends depress me. The word 'boyfriend' depresses me."

"Rhonda's right," Susan said. "I hate possessive types, the ones who say
'my wife', 'my girlfriend', 'my this', 'my that', as if we were their
property."

"That's not what I mean, Susan," Rhonda replied calmly. "Those are only
words... It depends on what men or women mean by it. Women can be as
possessive as men. The word "girlfriend" depresses me as much. It sounds
too definitive to me. I feel trapped by it and hate to feel trapped."

"And sex makes you feel trapped too, right?"

Rhonda looked at Julie, probing for a deeper meaning in Julie's
question.

"You still want to fuck me, don't you?"

Julie laughed, coughing out the cigarette smoke. She said, "You changed,
all right. You didn't use to be so direct. You were this nervous type
who went red as soon as I cussed or mentioned the word 'sex'."

"Not anymore." Rhonda looked very serious as she uttered these words.

Julie couldn't believe it. Is this Rhonda's idea of a come-on? She
stared at Rhonda's mouth, her lips so inviting. She would love to kiss
those lips. She gave in to her desire and drew closer to Rhonda and
kissed her friend's lips tentatively. Julie's heart raced wildly; she
could barely breathe.

When they broke their kiss, Rhonda smiled. Maybe there was a future for
them, Julie thought. Maybe they could start something beautiful right
here right now...

Only time would tell.
The End

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