Chapter 2: A New Resolution

She threw back the covers and scrambled out of bed. “Oh crap! The goddamn big-deal donor is coming this morning.” She rushed towards her bathroom, dodging piles of books and clothes on the floor. Yanking on the shower faucets, she sat down to use the toilet, while waiting for the hot water to make its way up from the basement.

“Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap.” Part of her university grant money was based on taking visitors around for ‘make nice to important visitors’ tours. Professor Gavin, the department chair, was going to be pissed off if she was late. Dr. Gavin was one of the few women running an Archeology Studies department at a major university. She was hell on anyone who might make her look bad, especially if the offender was a lowly first-year grad student.

Melissa hopped in the shower without flushing the toilet. The pipes in the old apartment building she lived in didn't like doing more than one thing at a time. Etiquette amongst the renters was to bang something metal on the pipes before you flushed. That way, anybody taking a shower on another floor could jump out of the water stream before getting scalded.

As the water sluiced over her, Melissa tried to organize her thoughts. Her suit was hanging in the closet; it should be fine. Her cream silk blouse was in the pile for the cleaners, but it wasn’t too bad. She couldn’t remember if she had any pantyhose, but it was summer and going bare-legged was the style anyway. She was glad she had shaved her legs last night. Then she flinched as she also remembered shaving her pubic area smooth and how well that had worked out.

She slammed off the water and hurried to finish getting ready.

Twenty minutes later, she ran out her front door and rushed down the street. With traffic at this time of day, walking would be as fast as a bus or taxi, so she had shoved her heels in a backpack and was wearing sneakers. She always thought that sneakers and a business suit looked silly, but practical was more important right now. Her first priority was getting to Anson Hall as fast as possible. She considered running, but she didn’t want to be all sweaty in a suit.

If she were lucky, she’d make it on time and Gavin wouldn’t give her the infamous ‘look.’ Melissa thought it was astonishing that all of the grad students should be so intimidated by a short, overweight, middle-aged woman, but every one of them lived in fear of Professor Gavin’s wrath. Of course, the department chair had a major influence over their field assignments and the selection of professors to serve on their dissertation committee. Either of those things could make or break a grad student.

Melissa also resented Dr. Gavin’s picking her for VIP tour duty. The assignment made her feel like decoration, meant to appeal to the mostly male visitors eyes and egos. While Melissa certainly didn't consider herself beautiful, she knew that compared to the other grad students, she was at least adequately presentable, when she dressed up. Something about Archeology seemed to attract either geeky, crunchy-grainy backpackers or overweight misanthropes. Neither group made good candidates for cleaning up well enough to escort potential donors.

None of the male grad students had appealed to her as dating material either. The ones who weren’t completely anti-social might have been nice guys, but they didn’t really click for her. She grimaced, “Guess they’re not ‘bad boy’ enough… like that‘s been working for me.”

When she was an undergraduate, dating hadn’t been very successful either, or even in the two years after graduation when she worked for the state environmental agency. Her love life had erratically veered between hooking up with exciting bad boys or plodding relationships with nice boys. The nice boys were boring, and the bad boys inevitably turned out to be assholes. “Not usually as fast as last night,” she thought, grimacing yet again.

She’d dated a couple of boys that her parents really liked. They were steady, smart, even handsome. But as much as she had wanted there to be something special, both times things just fizzled out. Sex was boring. They were boring.

She snorted derisively to herself. “Maybe it’s time to go back to girls?” In a drunken college moment during junior year, getting over yet another bad hooking-up experience, she’d found herself making out with another woman. Jill was one of the girls in her kayaking club. They wound up back at Jill’s dorm room, sitting on her bed sharing a bottle of premixed Margaritas, complaining about how horrible college dating was.

Jill had launched into a diatribe about what awful kissers boys were. Melissa disagreed. With fond memories, she described how a guy she dated for awhile in high school would kiss her lightly along the contours of her neck, with small licks in the hollow of her collar bone and nibbles on her ear. As Melissa recalled his technique, she traced out a path on Jill’s neck with her fingertips. Without any planned intention, a warm sense of arousal had quietly grown.

Breaking the tension, Jill giggled nervously and joked, “Yeah, well the best I ever had was…” Then she leaned over and planted a series of sloppy wet kisses on Melissa’s neck.

“Eww, yech,” Melissa cried out. She laughed uncontrollably and flailed drunkenly to escape Jill’s tongue. They both collapsed backward onto the bed in peals of laughter.

When they finally stopped laughing, Melissa looked over at Jill and said with mock sternness, “No, it’s like this you silly little girl.” Melissa turned over on all fours and instructed Jill, “Close your eyes and pretend it’s Ryan.”

Jill asked puzzled, “Ryan?”

“Yeah, you know, cute tight-assed Ryan, president of the kayak club.”

Jill smiled and then purred back, “Oh yeah, Ryan.” As ordered, she closed her eyes and snuggled in.

Melissa bent her head down and gently nuzzled Jill’s neck, nibbling her way up towards her ear. A soft groan escaped Jill, and she stretched out to expose more of her tender skin. Melissa allowed her eyes to close also, as she worked her way across Jill’s brow, along the side of her nose, and down her cheek towards her lips.

She was still unsure if she was going to kiss Jill on the mouth when Jill unexpectedly turned her head and kissed Melissa directly on her mouth. Jill giggled softly and parted her lips, stroking her tongue along Melissa’s lips. After a long moment’s hesitation, Melissa opened her lips to accept Jill’s tongue, and then with surprising eagerness, pressed her tongue into Jill’s mouth.

For several minutes, they kissed one another, alternating between passionate fervor and gentle exploration, mutually marveling at the softness of kissing another woman. Finally, Melissa broke contact to reposition herself from being on her hands and knees to lying down on top of Jill. Melissa’s thigh came to rest firmly against the zipper of Jill’s blue jeans. Jill sighed in appreciation, lifting her hips to bring herself more direct contact with Melissa’s thigh. Jill wiggled gently, seating her sex firmly against Melissa.

Then Jill raised her leg in turn, pressing her thigh between Melissa’s legs. The skirt Melissa was wearing had bunched up near her waist, and Jill’s denim-clad leg came to rest directly against the wet cotton of Melissa’s thong. Embarrassed by her wetness, Melissa was certain that Jill could feel the dampness through her jeans. After a moment’s consideration, Melissa realized that she could also feel a warm wetness against her leg where she had it pressed against Jill’s crotch. With a coy smile, Melissa shifted her position a little to rub her own sex up and down Jill’s pant leg. Closing her eyes as Melissa pressed harder against Jill. As she moved, Melissa heard small, desperate mewing sounds, which she realized were escaping unbidden from her throat.

Feeling the nearness of an orgasm, Melissa forced herself to pause, opening her eyes to look Jill in the face. She asked hesitantly, “Is it okay if I come?” Jill’s broad smile was enough of an answer. Melissa repositioned herself to straddle Jill’s leg at a better angle, then rode back and forth much more aggressively. Much sooner than she expected, her panting turned into an animal growl of an especially intense orgasm.

As her last shudder subsided, Melissa slumped back down onto the bed.

Jill looked across the covers over at her, cocked an eyebrow, and chastised her, “Oh you’re just a greedy little girl.”

Melissa only smiled in return, nodding slowly in satisfied agreement. Jill reached out and stroked Melissa’s face. Closing her eyes, Melissa sighed. After a minute, she reached up to touch Jill’s hand, grasping it in a soft squeeze. She rolled over to face Jill, saying quietly, “Take off your clothes. I want to see you naked.”

Jill hesitated a moment, then slipped out of the bed to stand in the middle of her room. Looking directly into Melissa’s eyes, Jill reached down to the hem of her tee shirt and pulled it up over her head. Melissa lazy smile expanded into a broad grin as she took in Jill’s athletic, narrow hipped form. Her small breasts were jutting against a simple cotton bra. Jill reached around to unhook her bra, letting it drop to the floor. Her nipples were tight buds, barely darker than skin color, on top of small swollen areolae that were equally pale. Melissa sighed with deep satisfaction at the sight of Jill’s revealed form.

Reassured, Jill let her hands drop to her waistband. She unsnapped her jeans and slowly drew down her down. With a mischievous grin, she shimmied her jeans into a pile around her ankles. Stepping out of her pants, Jill closed her eyes, as she hooked her thumbs under the waistband of her thong. She eased the damp scrap of cloth over her narrow hips, letting it fall past her lean legs to land around her ankles on the floor.

Jill opened her eyes uncertainly, trying to gauge Melissa’s reaction. When Jill saw Melissa’s admiring gaze, she relaxed. Melissa whispered, “God you’re beautiful.” Holding out a hand, Melissa said, “Come over here.”

Jill crossed to the bed, unsure of where to sit. Melissa smiled encouragingly and said, “On top of me.” Jill’s eyes widened in surprise. Melissa reached up to Jill, drawing her down until Jill’s legs straddled Melissa’s chest. Then Melissa shimmied herself down the bed to the point where she was looking up at Jill’s recently trimmed mound. Lifting her head off the mattress, Melissa swiped her tongue across Jill’s inner thighs, evoking a shudder. Glimmering beads of moisture had gathered along the crease of her sex, where Jill’s soft, smooth labia joined.

Faced with such clear proof of Jill’s arousal, Melissa reached up to Jill’s hips and pulled her down closer. Drawing her tongue lightly along that moistened line, Melissa was rewarded by a shuddering gasp from Jill.

Pausing for a moment, Melissa slid her tongue back into her mouth, considering the taste. Jill had a pungent sweetness. It was similar, but different, from the times when Melissa had tasted her own juices while sucking on her partner’s penis in the midst of making love.

Melissa pressed against Jill’s sex and more firmly drew her tongue along the cleft between Jill’s labia, teasing her open. She was greeted by a gush of warm liquid, wetting her lips and chin. Undeterred, Melissa swept her tongue forward and up, circling Jill’s painfully erect clitoris. Gently, she flicked her tongue back and forth across the hood, then lapped upwards, easing the hood out of the way and exposing the pale bud of Jill’s now throbbing clitoris. As gently as she could, Melissa took the tiny bud into her mouth and sucked on it. Jill exploded into a bucking orgasm, fluid pulsing out of her, coating Melissa’s mouth and chin.

With a long moan, Jill slumped forward, still trembling.

Melissa laughed. She turned over, wiping away the wetness of her chin against one of Jill’s splayed out legs. Melissa grinned up at Jill and said teasingly, “Guess I know what you like.”

The next day, Melissa woke with a thick head and a dull headache from an almost-hangover. She was in her own bed, alone in her dorm room.

Melissa had avoided staying over in Jill’s room, saying she needed to get up early for a class. In reality, she was terrified to sleep over with Jill. She didn’t know what she would say in the morning. She didn’t know how she would feel in the morning.

Saying goodbye last night, it was clear Jill didn’t believe that Melissa really had an early class. Melissa could see her hurt expression. She wanted to reassure Jill, but she didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t make it worse.

As the buzz of alcohol and arousal had worn off, a deep sense of shame and wrongness undermined Melissa’s confidence. Saying goodbye, she was frightened by the reality of how casually she had thrown herself into this situation.

On the walk back to her dorm, a furious sense of panic swept through her. “Am I a lesbian? What about getting married to the man of my dreams, living in a nice house outside the city, having kids?” Instead, a horrifying image crept into her mind – thirty years in the future she saw herself as an overweight, middle-aged lesbian sitting alone in a seedy bar.

She angrily shook her head. “It was a fling. A drunk experiment. A stupid moment of weakness. I’ve liked guys all my life. That’s not going to change just because being with a woman doesn’t totally gross me out. Besides, guys like girls that are a little bit bi… yeah, sure, not that I’m ever going to tell anyone. I’m not going to do a girl, just so some stupid boyfriend gets his rocks off.” Melissa firmly ignored a thrill that resonated within her at the idea of performing with another woman to arouse a man. “No way. Not gonna happen. Ever.”

Jill texted her later that morning, “evrthng ok?”

Melissa texted back, “ok paper due. sorry busy c u ltr.”

It was two days before they ran into each other in the dining hall. Melissa had a hard time meeting Jill’s eyes, and that told both of them all they needed to know.

Almost three years later now, Melissa felt deeply ashamed of her reaction. She knew she had hurt Jill. The intervening time had proven to Melissa that this one experience hadn’t instantly turned her into a man-hating radical lesbian. She was embarrassed that her fear and shame with Jill had been so misplaced.

Now, faced with her continued failure in having a successful relationship with a man, Melissa decided she had to realistically face whether it was time to see what it might be like to date a woman.

Rounding a corner, she saw Anson Hall across a grassy quadrangle. She shoved away her uncomfortable thoughts about exploring a relationship with a woman. Checking her phone, she was grateful that she had just time to stash her backpack and get to Professor Gavin’s office.