1 - A Walk in the Woods
Andy and I are standing on a bridge over the small stream that comes from a wooded area past the houses on the street.
We’re both dressed in jeans, long-sleeved shirts and hiking boots. Being late June, it was too warm for that even at nine in the morning, but we’d both ended up with ticks on one of our outings and we don’t want to repeat that experience. She’s got her long hair tied back in a ponytail while my shaggy, shoulder length hair is just loose.
I turn to her and ask, “Ready to do this?”
She turns to look at me and grins. “What are we waiting for. Lets go.” Then takes the lead down the right side of the bridge into the brush along the stream bank.
Andy was what people called a tom-boy, loving to explore the woods, not afraid to catch frogs or garter snakes. She was maybe an inch taller than me, but mom had told me that boys get their height a little later than girls do so I didn’t worry it. Besides, she was my best friend, I didn’t care if she was taller, just as long as she still liked doing things like this with me.
We’d been best friends as long as either of us could remember. Our mothers had been best friends since their high-school days. Both were nurses who somehow worked the same shift and same days. Andy and I were less than a week apart in age, but we celebrated our birthdays halfway between the official dates. Andy’s parents had a house across the street and three down from my parent’s place. We’d grown up together as when we were younger, our parents shared a sitter who watched us from the time our moms left for work until one of the dads got home.
We’d also gotten into exploring when we were five. Started with the thin strip of woods between the houses on my side and the railroad tracks, or the same distance behind the houses on her side of the street. At nine, our parents had cleared us for the entire hill behind her house. It went all the way to the water towers at the top, then back down to the houses on the west side of Stores Street, across from the plant that our dads worked.
At twelve, the railroad tracks could be crossed, so that opened up the pond on the grounds of the Catholic School. Tadpoles and frogs became bait for the bullheads and occasional bass that swam up the stream from the lake. We never got into trouble and the restrictions kept getting removed. Last year is was to let us go swimming at the lake on our own and even to the movie theater which was the other side of the plant our dads worked.
This year we could go as far west as Grove Street. That opened up Nick’s Woods to our explorations as it was in the triangle formed by Holden, Shrewsbury and Grove Streets.
Once we’re past the yards the woods spread out. Sometimes we had to go a little ways from the stream, but we keep following it.
“It’s like we’re Stanley and Livingston,” Andy says. We’d learned about them last year in history class.
“Which one of us is which?” I ask
“Does it matter?”
I take lead maybe ten minutes in, we do that all the time, switch off who leads. Ten more minutes of forcing through brush and I’m sweating buckets from the late June heat, and my legs and feet are sore from the rough ground. “About ready for a rest?” Andy asks, reading my mind again.
“Ya, looks like it opens up a bit further, might be a small clearing. Should we check it out?”
“Ya, if it is it’d be a perfect place for a snack.”
We were both wearing small day-packs our dads had gotten us for our explorations. They weren’t very large, but a pear, a PBJ sandwich and a bottle of apple juice took up less than half my pack. I’d stuffed a towel in as well so we had something to sit on besides the ground.
We break through the last bit of brush and stop dead. Andy looks at me and says, “Wow.”
“Ya.” There was a pool in the stream, not that large ... maybe twice the size of our bathtub. Around it was an area of grass and moss big enough to spread a beach towel or two. “Too bad we didn’t bring suits,” I say.
“We could take a dip in there and cool off.” She’s sweating as much as I am, bits of her hair stuck to her neck and forehead.
She chews her bottom lip for a moment then looks at me with a grin. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”
“You mean ... just in our underwear?”
“I’m not walking around in wet panties, that’s groody. I’m talking about treating it like a bath. Remember when we were younger?”
We’d taken our baths together until she’d asked her mom a question, then our moms decided that we should take them separate. I still missed having her soap up my back, and I think she missed me doing it for her.
I do have a worry though. “When they made us take baths separate, mom said it was because girls and boys shouldn’t bathe together once they got to a certain age.”
“My mom said the same thing, but it’s not like we haven’t seen each other before. Besides, we’ll make it a DSS thing.”
Double Super Secret. When we talk about something or do something that no one else would ever know.
I don’t even have to think it over. “Why not,” I say and take the pack off and set it on the ground. “I only brought a towel to sit on, can’t dry ourselves off with it and use it for that.”
She points at a rock a little bit from the pool that’s flat-topped and about half the size of mom’s couch. “We can sit there and air dry, it’s warm enough.” Then Andy starts unbuttoning her shirt.
“That works,” I say and start unbuttoning mine as well.
Then something comes into view as the front of her shirt opens, I pause and ask, “You wear a bra?” Then I slip my shirt off as hers comes off too.
She huffs while looking down at it. “I don’t like wearing it, but mom insists. Says that a good girl wears a bra even if she’s not large.” The bra comes off and she drops it on top of her shirt, then sits on the rock to take her boots off. I notice that her boobs were about the size of a large apple cut in half. It may only be Andy, but they’re the first real boobs I’ve seen.
I sit next to her to take my boots and socks off. “Seems kind of silly to wear a bra when you don’t need to.”
She sighs. “Especially when it does this to me,” and she points to a pink streak that goes across her chest under her boobs.
“That from the bra?”
“Ya. It’s tight, it rubs against me, and when I sweat like today I get something like a rash.”
“So don’t wear it while we’re out here,” I say as I get my other shoe and sock off then stand up
She stands up at the same time and almost like we planned it, belts are undone. “They’d notice if I didn’t have it on when we got back. What then?”
Buttons and zippers get opened at the same time as well and we’re both pushing our jeans down. “We’re not planning on being home until after our moms leave for work, right.” A nod from her as she balances on one foot to pull a leg out, and I do the same. “We plan it so we’re home a bit earlier and you can put it on before either of our dads gets home.”
Jeans get tossed in the one pile we’ve made of all the clothes and we’re both in just underwear. Mine are plain white, hers have a flower print. “You’re a genius,” she says. Then takes a step and gives me a hug. “I should have thought of that,” she says into my ear.
I return the hug, feeling those half-apples pressing against my chest. We’ve been hugging each other as long as I can remember but it’s the first time since we were little that we’ve been naked when doing it, and it feels ... good. “That’s why you stick around, cause I’m the brains.” We break the hug and she takes a step back again.
She puts her thumbs in the waistband of her panties but pauses to glare at me. “If you call me the brawn I’m going to hit you.”
“Na, brains and beauty. Remember that story we read last year?” I’m pushing my shorts down and after a moment her panties go down as well. I can’t help but notice that there’s a patch of hair between her legs, kind of like the one I’m getting.
“Right.” A smile at me with a slight blush as the last of our clothes join the pile. “Wonder how cold the water is here.” She says peering at the pool. “It’s pretty cool when it goes into the lake.”
“One way to find out,” I say and step in. “About the same and there’s a squishy bottom,” I say as I wade into the center. “Shallow too.” It doesn’t even reach my waist.
“So what,” her voice comes from right behind me. “We’ve wade in the Bancroft pond for tadpoles and the bottom there is squishy.”
I turn to say something and she splashes some water my chest. “Oh you,” I say and splash her back.
It becomes a water fight for a few minutes until we’re both soaked, even our hair. “Are you cooler now?” she asks with a grin.
I laugh and she joins in, then it’s another hug. “Ya, but that was naughty.”
“Like us not wearing anything while swimming isn’t? I miss the times when we took baths together.”
“Well I asked mom about it and she wouldn’t tell me why it was now wrong, just that it was.”
“It’s been what, eight years since then,” she asks. I nod and she huffs. “Still don’t know why they made us stop, we’d seen everything about each other already.”
“Well now we get to do it again, even if it’s in the stream in the middle of Nick’s Woods. Since you called DSS so no one will ever know.” She smiles, nods and gives me another squeeze before letting me go. I look around and spy a rock under the water on the other side from where our clothes are. “Maybe we can sit on that for a bit,” I say, pointing it out.
“Cool, get off our feet,” she says and we wade over.
The pool is a little deeper here, right about belt level. I sit on the rock and the water comes up to the bottom of my ribs. “Almost perfect.”
She sits next to me, but the rock’s smaller than the one on the bank. I put an arm around her waist and shift a little. We’re hip-to-hip and her side is against mine with her shoulder in front of mine. “That works I guess,” she says. Then she relaxes a bit and I feel more of her resting against me.
A soft giggle. “I’m good. It’s almost like movie night.” When we watched a movie on TV either at her place or mine, we sat almost like we are now. Difference was my arm was usually over her shoulders and we had clothes on.
“It is, isn’t it.” She nods. The way my arm goes around her, my hand rests right over her belly-button.
“You tickle me there and I’m shoving you under,” she mutters.
“I promise, no tickling.”
We sit in silence for a bit then in a soft voice she asks, “Can I ask you a question?”
“It’s a little ... weird.”
“Andy, we made a promise to each other that we’d answer any question when we’re under DSS. Ask anything you want.”
“Right, forgot for a moment.” A short pause before she says, “When we were hugging before we sat down, your ... penis seemed to be getting bigger. It was pressing against my mound, so I felt it.” We’d had health class this past year, learned the names for everything.
“Sorry about that,” I mutter while my cheeks heat up.
“Don’t be sorry,” she says, turning her head slightly to look at me. “I just want to know why it did that.”
“Always does that when there’s a pretty girl around.”
She turns her head this way and that, as if looking for something. “So where is she?”, she asks while her cheeks turn slightly pink.
I’m nervous, scared, but I lean over a little and kiss her. Not the cheek kisses we always give each other, one on the lips like guys do with their girlfriends. “Right here,” I say as I feel my cheeks heat up.