I had been the target of many cruel comments during my four years of high school, only because I had the unfortunate distinction of being the child of the drunken town whore. My mother who was abused as a child became very submissive, and would spread her legs at the drop of a hat. I guess deep inside she hated what she had become, and eventually turned to the bottle to help ease her troubles.
Most of the boys in school always had the idea that I would be an easy target, since the old saying about a nut falling close to the tree. Their disgusting advances made me start to hate all guys, even those who really were kind of nice towards me. I built this invisible wall around me and allowed nobody to enter and would only speak in school when the teacher had asked a direct question, and then, and only then would I speak.
One day after school I was walking home alone, when a tap on the shoulder startled me. I turned do see that it was the new girl in school, who like I, was getting abuse piled on from most of the kids in class. Her problem was she didn't have any really nice clothes, and with her braces and broken glasses she was ridiculed constantly. I didn't know just what she wanted, and just stood silently as I stared at her.
"Hi, my name is Janet. I hope I am not intruding or anything, but I really like to talk to you, if I could."
I turned and continued my walk towards home without acknowledging her comments. Just what would she want to talk about? How to let the guys in school know she is interested in them getting into her pants. She quickly caught up to me and was almost in tears as she spoke.
"Oh please, I just need someone to be friends with. I noticed that you never talk to anyone, and I thought that maybe you could be my friend."
I kept walking, but looked over at her a minute and sarcastically asked. "Yeah, and just why do you want to be my friend. Friends at this school are something I really don't need or want, so I really don't think so."
"Look, I see and hear some of the things people say, and I know how that feels. I never did anything to those kids, and yet they act like I have the plague or something. I was just hoping that someone in this shitty little town was above that, but I guess I was wrong. Sorry, I wont bother you again."
Her words struck me like a hammer, and I instantly felt like crawling in a hole for saying what I did. I just stood there a moment of two, then chased after her. "Hey Janet, wait up. Listen I am sorry for what I said to you. I shouldn't be like. Like you said, I hear a lot bullshit for those people, and I was being a little defensive. Please forgive me."
That afternoon was the first time in long while that I didn't mind the long walk home, as Janet and I talked the entire time and really got to know a lot about each other. She really sounded sincere about wanting to be friends, and I thought that this might be a good thing for both of us.
She asked, and I promised that I would call her later in the evening and we could get to know one another a little better. Since she actually lived just around the corner, I called and told I was taking a walk over, instead of just sitting on the phone.
We sat on the large porch in the back of the house sipping ice tea and talked about just how rotten the people at school were. She told me that she was from Kansas, and her parent had split up and she was sent to her grandmother's to live. She indicated that back home, all the kids were from families that really didn't have a lot of money, and most dressed in shabby clothes like she wore. I could see that even with the rags she wore, and even the braces, she was a very pretty girl. I had quite of few outfits that I was able to buy from the money I made during the summer, and I insisted she take one or two. Hesitant at first, but soon accepted my offer.
Over the next couple of months, Janet and I became almost inseparable and vowed to remain friends forever. With her braces now removed, and the clothes I had given her, she really looked attractive, and now the guys had altered their thinking about her. Her memory of how they had treated her in the past was still fresh and she would quickly reject any request for a date from all of them.
With June graduation now out of the way Janet had planned a trip back to her hometown to visit many of the friends she had left there, and asked if I would like to go with. I planned to save a much money as possible over the summer get enough saved to just get as far away from this town as possible, and well, Kansas would do. I had been able to get her hired at the restaurant that I worked at, and we became the best two waitresses you ever saw. Saving every penny, we soon had enough to make the trip.
The long train ride finally ended three days later as the announcement came over the speaker that we were now in Lawrence Kansas. Janet and I grabbed our suitcases and quickly got the attention of the first taxicab we saw. From the bright lights of the small city we headed west. Soon I could see noting but, well actually nothing at all but sand and dust. Bouncing along an unpaved road, we finally stopped at old run down farm. We paid the cabby, and walked up the stone driveway towards the dimly lit house. It must have been about a quarter mile, and my legs were tired and I was grateful when we finally reached the front porch.
Janet didn't even get to knock on the door before it opened and a girl shot out. "Janet, how the hell are you? Damn I really didn't think you were serious when you said you would be here." I watched the two girls hug and could see how happy Janet was, and just smiled as I stood there quietly.
"Oh, Sandy. I want you to meet my friend. Sandy this is Kathy."
Sandy smiled and quickly gave me a friendly hug. "Hi Kathy, nice to meet you. Now come on you two, come in and have some supper with us."
Sandy led us inside and introduced me to her parents, and I enjoyed the first really good home cooked meal in a long time. After dinner, the three of us went out in the back yard and Janet and Sandy renewed their friendship. During the conversation, I started to get the feeling that these two were just a little more than old friends, and over the next couple of days found exactly how true that was.
I awoke about eight thirty the next morning to sounds of laughing just outside the bedroom window. I saw Janet and Sandy holding hands as the trotted down to the barn. I crawled from the bed and headed down the hall to the bathroom for a morning visit to Mother Nature, and a nice warm shower.
Now completely refreshed and hungry as a starved dog, I followed my nose to the smell of bacon cooking. I walked in and saw Sandy's mom fixing a breakfast big enough to feed an army, while her father looked up from his morning paper in my direction. "Well good morning Kathy. Have a good nights sleep?"
"Oh yes Mr. Wilson. Slept like a baby, thank you."
Her mother turned and also said good morning, and suggested I head out to the barn and help Sandy and Janet retrieve eggs from the hen house. This was something that I have never had to opportunity to do, and felt like a little kid at Christmas. Like a flash I rushed out to the barn looking for Janet and Sandy.
I looked around, but couldn't see either of them and was about to head back to the house when I heard a noise coming from the loft overhead. I then heard Sandy's voice, and I know knew where they were, and started up the ladder. As my head came through the opening to the loft, I could only stare with a wide-open mouth. There in front of me were Janet and Sandy embarrassed in a passionate kiss, while their hands caressed each other's bodies. A creak from the wooden ladder that I was standing got Sandy's attention. She looked over at me, and then at Janet. "Does she know?"
Janet looked embarrassed and quickly got her self composed and took a deep breath before speaking. "Kathy, I guess I need to explain some stuff."
Since my mother would do whatever to earn a buck, I did see this sort of thing before, but still was a little shocked by it all. I tried to be calm about it and told her she didn't need to explain anything, and that I had no problem at all. I guess they both took what I said a little different than what I meant, and both smiled at me.
Suddenly the clanging of a bell of some sort brought Janet and Sandy down the ladder. Grabbing the basket of eggs, Sandy giggled. "Come on, we got to get back inside with these." Janet took my hand as we jogged after her.
After breakfast, Mr. Wilson headed off to work at the machine shop in town, while Mrs. Wilson went about doing her daily chores. I followed Janet and Sandy outside as they again headed towards the barn. We climbed up the ladder to the loft to a small room at the back of the barn. This is where Sandy spent a lot of time and had a large cot and a small table and chair. She even had a small black and white television and a boom box. This was like a one-room clubhouse that she would spend hours in. Janet sat next Sandy on the cot while I sat in the small folding chair over in the corner.
We just sat there and talked a bit before Janet changed the conversation. "You know Kathy, out here in the boonies things are a little different than in the city. You learn to make with what you have, and who you have. See, Sandy and I have, well lets just say we take care of each other. We started things when we were about twelve and just continued. Its not like we haven't had our share of boyfriends, but you know as well as I do just how they are at times."
.... There is more of this story ...