For over a month everything seemed perfect for Ashlee. She had graduated from high school with good grades and a nice scholarship to the college she'd wanted to go to ever since she knew she wanted to go to college. She was even going to be able to room with someone she actually knew and liked in the person of Macy who was going to the same college on scholarship. No rooming with some stranger for her.
She also finally had her own car. Not just a car she could drive, but her own car as in a car she owned thanks to her father's unusual display of generosity brought on mainly by his gratitude over Ashlee's success at securing enough scholarships and grants to make her education virtually free for both him and her. It was a nice car, too. Not some used hunk of junk, but a brand new, nice and shiny silver Jetta paid for with what was to be the money for her first semester at school.
It was beautiful and she'd actually cried tears of pure, unadulterated joy when he had handed her the keys. She even hugged him and kissed him for the first time in several years while he laughed and smiled at her. She wouldn't have admitted out loud, but it was the first time in a long time that she'd actually had any good feelings towards him. It wasn't just because he'd given her a car, either. It was because he'd actually given her the car she'd always wanted and not just a car. She loved her dad, but, honestly, until that moment she'd always kind of had a lingering feeling that he simply didn't get her at all.
Her job was going great as well. She'd even received a raise which was nice and, even better; she'd already been informed that her transfer request was actually going to go through. That was quite a relief even though she knew with a full load of classes it wouldn't mean much money wise. Still it was nice to know that she at least wouldn't have to worry about bumming money off her parents or selling plasma until she found a new job when she went off to college.
But there was something more important going on in her life and it was the one thing that made everything just perfect. Ashlee was in love and she was absolutely certain that the feeling was mutual. So certain that she didn't even feel the need to question it one bit. Ashlee and Naiya were in love. That's all there was to it.
Ever since their first night together a few weeks before graduation she and Naiya had been virtually inseparable. Even during those last few weeks of school they'd managed to come up with every excuse in the book to find time to be together at night when they could be alone and continue their exploration of each other's bodies. They lost a lot of sleep in the process and it was actually something of a miracle that they didn't fail their finals, but both were of the mind at that time that there was nothing they'd rather be doing than spending the night making each other moan into their pillows.
Once summer arrived and they no longer had to worry about classes and grades and what not they only got worse (if that was the right word for it). They actually became a bit reckless once they had almost unlimited time together to do as they pleased. Ashlee couldn't even count the times they'd almost been caught doing things to each other that were more than what most would call friendly. Luckily, they'd avoided that embarrassment quite well so far.
In short, the last two months had been the best of her short, 18 years young life. Everything had seemed absolutely perfect and as far as she could tell it was going to stay that way for forever. Oh, maybe when she left for college and Naiya left to go her different school seemingly light years away complications would arise, but that seemed like something far in the distant future at the time, but things were about to change and what looked like the keystone of her perfect little life was about to be pulled out much sooner than she'd ever expected or feared.
It wasn't that Naiya didn't like having sex with Ashlee. It was that, unlike Ashlee, she had no illusions about the new sexual aspect of their relationship being anything more than that. To her it was just sex. Awesome, great and incredibly fun sex, but just sex. It held no deeper meaning for her at all and honestly she had no idea that her interpretation of their relationship was any different than Ashlee's.
And it wasn't because Naiya was necessarily insensitive to her friend's feelings. Well, no more than your usual teenager might be, but it wasn't that. In fact, the situation that ended up bringing everything to a head was something well known to both of them, but it was also something that Ashlee had no willingness to acknowledge even though she knew full well that it had existed before she and Naiya had ever even kissed.
The problem was that Naiya's love life was already rife with complications. Complications mostly of her own creation, but complications none the less. They were also complications that Ashlee was well aware of, but personally chose to ignore because they simply didn't fit into her desired reality. Why? Because they involved a third person who she secretly knew she had no real hope of competing with for the affections of Naiya.
The person is question was a boy named Max. Well, not a boy really. In fact, calling Max a boy to his face was not exactly a wise thing to do. Not that he was violent, but it just wouldn't be a good decision on your part because Max ... well, let's just say Max wasn't exactly an insubstantial human being. He also really wasn't a boy. He was old enough to call himself a man and he did.
Of course, the man thing was really debatable, but at the ripe old age of twenty he was definitely old enough to claim some other title than boy. Like college sophomore for one or, maybe, young adult. He also was the one guy that Naiya could truly say she was ever in love with and as well as the one guy that Ashlee really could've lived without.
Frankly, she kind of had the impression she was going to get her wish until two weeks after school ended when he hadn't made his usual summer appearance or even bothered to call Naiya since Christmas break. In fact, it was something that Naiya had been quite vocal about before Kelli seduced her and then Naiya in turn seduced Ashlee. It therefore seemed perfectly reasonable to Ashlee that even if he did show up he wouldn't have a chance in hell.
To be clear though it was not that Ashlee really hated Max. He was actually just about the only guy Ashlee really and truly got along with. He was funny, he was nice and he wasn't the type to be an obnoxious flirt nor was he the kind of guy that treated his girlfriend's friends like unwanted pests or competition for Naiya's attention.
In truth, Ashlee was quite fond of him as a person and a friend. When Naiya informed her one night while they were hanging out in Ashlee's bed cuddling and kissing after a slow, wondrous bout of mutual masturbation that he was coming back to town for the remainder of the summer Ashlee was actually almost as excited as Naiya at the news. She actually found herself looking forward to hanging out with him for the first time in what seemed like forever despite the empathetic anger she'd felt towards him when Naiya was still bitter about his lack of attention. If Naiya could forgive him, so could she. Besides she knew that he at least would be appropriately appreciative of her new car unlike Naiya who had just complained that it wasn't red.
This calm sense of mild excitement at the prospect of hanging out with her old friend remained relatively intact for two full days before she found herself noticing something odd about Naiya's behavior. Not odd really, but definitely different from what she'd grown accustomed to over the last several weeks. Different and very worrying from her particular perspective.
First, there were the phone calls. There were many of them and they were all long. They also became increasing more and more private. It was slow progression from Max calling to talk to both of them to just Naiya, but it was an obvious progression that was more than a little worrisome to Ashlee. As the day of Max's arrival grew closer it became almost impossible to see Naiya sans cell phone talking quietly and constantly to Max in a tone that sounded unmistakably at times like that of a girl in love. At least when Naiya actually stayed in the room long enough for Ashlee to overhear which, again as the time of Max's return approached, also became more and more a rarity.
Second there were the text messages. The constant, unending stream of text messages that Naiya couldn't stop responding to. The text messages that never failed to bring a smile to Naiya's beautiful face. The text messages that Ashlee never received nor was allowed to read. The text messages that more than once had interrupted a nice, wonderful afternoon of soft, loving kisses.
Third, and this was actually the worst of it all, there was the one conversation that she had been fully allowed to listen in on that she really wished had never happened. The conversation that finally opened her eyes to what life was going to be like once Max finally came back to town. A conversation that she fully realized at the time was not intended to hurt her, but which still hurt her deeply and brought her whole world crashing down around her. In fact, the lack of intent what actually what hurt the most.
It all happened the night right before Max was supposed to get in his car and head back to town. It was late, but that was hardly unusual. It was summer after all and 2am phone calls were hardly unusual. It was still very annoying however because the timing could not have been worse as far as Ashlee was concerned.
.... There is more of this story ...