Shani was two years older than me but ours was a small community and I was an only child so she was more like a big sister than just a friend. And she was badass. Well, our folks considered TV to be sinful so it doesn’t take much to get a reputation round here. And, when this story starts, we weren’t even kids. By which I mean, we weren’t 21 but Shani was already 19. Any other place, she’d be a woman; here, she was still treated as a child, and me even more so. So we wouldn’t have been allowed to go to that party, it would’ve been no good asking.
That’s how we came to be climbing out of our bedroom windows and meeting up at the big oak before walking down across the fields to Highway 19 to hitch a ride into Nanaimo. Hell, I hate to think how that night might have ended but we got lucky and got picked up by a couple of young parents who were cool. I guess it wasn’t that many years since they been crazy kids themselves. Anyways, we got into the back of their station-wagon with this cute little sleeping child in between us and they drove us right on to the campus.
I don’t remember how Shani got to hear about the party – I probably didn’t even ask because that was just the kind of thing Shani knew. So I never knew whose house it was or whose party I was at. I’d been to a few parties with Shani before but this one was something else. The whole house was rocking and roaring when we showed up. No one seemed to notice or care that they didn’t know us.
Somehow Shani found us a bottle of wine. I swear that girl had magical powers. So we were both already a little drunk when we got swept up with a gang heading upstairs (it was a three-story house) to play a game they called ‘Smee’. We didn’t care what the hell it was, we were just having fun. Anyways, it turned out to be the game we knew as Sardines but played in pitch dark. So, out go the lights and I don’t know where the hell I am or where Shani is or who I’m supposed to be looking for and I’m just stumbling round in the dark, laughing.
I’m feeling way along the walls and go through a doorway and my hands find what feels like a big old wardrobe and I get the ornately-carved door open and reach inside through a load of hanging dresses and I touch someone who says ‘shush!’ and pulls me inside.
I work through the dresses to the back corner and it smells of lavender and old wood and a soft hand takes mine and pulls me closer to her. Her hair brushes against my face and it feels good. Her other hand takes mine so now we’re face to face in the darkness and our breasts are lightly touching and I’m aware of my nipples stiffening inside my bra. Then in the silent darkness I feel the warmth of her mouth against mine and her lips are so unbelievably soft and I feel as though I could faint when the wet tip of her tongue flicks against my lips, inviting them to open. The tips of our tongues meet as one of her hands comes up to touch my cheek. I wrap my arms around her and pull her hot body against mine. Her long hair is all across my face as she kisses down my neck and her hands slide down my back and I hold my breath as, in one move, she lifts my short skirt and hooks my panties down to my thighs. She pulls away and there’s a moment where, though all I can see is black, I know we are looking into each other’s eyes. I realise that I am holding up my skirt, anticipating her touch and I can feel my wetness running from me…
Then I just remember someone shouting into the room and I panicked and somehow I got out of there and found myself back downstairs, in all the noise and glaring light, and I knew there was some kind of trouble or other but I didn’t know what and Shani found me there and said, “We need to go”.
How we got home that night and the hell we caught when we got back, that’s a whole other story and it’s not the one I wanted to tell you today. Shani’s family moved away from the community shortly afterwards. Mine didn’t, worst luck. I got a letter from her a couple of years later telling me she’d married and I never heard from her again. We never mentioned that night. I never acknowledged that I knew that she knew that I knew that it was her… and nor did she. I guess the message that we were the worst sinners on God’s earth had gotten into us so deep.
So, that’s the story of my missed connection. She was my best friend. She was my first lover. And I’m still standing in the dark, breathless, waiting for her touch.
Image from Pixabay