Forgiveness

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Katie zipped up her ridiculous plaid dress and looked at herself in the mirror. Every hair in place on the outside, just like every other year. Wound up tighter than a corkscrew on the inside, just like every other year. Two years into college and there was still no escape when she came home for the holidays. Next year, she vowed, she would find some excuse to be anywhere else on earth.

Maybe Matthew would save the day and not be home for the holidays. But that didn’t seem likely.

Savoring her last minutes of freedom, she went to the window and puffed hard on the last of her joint and wished it would take hold already. When it was down to the nub and she was forced to crush it out, it still wasn’t helping. Neither was the clinking of glasses and the ancient Ray Conniff albums that were already ringing out downstairs. Katie wished she’d thought to give her father some other Christmas albums, but then Mom would surely insist on her old favorites all the same. Tradition, after all.

Katie reached up to run her fingers through her raven curls, only to remember her hair was up in a tight arrangement that matched her nerves right now. Having nothing to do with her fingers left her even more frustrated. Maybe if she just stayed in here, they’d get the hint for once and leave her alone? Katie doubted it, but she sat down on her bed and picked up a favorite old paperback she’d found behind the bookcase the other day, and did her best to tune out the party.

Of course, it wasn’t to be. “Kathleen!” Her mother’s rap on the door left no doubt that she wouldn’t be wiggling out of anything. Naturally she barged in before Katie could say a word, just like when Katie was little. “What are you doing hiding out in here?” she demanded.

“What’s it look like, Mom? They’re your and Dad’s friends, not mine!”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Kathleen! Are you nineteen or nine?”

“I feel about nine in this dress.”

“Your Aunt Lily worked on it for weeks, and she’s here tonight. You never have to wear it again, but I want you downstairs in that dress in five minutes, understood?”

“At least please tell me the Cummingses aren’t coming.”

“Oh, I should’ve known,” Mom snapped. “Yes, they’re here and yes, they brought Matt, and he probably doesn’t want to see you any more than you want to see him — I mean, do you need me to remind me how you treated him when you were kids?”

“Exactly, Mom, why should either of us –“

“Forget it, Kathleen, you’re coming to the party and you will treat Matt like a human being for a change!” She turned to go, then spun back around. “And for heaven’s sake, wear a bra!”

“I am wearing one!” Kathleen looked down. Her breasts looked fine to her.

“Then perhaps I need to take you shopping for a few new ones before you go back.”

“For cryin’ out loud, Mom!”

“I’ll pay, if I don’t hear any more whining out of you tonight!”

Katie admitted defeat and stood up. Bras weren’t cheap, after all.

Any last hope she might slip into the crowd unnoticed was dashed when Aunt Lily spotted her. “Kathleen!” she exclaimed from across the living room, and she rushed through the throng of revellers. “That dress looks even better on you than I imagined!”

“Thank you, Aunt Lily,” Kathleen said. “Perfect for the occasion, isn’t it?”

“Let me introduce you to my date!” Aunt Lily said a little louder than she really needed to, Katie thought…or was the pot finally taking hold? “Douglas, this is my niece Kathleen.”

“Pleasure, dear,” said the regal looking older man in a tailored pinstripe suit. Katie couldn’t fault her aunt’s taste in men anyway. “I’ve heard so much about you, all true I see! Halfway through college, are you?”

“Almost.” Katie spotted Matt out of the corner of her eye, and was grateful to have someone else to focus on.

“And ruining the curve for them all just like she did in high school!” Aunt Lily said. “Going to study in France next year, are you?”

“Thinking about it,” Kathleen said. “We’ll see how this term goes.”

“Do you know the young man from Brown who’s floating around here?” Douglas asked. “I’ll bet the two of you could exchange some war stories.”

“From Brown?” Katie asked. “No, I don’t know anyone who goes to Brown. I guess I’ll keep an eye out for him.”

“He’s a lovely young man,” Aunt Lily said. After a quick look around the crowd, she said, “But I don’t see him at the moment.”

“Oh, I’m sure we’ll cross paths,” Katie said. “Thanks again for the dress, Aunt Lily.”

“You’re the second-best dressed woman in the room!” Douglas told her with a wink at Aunt Lily, who laughed and chucked him on the arm.

“Thanks.” As they took their leave and Katie found herself alone in the clutch of barely-remembered relatives and family friends, she at least felt a bit less terrible about being stuck there. If she did stick out as much as they seemed to think, at least Matt ought to be able to keep his distance. And what of this gentleman from Brown? Kathleen had heard the sarıyer escort usual vows from her friends to never date Ivy League men, but she had no such hang-ups herself.

Her smile was just a touch less forced as she mingled with the throng of guests by the Christmas tree. One middle-aged woman looked up in surprise as she stepped by. “Katie, is that you?”

“Yes…” Katie couldn’t place her at all…and all at once, she could. “Lorraine, right?” Mom’s cool friend from college, who Katie had heard was now married to another woman.

“Yes, it’s me!” She took Katie in a surprise hug that felt surprisingly good. “And this is my wife, Olivia.” She introduced Katie to a shorter, Asian woman who shook her hand. “I don’t think I’ve seen you in five years! Where’ve you been hiding?”

“College,” Katie said.

“Oh, of course you have!” Lorraine said with a laugh. “You lucky girl, I miss those days so!”

“What are you studying?” asked Olivia.

“Political science,” Katie said. “Thinking about law school.”

“You always did have that sensibility about you,” Lorraine said. “Good for you. So, got a hot date for the party?”

Katie shook her head. “I’m not seeing anyone right now. There was one guy, but…he’s gay. Should’ve known, I guess.”

“There are worse ways to be, aren’t there?” Lorraine quipped. “But you know, there’s a wonderful young man from Brown around here somewhere.”

“He even knows his feminist theory,” Olivia said. “We just had a chat about Kate Millett. Whichever straight gal snaps him up is a lucky one.”

“Yeah, I heard about him,” Katie said. “But I haven’t met him yet.”

“I’d point him out to you, but I don’t see him anywhere either,” Lorraine said. “Maybe he went out to the kitchen? He said something about helping with the food.”

“Happy hunting, Katie!” Olivia said. “And nice to meet you. Merry Christmas.”

“To you as well.” Katie stepped on past the Christmas tree and managed to avoid getting sucked into a klatch of Dad’s officemates who looked like they were drinking too much. On the pretence of helping herself to a couple of Christmas cookies, as her munchies were in full swing, she scanned the room furtively for Matt. She spotted him by the stairs talking to Mrs. Kelly, but he had his back to her. With that bullet dodged, she looked around for the elusive guy from Brown. There weren’t many guys her age in sight, but Lorraine had said something about the kitchen.

Telling herself she wasn’t that boy crazy, Katie nevertheless helped herself to a peek into the kitchen. It was a welcome respite from Ray Conniff, anyway. But the room was empty except for Ramona, Mom’s office manager, who was removing an hors d’oeuvre from the oven. “Kathleen, is that you?!” she said. “My God, you’ve grown up! How’s college, dear? Your mother talks about you all the time! I’m so jealous of all you’ve got going on!” A quick gasp of breath before Katie could say anything, and she plowed ahead. “Have you met that wonderful young man from Brown yet, while you’re here? You really ought to meet him! Such a gentleman!”

“So I keep hearing,” Katie said. “I heard he might be in here, actually.”

“He was,” Ramona said. “Then your father came in and said he wanted to show him one of his guitars. Apparently he’s quite a musician.”

“Oh, okay,” Katie said.

“You’d better hurry, dear,” Ramona said. “A catch like him won’t be single for long!”

So this mystery hunk was with her father? Katie stepped back into the living room and looked around. She didn’t see Dad anywhere. Maybe they were in his study, where he kept his guitars? She did see Mom, which meant there was no chance of escaping back upstairs. Might as well try to track down the elusive Brown boy.

After once again taking a quick glance to make sure she wouldn’t cross paths with Matt, Katie inched her way around the edge of the room, paying her respects to the neighbors as she went, and escaped to the relative freedom of the hallway. Sure enough, she could hear strumming from behind Dad’s study door. Putting on her most flirtatious smile, she stepped inside.

“Oh, hi, Katie,” said Dad, setting down the guitar he’d been tuning. Then, to her horror, Dad’s guest stood up from the armchair and turned around.

“Matthew,” Katie said. “Sorry, I was looking for someone else!”

“Darling, it’s fine!” Dad said. “I was just showing Matthew my new Spanish guitar here. He’s been taking classical guitar lessons at Brown.”

“It’s you?!”

“What do you mean it’s me?” Matthew’s smile looked forced, and Katie could hardly blame him.

“Why don’t I give you kids a chance to catch up?” Dad said. “How long’s it been since you’ve seen each other?”

Katie glared at her father — she knew he’d heard her rant and rave about how she disliked him, but then she supposed he likely had guessed the truth behind all that. Either way, though…but she remembered to be polite. “That’s really not necessary, esenyurt escort Dad,” she said.

“She’s right,” Matthew said. “I doubt she wants to listen to me fumble through Vivaldi here.”

“Don’t be silly,” Dad said. “I ought to get back to your mother anyway, Katie, and I know you’re not exactly enjoying yourself out there.”

“Dad, really…”

But he wouldn’t hear of it, and Katie was left to face the music. Not for long, though, for Matthew sat back down and turned his attention back to the guitar.

“So you go to Brown,” she said.

“Yes,” he said.

“That’s great!” Katie wanted with all hear heart to turn tail and run, but somehow she just couldn’t — this might be her last chance to right one of her biggest-ever wrongs. “Congratulations.”

“Katie, you don’t have to pretend you have any respect for me, all right?”

“I deserved that,” she admitted. “But, Matthew, listen. First, I’m really sorry about the way I used to be.”

“Are you, though?” At least he put down the guitar and shifted around in his seat to look at her. “You sure never used to be. Ugly, crybaby, nerd…am I forgetting any?”

“I was a little bitch, I get that!” Katie said.

“Let me guess, you teased me because you liked me.”

“I know it’s no excuse, but yes,” Katie said. “Even back when I thought boys were icky, you were an exception. Always so polite and quiet and smart, nothing like the other boys.”

“And you showed me that by making me feel like shit on the playground almost every day?”

“I didn’t know what else to do!” Katie protested. “I figured, how’s he ever going to like little old me?”

“Little old you!” Matthew jumped up. “Are you kidding, Miss Popularity and you thought I was too good for you?!”

“You have no idea how shallow popularity can be in high school, Matthew!” Katie said. “The popular guys, they asked me out and they were already in our circle of friends, so of course I said yes, and yeah it’s true that my social life would have been over if I’d gone out with you…”

“Unh! Thanks!” Matthew sat back down and picked up the guitar again. “Haven’t you got any popular guys out there to hobnob with?”

“No, I haven’t.” Katie helped herself to a seat on the other armchair, and allowed herself a good look at him for the first time. He’d grown up, too, and was looking gorgeous in a red and green sweater, slacks and loafers. But then, he’d always been gorgeous — why hadn’t she been big enough to let him know she liked him instead of pushing him away all those years? But it didn’t matter now. “I’ve been hearing all evening out there about this wonderful young man from Brown I’ve just got to meet. I should’ve known it was you, Matthew. You were always so smart, and had so many interests…”

“What did you ever know about my interests?”

“I knew you knew all about World War I in seventh grade, because of that project you did that won the blue ribbon. And I knew you were all about the Beatles in ninth grade, because my mom said you’d been asking her about watching them on TV as a kid — no offense, Matthew, but she was a little offended that you thought she was that old.” She couldn’t help laughing, and she saw just a hint of amusement in his eye. “And I know you gave jazz dancing a try in high school.”

“That was quite a star turn,” Matthew chuckled. “But I don’t remember you in that class, Katie. How’d you know about that? I never did any recitals or anything.”

“Well…” All at once Katie wished she had another joint handy. “I heard about it, and I spent a lot of time imagining you in tights, if you want to know the truth.”

Matthew set down the guitar, and allowed a laugh. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“Well, didn’t you get turned on by the girls in your dance class, in their leotards?” Katie asked. “Unless you’re gay, I mean…not that it’s any of my business, of course.”

“All right, all right,” Matthew said. “I’m not, and yes, I did. I just never imagined I’d have that effect on the girl next door who I always thought was miles above me on the popularity totem pole.”

“Matthew, I don’t know how I can ever apologize for what I put you through, but…” she dissolved into nervous laughter. “Isn’t it a consolation to know you were my reason to masturbate?”

Matthew laughed too. “Yes, Katie. I guess it is. And I’m sorry you never got to see me in tights. But yours look fabulous tonight.”

“Thank you!” Katie stood up and pulled her skirt up to her knees. “They’re really thigh-high stockings, you see, but thank you.”

“All the better for easier access if you want to imagine me in tights, huh?” Matthew said.

“You don’t know the half of it.” Katie bit the bullet and pulled her skirt up all the way.

Matthew’s eyes flew wide open and he finally had to set her father’s guitar aside. “Katie! No panties?!”

“My own private little rebellion against my mother for making me come to this stupid party,” she explained, and holding avrupa yakası escort her skirt out of the way with her left hand, she ran her right hand playfully through her jet-black triangle, hoping it would entice Matthew. “I really didn’t want to come downstairs at all, mostly because I knew you’d be here and you’d remember what a jerk I used to be,” she explained. “But I also knew if you were here and I wore panties, I’d soak through them in no time.”

“You’re just as beautiful underneath as I always imagined,” Matthew confessed, still gazing upon her pussy but making no move to touch it.

“Thank you! You know, if you’d let me show you just how sorry I am…”

“Are you sure you want to do that?” Matthew stood up, and she could see his nice pressed slacks were bulging.

“Does it look like I’m not sure?! Come here!”

At long last, she welcomed Matthew’s agile fingers caressing her vulva, just as she had been imagining him doing longer than she cared to remember. His gentle touch wasn’t as good as she’d imagined; it was ten times better! “Ooohooo, you sure know how to tease a girl,” she whispered, wiggling her legs at the first waves of pleasure.

He put his free arm around her, and she threw both of hers around him, and wasn’t surprised when his kiss tasted of liquor. “Snuck a little from the table when the parents weren’t looking, did you?”

“They let me have a little before we came over,” he said as he slipped his first finger inside her. “The deal was I don’t try to touch it here if I can have some there.”

“The better to touch me with!” she said huskily, gazing into his eyes as she savoured his intimate touch. “Can you put one more finger in?”

“My pleasure.”

“My pleasure!” she grunted as she felt the second one slide in.

“You’re right, you are awfully wet, aren’t you?”

“Told you I would be!” It was the last articulate thing Katie could say for the time being, for he was stroking up a storm in her pussy. “Oh! Oh God!” She kept one arm around his neck and rubbed his arm with the other hand as her breathing grew heavier. “So close! Don’t stop!” She wiggled her hips to help him along. Usually this was where she closed her eyes, but this time she preferred to keep them open to admire her first love, her reluctant nemesis, her ancient crush, finally making peace with her in the sweetest of ways.

Her eyes opened even wider along with her mouth in a gape of wonder as she came. “Ohhhhhhhhh…” She managed to keep it quiet enough not to be heard out in the living room — barely.

“Oh, that’s beautiful,” Matthew whispered.

“I’m usually a lot louder,” Katie confessed. “But we wouldn’t want, you know…”

“I know,” Matthew said. He drew his fingers out and kissed her again. “Apology accepted, Katie.”

“Thank you, but you’re not done, sir!”

“Oh, Katie, you don’t have to do that.”

“Oh yes I do!” She stood up and grabbed him by the arm to get him to his feet as well. “Just how selfish do you think I am?” She unbuckled his belt and had his pants open before he could even think to protest. Then she looked around the room, which she didn’t know very well, having spent little time there even when she lived at home. “The bookcase there will do!” She went over to the old bookcase near the window, where the curtains were drawn, and hoisted herself up on the lower shelf, which jutted out from the upper ones. “Almost looks like this was made for sex, doesn’t it?” she asked as she spread her legs and gathered her skirt up out of the way.

“Yeah, it kind of does.” Matthew had his hard cock in his hand as he shuffled over to the bookcase. “I’ve never done it standing up before.”

“It’s a great angle for me,” Katie said. Then she laughed, wondering if he would ask just how much experience she had. The answer was a lot less than she suspected he probably thought, but naturally he was too much of a gentleman to ask.

He rubbed her breasts and kissed her neck while she guided him inside, and then they looked at one another in silent pleasure. “I guess we can forget all our childhood nonsense now, can’t we?” he said.

“And how!”

She slapped him on the rear end to egg him on, and presently he was humping her with utter abandon. It was all Katie could do not to moan loud enough to be heard on the next block, she thought, but her guttural whispers and encouragements seemed to do just fine by Matthew. “Feels so good!” she said again and again. “So stupid never to ask you out myself!”

“You don’t have to say that!”

“But I mean it!”

Then she kissed him hard on the mouth because she wanted no more words for the moment, and reached down to help herself along. She was slightly worried Matthew might not like that, but instead he said, “Oh, that is so hot!”

“You like it?”

“I love it!”

“Come with me, then!”

“Now?”

“Now!” she said. “Think of us at that dance class, together, both of us in tights, driving each other crazy, then we go to the locker room together and pull them off each other, and I take you to the showers and you soap up my boobs…UNGHHHH! Yesssss!”

“Unh! Oh! Coming!” he grunted. His thrusts came to a stop, and she pulled in tightly on his lower back and buried him as far inside her as she could, and they rode the wave of delicious intimacy together for a few precious seconds.

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