Written June, 2009. This one is based on a dream I had.

“So, what’s it like Riley?” Jane asked.

“I dunno, pretty nice, like any type of cabin. Like you’d see in horror movies or something.” I snickered. “If we go we might all get murdered!” We both laughed.

“And I bet we’ll all think it’s a ghost, but then it’s one of us!”

“Oh yeah?” I asked. “Who do you think would be the murderer?”

“Hmm,” she thought, “Probably Bobby Moulton.”

“Bobby Moulton! Why would we even invite him?!”

“Ha, you’re right. Who would we actually invite? Sara, of course, and…” she took a second, “Ryan, Adam. Adam R that is, not Adam B. Jimmy Erickson.” The list made sense to me, but of course I noticed that none of my friends were on it. I could understand why she wouldn’t want to invite Caroline. Jealousy could be an issue, but I didn’t think it would be that much of one. I was with Jane, Caroline knew that.

Despite wanting to make suggestions, I said, “So which of them would be the murderer?”

“Ha! Well I don’t think any of them.”

“You have to pick someone!” I demanded.

“Well…” she put her hand on her chin and looked up and to the left to seem as if she was putting serious thought into it. “Sara, then.”

“Sara, but she seems so nice.”

“That’s the point! The killer isn’t going to be who you suspect.” She stared at me intensely. Laughing, “Plus she’s a little more deviant that you might think. You don’t know her like I do.” That was true. I really didn’t know any of her friends that well. I’d seen them around, but that was about it.

“I’ll take your word for it and steer clear from her,” I said. We laughed.

“So, seriously though, what is it like?” She asked. “It’s not like some fishing hut with no power or indoor plumbing?”

“Nah nothing like that,” I explained. “It’s practically a house. I mean more than a house, it’s gigantic. Bigger than my parent’s home. You know. Big screen TV, five bedrooms, tall ceilings, lot’s of space.”

“Okay, good to know, just want to make sure I know for sure what we’re dealing with before I plan this out and make the invites. I figure we get there a couple days before everyone else.”

I went quiet. That was it, that is when the anxiety really began. Initially I had been worried about hanging around with a bunch of her friends, but to be alone with her for a couple of days, that scared me even more. I knew she would want to have sex, and while it’s true that I really wanted to have sex with her, I was afraid. I was a virgin. The most Jane and I had ever done was kiss a little, not even very passionately by my estimation. Some of my friends had told me about their first times, and so I thought it would be disappointing for Jane. We had never talked about sex, but I was sure that she had experience.

I wasn’t sure how long I had been silent for. “You know I’m a virgin right?” I had to ask, I needed her to know. I half expected her to dump me on the spot and call the whole thing off, and I sort of wanted that to happen.

She gave me a look that said, of course I know. I’m not an idiot. I don’t care. “We like each other, don’t we?” she said.

I had to feign being my usual jovial self. “Yeah, definitely.” I don’t know how excited I sounded. I wanted to sound excited, but I think I sounded fake.

A few days later the itinerary was planned and the invites were made. We’d have to pay my uncle a fee since spring break was prime rental time for the cabin, but he gave us a discount and between six of us it wouldn’t be too bad. Jane and I would go up Sunday and everyone else would come up Tuesday. Two nights, I thought, two nights. I kept thinking maybe it would be like this black box I could go into, close my eyes, and emerge the other side a non-virgin never really knowing what happened.

The truth is I really wanted to have sex with Jane. I wanted to have sex, period. It had never really come up with any of the other girls I had dated. I hadn’t dated any of them long enough. Except maybe Caroline, but that was never serious enough. I was pretty sure Caroline was a virgin too. I thought maybe it would be easier to do it with another virgin. That way we both wouldn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t really that attracted to Caroline. I guess that’s why we only ever ended up being friends. In a way I was wishing it was Caroline that was going to go on this trip with me. Or that I wasn’t going at all. I was twenty years old. It was about time I lost my virginity. At least that’s what I figured.

#

Silence. Dead silence. That pretty much summed up the drive to the cabin. I began to reach for the radio dial, then hesitated. When we first got into the car over an hour ago I turned off the radio out of habit, expecting the usual non-stop chatting and laughing we usually shared when driving somewhere together. Now I regretted that decision. I should have known this drive would be different. I should have known my anxiety would get the better of me. We’d already been driving for an hour and a half and all I could think was, two more hours of this.

Jane was sitting there with her head against the window and her hand supporting her chin. I couldn’t even see her face with her long brown curls hanging over it. I imagined she was angry at me. Maybe I was wrong and she was asleep. Two more hours to go…

“Did you get condoms?”

It came out of nowhere. An hour and a half of silence, and suddenly it was like hitting a brick wall. She didn’t sound angry like I expected. It was just a casual question. Was she mad at me at all? I didn’t know anymore. Was all of it anxiety in my own head? Maybe it was just some casual thing for her and she hadn’t even noticed how much less chatty I’d been. “Yeah,” I said, “and peanut butter and celery.” Celery? What a thing to say. Yeah, I had bought condoms and it was the first time I ever did. I bought them with a bunch of other groceries so I wouldn’t look suspicious. I was avoiding looking at them the whole time, and the cashier didn’t even give them a second glance.

“That’s good,” she said.

Still, her asking about them was the first time the idea of sex had come up since this whole trip had become a thing. The conversation felt so different. Normally I would have been making some joke that was at least trying to be funny. Something that might have not been funny at all, but Jane would have been laughing because we liked each other. Yeah, if I hadn’t had so much anxiety I might have said something like, Yeah, I hear celery is the natural alternative to Viagra.

Instead I said, “Two more hours.”

“Huh?” she replied.

“‘Til we get there, GPS says about two hours to go. You don’t need a pee break or anything do you?”

“No.”

It was hard to believe I’d only met Jane about two months ago and as far I as I could tell, we were going to have sex, and it was only hours away.

#

“… Speaking of grocery shopping…” The crowd was already laughing. “I hate going to the store to buy deodorant.” My previous two jokes had killed, as they say. “They all have slogan’s like, a 24 hour deodorant for a 24 hour man, engineered for sports fanatics, and of course my favorite, Apollo Axe. Nothing beats an astronaut. Nothing beats an astronaut? Are you serious? I’m not trying to be an athlete and go to the moon. I just don’t want stinky arm pits.” A pause for more laughter. “Why can’t they have a deodorant that says, smell good while watching TV.”

Someone shouted, “Tell it dude!, alongside the laughter.

“Sometimes I’m tempted to get Secret. You know… Strong enough for a man. I don’t need all this athletic stuff… If it’s strong enough for a man, that’s good enough for me, even if it is pH balanced for a woman.”

There was applause and more laughter! I couldn’t believe it. I’m not saying I expected to be the next Jerry Seinfeld, but the fact that I got any laughter certainly made me dream. If I wasn’t kidding myself, I would acknowledge that the crowd was easy. I knew most of the people there. On top of that, before my turn a girl had been playing the accordion and it wasn’t good. It was embarrassing. I was thankful to that girl.

“See I told you you were hilarious,” Caroline said to me as I sat down.

“Thanks!” I said. I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt like everyone was staring at me, but it wasn’t a bad stare. It was a stare because they thought I was awesome. I probably had a smile to match the circumstance. “It’s crazy, I totally feel high. I think. But I’ve never done drugs so I don’t know.”

She laughed, “There you go again. You could work that into your next bit.”

I laughed, “You think?!” I said. I was already working out in my mind if that would work as a joke. I didn’t think it would.

I was glad that Caroline had introduced me to Second Street Cafe. They did open-mic nights pretty much every day. It was the usual mishmash of college students trying out various talents. Poetry, singing, and other music talents were the norm. Every now and then you saw magic or juggling or something different. Caroline had said I ought to try doing some standup. It was a pretty safe environment. It was the type of place where once you’ve been going there for a couple of months, you feel really comfortable and know a lot of the people there. Accordion girl had been new. I kind of wondering how she was doing. I didn’t see her anywhere.

“Hey look!” Caroline said. “I think you got a fan!”

“Huh?” I replied. Then I saw her.

She was fast approaching our table. I’d seen her at the cafe before. She was an attractive brunette with long curly hair, fit body, and a pretty face. “I’m Jane,” she said as she arrived at the table.

“Riley,” I announced.

“I know,” she replied. Obviously she knew. It had been like two minutes since I was onstage. “I think you’re a pretty funny guy.” She handed me a napkin with a phone number on it. “Why don’t you give me a call some time?”

I didn’t say anything in reply as she walked away. I pocketed the napkin.

“Well that’s a bold girl,” Caroline said.

“Yeah,” I said. “Does she even know we aren’t dating each other?”

“Maybe she asked around. Maybe she doesn’t care,” Caroline said without a hint of jealousy. “You going to call her?”

“No idea,” I said. A girl had never approached me like that before. Everyone I had gone out with before had been a friend of one of my friends, or I had known them for years. This girl I had only seen around the cafe a few times, and until then I hadn’t known her name. “Do you know who she is?”

“I don’t know much about her,” she said. “I don’t think she’s majoring in the arts, but I have seen her around school. Why don’t you ask Sara about her? I think they are friends.”

“Sara?”

“Sitting over there,” she motioned.

I didn’t know Sara. I’d seen her around the cafe as well. I wasn’t about to talk to someone I didn’t know, though. Caroline realized this, “You should call her. You might like her.”

“I guess,” I said. I left the cafe earlier than usual that night debating if I should call this girl or not.

#

“Wow! This is honestly not what I expected,” Jane said as we walked in the cabin door. “I really thought it would be like some ice-fishing shack or something.”

I laughed. The tension was down a bit. “Yeah, I had no reason to lie.” She had already walked through the den and was opening various cabinets in the kitchen to see what was available.

“It really is just like some mansion by the lake. You could live here.” She opened the dishwasher and closed it then started walking into the back rooms. There were two bedrooms on the ground floor, after a quick glance at them I followed her up the stairs. Three bedrooms up there. “Five bedrooms. We should have invited more people.”

Yes, I thought. Caroline for one. Maybe Bobby Moulton for good measure. “Totally! We can each have our own room.”

She turned to me. I didn’t know how to read her response.

“Well I mean mostly everyone can. I guess there will be six of us. So two will share.”

“Uh huh,” she said. She suddenly seemed less excited about the size of the cabin.

“Why don’t we get our bags and supplies into the cabin then go hiking,” I suggested.

“Okay, that might be fun,” she said.

The hike ended up being as quiet as the drive. I didn’t even hold her hand. She ended up walking ahead of me on the trail. I couldn’t figure why this attractive girl would want to have sex with a weirdo like me. I wasn’t really a weirdo, dorky maybe, but not really a weirdo. In any case I kept trying to think of things that were wrong with me, or reasons why Jane shouldn’t want to have sex with me. I couldn’t come up with any good reasons.

We got back just at sunset.

“Why don’t we watch a movie,” I asked. I picked up the remote control from the coffee table.

“You don’t want to have sex with me, do you?” It was an attack. Plain and simple.

I froze, I had the remote pointed at the TV. I wasn’t even looking in her direction, but I could feel the cold hard stern look on her face. I didn’t want to turn to her. I didn’t want to see her. Did I have to? Did I need to look her in the eye. No, I thought, you don’t owe her a look in they eye, you don’t owe anybody anything. I kept my eyes on the TV. You must look her in the eye, or you are a coward for the rest of your life, I thought. I turned to her, and the look on her face was even worse than I imagined. It was almost like this sad disappointment, weighed down with rejection. “I do. I really do, but I just don’t think I’m ready.” There I had said it. I had expressed my anxiety that I’d had for the past two weeks. I felt like I sounded like a child. The look on her face eased a bit, but not much, no sympathy.

That only lasted a few seconds. Her expression changed. Her eyes tightened. Her voice was raised, “What did you think we came up here for?”

I’d never seen her so angry.

I stood there, not responding, not even moving. She grabbed both her suitcases from near the front door where we’d left them. One of them flipped on it’s side as she stormed away into one of the bedrooms. She didn’t care she just dragged it. The bedroom door slammed shut. I decided it would be best if I took one of the bedrooms on the upper floor, as far from her as possible.

I didn’t sleep. I spent the night wondering how angry she was. The only consolation I gave myself was that maybe this would turn into the cliche cabin in the woods horror movie and she was going to be the angry ex-lover gone killer. Except no loving had actually happened. I figured it was over between us. I was disappointed. I liked Jane. I was mad at myself for being afraid. I wanted to leave the cabin and go home. That said I felt an overwhelming sense of relief that I didn’t have to deal with my virginity that night.

The next morning I was afraid to get up. I stayed in bed as long as I could. I didn’t want to face Jane, but I knew I couldn’t stay in the room all day. Still, technically it was spring break, I could probably stay in bed until an hour before noon and no one would think that was weird. And that’s what I did. I got up at 11. As I was walking down the stairs I saw Jane sitting on the couch in the den. She had heard me coming down and turned to me when I reach the ground floor. “I called Sara,” she said, “our friends our coming up today instead of tomorrow. They’re probably already half way here.”

I nodded at her, and thought about how much I had royally screwed up. I was certain I didn’t have a girlfriend anymore. I walked into the kitchen. We had the groceries to have eggs and bacon, or some other warm meal. I wasn’t feeling up to making anything. I had cold cereal.

A few hours later another car pulled up. I walked out to greet them. I was the host after all. It was Ryan Murdock, Adam Rife, and Jimmy Erickson. I half imagined they were going to be the cliche jocks that you see in horror movies. “Hey, Riley,” Adam said. “Thanks for setting this up for us.” None of them were jocks. Just college students looking to have fun on spring break. I kind of felt bad for them too. As far as I knew Jane and Sara were going to be the only girls here. Maybe they thought they had a chance of meeting someone on the lake. Maybe they all wanted to get into Jane’s pants. At that point I figured they had a better chance than me.

“Hey Adam!” I said. I tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible. “Want me to give you the grand tour?”

“For sure,” “Yeah,” “That’d be awesome,” they all said in unison.

I felt out of mind as I showed them the cabin. About the only thing I wondered is if they noticed that Jane and I had our stuff in different rooms, and on different floors. Jane joined the tour as we went up the stairs to the second floor. I wondered if she wanted to see where I had slept. I kept thinking to myself that I should call it quits with Jane, and tell her that I wanted to break up, right in front of her guy friends. I felt like a real loser. I was a loser. Really I wanted to break up with her before she had the chance to officially dump me.

“And that’s it,” I said as I ended the tour. “I guess there’s a lot of stuff to do at the lake as well. Swimming, hiking, boating if we want to rent something.”

“Yeah, we should do that,” Jimmy said. “If we all chip in it shouldn’t be too expensive to get something. Even a rowboat if we have to.”

“Yeah, let’s go down to the lake and at least see what our options are,” Adam said. “Worse case, I’ll ask my dad to Western Union the money. Cha-ching!”

“Sara’s not here yet,” Jane said. It was the first thing I’d heard her say for hours. “Maybe someone should wait here for here so we don’t have to worry about her finding us.” Jane was staring at me.

“Oh yeah… Good idea. I can wait for her… Since I’m the host, after all.” I swear I saw a nod, or some other look of approval from Jane. And just like that she was gone with three sexy dudes, to go boating, or something.

I found myself alone in the cabin. My plan was to tell Jane it was over when they got back. The words needed to be said in order to seal the breakup. Then I thought how good it felt to have a girlfriend, and I thought maybe I shouldn’t say anything, because maybe she wouldn’t say anything either, and things would work out. Realistically I didn’t think we could be a couple anymore. I didn’t think I could even talk to her anymore. All the jokes and flirting between us were a thing of the past. A thing ruined by the mysticism of sex.

I was bored out of my mind, and found myself pacing about. Without much thought I walked into her bedroom and and opened her luggage. I didn’t know what I hoped to find. Maybe steal her panties as a memento that I once had a girlfriend. A lot of thoughts crossed my mind. I was surprised to find that she had brought a season of the show The Office on DVD. The Office had been one of my favorite shows, but I didn’t remember ever mentioning that to her. Maybe I had brought it up once and she remembered. I wondered if she was planning for the lot of us to have an “Office Marathon”. Seeing the DVDs made me think that maybe we had a lot more in common than I suspected, and that maybe if I had been more open with her we might have had a much better relationship. I felt like an idiot. I didn’t know why I had been so afraid to have sex with her. I left her room and decided I wouldn’t say anything when she got back. If she wanted to break up, it was in her hands.

An hour or so passed by and another car arrived at the cabin, I went outside to see who it was. It was Sara. She arrived alone. Since Sara and Jane had been best friends for years I had sort of gotten to know her while hanging out with Jane, but only a little. She said, “Hi Riley,” to me with a little wave.

“Jane’s out boating,” I declared. I wondered if Jane had already told Sara what had happened the night before.

Sara was about as attractive as Jane. She was shorter, with straight blonde hair, and more curves on her body. I felt embarrassed checking her out. Hell, I felt embarrassed checking Jane out while we were on dates.  I’m pretty sure that Sara noticed that I had swept my eyes over her.

“Help me with my stuff, we can wait inside.” she said.

“Alright,” I said.

She popped open the trunk of her car and I grabbed her two bags out of it. “You’re a real gentlemen,” she said.

“Well I wouldn’t want to disappoint my mom,” I said.

She laughed. “Way to be! I wish my mom taught my brothers that.” We both laughed.

We went inside. I set the bags down by the door. “I guess I’ll give you the grand tour,” I said. “Everyone else had it already.”

“Sounds like a plan,” she said.

“You can pretty much take any room you want. Plenty to go around.” We walked into the den. “Well this is the Den,” I plopped down on the couch, “You can be lazy here all day! Even though there is a lake and trails nearby you do not even have to do any fun activities!” I said.

She laughed some more. “Funny as always,” she said. “So I can just sit here?” She sat next to me, right next to me, her hip and arm touching mine. “And do nothing all day?”

I was nervous. She was a little close, considering that Jane and I weren’t officially broken up. I wasn’t sure that it was ethical for her to be that close. I was tempted to shift to the side a bit, but I didn’t move.

“Anything to watch?” Sara asked. She scooped up the remote from the coffee table and pressed the power button on it. When she leaned back she wasn’t just next to me her shoulder was on mine.

“I’m not sure if there is cable or satellite, but we could put in a DVD.” My response was almost inaudible.

She pressed the channel button on the remote. There were indeed channels. She settled on a weather channel. Sunny all day. “The others will be out for a while?”

“I guess,” I didn’t really know, “they’ve been gone for a couple hours so far. We could text them. I don’t know how easy it would be to find them though.” I didn’t want to sound too eager to find them. I didn’t think Jane wanted me to find them.

“Anything much to do here?” She picked up a magazine that was sitting on the coffee table, and put it down again without opening a page.

“I dunno.”

“You wanna fuck?”

I found my heart beating fast. Had I heard right? I didn’t know how to respond. I wasn’t even sure if she was serious. I thought I knew her at least a little. I didn’t know her at all. I was afraid to have sex with Jane, and we’d been dating two months. Sara, I’d only been around maybe a dozen times. This was a huge deal. Jane had never mentioned that Sara was particularly loose, so her question seemed out of place. I was taking too long to respond, I’d have to decide fast. “If you want to.”

“You seem kind of nervous. Jane told me you’re a virgin.” I think I blushed. I wondered what else she had told her. Did she know about last night? That nothing happened. Is that why she was asking this now? “I don’t mind. I’ll show you what to do,” she said.

She didn’t mind? I guess I was going to do this. No backing out now. My fate was sealed now.

“It’ll feel more comfortable if we do it on a bed. Should we take this tour to the bedroom?” She laughed. It was genuine but maybe had a hint of deviance. I wanted to laugh, but did not.

“Okay,” I motioned to the right of us where the ground floor bedrooms were. She stood up, grabbed my hand and led me into one of the bedrooms. Jane’s bedroom. I felt really weird about that, but I was too nervous to say anything.

“We can do it in the dark, if it’ll make you feel less nervous.”

I knew I wouldn’t feel less nervous no matter what. I did, however, think that maybe that was a good idea. A woman had never seen me naked before, and while I doubted that Sara or any other woman would have a reason to laugh at my body, I liked the idea of doing it in the dark. “Okay,” I said.

She pulled the curtains over the room’s window. It was dark alright. There was only the light from open door where I was standing. She crossed the room, grabbed my hand, and closed the door behind us. In the dark now, she led me to the bed. She stumbled over a pair of Jane’s shoes and laughed. Soon we were on the bed, and under the sheets. “Take your clothes off,” she said.

She was shuffling around in the bed next to me so I knew that she was already undressing. I found myself slipping my t-shirt over my head. Taking my pants off was a little nerve-racking, and when I got to my underwear I was trembling. I was happy we were doing this with the lights off. It helped me feel anonymous. Like I was doing this without anyone knowing about it, not Jane, not even Sara. Sara had been undressed for some time and was waiting patiently by the time by the time I finally slipped my underwear over my feet.

My eyes had adjusted somewhat to the darkness, a little light shown around the edge of the door and window. I could see the outline of Sara’s body under the sheets. She was on her side facing toward me with her arm supporting her head. I was kind of wishing we had more lights because I wanted to see her full naked body. At the same time I didn’t want her to see mine. “Ready?” She asked gently, though somewhat impatiently.

I couldn’t speak. So I nodded, figuring that she could see well enough to see my response. I was definitely ready. My dick was so erect it hurt.

“I’m on the pill, so you don’t need to worry about a condom.”

That thought hadn’t even occurred to me, but now that she brought it up I wondered about STDs as well. I guess if she had one I was screwed because I was going to go through with this.

Without warning I felt her hand grab my dick. I hadn’t realized she had moved. “I guess you are ready.” She rolled onto her back. “Let’s do the missionary position since it’s your first time, just climb on top of me.”

I did as instructed. I sort of squirmed around under the covers until I was straddled over her. Except when she had grabbed me I hadn’t touched her, as I was hovering over her. I could sort of see her facial expression. She was smiling, almost ominous like, at least that’s how I perceived it. I couldn’t really tell in the dark. She lifted her head up and licked my face, and then she lifted her whole body up and pressed her body against my chest. I was shocked by the sudden touch and found myself collapsing onto her. Her back fell back onto the bed and I caught myself just before my full weight would have slammed down on her. She was quite a bit smaller than me and I didn’t want to crush her. Her breasts against my chest felt nice.

“Alright, just stick it in, and it’ll be over before you know it,” she instructed. I could just barely see her face, she looked excited, and it that seemed strange to me. “Use your hand to guide it in if you need to,” she explained.

I did as instructed. It all happened with one thrust. Every muscle in my body tightened, and I’m sure I had a weird expression on my face. Thank goodness the lights were out. I let out a moan and it felt better than anything I could think of. My whole body felt great. I realized I was cumming already and all I could do was let it happen. The full weight of my body collapsed on top of her. Out of instinct I wrapped my arms around her and held her as tight as I could. I wasn’t even aware but she had grabbed my butt and her grip tightened as well. I felt this urge to kiss every part of her body. After a few heavy breaths I rolled off of her. She giggled and said, “Not bad for the first time.”

Definitely better for me that for you, I thought. Then I figured I just say it out loud, “Definitely better for me than for you.” She laughed, it wasn’t really that funny.

She leaned over and licked my face again. “You’re a real sexy guy you know.”

I blushed, but of course she couldn’t see that in the dark. “Just not a real sexually experienced guy,” I said. Again, not funny, but she laughed anyway.

“I like that you lost your virginity to me,” she said.

“Oh?” I said.

“Yeah, I like you. I want you to feel good. We can do it again soon. With some practice it’ll be longer than twelve seconds, and I can teach you some foreplay.” She laughed again.

Twelve seconds! I thought. That was better than I even thought. I thought it had been about three seconds. Probably she was exaggerating, but if she was quadrupling the time, and willing to do it again with me, that must have meant something.

She leaned towards me again, put an arm around me and held on. I guessed that that was post coitus cuddling. Unsure of myself, I put an arm around her as well and lay there with her. It felt nice to have a warm body next to me. She may not have known it, but I was smiling.

I don’t know how long we were laying there. I may have fallen asleep, but some time later there was laughing coming from the den. The others were back. Before Sara or I had a chance to move, the full light from the den shown through the room’s open door. Jane was standing there, shocked for a moment, then angry. “What the fuck?” she said.

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