Life in Middleton was never exciting. And the day Cody MacGregor and Erin Fletcher were separated it was downright devastating. The two of them were only three years apart in age. They met when Erin was four years old, and from then on they became inseparable. They were the best of friends who spent practically every hour of every day together.
Cody was the braver of the two, and was always the hero in Erin’s eyes. Cody was also the stronger one, but that may have been because of her height. She was tall for only being seven years old, and continued to be taller than all of the other kids her age throughout the years.
Cody used to feel lucky for the name given her, because she knew she couldn’t stand girlie names or anything else girlie for that matter. Except for Erin. Yes, Erin could be as girlie as she wanted to be and it was okay for Cody. In fact she liked it. So, Cody made it a point every Thanksgiving holiday, to thank her father for naming her the way he did.
Cody was close to her dad. He was the only one she had around besides Erin. He was the one who took her fishing and taught her how to work on a car. Cody never knew her mom, on account that she died in a terrible car accident when she was nine months pregnant with Cody. Mr. MacGregor would hug Cody fiercely on her birthday every year, and thank the heavens out loud for leaving him with something to remember his beloved wife by.
Erin lived two houses down from her best friend. Her brother, Michael was Cody’s age, but he didn’t really hang out with them. Only when it was time for softball, and Cody joined their team —- of course, only after winning a fist fight against John Rogers, who said girls can’t play softball they only know how to cook and sew —– did Michael spend time with them. And Erin was there at every game cheering on her brother and her best friend.
Erin used to wait every morning for Cody to come get her so they can walk to school together, and every day Cody made sure Erin got home safely no matter where they were after school. Even when Erin had to attend summer school one year because she was having trouble with math, Cody was right there to walk with her and pick her up afterwards.
Erin never got tired of Cody. She could tell her best friend anything and know she would never be put down or rejected. Erin knew there was something special between her and Cody. She used to believe it was a magical rope that connected them. She said they were fashioned out of the same mold in heaven before it accidentally fell and broke.
Erin’s mom used to chastise her for her foolish thoughts and for always spending time with Cody. Her mother was disappointed that Erin didn’t try to make other friends, but for Erin, Cody was all she wanted. On the days when Erin’s mom and pop fought, Erin would stay at Cody’s and on many occasions spend the night. Together they would help Mr. MacGregor cook dinner or set the table and then all three would play a board game together. Erin and Cody would sleep on the living room floor in sleeping bags or out in the back yard in Cody’s tent on summer nights.
Yeah, life for these two girls was simple and fun — the way childhood should be for all. But one summer day changed everything for them forever.
Cody just turned thirteen years old. It was two weeks after her birthday that she woke up to find there was something very different going on. She felt different. So she stared into the huge brightly-lit bathroom mirror after her shower, and was dumbfounded to find these small round mounds of flesh where her flat chest used to be. “Oh no, this can’t be happening.” She whispered to no one. Tentatively raising a hand to poke at the fleshy lump, a tear threatened to spill over her cheeks. Far in the back of her mind, she knew that one day she would get these “things”, but had hoped that maybe the gods would bless her in not having any.
Throwing on her T-shirt, she ran out of the bathroom in search of her father. She knocked into him in the laundry room, and hugged him tightly about the waist.
“Hey, Lil’ Bit, what’s wrong?” He asked in wonder as she just held onto him. “Uhh…you’re squeezing your pa’s breakfast out of him.” He pried her arms away, and looked into her stormy blue eyes. Quickly noticing that her shirt didn’t fit just right, he chuckled. “You’re startin’ to grow up Lil’ Bit. And here I was beginnin’ to think adolescence would pass you by.” He hoisted her up onto the dryer, and crossed his burly thick arms across his broad chest.
“I don’t wanna have breasts, pa.” She stated vehemently.
“Aw, sweetie, its part of nature.” He scratched at his thick bushy black and peppered gray beard with his massive paw of a hand before continuing, “Now you know this also means you’re going start your period soon.”
“Noooo.” She grabbed at her raven hair in anger.
“Now Cody,” He took her hands in his. “We’ve had this talk, and it’s a good thing we did.” Raising her chin to meet her eyes, he lovingly said, “Honey, if I could change things for you, I would. I’d like to always keep you at ten years old as my feisty tomboy, but that’s not how life works.”
She couldn’t help but cry, so he pulled her into a hug. “I wish your ma was here to help with all this. She would know how to make you feel better.” He brushed a thick hand through her long hair. “But I’m tryin’ the best I can Lil’ Bit.”
Cody wiped at her face. “I know pa.”
“Hey, when I get home from work, we’ll go to Wal-Mart and get you a couple of training bras, and maybe some other…umm…feminine products so that we’re not completely caught by surprise when your period does come.”
She rolled her eyes, and smacked a hand to her forehead. “I really hate this.”
“I know.” He cupped her cheeks, and gave her a smile. “But you’ll be okay.”
Erin ran from the kitchen table and out into the bright sunshine outside. Grabbing her favorite purple baseball cap on the way out, the one with Winnie the Pooh eating a jar of honey, that Cody gave her a year ago, she skipped her way over to her best friend’s place.
She always started her search for Cody in the backyard because she knew her favorite friend enjoyed spending every summer day outside. Expecting to find Cody playing with her chameleon on the back porch, she was surprised there was no sign of her so she took a seat on the steps and waited a few moments. Suddenly she heard a sniffle coming from the tent in the middle of yard. Hopping up and over in that direction, she unzipped the flap, and tackled Cody onto her back with a big hug. “Hey you, how come you’re in here all alone?”
Erin looked into her favorite blue eyes and noticed the tear stained face. “What’s wrong Cody? What happened?”
Cody remained silent and just wiped at her face with the back of her hand.
“Come on C-o-d-y. You never cry. P-l-e-a-s-e talk to me, I’m your best friend. We tell each other everything.”
Ocean blue eyes looked into sea green. “I’m… growing up.”
Erin gave her a goofy smile. “Whaddya mean silly?”
“I’m… um… I’m getting breasts.”
Excitedly Erin questioned, “Really?” She clapped her hands in joy. “Yaaayy, you’re so lucky. I’m going to be so happy when I start to grow up and have breasts.”
“But I don’t want them. I’m not glad I have them.” Cody hung her head in anger.
Erin bit her bottom lip, and wondered what to say to help her friend. “I’m sorry you don’t want them. I wish you could give them to me. It would be so nice.”
Cody chuckled. “You’re such a girl.”
“I like being a girl. Don’t you like me being a girl?”
“You know I do.”
Erin gave her a huge grin, and a giggle. “So… can I see them?”
Cody’s black eyebrow arched up under her bangs. “You’re kidding… right?”
“P-l-e-a-s-e?” Erin asked sweetly.
Cody sighed heavily, and then proceeded to unbutton her shirt. “You know, I have to wear two shirts now so that they don’t show so much.” She then pulled up her T-shirt.
Erin stared in fascination. “Wow, I think they’re pretty. Are they going to get bigger?”
“God, I hope not.” Cody complained and yanked her shirt back down.
“You know this means you’ll need a bathing suit to go swimming now.” Erin giggled again at her friend’s predicament.
“Awww hell, I hadn’t thought of that. This is horrible — just horrible. I want them gone.”
“No. No, it’s not. Maybe you’ll grow to like them one day.” She commented with another giggle, but stifled it quickly when Cody just stared with arms crossed over her chest. “Okay, anyway, come on, we have things to do. You promised to show me the baby bunnies you found yesterday.” Erin said as she exited the tent.
They walked through the neighborhood and all the way down to Mr. Jamison’s farm. Out around back where the chickens gathered to stay out of the hot sun, Cody led Erin to a large and leafy bush.
“This is where I saw them,” she whispered carefully. “We have to be quiet and be slow with our movements. We don’t want to scare them.”
“Okay.” Erin whispered in return.
Lying down onto their stomachs, Erin followed Cody’s exact movements. Under the thick foliage, very near to the trunk of the bush was a leafy bed with four bunnies napping on top.
Cody watched Erin’s eyes light up, and she couldn’t help to have a huge grin on her face to see her friend’s excitement at the newborns.
“I want to hold one of them.” Erin commented in a very low voice.
Cody shook her head and rolled blue eyes. Tugging on Erin’s shirt sleeve, she motioned for her to crawl back out.
As they dusted off, Cody began to explain. “We can’t touch the bunnies cause if the mother smells that her babies have been touched, she might very well reject them. It’s kind of like our body scent will get left on the bunny and the bunny will be considered umm…tainted. So the mother will abandon them.”
“That’s terrible that she would do such a thing.” Erin interjected.
“I know it seems that way to us, but that’s how it is in the animal kingdom.”
“You’re so smart Cody.”
“Nah. Come on, let’s go fishing.”
“You mean, you’ll go fishing. But I’ll help you collect worms. Ugh, I can’t stand touching fish.” Erin commented in passing.
The rest of the morning was spent down by the old pond. Cody fished to her heart’s content as she listened to her best friend’s thoughts on anything and everything. Erin could sure talk up a storm, if given the opportunity.
Erin came home for dinner to the sound of mom and dad arguing again. She quickly went upstairs to Michael’s room. Plopping down onto his bed, she pulled the pillow up over her head.
He watched her from his perch on the window sill. He knew she hated what was going on downstairs. He hated it too.
Late that night Erin ran to Cody’s house in tears. She found her friend roasting marshmallows in the small charcoal grill, and fell to her knees at Cody’s feet.
“Erin, what’s wrong?”
Erin could not speak immediately. She just clutched her friend about the waist and sobbed.
Cody moved to hold her, and tried to calm her down. “Whatever it is, we’ll fix it. Tell me why you’re crying.”
“Pa… came home… and they… started… fighting again. I… overheard…” She sobbed harder as she clutched Cody tighter. “Ma… is taking… us to… grandma’s. We’re… not… coming back.” She cried louder.
Mr. MacGregor came out wondering what all the commotion was about. “Lil’ Bit, what’s going on?”
“I don’t know everything right now, Pa. But I’ll tell you when I do.”
“Alright. I’ll be in the living room if you need me.”
He returned indoors, and Cody tried to coax Erin into explaining.
“Come on, let’s sit down.” Cody commented, and then began to help wipe the tears from Erin’s face. “Can you explain to me from the beginning what is going on?”
Erin nodded as she sniffled for the tenth time. “After Pa left the house, sometime later Ma called us downstairs. I got scared cause I knew it was going to be something bad. I grabbed Michael’s hand and we sat on the couch. Ma tried to explain to us that she and Pa were getting a divorce. She said that we had to pack up all of our things because we were going to live with her, and that we were all leaving for grandma’s house in two days. I started to cry and I screamed that I didn’t want to leave. She grabbed me and slapped me, and that’s when I ran over here.”
Cody could not believe what she was hearing. Never before had she given it any thought that the two of them would be separated. She became angry at Mrs. Fletcher and blamed her for taking Erin away.
They each cried their tears, and when Cody felt she could go in and convey to her Pa what the situation was, she got up and carried out the task. Mr. MacGregor had a long talk with them once he heard the news. He had informed them that they were lucky to have known each other for so long and to have such a great friendship. He also told them that if they want to see each other again, they could. They just needed to believe they would, and it would happen. He was saddened by the situation, because he knew this would change the girls forever, and he didn’t want them to grow up bitter.
Both girls lay in each other’s embrace inside Cody’s tent. They cried for half the night together. Neither of them wanted to be separated but they knew they couldn’t stop what was happening.
Morning found them still in each other’s arms with tired and worn faces. They got up and silently had breakfast together. Cody walked with Erin over to her house to help with the packing. The next couple of days proved to be very difficult for them. Erin wanted to talk and reminisce on the times they’ve had together these past several years. But Cody didn’t want to talk much at all because she felt like there was nothing that could be said to change what was going to occur.
When the final hour came, they held onto one another as long as they could.
“I love you Cody.”
Stormy blue eyes gazed into sea green. “I love you too, Erin.” She hugged her fiercely as she continued, “I want you to listen to me. When we’re old enough, no one will be able to tell us what to do or where to live. We’ll be able to be together forever. I want you to remember that I will come for you. No matter where you are, I’ll find you.” Cody looked into her emerald green eyes again filled with tears. Softly, she said, “I love you Erin Fletcher, and I… want to marry you.”
A wide-eyed Erin dropped her jaw in disbelief. She had never considered that before even though she and Cody used to always play “house” with Erin’s dolls, and Cody always played the daddy. “Really? When we’re grown up, can we really get married and live happily ever after?”
“Sure we can. Just you wait and see. When we’re the right age, we’ll marry and do whatever we want.”
“Oh Cody, when? How old do I have to be?” She desperately asked.
Cody thought about it for a moment. She bit her bottom lip as she counted out the years. “When you’re twenty-one, I’ll come for you.”
“But that’s so far away.”
Cody tried to wipe at her own tears. “I know it’s far. And I wish it could be sooner, but it can’t.”
Suddenly they both heard the familiar honking of Mrs. Fletcher impatiently waiting outside.
“I promise you Erin. No matter what, I will come for you. Don’t ever forget that, and don’t forget I love you.”
They hugged fiercely one last time before Erin quickly kissed her on the cheek and ran out of the house.
Mr. MacGregor walked up behind his daughter, and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder as he wiped away his own stray tear with a free hand. He was so surprised at the exchange of words between the girls, and he knew that deep down in his heart that nothing would keep these two from being together one day.
“I’m gonna miss her bad pa,” Cody choked out.
“I know Lil’ Bit. I know.”
Twelve years have passed, and Erin found herself back in Middleton. Nothing really changed in this small town except for some of the town’s folks. Erin and Michael decided to return to Middleton nine months ago. He bought a house, where they agreed to live together. They were only there for three months before Michael fell in love with Kathy Jenkins. Kathy never left Middleton, and she remembered the siblings from when they were all in school together. Soon, Kathy became Michael’s fiancée, and moved in with them.
Erin worked as manager of the local Laundromat. She hated it, but knew she didn’t have the college education to do something better. Michael got lucky with some college education and his knack for computers. He got himself a computer-programming job at the HP branch just outside of town.
Erin made it a point to walk past Cody’s old house everyday on her way to work, even though it was out of her way, and as she passed it, she wondered what happened to her best friend. During her free time, she re-visited all of their old hang outs and also spent much time out at the softball field where kids still gathered to play. She found herself crying on many occasions as she remembered those last words that Cody promised to her. ‘I’ll come for you. No matter where you are, I’ll find you —– when you’re twenty-one.’
Erin wiped the tears from her cheeks for the umpteenth time. “What ever happened to you Cody MacGregor? Where have you gone? And why have I never heard from you?” She got up from her spot on the bleachers. It was time she returned to work, and she wasn’t much excited about it.
The roar of a shiny black and chrome Harley made its way into town. The mysterious black leather clad figure was unidentifiable to those who stood staring. The bike came to a halt at the Cozy Diner — a place that’s been around for decades.
The tall figure dismounted and removed the equally black full face helmet with darkened visor. Long knuckled fingers brushed through short raven hair. Hooking the helmet onto the handlebars, the figure stepped into the diner. Up at the counter, a question was posed to the waitress. “Good afternoon. I just got into town and was hoping you may help me.”
The older woman just looked at her with her mouth hung open. She was still new in town and hadn’t learned the names of the local dining folks yet. She felt intimidated by the tall person with piercing sapphire eyes. Finally finding her voice, she said, “Wha…what can I do for you?”
“Well, I’m looking for someone who lived here many years ago. Her name is Erin Fletcher.”
The waitress began to relax as she noticed how polite and beautiful this person’s voice is. “I’m sorry, I didn’t grow up here. I’m originally from Lakewood and just moved here about five years ago.”
Disappointed, the figure said, “Oh. Well, do you happen to know of anyone who lived here for more than ten years?”
The patrons of the diner were silencing their conversations from the moment that the mysterious stranger had entered their establishment. A few whispers passed amongst the tables as many wondered who this individual wanted with someone from their little town.
Suddenly, a bold man in his thirties decided to have a little fun at the expense of someone else. “You looking for Erin?” He questioned as he turned around on the stool.
“Yeah.” The stranger responded.
“And who are you?” The man asked with a sneer on his face.
“Why do you need to know?” Was the response given to him.
He looked at her and wondered if this person was really a ‘she’ or ‘he’. He scratched an imaginary itch along his five o’clock shadow, as if in thought. “Ah, well… Erin… yeah Erin died a couple of months ago. Yeah, apparently her husband went looney and killed her.”
The figure didn’t budge or respond. She didn’t want to believe him.
“Yep that’s right, you can go to the graveyard and see for yourself. She died under Erin Peterson.” He gave her a leering grin and returned to his food. No one else in the diner said a word.
Cody happened to glance at some of the other patrons, and noticed that they were silently nodding their heads in confirmation that Erin Peterson was dead. She quickly left, returning to her bike and drove off. Within minutes she was at the cemetery, walking slowly up and down the gravesites in search of Erin’s. She found the tombstone that was marked, Erin Peterson. It gave the date of death, but for some reason didn’t give her birth date. She could only presume this is who that jerk was talking about and that this was her beloved Erin. She couldn’t help but fall to her knees and cry. She began to claw at the grass and dirt and cried harder. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I didn’t come sooner. I love you Erin. Always.” She stayed for an hour before exhaustion prompted her to get up and check in at the only motel in town.
At the front desk, she encountered old Mr. Thompson. He and her father were good friends, and Mr. Thompson was always very kind to the girls when they came into his ice cream shop.
“Well, howdy Cody. Been a long time.”
“Mr. Thompson?” She questioned with surprise. “What are you doing here? What happened to you… being at the shop?”
“Oh, my boy runs the shop now. I just work here and there wherever anyone can use me every now and then. I like to keep busy, ya know. It makes me feel alive.” He commented with a twinkle in his somewhat clouded brown eyes. “So, you want a room for the night?”
He handed her the key in his gnarled and arthritic hand. “So… you going to see Erin later? She’s been in town for almost a year now. She and Michael live down on Old McHenry Road.”
Cody froze at his words. Azure eyes stared at him dumbfounded. “You… you said… Erin lives with her brother?” The questions began to run rampant through her mind. Is he senile? Maybe he doesn’t remember what’s happened? But wait, he remembers me? She thought to herself.
“Oh yeah. You know, she works at the Laundromat now. She’s such a beautiful girl. Still has a head full of ideas about one day leaving this place and marrying the one she loves.”
Cody blinked in disbelief. She was so tired from her journey and the disheartening news she had received at the diner, that she was beginning to think she misunderstood him. “But… someone told me Erin Peterson died.”
Mr. Thompson furrowed gray eyebrows in thought. Adjusting his wire rimmed glasses, he looked at her again. “Erin Peterson?” The elderly man questioned, thinking carefully about the name. “Yep… Erin Peterson did die some months back. It was a tragic thing too. Poor girl.” He shook his head sadly. “But you’re not looking for Erin Peterson, are ya?” He gave her a look that indicated he was completely in his right mind. “Ya know, if you hurry, you can still catch her before her shift ends.” He gave her a wink and watched her run out to her bike.
Erin finished mopping the soapy spill that occurred at machine number nine. She taped an ‘out of order’ sign at the coin slot and went into the back to clean up. Filling out the work order of what exactly was wrong with the machine, she placed it in her tray of things to do on Monday. She didn’t care for contacting the repair guy because he just so happened to be an asshole who wouldn’t fix the machines the right way in the first place.
Her sister-in-law to be sat behind the counter chewing gum and arranging the small bottles of soap and fabric softener they had available for purchase.
“Alright, I’m done for the night. I’m heading out Kathy. You’ll be okay with closing up?”
“Oh yeah, no problem.” Kathy responded with a smile as she continued to pop her gum. Kathy liked Erin a lot. She considered the young blonde a warm and kindhearted friend, and she was very grateful for Erin hiring her as additional part-time help. Kathy wanted the extra money to buy Michael a special gift for his upcoming birthday.
Erin hung up her apron, let down her hair and walked out the front doors. In the darkened street she inhaled the fresh scent of approaching rain in this early autumn night. Suddenly she frowned a moment as something tugged at her heart. She stopped as the strange feeling washed over her.
“Erin?” A beautiful contralto voice softly called out to her.
She turned around searching for the voice’s owner, and then fainted at the sight of recognizable ocean blue eyes. Cody caught her right away, picked her up and carried her back inside. She approached the red-head at the counter who was now staring at them. “She fainted out front. Do you have a back room I can lay her in?” She addressed Kathy.
“Um… yeah. Follow me to the break room.” She quickly opened the door and ushered them in. Grabbing a couple of paper towels, she doused them in cold water and proceeded to gently dab it across Erin’s forehead and cheeks. “Maybe I should call for an ambulance.” Kathy commented out loud.
“I think she’ll be okay. She just fainted when she saw me.” Cody responded as she cradled Erin’s head.
Kathy eyed her suspiciously wondering who this person was.
Cody looked up into hazel eyes. “We were best friends as kids, and we haven’t seen each other in more than ten years.” She said with emotion.
Suddenly Kathy recognized her. “Oh my god.” She gripped the front of her apron near her heart. “You’re… Cody. I can hardly believe it. Do you remember me? I’m Kathy — Kathy Jenkins. We were in middle school together.”
“Hi Kathy.” Cody said with half a grin. “I do remember you.” She felt a stirring in her arms as Erin slowly started to come around. She looked down a moment and then back up at Kathy. “I think she’s recovering. Umm…would you mind leaving us for a bit?”
“Oh sure, I’ll leave you two alone.” She answered and stepped out, closing the door behind her.
Cody looked adoringly into the face of the one she’s dreamt about for so long. Green eyes fluttered open to find blue ones staring back at her. Cody slowly sat her up and smiled.
The young blonde covered her mouth in an attempt to stifle the uncontrollable racking sobs.
Cody just held her like she used to when they were kids. She brushed long fingers gently through strawberry blonde hair. “I’ve missed you so much.” She confessed as the tears streaked her face.
“Oh Cody, I can’t believe you’re here. Please don’t let this be a dream. God…don’t let me go. Please don’t let go.” Erin babbled as she continued to cry.
“I’m right here, and I don’t plan on ever letting you go.”
Once their tears subsided, they wiped each other’s face in the same manner as they used to so long ago. Cody brushed her thumbs across Erin’s cheeks as Erin used her entire hand.
Erin then gazed at her, carefully noting the changes that have taken place in her best friend. “You cut your hair.” She ran her fingers through the very short raven locks, and liked that it was longer on top than in the back.
“Yeah. Do you like it?”
“Oh yes, definitely. It really suits you. Do you like that I kept mine long?”
“Definitely.” She tenderly brushed long fingers through the blonde locks. “And it’s still soft like cotton spun gold.”
Erin ran her hands down leather clad arms then across the black T-shirt. Out of pure desire, she pushed the biker jacket off, brushing her fingertips now along bare arms. She felt muscles flex underneath her ministrations. “You’ve been working out?”
“Umm…I’ve done a lot of rock climbing, and I like to do weights.”
“And you’re into leather?” Erin asked with peeked curiosity.
The innocent touches were beginning to ignite a fire in Cody’s lower regions. “Um… yeah… I ride a Harley.”
“Sounds very sexy.” Erin commented as she began to stroke the leather clad thighs. “When are you going to take me for a ride?” She questioned inquisitively.
“Whenever you… want.” Cody firmly gripped a small waist pulling it closer to her own.
“And when… are you going… to… kiss me?” Erin asked with a shy smile.
Cody returned the smile as she bit her bottom lip. “I didn’t want to seem pushy.” She hooked a finger under Erin’s chin and gently guided their lips together. With that one kiss, all time stopped for the two of them. There was nothing but a void of silence in that all consuming kiss. Mouths parted allowing tongues to slide and caress one another. Moans erupted from each woman before they broke away in need of air.
“Wow, you sure know how to kiss a girl,” Erin commented.
“You’re very good too,” Cody answered as a shade of scarlet crept up her cheeks.
“Have you eaten?” Erin asked.
Cody shook her head.
“Let’s go to the pizza joint, and that way we can talk. There’s so much we need to fill each other in about.”
“Sure,” Cody responded.
They sat in a booth waiting for their pie. A pitcher of beer sat center table with two full glasses, one for each of them. Erin finished off her salad as Cody gazed at her like a lovesick teenager.
“You’re going to give me a complex if you don’t stop that staring. I feel like I’ve got something stuck on my face.” Erin commented bashfully.
“I can’t help it. You’re so beautiful. You’ve really turned into an incredible young woman.” Cody reached across the table and gently stroked the back of Erin’s hand with a thumb.
The waiter came out with their pizza, and his eyes grew wide at the small display. Clearing his throat, he laid the pie down, and purposefully looked to Erin. “Is there anything else I can get you?”
“No thanks.” As he walked off, she whispered to Cody. “I don’t like the way people are staring, and that waiter didn’t seem very pleasant.”
“I know what you mean, but I don’t care. I’m used to being stared at. In Britain, people are more socially civilized than here. I felt more welcomed out there. Even in the big city of Chicago there’s a larger gay population, and that helps one feel comfortable.”
“Oh what did you do in Britain? It must have been just wonderful. How long were you there for?”
“I was participating in a motorcycle convention. I refurbish old racing bikes for a living, and attend all of the classic cycle conventions to show off my work. It makes good money, and I get a lot of free time. And I get to do something that I love.” Cody took a big bite of her food, and then said, “I thought Britain was a fascinating country. I had the opportunity to visit Germany, Amsterdam, France and Italy. The trip was fantastic. But you don’t want to hear all about that now. I’d like to know what happened so many years ago. You just disappeared from the face of the earth. I didn’t know how to reach you, or even where to go to start. Tell me what’s been going on with you. What happened when you moved to Boston with your grandma?”
Green eyes fell down to her plate. “It was awful.” She looked back up into the azure eyes that she adored and missed so much, and continued, “I would have never survived if I didn’t have Michael with me.” She pulled a slice of mushroom off of the cheese and popped it in her mouth. “Umm…mom met a man out there soon after we moved. She took to him immediately, and before the summer was over, we had moved in with him. Michael and I were so angry about the arrangement. I wrote you a letter telling you that we had to move again. I really would have preferred to stay with grandma, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter.”
Cody frowned. “Wait, you wrote to me?”
Erin cocked her head as she looked at her friend. “Of course. I wrote to you all of the time. I remember I always asked mom to put a stamp on it and mail it for me on her way to work. I couldn’t understand why you never returned any of my letters. At first I thought I wasn’t writing the right address, but Michael told me I was. He said he would go to the post office with me next time so we could ask if I was doing something wrong. Mom overheard us, and scolded us for being foolish. She said she was mailing all of my letters and there was nothing to worry about that maybe you just didn’t want to write back.”
Cody leaned over with her forearms on the table. “Erin, I never got any of your letters. If I did, I would have written right away. I checked the mail everyday for a year.”
“I know you didn’t get the letters.” She reached over and took her friend’s large hand in her own. “Mom lied to me. She never mailed any of the letters. I found one of my letters in her coat pocket when I was searching for some gum. The letter had been written a couple of weeks earlier, and she never sent it. When I confronted her about it, I got slapped. After that, I mailed a couple of letters myself but they were returned to me.”
The raven haired woman looked at her sadly. “That would have been the time that Pa and I moved. He was promoted in the company, and was given the option of moving somewhere else with a better pay. He talked to me about it, and we both agreed there was just no reason to stay in Middleton. He didn’t feel it was necessary to leave a forwarding address.”
“Well, that all makes sense now.” Erin commented.
“Yeah, it sure does.” She took a swig of her beer. “So, what else happened when you had to move again?”
“Michael and I couldn’t stand having this man act as our dad. He was cold, and rather strict. We were very limited to after school activities, but in time we did the best we could to adjust. But things got worse when Michael moved out when he turned nineteen. Walter — that was his name — started making passes at me. I was appalled the first time and he laughed. The second and third times got worse, where he would actually grab me but I fought him off at each one. Well, I got really scared and told Michael. He said he would stop by the next day and have a talk with mom to see if I could move in with him.
“The next day came, and Walter came home early from work. He walked right into my room and started being all nice —- asking me about my day at school and what not. Then he made a pass again when he sat on the edge of my bed and brushed his dirty fingers down my arm. I told him to leave me alone, and he backhanded me. The next thing I know he was on me. I screamed and fought, but he only laughed. He tore my shorts off and my shirt open. It was horrible Cody. Luckily, Michael had come home and heard me screaming. The next thing I knew Michael jumped him and in the midst of them fighting and things in my room breaking, Michael somehow got hold of a piece of broken mirror and shoved it in Walter’s neck.
“Mother was so livid at us. She blamed me for ruining her life, and she stood against us in court. We won the case though cause there was so much evidence in our favor. I moved out immediately and stayed with Michael. We’ve been living together since then, and that’s been good. We used to talk about you and how much fun you were to be around. You know he really admired how good you were at softball.”
Cody’s fists were clenched under the table. Stormy blue eyes showed her anger at what happened. She wanted to cry but couldn’t bring herself to let her guard down in the restaurant. “Please… let’s go.” She threw down forty dollars, and walked out.
Erin frowned and quickly followed. She wondered if her best friend was angry at her. Outside, by the bike, she saw Cody cover her face in large hands. “Are you angry at me?”
“What?” Cody asked, and then it dawned on her what Erin had asked. “No. No of course not. What happened wasn’t your fault. Please don’t ever think that.” The tears began to fall from those sapphire eyes. She pulled Erin into a hug and said, “I’m so mad that I wasn’t there for you — that you had to go through that.”
“So, you’re not disappointed that I’m not a virgin?” Erin hesitantly asked.
“God Erin, no. I could never be disappointed in you. I adore you.” She kissed the blonde crown and looked into sea green eyes. “And just so you know, I’m not a virgin either.”
“I was so lonely and sad one night when I was in Amsterdam, that I got my stupid ass drunk, and found myself the next morning in a strange bed with a blonde woman who I guess at the time reminded me of you. It was such a stupid thing for me to…”
Erin hushed her with two fingers on her lips. “It’s okay.” She laid her head upon Cody’s chest. “So what’s going to happen?”
Cody yawned, “Well first I need to sleep. I’m so exhausted, and even though I’d love to stay up with you all night, I don’t believe I’ll be good company. So, I figured I’d go back to the motel.”
“Please don’t leave me. Now that we’re together, I couldn’t bear to be apart again.” She bit her bottom lip contemplating on whether to finish her thoughts. “It’s been over ten years since… we’ve… slept in each other’s arms, and I’d like… to re-live that again.”
Cody hooked a finger under her chin bringing her face up. “Anything for you.”
“Come back to the house with me, and sleep in my room. It’ll be much nicer than the hotel. Michael and Kathy will already be asleep, but I know Michael will be excited to see you again.
“Alright,” Cody answered with a smile.
Erin exited her bathroom only wearing her blue ‘Hanes Her Way’ panties and a white T-shirt. The only light on in the room was the bedside lamp, and from what she could make out, Cody was already asleep.
She turned out the light, climbed under the covers, and snuggled up to her best friend. Cody automatically embraced her as Erin laid her head on Cody’s shoulder.
“Does Michael know you’re home?” She asked in a sleepy husky voice.
“Yes. While you were in the bathroom, I heard him coming up the stairs from having his usual midnight snack. He’s happy and said he’d like to see you again when he gets home from work.” She whispered.
“Hmm. I love you Erin.”
“I love you too Cody. Thank you for coming back.”
In the early morning dawn, Erin got dressed and went out to surprise Cody with some breakfast. She managed to return quickly with the items in hand, and decided to take a shower.
Cody rolled over and felt around for the warm body she was missing. Opening blue eyes, she finished hearing the shower turn off. She smelled the coffee on the nightstand, and was about to reach out for it when she heard Erin.
“Nah ah ah. No breakfast until you’ve had your shower.”
“Awww.” Cody playfully complained.
“Now you get before the coffee gets cold and the donuts turn stale.”
Cody beamed like a little kid. “There’s donuts?” She sprung from the bed and ran into the bathroom.
Erin laughed as she finished drying off her hair. Within minutes Cody jumped back onto the bed with a huge grin and only wearing a towel around her waist.
“You mean to tell me you’ve showered?” Erin asked with her back still toward her friend, as she busily hung up the wet towel.
Cody excitedly announced. “I washed everywhere.”
Erin faced her and had a sharp intake of breath when she saw Cody’s naked upper body.
Cody, realizing she was half naked in front of her friend, said, “I’m sorry, I should probably put on a shirt. I’m so used to being on my own and walking around naked or just in my shorts.” She sat up, but Erin stopped her with a hand held up.
She gazed at Cody in awe. “You really have been working out.” She commented huskily. Her body was reacting to her best friend, and she liked how it felt. Without thinking, she climbed on the mattress and straddled Cody’s thighs. Emerald green eyes filled with desire connected with ocean blue. “I… don’t have any experience making love to a woman, but… I did learn a lot on the Internet.”
“The Internet’s a great thing, huh? I learned a lot there too.” Cody commented with a gulp as she saw the evident fire in Erin’s eyes.
Erin smiled, and then grew serious as she stroked Cody’s chiseled face. “I want you — as a lover. Do you want me?”
“More than anything.” She answered, and then reached over onto the floor to grab a small box out of her jeans. “I… I… promised you something long ago, and I want to fulfill that promise now.” Opening it, she presented Erin with a silver ring with emeralds and sapphires intertwined in the setting. “Erin Fletcher, will you come away with me and marry me?”
Erin gazed at the ring with tear filled eyes. “Yes. Yes to everything. Oh Cody, I’ve waited so long to hear you say that.” She kissed her squarely on the lips as Cody slipped the ring on.
Their kiss soon became heated as tongues danced and hands explored. “Please take me Cody. Make me yours forever.” She said against her friend’s lips.
“God Erin, I love you so much.” She rolled them over, and opening the robe, began working her way down to Erin’s breasts. She eyed the full round and perfect mounds with pink nipples, and then looked back into green eyes as she blew on the tender flesh. The nipple responded, awaking slowly and coming to complete attention. She did the same with the other and heard Erin moan. Gingerly, she took hold of one nipple between her teeth and tugged on it as her tongue flicked the tip of it. Erin moaned louder and arched her back. Cody gave the second nipple the same attention before she suckled her breasts like a hungry kitten.
“Ohhh… Cody. Hmmm.” Erin felt a wetness develop between her legs and a tightening in her nether regions. It seemed like she waited for this moment her whole life, and now that it was here, she hoped it would never end.
Cody was intuitively aware of something very warm and slick across her abdomen. Her mind spun with the thought of how wet her love was. She slid further down and moaned as the wetness rubbed across her skin. She kissed her way around the inside of Erin’s thighs. Her lips then lingered at the juncture of the thigh and Erin’s sex.
“Ple-a-s-e Cody… I… need… you.” Erin took hold of the back of Cody’s head and attempted to guide her where she wanted.
The dark woman complied, and buried her face between soft pussy lips. She swallowed the hard little nub, and inserted two long fingers inside her.
Erin’s hips flew off the mattress at the onslaught. “Oh-h-h… g-o-d… yesss.” She pressed on Cody’s head wanting to be consumed completely by the one she loved. Those long fingers kept rhythm inside her as that velvety tongue on her clit made her head spin. She squeezed her eyes shut tight trying to revel in the fact that this was her beloved friend making love to her, but soon, her release crashed down on her like a tidal wave, and she screamed out her lover’s name.
Cody administered light kisses on reddish gold curls, and then drank freely of the ambrosia offered to her. She forever etched the sweetness of her lover into her mind and mouth, and she knew that nothing in the world could ever taste as wonderful. She stuck her tongue into the opening and felt the muscles clamp down. With a thumb on Erin’s clit, she stroked it firmly as she let the muscles pull her tongue in.
“G-a-w-d-d-d….. Ahhhh.” Erin cried out a second time and then fell silent. As the shudders racked her body, Cody crawled up and held her lovingly.
“I love you Erin. I’ve always loved you. From the first day I saw you on your tricycle, I was drawn to you.” She kissed her temple, and sighed.
Once Erin caught her breath, she rolled onto her side, facing her lover, and kissed her sweetly. “I loved you when I first looked into your beautiful blue eyes. I knew then there was no one else I wanted to be with. I’m so glad we had our childhood years together, and that our love was so innocent and pure. You were my best friend back then, and you are my best friend and lover now. I love you Cody.” She kissed her again, and then gently pushed her onto her back.
Cody enjoyed the feel of the small body on top of her own. She helped Erin completely remove the robe, and her hands automatically lay on Erin’s hips.
“Do you remember the day you started growing breasts?” Erin asked
Cody rolled her eyes with embarrassment. “Yeah. You had me take off my shirt so you could see them.”
“Mmm hmm, I thought they were beautiful, and could hardly wait to grow my own.” She brushed her palms across Cody’s light brown nipples, and watched them harden into rock like pebbles. “They’re still as beautiful.” She kissed the small mounds. “And… I like the tattoos you have. They… make you look… rough… and very sexy.” Twisting and pulling on the nipples, she knew she was driving the dark woman insane. “Please tell me about each one?”
“Umm… ok-ay.” Cody responded through clenched teeth. “Uh… the Black Panther on my right arm is… the animal I… have an affinity with.” She felt small hands leave her breasts and slide down between their sexes.
Erin suckled one breast and then the other. She continued on her downward journey, but paused at Cody’s bellybutton when she didn’t hear her lover finish. “Continue.” She said gently.
“Oh… um… the Japanese symbols…”
Erin dipped her tongue in the bellybutton and immediately felt the muscles clench. She smiled against the skin and then moved further down.
“…the symbols going down my… my… left arm say Erin and Cody… together… forever…” She moaned when kisses were administered to her outer lips. “Um… forever… in… life… and… death.”
Erin looked up upon hearing the explanation of the symbols. “Cody, that’s so beautiful.” She smiled as azure eyes filled with passion looked into hers. “I love you Cody.” She softly announced as her tongue delved into the wetness. Pushing the legs further apart, she felt them rise bending at the knees, giving her ample room. She stroked the clit firmly with the flat of her tongue as two fingers worked their way into her lover.
“Ahhh… Erin… Ungh.” Her hips bucked in response to the exquisite ministrations. Large hands gripped the bed sheets, and teeth clenched as the orgasm hit her at full throttle. Panting for air, she wasn’t given much time to recover as Erin then sucked the clit into her mouth tugging it from side to side. “O-h-h-h… g-a-w… a-a-r-r-g-h,” she cried out as she fell into the abyss again.
When Erin was satisfied, she crawled up, laid her head on Cody’s chest and wrapped her arms around her.
Breathing heavily, Cody managed to say, “Da-mn… you sure… learned… a lot on…the net.”
The small woman giggled. “Well… I had plenty of free time.” In thought, she drew lazy circles upon the taut stomach in front of her. “When did you know you wanted me sexually?” She asked casually.
Cody smiled as she thought back to that year. “Hmm, I think I was fifteen. I was with a couple of girls after school at someone’s house, and she pulled out a video that she said belonged to her parents. Well, it was a porn movie, and as the others ogled the men’s bodies and the size of their penises, I was totally focused on the women. I knew then that that was what I wanted to do to you. I wanted to please you. What about you?”
She propped her chin on the back of her hand in order to look at her love. “I was sixteen, and I got hold of one of those romance novels. I can’t even remember the title of it, but that’s irrelevant. What I do recall is how so in love the main characters were with one another and then expressing that physically, I just knew that’s how I wanted you.” Erin sat up, and faced her lover. “It was because of that book that I started masturbating.”
“Really?” Cody questioned in surprise.
“Oh, yeah. And you were the center of all my sexual dreams. I would touch myself all over and imagine it was you touching me. I enjoyed my fantasies so much that I did it daily —- at the least.” She smiled shyly as she bit her bottom lip.
Cody grinned at her mischievously. “You wanna show me?”
Erin gave her a bigger smile as she got up on her knees with her legs spread apart and her ass on her heels. Small hands reached up to caress her own breasts, and she moaned when pink nipples were twisted.
Cody watched intently as one of those hands slowly slid down a flat stomach and directly through amber curls. Two fingers worked their way through the wet folds, and she saw the hips jerked in response to the ministrations. Half lidded emerald eyes filled with a smoky and heady passion made contact with Cody’s own sapphire jewels.
“Does it… turn… you on to… watch me?” Erin asked softly in a seductive tone. Her eyes rolled back, as she touched on a particular spot.
Cody nodded as her stomach fluttered. “Yes.”
When Erin looked at her lover again, she noticed the large hand that had taken purchase within the black patch of curls. She watched two long fingers slide in and out of Cody, and it ignited her passions further. She started circling her clit harder with one hand as the other one had reached down to work frantically at pumping in and out.
Cody couldn’t take it any longer. She had to have more of Erin. “Lie down for me,” she requested in a husky voice.
Erin complied and slowed down her ministrations. She watched Cody turn around and climb over her. Suddenly she was faced with wet engorged nether lips. She felt Cody move her hands away from her own sex, and replace them with her mouth and tongue. As a result, she instantly grabbed Cody’s waist bringing the desire in front of her eyes down to her watering mouth.
They each inserted their fingers deep inside one another and moaned simultaneously. The delicious pumping and licking continued until Erin reached the pinnacle first. Breaking her contact on Cody’s clit, she screamed out her pleasure.
Cody nuzzled her face between slick parted lips, and lapped at the sticky juice that seeped out of her lover’s open hole. She swirled her tongue along the opening, and then pushed it inside. She felt Erin assault her clit again with great fervor. It wasn’t long before she fell over the precipice of ecstasy. The loud rumbling erupting from Cody’s throat vibrated against Erin’s pussy sending her over the edge again.
Wrapped in each other’s arms, they exchanged languid kisses until a hungry stomach made itself known. Blue and green eyes smiled at one another. “Is that yours or mine?” Cody questioned playfully.
“Probably mine. Let’s eat.”
The lovers sat back against the headboard with content stomachs.
“Thanks for heating this up in the microwave.” Cody commented.
“Sure. Cold coffee is not the greatest tasting anyway.” She lovingly wiped a smudge of chocolate off from the corner of Cody’s mouth, and then kissed her on the cheek. “How did you know I’d be back in Middleton?”
“I didn’t. When your birthday rolled around, I just figured I’d start looking in Boston hoping to find anything about where your grandma lived. I knew her name, and I thought that with her name and yours, I would find something about you. But I came up empty so then I came here.” She took hold of a smaller hand in her own, and kissed the knuckles. “When I got here, though, I thought I lost you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I went to the diner and announced that I was looking for you. Only one man spoke to me and said you got married but were killed a few months ago by your husband. I even went to the gravesite to grieve. I saw your name and the date, and I just broke down. Then when I checked into the motel, I saw Mr. Thompson. He was the one who told me that you were working at the Laundromat. At first I thought he was senile, and later realized that he wasn’t. That’s when I quickly drove to find you.”
“You said Mr. Thompson told you where I worked?”
“Yeah. He even mentioned how you were living with your brother right here.”
Erin shook her head with a frown. “You’re talking about the same Mr. Thompson we knew from the ice cream shop as kids?”
Erin bit her bottom lip in confusion. “Because… well… Mr. Thompson died three months ago. I was at his funeral. And his son took over his father’s business.”
Wide blue eyes stared at her with shock. “I…I…but…then… how…. I mean… I saw him… as plain as day, and… spoke to him.”
“You don’t think maybe…it was…a ghost?”
“Well, if he was, then I am forever grateful to him cause had I not spoken to him, we would not be here now.” Cody commented.
Erin laid her head on Cody’s shoulder. “This shows we are meant to be together. You’re my soul mate Cody.”
“And you are mine.”
Ocean blue eyes fluttered open. She instantly remembered where she was and a smile appeared gracing her features. The warm body beneath her face was divine as her arms gently gripped the waist just a little tighter. She lifted her head from Erin’s chest and administered tender morning kisses upon her breasts.
“Mmm…tell me this isn’t a dream,” Erin softly announced.
“It’s a dream come true,” Cody responded. She worked her way up a succulent neck, and ended at the supple lips that she loved to kiss.
“Mmm…we really shouldn’t…” Erin started saying against those lips before hers.
“Shouldn’t what?” Cody asked innocently as her mouth gently nibbled and tugged on Erin’s bottom lip making her shudder.
Somewhat distracted, Erin couldn’t necessarily think clearly on what she was trying to say. “Michael…uhhh…Michael is going to knock on that door. I know he’s dying to see you.”
Cody continued with her playful gesture as her thumb found a nipple to tease and cajole. “He can’t wait?”
“Umm…oh god…I guess he can.” Erin gave in to her best friend’s ministrations. There was no denying how incredible it felt to have Cody take her like this.
The raven haired woman reached down to swallow a pebbled nipple. This little protrusion of flesh tempted Cody to no end, and she had to give in to its calling her. Her hand worked its way down to the apex of heated amber curls. She stroked the engorged lips until she felt Erin’s legs spread wide as an invitation. Dipping two fingers into the creamy well, she slid them in to the hilt.
Erin gasped with pleasure at the filling of her pussy. Wanting Cody to feel as wonderful as she did, she mimicked her friend’s actions with her own set of fingers buried deep inside of Cody.
With passionate kisses, they pumped their digits inside one another as they reached the pinnacle of their release. Cody pulled back just enough to gaze into those sea green eyes. As her fingers worked faster to make the woman she adored come, she declared, “I love you Erin Fletcher.”
That confession resulted in Erin crying out first, and clawing at Cody’s shoulder with her free hand as she tried to retain the pace of her own fingers working inside lover.
Soon following, Cody cried out her release, and they rode the waves of their orgasm together.
The two lovebirds headed downstairs for some much needed sustenance. In the kitchen they found Kathy preparing a potato salad.
“Morning Kathy.” Erin happily announced.
“You mean good afternoon. We were beginning to wonder if we were going to see the two of you at all.” The fiery redhead humorously commented. “Go out into the yard. Michael is barbecuing some chicken.”
Red in the face, they made their way outside.
“Hey you two.” He called out with a brilliant grin. “Cody, it’s terrific to see you after so many years.” He gave the tall woman a firm handshake, and the greeting was returned. “Wow, I still can’t believe it’s you. You haven’t changed a bit…well, except that your hair is much shorter.” He commented good-naturedly, as he eyed their tightly joined hands. With hands on his hips, he shook his head, retaining that grin. “You know she’s been waiting…all these years.”
“I know. And I’ve been looking forward to our joining.” Cody answered and gave her lover a toothy grin.
“So what have you been up to? What line of work are you in?” He asked.
“I rebuild motorcycles and also show them.” She said as she ran her fingers through black short hair. “What about you?”
“Oh computer programming, but your job sounds like more fun.” They laughed briefly.
Michael looked at his sister, and asked, “So, what are you going to do now that Cody’s back.”
Pushing a lock of blonde hair behind her ear, she answered, “Well, Cody has asked me to marry her, and I said yes.”
“That’s terrific. When’s the big day?”
“I don’t know right now, but I do know that we’re going back to her place. I want to see her…our new home, and just spend some time with her.”
“I see. When do you leave?”
“We thought about later today.”
“Well, sis, I’ll miss ya, but not too much.” He said sarcastically and gave her a big hug. “You be sure to invite us to the wedding or something.”
“You bet.” She responded with a huge smile.
“Hey, what do you want me to do with all your stuff?”
“I’ll call you, and let you know when we’ll return for some of it. It’ll just be a couple of weeks.” She took hold of Cody’s arm, and leaned her head on her friend’s chest.
Kathy came out with several items for the table. “Does anyone want to give me a hand over here for a moment?” She asked.
Erin turned around to quickly assist. “I’ll help.”
Taking the opportunity given to her, Cody stepped forward towards the tall man, and grabbed Michael about the neck, hugging him roughly. She whispered into his ear, “I know about Walter. Thank you for being there for her.”
“You bet.” He returned to her. That was the only answer that was needed because the two understood deep down what it meant for each of them.
The four of them took their seats to enjoy the wonderful day and the wonderful food and the rejoining of two hearts that were once separated so long ago.