Monday, October 07, 2019

Liberty #4: Kate

It was almost two in the morning when the pounding on the front door woke up Wendy. The pounding also woke up Wendy’s neighbors across the hall. “What the hell? Kate?” Wendy asked after opening the door and seeing who was once her best friend standing in the hallway of her apartment building.

“Hi, Wendy. Long time, no see. I need a place to crash for a while,” Kate said.

“Come on in, we can talk inside,” Wendy invited. “Where have you been?”

After college, Kate had virtually disappeared off the face of the Earth. She also kept off of social media and hadn’t kept in contact with anyone. Kate didn’t really know how to answer Wendy’s question without giving away too much detail. Detail she didn’t want to talk about. “I’ve just been living life.”

“It’s been seven years. What have you been doing?”

“Working. I got a job out of town and left right after college.”

“Oh, a social work job, right? Hey, that’s cool that you were able to get the job you wanted right out of school,” Wendy congratulated.

“Yeah, I was very lucky,” Kate lied. She first was working as a customer service representative for a medical supply company and then as a hotel janitor. “You probably need to be getting back to bed. I wish I could pay you for me staying here but until I get a job and some money coming in…”

“It’s fine,” Wendy waved her hand. “Whenever you start getting paid.”

“You know, I could also pay you back in other ways,” Kate took Wendy’s hand. “Like back in college.”

Kate had left her shirt on and was still sitting, legs pulled up to her chest, on Wendy’s bed. Wendy came out of the bathroom in a long pajama shirt and brushing her hair. She got nervous when she saw Kate still on her bed. “I’ll sleep on the couch tonight. You can have the bed.”

“No, no. It’s your apartment. I’ll take the couch,” Kate quickly got up and headed out of the room.

“Okay. There should be a blanket in the front closet,” Wendy said.

Kate grabbed a blanket and laid down on the couch. She still just had her shirt on. She thought about her and Wendy having sex, how familiar it was, how it felt like home. If she could just avoid talking about the last seven years, everything would be back to normal.

When Kate walked into the bar, Ryan beamed with excitement and went over to hug her. “I am so glad to see you again. It’s great to have you back, Toxic Pussy,” he said, hugging her tight.

“Oh, God,” she went limp in his arms and rolled her eyes. “You remember that?”

“Remember it? It’s part of my wedding speech for you.”

During a senior party, after high school graduation, a very drunk Kate passed out in a bedroom, bent over a bed with her pants nowhere to be seen. When Ryan found her several hours later, it was clear she had been used repeatedly. He sighed disapprovingly and helped get her into the bed. After covering her up, he locked and closed the door and went downstairs to sleep in a chair.

The next morning, Kate woke up in a panic and came running downstairs. “Something’s wrong with me.”

“We know,” Ryan said.

“No, with my...privates,” she clarified.

“What do you mean?” Wendy asked.

“There’s all this dried stuff around it and it burns when I pee.”

“It’s finally happened,” Wendy said. “Your vagina is starting to mutate.”

“More like it’s toxic. Toxic pussy,” Ryan smiled.

“Can you just look at it? What if I have to go to the hospital?”

“Fine, I’ll look. Come into the bathroom,” Wendy said and she and Kate went into the bathroom. Kate pulled down her pants and Wendy began examining her. After a couple minutes, they came back out. “It’s a dried blend of sperm, vaginal fluid, period blood, and...shit.”

“Gross,” Ryan said.

“The burning is probably a urinary tract infection,” Wendy continued. “Take a shower and drink some cranberry juice. You’ll be fine.”

“I have earned that nickname,” Kate chuckled a bit and smiled at Ryan.

“You have,” Ryan smiled back at her.

“It feels weird being back. You and Wendy are the only ones treating me normally.”

“You’ve been gone seven years, Kate. We’ve all changed and grown up.”

“I’ve grown up a little,” Kate said. It was true to a point. Ryan wouldn’t be talking about growing up if he knew what she had been doing the last seven years. Although how it ended was certainly not grown up. “But just a little,” she went on.

“A little?” Ryan held up his fingers, his pointer and thumb close together.

“A little,” she laughed.

Ryan and Kate walked back to his apartment. It was easy to get Ryan to have sex with her. He had wanted to since high school. She wanted to also, but didn’t want to hurt their friendship. They made out in complete darkness so Ryan couldn’t see her body. When they had sex, she bent over the bed and when they were finished, she put her shirt back on and got in bed under the covers.

“Staying the night?” Ryan asked as he came out of the bathroom. “I can drive you back to Wendy’s.”

“Can I stay?”

“Sure,” he shrugged. He got into bed next to Kate. She rolled over to face away from him. After a couple of minutes, he scooted closer to her and put his arm around her
stomach, hugging it. “I’m glad to see you again, Kate.” He softly kissed her neck.

She smiled and placed a hand on his arm. “Thanks,” she whispered.

Somehow, Kate and Ryan ended up dating. Dating Ryan raised people’s opinion of Kate which she welcomed considering that her past was getting harder to hide. Two days before Halloween, Ryan and Kate were going to a costume party hosted a bar owned by one of their old high school friends. Ryan came home from work with his and Kate’s costumes for the evening. Kate still didn’t have a job and mainly stayed with Ryan but occasionally stayed with Wendy.

“I got our costumes,” Ryan exclaimed. He held up two superhero costumes. “Batman and Robin.”

“Really?” she sat up in bed. “Batman’s my favorite superhero.”

“I know. I hope that you don’t mind being Batman,” Ryan tossed the Batman costume onto the bed. “I have the better legs for Robin anyway.”

“What a whore,” Erik said to Dakota at the bar during the party as they watched Kate down another beer while hanging onto Ryan. Erik had slept with Kate twice back in high school and Dakota at least once. “She probably has an STD or something.”

“I heard she was a prostitute for the last seven years,” Dakota said.

“It’s probably like throwing a hot dog down a hallway,” Erik sneered.
“That’s not how vaginas work,” said a voice next to them. “Also, what’s wrong with prostitution? It’s the oldest profession in the world. You can also make a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time and it helps women have control over their bodies,” Ryan said.

“You don’t care that hundreds of dicks have been inside your girlfriend?” Erik asked.

“I don’t think that’s happened and even if it did, I wouldn’t care. She’s an adult and can make her own decisions,” Ryan chided Erik and Dakota.

“Yeah, but…” Dakota attempted to continue talking.

“Nope,” Ryan shushed. “Stop talking.”

Ryan went back over to Kate. “That was nice. Thank you,” Kate said and kissed him.

“You heard that?”

She nodded. “Let’s go back home,” she said.

They were still in their costumes as they made love. Kate had her Batman pants off but Ryan just had his Robin underwear-type things pulled to the side. After they finished, Kate remained on top of Ryan for a bit, then slid off.

“I want to tell you something,” she stood in front of the Ryan and took the Batman costume off. She stood just in her bra and then took that off. Her stomach protruded just a bit but stretch marks covered the area from about a thumb's’ length above her bellybutton to just where her pubic hair began. Ryan realized that he and Kate have been together several months and he had never actually seen Kate nude. He still didn’t understand what she was doing. “This is what I’ve been doing the last seven years.”

Ryan was still confused.

“After college, I met a boy and he was everything I wanted. I settled down, we got married, and we,” she slowed down as she spoke “had four kids.” She placed her hand on her stomach.

“Four…?” Ryan was shocked. He readjusted his Robin costume and stood up. “You’re married? You have four kids?”

“I was married. We’re divorced now,” she explained away the marriage but quickly realized that she couldn’t erase the four kids. “I should’ve told you. I should’ve told everybody.”

“Where are the kids?” Ryan asked slowly.

“Back in Ohio with their father,” Kate revealed. She grabbed a nearby shirt and put it on. “I haven’t seen them in about eight months. I miss them every day but this is better.”

“Why did you leave them?”

“I wasn’t happy anymore and I just couldn’t hurt them like I was anymore,” Kate began. “I had to leave. I had to.”

“You left because you weren’t happy? That’s not how being a mother works. You abandoned them. It’s one thing to not be in love with your husband anymore but your kids?”

“It’s a lot more complicated than I’m explaining it,” Kate was getting frustrated and wished she could turn back time.

“No, it’s not, Kate. What if we got married? What if we had kids? How long would it be before you’d stop loving me or them?”

“That wouldn’t happen,” Kate began tearing up.

“It did before, though,” Ryan sighed. “Maybe we should take a break. I’ve loved being with you. I love you, Kate, but this is a bit much to handle right now. You understand?”

“Yeah, I get it. You need a couple days to think about this. I’ll be at Wendy’s.”

Kate returned to Wendy’s where she revealed what she told Ryan. Even Wendy got upset and stormed off to her room. Alone, Kate sat on the couch waiting for Wendy to come out of her room or for Ryan to call her.