Meeting Annie

Carson March
11 mins read
Published over 3 years ago
Chapter 1

Meeting Annie

I had just gotten into bed, pulled the blankets up, and grabbed my copy of Pride and Prejudice for what was probably my 100th reading, when my phone rang.

Who would possibly be calling right now?

I picked up the phone, and looked at the screen.

Ah. Of course. 

Annie. Former co-worker and the polar opposite of me in almost every way: loud where I’m quiet, wild where I’m sedate - hey, I’m reading Austen on a Saturday night, I think it’s pretty clear I’m not a party animal, right? - and a big fan of fly by the seat of your pants compared to my plan everything down to the last detail.

Also, she likes girls. I mean, LIKES them. In bed. I like guys in my bed. Not that there have been any lately, or many overall - casual sex is complicated when you have to plan everything in advance like I do.

So yeah, we’re pretty different.

“Hello?” I make a point of adding the inflection of a question mark the end of the word, a subtle way of suggesting, “I know it’s you, but WHY are you calling me at this time of night?

“It’s me. It’s Annie!”

She’s yelling over the noise of music and loud chatter in the background.

“I’m at Brown’s and there’s this amazing jazzy, swing-y, ‘40s sort of band here playing. You should come!”

“Annie, I’m in bed. It’s after nine!”

“Megs, are you joking? It’s Saturday night. And it’s, like, two minutes after nine. It’s not even dark outside yet. You know, summer? Enjoying the weekend? Heard of those things?”

I don’t respond. She is, technically, correct.

“Come on, Megs. I know for a fact, because I’ve been there before, that your apartment is at most three blocks from here. Get up. Put some clothes on. Get your ass down here. I want to see you. And I want you to have FUN!”

“What would I even wear?” Already I can feel my didn’t plan this in advance anxiety setting in.

“Oh, do you still have that little flowered dress? The summery one with the fluttery sort of skirt?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Wear that. It’s great. Also, easy access if someone wants to get under the skirt!”

“Annie! As if. Like I’m gonna meet some guy and just… what… flip my skirt up?”

“Why do you assume it’d be a guy?”

“Annie!”

“Fine. God, such a prude. GET OUT OF BED. I dare you.”

I grit my teeth. She knows my one kryptonite: I can’t ignore a challenge.

“Fine, I’m getting up. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. If I can find something to wear.”

“Wear the dress. Skip the panties!”

“Annie!”

But she has already hung up by the time I shout out her name. Going naked under a dress might be something Annie could do (and would do, actually) but I will have my underwear on, thank you very much.


It takes a little longer than fifteen minutes to find the flowered dress, figure out which shoes to wear, fix my hair, and walk the few blocks up to Brown’s. I can hear the music half a block up: sultry jazz, a deep smoky voiced-singer crooning along, the rat-tat-tat beat of a snare drum behind it. It’s a beautiful warm night, and the setting summer sun is pink and orange in the sky to the west. All right, I think to myself, so coming out might have been a little bit of a good idea. 

I can feel the heat of the paved sidewalks under the soles of my shoes – the remains of another scorching August day. It feels good, makes me relax and loosen up.

I’d pulled my hair up into a ponytail but at the last moment I pull it back out, thinking of all the times over the years that Annie has suggested I wear it down. She thinks it looks great but I’m always afraid it will just look messy and windblown. “Yeah, exactly,” she always says in response to my concern. “We call that ‘just got shagged’ hair. It looks good.”

I run my fingers through my hair, and grin, thinking of it. I miss Annie when I haven’t seen her in a while, and I’m grateful – in a strange sort of grumpy way – that she teases me out of my shell from time to time. Who knows, maybe I will meet someone sexy tonight? It could happen.

“Megs!” I hear Annie’s voice over the music before I see her, and then she’s practically climbing through the arms and legs on the dance floor to get to me.

When she hugs me, I remember again what’s so great about Annie: nothing is ever half way. It’s the sort of hug that squeezes the air out of you, full of enthusiasm and affection.

“Hi. So, you got me out here, you gonna buy me a drink now?”
“Shouldn’t it be the other way around? You buy me a drink for dragging your lame ass out of your apartment and providing you with an awesome Saturday night?”
“Well, I don’t know yet that it’s going to be awesome, do I?”

Annie quirks her eyebrows.

“You’re with me, babe. Of COURSE it’s going to be awesome.”

She drags me to the bar, orders two shots of something, and hands me one.

“Bottoms up?” I say, hesitantly.
“If I thought I could get you bottoms up, we’d be at your place, not here. But yeah, bottoms up.”

She lifts the glass to her lips and takes it in one swig. I’m still holding mine in front of me, trying to wrap my head around her words. Annie has jokingly flirted with me many times – more in the manner of trying to make me blush or crack a smile. But the “bottoms up” comment was said with a different sort of tone: serious and intense.

“What? You going to drink it or do I need to do that one too?” she says, the momentary spell broken now as she laughs at me.
“Ok, ok, doing it,” I laugh, and try to down the whole thing in one swallow.

Bad idea. The liquor hits the back of my throat and I instantly seize up into a cough, like fire all the way down into my lungs.

Annie chuckles, rubs my back and takes my hand.

“Come on, I’ve got some friends at a table in the back. We can sit,” she says.

I shrug, and follow her lead, moving through the sweaty, bumping crowd of dancers.


Two hours later, I’ve made about a dozen new friends, all of whom seem to have already heard about “Annie’s best friend.” I’ve been told I’m “as gorgeous as Annie said” and that everyone is so excited to “finally meet me.”

When they say these things, I make brief eye contact with Annie. She smiles and shrugs, looks almost shy – an emotion I’ve never really seen on her before.

Eventually, I lean over to her and whisper in her ear.

“How come I have such a fan club? Everybody knows who I am!”

“What can I say, I like you. So I talk about you a lot I guess. I’ve missed you. I don’t know, Megs. Maybe it’s my unrequited crush – the more I can’t have you, the more I need you?”

I choke out a laugh.

“A crush. On me? Funny.”
“Are you kidding?” she says, wrinkling up her brow.

I don’t know what to say, so I just stay silent.

“Megs, for real. You never thought I was sort of… I don’t know… attracted to you? Overly attentive? Interested?”
“Um. No.”

I’m starting to feel like an idiot. Was there something super obvious all this time that I missed?

“I wanted to kiss you the first day I met you, Megs. And, like, every day since.”
“Really?”

I realize my hand has lifted to my mouth after she said ‘kiss.’ I lower my hand back into my lap as fast as I can.

“Yeah, really,” she says. “Look, it’s ok – I know you’re not ‘into girls.’ But if you were, I’d have spent a lot of energy seducing you into my bed a long time ago.”  

I can tell by the look on her face she’s had a few drinks and it’s likely causing her to be more honest than normal.  Still, I have no idea what to say. It has never once occurred to me that she’d have any actual interest in seducing me. Or what seducing me would even involve. Or what we would actually do if she got me into her bed.

I realize suddenly that I’m getting aroused, that I’m pushing myself down against the hard flat surface of the chair under me as I begin to ache. Am I getting worked up thinking about… what… having sex… with Annie?

“Oh god,” I say, under my breath.

Annie looks over.

“Oh god what?”

I shake my head.

“Nothing.”
“Bullshit.”

I just look at her.

“Megs, what? What are you thinking?”

I’m trying to find the right words but my mouth just opens and closes a few times. Finally, I muster up the nerve to spit something out.

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

Annie laughs, throwing her head back. When she does, I notice how her tank top stretches over her breasts. Her breasts?Why am I noticing her breasts? But now that I am, I can’t not notice them. Smaller than mine, higher, perky in a way mine aren’t. She always calls them her ‘sporty pups’ and I see why. They are sporty, compact but full. Her nipples are straining against her bra, hard enough to be able to see the outline through the layers of fabric. I suddenly want to touch them, just put my hands on the outside of her shirt and feel the bump of her nipples through the soft cotton.

I pull my eyes away as she stops laughing.

“Megs, I kind of did. Like a million times. You just never realized. You know they say that sexuality is like a scale? Everyone is on the scale somewhere. I guess maybe you are on of those people who is really truly way up high on the hyper-heterosexual end. Have you ever even had a fantasy about a woman?”

I shrug. I haven’t really, not in the traditional sense of the word. But I know that I notice other women a lot. I notice the shape of a leg on the subway or the smooth skin of a bare back in a low-slung dress in line in front me at the grocery store. I notice women around me, their perfume or their clothing or the way they walk.

But isn’t that just me, comparing myself to other women? Noticing things about them that I have myself? It’s not… you know… lusting after them? Is it?

She’s still looking at me, waiting for an answer.

“Well, have you?”
“Not really, but …”
“Well there you go. See, it’s all good. My girl crush will have to go unrequited for a little longer… Hey, maybe your alternate-universe self is a lesbian in another dimension, and I can meet her and spend the rest of the summer making sweet, sweet lovin’ together?”

She says this with a laugh, teasing, and a second later, her friend Joe has sat down across from her with another round of beer, and they’re suddenly occupied, talking about some project at work he wants to pick her brain about.

It’s a chance for me to just sit and be quiet. Watch. Catch my brain up to my body. My mouth is dry, I can’t stop squeezing my legs together, and I can feel that I’m getting wet in my panties. Not symbolically, as in “I feel so aroused I’m getting wet” but for real, actual wetness dampening the fabric – enough that I wonder if it will go through the skirt under me to the bench below. I can’t stop looking at Annie’s mouth, and sneaking a look at her breasts. When she talks, she waves her hands around and I suddenly imagine her hands cupping my own breasts, squeezing, and her mouth coming down over my nipple, licking. Sucking. Moaning.

“I have to go,” I say suddenly, too loudly.

Everyone turns to me. Annie looks perplexed and sad.

“What? Why, no, stay.”
“I… it’s just… I’m…” I’m stammering for words, and sound foolish.
“Megs –“
“I have to go, I’m just – “

I don’t even finish the sentence but turn, and push my way through the crowd back to the front door. When I burst out onto the sidewalk, the cooler night air hits my face and I realize how hot I am, how fast my heart is beating.

I have to get home. Get home and go to sleep. That’s what I need to do.

I start walking up the sidewalk, the noise of the band lessening as I move away from Brown’s, until I turn the corner and almost can’t hear it at all anymore. Another couple blocks to my place, and I can take a shower and have a cup of tea and just go to sleep.

Shower. The image of Annie in my shower, naked, wet, suddenly comes into my mind. What? Where is this coming from? Oh god, she looks so good in my imagination though. I don’t want to think about this but I can’t stop thinking about it.

“Megs,” I hear, and for a split second I think it’s Annie in my imagination saying my name.

But it’s not. It’s Annie for real, on the sidewalk a half block back, following me.

“Megs,” she says again, not too loud – it’s late at night and there’s apartments with windows open all over the place.
“I’m fine!” I say, and keep walking.
“Megs, stop.”
“It’s ok. I’m fine.”
“Megs, stop!” 

When she says it that way, firm and serious, I do, immediately. I stop, standing stock still on the sidewalk.

She catches up to me, and comes around so she’s facing me.

“Did I freak you out? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said all that. It’s just me. You know me, I say things. I don’t want you to leave because I said something you didn’t like.”

She looks at me, awaiting a response.

“Megs, come on. Say something.”

I mumble a sentence under my breath.

“What? I didn’t hear that – “
“I said: it’s not that I didn’t like what you said.”
“Oh, ok. Well, that’s … good?”
“I liked it.”

Now it’s Annie’s turn to have no words, and she stares at me for five seconds, then ten. I don’t look away, meeting her eyes directly.

“Tell me, specifically,” she says.
“I liked what you said. About… seducing me.”

She looks at me again, no expression on her face, for several seconds.

Then her eyes darken, her lids lower. If I didn’t know her so well, I’d almost be a little nervous about how serious she looks.

“Right. Let’s go.”

She takes my hand in hers, grips hard, and pulls me along beside her up the sidewalk. We walk fast, in silence, up the remaining block to my apartment, and as we approach the front door, she reaches over with her other hand.

“Give me your keys,” she says.

I do, without question.

She unlocks the front door, and we climb the three flights of stairs up to my floor. At my door, she puts the second key into the slot, turns, and then pauses.

“Megs, are you sure?”
“Sure about what,” I say, shyly now.
“About wanting to be seduced.”

I hesitate for a split second, then: “Yes. I’m sure. Annie, I’m sure.”

She pushes open the door and pulls me in behind her.