Best Friends Forever
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Kai Lu-Salnikova
Word Count :10777
Publication Date :2011-11-14
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-033-4
Best friends since the third grade, eighteen-year-old Clarissa Faye and Elyse Jordan share everything— even after school detention at their Manhattan Catholic school. Each has always wanted to share even more with the other, but fear that their desires are sinful keeps the girls in silence, until both realize that love is stronger than the rules that dominate their lives.
The face in her dream was warm and mysterious, and it came to her like a soft wave across a dark ocean, comforting her, reassuring her that she really was a good girl, no matter what anyone else said, and that she would be forgiven. It held itself close to her face and body, breathing against her skin so closely that its soft breath exhaled warmth across her neck, making her close her eyes in a kind of quiet, conspiratorial-yet-innocent acquiescence of which only beautiful girls seem capable.
It was a wonderful, beautiful young face, and it reminded her of her own reflection in the mirror, stealthily pressing her lips against the glass as though practicing—rehearsing for some far off, future lover…
…for some far off, future lover…
…wake up, Clarissa…
“Young Miss Faye, you’ve simply no idea how much it delights me to see that my history lectures give you so much pleasure.”
Clarissa’s large blue eyes opened softly at the sound of the voice, and through the haze of fading dreams, she saw a large, beaded rosary clinking against the wood of her desk, hanging from the neck of a horizontal body dressed all in black.
It was Sister Katherine, and Clarissa gradually came to realize that she had fallen asleep in class. She sat up quickly then, as if swift corrective action combined with fear and contrition would somehow make the humiliation pass quickly, too. Sister Katherine’s horizontal body immediately revealed itself vertical once Clarissa lifted her head from the desk, still dizzy, she looked about the large classroom in forlorn hope that no one would look back.
Of course, they all did.
“Well, Miss Faye,” Sister Katherine repeated in a tone which was somehow caught in the purgatory between calmness and fury. “Now that we are quite upright, perhaps you’d be good enough to write the answer to my question on the dry-erase board.”
Clarissa panicked. She bit her lower lip in nervousness, looking around in a childish, poorly camouflaged, and desperate appeal that she knew was as beautiful as it was futile. Her heart raced, and she drew a sleek finger inside her starch white collar, picking at her black tie with her thumb. It was as though the classroom had undergone a sudden metamorphosis to become a sauna, one in which she was thrust fully clothed, and from which there was no hope of escape.
“I…I…please, could you repeat the question, Sister Katherine,” Clarissa finally replied, her voice nearly a whisper. And then she admitted with shame, “I wasn’t listening… I mean—what I mean to say is that, I wanted to listen, but I was asleep. Please, please forgive me…”
Sister Katherine inhaled a deep breath and sighed loudly, indicating her dissatisfaction. She placed her hands on her narrow hips, tapping her foot against the tile floor so that each footfall created an unnerving echo against the walls. The way she walked was a testament to the fact that she insisted on wearing hard-heeled, traditional Oxford flats despite the fact that many of her fellow nuns had switched to rubber Easy Spirits, Keds, or even, to all the girls’ amusement, Crocs.
“I simply requested…” she hissed, her eyes squinting behind their metal bifocals, her habit billowing in the invisible wind of her anger, “that one of you bright girls list each and every one of our forty-four presidents on the chalkboard. Naturally, Miss Faye, since you are so well-versed on our nation’s history that you feel it unnecessary to retain consciousness in class, I selected you for the honor, my dear.”
There was a smattering of quiet, female laughter in the large room, but it was quickly replaced by deafening silence as Sister Katherine whirled around, daring them to laugh again.
They did not.
Clarissa, although she stood a modelesque five feet, nine inches tall, suddenly felt as though she had shrunk to half that height under the scrutiny of her classmates and her teacher. She also knew it was hopeless to resist the older woman, who had been her teacher in fifth grade, too, and had been just as scary then, if less wrinkly and not yet needing the thick-rimmed bifocals that now rested above her epic nose like Death’s scythe.
Clarissa meekly stood up from her desk, adjusting her pleated gray skirt about her legs as she did so. She was absolutely praying that Sister Katherine wouldn’t perform one of her spontaneous anti-floozy-undergarments checks, and discover her G-string, humiliating her in front of the class with thong-panties-are-the-steppingstone-to-teen- pregnancy speech, as she had done to many of her classmates on occasion.
She took a deep breath, straightening her black tie inside her navy blue cardigan sweater, and came to the white dry-erase board, flanked on one side by a nearly life-sized oil portrait of the Virgin Mary, and by an extremely pissed-off nun on the other.
Clarissa accepted the red marker from Sister Katherine with a terrified, trembling hand, and managed to take advantage of the usual memory tricks—easily listing George Washington as the first president, and Barrack Obama as the latest. In the middle of her list, she wrote the name Abraham Lincoln, wavering between the numbers sixteen and twenty—eventually she incorrectly settled for nineteen—her bright, loopy and feminine penmanship looking somehow out of place with such a somber man’s name. She ponderously strained to remember a few other names as well, especially the more recent men who held the office, but inevitably Clarissa’s chalkboard display became one giant, empty gap, interrupted at a few points here and there by a solitary Roosevelt or Eisenhower. She was bankrupt, busted, caught…and she knew it as well as her classmates did.
She fidgeted, wanting to cry, run away, or even—dark, impossible fantasy—tell Sister Katherine to go fuck herself…
Instead, she trembled visibly and stared at the floor in absolute shame, blinking with a concentration that burned with hope that if she kept her eyes closed long enough, she would open them to find out that this was all a dream.
“I can’t do anymore,” she said softly, almost mournfully to her teacher. “Please, please, Sister Katherine. I’m so sorry…I didn’t mean to fall asleep. It was me, not you…I was so tired… It will never happen again I promise…”
Clarissa’s pulse began to race as she watched the older woman’s reaction. Sister Katherine always held a wooden ruler in her left hand, and she had been tapping it against her right palm as Clarissa wrote nervously on the board. The sound of wood slapping against flesh unnerved her, and her classmates seemed to notice her trembling as their teacher stood menacingly behind her.
“Your right hand, please,” Sister Katherine demanded calmly as though she were ordering lunch in a restaurant that served eighteen-year-old-girls’ palms as appetizers.
Clarissa’s beautiful eyes opened wide in melancholy fear, even though she made a conscious attempt to hide it, for she knew what was to come next. Her lower lip trembled, and the entire room full of twelfth grade schoolgirls collectively, silently gasped as they anticipated Clarissa’s punishment. The girl began to open her mouth, appearing for a moment as if she were about to collapse on the floor to beg for mercy—the go-fuck-yourself fantasy a distant memory of extinct bravado—but she had too much pride for such a shameful, childish display.
Besides, she was well liked by her classmates, and she didn’t want to look like a craven coward in front of them. She steadied herself, her legs with white knee socks quivering subtly beneath her body. After taking a deep, hopeless breath of resignation to prepare herself, she took a meek step toward the middle-aged nun, whose expression conveyed the fact that she probably enjoyed delivering such punishments, perhaps even saw them as a sex substitute or clothed masturbation.
Clarissa timidly offered the woman her arm and hand, looking away as she couldn’t bear to see herself stricken.