After my first semester in college I came home to find a baby bed in my room and most of my stuff packed up. My parents were in the throes of their first grand baby and since I wasn't home my room became the baby's room. After a couple of days home I had not called or connected with any of my old friends, in fact I was already missing my collegiate life.
On the morning of my third day home I was awaken to Debbie and Natalie standing over my bed telling me to get up. They were going to kidnap me for a sleepover. I am not a morning person, so I am sure I was a little grumpy with the two of them. Natalie refused to take no for an answer and rolled me out of bed and said pack a bag. I wanted to take a shower, but Natalie refused to even let me brush my hair. In a short amount of time the three of us were headed to Natalie's.
We did some aimless running around that day, but ended up at Natalie's grandmother's. Natalie lived in an upstairs dormer room which was very sparse. It had a bed, built in shelves and desk, a hope chest, and a space heater. I remember the room being cold even when the space heater was on.
Once ensconced in the room we listened to the soundtrack of Purple Rain and looked at Natalie's collection of dirty magazines. I must admit I was shocked to see that Natalie had her own collection of Penthouse, Hustler, and Playboy. I had seen some of these magazines before in high school, but I had never meet a woman with her own collection. I still don't know where she got these, but they were a couple of years old so I knew someone must have given them to her. I know all three of us looked at them together and made speculations based on various photographs. I was a little disgusted by some of the things I saw, but I seemed incapable of not to looking at them.
At one point Debbie threw one of the magazines and said, "I can't look at these anymore. I want to hear my song." She got up and changed the tape to Cyndi Laupers, "She-bop." I remember Natalie and I laughing and laughing at her for her choice of songs.
Natalie put Debbie and I in her bed to sleep and she made a pallet for herself on the floor. As the evening got later Debbie went to bed and I found myself sitting on the floor talking to Natalie. We had lit a candle and were talking about ourselves while Debbie muttered in her sleep. Natalie told me about how she and Mollie had fallen out as friends. I remember talking to her about my difficult relationship with my mom. Natalie seemed to be hanging on my every word. I thought here is someone who is listening to me and I really felt we connected that night.
As we talked I slowly and methodically ripped the hem out of my nightgown. When I had packed my overnight bag I had accidentally thrown in one of my oldest nightgowns. It was a little threadbare and I was not helping the old garment by removing the hem. Natalie did not seem to mind my fidgeting with the hem as she listened to me. For a long time I always felt this conservation was the point that I started having deeper feelings for Natalie. I based it on how attentive Natalie had been when I shared my deepest self with her that night.
One day, many years later, when this topic came up Natalie explained to me that she was not really beenpaying attention to what I was saying. Apparently, during the whole conversation my threadbare nightgown was in fact not doing a good job of covering up my breasts. She was in fact watching my heaving bosom very attentively. I will also say one day that old nightgown disappeared from my drawer. Though I have not seen it for years, I know if I dug through Natalie's hope chest I would probably find it hidden there.