In the months that followed there was no mention of the incident between them. Everything was as it was before, only now she locked her room every night before she went to bed. She no longer did her homework and her failing grades were evidence of the fact she had lost interest in life and so it was not surprising that on one of those nights as she prepared the evening meal and the knife she was using accidentally cut through her finger, that she got the idea to just get it over with. She slashed both of her wrists and watched calmly as the blood squirted out of her arms and onto the kitchen table.
She was unconscious when her father found her. She had lost a lot of blood but not enough to kill her and so to save her from the embarrassment… and him from having to file a police report; he decided to suture the wounds at home. She awoke in her bedroom to the throbbing pain in her arms.
“Here, take a swig of this.” her father said as he picked up the bottle of whiskey he had been drinking from. “It should help with the pain… at least it does with mine.” He put the bottle to her lips and poured some into her mouth. It burned at first as she swallowed it but then she felt its magical warmth and the pain in her arms became unimportant.
Over the next few days, the pain subsided but the need for the pain killer increased. She did not attend school until her father removed the stitches, and when she did return she wore large beaded bracelets to cover the scars on her wrist. She looked like a tramp and felt like one too. She was far behind in her studies but she no longer cared.
Rejected by the upper-class students, she found her place with the outcast and started going to the parties that no decent girl would ever attend. She soon found out why… and it wasn’t long before she was sleeping with anyone who would have her. She knew she was falling but there was nothing to hold on to and so she just kept sinking lower and lower.
She managed to pass into the 11th grade by switching to general course studies but she knew that she wasn’t really learning anything and felt she was only wasting her time in school. The only excitement in her life was the weekend parties and getting loaded with her friends… even though it always ended up with a bad hangover and depression, in the end, she didn’t care, she would just sleep it off all day Sunday. She was getting bored and needed to do something exciting, something different, anything other than what she was doing, but she didn’t know what that would be until the Summer-break Party on the beach where she met Samantha or Sam as most people called her. Sam was in her mid-twenties and could out drink any of the boys in the group that Julie hung out with. She could also make the boys blush with her foul language and wasn’t afraid to embarrass them about their lack of manhood. She was everything Julie was looking for and she had to meet her.
The opportunity came later in the evening when Sam separated herself from the group and lit up a cigarette.
Julie walked over to where she was sitting and asked if she could bum one off of her. She was not really a smoker but had tried it on a few occasions.
“This ain’t no cigarette, honey,” Sam said flippantly, as she took a deep drag of smoke and held it in for several seconds.
“Oh… I am sorry.” Julie answered, embarrassed by her ignorance.
“Ignorance is nothing to feel sorry for, my friend… here, take a drag,” she said, as she handed her the joint.
Julie took a drag and held it in as long as she could but started coughing.
“Takes a bit of practice child…” Sam responded, as she took the joint from Julie’s hand, “but at least you’re not ignorant anymore.”
“No, I guess not,” Julie replied, feeling a bit fuzzy in the head, “but there’s still a lot I don’t know.”
Sam smiled for the first time that evening and Julie realized that much of Sam was only an act. That gave her a bit more confidence in talking to her. “What is that tattoo on your arm?” she asked a bit hesitantly.
“This?” Sam replied, raising her arm so Julie could see it. “It’s the name of the group I belong to, ‘Born Losers’ … the tattoo is the only requirement for membership.”
“What does it mean?” Julie asked, wondering if perhaps she was getting too personal.
“Just what it says, kid… wherever we go in this world, we will always be losers”
“Sounds rather bleak… but the way my life has been going, perhaps you are right,” Julie answered.
“What’s your name?” Sam asked amiably.
“Nice name… sounds respectable. So what are you doing here with this crowd of losers? You’re not like them, I can tell. Knowing people is my business; at least it was before I came out.”
“Came out of what?” Julie asked innocently.
“Never mind my problems, kid… what’s your story? Maybe I can help.”
Julie unloaded her whole story, while Sam sat back and listened attentively. Sam had always been a counselor, even before she went to University to study psychology. Her father was the Pastor of a large church and she had worked in the church nursery for as long as she could remember. She started teaching Sunday school after she entered High School and led many of the youth meetings and outings. People were always coming to her for advice, especially the young girls, and she was always available for them.
Sam had known she was different since puberty. Whenever her friends would talk about their “boyfriends” she would get nauseated and walk away. She was attracted to girls and sometimes felt guilty about her strong feelings toward them but had not done anything sexual with anyone until the night of a girls club meeting that was held at the house of the town’s Mayor, who was also a member of her fathers’ church. The Mayor’s wife Eleanor had offered her home for the meeting since her 6-year-old daughter was a part of the group and her husband was away on a business trip; it was with the condition however that Samantha would spend the night to help clean the house afterward. Everything went as planned and, after the girls had all gone home and her daughter was in bed, Eleanor began the job of cleaning with Samantha. They worked until nearly midnight getting the house in order and when they were finally finished, Eleanor prepared a small snack for them both. “Bet you’re tired aren’t you?” she said, as she picked up the dishes from the table.” Why don’t you go up to my bathroom and take a shower while I wash these up? It won’t take me long.”
Samantha nodded her head in agreement and started up the stairs. When she entered the bedroom she was surprised to see how feminine it looked and gathered that the Mayor must have slept in a separate bedroom. The bathroom was luxurious with many mirrors and lots of expensive perfumes. She undressed and stepped in to shower which was twice the size of any shower she had ever seen before. She closed her eyes and relaxed as the hot water gentle massaged her from every direction.
“Mind if I join you?” Eleanor said as she opened the shower stall door. “This thing uses a lot of water and there is no sense in wasting it.”
Samantha was shocked at first. She had showered with naked girls before, after gym class, but this was not the same and it made her a bit uncomfortable, however, she tried not to show it.
They slept together that night and did things that Samantha knew were not appropriate. There was no love involved in it, it was all physical and more for the benefit of Eleanor then for Samantha. She felt dirty and sick to her stomach in the morning when she left the house and ran all the way home. There were tears in her eyes as she entered the house and she ran straight up the stairs to her bedroom so that no one could see them. “Shit!” she exclaimed as she shut the door behind her.
“Is that you, Samantha?” her mother asked stepping out of the bathroom. “I didn’t think you would be back so early so I thought I would clean the bathroom for you. Is there something wrong?”
“No Mom, ah… everything is fine.” she answered rather unconvincingly.
“How was your meeting dear? Did the girls have a good time?”
“Yes Mom, everyone had a good time,” she responded while walking over to her bed, trying to keep the tears from bursting out of her eyes.
“And Eleanor… isn’t she a wonderful lady? Not many women of her status would open their homes to a bunch of young girls like that. We are so blessed to have her and her wonderful husband in our congregation… don’t you think?”
A burst of tears gushed from Samantha’s eyes as she fell into her pillow and started sobbing. “Oh, Mom… you don’t know her. She is not a wonderful lady, she is horrible.”
“What are you saying Samantha, what happened last night to make you say something like that?”
“I can’t tell you mother… it’s to awful.”
“Well you can either tell me about it now, or you can tell your father about it when he gets home for lunch.”
“No! Mom, please don’t tell father.”
“I will have to now unless you can convince me that it is not necessary by telling me exactly what happened.”
Samantha knew her mother would do just what she said and so she told her the whole story, while her mother sat at the edge of the bed listening with horror as it unfolded. When she was finished Samantha laid her head in her mother’s lap and asked, “So what do we do now?”
“I don’t know honey… perhaps it is best to keep this from your father for the time being. It’s a serious charge and I need to think about it for a while.” She gently ran her fingers through Samantha’s hair as she contemplated her next move. She knew her husband well and if he knew about this he would explode… and that could have serious effects on not only their family but the congregation as well.