“Chris already found someone else.” Melissa smiled sympathetically over her salt-rimmed Margarita. “I’m actually glad. He looked a lot healthier than when I last saw him. Younger even.”
“What’s she like?” Melissa asked.
THIN, I thought. “Pepper-and-salt hair, no make-up kind of woman. Sporty. They play tennis together. She seemed very nice.”
“Oh, that’s good to hear. So what are you doing to get over the divorce, Kim?”
“Well, Emily left for college out a while ago, so I quit my job, and I’ve moved here. Isn’t that a start?”
“It’s a start” Melissa sipped her drink, giving me an intentful stare.
I sipped my own drink, gazing out over the blinding-white beach surrounding the bar. “But, enough about me. What have you been up to?”
“As if you didn’t know?” she grinned. “I run a tattoo shop and image consulting company for plus-sized women. And I’ve decided you’re my next client.”
I blushed. While I had spent my married life burying my repressed sexuality in cookies and ice cream, she’d been an out and proud queer girl. I’d lived through her in my imagination, keeping track of her on Facebook, but now she sat across from me, a big, plump, Cheshire-cat grin covered in tats, and sporting a rainbow colored bowl cut.
“You weren’t this direct back in college.”
“You weren’t this shy when you pressed your lips on mine in our dorm. You used to wear tiny tank tops and cut off jeans.”
“I was a skinny girl back then.”
“I think you’re a lot hotter now. And I want to help you like yourself as well.”
My heart was pounding. Until now, I hadn’t really admitted this to myself. I’d allowed myself fantasies. She hadn’t just been with me while I was having sex with Chris, or masturbating. In my imagination, I’d smelled her leather jacket riding on the back of her motorcycle. We’d gotten tattoos together. Twenty years of what-if.
As if guessing my thoughts, she held her hand with mine. “You missed out on so much. I’m gonna help you catch up.”
My heart skipped a beat.
“First of all,” she grinned, “I want you to change out of those mom clothes. You can go to the bathroom, and put these on.” From her wicker basket, she produced a piece of cloth that seemed way too small to be decent.
Inspecting it in the privacy of the bathroom, it was a skirt, like Melissa was wearing. And a tiny bikini, like Melissa was wearing. I sighed. The last time I felt skinny enough to wear something like this, was back in college, when teenage insecurity was conspiring with a young metabolism. And even then.
But Melissa made it work for her, somehow. Managed to make it look hot with her exposed belly and big flabby arms. Managed to make me want her. And if I can want her, maybe she can want me?
So on it went. the skirt was easy enough, the bikini needed some adjustment to cover 45 year-old boobs that, I always told myself, needed support.
Not too bad. And yet, I felt ridiculous at the same time.
“I do NOT have the confidence to come out looking like this.” I messaged her, sending her a mirror selfie. Please tell me I look hot, I thought. That would make everything alright.
She did better than alright. It only took a few seconds for the door to open. Melissa slipped in, slipped her hands under my bikini, and within seconds we were bent over the sink, her lips on my neck. I let out a little moan. I turned around, and our lips met again for the first time in decades.
Did it feel familiar? Our college lovemaking had been secretive, exploratory. Two very insecure girls discovering what they liked. This time we were kissing because we knew what we liked.
It was like coming home. To a house that had been changed. The cold stud on Melissa’s tongue was a pleasant surprise. And my fingers were making their way up from the soft skin on the back of her neck, into the bristly texture of her shaved nape.
I caught myself purring with delight.
“Hm, you like that, huh? Good, because guess what’s coming up next?” Melissa grinned and pulled up her wicker basket.
Spray bottle. Hair clips. Combs. Scissors. Clippers. She’d come prepared.
Was there something forceful about the way she pushed me forward, my hands clasping the edge of the sink? Perhaps.
“Now let’s take these off.” she said, removing my thick rimmed cat-eye glasses, the only quirky fashion accessory I’d allowed myself.
Near-sightedness popped my face into vivid magnification, the green flecks in my brown irises suddenly razor-sharp. Melissa standing behind me, looked softer and less distinct.
“Now let’s take this off.” she continued, running her hand through the back of my dishwater blonde hair.
“Are you going to give me a haircut while we’re half-naked in a public bathroom?” I said, hoping for the answer to be “yes.”
“Best time for it, Kim.” Melissa nodded, as she pinned up my hair with clips. “Trust me, I used to do this for a living.”
“So, are you going to ask me how I want it cut?” I asked.
The reply came by the clippers suddenly popping to life at the nape of my neck, humming suddenly entering my skull, followed by the rasping sound of blades hitting my thick, blonde hair. The sensation was indescribable. Up they went, cold steel on my occipital bone, then higher, almost to the crown.
I exhaled, my heart beating a mile a minute. This was no little undercut. I gripped the wash basin tightly when she went in for the second pass, and the third, hanks of blonde hair flying away, hitting the bare skin of my back. I tried to tell myself that this would be a short, soft style, something I could reconcile with my previous self, but as the clippers moved over to my temple, I saw bare skin left by guardless clippers.
Until now, this could’ve been a crazy gay fling, my rebound after a divorce, but Melissa wouldn’t have it. I was being stripped, no going back. And it turned me on like nothing ever had.
She finished up one side, planting a little kiss on my temple. I closed my eyes, my hand finding its way to my left nipple as the humming started on my right side. I moaned.
“Do you like this, Kim, being shorn in a public bathroom?” Melissa said, pausing the clippers for a moment. I nodded, my face flustered and hot.
“Maybe I like it too.” She said, and suddenly my skirt was on the floor, my panties were on the floor, and Melissa’s bare leg pushed itself between my own, the texture of her buzzed pubes pressing against my buttock, her hands on my breasts, her studded tongue in my neck, soft and warm and wet and cold and hard at the same time.
If the sensations were entrancing, the thought of being found shaved and naked in a public bathroom was equally alarming and arousing.
“Let me finish you off.” Melissa whispered. “Your hair, I mean.”
At this point, she could’ve shaved me bald as a Q-ball, for all I cared. But instead, I heard the silvery whisper of scissors, felt the pull of the comb, hair – what little hair I had left – being trimmed. Short bursts of clippers buzzing near the edges of my temples, scraping the edges of my hair line. Fingers smearing some kind of gunk over my scalp. And all the while, I was standing still, completely naked, eyes closed, feeling very, very exposed, and sexy, and, well, gay.
And when she told me to open my eyes, and put on my glasses, I looked the way I felt.
Slick, gelled hair swept from my forehead to the back of my scalp. But at my temples started something that could be called an undercut if it didn’t feel so naked, skin almost completely bare. My fingers found stubble, the barest hint, when they went there to confirm what my eyes saw. Stubbly skin, the bones of her skull right there underneath. My hand went back, over my equally bald occipital bone, over the bald folded skin at my neck.
Old Kim would’ve felt self-conscious about her heavy jowls, having nothing to frame her double chin. But I was gay Kim now. If I could like pillowy features on other women, I could like them on myself.
“I don’t think you understand how much I love this.” I said to Melissa, kissing her long and hard. “I’ve missed you so much.”
“You’re mine now.” she whispered back, and the touch of her nails on my shorn scalp was electrifying. “And I’m not finished with you yet.”