It’s my birthday, so I ignored the prompt.
Cecilia sat at the small table in the front of the cafe trying to will her leg to stop shaking. She stirred her coffee, which she didn’t often drink, and looked again at her phone. It was 3:15, and Lynn was late. Lynn had always been late when they were in high school, but Cecilia thought maybe things had changed.
Lynn had been Cecilia’s best friend in elementary school and most of middle school, but they had grown apart a bit by high school. Still, they were best friends in a sort of familial way and so they had kept in touch in those various ways people did, Facebook and so on and the occasional visit during the holidays.
Lynn had gone off to Smith College, out in Western Massachusetts, while Cecilia had stayed at home and went to Hunter College, just a short train ride away.
Lynn had always wanted to leave, travel, and from what Cecilia had seen, she had. Paris, Hong Kong, various places in South America. The only place Cecilia had been was Rome, to see the Vatican with her family.
As Cecilia remembered their last conversation, when Lynn had come out as bisexual and Cecilia didn’t really know how to respond, Cecilia wondered if her old friend was mad at her. She wondered, even if she wouldn’t show up, but just as the thought entered Cecelia’s mind, Lynn walked in, looking taller and prettier and far more put together than Cecilia remembered.
“Cece!” She said, using a nickname Cecilia had once hated but now felt a certain fondness over. They hugged and it felt good, it felt right, like visiting family. Then they sat and talked.
Lynn had moved back to New York, living up in Harlem and working at a magazine. Cecilia still lived at home, but she had also graduated and was looking for work.
“Oh my god, you should be my roommate!” Lynn said, sipping her iced coffee. Cecilia smiled politely, but the idea horrified her.
“So how is the old neighborhood?” Lynn asked. Cecilia shrugged, but then she remembered the gossip she learned.
“Oh, the church sold off the school and the rectory and some other building and they are converting most of it to apartment buildings and condos. But the rectory, well, there have been these people in the rectory at night.”
Lynn’s eyes lit up. She always loved gossip. “Like squatters? We used to go to parties these squatters had near the college. It was like a rave in an old abandoned building.”
Cecilia laughed, wondering what kinds of things her old friend got into.
“I don’t think they live there or anything, they just go there sometimes at night and do these like, photoshoots or something. They have costumes and props and things,” she said, taking another experimental sip of her coffee.
“Do you think-” Lynn said, moving in and whispering.
“Do you think it’s like porn or something?”
Cecilia blanched a little.
“I’m not sure. Maybe. I went and had a look the other day. They were clothed, but they were certainly not wearing much,” she said with worry.
Lynn eyed her friend.
“Are you still, I mean, are you still not interested in dating?” Lynn asked, with an edge of carefulness in her tone.
It was a tricky subject and one Cecilia didn’t like to talk about very often.
“Well, I’m not sure. Now that I’m done with school, I might. I mean, I’d like to have children one day. I’d like to have a wedding. All the in-between stuff just seems so annoying. Maybe I’ll ask one of my aunts to set me up of something.”
Cecelia looked up to see horror on Lynn’s face. She quickly recovered. “Are you… I mean… do you like boys? Like are you attracted to them?”
Cecelia wrinkled her eyebrows. She wondered if Lynn was asking if she was a lesbian or something. “Yes. I mean, sometimes. Men are mostly horrible, but I’m certainly more attracted to men than… anybody else. I just think the whole dating thing is a waste of time. Maybe I’ll meet someone at work.”
Lynn looked concerned. She sipped her coffee. “Are you a virgin?”
Cecelia sighed. Lynn seemed to think about sex a lot. She shook her head. “No, I did it with Anthony Figueroa after prom.”
Lynn processed that. “Was it any good?”
Cecelia’s eyebrows wrinkled again. “Was what good?”
Lynn let out an exasperated sigh. “The sex!”
Cecelia shrugged. “I guess. He didn’t have any complaints. He was obsessed with my tits.”
Lynn’s eyes pleaded for understanding. “Was it good for you??”
Cecelia shrugged again. “It didn’t hurt.”
Lynn sighed again, finishing her coffee, a bit dejected.
Cecelia smiled wearily. “Sorry, did I say something wrong?”
Lynn forced a smile back. “No, I’m sorry. I’m studying human sexuality for my master’s. It’s just… women should enjoy sex too. ‘It didn’t hurt’ is a pretty depressing review of a sexual encounter. You deserve pleasure too, you know.”
Cecelia shrugged once more. “I get pleasure from lots of things.”
Lynn smiled. “Yeah, I’m sure. I mean, life is full of pleasures. I just meant, sexual pleasure.”
Cecelia sighed. “Yeah, so do I. I have a vibrator and like five dildos. I’m really into erotic fan fiction. Do you know about the Omegaverse? That’s mostly what I read. Have you ever seen any of the Bad Dragon toys? I’m saving up for one of the big knotted ones. I don’t think I’m going to find a man out there who can compete with that. And when I said sex with Anthony didn’t hurt, that was kind of a complaint.”
Lynn’s mouth opened and then closed a few times. “Wow. Yeah. I know that toy company. Those toys are pretty intimidating.”
Cecelia’s smile widened a bit. “I guess, for some people. People seem to enjoy watching me use them though.”
Lynn did a double-take. “Watching?”
“I mean, everybody has an OnlyFans these days, right? I’m sure you see a lot of them in your research or whatever. I’m saving up enough to get my own place and my day job doesn’t pay very well, at least not yet. So I do little things to get by.”
Lynn nodded, her eyes wide. There was a slightly awkward silence. Cecelia’s eyebrows raised. “You don’t want to see, do you? I mean, I don’t mind showing you. I think I can give you free access. Most of the really graphic stuff is pay per view, but I keep all the movies in a Dropbox.”
“Well, it might be interesting, for my research,” Lynn said slowly.
Cecelia tapped on her phone for a bit, biting her bottom lip as if trying to figure out a crossword. “Okay, sorry, all the technical stuff is still pretty new to me. I sent you a link.”
Lynn’s phone buzzed. She tentatively picked it up and saw a message from Cece. Opening it, there was a link and a preview, which was a picture of her old friend, completely nude, crouching over a huge red and black dildo of inhuman shape.
She looked up to see Cecelia’s face, nonplussed. “Cool, right?”
“Cool,” Lynn agreed, her face somehow both white and blushing at the same time.