When I was younger I had a friend down at my grandmother’s house. She was only a twenty-minute drive from my house and I spent time there pretty often. I was 11. Even back then I got along better with girls than boys and at the time we were at that stage in life when we were starting to play at dating even though it was still really just a game. I had many, seven-ish, of girls who chased me around the playground, sometimes literally, but mostly I kept to two girls: Katie and Christie. Katie was incredibly pale and her hair nearly white and was very unique in that way. Her skin was so pale too, you could practically see into her. He veins fascinated me and I would stare at her arms when I didn’t think she was looking because I thought it was so neat. She was very quiet and avoided most people and I never knew why, but everyone was mean to her. Much of the teasing was about her skin and her hair but I thought she was beautiful and nice so I hung around her a lot. The other girl was Christie who was a year older than us. She was also really mellow, but not nearly-silent all the time like Katie. We talked more than we actually did things. Hah, even as a kid I was somewhat lazy! I remember a time during recess we just rolled a ball back and forth between the three of us and talked about things. I don’t remember what was actually said. The moment stood out to me, though, it was a very peaceful moment when most everything I had experienced up to that point had been anything but. My world was a swirl, sensory overload to a little kid just trying to get a grip on all the drama going through the house (a divorce, the fighting, the alcohol and drugs). I don’t think the adults knew that I felt that way. I don’t think they *can* know; they’ve grown accustomed to feeling that way, or are jaded, by the time they become parents. It was new to me and it was hard, though.

I was playing at Christie’s house. She lived very near my grandmother’s house and when I was there I often rode my bike to her house to play with her. One of those summer day’s we had out a board game out, chutes and ladders, and we were playing and talking. It was a generally quiet game, more sounds from the rolling of the dice than not. The door was shut and I was focusing on the game pretty intensely. I eventually lost and I got kind of upset. I hated it when my carefully constructed plans did not work out with a passion. So I demanded another game and she didn’t mind so we did. Then her mother came in and told us she had to go next door for something the neighbors needed and that if we needed anything to go over there. Then she admonished us not to get into trouble and we said we wouldn’t. She left. Christie and I played for a little while longer then she told me she wanted to show me something. She told me to turn around and I asked why. "Just do it." she replied and I listened, fairly miffed. I didn’t like surprises. 

Then she told me to turn around and when I did she was standing in front of me completely naked. My jaw dropped; it was definitely not what I was expecting. I just thought that maybe she had a new book or video game to show me, or maybe something dumb like making a face at me. Or worse, making a joke at my expense. Not….not that. The adult in me wants to say that even then I was suave and cool about sex and sexuality but I wasn’t. I didn’t know what she wanted and I didn’t know how to react. I panicked. My heart leapt to my throat. She must’ve seen it in my face because she stepped towards me and took my hand and told me it was okay. I kept looking at her eyes. I deliberately studied her face. It didn’t feel right to look at the rest of her, like I was doing something wrong. I knew our parents would be so mad at me if I did and that they’d blame me. I also knew that if they blamed me they’d split us up and not let us play together anymore. As we stood there with her holding my hand, though, I calmed. She took her hand and put it to one of her breasts. She was just starting to fill out as a woman but was still in that awkward stage of in-between where you’re not a woman but not a little girl anymore either.

I didn’t know what to do and so I did nothing. Then the door slammed and I backed away worrying again that we’d be caught. She got her clothes on and I watched her. Despite her being naked for at least a minute before, this was the first time that I actually looked at her. It was strange. My mother was extremely open about sex and even when I was really little, she had books on sex and where I came from. In those books the cartoon-woman looked a certain way and had breasts and hair. Other than that, all I had seen of a real naked girl was a few pairs of breasts on the women in the movies.  Christie did not look like this at all and it fascinated me that she could look so different from the way I imagined it. I had a strange urge to touch her and look more closely but the moment was gone and soon she was dressed.

It stayed on my mind. We went back to our game but I wasn’t focusing on it. I wanted her to get naked again. I wanted more time alone with her. It wasn’t a sexual thought but rather I wanted to see more and understand why. She kept looking at me as we played and holding my looks. Eventually it was time to go and her mother suggested that Christie come with me to my grandma’s house for dinner. I was unsure about that but I didn’t want to upset her so I said it sounded like a good idea and we went. At first it was quiet, abnormally and weirdly quiet between us. I could feel her nervousness even if she wasn’t saying or even acting anything and I wanted her to feel good again so I took her hand and held it on the walk there. She relaxed I’m pretty sure.

We had dinner and then we were playing out front and climbing the two apple trees my grandma had in her yard. It was starting to get dark and it was time for her to go home. She started going on her own and I went inside. Once inside, my grandmother yelled at me for letting a girl walk home alone and sent me back out to walk her home. She told me to run and catch up with her. My grandmother was classy-old-school like that. So I ran and caught up to her and I told her I was walking her home. We walked and once we got there I caught her and gave her a big hug. I don’t know why, I just had the urge. I guess I was still feeling that she was feeling nervous about everything. I told her I loved her and she smiled at me, hugged me again then went inside.

We never spoke about that day again and two years later she moved away. I haven’t forgotten her, though. I still don’t know what possibly could have been on her mind for her to want to show me her naked body. I….just have no idea. Actually there’s a lot I don’t know about that situation and our relationship with each other. What especially gets me is the lack of sexuality to the whole thing. I was attracted

to her and wanted to be close to her but in a completely nonsexual way. Now if I see an attractive naked woman my mind will immediately leap to sex with her. Even when I’m sexed out and observing and exploring a partner, the tone is completely different. Now it would be exploring her as a woman, pleasing her with massage or touch, experiencing her taste, texture and smell for my own gratification as much as hers. With Christie it wasn’t like that. It was observing something new for the first time. Sharing what was at that point possibly the most private thing you could share. I don’t think that I could capture that emotion I had as a child ever again and for that reason alone the memory is precious. 

I do know one thing though. When I told her I loved her, I did. Even then I realized she was putting a lot of trust in me and that endeared her to me. At that point in my life, it was the only thing that ever endeared me to anyone I was so closed up. I still care about her and I hope she’s doing well. 


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