Karen: An Unusual Love Story

Karen is my best friend, and the great love of my life. We have been close for almost 12 years now, despite the varying geographical distance between us. Over those twelve years, we have been separated by feet and by of hundreds of miles, but we still remain close, sharing each other’s lives to the most intimate detail. We first met during orientation week activities for first-year college students.

We met at the dorm ice cream social. The orientation assistants took us through the routine of introducing ourselves to everybody else in the room. She lived down the hall two doors from me. I was immediately jealous, because she had lucked into a single room, while it seemed that I was moving in with the roommate from Hell. The first thing Karen said she noticed about me was my birthday, which is identical to hers. After all the introductions were finished, she found me and said, "Hi! I’m your twin sister!" She isn’t shy, I thought, as I looked up at her: She’s a couple of inches taller than me. "What time were you born?" I told her while I was trying to memorize her face, short black hair and blue eyes and match them with the name. She’s not skinny--I would call her stocky, not fat--but I loved her personality, especially since it took the pressure off of me having to make the conversation. "I’m older than you by three hours, so I’m gonna be your big sister!" We laughed and spoke for fifteen minutes until I heard my roommate call my name and tap me on the shoulder. I spun--right into an ice cream cone he was holding in front of my face. He laughed and laughed and laughed, saying, "Look what I did!" as he ran around the room. I fled the social, humiliated.

My roommate and I were clearly incompatible; the last straw came after he had thrown a party in what was supposed to be our room while I slept in the downstairs lounge. The room was a wreck the next morning: all of my stuff had been tossed around carelessly. I found four of my notebooks drenched in beer, and my clothes reeked of pot. Fuckwad walked through the door an hour later and I jumped him. He was hung over, and wasn’t in much shape to put up a fight; in fact, all he did was puke. I remember sitting in front of the student adjudicator listening to Fuckwad proclaim his innocence, and hearing Mark, the dorm advisor (who very much enjoyed the free pot he got from Fuckwad), lie to back him up. I wondered how I’d explain this to my parents; I was the only one on my side. At that point, Karen walked into the hearing along with fifteen other residents. She had somehow managed to persuade other people to give my side, including the gorgeous freshman that Mark had been screwing once a week. She hadn’t been too happy when Karen introduced her to his girlfriend, who was a senior living off-campus.

As the hearing (and my roommate troubles) ended, I hugged Karen. "What are big sisters for?" she grinned. Karen became the most frequent visitor to my "single double" room. We had a couple of classes in common, and liked studying to the same kind of music. When the end-of-semester dance approached, I was wondering who I should ask. There were several with whom I had a reasonable chance of success, but it was the gorgeous freshman who hit me over the head with the most obvious choice. "Why don’t you ask Karen? She likes you, and you make her laugh." I hadn’t considered asking my big sister to a dance. Karen accepted before I finished asking, and her eyes were sparkling. Back then I thought it might have meant something else, but now I know they sparkle whenever she’s very happy. We went and had a good time, but I was puzzled by our goodnight. No kiss, no nothing. She went straight to her room, saying that she would see me tomorrow. I spent the night wondering if I had done anything wrong.

We were still best friends; I was the first person Karen came to see when she got back from winter break. Our affection progressed to warm hugs; when we were both free at the same time, we spent it doing something together. There was always that sparkle in her eyes, and a feeling that there was something more than a close friendship developing. My notion of Karen and me as somewhat chaste lovers was rudely disproved late in our freshman year. I had started to hear rumors around the dorm that Karen was a dyke. I got very upset; this was my girlfriend people were was talking about. I refused to believe that Karen was gay. After all, she and I were--dating. We only went out when we could; she and I were both busy with extra-curricular activities. Still, the thought nagged at me. Was that why she refused to kiss me? We had never spent a night together: no matter how late, she always went back to her room. It made things weird between us until Karen asked if we could have a talk. I reluctantly put my books away.

"You’ve been really strange around me the last couple of weeks," she noted. "Is there something going on?"

"Ummm... no," I lied.

She looked down at the floor, and in a very small voice, said, "John, I’m going to tell you something important. I don’t want to lose you as a friend, but it’s something you need to know. I mean, I know how you think of me and all that, and I’m flattered. I really am. It makes me feel good that you’re attracted to me. But--" Karen took a deep breath. "If I have to tell anybody, I have to tell you. John... I think I’m gay."

My world spun out-of-control. She thinks she’s gay? How does she know? She hasn’t even tried anything with me... "No, that’s not right," Karen said. "I am gay." The look on her face was pure worry. Somewhere in the hurt, the anger and confusion, I managed to nod and husk out something about understanding. Was it something I did? Maybe I should have been a little more aggressive... Karen cried, "No you don’t! It’s not you. I mean, I’ve always sorta wondered... I’ve always sorta felt... and now, here at college away from my family and my high school friends, I know. It’s not you at all, John. And I’m sorry because I really like you. But I am realizing that I’m a lesbian."

"Then there’s no chance for--us?" I sniffled.

"None. But I want to keep you as a friend. You are my best friend, male or female. I’d hate to lose you, but I told you because I thought you’d understand," Karen said, her voice breaking. "Please don’t send me away or drop me. It’s really difficult... really difficult... I don’t know if anybody will like me any more... and I don’t know how everybody’s going to look at me... please don’t tell anybody," she babbled, then began to cry. As traumatic as the announcement had been for me, it was much worse for her. Instinctively, I reached for her and gave her a comforting hug. She sobbed into my shoulder, and I let her. I knew then that even though we would never be a matched pair, I loved her. We went to the dorm formal dance together, obviously attached to each other. A slow song would come on, and we’d hold each other close, intimately. Her soft breasts would press against my chest, the aroma of her perfume surrounded me. We danced, my attraction for her barely under control, my erection pressing against her. Karen never shifted position, never moved away, dancing, eyes closed, happy, comfortable in my arms. We appeared true lovers to the rest of the world; we were, and yet we weren’t. I spent the night alone in my room, masturbating. The rumors quieted, and the year ended.


The following year, I had a single room in a different building from Karen. She still came to visit me right after moving her stuff in. We chatted about our courses for the semester, and our summer jobs. Karen hadn’t told her parents. "John, I still don’t feel as if I can--come out of the closet," she confided. My hopes were once again bashed to bits. "But I know you can keep a secret. Will you still take me to dances and stuff?" I nodded, eager to be in her presence as her pseudo-lover, hoping against hope that she would discover she was at least bisexual. I spent the whole year going out with her, and still hoping. Karen and I were again paired at her dormitory formal dance: Again, we danced, lovers holding each other close, separated by an unnegotiable infinity. It was the last one of those we would attend together. She was moving off-campus, but I was required by the terms of my scholarship to stay in the dorms.

Junior year, Karen and I had one class together that ended at six p.m. on Wednesdays. She volunteered to cook dinner after class while we reviewed notes. She was a much better cook than the food service people, and for a while, it was like old times. That was before Wendy happened. Wendy was gorgeous: blond hair, blue eyes, lithe body, and a dazzling smile. I fell madly in lust with her, as did at least seventy-five percent of the male population at school. She was a freshman from some rural town, freed from constant scrutiny. Paradoxically, Wendy was an ice queen, shooting guys down left and right with an amused expression on her beautiful face. Karen didn’t make it to class one day, and I went to her apartment to give her the notes and assignment. As I walked past the coffee shop near her place, I froze. I saw Karen sitting there. With Wendy.

It turned out that my eyes were not deceiving me; Karen was indeed going out with Wendy. When I went to a party at Karen’s place, she and Wendy were very close, and I saw the sparkle in her eyes every time she looked at the young woman. Karen had fallen in love, and she was now "out." It hurt me a lot, much more than I thought; after all, I was in love with Karen, and despite our "understanding", I had continued to hang on to a slender thread of unreasonable hope. Wendy was the best thing that had ever happened to Karen, so I buried myself in my sister’s happiness. I knew our unique relationship had changed when she declined to go to my dormitory dance with me. I didn’t press her for a reason, because I didn’t think I could handle hearing it from her.

When we were seniors, she and Wendy moved in together. Of course, Karen and I were spending significantly less time together now: she was involved, and I was definitely odd man out. We would get together every once in a while to have a few beers and talk about old times. Since Wendy was still underage, it was just Karen and me. The change in her was striking; being with the younger woman had given Karen courage. She was more comfortable with being lesbian than I had ever seen her. There were no longer any mock displays of sexual affection for me. We were finally just friends. At graduation, her parents found out that their daughter was gay. While they weren’t thrilled, it wasn’t the disaster it could have been. Significantly, I wasn’t there; Wendy told me about it.

Both Karen and I got jobs in town, so she was able to stay with Wendy. Strangely enough, we spent more time together the year after our graduation than we had our senior year. Wendy was still too young to go to bars, and Karen wanted to go out more. I met a lot of gay people that year. Her friends at the Bull and Finch, a local gay bar, pretty much accepted me. I even got comfortable enough to go there for trivia nights without her. Although Karen and I were spending more time together, Wendy seemed amazingly unthreatened by my increased presence. Maybe the sparkle in Karen’s eyes was a little different for her.

On Wendy’s twenty-first birthday, a whole bunch of us went to the Bull and Finch to celebrate. Chris, one of the bartenders groaned when he saw me walk in the door. "VH1, can’t you find a straight bar to embarrass at trivia?" he joked as he poured drinks. "VH1" is his affectionate nickname for me. It stands for, "Vanilla Hetboy 100 percent." I can’t help it if I always beat him. Each time I would go to the bar, though, Chris caught me stealing a glance at Wendy. She was no longer just a gorgeous girl; she had physically matured into a drop-dead gorgeous woman. "You know, she’ll never hang out in straight bars, not looking like that," he finally said. "And I bet you’re really sorry."

"Yes, I am," I replied. "Not that she’d go out with me if she was het. She’d get too much attention in a straight bar to notice me. But I’m glad she and Karen found each other." Wendy came to the bar; I thought that I had been caught looking a little too much, and blushed. We talked about my friendship with Karen, and Wendy commented that I seemed very comfortable at the Bull and Finch for a straight guy.

Chris grinned and made a clarification. "Actually, all the regulars keep an eye out for VH1. We like him, even if he does blow our doors off at Tuesday trivia. We keep the riffraff away from him." He winked at me. "We don’t want him scared away until we get our revenge." I had a nice talk with them for a couple of minutes, and then Karen joined us. I left shortly after Karen and Wendy started making out at the bar. Some things, I just could not handle seeing. Chris stopped me on my way out. "I know, it’s tough watching someone you’re in love with kiss somebody else, gay or straight. Accept a hug from a queer?" I did, and it helped.

I stopped hanging out with Karen after that; I always felt like the third wheel. We would still talk over the phone, have a beer after work on occasion, but we no longer went out together. Wendy was legal now, so Karen didn’t need my company. She had also gotten a new job, one that required a lot of overnight travel. She would call me frequently while she was gone; she said it was nice having someone other than Wendy to talk to about the day. We were still the best of friends. I developed acute appendicitis late one night; I was on the phone with her when it hit. Karen rushed over and took me to the hospital. She drove me home when I was released. "I’m still your big sister, and don’t you forget it."

About a year after that, she came back a couple of days early from one of her trips. "Wendy’s not home, and both cars are there. Can you come get me at the airport?" Of course I could. I asked her why she was back so early as we climbed into the car. She said, "I got sent home to think something over." I looked at her, wondering what. "They want me to transfer, and head up a local training office. It would get me off of the road, but I’d be moving away from here." She took a deep breath. "I don’t know if Wendy wants to leave. She just graduated and got a job here so she could stay with me."

"Have you talked to her?"

"No, because I didn’t get the offer until late today. She isn’t home, and I’ve been on the plane, so I haven’t had the chance to. What do you think?"

"Is it a good offer? A good opportunity?"

Karen nodded gravely. "Big money; upper-management level stuff. This is something that I’ve been shooting for. I’m just surprised that I got asked so soon. Plus, I think Wendy and I might like the--climate better."

"Well, talk to Wendy," I said, neatly stepping through the escape hatch. "At least then you’ll know what to do with regard to her." The car was quiet for a bit, then Karen began to babble happily about the new job, and the chances she would be getting. I could tell she really wanted the job, and hoped that Wendy would like the idea of moving. I wasn’t too sure of how Karen would handle conflict with Wendy. It would also mean that I wouldn’t have to watch the love of my life kiss and fondle a gorgeous woman every so often.

After I dropped Karen off, I settled in with a book, trying not to think about what was going on. Around midnight, my doorbell rang. I opened my front door and Karen flung herself into my arms, crying. She didn’t stop for several minutes, saying something about Wendy that was drowned in the sobs. I just held her and let herself cry it all out. When she finished, she walked over to the sofa, sat and explained. She had gone to the Bull and Finch looking for Wendy, but she wasn’t there. On a whim, Karen decided to go to Sugar Plum’s, another gay bar, to look for her. She found Wendy there. In the arms of another woman. Intimately. I asked her the standard questions about overreacting.

"No," she sniffled, "I overheard some other lesbians talking; they knew Wendy. And the woman she was with. Wendy’s been--cheating on me! All the time I’ve spent out-of-town--she’s been going to Sugar Plum’s with--that--that--dyke!!!" And she started crying some more, and I held her, cooing soft words of caring. I spent the next three hours alternating between listening and drying her tears on my shoulder. Finally, she was all talked out, so it was time for bed. Karen didn’t want to go home; I could understand that. I really didn’t want her to stay at my place because--having her so close would hurt--but what are little brothers for? I gave Karen the bed, and put the futon on the floor for myself. I went to sleep dreaming of hearing her say, "I really don’t want to be alone tonight..."

A light touch startled me awake. "I couldn’t sleep," Karen complained in a whisper. She sat next to me, accidentally brushing my diminishing dream erection. It surged, and I inhaled sharply. So close to the woman of my dreams... She cocked her head. "Been a while, huh?" I grumbled yes. She brushed me again, this time on purpose, and I shivered. She threw back the sheet and looked at my cock. "It’s too bad this doesn’t do anything for me," she whispered. Karen touched it, running her hand lightly along the shaft. I moaned. "John... promise you won’t try to fuck me tonight."

"Karen--" My intended protest turned into a gasp of electric pleasure as she ran her hand across my nipple. "I--I--"

She put a finger on my lips. "Promise me," she whispered again, almost pleadingly.

"I promise--but you don’t have to--" Her fist wrapped around the base and slid gently to the rim. My head spun, and I collapsed onto the futon, legs tingling.

"I know what boys like," she said. "I’m Catholic, remember? I went out with boys all through high school," she sang gently. Her hand was sliding along my cock, and she looked deeply into my eyes. "Just enjoy it." Karen’s other hand stroked my chest, grazing my nipples. "We both know how well you do with women." My hips started to thrust slowly, and she increased the pressure of her grip slightly, intensifying the friction, and I got harder. I felt the inside of her fist twisting around, back and forth as she moved it up and down my length. All I could see were her eyes, sparkling, a soft smile on her face as she brought me to the brink. My shaft glistened with perspiration, my breath was coming in gasps, I could feel every motion of her hands against my skin and I couldn’t close my mouth... I barely felt the fingernail as it crossed from the shaft, through the corona and over the rim. My body tensed and I groaned, consumed with the shock of the first surge of ejaculation. It was supercharged with the realization of a six-year-old fantasy, and I groaned again, as my body burned white-hot in the fire of ultimate pleasure.

Karen leaned over and kissed me, gently, her tongue flicking lightly in my mouth. My back arched and my cock felt as if it had split in half; I felt the wetness on my chest and belly for an instant, then she brushed the crown of my cock with a finger, and the world vanished in a flash of brilliant white light. This painful nirvana lasted a seeming eternity. Karen’s hand and fingers drew every ounce of sexual energy out of me, keeping me in orgasm for longer than I could ever remember. She would pause in her stimulations, then stroke my nipples or my cock or brush the sensitive corona and rim ever so gently, and I would gurgle and buck and gush onto my body again. Karen continued her expert masturbation until I was no longer coherent; the gushes had turned into dribbles smeared on my cock and her hand. I shivered, half from cooling sweat, half from the intense physical afterimages. The memories of Karen’s expression, the way she had touched me, and of her kiss continued to shoot thrills through me; I shuddered again.

I felt a soft, warm cloth on my torso. "It had been a while, hadn’t it?" Karen asked rhetorically. Soft, sweet, with a hint of amusement in her words, it was not the snide comment it could have been. She cleaned me off and gave me a peck on the cheek, before lying down to cuddle against me. "John?" All I could do was give her an inquisitive hum. My breathing was almost back to normal. "The kiss? Please don’t tell anybody, OK? I did it because I wanted to thank you for being here for me, not because--"

I squeezed her from behind. "I won’t. And you’re wonderful for caring so much," I whispered, and fell asleep almost instantly. The ultimate sexual experience of my life was a handjob from a lesbian. It didn’t matter.


Karen took the promotion and moved two thousand miles away. She took a piece of my heart with her, and left Wendy behind. My big sister and I keep in touch regularly, speaking at least once a week. Both still single and looking for that right woman, we like to compare notes over the phone. Karen and I have discovered, during our conversations, that we have similar tastes. Somehow, that doesn’t surprise us at all.

This story copyright © 1996, 1997, The Flying Pen

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