Bad Like Me, Chapter 2

  • Posted on May 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

By eloquent delinquent

The sun is settling in the hills in a big golden flare as Charlotte walks across the neighborhood, past budding trees and lawns cut just that day, probably for the first time since it thawed. One or two mowers are still puttering around the block, and it sounds and smells like spring to her. It’s not too long a walk to the Carmodys, only a few blocks, almost everyone in the Congregation lives in this neighborhood on the western side of town.

And when she turns on Pine and Logan, there is the Church, the warehouse-like Calvarian Reformed Church, rising unadorned from the expanse of its parking lot. Like most kids here, it’s the center of her life. She goes to school there, and Sunday service, and Bible study two nights a week. The Congregation is only about 200, and they keep to themselves, so it seems like everyone knows everyone else’s business.

A ways down, out of sight of the Church, and she’s headed up Whitcomb Circle. The houses here aren’t as nice as the ones on her street, were built later, manufactured homes. Charlotte notices that she’s done up her hair too quickly, and now the bun is coming loose, drooping, brushing her shoulder. The Carmodys live toward the back of the circle, next to the woods, and beyond them she can hear the frogs start to chirp and ribbit down in the runoff pond. The house looks small in its wide yard, blue and plain except for a big window in the front.

The door opens just before Charlotte can knock, and in the opening, just a little above the knob, the solemn face of a girl with round-lensed glasses and a mop of shoulder-length lazy blonde curls leans out. “Hi,” she says timidly, leaning out a little more, but her hands still gripping the knob. “I saw you coming up. You’re Charlotte, right?”

Charlotte smiles brightly into the younger girl’s shyness. “Yeah, and you must be Megan. I’m here to take care of you tonight. Won’t that be fun?”

Megan’s face lights up a little bit, she grins slightly and nods, opening the door wide to let the new babysitter in. “What’s in the bag?”

Charlotte adjusts the shoulder strap. “Books for school. Do you have homework too?” “A little.”

Stepping into the living room, the house is different than she’s used to. There are toys, books, magazines, dishes, scattered around. A stack of folded laundry rests on the arm of an overstuffed couch. As she’s glancing around, a door opens in the nearby hallway, and she sees a figure pass quickly through it, a woman’s plump golden body, in nothing but a black bra and panties. Black. Bra and panties. She gazes, rapt, as the woman’s hips switch, bare feet padding away from her, for about three steps before she turns into another doorway, disappears.

Charlotte’s heart thumps, and something inside flutters happily, crazily. Megan had her back to the hall and has no idea.

She inhales, tries to recover her thought. “Erm, we can do it together, if you want.”

The girl blinks her brown eyes, maybe a bit confused. “Okay. I wanna have supper first, though.”

That brings her smile back. “You know, I’ve got a sister about your age. What are you? Seven?”

“No, I’m eight now,” Megan says proudly.

“Exactly! Let me talk to your Mom for a minute, then we’ll eat.”

Megan veers off toward the little dining area, and Charlotte starts toward the hallway. She knows which door to use. Her heart thumps harder and her cheeks feel hot, it’s hard to get her feet to move forward. The door is open, she can smell hints of soap and perfume coming from it. What would she see when she looked in? Would Mrs Carmody still be in just her bra and panties? Less?! The flutter comes back stronger, settling between her belly button and her kitty and beginning to purr.

Mrs Carmody rushes out from that open doorway, stops short, both of them jumping as they startle each other. Megan’s mother freezes for a second, still barefoot but now in a floral skirt and peach top, her green eyes wide behind her pretty rectangular glasses, brows lifting over the frames, elbows out, hands freezing where they’re fiddling with her hair. “Oh! Oh goodness, Charlotte! I didn’t hear you knock.”

Charlotte struggles with the snarl of things in her mind. Oh gosh I almost peeked on her does she know I almost did does she know I wanted to? “Megan. Megan opened the door when I walked up.”

“Well, hello,” Megan’s mom says, laughing a bit nervously. She awkwardly works her way around Charlotte and into the living room. “Sorry I’m in such a rush. Somebody quit at the fabric store and I have a chance to pick up some hours. I really need them.”

She’s looking around distractedly as she says this, all the while using two long lacquered pins to secure her own, much larger mass of blonde curls into a pile on her head. “Megan, have you seen my shoes?”

“Under the coffee table, I think.”

Mrs Carmody steps next to the couch, kneels, and bends down to reach beneath the low table. Charlotte is helpless to do anything but notice how nicely the skirt shows off her rear when she bends down deep like that. Thinks about her figure in the hall, feels a shiver knowing that those black panties (black!) are under that skirt, and she’s struck with the recognition of how young Mrs Carmody actually is. She can’t be more than twenty five.

Standing, she leans against the couch and slips on her practical black shoes. “There’s supper in the container on the top shelf of the fridge, just microwave it. Oh, and could you make her a salad? She should have her homework done, cleaned up and be in bed around nine, and I’ll be home just after eleven.” She pauses as Charlotte nods, “It’s okay. I look after my sister Jodie all the time.”

Mrs Carmody’s look softens. “Thank you so much, Charlotte. This really helps us out.”

Then she crosses over to the dining area, where Megan stands up. Mrs Carmody squats down to her level. “Honey, let me know when someone’s at the door, okay? I can’t have you just opening it up.” She smirks at her daughter. “She might’ve seen me in my undies.”

Megan giggles. “Okay, Mom.”

“Gotta go, honey roll,” she says, and sweeps her daughter into a hug. Parting, Mrs Carmody cups Megan’s face, and delivers three brief kisses – left cheek, right cheek, and one on the mouth. They smile at each other as the mother stands. “See you in the morning.”

She crosses to the door, gives Charlotte another grateful look, and is gone.

Charlotte spends most of the subsequent dinnertime recovering from her encounter with Mrs Carmody. This wasn’t like her friends’ houses, which were spare and uncluttered and always tidy. She wasn’t like her friends’ parents, and not just younger, either. Charlotte’s three closest friends were like her, third generation in the Church, raised together, and now she realized that both they, and their parents, were very similar. Mrs Carmody is different. And so is Megan.

Their supper is a beef and noodle casserole that Charlotte suspects had its origin in a box. Megan helps with the salad and eats wolfishly, almost like it’s a game. The young girl’s shyness breaks down pretty quickly, since Charlotte can guess the topics that most interest, using experience from her own sister. She becomes a bit of a chatterbox with her new audience, and it’s quickly established that she likes nature and animals (especially birds and raccoons), likes games but also likes making up her own rules, reads almost like a high schooler, knows a lot of big words, thinks sports are dumb and wonders if Jesus ever laughed.

At first, Charlotte compares Megan to Jodie, but gradually decides that Megan is brighter than her sister. And less noisy. And less crazy. And sweeter.

And that’s it, really, that’s what’s at the center of the difference, Megan and her Mom are sweeter than anyone in her family, or in any of the families she’s close to. Megan frequently looks at Charlotte’s face, meets her eye and smiles. While they’re doing dishes side by side, Megan bumps her hips into Charlotte’s thigh, and she bumps back, knocking the smaller girl off-balance a bit, then they both giggle. And then while they take care of their homework at the dining room table, Megan reaches out and pinches Charlotte’s pencil by the eraser while she’s writing, then falls back into her chair and tries to look innocent. Charlotte tries to scowl at her, but that only makes Megan snicker and before long they’re both shaking with laughter. Finally, Charlotte closes the book she’s reading for English. Megan’s been done for a while, but has stayed at the table, doodling in a notebook and quietly fidgeting, humming to herself. Charlotte asks to see what she’s drawing and Megan holds up the notebook, showing a pretty accurate sketch of a bird’s wing, large feathers nestling into smaller as they approach the body.

“Wow, that’s really good.”

“I have a book, this bird watching book, with all these pictures in them. No photos, somebody painted them. I wanted to do that too, so I practice, and…” she trails off with an exaggerated, single-shoulder shrug.

They spend a moment smiling at each other, and it stretches out and out until Charlotte says, “What.”

“You’re pretty,” Megan says. Charlotte’s a bit stunned. Nobody calls her pretty unless she’s dressed up for Sunday service or Easter pageant, and then they’re talking about her clothes, not her. She feels the smile blooming on her face, but can’t think of anything to say.

Megan notes, “Your hair is falling down.”

Chuckling, she replies, “Yeah, I was in a hurry.” She reaches back, “I should just take it down and try again, huh?”

“Wow, your hair is really long. Mom tells me soon I won’t be able to have my hair short anymore, but I like it this way.”

“It looks good on you like that. All curly.”

Megan beams, then suddenly leans forward. “Can I braid it? I’ve been trying to get better, but I hardly ever get to.”

How can she resist this ball of eagerness? “Sure, I guess.”

Megan bounds out of her chair, grabs Charlotte’s hand, and leads her over to the couch, where the younger girl plops down with her legs tucked under. She instructs Charlotte to sit sideways, back to her. After a few false starts, Charlotte helps her with the pattern and Megan picks it right up. She tries big, loose, messy braids and tight, delicate ones. Charlotte shows her how to do a four-strand, surprised she remembers how because she hasn’t done any of this since Confirmation when she was ten.

They sit quietly for a while, Megan fiddling and Charlotte having to admit she likes all this attention, the pleasant tugging of her hair. It’s going to be frizzy later, but right now she doesn’t care.

Getting up on her knees, Megan announces she’s going to try a braid fringe, like she’s seen in the magazine on the coffee table. She leans over, drawing strands away from Charlotte’s forehead, and behind her glasses her brow is knit in concentration. Charlotte feels the warmth of Megan’s body pressing against her back, aware of every shift the girl makes as she busies herself above. It feels great, having another girl close like this, she’s never had much in the way of hugs and cuddles, often imagines her arms around someone, holding them close. And when she’s in the closet, she imagines hands moving all over each other’s bodies, undressing, touching… sliding her fingertips down a smooth golden back until they trace the soft curve wrapped up in those tight black panties…

Charlotte snaps back to herself. Now the buzzing’s starting again, and the feel of the girl’s body against her is intense, confusing. She can smell Megan’s fruity shampoo, the gentle scent of her skin. She doesn’t know what to do with her hands, getting increasingly unnerved, guilty. Megan seems perfectly comfortable. Where does that come from?

“Do you braid your mom’s hair?”

“Nah, it’s too curly,” Megan says distractedly. The braid goes in, plait by plait. “Lori’s the only one I still play with a lot, and she lets me, sometimes, but she gets bored.”

“Well, I’m not bored,” she says, and it’s true. She’s more excited than she thinks she should be.

“You’re fun!” the girl enthuses. “Normally I get Mrs Baxter watching me, and she’s old and crabby.”

“Ew, why her?”

“The same reason I only get to play with Lori, I guess,” Megan says, shrugs. “After Dad left, things changed.” She pauses, her hands stop working. “Done.”

She smooths her hands over Charlotte’s hair, tracing the outline of the braid. Then she settles lower, arms suddenly wrapping around the older girl’s chest, and with a soft thrill Charlotte feels Megan kiss her cheek, then settle her chin on Charlotte’s shoulder. It’s marvelous and terrible and why can’t she stop thinking about the bad thing? This should be normal, it shouldn’t be so mixed up with all this other stuff that should just stay in the closet. It’s normal for Megan, right?

“Do you and your mom hug and kiss a lot?”

Megan’s head turns, her warm cheek brushing Charlotte’s ear. “I guess so,” she says. “She wants me to know she always cares, even when things aren’t so great. Like, she said goodnight when she left, but I know she’ll look in on me and kiss me goodnight again when she gets home.”

“My family doesn’t do much of that. Not even my parents. Is that weird?”

She feels Megan’s shrug against her back. Then there’s a delightful squeeze (her arms are right across my boobies) and another kiss on her cheek, this one big and pressing and achingly sincere. And then she draws away and Charlotte immediately misses it.

Megan’s poking at the braid she created. “I think I messed it up.”

Charlotte reaches up and starts unplaiting it, and Megan swoops in to help, and in no time their fingers are bumping into each other, getting knotted together, and they’re both giggling by the time it’s undone. “It’s okay, my hair’s going to be a big old tangled mess anyway.”

“Sorry,” she says, then leans over Charlotte’s shoulder, face bright. “I know! You could rinse it out in the sink while I take my bath. My mom washes her hair in the sink all the time!”

The feeling she’s been trying so hard to banish rises up, spills over. The implications wash over Charlotte like a tidal wave, and she comes unmoored by the force of it, her whole body lighting up, tightening, pulse in her ears, and a deep melting heaviness between her legs. I could see her naked.

Megan’s practically inviting her to. Charlotte will go into the bathroom with her and Megan will take off all her clothes and Charlotte will be able to see her naked. The thought of girls had always made her a little tingly, which she thinks is a bit weird but kind of refused to consider too closely. Now she has a chance to see this bright girl, so sweet and friendly, so much like a little version of her disconcertingly pretty mother, nude and slippery wet, and her need to do it is so strong she feels like she’ll pass out or catch fire if she doesn’t. But she knows it’s wrong; it’s even more bad than what she does in the closet. Her knees rub against each other as she squeezes her legs together, but she’s not sure if she’s trying to prevent the feeling from getting any further in, or to keep it from getting out.

The sensation of thigh brushing thigh just below her panties is delicious. I’ll just be looking. She doesn’t mind. Why should I? Charlotte gets to her feet.

Megan leads her to the bathroom with a pleased look on her face. The doorway’s just off the hall, the same one she saw Mrs Carmody emerge from when she arrived. The bathroom is very small ~ the girls can barely stand a couple feet apart. It’s cluttered here, too ~ toiletries strewn around the sink, a half-full laundry hamper nevertheless having some clothes (little girl clothes, exclusively) heaped around it rather than in it. The tub takes up most of the right hand wall next to the potty, and the vanity sink is just beside it, opposite the door.

“See?” Megan points. “The shower head thingy has a hose attached, and it reaches all the way over to the sink. Mom says it’s the only advantage to having such a tiny bathroom, we can both get ready at once.”

Charlotte nods dumbly. It’s hard to speak with your heart in your throat.

“Are you okay? You’re all pink.”

Her hand shoots up to her face, feels the heat there. “Um, yeah. I’ll just, uh, get started I guess.” She moves toward the shower.

“No, wait. You have to let me run the tub first. Then I’ll get in, and I’ll turn the shower on and off for you. That way we can do it at the same time.”

Megan kneels down and turns the tap on, testing the water as it warms, then closes the drain. Charlotte’s bottom is pressed against the vanity, Megan’s between her and the door. Feeling distant, woozy, Charlotte looks on passively as Megan stands, takes a step back, and wiggles her feet out of her sneakers. It’s only when the younger girl lifts one foot back next to her bottom and pulls the little sock off with her thumb, that Charlotte says, “Should I, um…” she gestures toward the doorway.

“You don’t have to, I’ll only take a minute.” The other sock comes off. “Clean off the counter, so everything doesn’t get all wet.” Water splashes noisily in the tub.

“Yeah, okay.” She turns around, tries to focus as she takes items from the counter and piles them onto an equally overloaded shelving rack next to it. But her eyes keep glancing in the mirror, and she gets lingering glimpses of Megan; her curls flopping down from the neck of her shirt as she lifts it over her head, revealing a plump torso, skin a paler gold than her mother’s, a cute tummy and a pair of tiny, bright pink nipples; the girl twisting her skirt around to get at the zip; tossing her clothes in the general direction of the hamper. Then with a nonchalant dip and the snap of elastic, she’s pulling her white panties off, and Charlotte can see all of her, and there’s an adorable curve and swell to her bottom that leads to her firm, fleshy legs, and oh, oh, the crease of her little kitty and it’s delicate and bare as hers was when she was small. She realizes she’s staring and looks away, clumsily grabbing at one of the last bottles on the counter.

When she feels the hand on the small of her back Charlotte jumps a little. She turns herself around, and Megan is there, grinning at her babysitter’s silly behavior. Megan removes her glasses, now even her face is naked, and she’s so soft and beautiful, she seems more whole undressed, her nudity innocent and content. Megan hands her glasses to the older girl. “Put them out of the way, too.”

Charlotte turns again, trying to find a place to put them on the cluttered shelf, and it takes longer than it should because she can’t think. She hears Megan stepping into the tub. Her eyes practically drag over to look in the mirror, and watch as naked Megan settles into the half-full tub, as she gets a bottle from the corner, pours some in, splashes it into a frothy mound of suds. She pulls her gaze away, looks down at her own shaking hands, wanting and guilty and so, so torn.

There’s a sloshing and Megan lets out a giggle and a sigh, a strangely deep sigh that causes Charlotte to finally turn around and face her. The girl’s holding onto the tub spout, her body pulled close underneath it, knees drawn up to her shoulders and her kitty directly under the flow, hot water pouring and bouncing off the tender pink flesh. Her eyes are closed, head back, trailing the ends of her curls in the bubbles, and her mouth is open in what looks like an endless, happy gasp.

Charlotte slumps back against the counter for support as a surge of liquid heat pummels her. What Megan’s doing is shocking and beautiful and amazing and it makes everything so much better and worse. Her hand absently rises to her breast, squeezes, as she stares.

Megan squeaks out a high pitched sigh and her brown eyes open, sparkling with pleasure. She spies Charlotte looking at her and smiles hugely, sloshing back from the faucet into a cross-legged sitting position, holding her ankles, bubbles bobbling around her. “It feels yummy,” she chuckles. Then she takes a deep breath and turns off the water.

Unable to bear looking at Megan any more, Charlotte quickly takes the shower head off the bracket, stretching it over the sink. She wants to drown, to dissolve. “I’m ready.”

“No you’re not,” Megan chides. “Take off your top, silly. Put a towel around your, you know,” she gestures around her neck and shoulders.

Between her rapid breath and trembling fingers, unbuttoning her blouse is a challenge. She’s keenly aware of Megan steadily watching her, adding something new and thrilling to the cauldron churning inside. Finally it’s off, hanging on the rack, and a towel is drawn around her. She looks beseechingly at Megan. The girl kneels up, bubbles sliding down her exposed bottom. She turns on the tap and tests the water.

“Okay, ready,” Megan says. “Put your head over the sink and I’ll switch it over. Wave at me when you want me to switch it off.”

Charlotte does as she’s told (like a good girl) and the hot water splutters then rushes out of the shower she holds over her head, sluicing through her hair. The tangles sag, soak, unwind. She combs her fingers through it, loosening the peskier snarls. Gradually, it begins to straighten, hanging like a drape down into the basin. The spray of water on her scalp sends tingles down the back of her neck, makes her think of Megan’s fingers in her hair, Megan’s body wrapped around hers, Megan naked in the tub behind her, watching. She hoped this would clear her head, but nothing helps, nothing. She waves, and the water is choked off.

She lifts the towel over her head and scrubs at her scalp. The little room is close and steamy now. She can hear gentle laps and splashes as Megan washes herself. Once she towels off, she picks a hairbrush out of the rack and starts pulling it through her locks with long, straight strokes. In the foggy mirror, Megan is leaning back, soaping up a foot. Charlotte’s own face looks desperate to her, the feverish color in her cheeks, breathing through her mouth. She needs the closet so much right now. She needs to hide. She needs her secret, the hidden, wonderful, frantic touching. She needs to be bad.

Continue on to Chapter 3

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