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Beth is a grad student at the University of Kentucky. She is a mathmatics and physics student. As a perk for being a grad student, Beth is invited to all the weekly, faculty parties.
It is at the parties she begins to think of Sarah, the professor’s wife, in a romantic way. A hopeless fantasy Beth knows, until it is announced that the professor and his wife are separating.
A friendship slowly builds between the two women, and Sarah invites Beth to Thanksgiving diner at her place.
A few martinis later and each has revealed their most private secrets. An soon Beth is eating more than turkey this Thanksgiving.
. I knew Sarah from the weekly department parties. She was the wife of Jared Hastings, esteemed professor of mathematical physics, who taught my tensor calculus course. Ex-wife, I should say.
For a woman in her fifties, Sarah was quite attractive. Take it from a woman who’s spent a lot of time fantasizing about other women. She wore her long silver- grey hair pulled back in a neat braid or pony tail. And if her round face was creased with laugh lines, it was because Sarah laughed often, easily. She was short and a bit chubby; but to my taste, she was plump in just the right places.
It began the fall of my second year in grad school, at Lexington, Kentucky. I was twenty-three years old, a young woman living on my own for the first time, my life dedicated wholeheartedly to the study of physics, which I immersed myself in till my dreams were full of conversations between quarks and neutrinos About half- way through my first year, the news came that they were separating. But after fifteen years as a faculty wife, Sarah was as much a part of the department social life as Jared was, and so no one found it odd that she kept coming to the department parties; it was Jared who dropped out.
Now, as for me, I have short blonde hair, a slight overbite, and big green eyes. In high school, my nickname was “Gopher.” I’m fairly petite, not very well-endowed in the chest department; though I have rather wide hips for my build (like a bottle of salad dressing, a girlfriend once said). I’ve been called cute more than once; though only Sarah has called my beautiful.
I began to realize I was a lesbian in junior high. I had a miserable, protracted love affair with Marla Gaard, which began in seventh grade, and didn’t end till tenth. Mostly it consisted of me hanging around her like a devoted puppy, while she ignored me.
Just when the pain got to be too much to bear, and I pulled away from her, she would suddenly turn into Ms. Sex Kitten around me, and we would feverishly kiss, touch, and — when we got a little older — lick and suck. Then she’d turn back into the Ice Princess.
I never figured out what game Marla was playing with me, but when I finally broke up with her, I resolved to play it “straight”, date boys, and channel my passions into my studies — and so I did through the remainder of high school and, aside from a couple of flings, through college as well (though by then, I’d given up on men as well). But as I say, that didn’t stop me from fantasizing.
I could fantasize about Sarah Hastings, over a glass of white wine, from across the room, watching her gab with the senior faculty … admiring the radiant smile that periodically flashed across her face … admiring the generous curve of her hips beneath her denim skirt, the heavy swell of her bosom straining against her blouse. But Sarah was straight — not to mention old enough to be my mother, and I don’t have a general thing for older women. She was friendly enough to me, asking me how my research was going, telling me not to let Dr. So-and-so intimidate me, and so on. But she belonged to the world of the senior faculty: overlapping with, but far above my own world as a grad student. And so, it never occurred to me that I could actually have this woman as a close friend, let alone lover.
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