I pace back and forth, my legs moving like turbines as they practically glide across the carpet.
I can’t stay still, restless with barely-contained excitement for tomorrow. A billion thoughts race through my mind, all surrounding the newest major development in my life, the most pressing of which I’m currently focused on:
What the hell I’m going to wear.
I stand in front of my tall mirror, the single item in my bedroom that looks like I spent a hundred times more on it than I actually did. I examine my latest outfit with a critical eye, frowning at the way the faded blue cardigan currently tenting my body washes me out. I shrug it off me with an impatient groan, tossing it with the other rejected items on my bed.
I dash back to my wardrobe for the millionth time, ignoring the fact that it looks more like a slit in the wall than an actual closet.
I scour through my admittedly limited collection, rummaging through all the formal wear I own, picking out item after item, but nothing seems satisfactory.
I’m a frugal person, both by choice and necessity so I don’t really spend a lot on clothes and such—
especially with how much I need to shell out for rent in this city—but I hope that what I have can tide me over for my first week and is at least “prim and proper” enough to not look out of place in a firm as elite as Earth Cap.
It’s going to be my first official day on the job and I want to give off a good impression. No. A great one.
With a heavy sigh, I realize that I’ll have to go shopping for some new office attire eventually— probably much sooner than later. Unlike a lot of Californian companies, Earth Cap is traditionally corporate through and through and, from what I know, their attire reflects that. As much as I prefer casual wear and being in office environments without strict dress codes, successfully completing this internship is of utmost importance—and that means fitting in.
And speaking of fitting in…a part of me feels like this is my chance to do that; to finally have a place where I feel like I belong, around people who are like-minded, who think and feel the same way I do on a fundamental level. A thing that has evaded me my entire life.
For a while, I genuinely thought I found that with Peace by Peace but, over time, I realized that as much as I like it there and consider it something of a safe abode, as much as I want to, I don’t fit in. Not really.
I know for a fact that if I didn’t feel the way I did about Adam, I would’ve left a long time ago. And even that was unrequited.
Earth Capital just might change all that…
I settle on a cream, long-sleeved blouse and a charcoal-grey pencil skirt, pairing off the outfit with some simple black pumps.
Conservative is always a safe bet, I decide, much to my chagrin only because I know it’s what my parents have constantly preached. Though I’m sure they’d be riotously adamant about my skirt reaching my ankles and my heels only going as high as a horizontal sheet of paper. But if it was up to them, I wouldn’t even be majoring in environmental science, let alone interning at Earth Cap. Hell, I sure as fuck wouldn’t be living with Michaela. Or use words like ‘fuck’—aka, the devil’s tongue.
I shove the unwelcome thoughts of my human makers from my mind before they have a chance to ruin my mood.
I smile to myself, giddy with excitement all over again, thinking that, for the very first time in my life, things are finally going exactly the way I planned.
With my outfit picked and all my details for tomorrow thoroughly—almost obsessively—organized, I take a quick, hot shower before turning in for the night, hoping it’ll help mellow me out and put me to sleep, but, somehow, all it does is heighten my impatience.
I roam around the apartment aimlessly for several minutes, hoping to kill some of this unwarranted tension that won’t seem to go away, but it feels like I’m walking in circles—in more ways than one.
So, as usual, I resort to the one thing I know will help sedate my runaway brain.
I grab my e-reader and settle into bed, snuggling into my pillow as I hold it up to my face.
I switch the tablet on, its display lighting up as the page I bookmarked last night appears before me.
It’s a sex scene.
One I’ve read five times already.
One I’m about to read again.
My eyes swallow up the words in front of me, eagerly drinking them in even as I convince myself to slow down.
No need to rush, a small, quaint voice in my head whispers. Take your time. Savor it.
Before I know it, I’m turning on my back, holding the tablet with only one hand as the other moves to my pajama bottoms.
My gaze never leaves the screen, earnestly locked on to the text as it plays out in my head. Slowly, my fingers slide under my waist band, waiting only a beat before dipping below my panties…and instantly come into contact with slick, moist flesh.
My hand goes static for a moment, adjusting to the contrast of the coolness of my fingers against the heat of my core. But soon, they start to move of their own accord, stroking my mound back and forth gently, almost teasingly, as if I’m afraid to touch myself—which wasn’t far from the truth not too long ago.
I keep reading, my skin starting to buzz, becoming flush as the seconds tick by. Without thinking, my fingers travel further south, and before long I’m touching myself intently, rubbing on my folds and spreading wet heat between them. I grip the tablet harder, clutching it almost violently as my other hand moves faster, my fingers pushing against my opening more firmly, the tip of my index dipping in ever so slightly before dragging itself back up to the small, sensitive bud at my center.
A strained gasp tumbles from my throat when I push down on it, a sharp, ticklish sensation piercing through me and fanning out into a diffused warmth, amplifying each time I repeat the action. I lick my lips instinctively, the spontaneous, unintentional gesture spurring me on, obliging my fingers to move faster still, until I’m blatantly rubbing circles against my clit.
My hips jerk involuntarily, my breathing turning shallow, meshing into subdued gasps. I suck my bottom lip between my teeth, trying to suppress the sound of my voice—something I’m still not comfortable with even after several times of doing this.
Abruptly, a familiar tension fills my body; a delicious, culminating pressure coursing through every inch of me, rising and rising and—
My fingers part from my flesh impulsively, and I blink against the sudden heaviness in my body.
I’ve never been able to. Not once.
I hate this feeling; this sense of guilt I get whenever I touch myself. I know it’s stupid. That masturbating is healthy. Good for you. An empowering act for every sexually-conscious person. But years and years of indoctrination in an extremely conservative Baptist church have taught me the complete opposite and consequently ensured I have nothing but negative, shameful sentiments when I so much as imagine what sex would be like. Even when I’m alone. Like I am now. With no one to watch my “transgression”.
But God is watching.
He’s always watching.
All the time.
It’s been hammered into my brain over and over again.
I’m not a shrink or anything, but even a five-year-old can tell this is a one-hundred-percent psychological issue: I’m internally at war with what I want and what I’ve been taught to want. Pretty much the story of most people’s lives. Mine just happens to be one of the more extreme cases. At least, it feels that way. And I hate that I still can’t overcome it. That I can’t form a solution even though I know what the problem is. It took me until my junior year to start touching myself at all, and when I finally managed to, I couldn’t finish what I started. Not even when I tried using liquid courage to assist me.
I toss my e-reader to the side with a frustrated scoff, followed by a long, deep, somewhat defeatist sigh.
For all my love of the idea of sex, I have to wonder how in the world I plan on actually having some—especially of the mind-blowing variety—if I can’t even manage a single, elementary orgasm on my own.