Kristen Chapter #7: The World Turned Upside Down

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Published on 23.02.06 11:21 Age: 14 yrs

Letters : 16375 Words : 2861

By: Nemo

Kristen returns home to her unshocked parents !

Kristen was relieved to find that the parking lot was still deserted. She was puzzled at the realization that she felt a faint twinge of disappointment, too.

She had a spare key in a little magnetic box hidden on the undercarriage of her car. Her friends often warned her that she was taking a risk. Today she felt the risk had been worthwhile—without the hidden key, she would really be stuck.

She put her towel and shoes on the trunk of the car and knelt down at one of the rear wheel wells. She bent and twisted and stretched her arm, but she wasn’t able to reach the hidden key. She moved over a few inches and tried again, attacking from a slightly different angle. No matter how she strained, she couldn’t do any more than brush the little key box with the tips of her fingers. The asphalt felt rough on her bare knees. She puffed out a short exasperated breath and glanced up at her towel.

She unfolded the towel and spread it out neatly on the asphalt right next to the tire. Crouching, she tried to reposition the towel so that it extended about a foot under the car. She didn’t have a good angle to work from, and the towel got bunched up under the car.

“Rats,” Kristen muttered. She stepped onto the towel and dropped to her knees. She bent at the waist until her chin almost touched the ground. From this position, she was able to reach under the car and tug the towel out flat and neat. She straightened her back and smiled with satisfaction.

She turned over and lay down on the towel, with her knees raised and her feet flat on the ground. She took a deep breath, then used her feet and elbows to wriggle herself under the car. Once her head was past the tire, she could see the little metallic key box. After a couple more careful nudges, she was able to stretch one arm up and pull the key box loose. She carefully lowered the box and set it on the ground. Then she slowly inched her body out from under the car.

When she was finally clear of the car, Kristen stood and breathed a sigh of relief. She brushed her hair back with her fingers, shaking loose some dirt she had picked up under the car. She bent over and picked up the key box. With her thumb, she pushed the metal lid open, revealing the spare car key. She laughed with delight. Until she had the key in her hand, she had felt positively naked.

Of course, she really was positively naked. Self-consciously, she glanced around the deserted parking lot. Preoccupied with recovering her key, she hadn’t given the slightest thought to the fact that she was totally nude. In her mind’s eye, she replayed all the kneeling, bending and squirming she had done while recovering her key. She shook her head in amazement. “I must have put on quite a show,” she whispered, and a blush spread across her cheeks.

Kristen couldn’t count how many times she had blushed today—too many, that was certain. She would have thought that the tiny capillaries that let the blood rush to her cheeks would have given it up by now. This blush felt different from the rest. She felt embarrassed—a little—but she didn’t feel ashamed. Kristen smiled a big broad smile. She didn’t fully understand it, but this blush even felt a little… nice, somehow.

She turned and gazed at the ocean. She inhaled the sea air deeply. Some part of her wanted to dance naked around the empty parking lot. She shook her head and laughed. She didn’t have the nerve to do that. Not yet.

She turned back to her car. Her shoes were sitting on the trunk lid; her towel was still spread on the ground. She picked up the shoes and unlocked the trunk. She tossed the shoes into the trunk. For a moment she considered putting the towel in the trunk, too, and driving home in the nude.

The idea held a certain undeniable charm. Kristen was startled by her own boldness. As a practical matter, she certainly did need to get accustomed to being naked. There was something wild and exciting about the prospect of cruising down the highway with nothing on—with nothing to put on. Her heart raced at the thought.

“No, I just can’t,” Kristen said, shaking her head and laughing. She would get arrested for sure. Or she would have a flat tire, or run out of gas. That would not be the kind of positive nude experience that she needed. Ruefully, she picked up the towel. It was filthy—still damp from her shower, it had picked up dust, pebbles, tiny twigs and little spots of oily grime from the parking lot. Kristen winced, and tried to sweep the worst of the mess away with her hand. When she was satisfied that the towel was as clean as she could get it, she wrapped it around her body.

She closed the trunk lid and unlocked the driver’s side door.

It was still very early in the afternoon. Kristen had planned to spend the afternoon looking for an apartment somewhere near the beach. Now, without identification or money, and dressed in nothing but a dirty beach towel, she really didn’t have any option but to head for home. With a disappointed sigh, she got into the car.

She put the key in the ignition, but she didn’t start the engine. Her heart was still racing. For a long time, she sat and thought. It was scarcely past noon, but so much had changed today. She felt she had almost become a completely different person from the girl she had been this morning. The new Kristen looked forward to returning to the beach on Monday. The new Kristen wanted to lock her towel in the trunk. The new Kristen was exciting, and a little frightening. She wasn’t sure how much she liked this new Kristen.

Finally, she fastened her seat belt and started the engine. She noticed the way the shoulder harness fell across her towel. She squirmed a little in the seat, testing whether the shoulder harness might somehow pull the towel apart. “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” she thought, but she continued to move her body against the belt, trying to cause an “accidental” exposure. After a fruitless moment, she gave it up.

She had another idea. She raised herself about an inch off the car seat—the seat belt was still fastened. Patiently, she tugged the back of the towel up, up, up—until her bare flesh was directly against the car seat. It was an interesting sensation. The upholstery fabric felt a little rough. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but clearly the auto designers hadn’t chosen the material with the comfort of naked women in mind. “I should write them an angry letter,” Kristen thought, and giggled.

A vague sensation of guilt quickly flitted through her mind. She shook it off. “I’m not hurting anyone,” she thought. She put the car in gear and pressed gently on the gas pedal with her bare foot. She drove out the narrow gravel path and back onto the highway.

Driving slowly along the long, winding road back toward home, Kristen considered her next problem: how was she going to break the news to her parents?

“Your parents are the best!” her high school friends often told her. She had to agree. They were kind, generous, supportive and always understanding. They were great parents—the greatest. And sometimes she wished she could trade them for parents a little less perfect. In a way, their perfection was a burden to her—she didn’t want to do anything that might disappoint them.

How could they not be disappointed by the news that their darling daughter was going to spend her entire summer stark naked in front of hundreds of people on a nude beach?

She turned the matter over and over in her mind, looking for some angle, some approach, that might soften the blow. She found nothing. Her heart sank.

The sense of exhilaration she had felt in the beach parking lot faded quickly. The closer she came to home, the deeper grew the gloom that hung over her. When she pulled into the driveway, she turned off the engine and sat for a long moment, struggling to collect her thoughts. She unfastened her seat belt, and hoisting her butt off the seat, she tugged the back of her towel down to cover her naked rear end.

“Kristen, are you alright?” Her reverie was broken by the question from Mr. Johnson, the next-door neighbor. He was a kindly old gentleman whom Kristen regarded as a sort of honorary grandfather. He had come out to water his lawn, but he held the garden hose limp in his hand and he looked at Kristen with deep concern. “You look worried,” he said.

Kristen forced a smile. “No, I—I’m fine, Mr. Johnson. I’ve just been… I’ve just been thinking, that’s all.” She opened the car door and stepped out of the car.

Mr. Johnson nodded and smiled, but Kristen couldn’t mask her worried expression with a forced smile. “Okay. Well, you take care of yourself, you hear?”

Kristen nodded and started toward the front door.

“Oh,” Mr. Johnson called out, “I hear you got the lifeguard job! Congratulations!”

Kristen felt her face turn red. She forced another smile and nodded. “Y—yes. Yes, I did. Thank you.” She hurried to the door and stepped inside.

She heard her parents talking softly in the kitchen. Her eyes darted to the stairwell. She wanted to get up to her room, so she could get rid of this dirty towel and put some clothes on. Then maybe she could face her parents.

“Kristen, is that you?” called her mother from the kitchen.

“Yes, I—“

“Well, come on in here, dear,” her mother said. “We didn’t see you last night, and your father and I have been on pins and needles all day, waiting to hear about your lifeguard job.”

With a deep sigh, Kristen walked barefoot into the kitchen.

As always, the kitchen was filled with the delicious smells of her mother’s cooking. Kristen’s father was seated at the kitchen table, reading a news magazine and absent-mindedly munching on a sandwich. He looked up and smiled when Kristen entered the room.

Her mother stood with her back to the kitchen doorway, preparing food at the counter. “Have a seat, dear, and I’ll make you a sandwich,” she said. She turned her head to look over her shoulder, and saw Kristen standing in the doorway. “Oh, my!” she exclaimed. She turned to face Kristen.

“What happened, Kristen?” her mother asked. “Your hair is a mess, and you’re almost covered with dirt.” Kristen looked self-consciously at her hands, which were smeared with grease from her attempts to retrieve her spare car key. “Oh, and that towel is filthy,” her mother continued. “What happened? Why aren’t you dressed, dear?”

Kristen’s mouth felt dry. “Oh, I was stupid,” she answered. “I—I went out to check out my, uh, my lifeguard assignment, and, uh…” She swallowed hard. “And I, uh, I locked my locker combination in my locker with my street clothes.” She held up her greasy hands. “I had to use my spare key to get back home.”

“Oh, dear!” her mother said. “Are—are you okay?”

Kristen nodded. “I’m fine,” she said. “Nothing hurt but my pride.” She looked back toward the stairs. “I think I ought to go up and get a quick shower and, uh, get dressed.”

Her mother smiled with relief. “Thank goodness you’re alright. You had me worried! Well, let me fix you a sandwich, and you can take your shower later.” She turned back to the kitchen counter and quickly made a sandwich for her daughter. “Your father and I want to hear all about your lifeguard assignment. Where are you going to be working?”

Kristen glanced back at the stairs and fidgeted nervously. Her mother put the sandwich on a plate and turned to set it down at Kristen’s place at the table. Both her parents were gazing into her eyes with gentle smiles and expressions of sincere interest.

Kristen tried to evade the question. “It’s a beach,” she said. “I—I was afraid I was going to get assigned to some kiddie pool or something, but I got a beach assignment. Very nice. It’s—uh—it’s way, way out in the b-boondocks. It’s really quite a drive.” She winced. She was babbling.

“Which beach?” her father asked. “Where is it?”

Kristen was cornered. “It’s, uh…” She swallowed hard. “It’s—it’s Black Knife Beach.”

“Oh!” her mother cried. Her parents exchanged a quick glance. Her father’s brow wrinkled with a worried expression, and he slowly raised his hand to his chin. “That used to be…” her mother’s voice trailed away. “Is—is that still a nude beach?”

Tears were starting to burn in Kristen’s eyes. She nodded. “Yes,” she mouthed, but she had no voice.

Her father’s voice was gentle and filled with concern. “Why did you choose that beach?” he asked.

Kristen sniffled and tried to blink away her tears. “I didn’t really choose it,” she said. “I—I didn’t know it was a nude beach until I went down there. I was so embarrassed!” Her voice was starting to tremble.

Her mother stepped over and put a reassuring hand on Kristen’s shoulder. “There, there, Kristen,” she said softly. “Don’t you worry. It’s going to be fine. You don’t have to work there if you don’t want to.” Her father nodded his agreement.

Kristen sobbed. “That’s the problem, Mom—Dad. You—you know how hard I’ve worked, how much it’s meant to me to become a lifeguard. If I don’t take this assignment, I’ll never get to be a lifeguard.” Tears were flowing freely now. “I didn’t pick Black Knife Beach, but—but I do want to work there.” There. It was out now.

Her parents exchanged another significant glance, and both smiled warmly.

Surprised, Kristen tried to wipe her tears away. “You—you’re not upset?”

Her parents smiles grew broader. “Don’t be silly,” her mother said. “We couldn’t be more proud of you.”

Her father nodded. “We’ve raised you to know your own mind and make your own decisions,” he said. “I can see that this has been a difficult decision for you, and we are both so pleased that you’ve had the courage to make the decision for yourself.”

Kristen felt a sudden exhilaration—she was almost dizzy. She laughed. “I—I was so worried about what you would think. Oh, thank you!” With a sigh of relief, she started to take her place at the table.

“Oh, Kristen, don’t sit down with that filthy towel on,” her mother said. “Let me toss this in the washer.” Before Kristen could react, with a single sharp tug her mother pulled the towel from her body.

Kristen’s face turned scarlet. She tried in vain to cover her nakedness with her hands.

“It looks like you’ve gone native already,” her father said with a gentle smile.

Her mother, surprised to see that Kristen wasn’t wearing her swimsuit, started to hand the towel back, but stopped. “Oh, how silly of me,” she said. “I didn’t even think about the fact that you’ll need to get used to being nude for your job.” She carried the towel into the laundry room and tossed it into the washing machine. “If you can’t go naked in your own home, where can you?”

Kristen stood motionless, stunned.

Her mother looked at Kristen and smiled sweetly. “Well, go ahead, dear. Sit down and eat your sandwich. Would you like a nice glass of milk?”

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