The college session is over and we plan to write together during the Christmas holiday. Here is vhapter 25 in the meantime, in time for Christmas!
My life to far, Episode 21: Getting to know Edith
Letters : 10793 Words : 2039
Julie eats lunch with Edith and Mindy, and make plans for Mindy's birthday
Wednesday morning shows its ugly head when a storm swept the town and caused power failures. Not to us, not to the resort, but not everyone came to school that morning.
We are teenagers, surely we can make it, but apparently, it was brutal in some places with sewers overflowing into basements and all. Yuck.
But this meant an easy day, as teachers didn't want to start new content and I already pretty much mastered everything. Well, not everything, but enough to have an easy day.
Edith was there again, arriving with Mindy, but this time, she had it in for me.
"Hey Julie, how are you?"
"Fine, what about you?"I replied, half interested.
"Great, I think I found a loophole for Friday", she said
"We were talking in our English class, you know, the teacher wasn't even there and the sub didn't care", says Mindy. "And Edith is in a lot of after school programs"
"Well, not a lot, but enough to confuse my parents", she said
"So Friday, she will stay for chess club"
"Wait, we have a chess club?" I asked, confused
"I think we do. I heard someone mention it", says Edith
"But you are not in it?"
"Me? Do I look like a chess player?", she says, almost insulted I suggested it
"Well, she will say it's chess club because it will bore her parents, and they will not bother to check", says Mindy
"That way, I can go to the resort after school, with the school bus, and Mindy said she would ask her parents to drop me at school, where I will call my parents from the payphone.", says Edith
I look at her and she seems proud.
"Won't you get caught?", I ask
"Please, they come home so late, they will be thrilled that I will be at school and not kissing boys behind a dumpster"
"Instead, you'll be nude at a naturist resort?", I ask, with no judgment
"No, I'll be topless. I don't mind at all, my boobs are big and make the boys look at them, but my bush still needs work", says Edith.
I read about naturism in those magazines, so I asked questions.
"You know that naturism isn't about showing off, right?", I said
"Look at the kid, an expert into Mindy's lifestyle", she says, looking at me with judgment.
I look at Mindy who is signaling me to cool down and stop.
"Well, Mindy came to my house with some naturist magazines and showed me about their philosophy"
"Wait, is that true?", says Edith to Mindy, all surprised
It's not, we were at her house, but Mindy covers for me.
"This is outstanding. I didn't know there was a philosophy. This changes everything!", she adds, surprised
"Huh?" I ask
"I thought this was just about suntanning and being naked. If there is a philosophy behind it, I want to hear it", she says, looking at me.
"Well, from what I read", I start, "it's all about being one with nature, about accepting yourself for who you are, about letting go of discrimination and all. But I am not an expert, you know?"
"Well, you sound like one. I love those ideas.", she says, all smiling
"Hell yeah. That's sound wholesome, like the stupid body shaming my mother gives me"
"Wait, she does?", I ask
"Before, it was nagging before I didn't have breasts yet, and then because they grew too fast and too big, that I was trying to get attention, and then that they didn't have the right shape. Like, bitch, I have zero control over them"
"Wow", I say
"I know, right! And before it was, you don't even notice boys and they don't see you, how will you get a husband? And now that they see me, it's either that I am running to them if I comment, or that I ignore them if I don't"
"That's quite horrible"
"So I would take a positive philosophy any day compared to that constant nagging", she says
"I would too", I reply
"Then it's settled. You are coming with me to Mindy. I will not take no for an answer. I don't mind if you don't undress, but I plan to be topless, and I guess Mindy will be nude"
"Ok", I tell her, surprised
"I like you Julie You've got spunk. I do hope to get you topless. I can see you don't have your breasts yet, but I won't mind. After all, I was flat as an iron board recently too and you are 2 years younger than I am"
"Two years?" I ask
"My stupid mother held me back in 2nd grade. I had to do it all over again, even if the teachers said I didn't need to"
"Well, now school is easier, you know? I am older and wiser", she says, lifting her head, and then, smiling
"That's nice", I say and notice that Mindy, who was silent during the whole exchange, is smiling. I can almost listen to her thoughts. She is so thankful that her two friends are getting along, that she doesn't want to risk getting between them.
"Ok, fine, you got me, I am just older, not really wiser, but hey, who's counting", she says, hitting me with her elbow in my ribs.
"What do you like to do?", I ask her
"Now that is a great question. What do I like to do? Listen to gossip. I don't trade much, but I listen. And just so we make it clear between the three of us, I will listen to any you have, but I won't share those I get. What I hear stays in here", she says, pointing to her head.
"That's nice. I don't like gossip much, but I have respect for those who respect privacy"
Mindy agrees too, but Edith puts her hand on my shoulder.
"Julie, wait until your little body gets flooded with hormones, then you can tell me how much you like or don't like gossip", she says, winking at me.
"I also like to talk with my friends, including you two, and explore. I love exploring. Like Friday? That's wonderful for me. Wait", she turns to Mindy, "Will everyone but Julie and me be naked?"
"Well, most likely", says Mindy
"Including your parents?", she says, surprised
"Well, yeah, except that since they will arrive after school, my mom might not have time to get nude before dropping you off"
"Right. Wait, you eat in the nude too, right?"
"Well, yeah. We do everything nude. That's the idea"
"Everything? Even cooking?"
"Well, we put aprons, we are not stupid", says Mindy
"So what the longest you've been without wearing clothing?", she asks Mindy
"Wow, I don't count like that. But in the summer, it can be weeks, most likely. Yeah, or not. Sometimes, it's cold or we go shopping or something and we get dressed"
"Right. I have so much to learn", says Edith, who I still have no idea what she likes to do in her spare time.
I think Mindy caught on, so she decided to open.
"I like a few sports, like volleyball, badminton, riding my bicycle"
"Wait, naked?", says Edith
"Yes, Edith. Nude. I live in a naturist resort, if the weather allows it, I am nude when I play sports"
"Wow, I didn't think of that. I love volleyball. Well, in school. I don't know about volleyball naked"
"We are naturists. Nudists, not nakednist", says Mindy
"What's the difference?"
"Nude means wearing only your body, naked means lacking clothes. We don't lack clothes, we choose to be nude."
"Wait, there is a difference?", asks Edith
"Oh yeah. Ok, let me give you an example. If you come Friday, I will have zero issues undressing next to you. We might talk about my home decoration, I don't mind. I don't even mind if people are around, if the door or the blinds are open, and they usually are."
"Well, yeah, everyone is nude too"
"Exactly. And yet, in gym class, I change in the corner, and not all at once"
"Like most of us", says Edith, and I nod too
"So in the gym locker room, I feel naked. In my home, I feel nude", says Mindy
"I think I get it", says Edit
"I also like video games", I add
"I like animal crossing", says Edith
"Oh, we don't have a Wii", says Mindy.
"We do, but not Animal Crossing", I reply
As a note, each time we talk about Animal Crossing, it's Animal Crossing, the version for the Wii. The Switch wasn't out yet back then.
"Wait, so neither of you girls have played it? Fine, tomorrow evening at the latest, we need to find a way to see each other, but it can't be at my stupid house. No wait, Julie, you have a Wii?", asked Edith.
"I do", I say, nervously
"Can we go to your house? My mom will pick me up after, but that way, it will feel normal to her, you know? And maybe, if I am lucky, I'll be able to go to your house Friday after supper"
"Wait, didn't you want to come to my house?", says Mindy
"Well, yeah, but she doesn't know that. She'll pick me up at Julie's house. I would call her from her house to pick me up and she'll never know where I was"
"Oh", says Mindy, but like me, I think she is ill at ease with outright lying to a parent. Rebelling is one thing, but lying?
Then again, she is one year older than Mindy.
"And I'll bring some money to repay your parents for the food, it's the least I can do. It's all my mother does for me"
"And your father?" I ask
"Ah!", she says, laughing. "He is a do-nothing drunk who lost his job and then, his license. And gives me money to find the booze my mother hides.", she says, laughing.
And yet, I can't help but feel pity for her, even if she seems to think that her life is ok.
"I don't think my parents would mind", I would need to warn them to avoid naturism as a subject.
And to hide the naturist magazines they lend me. And remove the picture of Mindy and me from my mirror.
Yeah, I placed it there. Is that a problem? I still have it there.
What I was starting to hate was my inability to see what Edith likes to do for fun, but I can't find a way to ask her. Fine, I was shy. It didn't even occur to me to just ask "What do you like to do for fun?"
Shy people often have these elaborate social anxiety scenarios in their mind. Fine, I do. Sorry, I did. Now, I am still shy, but I manage to get over it without the social anxiety taking all of the space.
Mindy and her kept talking, but it turned on me again, when Mindy said we played Portal this weekend.
"I mostly play Mario Kart Wii however", I say
"Oh, I love it. How many controllers do you have?", says Edith
"We have three, we used to play Mario Party as a family"
"Great. I'll bring my wheel"
"What's Mario Kart Wii?", asks Mindy
"It's a kart racing game", I explain
"Except that it's total chaos. Bananas on the road, bombs, Koopa shells everywhere."
"Sounds fun", Mindy says, uncertain
"And shortcuts", I say
"Wait, there are shortcuts? I didn't know", says Edith
In reality, my father showed me most of them, and it put me on alert to find more.
"Usually, you need a mushroom to use them"
"They make you big?" asks Mindy, confused
"No, they make you fast for a short amount of time", Edith says
"So that you don't slow down when going off-road"
"Oh, so that's the trick. I'll bring my disk to school tomorrow, so we can explore at your house", says Edith.
The end of the lunch bell brings us back to reality, and we go our separate ways, Mindy with Edith, and me, well, alone.