I met Karen and Leanne at one of my photo exhibit during my first year of college. I was showing some candid shots of people in odd circumstances. Their beauty took me aback, and like everyone else, I thought they were identical twins. The only people that knew different were the administration clerks or people trained in identification.
I made no effort at all to acknowledge their beauty though they were breath taking. Certainly not playboy models, or women one might see on vogue but quite beautiful in a down to earth way. I was certain that they were tired of being told; how beautiful, or how cute, or how much they look-a-like, and didn’t care to here any of that from me. I later learned much to my astonishment that there were two years, two states, and two sets of parents between them.
With their clothes on they looked exactly alike to the untrained eye, even when clad only in shorts, they maintained their mirror-image appearance. It wasn’t until you could look inside their panties that the differences became evident. I know what you are thinking one had a penis well you are wrong.
To describe one is to describe the other, Karen was the older and the alpha mate; they both had outgrown pigtails yet they both wore their shoulder length blond hair in pigtails. Their eyebrows faint, thin and un-plucked still accented their deep blue eyes. Their thick red lips matched their plump cheeks natural reddish hue.
Even in the dead-of-winter they wore short sleeve cut-off t-shirts showing off their creamy skinned bellies with their wide and deep belly buttons, not a hair or stubble to be seen. Their skirts were always just above the knees, but a few times I caught one or the other bending over exposing their smooth shaved legs. Their clothes were always the same. I used to muse to myself that they would argue with each other about weather or not they would wear a bra over their pert thirty-two c. breasts and often wondered who wanted to do what and why. Did one of them want to cover up their thumb-tip sized nipples, which grew larger when they bristled?
They were both very athletic, yet they still had what I affectionately call ‘baby fat’ giving a soft roundish flavor to their appearance. They spent a lot of time in the gym and their bodies made that quite clear as their muscles had good form to them. They could out run in both speed and distance most of the jocks, and they were instrumental for the volleyball team’s record breaking four year winning streak at the state championships, and one victory at the nationals. The team went three years in a row without a single lose, breaking the old record by one and a half seasons.
I often fantasized slipping my opened hand between their thighs, well… because they were so open and shapely, they were enticing with almost enough room. They sported my favorite kind of bottom I call it ‘the wide smiler.’ They had a twenty-eight waist over a muscular thirty-six buttocks that sagged upward, if you will indulge me, with a wide valley between their cheeks. God I tried to steal a few pictures of them walking together with their sweet bottoms swaying, but they always-seemed ready for me. Like I had a neon sign brightly flashing look out your butt’s on candid lens. Stealing pictures of people being remarkable weather in looks or action is my favorite hobby, more accurately an addiction that has caused more than a little trouble.
However it was academia they excelled in; Leanne’s major was ‘English lit.’ and Karen’s was ‘Computer Sci.’ they both have had several essays on topics concerning their majors appear in many literature and computer publications. They are also paid tutors, not by the school, but by the students whom they help.
I always thought it was a little odd that I rarely ever saw them together at school or at school functions other than the volleyball games, the discussion group they attended, study hall, and going or coming from gym class. I shared a networking class with Karen and a journalism class with Leanne. I did mind my Ps and Qs in class. I never once saw them being physically familiar.
My photo exposé on couples pushed us towards friendship, the kind of friends you can tell anything to and just know it would go nowhere else. I can tell this story now only because they told me to.
My part of the story began the last year of college right after my exposé. After a series of near misses and bumping intos, I thought it best at least to offer up the social civilities. Which soon gave way to brief conversations about me my majors, or how my classes were going, or just the plane how are you doing today? They did not ask me that question, the way so many people do when they mean ‘Hi’ they stopped and waited for an answer. One week I saw them meandering through the gallery looking at the photos of couples on display over and over they milled and as closing time neared all the photos had been looked at numerous times and all the visitors were gone we met.
Karen walked up and asked, “Did you shoot all of the photos on display?”
I said, “Yes. The whole show is devoted to my work on couples being couples. I will be on display here for ten more days.” I struggled to maintain some semblance of composure, though I am sure a drool escaped my lip as I talked.
“I see you’ve pretty much covered all the possible combinations of couples, and you’ve not shown any favoritism.” Karen pleasantly observed.
“Favoritism is not journalism, and all couples have many things in common. That is especially true of the ones trying to maintain a long-term relationship. It doesn’t matter if they are same sex, or same race; co-ed or co-racial.” I explained assuredly.
“Long term relationships?” she sounded pensive and added, “Relationships seem to be dropping like flies today! What do you or would you attribute that to?”
“In a nutshell; communication or the failure to do so, the inability to accept the differences and embrace them or the lack of motivation to do so.” I answered with conviction and asked, “Do you have a favorite? I’ve seen you here with your friend slowly milling around the show the last couple of days.”
“Yes the one over there by the window, the one of the two women. The one standing looks sad. Who are they and what are they doing?” Karen asked empathy ringing in her voice.
“Oh I don’t know who they are, and for me to tell you what they are doing would steal the value of the image from you,” I assured asking, “What does it mean to you?”
“I think the older woman is sad because, she wants to tell the younger one that she loves her and can’t.” She related with a small tear gracing her left eye.
“I never saw that till now. You could be right, or she could be sad looking because she has told the one of her love. See how her hand is touching the hair, ear, and face at the same time. In addition, look her other hand is on her shoulder. It looks like one has just spoken and the other heard. Here I’ve gone and broken a rule please forgive me.”
“Oh yes I see it. Maybe we are both right, I mean it is funny how things, pictures, can change with the mood. Well any way your work is exquisite. Aren’t you afraid that they will sue you or something?”
“No not really they aren’t doing anything embarrassing and I really didn’t violate their right to privacy there is a shrub in the foreground and a setting sun in the background. Any way I would gladly give them this framed copy, I can make another.”
“Are you allowed to take more pictures while you are on display.” She giggled a little when she said ‘you are.’
“I can take pictures any time any where and of anything or any willing body I want to!” I answered decisively.
“Would you be willing to take pictures of Leanne and I?” Karen asked in a near impish tone, but with a perfect poker face.
I almost lost my poise and felt my male immaturity slipping, but dropped my books and clipboard instead. As I stooped, I regained my composure and I collected my thoughts, as I scooped the mess into a pile and then calmly said, “I would be happy to. I do not have my camera now, but I will be on campus tomorrow finishing a role and would be delighted to take a few pictures of the two of you. Where do you want to meet?”
“I don’t think you understand.” Karen stopped mid sentence and called out, “Come here Leanne. We don’t want a couple of pictures to send home.” Karen said, as Leanne joined her she added, “We want you to do an exposé of our life, and prepare it for web publishing for the whole world to see.”
My professionalism overshadowed my boyish ideations and muted any insecurity that I was being plagued with at the time and smartly asserted, “I do not take my exposés lightly. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.”
“We thought you might say something like that. What kinds of questions do you need answered?” Karen shot right back at me.
“For openers the theme. What do you want to say and how do you want to say it? Who do you want to say it to?” I sincerely snapped back.
“I see we won’t be able to resolve this right here and now.” Leanne remarked with a hint of coyness in her voice.
I saw my opportunity and moved; “I think we can address these questions best over dinner if you will forgive my abruptness. I know a perfect place! My treat.”
“No! Our treat.” Karen insisted. “Where did you have in mind?” She inquired with a hint of a smile.
“I have a pet spot; it is Mediterranean style cuisine if that is to your liking, and if you can get past the name, ‘The Boot’ the food is great, and there are separate dining rooms available for privacy. It is a little spendy but as I said it is very good, and exactly what we need. My offer to treat is still good.” I warmly reminded.
“We can pay you for work and quite honestly we want to pay.” Karen insisted.
“We have looked at all the work that you have displayed here on campus and in town. Quite frankly we feel that you are the one to tell our story!” Leanne chimed in and asked, “When can you start?”
“We have talked briefly on and off over the last year.” Karen kicked in.
“I think it best to start at dinner time. It is early enough today we might get a reservation for tomorrow, Wednesday say eight. I have found that when interviewing prospective clients if they prepare a list of some of their wants and bring it with them, it facilitates the discussions. Do you want me to make the reservation, or are you going to?”
“We will. So till tomorrow then.” Leanne said warmly smiling. She put her arm under Karen’s and they walked out.
I watched them walk out, what a sight and me without my camera. Not once did they look back. I know that my mouth was gaping, in fact drool did slip pass my chin. I was stunned and awed if that is possible. I had been invited to a photo shoot that I would never be able to top.
Over dinner, they told me that the first and foremost theme was love. That I was going to do a series of shoots starting with a day in the life on the out side. The three of us would spend the day gadding about shopping, café hopping, and what ever came to mind. I was going to do a series on them in school, following them from the dorm to class to study hall and back.
Then they turned solemn they, the two of them, looked at me and said that I was to announce to the world that they were going to be married. I was to expose every aspect of their life. I was to do another series on them making love, a reenactment of Karen’s proposal and Leanne’s acceptance and then the wedding ceremony.
I told them I was dazed and overwhelmed by the immensity of the task and assured them I was more than willing and able. I told them that they were talking about shooting two or three thousand pictures maybe more to come up with maybe two or three hundred or maybe less. That quite likely the whole shoot for the day or night might be dropped. I was assured that they had considered that likelihood.
I posed to them that the type of intimate pictures that they wanted me to take would not happen easily, that it was best to rehearse them. I begged them to forgive my frankness then asked how many times they made love in front of the camera or more important having the camera man telling them to hold that pose. The two of them blushed and said never. I am sure that you want it to look real; that the two of you are at ease with one another, have a spontaneously active relationship and if you will forgive the inconsistency rehearsal is the best way.
I asked them how they expected to look like they loved each other when their embraces might be tainted by my presents. They agreed to the rehearsals; I said that it is best to work up to the more intimate aspects slowly, and suggested that we finish the first two shoots, ‘A Day in their Life,’ and ‘Their School Day,’ and review them over dinner. We could talk about the next steps over dessert. It was at the first rehearsal I learned of their difference, and how it was that they discovered their love for each other.
The first two days worth of shoots went especially well. I used my digital Nikons; changing between the thirty-five and seventy millimeter lenses, for the more revealing close ups and some of the passing shot. In two days, we shot close to two thousand pictures. As the first day stretched on, they began to relax in front of the camera and stop worrying about their pose. During the breaks I had an opportunity to talk with each of them one on one and get some insight on their life. I hesitate to say what caused them to adopt a gay life style, as I think for as many stars in the sky that is how many answers to any questions regarding motives.
For instance both Leanne and Karen come from closed minded right winger families; that were homophobic, and whose Dad was never home either, on a long distance truck route or always away on some sporting junket. Leanne’s Mom was both supportive and understanding, and promised to keep from ‘Dad!’ Her secrete ‘the decision’ to be an avowed lesbian, after being saved from rape at fourteen.
The boys thought it sporting fun dragging her into their locker room, and got carried away while pulling her pants down. Fate was on her side; the athletic director came and interrupted them, he actually had to defend himself until the group scattered. Leanne had confessed her attraction towards girls long before the episode at school. I am ashamed to admit a certain tingle of arousal as she related her temptations to as she said, “touch the privates,” of her friends that attended her slumber parties but did not because she knew that trouble would follow.
Karen on the other hand shared a similar family life but was always trying to seduce any boy that would sit still long enough. She went from one disappointment to another with each new fling. One day she was attacked at school but managed to fend off her attacker, and swore off relationships even the one-night-stand. Therefore, until she met Leanne, Karen was celibate, and completely self-reliant. Karen confessed to being a lot like her dad, “a very domineering person. She actually started to cry briefly as she said that she had trouble controlling it and at being eternally grateful that Leanne was and wanted to be submissive. She told me that she had never wanted to have sex with another woman, until she met Leanne. She was both ashamed, and intrigued by her feelings and very confused at first.
Leanne asked me to dinner at ‘The Boot’ again, and asked if it were possible to scan the two days of shoots while we ate, and suggested that we take an early dinner. I assured that I can show them on a DVD-player and that I would bring a portable player and monitor. I was still tying to digest all these little bits of vitally important information, just to have a vague idea of the dynamics of these two people. After all that is all they really are, just two people.
Dinner was early, seven PM. I got there just after six to setup. The girls were already there so we just started. The waiter popped the wine and set it out to breathe. As I set up the video show, all of us ordered ‘before’ dinner drinks. I handed out note pads and remotes to the girls, so they could stop or go back whenever they wanted, and started the slid show program. I set it to run in sequence with a ten second delay and show title mode. We made it through our drinks, the salad and bread, to the main course, then to the desert and on to the sweet port. Slowly we coursed through our dinner. We laughed at many of the shots and they grimaced at all of them jokingly. Ohing, ahing, and saying that one is nice or that one was silly and how funny that one was.
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