It was a typical Monday morning at Larkhall Comprehensive school, Nikki Wade was spending her break sat on 'her' bench wishing she could have a fag. She usually spent her breaks sat on this bench at back of the school watching the world go by. As far a she and most other pupils at the school were concerned, come break time it was Nikki Wade's bench, no-one else dared to use it, they were too afraid of her reaction. From her vantagepoint she sits and observes the comings and goings she has learnt a lot about many of the characters around the school, mostly without them realising it.
For example, she's often seen Shell Dockley 'the school bike', sneaking off for a secret rendezvous with Mr Fenner, the sports teacher, during lunch. He would park his car in the car park near the top gate of the school and wait for her, believing he was out of sight. Shell would walk out pretending to be going home for lunch, Nikki was well aware of the fact that she was certainly not going home for lunch, that there was only one lunchbox she had any interest in, Fenner's!
Lately she's been watching the new girl, Helen she thinks her name is. Whenever she walks past Nikki she always seems to be talking and laughing with whomever she's with, Nikki feels a bit envious at the way she seems to be able to make friends so easily.
Nikki has also noticed that Shell is not happy about the attention Helen has been getting, and has recently started badgering Helen about it at every possible opportunity. On one particular day Shell, not one for keeping her opinions to herself, called Helen over when she'd seen her talking to one of the boys she fancied herself (but who had more sense and taste than to be interested in Shell). Helen, not realising what Shell was up to, walked over.
'That's my fella you're flirting with Jock' she stated.
'I was not flirting he asked me a question' Helen said defensively.
'Well don't do it again bitch or me and my mates'll sort you, got it?'
Nikki noticed Helen's body rise, she appeared ready to challenge Shell but seeing that she was outnumbered she backed down.
The same kind of thing went on for a few more days, they didn't notice her watching. Nikki could see that Helen was gradually getting more and more pissed off., she's gonna blow and its not going to be pretty she thinks to herself, if the girl grinds her teeth much more she'll be down to the jaw bone!
By Friday things had got pretty close to boiling point, once again Helen had walked past Shell and two of her cronies Denny and Dawn, or Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber as Nikki had them labelled. Shell noticed Helen waving to one of the boys who was sticking his head out of the common room window and shouted 'Oi Jock, '
Helen slowly looked across, her mouth is set in a firm line. Seeing the expression on Helens face made Nikki sit up, this is going to be interesting she thinks to herself.
'I thought I warned you not to flirt with my fella' she says, standing between her two dopey friends trying to look menacing, while all the time she looks, in Nikki's view like an over made up slapper.
'Well Shell, it seems to me that according to you 'your fella' appears to be almost every bloke in this school? Now that either means you are giving more rides than the big dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach or you are just taking the piss, either way Shell stay out of my business or else' Helen sounded a lot braver than she was feeling, but she was getting really pissed off with this girl's attention and had decided earlier in the week that she was not going to take any more crap, even if it meant fronting up to Shell and the 'gruesome twosome'.
Shell smiled and turned as if to walk off, but catching Helen off guard she turned back and spat in her face.
Helen at first looked stunned, she put her hand up to her face and wiped the saliva off, she looked at her hand then towards Shell, dirty bitch! That was the final straw, with as much force as she could muster she launched herself at Shell, the force took Shell completely by surprise and she stumbled forward but soon she'd regained some sense of composure and they started to fight, one after the other getting the upper hand.
After a bit of a tussle on the ground Helen found herself sitting on top of Shell, still battling to hold her down, wanting to get a punch in but as yet unable to get a hand free as she's too busy fending off Shell's attacks but she can sense that she's getting closer and closer to achieving her aim.
Nikki noticed that as soon as it became clear that Helen was getting the upper hand Denny decided to move in. Nikki was familiar with this move; she had seen it countless times before. Shell was very good at the verbals but when it came down to it she was crap at the physicals, for some unknown reason Nikki was not prepared to sit and watch Helen get a pasting today and suddenly she got up off her seat, heading directly towards the action. Dawn sees her coming and does a runner, she knows that Nikki is not one to mess with, she remembers someone who did once and it wasn't a pleasant sight.
But Denny doesn't see her coming and grabs Helen around the neck pulling her backwards freeing Shell in the process. Shell took full advantage of Helen being distracted and landed a hard blow into her stomach as Helen reels from the blow Shell continued laying into her with Denny still holding her arms tightly behind her back.
Nikki was incensed at the blatant lack of fair play, deciding to even up the odds a bit, she rushes over, grabs Denny by the hair and with some considerable force yanks her backwards. The pain from her head makes Denny let go of Helen. Helen has no interest in why or how she has been freed. She wants Shell now more than ever and as she is still sat on top of her she uses all of her strength to push her back down. When she realises things have taken a turn for the worst Shell starts pleading pathetically, trying to apologise.
'Look sorry Helen isn't it? Well look things have got a bit out of hand, let's just forget this, no hard feelings eh?' she whines.
'You're right Shell', replies Helen relaxing her grip, her body language indicating that she is going to let Shell go. Shell relaxed, Helen turned around and planted her fist firmly into Shell's face, 'No hard feelings' she repeated and stood up.
Blood started pouring from Shell's nose, at the sight of her own blood Shell started bawling, 'She broke my bleedin' nose!' she got up and ran in the direction of the administration building.
Helen turns around and sees Denny and Nikki still rolling around on the floor.
Nikki was a bit bigger and stronger than Denny, but Denny was quicker and much more sly. She grabbed Nikki by the arm ripping her shirt at the same time, Nikki hears the tear and goes mad, as soon as she sees the hole she realises that she's in big trouble as her mother will chuck a mental as soon as she sees it. She lashes out and sends Denny flying knocking the wind out of her, Denny looks across at Nikki, she sees the venomous look in her eye and she is scared, she's on her own now, Shell having abandoned her as soon as her nose started to bleed! The look in Nikki's eye tells Denny that now is the time to back off because if she doesn't she's going to be in too deep.
Nikki takes a step towards her, Denny turns and runs.
'Yeah go on, fucking run, but be sure to come back for more, I'll be waiting, any time ', she shouted.
Nikki looked down at her torn shirt.
Helen walked towards her, 'Hi look thanks. Nikki isn't it'
Nikki grinned, 'Yeah, don't worry about it. I've always wanted to have a go at those two. I'd be even happier about giving them a pasting it if this hadn't happened' she gestured to the torn shirt, 'my mother is going to fucking kill me, this shirt's new', she looked really worried.
Helen feels awful, this is all her fault. It's not right Nikki getting into trouble because of her, she has an idea. Nikki is a bit bigger than her, but not that much, it might work.
'Err .. would you consider it rude if I offer you mine?' she asked.
'Your what?', Nikki is confused.
'My shirt. Mines new too and my mum always buys it at least a size too big for me so chances are it's the same size as yours, let me see', she walked over to Nikki and checked the label at the back, Nikki felt a shiver run down her spine at the touch of Helen's fingers on the back of her neck.
'Yep same size, how about it?' Helen grins.
'I couldn't do that '
'Of course you could' Helen stated firmly. 'Look Nikki if you hadn't stepped in when you did can you imagine the mess my clothes would be in now? I'll think up some excuse, my mum's used to me coming back looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards, I've always been a bit of a tomboy, she kind of still expects it, even now. Besides she went the whole hog and bought out the uniform shop when we moved here, she might not even notice if this one disappears, I'll have to stick the bloody gopping jumper on before I go into the house though. Come on I owe you one?'
Nikki thought about it, she wasn't relishing the row at home if she walked in with this shirt on, Helen seemed genuine enough.
'You're sure?' she asked.
'I'm sure. Come on we'll go to the loos and swap now. Been in for lunch yet?' she asked.
'Nah, I usually go in last sitting more seats, less morons' Nikki quipped.
'Well how about sitting with me today?' Helen asked.
Nikki nodded, Helen seemed to have a knack of making decisions for her and she couldn't seem to think of a single reason for not doing what she'd suggested.
They got to the loos and managed to swap shirts, Helen also donning the new bottle green sweatshirt her mum had bought much to her disgust. As they headed towards the school canteen they saw Miss Barker, the dippy school secretary walking towards them.
'Nicola, Helen, I'm afraid Miss Hollamby wants to see you', she managed to smile even at this shit news.
'What's old Bodybag want now?' Nikki asked.
Helen grinned, was Nikki always so blunt? Dippy Di, as the pupils knew Miss Barker grinned too, 'Something about a fracas involving the two of you and Michelle Dockley I believe'.
'What's that lying bitch been saying now?' Nikki asked.
'Nikki, language!' said Dippy, 'You'll find out soon enough, follow me'.
They waited in silence outside Bodybag's office, Nikki sat stony faced, Helen was nervous. Christ she'd only been at the school a couple of weeks. She had become fairly familiar with the inside of her last head teacher's office too, but two weeks! She'd have to learn to control her temper and let things go over her head a bit.
Miss Hollamby came out. At the sight of her a thought crossed Helen's mind and she grinned, 'And what do you find so amusing Miss?' Bodybag directed her question to Helen.
Helen wiped the grin off her face 'Nothing Miss' she put on her most angelic voice, she could hardly tell the old bag that she had been thinking how much she resembled a bull dog chewing a wasp!
'Right, you two, in there now' she pointed to her office. They walked in, Nikki as aloof as ever, her face not giving anything away about how she was feeling. Helen's mind was reeling, she was determined to get them out of this.
'Now then, I've been informed that you two attacked another pupil this afternoon'. Nikki's head shot up, she was about to start shouting about the injustice of the accusation, when she heard Helen sob. She turned in amazement.
'Oh Miss, Michelle Dockley started picking on me because of my accent, she started to hit me and ripped my shirt, luckily for me Nikki here happened to be walking past and pulled her off me, my arm accidentally hit Shell in the nose during the scuffle. Oh Miss look, my mum's going to kill me and my dad will be up here tomorrow and he's got such a temper', she took off the jumper to show Bodybag her ripped shirt.
Bodybag was a wily old bird, she didn't want Helen's dad up at the school shouting the odds particularly if he had the sort of temper that Helen had suggested. She knew all about Shell Dockley's bullying and was not in mind to pursue this issue any further.
She gave the girls a minor reprimand about how it was not ladylike to fight and that they should think themselves lucky that she was only giving them a warning this time.
The girls left the office, Nikki was in shock Bodybag had been well and truly stitched up! They turned the corner and Helen started laughing.
'That, was amazing' Nikki said, 'how do you manage to turn the tears on like that?'
Helen laughed, 'Just a couple of tricks I've picked up along the way. I'm hoping to study drama, I try to put it into practice wherever I can, come on let's eat I'm starving', Nikki wasn't given the opportunity to argue. Helen had once again made the decision for them, as it turned out this was to be a trait that Nikki was to constantly fall victim to, never being able to say no to her.
Nikki and Helen became firm friends, despite the year difference in their ages (Nikki was in the her final A level year and Helen the year below) they became inseparable spending most weekends together, shopping or just hanging out.
As the months passed they became so comfortable in each others company that neither felt any particular need for anyone else, both had had the occasional boyfriend/date, Helen more often than Nikki and in reality most of Nikki's dates were as a result of Helen ensuring that her date brought a along a mate to make up a foursome so that Nikki could come along too.
One particular Friday Helen got asked out by a boy who was in Nikki's year. He'd clearly been plucking up the courage to ask her for ages. He'd been so obvious about it that Nikki and Helen had taken the piss a bit (behind his back of course). He was quite good looking and Helen was quite happy to go out with him, but when he had actually asked her she'd wanted to talk to Nikki about it first, they'd had plans for that night and the rest of the weekend (as usual).
She met her in the common room .
'Hiya', Nikki smiled and greeted her friend as she saw her come in
'Hey. So how was chemistry?' Helen asked.
'Thrilling!' Nikki murmured.
'You sound sooo sincere' Helen laughed, then became serious. Nikki knew her well enough to know something was on her mind.
'I've been asked out by Steve'
'Not Steve Adams? Well there's a turn up from the books and such a surprise I'm sure since he has been staring at you with his tongue hanging out for the last 4 weeks. So he's finally plucked up the courage eh! Well that's good, where you going?' she asked trying to sound normal.
'I don't know, I wanted to talk to you about it first' Helen said, she was trying to gauge Nikki's real reaction, she had discovered that Nikki was very good at hiding how she really felt.
'Me, why? Don't tell me he wants a threesome?' she laughed, she hoped that Helen couldn't see how she was really feeling. The thought of Helen going out with anyone tore at her heart, Nikki had realised some time ago that what she felt for Helen was more than good friendship, much more, but she was afraid to tell her, afraid of the rejection she thought she'd get. The way Nikki figured it, if she said nothing then nothing would change, the relationship that they had now was better than having nothing at all.
'Nikki be serious, you know we had plans' Helen countered.
'Helen we have plans every week! You are allowed to change them you know, I understand really' , please don't look into my eyes, Nikki thought that if she looked at Helen now she would cry.
'Yeah but..' Helen cut in.
'No buts' she held up her hand. 'I have spoken. Now go, find him and make plans, besides I have loads of revision to do you know for those important things, what are they now? Oh yeah A' Levels. AARGH!!' she put her head in her hands.
Helen laughed she leaned closer, Nikki could smell her perfume, she knew that smell so well
'Thanks darling, I love you, you're so good to me'.
Nikki's heart was doing somersaults, the way Helen smiled at her made her tingle if only the I love you's could be meant in the way Nikki meant them even though she could never actually quite say 'I love you too' back to Helen, she thought about saying it incessantly
Unfortunately they had not noticed that Shell Dockley had walked into the room just as Helen said it and had overheard Helen's comment.
'Hey everyone did you here that? Helen here loves Nikki, did you all know that they were queer, no wonder they're always skulking off on their own together, probably sneaking off for a quickie', she laughed loudly.
Helen jumped up and stood face to face with Shell.
'Shell, I wiped that fucking ugly smile off your face once before, would you like me to do it again? I'd be more than happy to oblige' she offered.
'Whoo! Who rattled your cage Jock, a bit too close to the truth for comfort was I?' Helen was about to lay into Shell when Nikki pulled her back.
'Leave it Helen, you're only adding to her enjoyment' she tried to calm her down.
'That's right Dyke. Listen to your girlfriend we'd better watch out for ourselves girls with these two raging lesbo's on the loose, ha ha ha'
Nikki didn't like that comment, she grabbed Shell's arm and held it tight, very tight.
'Listen Dockley, if I were queer and the only two women in the world were you and old Bodybag I'd still climb over you to get to her, so why don't you just piss off while the going is still good, Hmmm?' She applied a little more pressure.
Shell deciding that she had said enough for now backed down but as she walked off cast a glance back at them vowing to get them back, she'd bide her time but she promised herself that those two were going to get what they deserved one day and she'd be there pushing all the buttons.
Nikki sat back down, Helen was fuming.
'Fucking cheeky bitch, I can't believe she said all that, I mean Christ! why does the fact that we're best mates mean that were queer'.
'Perhaps you should stop telling me you love me mate, especially now that 'Steve' is on the scene', Nikki tried to sound as though she were joking, 'he seems quite keen'.
'Yeah maybe you're right. I don't suppose he'd be particularly pleased at me declaring my undying love for you in front of him, but you know that I love you whether I say it or not don't you? Not in the dykey way Shell was insinuating of course, I mean heaven forbid eh!' Helen laughed.
Nikki's heart sank, this situation was getting worse 'Yeah, who'd fancy you anyway, yeuch!', she pretended to stick her fingers down her throat. They laughed and settled back into their earlier conversation.
Helen told Nikki that she was going to find Steve to make plans for their date, she'd be back later. Her absence gave Nikki a bit of space and time to think.
Nikki had known for some time that she was gay, it had never been a problem for her, she'd never gone out with anyone seriously, certainly never any girls but she had gone out with a couple of boys and the disastrous dates she'd had just went to confirm what she'd already known.
Her trouble was that she didn't want to go out with anyone, no strike that, she did, Helen, but that was never going to happen. It was a fact that was killing her slowly inside, she and Helen were so close and yet she knew that this feeling was something she could never share with her, she'd run a mile.
Just then Helen came bounding back in with Steve and his gormless friend Paul.
'Nik, we've had a brilliant idea, why don't the four of go out together?', inwardly Nikki groaned, not again! Helen was always managing to make her date find a friend for Nikki. Nikki hated to let her down and once again found herself unable to say no, she would probably walk through hot coals for her right now if she asked her to. Was it so much to ask for her to put up with gormless Paul's adolescent fumbling and sloppy wet kisses? Nikki's body shuddered at the thought of it.
'I I .. well really I should..' Nikki began trying to get out of it.
'I've already told Paul that you were at a loose end tonight and he'd like you to come wouldn't you Paul', Helen nudged him.
'Yeah, that'd be great', he mumbled. Gormless twat Nikki thought.
She put on a brave face 'Oh, OK then, thanks that'd be nice', silently resolving that this would be the last double date she would go on, the three left to go to their various lessons.
Nikki had a free lesson, it gave her time to think about her plans her exams were coming up soon, she was studying all the sciences with a view to going to university to study medicine, she had been trying to decide where to study for a while now, she had discussed it with Helen (of course) and the most popular choice and the one that they (Helen) had decided on was the Uni closest to home, they were working on the basis that since Helen had another year to go at school, if Nikki stayed close they would still get to see each other regularly.
Nikki was now working under a different agenda, she didn't know how she was going to tell Helen yet, but she'd decided to move away to study. If she was honest she had to get away from Helen. The thought of seeing her and not having her was slowly eating away at her heart, she knew that even if Helen wasn't seeing Steve there would be a next boyfriend and a next and she'd be expected to listen in gory detail about what Helen had done with him or what she wanted to do, she knew that she would not be able to cope with that. She took the university application forms out of her bag, she'd been carrying them around with her for a few weeks now, slowly but with determination she started to fill them in.
Nikki's exams came and went she had seen less of Helen, partly because she had been revising and partly because Helen was still seeing Steve, she was still trying to make up double dates but since the gormless Paul fiasco Nikki had managed to avoid 'the pleasure'.
The weeks between the exams and results flew by, in the week before result day Nikki had been staying at Helen's house as her mum and dad had gone on holiday. They had shared a brilliant week together, Nikki loved having Helen all to herself and Helen felt as though them being together was the most natural thing in the world.
The night before the results they decided to stay in get a few bottles of wine and watch the TV. Nikki was sat at one end of the settee and Helen the other. As they got more and more drunk they got closer together, Helen put a cushion on Nikki's lap and rested her head on it, 'Don't mind do you?' Helen asked, 'Course not' Nikki replied, shifting her body, she had no choice but to rest her hand on Helen's side.
Nikki could feel the heat that began surging through her body, the closeness of Helen was having such a startling effect on her, her heart was racing! Helen seemed oblivious to the whole thing, this made Nikki feel guilty, pervy in a way she because was getting excited and Helen had no idea, her whole body was so tense. They started talking about the results, Helen was still under the impression that Nikki was going to the local Uni. Nikki just could not find the courage to tell her, and anyway she didn't know for sure yet, it depended on her results didn't it? She always managed to find a way to justify not telling her.
She let Helen rave on about how good it would be with Nikki at University. The good times they would have, the student parties etc, Nikki found it hard to concentrate on what Helen was saying, the electric like pulses that were flowing through her body had her mind off somewhere else, somewhere it really shouldn't have been.
They settled down and started to watch a film. Helen eventually fell asleep, in a way Nikki was glad as it meant she could finally relax, she couldn't help herself reaching out to touch, and run her hands through Helen's hair, it was so soft. She knew how much she was going to miss her if she went away, but it was for the best wasn't it? Nikki knew that if she stayed she would have to tell Helen about how she felt, she was fit to burst, it was agony. With these thoughts still flowing round her head she too fell asleep.
Helen woke some time later, Nikki's arms were wrapped around her, it felt so nice she felt so comfortable and secure that she didn't want to move, she simply hugged Nikki closer, smiled and went back to sleep.
They woke the next morning, both a bit stiff but each feeling particularly happy for their own personal reasons.
What they had not realise was that today was going to change their lives drastically.
The A level results were going to be handed out at the school, they went there together, Helen ready to provide moral support but knowing how hard Nikki had worked, felt confident that she would be there to help with the celebrating and not the commiserating.
Nikki was nervous about her results, she wanted them to be good but she also dreaded them being good enough to get her off to London as it meant a major showdown with Helen. As things turned out they were great, her results had far exceeded her expectations and she had achieved the desired grades for any of her university choices.
Helen was delighted when she saw them, she hugged Nikki and kissed her cheek. Nikki felt the instant heat rising up through her body, she hoped Helen hadn't noticed she didn't appear to have as she was too caught up in 'the results'.
Everyone went to the pub to celebrate/commiserate and by the end of the evening both Helen and Nikki were pretty drunk. Nikki was becoming more and more withdrawn, she kept running over in her mind exactly how she was going to break the news to Helen she decided she would do it when they got back to Helen's tonight. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out the way she had planned.
Helen had gone off to the loo and Nikki was talking to some of her classmates when Shell Dockley rolled in, she had managed to scrape some kind of crappy result, enough to get herself on a course at the local University.
She spotted Nikki.
'Hey Dyke!' she wobbled over.
'Piss off Dockley. Look, at school I felt compelled to talk to you - occasionally, now we haven't anything in common, so why don't you just go and play with your slaggy mates, failing that go and shag Mr Fenner again, I'm sure the school is still open'.
Shell was shocked, how the fuck did she know? Mr Fenner was a teacher at the school for Christ's sake! If that news got out he'd be in trouble, not to mention what her parents would do! Aiming away from trouble she tried to be nice.
'Hey, Nikki, come on don't be like that. I know we've not got on in the past but we have still got something in common, we're going to be at University together what say we bury the hatchet?'
'Dockley, the only place I'd like to bury a hatchet is in your head. Your are a cheap fucking tart and I don't want to waste any more of my breath talking to you ', the pub had gone deadly quiet and Nikki continued,' and as for us going to the same university, guess again darling. We won't be, I'm going to the University of London', as the words came out she saw the toilet door open and Helen walk out, her face froze as she heard Nikki say the words.
Her eyes met Nikki's, shit! Nikki's heart lurched, the look of hurt in Helen's eyes was almost too much to bear, before Nikki had chance to get to her Helen turned and ran out of the pub, tears streaming down her face.
Shell too had seen this, 'Seems like you should have told your girlfriend your news first Dyke' she laughed. She wasn't laughing for long, Nikki had been looking forward to this for as long as she could remember, probably as far back as the day that she'd seen Shell spit at Helen, she turned and punched her off her feet. Once again Shell's nose started pouring with blood, but Nikki was not there to see it, she had already run out after Helen.
She had a quick look around for her outside the pub but couldn't see her. Fuck! Where would she go, Nikki ran all of the way back to Helen's house, she went inside but Helen was not there. Think! Where could she be, she racked her brains then it suddenly dawned on her, she knew exactly where to look. Nikki turned and started to walk towards the school.
Sure enough, there sat on her bench was Helen, a very distraught Helen. She looked up as Nikki approached.
'Were you planning on telling me at any point?' Helen felt as though her heart was being crushed, she didn't really understand why it felt so bad, she knew that she had strong feelings for Nikki, she was her best friend after all. She had never anticipated her not being there now the truth was hitting home and she felt empty.
Nikki climbed onto the bench and sat perched on the backrest with her feet planted on the seat next to Helen.
'Look Helen..' she started.
'Tell me the truth Nikki, I think I deserve to know, don't you?' Helen interrupted.
Nikki's stomach felt like it was being twisted, what should she say, what could she say, there were no excuses, no explanations.
She started to talk, not knowing where it would lead.
'Helen, I was planning on telling you tonight'
Helen raised an eyebrow and laughed, 'Yeah of course you were'.
'I didn't want to say anything before I got my results because I didn't know for sure what I would be doing. Christ I didn't even know what grades I was going to get' Nikki argued.
'Nikki that's bullshit and you know it. You've let me bleat on about next year and what we'd do etc, it must have been really funny listening to me knowing full well that you had no intention of doing any of it. So tell me, why Nikki? Why?'
After a long pause, Nikki took a deep breath and blurted out, 'Helen .. I .. I love you..and I ', it had taken so much for her to say that.
Helen completely misunderstood the gravity of what she'd just heard.
'How can you say that, I'm supposed to be your best friend, we share everything and yet what happens when you face the most important decision in your life so far? You tell Shell Dockley and everyone in the bloody pub before me. Well that's not love and if that's the kind of trust you have in me then I'm glad you're going, the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned', she got up and started to walk home.
'Helen wait', Nikki ran after her 'please!'.
Helen stopped, 'What's the point, you're going, that's final, isn't it?'
'Well yes but..'
'No buts Nikki, I am just sorry that you didn't feel you could share that news with me', she carried on walking.
'Oh Helen it's not like that', again Nikki ran after her. They were nearing the house. Nikki's mind was racing, just how much should she tell her?
They went into the house.
Helen went straight to her room, Nikki followed her.
'Look Nikki, I don't want to talk about this now', Helen tried to close her door
Nikki wasn't having any of it and barged her way in, this had to be sorted, now.
'That's it Helen, that's the bloody problem, we always do what YOU want, we go where YOU want, we go out with who YOU want. Has it ever occurred to you that for once, I want to do what I want. Since we met you you've managed to completely take over my life, don't get me wrong I've loved every minute of it and wouldn't change any of it, BUT this is MY future that we're talking about. I have thought long and hard about this, I have to do what is best for me on this one, if that means going away then that's just the way it has to be. I will miss you so much too, but I have to give myself this chance Helen. I've been accepted to one of the best medical schools in the country, I'd be mad to turn it down. One of the main reasons that I didn't tell you before now is that I know that I would have let you talk me out of it, I knew that if you asked me not to go I wouldn't. Please don't do this to me Helen. I need your support' she too was crying now.
Helen turned, she could see the misery in her friend's eyes and the pain that was clearly visible ripped through to her very soul.
She felt awful, Nikki was right, she knew that she had kind of taken control of her life since they had become friends and of course this placement was an opportunity that Nikki could not pass up.
She felt like a shit, a selfish shit, here stood Nikki who had worked so hard and won a place that she deserved to accept.
'I'm sorry Nikki. I'm sorry that I reacted the way I did, it was selfish of me, I just couldn't deal with the thought of you not being here with me', tears threatened again as she looked across at Nikki.
She walked towards her, 'Whatever happens I am so thrilled and proud of what you have achieved, you deserve all of it. I'm just going to miss you so much' she started to cry.
Nikki's heart skipped, 'I'll miss you too, Helen, you have no idea', they stepped into each others arms and held each other, each lost in their own thoughts, Helen pulled back and looked into Nikki's eyes, she was trying to convey so much but Nikki could not see it, she was too caught up in trying to stop herself from kissing Helen.
Breaking the spell, she spoke, 'Our first row Huh?', remind me never to upset you again, I hate seeing you cry.
'Not as much as I hate you crying, promise me one thing?' Helen asked
'Of course' Nikki replied.
'Promise me you'll come back.'
Without hesitation Nikki looked her in the eye and said 'I promise' and she meant it.
It was a promise she found very hard to keep. As soon as her course started she found herself caught up in the whole university scene, the trips home got harder and harder, Helen was still at school and whilst their personal relationship remained the same, Nikki's feelings for Helen intensified.
She had met a lot of people at university, she openly admitted being gay and was a completely different person much more open and relaxed, she found it hard to go home again and fit back into the old Nikki box, she also found it harder and harder to keep how she felt towards Helen to herself.
Gradually she started to make excuses for not coming home. She missed Helen, she missed her a lot, but the pain of not seeing her was not as strong as the pain of seeing her and not being able to have her.
Time moved on and their contact finally came to an end ..
Fifteen years later
'Morning Dr Wade, how are you settling in?'
Nikki turned around, stood in front of her was Martin Stowe, the Trust Manager for the hospital.
'Good morning Martin, I'm settling in very well thanks and please, call me Nikki'.
'Good, glad to hear it, are you finding your way around the town OK? I know it can be daunting moving to a new place, I'd be happy to take you out and show you around', he suggested eyeing her up and down.
It was always the same, never a direct invitation, for God's sake Nikki thought why don't you just ask me out, not that I'd go, Nikki hated people who couldn't get directly to the point, they wasted her time.
'Actually Martin, I was born in this hospital and brought up not far from here, so really there are no worries on that score, thanks for the offer though', she smiled politely and continued on her way, hoping that that was the last offer she'd get from Martin.
She had just come on duty, she had taken on a new post at The General, this time as a consultant currently based in the casualty department. Nikki enjoyed the work, she liked the buzz, the excitement, and there was certainly never a dull moment. She was on the afternoon shift today, midweek afternoons tended to be less busy, and she was hopeful that today would be just that quiet.
She had moved to the town just under two weeks ago, there was still loads to do at home and she had been burning the candle at both ends trying to keep up to date with paperwork, and housework.
She went to find the doctor whom she was about to take over from for a quick debrief before donning her 'white coat' and doing her rounds.
'Nikki!' called a now familiar voice.
'Hey Sam, how's it going?' Sam was about to go off shift and stood at the admin. desk ready to give Nikki the customary run down of what she'd had to do (so far).
'Not too bad, touch wood, we've got a couple in but no major traumas today. The old woman in cubicle one came in with chest pains, we've done the necessary tests and are keeping an eye on her, bloke in two has almost managed to lop the top of his finger off, done the stitching and he'll be on his way shortly and the only other one we've got is cubicle 4, female teacher who got in the middle of a fight in the playground and managed to get stabbed, not too serious fortunately but will need stitching. I think Claire is in there now if you want to catch up with her. And that my friend is it, the story so far'.
'Great' said Nikki, ' I was hoping for a quiet one, I've got a mountain of paperwork to catch up on'.
'I know what you mean' Sam groaned, 'how the hell they expect us to treat anyone I don't know, by the time we've filled out all the necessaries, in duplicate don't forget, the bloody patient is just about ready to peg out!' she laughed, same old complaint, but one that never got adequately dealt with.
'I'll see you tomorrow Nik', she patted Nikki on the arm and headed home.
Nikki walked up to the desk, one of the nurses came over to her for a signature, before she went to her office she thought she'd do a round just to make sure who was on duty etc.
First stop was the old woman, she appeared to be sleeping peacefully, Nikki checked her charts, apparently the old woman had not taken her prescribed medication, hence the chest pains, once she was awake they'd check her out again, they weren't desperate for the bed, yet.
The man with the finger injury was just about to leave, Nikki felt sorry for him, he was a hulk of a bloke, but the sight if his injured finger had made him lose the colour in his face.
As she approached cubicle 4 she could hear Claire laughing and chatting with the patient, Nikki heard her say that she was going to fetch the doctor to watch her do the necessary stitching.
Nikki held back, Claire was fairly new to nursing and Nikki wanted her to feel able to approach her at any time to ask her anything, she knew how frightening it was to be new and on the first rung of a very long ladder, she had been there herself and vowed that if she got to the top she would do what she can to make the lives of those following as easy as possible.
'Dr Wade?' Claire called.
'Yes Claire, what can I do for you'. Nikki smiled.
'I wonder if you could come and give me a hand?' Claire explained that the woman had a fairly deep cut to the upper arm that needed stitches. 'Of course I'll be right there'.
Nikki put down the file that she'd been pretending to read and walked towards cubicle 4, she pulled back the curtain and said..
'Now then Claire what do we have here?'
Claire didn't get chance to speak, a voice from the bed said simply,
'Nikki? Nikki Wade is it really you?'
Nikki felt her heart freeze in her chest, that voice, she hadn't heard it for years and yet it still had the same effect today as it did back then. The blood rushed to her head and she felt heat rise to her cheeks, slowly she turned, there sat in the bed was her former school friend, well former best friend Helen Stewart.
Nikki had known that she was always likely to run into Helen (if Helen still lived in the town that was), but she did not expect their meeting to happen so quickly.
'Nikki?' Helen's voice broke her train of thought.
'Sorry, I , I ..Helen, I'm just shocked to see you. How are you?' Nikki smiled.
Her mind had gone completely blank, that was rare for Nikki, she was always in control, never flustered, well until now that is.
'I'm very well thanks, well apart from this obviously'; she inclined her head towards the wound on her arm.
Nikki snapped back into doctor mode, 'What? Oh yes of course, well let's have a look shall we?' her hands were shaking as she removed the dressing covering the wound.
'Very clean cut you'll be glad to know, shouldn't be too tricky to stitch and only a very small scar' she turned to Claire, 'would you like me to take care of this? I'm not very busy and I know that you've got plenty you could be doing?'
Claire was puzzled, staff at Nikki's level rarely offered to do such routine work but clearly Nikki knew this woman. Claire was only too happy to let Nikki take over and she left them to it.
When they were alone, Nikki looked up and was met by two hazel eyes, her heart flipped again.
'So still fighting in the playground Helen?' she laughed.
Helen laughed too, 'Not through choice. The trouble is that the fights we have now are a bit more serious than they used to be in our day. Listen to me, in our day makes us sound about sixty!'.
Nikki looked up and grinned, 'So what happened here?'
Oh there was a bit of bullying going on in the playground. We have this one little shit who insists on making everyone's life hell, including mine. Anyway I spotted him hassling one of the younger ones, I also spotted that he was holding some kind of weapon and without really thinking about it ran out and intervened. In all the confusion I managed to get stuck with the knife'.
'Hmmm he sounds charming a bit like Shell Dockley in our day eh?' Nikki pulled a face.
'Well believe it or not he's Dockley junior, Jason to be precise' Helen stated flatly.
'You're kidding, Shell Dockley has a son how old?'
'Fourteen, not just a son either. Twins, there's the son Jason and daughter Kylie, who is equally as bad' Helen grinned, knowing the reaction she was going to get.
Nikki had to stop what she was doing as she started to laugh,
'Kylie & Jason! I can't imagine.' she finally managed to blurt out.
'Believe me Nik, you really don't want to try' Helen said.
'Fourteen? But that means it was just after I left', Nikki inwardly groaned, nice one Wade nothing like jumping in feet first and bringing that up straight away, 'Who's the father?' she tried to move the subject on.
'Well officially no-one knows, but the resemblance to Jim Fenner is uncanny' Helen added.
'Fenner? Dirty bastard! He's not still teaching is he? Nikki asked, he damn well shouldn't be she thought.
'Oh no, he 'left' under the advice of the new head, straight after Bodybag retired, she was always too gutless to rock the boat'.
'So the new head has some balls eh'
'Well I don't have 'balls' as you so eloquently put it, but there was no way that sleazy bastard was staying on when I took over, he made it pretty clear that my fast track appointment was not to his liking. I merely pointed out a few facts about him that I knew, including the Shell Dockley affair and offered him the opportunity to retire before I went to the authorities. He retired' she added..
'You're the head teacher at Larkhall, bloody hell!.' Nikki said sounding surprised.
'Thanks, should I take that as a compliment?' Helen smiled.
Nikki was suddenly wishing she had handled that better.
'Sorry Helen, of course congratulations and all that, it's just last I heard you were planning on a 'drama' career, but hey no that's brilliant, I'm impressed, really', she was going overboard now but didn't know how to stop.
Helen explained further, 'I figured that teaching was more likely to bring in a steady income, I like my home comforts too much to gamble on an acting career, besides I am still involved in drama to an extent, I'm also the drama teacher at the school'.
It occurred to Nikki just how much she didn't know about Helen now. Helen was having similar thoughts.
'How about you, what have you been up to, I know you moved abroad, I tried to contact you a couple of times but '
'Yeah, I travelled a bit around the U.S and India, just looking at the different health care systems. It was amazing, I met some fascinating people, it changed me a lot'.
'Are you married? Kids?' Helen asked.
'Errr, no neither, I am kind of seeing someone at the moment but they're still based in London which is tricky as you can imagine'.
At the news Helen felt a twinge in her stomach, it puzzled her, it was as though she felt jealous?
'I asked if you were married' Nikki repeated.
'Oh sorry, no, I'm seeing someone too, he's nice, he's a policeman'
'Is it serious?' Nikki's heart was back on form, she could feel it pounding, not wanting to hear that Helen's relationship was anything more than casual.
'Well, it's serious enough for him to ask me to marry him' she stated, not very animatedly.
'But, is it serious enough for you to want to say yes?' Nikki asked.
Helen looked her in the eye, 'Not yet', Nikki exhaled, she had been holding her breath, this news pleased her, was that fair she wondered after all she was in a relationship herself should she be feeling anything for Helen now? Like she'd ever had a choice in the matter.
Nikki finished up dealing with Helen's arm. Helen looked up.
'I can't believe you're back. I missed you, you know, after ' she started.
'I know, look I'm sorry I didn't keep in touch, it was '
Helen held up her hand, 'Nikki that was a long time ago, we were kids, we didn't owe each other anything. I understand that now, it took me a while but I eventually realised that life goes on'.
'I would like to explain it all to you some time' Nikki said.
'Really, there's no need, but it would be nice to see you again, catch up on all your news'
'and yours' Nikki interrupted.
'Where are you living now?' Helen asked.
Nikki smiled when she told her.
Nikki hadn't believed her luck when she'd discovered the house she'd bought was on the market, she knew Helen would remember.
'I love that house, do you remember? We used to plan which house we would buy when 'we grew up' I can't believe you got mine!'
'Well since the one I liked had been demolished and had a bloody Tesco built on it I didn't have much choice did I' Nikki laughed, 'You'll have to come over and take a look around, we never did get to see inside it back then did we?'
Helen started to answer but was interrupted by the sound of an alarm.
Claire the nurse from earlier came rushing in, 'We have an RTA on the way in doctor Wade, two adults and a couple of kids, one went through the windscreen, ETA 2 minutes', she added trying to give Nikki as much warning as possible.
Nikki switched back into professional mode, 'Finish up here for me will you please Claire' she turned to Helen, 'Gotta go sorry, I'll call you', before Helen had chance to answer Nikki was gone.
All thoughts of Helen disappeared from Nikki's mind for the rest of the day, and what a harrowing day it turned out to be, neither the mother nor the kid who had hit the windscreen survived. Nikki had battled long and hard but to no avail, she got home feeling drained as always happened her dreams were filled with sights from the day before
Her dreams were not all bad however, at one point she woke with a start, she glanced at the clock it was 4:35am she had been having a most erotic dream. This one involving Helen, not the Helen from her old dreams but Helen the woman, when Nikki woke her whole body was still tingling with the excitement it had just experienced.
Nikki sank back into her bed, God after all this time it was clear that the old feelings were still firmly ensconced inside her. She tried to turn her attention to Karen her current 'love interest', what a body! She and Karen had hit it off straightaway and the sex! Well the sex was the best that Nikki had ever experienced, but she still felt a pang of guilt now because clearly her dream had not involved Karen. Perhaps she was missing her that must be it she thought, seeing Helen and having such a crap day must've got her senses all worked up and confused, she settled down and dozed off back to sleep.
The next couple of days were routine, Nikki had telephoned Karen, she was still living in Nikki's old house in London. Karen was an actress and until recently had been a star of a long run British soap, she had wanted to branch out and try other stuff, living at Nikki's had provided her with the stability she needed to try her hand at new projects. Nikki hardly had chance to miss her, after all she was on the TV more than Davina Macall at the moment! Seeing her on screen got Nikki going, she was sooo sexy, she had a look that could melt ice and the knowledge that that woman was there for Nikki was enough to keep her mind well and truly occupied!
On Tuesday when Nikki arrived at work she was met by Claire, she said that she'd got a message for her, she delved into her pockets. 'Ah here it is', Nikki thanked her and walked off, glancing at the message, it was from Helen.
Nikki, I knew you wouldn't ring, you're not wriggling out of it that easily, call me, you know I'll keep on 'til you do.
She had left her work number.
Nikki smiled, same old Helen, she walked to her office, picked up the phone and dialled Helen's number.
'Larkhall Comprehensive School, can I help you?' a familiar voice came down the line, Dippy Di, so she was still there!
'Err yes I'd like to speak with Miss Stewart please', Nikki asked.
'May I tell her who's calling'
'Nikki Wade' Nikki could almost hear the cogs in Dippy's head grinding round as she searched her memory, 'Nicola, how are you? You probably don't remember me, Miss Barker'
'Of course I do, Miss Barker. I'm fine thank you, I hope you're keeping well'
'Thank you yes' she paused 'Oh sorry, you wanted to speak with Helen, I'll just put you through', there followed a few bleeps and clicks, 'Sorry I'll try again' Dippy said, Nikki could hear her muttering 'these bloody new phones..', there was another click and a familiar voice came onto the line.
'Hiya Nikki', that voice! Nikki's legs quivered and she sat down, how could it be that after all this time just the sound of her voice could turn into a quivering blob! 'So you got my message then?' she laughed.
'Yeah, sorry I was going to call honest. I've just been run off my feet all week, you know how it is'.
'Mmmm' came the reply, Helen was not convinced, she kind of thought that Nikki wouldn't bother, as had happened before, but she didn't want to lose contact again in fact she was determined not to, hence the message.
'So' Nikki started 'how about that drink then?'
'Sounds good to me, when are you free?' Helen asked, today was Wednesday, Helen was nearing the end of term and things had started to wind down at school.
'Well I'm working today and tomorrow but have Friday and the rest of the weekend off I've got to go furniture shopping. How about Friday night?' she suggested.
'OK Friday night's good for me, where do you fancy going, want to eat?'
They chatted for a while then made their plans and said their goodbyes. For the rest of the day both women walked around with a spring in their step.
Friday came and Nikki spent the day pampering herself, she'd got all of her 'chores' done early and had a nice leisurely bath and got ready to go out, she felt nicely relaxed as she left her house and headed to Helen's. The fluttering in the pit of her stomach she'd put down to nerves. Nerves? Why was she nervous, perhaps at the thought of finally having to tell Helen the truth about her life. She'd decided that if the topic came up she was going to be honest, well there was no point hiding it now, of course she wouldn't tell Helen that she'd moved away because of her feelings for her, but she would tell her about Karen.
Helen however had not had such an easy day, the phone hadn't stopped ringing and she'd had numerous petty squabbles to deal with, all this culminated in her leaving the school at gone 7! She was pissed off as she had wanted time to get home and have a bath etc before getting ready to go out, luckily she'd got her clothes ready before she left that morning, so she still had chance to take a bath. She rushed home, stripped off and got in the bath, as always the bath helped her unwind, she closed her eyes and let her mind drift, she was thinking about Nikki. She'd changed, physically she'd become more attractive, but her personality had changed too, she seemed more open, relaxed, more approachable. Helen had never had trouble talking to her but others had, that aloofness seemed to have gone, she smiled, she was glad that she'd taken the time to look beyond it back then, she'd found a good friend, she frowned as her mind moved back to the time when Nikki had left. The pain she felt was still there and it was enough to make her want to cry even now, her mind was brought back to reality by the ringing of the front door bell.
Her eyes flicked open, she looked at the clock, Fuck! She'd been in the bath for 40 minutes, that meant that Nikki was at the door, diving out of the bath and wrapping herself in a towel she ran downstairs.
She opened the door, Nikki stood there smiling, the smile faded from her face she was dumbstruck, well after all it was not quite what she was anticipating, Helen stood there near naked, dripping water onto the carpet.
'God Nikki, I'm sorry I'm running late, come in, I'll get you a drink then run up and get changed'
Nikki followed her into the house, trying to keep her mind off the sight of Helen in a skimpy towel, Helen padded into the kitchen, 'What would you like'.
Nikki swallowed hard, what a leading question!
'Uh , I don't mind, whatever's going' she managed to say.
Helen poured them both a glass of wine, 'Come upstairs and talk to me while I get ready, I won't be long'.
Talk about agony! Nikki was sat on Helen's bed watching as she applied her make up, totally oblivious to Nikki's discomfort, she was telling Nikki about her day, sounded like a tough one, Nikki could hardly concentrate on what she was saying but managed to put in a few Yes, No's and Ahh's etc according to the questions Helen was asking.
Fortunately for Nikki, Helen went into the bathroom to get dressed, Nikki was grateful for that, in the past she'd have just dressed in front of her as girls generally did and right now that was something Nikki didn't think she could handle.
She walked back in and Nikki's heart beat raced at a pace, she looked gorgeous. There was no doubt about it, Nikki realised, regardless of whatever time had passed she was still as madly in love with the woman standing in front of her as she was when she left and in a way that was a worrying thought.
They walked to a restaurant in the village, they had chosen that one for a couple of reasons, firstly Helen said the food was great and the atmosphere was good and more importantly they could both drink and were still within walking distance of home.
They were settled at a table and before they had their first drink began regaling each other with storied from the past. Helen filled Nikki in on the comings and goings of various classmates. Shell Dockley it seems was no different to before, still the mental age of 10 (on a good day), a different fella every week and up to now had 4 kids. Nikki shook her head.
'Poor little bastards, imagine having her for a mother! What a role model eh?' they both laughed.
'What about you Nikki? Any plans to start a family, you mentioned you were seeing someone?' Helen asked innocently.
Here we go thought Nikki she took a deep breath and prepared to tell Helen all, but she was saved from having to by the arrival of their dinner, as she started to eat she noticed how badly her hands were shaking.
The conversation moved onto how good the food was and Helen started to tell Nikki about times that she'd come here before, with her boyfriend Dominic, Nikki could feel the jealousy rise up inside her as Helen started to talk about him, she was interested in Helen's life of course, but it was that same old feeling that she used to get. Helen had always been very open and clearly remained so, she did give Nikki a glimmer of hope when she hinted that deep down she was not sure that Dominic was 'the one'.
After they'd finished eating they walked down to the pub, they got some more drinks and sat in a quiet corner.
'So Nikki, what about you?' Helen asked.
'What about me?' Nikki asked back.
'Well you now know pretty much the ins and outs of my life to date, you haven't really told me much about yours, you've told me about your travels, tell me about the man in your life'.
Nikki knew that her time had run out, she'd avoided this conversation for too long, and if she was truly honest she felt ready now, ready for Helen to know, she was no longer the scared kid afraid to admit her sexuality, she'd been comfortable with it for so long now that it wasn't really an issue, she was worried though, worried about Helen's reaction, she started to speak.
'Helen, look there's no easy way to tell you this '
'God you've got me worried..'
'I do have a partner only she's a woman, I'm gay Helen'
'You're gay? Since when?'. Helen was .what she wondered, Surprised? No, as the words sunk in she realised that she wasn't surprised, she was a little shocked maybe to actually hear the words but surprised ? No not really.
Nikki continued, 'Well if I'm honest I had a pretty good idea when we were still at school, but I never really openly admitted it until I was at university.'
'Why didn't you tell me? I was your best friend, I told you everything .shit I even used to make you go out on double dates, why didn't you say anything?' Helen was annoyed.
'At the time I think I was afraid of your reaction, you know, that you might turn against me, I didn't want to risk losing your friendship' Nikki admitted.
'Nikki, surely you knew me better than that. The fact that you thought you were gay would not have made the slightest bit of difference to me or to us'.
'Well yes, I probably realise that now, but you know what it was like back then, imagine what our lives would have been like if I'd come out! We got enough stick as it was, bloody Shell Dockley would have had a field day'.
'I'm not talking about whether or not you should have come out, I'm talking about sharing that with me. Then again thinking back, you didn't really share the major stuff with me anyway did you?'
'You're talking about me choosing to move away again aren't you?' inwardly Nikki groaned.
'Well, it is kind of relevant don't you think? Helen added.
'In a way yes I suppose it is. I admit I did choose to move away because the Uni. I went to was the best of my options, but the fact that I was gay was a factor too, I needed to get away, to figure it all out for myself..'
'Yes and to hell with those of us you left behind eh?' Helen said angrily.
'Helen I was young, I didn't know what the hell was going on in my head, I needed the space I'm truly sorry if I let you down..'
'Let me down? You didn't let me down Nikki, you left me. After you'd gone it felt as if you'd died. I was stuck here, you stopped coming home, stopped writing and all I had was the great void you'd left behind and memories of the times we'd shared .' She laughed 'Christ I make it sound as if we were a couple, but, well we were in a way I suppose' she admitted.
'I do wish I'd handled it differently now Helen, in hindsight, but I didn't and for that I'm sorry'.
'I'm sorry too. Perhaps we should leave the past in the past and move on eh? No point dwelling on it really is there, what's done is done, nothing can change that.'
Nikki went to get them some more drinks and when she returned their conversation moved on to more light hearted topics, but the other conversation was rooted in both their minds and bothered them both later that night.
When Helen lay in bed that night all she could see in her mind were pictures of Nikki, back at school, laughing and joking with her, but she could also remember the distant look she'd occasionally seen in her eyes when she hadn't known Helen was watching her, it occurred to Helen that if she had actually taken the time to ask Nikki what was bothering her then she might have found out the truth a long time ago.
She cringed at the memories of the dates she used to set up for Nikki. She wondered why she'd done that? More importantly, why hadn't Nikki ever said no?
The answer to the first was easy, she knew that deep down she'd have rather been out with Nikki than whoever she was on the date with and by making a double date she would still get to be with her. In hindsight she realised how unfair that had been to her and in a way how unfair she'd been to Nikki at dinner. Criticising her for not telling the truth, when all along, she'd known that she had a few secrets of her own, secrets that even now she was afraid to admit, perhaps that's why she'd come down so hard on Nikki?
When Nikki got back home she felt relief, she was glad that she had finally managed to talk to Helen, openly, without fear and glad that Helen had not rejected her. Her past worries seemed daft now. What did bother Nikki however, was how badly Helen seemed to have been hurt by her actions, clearly she had gotten over Nikki's leaving now, but the fact that Nikki had caused her pain didn't sit well with her.
She'd never meant to hurt Helen, Christ! She had hoped to achieve the opposite, she hadn't really thought about how her lack of contact would affect Helen at the time and she felt a bit selfish. She went to bed resolving to try and put things right, to make up for the hurt she'd caused.
She started her campaign the next morning.
Helen was woken by the phone ringing next to her head, who the hell was ringing her at, oh 9:30, fair enough she thought.
'Hello' she croaked.
'Good morning, how are you' Nikki chirped.
'Nikki I don't recall you ever being this cheery in the morning', she laughed and rolled onto her back, stretching and yawning.
'Well that's what working shifts does to you, fucks your body up so you never know what time of day it is. I maintain my cheery bedside manner all the times, just in case!' she was laughing too.
'So, now that you've woken me up, what can I do for you?' she asked, her mind wandering ahead of her the pictures in her mind playing games with her body.
'I was hoping you'd do me a favour', Nikki put on a begging voice.
'Depends' Helen joked.
'On what dare I ask?' Nikki countered.
'Firstly on the favour and secondly if you'll do one for me in return' Helen had meant to ask Nikki about this last night but she was glad that she hadn't now as she wasn't sure Nikki would have said yes.
'Deal! My favour is, will you come shopping with me today? I have to get some stuff for the house and don't relish the thought of traipsing round town on my own, so?
'Okay, I will if you will agree to come to the past pupils reunion party we're holding at school on Friday? Please?' she added in her old whiny voice.
Nikki groaned, she always knew which buttons to push to get her own way, but Nikki hated the thought of these things particularly as she hadn't got on with most of the other pupils at the school.
'You drive a hard bargain Miss Stewart', she pointed out.
'I know but you started asking the favours, so how about it?' she was hopeful particularly as Nikki hadn't flatly refused.
'Hmmm. Well I'm not sure, Karen might be coming up that weekend', Helen's heart lurched at the sound of the other woman's name, she chided herself, she can't allow herself to feel jealous she had Dominic after all.
'That's OK, bring her along' Helen didn't realise exactly who Karen was, Nikki had said she was an actress but no more than that.
'Let me find out what she's doing first, if everything works out then I'll come, is that fair?' she asked.
'Is that a yes?' Helen persisted.
Nikki felt like she was being backed into a corner, 'Bloody hell woman, okay it's a yes'.
Helen beamed, 'Great, what time do you want to go shopping?' once again they made plans and spent the day shopping, over coffee they chatted about how easily they had managed to slip back into their old friendship.
'I suppose it never went away' Nikki said, ' it's not like we had a major bust up is it? I mean we just drifted' she added.
'Excuse me? You drifted', Helen mocked.
'Yes, I did, but I also came back, like I promised!' she laughed.
'Hah!' Helen laughed again, 'fifteen bloody years later!'
They bantered like this all afternoon and evening and both were extremely happy at the end of the day.
They spoke on the phone a few times that week and by Wednesday Nikki had confirmed that she would indeed attend the party (against her better judgement), she told Helen that Karen was planning on driving up from London on the Friday afternoon, if she got there on time she would come too, or she might follow on.
Helen was pleased and not pleased. She was looking forward to meeting Nikki's partner but at the same time felt jealous of the fact that she was going to have to share her with someone else, it was different when Karen was in London, it made her seem less real.
By Friday Nikki was wishing she had said no, as always Helen had taken control and made plans for her, she was going to meet them (Helen and the mysterious Dominic for a drink first then they would go to the party together Karen too if she arrived on time). Nikki dressed in a black velvet trouser suit with a crimson open neck silk shirt, she left Karen a note and a rough map to show her how to find the school.
She left and walked to Helen's.
She was greeted at the door by Helen who kissed her cheek, Nikki tried not to allow the heat rise up to her face, she was taken into the lounge and introduced to Dominic. He was very quiet, not at all what she was expecting, she thought Helen would go for the more headstrong type, someone with a bit of fire a bit of spirit, Dominic seemed to be the opposite, not that Nikki was any expert on men, perhaps he was a tiger really! She smirked as the idea flicked through her mind.
As they went to leave Dominic took hold of Helen's hand and Nikki felt a stab of jealousy shoot through her. Helen was annoyed at Dominic for doing it, it felt like he was staking his claim over her and she didn't like that, as soon as she got chance she made some excuse to do something that meant he had to let go.
They arrived at the school where Dippy Di was greeting everyone at the door. She had made name tags for everyone to wear, Nikki put hers on. Oh God, she thought, this was going to be a nightmare, she headed straight for the bar where she proceeded to down several drinks in succession a lot quicker than she should have.
Occasionally she glanced across at Helen who was stood talking to some woman, Dominic seemed to be glued to her side, Nikki felt even more depressed and she had another drink. Helen had noticed Nikki propping up the bar and had also caught her looking at her a few times. She excused herself and went to talk to her, Dominic made a move to follow her, it irked her
'For Christ's sake Dominic, do you have to follow me around like that, you know plenty of people here so go and find someone to talk to'. Nikki grinned as she saw this, it was clear who the boss was, he did seem a bit pathetic, like a little lost puppy.
'Everything all right?' she asked Helen as she walked closer.
'Yeah, he really gets on my nerves when he sticks to me like that, it's as though he expects me to stand there holding his hand and talking to only him all night, I can't stand that' she shivered involuntarily.
'Mmm' Nikki mumbled, thinking how much she sympathised with him at that point because if she was out with Helen that would be all she wanted her to do too.
'Are you OK Nik, you seem to be knocking them back a bit tonight?' Helen put her arm on Nikki's shoulder.
'I'm OK, I..' she didn't get to finish what she was going to say as another voice from the past interrupted them.
'Well, well, well, Nikki Wade, we have gone up in the world haven't we?', Shell Dockley sauntered over, Nikki stood up and faced her old adversary.
'Whereas some of us will be for ever 'going down', Nikki countered ' still charging a £1 a time Shell or have you moved your prices up along with inflation You do know what inflation is don't you'.
'..course I do dyke' Shell muttered, silently trying to work out the connection between blowing up balloons and a blow job.
As they stood glaring at each other the room went quiet, Nikki had her back to the door, Shell looked up to see who had come in, 'Bloody Hell!' she shouted, 'it's Kim Tate, you know off've Emmerdale' Nikki turned and smiled as Shell continued, 'I love that show, out've the way dyke, she wouldn't be interested in meeting you, cooeee Kim! Kim!' Shell tottered off towards 'Kim'.
Helen turned to Nikki, 'Don't tell me that's..'
'Karen, yep!' Nikki grinned.
'Oh my God, Nikki she's gorgeous' Helen said truthfully.
'I know' Nikki said, 'come on I want to introduce you, she's been looking forward to meeting you, and we'd better save her from Shell, or vice versa' she added 'she hates being called Kim!' she laughed and they walked over.
Karen was politely smiling at the small group of people who had surrounded her, Nikki made her way through the crowd pulling Helen behind her.
'Oi dyke, get back over there she's not interested in the likes of you!'
'That's where you're wrong' Karen purred. And she reached her arms out and gave Nikki a big hug followed by a passionate kiss.
'Bleedin 'ell, she's one of 'em an' all!' Shell shrieked.
Nikki laughed as the tart walked off, 'Bit of an exhibition Karen?'.
'Well she was getting on my tits' she laughed, 'sorry if I embarrassed you'.
'Well at least everyone now knows for sure that I'm gay' Nikki laughed.
She turned around and took Helen's hand.
'Karen I'd like you to meet Helen, Helen Stewart Karen Betts'
'Hi Karen I'm pleased to meet you'
'And I you Helen, Nikki has told me a lot about you', Helen noticed the warning glance that Nikki shot at Karen and wondered what that was all about.
Nikki intervened, 'So how was the trip?'
'Not too bad, I'm dying for a drink though'
'Stay there I'll get it, a refill Helen?' Helen nodded and Nikki took her glass and walked off.
Both women watched as she walked to the bar.
'Nikki tells me you're a drama teacher, that must be fun'.
'Oh it is, I love it, particularly when we put stuff together ourselves, you know when the kids get involved in the writing, it's always good for a laugh', Helen found herself relaxing as she talked to Karen, as much as she'd wanted to dislike Karen she found that she couldn't.
'I loved drama at school' Karen added 'funnily enough my first crush was on my drama teacher, I thought she was gorgeous. I'm sure some of your pupils feel the same' she added.
Helen blushed, 'err thanks, they haven't told me so, yet! And believe me the kids these days would!'
'I know what you mean, you should see some of the mail I get, it would make your grannies hair curl! And some of that from teenagers, I didn't know about half the stuff they offer to do when I was their age' Helen laughed.
Nikki joined them and they talked for a bit, Helen excused herself and went to find Dominic. She'd felt like a bit of a gooseberry and seeing Nikki getting on so well with Karen was doing strange things to her hearts strings.
Nikki watched her go, Karen watched Nikki watching Helen. Much as she hated to admit it she could see that Nikki still had strong feelings for Helen. Nikki had told her all about her, including the fact that she'd fallen in love with her but that Helen was straight. Karen had felt relieved when Nikki had told her that, but seeing Helen tonight she was not so sure. There was something there, they way she glanced across at Nikki when she was at the bar, the way she looked at her when they talked, if Karen was not mistaken it wasn't just Nikki who was in love. She was surprised that Nikki had never picked up on it.
The evening went well, Nikki relaxed and found she was enjoying herself a lot more than she'd thought she would. She was glad that Karen had come, she was just the kind of distraction she needed, she felt a bit bad for thinking of Karen as merely a distraction from Helen's presence, but their relationship was a fairly open one. Well with Karen's profession, fidelity was not commonplace. Nikki knew that Karen had had a few dalliances when she was not around but never asked about them, she knew that there was no point demanding anything from her as Karen would just move on, the flexibility in their relationship suited Nikki anyway, but having her here now was doing her good, in fact she couldn't wait to get her home.
Karen was chatting to a couple who had been to see a stage show that she was starring in back in London. Nikki looked around the room for Helen, she saw Dominic immediately but no Helen. She wandered outside to look for her. She saw her instantly, on her bench! Christ some things never changed she thought to herself as she wandered over.
'Hey' she said.
'Hiya Nikki, you having fun?'
'Yeah not bad, more than you by the look of it' she stated.
'That obvious Huh?' Helen said.
'Soo? You going to tell me what's wrong?'
'I was just sitting here thinking how things could have turned out differently' she started.
'Things not going well with Dominic?' Nikki asked, it didn't dawn on her that Helen was talking about them.
'Something like that' Helen mumbled.
'He seems nice' Nikki said trying to sound positive.
'Oh he's nice, too nice. He lets me walk all over him Nik, and I do, I feel like shit for doing it too, but he's just so '
'Sappy? Spineless?' Nikki offered she looked at Helen, 'Sorry'.
'No you're right. Much too sappy, I think I'm going to finish it' she said quietly.
'Well, do you want my opinion?' Nikki asked.
'It's not like you to give me the option' Helen said and laughed.
'Oh Hah Hah, No really do you?' Helen nodded.
'Well, personally knowing you as I do, I think you need someone with a little more.. What's the word..backbone. Sorry, you know what I mean though, someone who will stand up to you now and again, someone like..'
'You' Helen said quietly.
'Well yeah, someone like me only male obviously' she added. She still hadn't pick up on what Helen was trying to say.
'Obviously' Helen repeated, 'perhaps I set my standards too high' she added dryly.
'Yeah, you always were a bit fussy' Nikki laughed, she was trying to cheer her friend up, but the fact that she wasn't picking up on what Helen was saying was making things worse.
As they talked they were not aware that they were being observed by a figure stood at the door of the school, Karen.. She had been watching them for a while and had come to a firm conclusion about what was going on, she was amazed that neither woman could see the effect that they had on each other, she felt sorry for them in a way as they were both suffering needlessly. She decided that what they needed was a gentle a nudge in the right direction if this was ever going to get sorted and whilst she didn't relish the thought of giving up the relationship she had with Nikki she was not fool enough to believe that what they had would ever get to the level that Nikki and Helen could achieve. Sure she loved Nikki in her own way, but they weren't in love, they each fulfilled the others needs and when it came down to it Karen knew that that would never be enough for Nikki, not when Helen was still in the picture, her thoughts were interrupted.
'They was always like that you know, 'fick as 'fieves, always thought there was more to it than we ever got to see, looks like I was only half right 'innit'.
Karen turned and looked Shell up and down. Christ look at the state of her! No wonder Nikki left the village if she faced this sort of attitude. She didn't bother to rise to Shell's comments and strode back into the hall, closely followed by Shell who still hadn't picked up on Karen's blatant 'Fuck off' signals.
Nikki and Helen came back in a few minutes later, they were laughing, clearly whatever Nikki had said had been the right thing, Karen thought. Nikki left Helen talking to Dominic and walked over to Karen, she kissed her. Karen could see the hurt look in Helen's eyes, she felt like a shit, that wasn't fair considering Nikki was supposed to be her girlfriend but it didn't make her feel any better.
'Everything all right?' she asked Nikki, gesturing her head towards Helen.
'Yeah, spot of man trouble, not surprising he's about as exciting as a damp squid!, Nikki muttered.
'Now Nikki, we can't all be as exciting and sexy as you!' Karen whispered.
Nikki's body tingled as the words were whispered into her ear, momentarily forgetting all about Helen and Dominic and where she was, she wrapped her arms around Karen and whispered exactly what this exciting and sexy woman intended to do to her when they got home.
Karen looked at her watch, the shiver of anticipation of what was to come overriding all other feelings, 'Is it too early to leave now?' she asked suggestively.
Nikki grabbed her hand, 'Absolutely not! Come on'.
She led Karen over to where Dominic and Helen were stood in silence, looking in Nikki's opinion, bored.
'Helen, we're off home, Karen's feeling a bit tired after her trip so we're going to have an early night', Nikki said trying to sound convincing.
Looking at their body language it was clear that the two women were indeed heading home for bed, but certainly not to sleep! Helen felt a shaft of jealousy rip through her body, this was getting unbearable, barely able to speak for fear of giving way to her emotions, she nodded briefly, shook hands with Karen and told Nikki she'd 'see her'.
She spent what was left of the evening getting blind drunk in an attempt to block out the thought of Nikki and Karen making love but also to help build up the courage needed to send Dominic packing. She didn't quite manage the first but got the second sorted as soon as she got home. She thought she'd handled it quite well, in reality Dominic had sussed out what was going to happen, Helen's attitude towards him had cooled to say the least over the past few weeks, he couldn't figure out what he'd done wrong but accepted her decision to finish their relationship without much of a fight. This only served to confirm to Helen that she had done the right thing, surely if he had been that keen he'd have fought hammer and tongs to keep it going, she felt a bit better that at least she had not hurt him too badly.
The trouble was, now that she was alone she had time to think about what Nikki was up to, her stomach was in knots, this couldn't go on, she was going to have to do something but what could she do? It was clear that Nikki and Karen were very happy and Karen was gorgeous, she had no chance, with these negative thoughts swimming around in her head she drifted off to sleep.
A mile or so down the road, Nikki too was ready to drift off to sleep, she and Karen had more than made up for their time apart and as usual their lovemaking was fierce and very passionate, Nikki felt physically drained but in a nice way. As she sunk back into the soft pillows, Karen took her hand she looked across at her and smiled.
'Happy' she asked.
Karen didn't answer, Nikki grew concerned, Karen was looking extremely serious.
'What's the matter? . Karen?', she pulled herself up onto her elbow.
The sight of her naked body almost stopped Karen saying what she had decided to say, but no, she owed it to Nikki to give her this one chance of true happiness.
'I think we should have a break from each other Nik' she said flatly.
'A break? Karen I hardly see you as it is, what is it have you found someone else? She asked.
'No I haven't found anyone else,.. but I think you have' she added.
'Me? No I haven't, there hasn't been anyone else', Nikki was by now very confused.
'I didn't say there had been anyone else, I said you'd found someone else, someone you thought you'd lost?' come on Nikki she thought, work it out.
'You mean Helen? No, Karen. Sure, I mean I love Helen you've known that all along but she's straight, that's all there is to it. She and I are just very good friends, that's all we'll ever be, can't you see that?'
'Nikki, honey, I see a lot more than you think. You two are amazing, you appear to have spent the last what 17 years? avoiding admitting that you are both in love with each other, the sexual tension between you is almost visible, I can't believe you've never picked up on it', she stated bluntly.
'No Karen, you're wrong, Helen isn't in love with me'.
'How do you know that?' Karen asked quietly.
'Well she'd have told me' Nikki offered feebly, slowly realising the stupidity of that last statement.
'Would she now. What just like you've told her you mean?' Karen knew that she'd got Nikki thinking now, she could almost see her mind racing off, working it's way back through her past.
Could it be true she wondered? Surely she would have picked up signals along the way? As far as she was aware there had never been any. Karen brought her attention back to the conversation at hand.
'Nik, I think it's time you both stopped running. Now it sounds to me like Dominic is soon going to be out of the picture, that leaves Helen free for you, all that remains is for me to take a by your leave too' Nikki tried to argue.
'No Nikki, I want you to do this, if things don't work out the way I think they will, well you know where I am, but seeing the way you two look at each other, I don't think you'll be knocking at my door again. Now, I'm heading home tomorrow, if you two have any sense you'll get together and talk this through like grown ups?' she put her hand under Nikki's chin, lifted her head so that they were eye to eye and leaned in and kissed her, she pulled back. 'I love you Nikki, but Helen is in love with you, trust me', she smiled and lay back on the pillows, she took Nikki in her arms and they fell asleep, each lost in their own thoughts of the future.
Karen left Nikki early the next morning, there were hugs and tears but the decision had been made and there was no turning back now.
Nikki went back into the house, her first instinct was to phone Helen. She instantly felt bad for feeling that way, particularly as Karen had just left so she decided to wait for a while and headed off for a shower. Standing under the warm jets of water made her skin tingle, her mind was full of thoughts and hopes about her and Helen, could Karen be right? Why hadn't she seen it herself, in one way she was worried in case Karen had got it wrong.
Once again she was afraid to bring the subject up, but she knew that Karen had been right about one thing it was time to stop running, time to face up to how she felt and to tell Helen the truth regardless of whether she shared her feelings.
She stepped out of the shower, determined that she was going to settle this once and for all, she would ring Helen and ask her to come over she was about to reach for the phone when the front door rang.
Bloody typical! Just as she'd built up the momentum to talk to her she had been stopped again, she grabbed her dressing gown, tied the belt and walked downstairs to the front door.
She opened it enough to poke her head around and was astounded to see Helen stood there, looking, well like shit, if she was honest.
'Hi, are you ok?' Nikki asked, knowing full well that she was not ok.
'Not really didn't get much sleep' Helen moaned.
'No, me neither' Nikki could kick herself for being so blunt, particularly when she saw the frown that crossed Helen's brow.
'I've caught you at a bad time, I'm sorry I wasn't thinking I'll come back another time, leave you two in peace', Helen added.
'There's only me here, Karen's gone back to London' Nikki told her.
'But I thought she was planning to stay for the weekend' Helen looked worried, 'is everything OK?' she asked, genuinely concerned.
'Well it's a long story, not one I really want to discuss stood on the doorstep, so are you coming in? she asked, patience never being her strong point.
'What.. oh yes sorry, I didn't think' Helen mumbled and walked in.
Nikki closed the door behind her and led Helen into the lounge.
'Look do you mind if I nip upstairs and throw some clothes on before we talk?' Nikki asked
'Of course not, you go ahead, sorry if it's an inconvenient time' Helen apologised again.
'Look Helen stop saying sorry, I was just going to ring you and ask you to come round so honestly it's not a bad time, I just would prefer to get out of this wet dressing gown. I won't be a minute help yourself to a drink' she called as she ran up the stairs.
Helen was grateful of the opportunity to get her composure back, she wasn't really sure why she'd come here, she knew that Karen might be here but came anyway, she wasn't expected to be greeted by Nikki looking so sexy!
A couple of minutes Nikki was back downstairs, she'd donned a pair of blue jeans and a white cotton shirt her hair was still damp and she was barefoot, Helen's heart was doing somersaults just looking at her.
'So what's wrong, is it to do with Dominic? Did you tell him?' Nikki was anxious to have Helen confirm that her relationship with him was over.
'Yeah, I told him, he took it surprisingly well, I suppose that confirms that it wasn't meant to be eh?' she smiled.
'So why the long face, you got what you wanted didn't you?' Nikki asked
'Yeah I suppose I did, but when he left I suppose it hit home that I was on my own again, and that's kind of depressing you know'.
'I know, you lose the comfort and security of having that someone 'there' just for you'.
'Yeah' Helen murmured, changing the subject, she asked, 'So why has Karen gone back to London? There's nothing wrong is there?' she asked, she was worried despite everything she'd liked Karen.
'Well that depends how you look at it I suppose. She told me that she thought we should have a break from each other for a while' Nikki told her.
'But why, you looked so happy together' Helen was amazed, could it be true? She tried hard not to feel pleased.
'Well '..Nikki had to think, how should I handle this, 'she told me that she thought that I was in love with someone else'.
'And was she right? Have you found someone else?' Helen clearly had not twigged, her stomach churned. The thought of Nikki and Karen had been bad enough, but someone else on the scene too! Oh God!
'Yes Helen, I am very much in love with someone else', Nikki continued, 'but the trouble is I'm not sure how she feels about me. Karen says that she is clearly in love with me and that I am basically blind for never noticing it, but I honestly don't know. I suppose I always assumed that she'd have told me if she felt that way, but she hasn't'
'Does she know how you feel' Helen asked.
'No, that's the stupid thing, I've never had the courage to tell her' Nikki admitted.
'Well there's you answer Nikki, clearly you'll have to tell her, you'll never know otherwise' Helen couldn't believe how calm she was, here she was encouraging Nikki to tell some other woman that she loved her, when all the time she wanted to scream at her.
'I'm not sure that I can' Nikki said, 'I'm afraid'
'What's there to be afraid of' she asked.
'I'm afraid Helen, that when I finally tell you that I'm in love with you, that you won't feel the same and I'll have to get over losing you again'.
As the words slowly sunk in Helen started to shake, had she heard her correctly, was she saying...?
She looked up at Nikki, their eyes met and locked.
'I am so in love with you Helen. I always have been and always will I'm just sorry that I didn't have the courage to tell you before, I '
She never got the chance to finish what she was saying, Helen got up and rushed across the room, she took Nikki into her arms, their eyes met again and their heads moved together slowly, each holding their breath, as their lips met they felt the explosions shoot through their bodies, the kiss went on each wanting to show the other just how in love they were. There was no need for words now instinct took over, their bodies conveying their own message of love.
Helen ran her hands through Nikki's still damp hair, she marvelled at how good it felt to finally release the feelings she'd kept locked inside her for so long.
They broke the kiss, and drew apart, each stunned at the response they had given and received.
'How long have you ' Nikki started to ask.
'Always, since that first day when you helped me against Shell and Denny. I've always loved you, I've spent my life comparing every one that I've met with you, no-one has ever come close, could never come close. Nikki, I love you and I am so sorry that I never had the courage to say it before, I feel like we've wasted so much ti '
Nikki's descending mouth cut her off, as it got closer, Nikki whispered, 'So let's not waste any more ' and she kissed Helen with such passion that if she had not been holding her so tightly Helen would surely have slid to the floor as her knees buckled.
Nikki led Helen up the stairs to her bedroom, it was as if they were in a dream, nothing else mattered, the world was far away, all that mattered was them, what they were about to share.
As they walked into the room Helen turned, she wrapped her arms around Nikki's neck and once again they lost themselves in each other's touch.
Nikki's hand slowly moved up and rested on Helen's hips, moving slowly round to caress the small of her back, pulling her body closer. Helen herself was in no mood to wait, her hands moved to the front of Nikki's shirt, the times she had dreamt of doing this, the excitement was causing her heart to race at what felt like twice the normal speed, her hands were shaking so much that she was having trouble undoing the buttons of Nikki's shirt. Impatiently Nikki grabbed her hands, moving them aside, she couldn't wait either and she pulled the shirt roughly over her head, Helen's hands were instantly stroking her bare flesh, Nikki shivered as the touch of her hands did wild things to her nerve endings.
Helen dipped her head lower and started to kiss the base of Nikki's neck, her lips travelling steadily lower, brushing along the edge of Nikki's bra, she moved lower and gently took her nipple into her mouth, applying a small amount of pressure through the fabric, Nikki thought she was going to explode.
She pulled Helen back up, she wanted this to last and the way it was going!
She gently removed Helen's T-shirt, and undid the fastening on her jeans, slowly sliding them down her legs, her hands following their path, shivers of excitement ran up the inside of Helen's thighs, she could feel her body instinctively responding to Nikki's touch, she stepped out of her jeans and helped Nikki out of hers.
Nikki laid her gently back down onto the bed and was soon at her side, gradually they moved closer each wanting to please the other, each had been here so many times in their dreams and wanted this moment to be all that they'd imagined. As Nikki reached around to remove Helen's bra, Helen's mouth again found her breast, Nikki gasped, she could feel the damp material as it grazed against her skin. Helen reached around and undid the silky bra she moved her head moved aside allowing her hands to move in to tease and caress as once again her lips sought Nikki's.
Their mouths met, their tongues probing deeper and deeper the need that had been held in check for so long was now free and they were revelling at the way their senses were responding to the closeness of each other's bodies.
The mere fact that Helen was lying next to her on her bed was almost enough to bring Nikki to climax. She moved her hand lower, wanting to touch Helen, to show her just what she meant to her, her hand dipped inside the only remaining barrier she found her goal and was delighted at the apparent effect their lovemaking had so far had on Helen's body.
Helen's hand moved down from Nikki's breast, her nails dragging their way down over Nikki's soft skin, Nikki shivered involuntarily tiny muscles spasms shot from between her legs, she could hardly breathe as she felt Helen's hand slip inside her underwear and she started to slowly caress Nikki at her most sensitive point. Nikki could feel her muscles begin to contract, as Helen's fingers continued their gentle caresses her breathing became more ragged and she began to match the rhythm that Helen had started, soon both were climbing higher and higher the sensations they were experiencing becoming more and more intense until they could get no higher and in unison they reached the peak each calling out the others name as their release came.
It took a while for their breathing to slow and their bodies to come back down to earth, they slipped under the duvet and wrapped their bodies tightly around each other. Nikki couldn't wipe the wide grin from her face even of she'd wanted to, she looked down at Helen who was doing a fair impression of the Cheshire Cat herself.
Their eyes met and they spoke at the same time. 'I love you', then laughed and kissed again.
A few minutes later Nikki started to laugh. 'What's so funny', Helen asked.
'I was just picturing Shell Dockley 's face if she could see us now'
Helen laughed too, 'Poor cow' she added.
'Poor cow nothing, that bitch made my life hell, it was as if she was reading my mind'
'At school, she kept on and on about us, the number of times I got close to killing her'
Helen laughed. 'Ah well perhaps she's not as stupid as we thought' she said. Realising the absurdity of her last statement, she looked at Nikki and stated to laugh, 'Strike that!' she said and leaned in for another kiss which led to another and another and as Nikki started to trail teasing bites kisses down the length of Helen's body all thoughts of Shell Dockley disappeared from her mind.
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