“So, are you gonna finally tell me what today’s holiday is?”
Pete took his eyes off the desolate country road just long enough to cast a glance at Amy, his best friend since grade school, where she rode shotgun with her bare feet up on the dash. She just gave him an innocent shrug and knowing smile.
“Number 195,” she said. “Now, eyes on the road.”
“Not even a hint?” He did as she asked, not that there was much to see out on the road save endless miles of trees and the heat mirage coming off baked pavement from the late morning July sun. They hadn’t seen another car in nearly ten minutes.
“You’re welcome to guess.”
Pete sighed. “Well, I know it’s out of town and we’re bringing a picnic lunch. And you said I should wear a swimsuit and bring a towel. So…National Picnic Lunch Day? Go Swimming Day?”
“Both perfectly good guesses, but wrong. Although we’ll likely be doing both.”
“More fun that Donut Day?”
Amy chuckled. “Hopefully. Could we have found any worse donuts on earth that day? Pathetic, really.”
Yes, the donuts had been disappointingly stale, but it was the time they’d spent together on that day seeking out donuts and on every other day of the year so far without fail, celebrating one obscure made-up holiday after another, that Pete had really savored. It was at a New Year’s Eve party last winter, as high school seniors, that Amy had put forth the idea.
“I wish we could celebrate holidays every day,” she’d said to him as the clock ticked down the last few seconds until 2017.
“That’d certainly be a challenge to keep up,” he’d countered, assuming she was just making up stuff to talk about.
“Challenge accepted, then.”
“What do you mean?”
“Starting in one minute, with the new year, I’m going to celebrate a holiday every day of the year,” she said. “And, of course, day one will be to honor New Year’s Day by making that my resolution.”
“Okay, you do that.”
“And you’re going to do it with me.”
She’d given him a pointed look, one that told him she fully expected him to join her in this bizarre endeavor. It was exactly the sort of thing she would do and he believed if anyone could keep it up for an entire year, it would be her. Were it anyone else, he’d have politely declined, but this was Amy. If it made her happy, he was in.
“Okay, sure,” he’d said. “But you’re in charge of finding the holidays.”
They shook on it and then joined the others at the party in counting down the final seconds to the new year. When it happened, Amy leaned up and gave him a quick kiss. He’d been so flummoxed that he barely kissed her back. Afterward, she’d looked as embarrassed as he felt. That had been their first and still only kiss. He’d wondered if she’d done it out of holiday tradition or because she felt something more for him than she’d ever confessed before. He knew he had feelings for her, but had never felt the right moment to express them and was afraid to ruin their friendship if he did. She treated him like her best bud and there had never been a hint of interest in anything other than that. Even when February 14th came around and he thought she might open the door to something, she’d instead had them celebrate International Book Giving Day, and she’d given him a copy of Island of the Sequined Love Nun.
Over half the year had gone by since that resolution was made — 194 days of memories and laughs in celebrating peculiar holidays like Pink Shirt Day, International Pancake Day, Toy Soldier Day, Middle Name Pride Day (when they only answered to Miranda and Charles), Save a Spider Day, Be Mad Day (hard to keep a straight face through that one), Bunsen Burner Day (their AP chemistry teacher was not amused), and nearly two hundred others so far. It had been a lot of work in some cases, but he’d treasured the effort and time they’d put in together in accomplishing it. Now, over halfway done, neither was willing to do anything but take it the distance.
He didn’t mind that Amy was being evasive about today’s holiday, though it was unusual for her not to say something up front. Secretive was not usually her thing. On top of that, she’d been in a slightly “off” mood since he’d picked her up that morning. She said she was fine when he’d asked, so he let it drop, but he knew her well enough to know something was weighing on her.
“See that post with the reflectors up ahead? That’s our turn.”
Pete wasn’t sure there was even a turn where she’d pointed until they were almost upon it. A small, weed-choked gravel road split off the desolate country route and cut into the woods. It was blocked by a dilapidated gate, one that turned out to be unlocked when Amy hopped out to open and then close after he pulled his car through.
“Just where are we?”
“My grandma’s property,” she said, sitting upright now. “We went camping here a few times growing up, but there’s not a whole lot out here. There’s a cabin that’s in such bad shape I wouldn’t dare set foot inside any longer. Dad keeps talking about rebuilding kadıköy escort it, but I’d be surprised if that happens before he retires, if ever.”
“So, if something happens to us, no one will be able to find us aside from maybe your family?”
“Bad time to mention this is big foot country, then?”
Pete rolled his eyes. “Dork.”
“You love it.” She gave him a playful punch on the shoulder.
“Of course I do.”
After a couple hundred yards of carefully navigating through the overgrown drive, they broke out of the woods into a flower-dotted meadow with an idyllic reed-lined pond in the middle. Not too far from the water was the derelict cabin, whose roof appeared to have collapsed. Dense woods surrounded the entire area and Pete had the impression from the drive in that there might not be another human being within a couple miles of this spot right now. There probably wasn’t any running water, electricity, or plumbing, either.
It was scenic, he had to admit, and quiet. He was increasingly curious as to what had inspired Amy to bring him here.
“Just park over by the cabin,” she said, that curious vibe to her returning in both voice and body language. “Should be plenty of room to get the car turned around.”
Pete did as instructed. Closer, he could begin to make out how the area around the cabin had once likely been cleared and possibly mowed regularly. There was a deck on the cabin facing the pond and someone had once brought in a considerable amount of sand to create a small beach. Weeds were threatening to overtake it, but it wouldn’t take too much effort for them to clear some space and have their own private beach. Had they ever become a couple, this would have made for a very romantic little spot.
“Well, this is it,” she said as he turned off the car. “What do you think?”
“It’s cool. Definitely could use some cleaning up, but yeah, I like it.”
“Sorry it’s so rustic, but I thought it would work.”
“You gonna tell me what the holiday we’re celebrating is now, then?”
Amy met his eyes for the briefest of moments and then looked away. Was she nervous? Her behavior was making him uncomfortable.
“How about we clear off the beach a little first,” she said, opening her door. “Then I’ll tell you.”
Pete sighed and followed her out, stretching his legs and taking in a deep breath of the fresh air. It was hot, but there was a steady breeze that made it tolerable. Birds and insects provided the background music while puffy clouds slowly rolled by, marking the passage of time.
“No hints, even?”
Amy started pulling weeds and pointed to where he should start. “Oh, fine. How about I tell you what I passed on?”
Pete chuckled. She had told him before of many holidays she’d passed up, so this could be fun in its own right. “Fire away.”
“We’re not celebrating Collector Car Appreciation Day.”
“Whew, thank goodness.”
“You’re welcome.” Amy threw two handfuls of weeds into some deeper brush off to the side of the strip of sand.
“I also passed on National Motorcycle Day.”
“Good call,” he said. “My skills with four wheels are sketchy enough as it is.”
“I gave a long, hard thought to National Macaroni and Cheese Day.”
Pete stood up. “What? You passed on that? I love mac and cheese.”
She winked. “I know. It was a close one.”
He smiled in return. “Well, whatever you settled on must be pretty freaking awesome to have beaten that one out.”
Amy flashed that look again and bit her lower lip. “Better than Shark Awareness Day?”
Pete gave her a puzzled look. “What, that’s what we’re doing? I’m having trouble believing your grandma keeps sharks in this little pond.”
Amy threw a weed at him, forcing him to duck. “No! But that was an option, too.”
“Better than Hug a Shark Day.”
“True.” Amy turned back to her work. “I’ll tell you soon, since I think we’ve almost cleared enough.”
“I can’t wait.”
Without looking up, she said, “You’ll either love it or hate it.”
“Really?” He couldn’t imagine anything that would go to either extreme like that. “And you don’t know how I’ll take it?”
She paused and looked up at him. There it was again — nerves. “Honestly, no, I don’t. That’s why I’ve been all weirded out this morning.”
Well, at least it hadn’t been his imagination.
“C’mon, you know I can roll with just about anything,” he said, trying to put her at ease. “I didn’t blink when you told me it was International Sushi Day, did I? Me, the sushi virgin.”
Amy forced a smile. “No, you were a good sport, and I knew that would test you.”
“So you say now.”
Pete did his best to put on a confident face, but her nerves kept rubbing off on him. Just what could have her so out of sorts? And, more curiously, why would she have chosen it when there were other low-hanging fruit from which to pick on this day?
Without too much effort, they had a good portion of the little kartal escort beach cleared up and Amy led him back to the car to fetch their towels, a blanket, a bag of goodies, and the cooler. He helped her spread the blanket out on the sand and was already looking forward to seeing what she’d packed for lunch. Was that where the surprise lay — something more off-putting and exotic for lunch than sushi had been? If so, he couldn’t understand why the trek all the way out here.
“Okay, now are you ready to tell me?”
Amy stood before him, shifting her weight from foot to foot and clasping one hand in the other. To his eyes, she was adorable — long, auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail, scintillating green eyes, petite and curvy. She’d been self-conscious about carrying an extra ten or fifteen pounds all through high school, but he rather liked her figure as it was, and had told her more times than he could remember that she looked good. He could tell she was wearing a bikini under her shorts and tank top and he’d been secretly looking forward to seeing her in it the entire drive up.
“I’m questioning my sanity,” she said, stalling.
“Oh, enough already,” Pete said, affecting as unthreatening a posture as possible. “Just out with it already.”
“Fine.” She stared at him, almost challengingly, but blushed furiously while doing so. “It’s National Nude Day. There.”
Pete’s heart skipped a beat as his brain tried to comprehend what she’d just told him. National Nude Day. Nude. Naked. No clothes. Him? Her? In front of each other? She wasn’t the only one with body image issues — he’d always thought himself too skinny, not to mention severely under-tanned from too much time spent indoors. He was uncomfortable getting undressed in front of anyone and had never done so in front of a girl. He didn’t know for certain, but he suspected the same was true of Amy in front of a boy.
He was terrified of what she’d think of him and of embarrassing himself in front of her. On the other hand, she knew full well when she’d picked this day that she would have to get naked as well. How was she not nervous as hell about it? Or was she and she’d wanted to do it anyway? And why? He thought back to that one brief kiss on New Year’s Eve. If she did have a secret romantic interest in him, this sure seemed like a crazy way to try to make it known.
“See, I told you you’d hate it,” she said, looking humiliated, likely mistaking his silence for a definitive reaction.
“No!” He held out his hands. “No, it’s not that. I’m just a bit, shocked. You did manage to put me off my game, more than with the sushi.”
She studied him in silence, forcing her hands apart to stop fidgeting.
He pressed on. “And, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. How do you feel about it? I mean, you picked it and all.”
Amy bit her lower lip and took a deep breath. “Honestly, I’m nervous as hell. I picked it, I guess, because it sounded like one of those crazy things everyone does at some point in their life to have a good story to tell. I feel like I’ve lived my life pretty…safe…to this point. This isn’t that. But, I don’t think I could dare do something this crazy with anyone but you.”
Pete felt his heart flutter at her words. “Thanks. It’s just skinny dipping, right? Doesn’t everyone do that?”
Amy smiled. “Everyone less boring than us.”
He could do this. It was Amy, his best friend who would stand by him through anything. He just had to focus on not getting aroused in front of her and thereby embarrass himself beyond ever being able to face her again. Fortunately, for the moment at least, the thought of seeing her naked was completely overwhelmed by his nerves and he didn’t feel so much as a twitch down below.
“Okay,” he said, taking a deep breath. “As long as you don’t have a stash of mac and cheese in that cooler, then I’m in. Would hate to break our streak here.”
“No mac and cheese, sorry.” She shrugged. Something in her body language had eased, even if she still looked as nervous as he felt.
“So, uh, how do you want to do this? Now? After lunch?”
“Now. If I wait any longer, I’ll probably talk myself back out of it.”
“Okay. I guess we’re both pretty used to the getting undressed part.”
Amy chuckled. “Yeah. Not that much to it. And then we use a metric ass-load of sunscreen, because I am not getting burned in any of those places.”
“No kidding.” He relaxed. If she could joke about this, then everything else felt easier.
“Ready?” She looked at him, nervous but determined.
“No.” No meaning yes, but not really, but I’ll go ahead anyway for pride and because I won’t let you do this alone.
Pete nodded in agreement and peeled his t-shirt off, trying not to worry too much about her reaction to seeing that skinny, pasty torso. “You might want your sunglasses if you’re going to look this direction.”
“Ditto,” she said, shedding her own shirt and revealing the lime green bikini top he’d been kurtköy escort waiting to see. He’d never expected its appearance would be so short-lived. It was almost a shame, too, since it was a cute little number that cradled her modest breasts invitingly. The suit was easily the most risqué thing he’d seen her wear, even if it was relatively tame as far as women’s swimwear went.
“Ah, my eyes!” He held up his hands.
“Ass.” She flung her shirt into his face. “And to think you were this close to seeing my tits.”
“Just kidding!” He put on his best apologetic smile. He knew her well enough to know she’d take it as he meant it — a joke to lighten the mood. And, from her reaction, it sounded like it worked. “Please, continue.”
“I said shirts, not tops,” she said.
“Well, if we do shorts next, I’ll be naked since I’m just in swim trunks and you’ll still have tops and bottoms on.”
Amy frowned. “Oh, right. I suppose. Fine.”
Pete was pretty sure that she was playing at being miffed. She reached behind her neck and began to undo the ties. Now, after lightening the mood and knowing that he would see the breasts he’d fantasized about countless times over the last few years, Pete felt the blood begin to flow to his cock. It wasn’t a full boner, but he was acutely aware of it and worried how his friend would react when he finished undressing. Why did things have to be so difficult?
“You do realize you’re the first guy to see me, right?”
Pete wasn’t sure how he was supposed to take that. Should he act all honored or just take it in stride? Was she expecting some sort of reaction and he was letting her down by not immediately responding just so?
“I kinda gathered,” he said, knowing it sounded a bit lame. “And you’ll, well, you’re my first, too.”
She nodded. “I had a hunch.”
He watched as she took a deep breath and lowered her arms to chest height and bringing the ties along. She held the bikini top over her breasts for a moment before lowering her hands and letting the fabric fall over. Pete had seen more than his fair share of bare breasts on the internet, but this was the first time in person in any meaningful way, and his heart skipped a beat at the final reveal.
Amy’s breasts were full, but hardly oversized. Just big enough to hang under their own weight. The areolas were small, nearly all bound up in the pair of perfectly erect nipples. He loved them and adored her for trusting him enough to partner with her in this intimate adventure.
“Happy?” Amy’s question could have been in annoyance, but her tone was genuine.
She blushed and gave him a dubious expression. “Uh huh.”
Amy met his eyes and the tension seemed to drain from her body. “Well, try not to drool or anything. This isn’t like when we watch Game of Thrones.”
Pete smiled. “I don’t drool.”
Amy turned her bikini top around so she could undo the second tie around her mid-section. “You don’t blink, either.”
“Whatever.” Pete didn’t want to argue further. She was probably right on that count, and he wouldn’t put it past her to have noticed his shorts bulge on occasion as well. No need to prod her further and have that brought up.
She dropped her top onto the blanket and turned back to him, making no effort whatsoever to hide. If they were both going to get naked and spend time together like that, he supposed there was no point.
“Okay, drop em.” Amy grinned a bit as she looked to him and then his shorts.
“But you still have two layers on.” Pete knew he was delaying, still afraid of exposing himself completely.
Amy rolled her eyes and immediately shucked her shorts, leaving her standing there in just the matching lime green bikini bottoms. “Better?”
Pete felt his cock twitch just a bit, now very acutely aware of every curve on his friend’s body. “I guess. Together?”
Amy shook her head. “No, you first. You got to watch me, so I want to watch you.”
The way she said it, Pete got the impression that her seeing him naked was very much part of the reason she’d chosen for them to celebrate this holiday. He wasn’t sure if that made him feel better or not. Either way, trying to talk his way out of it would sound petty. Nervous as he was, she had taken the first step. She trusted him. He owed it to her to do the same.
“Okay,” he said, trying to calm his nerves with a couple deep breaths. It didn’t help.
He fumbled at his swimsuit’s ties with shaking, sweaty hands. Finally, he got the strings straightened out, and hitched his thumbs into the waistbands. He looked up at Amy and found her giving him a warm, encouraging smile. No teasing, no leering.
It wasn’t exactly like ripping off a Band-Aid, but Pete managed to pull his trunks down over his hips in a fairly smooth move and then let them drop the rest of the way to the ground. The first thing he was acutely aware of was the feel of the breeze cooling his balls — something he’d never experienced before. The second was the heat of the sun on his slightly engorged cock. Sunscreen was most definitely in order.
“Oh my god!”
Pete looked up, startled, having turned his attention away from Amy for a moment in the final disrobing. She was staring at him with wide eyes, hand over her mouth.